How to allow anxiety

Allowing

Your anxious energy is not something to get rid of or suppress. You can’t destroy energy and suppressing it just keeps it within. The way to be free of this energy is to allow it fully. You think you want liberation from this anxious energy, when the truth is, it want’s liberation from you. This is why is keeps coming up, it wants to be free of you, just as much as you want to be free of it.

Most people never allow themselves to feel this energy, they avoid places/situations, drink too much, over exercise, take drugs/medication, distract themselves in activities, they search the net for ways to get rid of it, look for gurus, try to perfect techniques, fight, suppress, spend all day in their heads trying to feel different. In doing this people get worse, as there is nothing more mentally draining and exhausting than constantly being at war with yourself, it is like lashing out at an invisible enemy that you have no chance of ever defeating. Also all this resisting, the constant struggle is the main cause of your suffering. The absolute best you can do is force some temporary peace, but then the energy goes nowhere, so the problems persist and the constant search for temporary peace continues. Whatever you constantly try to suppress will always keep on knocking until you finally give up your pointless pursuit for temporary peace and allow its presence within you.

Many people spend their lives in this loop, I did for 10 years until I finally realised the only thing I had not done was allow myself to feel the way I did. When I looked into this approach deeply then it made utter sense to me why this would free me of this energy that I had done everything to try and avoid feeling. It made sense how much struggle and resistance would fall away, how much more of a break my poor over worked mind would get, how much wasted brain energy it would free up. How if I wasn’t so concentrated on fixing me, then my awareness could go back on life and I would start to feel more real. It made sense to me that this was the only way forward. It wasn’t the day I recovered, as I still had so much anxious and fearful energy to release and for a while things heightened as now I was fully open to feeling how I did. It was like opening a tap and everything that I had suppressed came rushing up and it wasn’t always pleasant to face. But I truly understood the process that was happening, I didn’t see it as bad thing anymore, in fact quite the opposite, I didn’t think I was regressing on any given bad day. In fact quite the opposite, I saw it as my body finally releasing what needed to be released, I saw it as a step nearer to being free of anxiety.

The main 2 reasons people go back to fighting/suppressing is because the brains automatic reaction is to try and fight off uncomfortable feelings. This is why you/your brain needs to understand that feeling this anxious energy is a good thing, that when you are free of this anxious energy, then all that is left is peace. The other reason is many people don’t have the patience to go through this process, they think once they understand something then they should feel great, if something doesn’t work instantly, then they go back to searching for temporary peace. I personally figured I could either allow myself to go through a few months of discomfort and be free or spend a life time trying to find temporary peace and get nowhere.

A lot of people will say to me ‘Yes but it is not the anxious energy that is the problem, it is going to a supermarket, driving etc, that is the problem’ my reply is ‘No, these places are not the cause of your anxiety, they are just triggering the anxious energy that is within, if you were free of this anxious energy then you would not feel such a reaction to normal situations. If the problem was in these places, then everyone would feel this way, the truth is, they don’t. So don’t put the problem on the place or situation, the problem is not there, that is just a trigger for what is within, the problem is never on the outside, the problem is within. So there is no reason to avoid these places. See them as a place that triggers in you what needs to be released and allow the reaction.

When you are free of this stored up anxious/fear energy then you will only get anxious/fearful when you are in a real danger. We need this reaction to keep us safe and protect us. The problem only occurs when we accumulate too much of this energy (usually through a prolonged period of worry and stress) and we feel it it normal every day situations or as a constant feeling. This is a clear wake up call to allow this energy to be felt, as uncomfortable as it is to do so, you can never be free of what you refuse to feel.

I hope that helps people. I think I have covered anxiety quite a lot recently, so I will talk more on other aspects of anxiety and will do a post on disturbing thoughts next.

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380 Responses to “How to allow anxiety”

  1. Elle Says:

    Thank you Paul,

    I’m still trying to grasp the allowing as it’s been my habit to fight it for so long now. This post really helps,.

    Elle

  2. Paul David Says:

    Allowing does take a while to really grasp as the instinct is to fight, you are convincing your brain that it doesn’t need this automatic reaction as much as anything. It is understanding why fighting is so counter productive and why allowing makes utter sense. People who don’t understand what is being asked of them and why it is the whole catalyst for recovery will just fall back into their automatic response and go back to suppressing and fighting. It can take time for the concept to really sink in and what is being asked.

  3. Ruby Says:

    Dear Paul,

    First of all.. thank you for everything you did and do! I read already both of your books and they r really amazing and helpful.

    I am 25 years old from germany, (I hope my english is not too bad :)).. To keep it short, I have a quite long anxiety story. It all started so to say ‘basic’ in summer 2014 , i came home from a stressful period of university (exams etc) for the holidays – we just sat together with my family and drunk coffee and suddently I got very dizzy and I couldnt hear anything. And I got a very BIG panic attack – by this time – I had no idea what anxiety is or how It can affect our body/brain so I basically thought I am going to die.
    I became so obsessed whit the thought – what is wrong with you or are you sick etc – that the other days also depression flipped in. So I lived like this for about 1,5 year + DP/DR + 5-7 panic attacks a day + extreme health anxiety + 1 mio hospital visits and checks. But one day I came to this blog and understood everything what was going on. You explained everything so good Paul I really felt that this guy knows what he is talking about and thought to myself ok I have nothing more to lose and started to implement everything Paul explained and bought the first book – it was really hard but after 5 month or so everything began to dissapear, EVERYTHING step by step. First I became panic free – then DP/DR free – then my hypochodria dissapeared and in 2016 I was almost back to normal (just left with an extreme fatigue – but that was more or less ok for me) till Sep 2017. Thats the good news..

    Now in Sep 2017 it came again but it was weird tho. It was after a stressful work week. I had like 4-5 strong cups of black coffee that day. I came home and felt really bad – I had again extreme fatigue, I felt REALLY bad, and my mind just thought about : what is wrong with you?, why are you so tired?, why cant you concentrate? and so on.
    And in that moment my sister talked to me and I couldnt follow the concentration – I felt so distant and dr/dr and then I began to think like : You must be psycho, I must have depression or some other mental illness and I got again a big panic attack which lasted like 2 hours and during this attack it was like my brain ‘clicked’ and I became from one minutr to the next like really depressed and from that moment on I became obsessed with the feeling of depression , I became like emotionless/ listless, didnt feel fun for normal stuff I usually like, and just stucked with the thought : I must be depressed .. and began again to figure it all out and question everything in life, and I became anxious of maybe hurting myself it was really horrible at the begining.. And then again I remembered how I became anxiety free, and bought the second book of Paul and now I am again trying to accept but its somehow different because I have no panic attacks and no fear of illnesses but fear of being depressed (because I really feel depressed)..

    I dont know what to write more,but I would be glad to hear personally from you Paul. What would you say about my story – how can I cope wth this fear of being ‘mentally ill’ – because my problem is I really feel this feeling of depression and this very feelings make me anxious. and also this what if thought – like what if I am really depressed and stay like this forever..

    Maybe also other guys can relate or give some advice.

    Anyways thanks for ‘maybe’ reading my post. And again sorry for my ‘not so good’ english. :)

    Ruby

  4. Stacey Says:

    Looking forward to the post on thoughts Paul! This is where I am struggling at the minute. Annoying niggling thoughts that hit me in the stomach mainly about the things I least want to worry about :-)

    Stacey

  5. John Says:

    Is it common to go from anxiety and panic to fatigue and depression symptoms? A constant sadness and anxiety. I don’t get that rush of energy that anxiety gives you. It does the opposite now. Brain fog, fatigue, anxious sadness. Even when things are that bad in life.

  6. Alz Says:

    Paul great post as usual and I wrote such a longgggg reply which unfortunately didn’t get posted so I’ll hv to write one again :( this time I’ll save it befr submitting it .
    Paul Iv started following your blog since the past two years ( when I lost my first child due to still birth ) . Those times were really bad and there were such helpful ppl on this blog who might not even know it , but helped me through some of my hardest days – Bryan , rich, Doreen, char, Andy , Melisa Abd so on.
    I got through that time and started working etc – coming on the blog on and off. I would really appreciate some advice for you regarding what I’m currently going through which is related to disturbing thoghts ( your next blog post).
    Currently I am unemployed because I left my work due to excessive work load – it wasn’t my anxiety – it was honestly the sheer pressure and working on weekends tht was not really all tht fun. there have also been some family commitments during the past six months along with work which could hv been the possible trigger of my symptoms :
    1. Whenever I’m talking to people I know, I’m questioning whatever I’m telling them in my head – did tht happen or not happen ? It’s a new symptom which I hv never encountered before and really leaves me anxious because it makes me feel like I’m losing touch with reality .
    2. There’s a constant fear of me losing my mind such that when I go out to shop at the places I went to I am now super conscious of speaking and when I do speak , I can hear myself talking . According to char , it’s part of a chemical reaction etc.
    Now , given all my anxiety , mindfulness and therapist’s advice I know that I am suffering from anxiety And that these are just fears but Paul how can I spend each day ridden by these fears – it’s exhausting going out, talking to people and just living in a constant state of fear – losing my mind . Some days I wake up thinking it’s happened.
    I know everyone’s symptoms are different and Iv gone through a multitude of them but I would just like some help from you especially as I think like you said the tap on my anxiety has been opened and I’m accepting but want to hv a full life – devoid of fears! I want to start trying fr a child, apply abroad fr my masters And for once be able to manage my anxiety like you have after hving had anxiety on and off for 13 years . Now it’s just so different from the phish am symptoms I first used to get ..

  7. Alz Says:

    Phish am = physical

  8. K Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I completely agree with your concept of allowing anxiety be and going on with your life. With some success, I have experienced release in this way.
    However, two things are holding me back.

    First, although my “condition” started with anxiety attacks, my symptoms are very physical now – I get ever-changing body pains without a physical diagnosis. Since I have not met or spoken to people/patients who experience full body pain from anxiety, it makes me question if that is it. So I keep going back to the idea that I need to get to the bottom of the physical cause. Do you have any suggestions in this regard?

    Second, I was a shy child and, as adult, still get uncomfortable in some social situations. I think a lot of my unconscious decisions are motivated by desire to please or fit in. I want to go into therapy to explore that and see maybe I can release some deep-rooted stuff from the past. It seems that you think that therapy is just another crutch. Does your approach suggest I should face more social situations despite discomfort instead of therapy?
    Thank you,
    K

  9. Iree Says:

    Thank you for this, Mr. Paul! This is an eye-opener and just what I needed to right now.

    I was going through a rough week but I think I have finally understood what you are trying to get across to all of us who are experiencing this journey with anxiety.

    “Allowing” is not just a sentence that we need to say to anxiety — it is a way of living.

    I agree that our brains are trained to fight or be afraid of unwanted feelings. This is its way to keep us safe. I was convincing myself before that I have fully accepted what I am going through but getting so frustrated when I still have physical symptoms or still feel so awful.

    I realized I was still tensing up and controlling my body not to feel symptoms but reading this new post gave me a new perspective. I need to let go and feel all the anxious energy without expectations and without losing hope.

    Thank you very much! God bless us all!

  10. Ruby Says:

    Dear Paul,

    First of all.. thank you for everything you did and do! I read already both of your books and they r really amazing and helpful.

    I am 25 years old from germany, (I hope my english is not too bad :)).. To keep it short, I have a quite long anxiety story. It all started so to say ‘basic’ in summer 2014 , i came home from a stressful period of university (exams etc) for the holidays – we just sat together with my family and drunk coffee and suddently I got very dizzy and I couldnt hear anything. And I got a very BIG panic attack – by this time – I had no idea what anxiety is or how It can affect our body/brain so I basically thought I am going to die.
    I became so obsessed whit the thought – what is wrong with you or are you sick etc – that the other days also depression flipped in. So I lived like this for about 1,5 year + DP/DR + 5-7 panic attacks a day + extreme health anxiety + 1 mio hospital visits and checks. But one day I came to this blog and understood everything what was going on. You explained everything so good Paul I really felt that this guy knows what he is talking about and thought to myself ok I have nothing more to lose and started to implement everything Paul explained and bought the first book – it was really hard but after 5 month or so everything began to dissapear, EVERYTHING step by step. First I became panic free – then DP/DR free – then my hypochodria dissapeared and in 2016 I was almost back to normal (just left with an extreme fatigue – but that was more or less ok for me) till Sep 2017. Thats the good news..

    Now in Sep 2017 it came again but it was weird tho. It was after a stressful work week. I had like 4-5 strong cups of black coffee that day. I came home and felt really bad – I had again extreme fatigue, I felt REALLY bad, and my mind just thought about : what is wrong with you?, why are you so tired?, why cant you concentrate? and so on.
    And in that moment my sister talked to me and I couldnt follow the concentration – I felt so distant and dr/dr and then I began to think like : You must be psycho, I must have depression or some other mental illness and I got again a big panic attack which lasted like 2 hours and during this attack it was like my brain ‘clicked’ and I became from one minutr to the next like really depressed and from that moment on I became obsessed with the feeling of depression , I became like emotionless/ listless, didnt feel fun for normal stuff I usually like, and just stucked with the thought : I must be depressed .. and began again to figure it all out and question everything in life, and I became anxious of maybe hurting myself it was really horrible at the begining.. And then again I remembered how I became anxiety free, and bought the second book of Paul and now I am again trying to accept but its somehow different because I have no panic attacks and no fear of illnesses but fear of being depressed (because I really feel depressed)..

    I dont know what to write more,but I would be glad to hear personally from you Paul. What would you say about my story – how can I cope wth this fear of being ‘mentally ill’ – because my problem is I really feel this feeling of depression and this very feelings make me anxious. and also this what if thought – like what if I am really depressed and stay like this forever..

    Maybe also other guys can relate or give some advice.

    Anyways thanks for ‘maybe’ reading my post. And again sorry for my ‘not so good’ english. :)

    Ruby

  11. John Says:

    Hi Paul David, does this apply to depression, negative, low esteem insecure feelings detachment from self reality, poor sleep and just overall feeling bad?

  12. Nolan Says:

    Hi K,

    I wouldn’t overthink the physical sensations too much. I think all of us had them to a greater or lesser extent. What matters is whether those physical symptoms grab your mind’s attention. I think you know what I mean.

    We all have our core issues and these can vary from person to person. But then we’ll have our side issues, which also vary. The side issues aren’t as important (they don’t unnerve us as much) as our core ones.

    I had side physical symptoms that didn’t bother me nearly as much as my core symptoms. These side physical symptoms were muscle twitches, constant dizziness, racing/erratic heart rate.

    But the issues that terrified me, grabbed the attention of my mind, and lasted the longest were: insomnia, conscious awareness of unconscious actions (blinking, breathing, swallowing).

    These were the ones that locked tightly to me. Made me think I was broken beyond repair.
    They’re also the ones that I was still able to successfully put behind me following Paul’s approach.

  13. Debbie Says:

    Hi nolan when your heart raced did it scare you how did you not mind it thats one of my main problems racing ,skipping .

  14. Alz Says:

    Umm hoping someone could reply to my post

  15. S Says:

    Hey alz
    Reading your post I can relate to it massively. I still question if I even have anxiety or if it is something else terrible. I also wait for me to have the ultimate mental breakdown where I never come back right from it. Does it have effect on your relationship?
    Paul’s books have been such a big help to me. I must say a couple of years ago I felt in such good place, then it slowly creeps back and before you know it back to square one. Doubting everything. Not knowing what thought and feeling a are real. :(

  16. Christine Says:

    Hi, I’m looking forward to the post on thoughts as well because that is my main struggle. It’s hard to look at thoughts as anxiety when my reaction to them is what causes my anxiety and then keeps them coming. I have been dealing with harm intrusive thoughts for four months now, and it is debilitating. One of my most recent ones that is making me so scared is if I’ll go crazy and forget who I am, where I am, etc. and also i have this crazy thought that if I go in and tell the doctor I am hallucinating (I’m not!) they will believe me and institutionalize me!! Why in the hell would I think like this when it’s my biggest fear to go crazy? These thoughts are so annoying but so hard to get rid of.. it is tiring and devastating. Seriously puts me in despair.

  17. John Says:

    Hi Nolan,

    How did you overcome sleep related issues. I suffer from GAD. I always have a thought if i don’t sleep tonight, I will not be able to cope at work tomorrow. This makes the problem worse sometimes. Have you tried medication for anxiety and sleep?

  18. Nolan Says:

    Hi John,

    Sleep for me was my biggest issue. The one that terrified me and the one that had me thinking I was broken for good.

    Early on I saw regular doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists… I read book upon book. One psychiatrist (in a 3 month period of time) had me on: Clonopin, Trazadone, Ambien, then Ambien CR, Lunesta, Lexapro, Xanax.
    None of this takes into account all of the over the counter drugs I was taking for it.

    None of it work in any reassuring way.
    The best, Ambien CR, was promised to give me at least 8 hours of sleep…. I was able to get 1 and half hours on it. The sense of despair was never higher in my life than that night.

    All day long my thoughts were consumed with sleeping: how to fall asleep, what do I think about, what should I avoid, should I have the lights dimmed in the house a few hours before sleep, should I avoid all computer use hours before sleep, what should I drink, what temperature should the drink be at.

    The funny thing is: when I was a good sleeper I didn’t do any of this stuff. I had no “sleep hygiene” protocols and was still able to sleep with no issue.

    So I had to go back to not caring. A poster who used to post here named Dominic put it this way “turn your what ifs into so whats”.
    So, whatever sleep I got any night was simply what it was…. and I was going to stop paying so much respect to the issue.

    I still had bad nights, but I started getting good nights too. But after every bad night I got up in the morning with the attitude of “big deal, I got alittle sleep…. I still have a life I’m going to live regardless.”

    It might seem like ‘just words’ at first, John… but it’s the starting point of developing a new attitude towards it; one that is not motivated and guided by fear and helplessness.

  19. Nolan Says:

    One last thing…
    for some practical advice with sleep:

    Have no expectations of how much you should get.
    Be fine with whatever you do get.
    If you get rushes of fear during the day (or night) regarding it: put up little resistance to it. Welcome it with an “whatever” attitude.
    When you close your eyes… let your mind race as much as it wants to while you lay back watching it with a dispassionate attitude.

  20. Rocky Says:

    Hi Paul

    With regards “allowing”, where do you stand on using mindful labelling?

    Ie, when a feeling of panic hits – simply saying the word “panicking” to yourself. I use this type of thing and it can help give me some space from the feeling instead of it swamping me. It doesn’t go away but I can manage better and carry on doing what I’m doing.

    Similar with thoughts. Labelling the thoughts (one or two words), ie “job thoughts”. It helps me to recognise I am having those same old thoughts again and I can “see” the thoughts instead of drowning in them.

    Thanks

  21. John Says:

    Thanks Nolan for detailed explanation. It was very helpful..

  22. Debbie Says:

    Alz how are you doing?

  23. Alz Says:

    Hey Debbie !
    Long time . Same as above . Would love some advice from people . It just gives one reassurance !

  24. Debbie Says:

    Alz i know iam in a rut myself these days my mind at times thinks like yours meaning is it really going on or iam i imagining it is scarey.

  25. Debbie Says:

    Alz sometimes i feel like i cant put sentences together its always something weird .

  26. Alz Says:

    Debbie I remember that you were seeing a therapist or talking to one . What does he / she say ?

  27. Debbie Says:

    Alz i dont see him for a while now cant really afford it at 99 dollars each session. I think this has been the worst ive ever been living in my mind 24 / 7. Always self scanning my brain. Its a living hell but i wake up and made it through another day. So i survived it.

  28. Anxty Says:

    Hi, having a real problem switching off and relaxing, it’s especially bad when i’m tring to watch something like a film or TV. constant chatter in my head, questioning everything that’s happening on screen. i can sometimes just start watching tv and be lost in it but if i want to watch something it’s as above.

    I watched a film yesterday and at a certain scene someone get’s shot, it’s this big dramatic scene and my head starts thinking “concentrate this is importnant” ” am i lost in this” etc.

    It gets me worried that maybe it’s not the anxiety and it coiuld be something else. would a change of medication help or maybe upping my medication. lost at the moment

    Any tips/help appreciated, thanks

  29. Stacey Says:

    Struggling after googling a bit too much(silly of me)
    Read a post today where it’s said people have to just put up with it for life and try manage it. (Made me feel awful)

  30. John Says:

    Hi Stacey,

    Have you ever be free of anxiety completely?
    There is very less chance

    Can you have anxiety and have fullfiling life?
    Definitely you can. You can reduce your anxiety by using Paul’s method or medication or both and achieve live your life similar to the person one who does not have anxiety.

    I am doing the above. If I look for a complete cure ( I do not know of it exists), I would be putting myself under pressure and make it even worse. I measure my success not based on the level of anxiety that I have on a particular day, it is based if I am going towards my goal irrespective of how bad or good anxiety make me feel. I suffer from GAD by the way

    It is not easy. It’s tough but it is the only path we have.

    Take care.

  31. Nolan Says:

    Hi Stacey,

    What do they know? I’d lump that in with all of the uninformed to bad to terrible advice I received from GPs, psychologists, and psychiatrists (not that none have anything good to say, I’m sure some do, but that wasn’t my experience).

    I’ll say this though… I suffered from intense anxiety for a long period of time. I was certain I was broken for good. Anxiety and depression have this ability to not only stain the current moment, but they can also make your future seem little more than meaningless torture and your past moments of feeling content as being part of another life you no longer will ever get to experience again.

    As certain I was broken before, now anxiety/depression (and all of the symptoms) are pretty much an afterthought for me. I have had an occasional spike, but they pass quickly. And the spikes happen more in the abstract (the fear of fear), they don’t really bubble up the symptoms (namely, for me, insomnia). To put it into perspective: months can go by and I don’t experience a thing.

    And it wasn’t until about mid 2016 when the intensity was so low so as to not even think I had anything one could sincerely call anxiety. And my last moment of depression was probably about spring of 2015.

  32. K Says:

    Hi Nolan,
    I went to see a psychiatrist yesterday. I wanted some answers if my physical pain can be relieved with therapy. I am torn – don’t know if I should try another medication (occasional small dose of remeron helps me with both pain and insomnia, but I am hesitant to take it because of possible withdrawal effects). He said I should explore my past and relationships to see if there are any mental blocks. I am torn whether I should really go there.
    I must say it feels very powerful to overcome an episode of pain with just facing and observing. Over the last couple of weeks, I was able to not break into tears every time the pain came (something unheard of just a couple months ago – I would always get depressed when pain started). I should probably just continue on this path, shouldn’t I?
    I hear you guys loud and clear with regards to acceptance method, but, my god, my life feels like hell, I am exhausted from caring after my toddler and want a break. These choices with are so incredibly difficult and just make me more and more anxious.
    Thank you,
    K

  33. Nolan Says:

    Hi K,
    I was at my worse when my child was about 7 months old. He was a handful too. Constant wanting to play with me… constantly wanting to be picked up. He wouldn’t just play by himself. So, running on some nights with no sleep at all (and being dizzy pretty much all the time) I would find myself at my wits end (that sounds like an understate to type it out).

    Now I had many different meds for sleep but for me nothing worked. And the next morning I was now not only sleep deprived, but I also had that stuff floating around in my system making me feel groggy and drunk on top of the anxiety/depression/insomnia.

    Is it bad advice to look back on those past relationships and try to come to better terms with them? I don’t think so. It might be a good thing to do.
    However; I still think that even with those being relatively unresolved you could still move forward with the acceptance approach and overcome anxiety and depression (and whatever symptoms that go along with that).

    I say this because I’m sure I have unresolved relationship issues with my parents (mom was an alcoholic, had a rough life, and passed away at a young age…. dad was doing his best to keep her safe but sometimes having not enough to go around to keep his children engaged), my sister (we have a lot of issues between us), some guys who jumped me pretty bad back in high school…. and many other unresolved issues with relationships.

    This isn’t a ‘woe is me’ story. As a matter of fact my story is probably not all that unique. My only point is that despite all of these ends that aren’t nicely tied together I feel pretty good the most of the time. I would say that I probably feel better than when I first even got my bouts of anxiety and depression and insomnia.

    Paul’s approach doesn’t just help with anxiety/depression; it also helps with better responding to those little stressors that build and build in a person’s life…. that build and build up into something that later can manifest into something like anxiety or depression.

    Hope this makes sense.

  34. MatP Says:

    Paul,

    I think you should re-word this article on the “Activities” part. I think a lot of people will mistake it for.. “not being active” and seclude themselves being inactive in order to allow the energy.

    I’m beginning to understand this and your words are resonating with me little by little. Now I go out and socialize and do things, such as play sports, go workout, take part in conversations… despite of how disgusting I feel. To be honest when I’m doing these activities my brain automatically distracts or mutes the anxiety for the time being… and it’s not like I’m doing that intentionally. I mean I work.. I have to be productive, I have to be in meetings…. so I wouldn’t say that activities will lead to distraction.

    your thoughts?

  35. Iree Says:

    Thank you for this, Mr. Paul! This is an eye-opener and just what I needed right now.

    I was going through a rough week but I think I have finally understood what you are trying to get across to all of us who are experiencing this journey with anxiety.

    “Allowing” is not just a sentence that we need to say to anxiety — it is a way of living.

    I agree that our brains are trained to fight or be afraid of unwanted feelings. This is its way to keep us safe. I was convincing myself before that I have fully accepted what I am going through but getting so frustrated when I still have physical symptoms or still feel so awful.

    I realized I was still tensing up and controlling my body not to feel symptoms but reading this new post gave me a new perspective. I need to let go and feel all the anxious energy without expectations and without losing hope.

    Thank you very much! God bless us all!

  36. Ryan Says:

    Nolan/K,

    I think that is a great response Nolan, and it really does make a lot of sense

    I won’t go into detail about my problems, as you say and I believe, that they all manifest from the minor things

    but I did wonder if you could expand on what approach got you out of this?

    I have followed Paul’s advise, and have had some success, but I do find it very abstract at times

    I’m at a point where I no rarely get physical symptoms, they all seem to be mental. And I don’t obsess and worry about them, but they feel as if they will never go

    Cheers

    Ryan

  37. Alz Says:

    Came on the blog after sometime . Haha Char I was replying back to you thinking you’ve msged me ( mistakenly opened Paul’s last blog post) . Anyway I’ll just repost it here if you ever do visit this blog :)
    Hey Char !
    Always good to hear from you . So I went to my Therapist (god bless her !) and she’s really calmed me down. It’s all anxiety / obsession. I went off the blog and am trying to face my fears . Went out of the city to meet frnds . If I can’t concentrate, feeling despair and can still hear myself while talking , I’m letting it all be . At the end of the day i joy down my thoughts and write a counter argument ( cbt). Obviously it’s not fun listening to urself talking and wondering how ur making sense , trying to concentrate while people talk and fearing that you will lose yourself BUT there’s no other alternative but to live and carry on with my life goals . I have not had it this bad or so I don’t remember it being thisbad but it’s all chemicals affecting the brain which can be rewired and though I hv not lost the fear I’m carrying on with life !
    Glad to hear you’re well !
    Thanks for asking ?

  38. Mark R Says:

    Hi all.

    Back again.

    Struggling again at the moment. After a domestic squabble on Thursday my system has been rattled and I’ve woken today in that doom state. Feel terrible, very low, no appetite or will to do anything at all. I’m going to the football later but about 1% of me wants to go. But I will go to fill up the day.

    I’m pointing the finger at the above. Does anyone find that any kind of slight stress can bring back the feelings in full force?

    Many thanks

    Mark.

  39. Shirley W. Says:

    Hello Mark R…..I remember you from when you and I were on here together before. I struggle with any stress – it seems to trigger my feelings to full force. I am okay as long as the sea is smooth but once it gets a bit choppy so does my mind. At least you were going to make the effort to go to the football. That’s a positive.

  40. Sally Says:

    Hi Mark
    Any kind of stress or argument sets me off It is the same for people without anxiety disorder but because we are like we are it is so much more intense Hang in there remember you have been here before let it be no fighting and it will subside you know deep down it will
    Chin up Sally

  41. K Says:

    Nolan,

    Thank you for your time and reply, your thoughts make a lot of sense. I think I will go into therapy for a bit to explore my past to see if I can release some of the junk.

    Ryan,

    I find it helpful to reread the ”letter to self” sometimes (Google “nothing works weebly”). It is one more interpretation of the acceptance approach. I think it covers all the possible specifics.

    My own take is that we can discuss all the angles of anxiety and specific approaches for hours, but, at the end of the day, we just need to face whatever uncomfortable feelings that come upon us, leaving behind all safety rituals, and carry on with our days like we are normal (because we are!), maybe taking some breaks for a little self-pity and self-encouragement along the way. The lag between “turning on” this new attitude and feeling better is a few hours to a few days apart. The more we practice this new attitude, the better we feel (after the lag). And then there are setbacks in between, which feel like you are back to square one. Same answer – turn on the “facing whatever” attitude and carry on. Take a break (nap, go out, etc.) if you have to, but then move on with your day/week. I am not the best to give advice as I fall back into my safety mechanisms, feeling sorry for myself and looking for issues, but I see results when I face my fears.

    Thanks,

    K

  42. Josh C. Says:

    K, your description is spot on. I’ve learned that the less I feel sorrow for myself, the less I wish I didn’t have to “deal” with anxiety and depression the more comfortable I became with all of the feelings and thoughts. Self pity isn’t always obvious but I could see it there after I completely quit trying to cure myself. I had MAJOR sleep issues like Nolan. I work shift work and rotate working 12 hr shifts of days and nights. My job is 90% mental, watching computer monitors and observing a process. I was terrified of not being able to think clearly enough to do my job. I still and may always have days (or nights) of minimal sleep and the fear of not sleeping still arises with me at times. But ive had great days after sleeping only 2 hrs and have had horrible days after sleeping 7 or 8 hrs. I know that it’s all just habitual. It’s all just habits that I’ve formed. The new habit of full acceptance just means that you’ve chosen to feel all of it without feeling sorrow for yourself about feeling all of it. I’ve had some really great days while experiencing a ton of anxiety simply because I chose not to feel sorrow for myself.

    Josh

  43. K Says:

    Thanks Josh. I know exactly what you are saying with regards to having a great day after two hours of sleep and having an out-of-nowhere turmoil when I least expect it after a full night sleep. The biggest thing that gets me is bodily pain (like fybromyalgia, but doctors say I don’t have it). I am happy to report though that I have had some baby step progress with that once I finally managed to not attach emotionally to being in pain and not sleeping (it almost sounds masochistic, but it really is better for me than drowning in self-pity). One day at a time, we’ll get to our happy place.

  44. Josh C. Says:

    K, I can understand . I occasionally experience restless leg which can keep me awake and I have chronic lower back pain. Both of these can increase the anxiety I experience depending on their severity.

    I know people with physical pain issues worse than mine yet they do not have anxiety which tells me it is possible to experience pain without anxiety.

    SO many of the physical symptoms can be anxiety related. I used to experience weird headaches and strange numbness and tingling on my back when I was fighting anxiety. I know your situation is more than numbness and tingling though, and my intentions aren’t to downplay your pain but to encourage you to keep on keeping on because I know that a lot of my physical symptoms went away when I quit fighting anxiety.

    Something Nolan wrote (I don’t remember which post the comment is on) stuck with me. He said something to the effect of, “If this is me forever, fine.” I can remember desperately wanting to have that attitude towards anxiety and all the crazy physical symptoms but not being willing to totally let myself go there. I continued fighting for several more months until I finally just completely gave up one day. I said to myself, “Nope. No more. I’m done. I give up.” And literally in that moment all the things Paul, Nolan and others have said over and over regarding acceptance just made sense. I experienced some of the worst anxiety I’ve ever known for the next 3 days because I completely quit trying to stop it. But I understood it was a great thing to have this new attitude, to let it all shake me up and not try to stop it regardless of how long I was going to experience it. I finally knew what Nolan was saying. I was totally willing to live my life full of anxiety and depression from there on out. I haven’t “struggled” with anxiety since. I’ve felt it at varying levels on and off but it no longer is something to work at it. It’s not something to free myself of.

    Josh

  45. Nolan Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    you asked:

    “but I did wonder if you could expand on what approach got you out of this?”

    To put it simply: I made my life bigger than anxiety again… with no expectation that my anxiety would ever go away.
    To slowly start reclaiming my life. The fear of anxiety (and the exhaustion from the symptoms) sidetracked me for many months. I started doing the things that once made my life mine again.
    For months my life had become an existence of constantly thinking (intentionally and reflexively) about anxiety/depression and my big symptoms. And I would dedicate all of my free time to reading more about it; trying to find hopeful stories of others who had my exact same problems (deviations from my problems in success stories always had me thinking “well, my problems are different…. so this can’t be of any help to me”).

    Sleep deprived, terrified, exhausted, and completely lost… I started to do the things of my life again: going out to dinner with friends, reading books, physical labor (I was convinced that too much physical exertion would throw me back down into the deepest recesses of the pit), staying up late, watching movies late, eating bad food again (many with anxiety go through these convoluted steps of only eating certain kinds of things in hopes of getting rid of anxiety).
    In other words: I gave a big “so what” to all of the “what ifs” that haunted every moment of my mind. (I’ve stole that from Dominic).

  46. Nolan Says:

    Beautifully written, Josh C.
    Got me choked up here reading that at work.

    “I continued fighting for several more months until I finally just completely gave up one day.”

    Exactly the same with me. I look back on that day for me with so much fondness now. A moment where I felt as lost as a person can be…. I now look back on that time as one of the best moments of my life.

  47. Josh C. Says:

    Nolan, many of your writings have choked me up. I related to so much of what you experienced. Deep down I knew if you could get out of the muck I could too, I just had to get to that point of completely giving up the battle. I tried for 6 years to rid myself of anxiety and depression using every method known to man. Many, MANY times I would give half hearted attempts at accepting all of it but would ultimately go back to all the methods after “trying” to accept didn’t work. I was on and off meds several times and would drug myself to nothing more than a zombie in attempts to get some sleep.

    Through all of it I promised myself that I would help others if I ever made it to the other side. It is miraculously simple how I’m here today encouraging and helping instead of desperately seeking answers as I have done in the past.

    Thanks for all the help and encouragement! You’re words have done amazing things for people. I’m living proof.

    Josh

  48. Ryan Says:

    Josh/Nolan,

    Both your words are appreciated.

    I have to say, I never let any of my feelings stop me doing anything. That’s what worries me.

    I don’t react anymore, I do everything I need to and have for the last year or so but ultimately I still feel like dog s**t most of the time

    I’m constantly deep in DP with existential ruminations, it’s like I’m stuck in my head 24/7 because of anxiety, and I fear never getting back

    Like you say, I suppose by reading this back it shows I’m not ok with feeling like this, hence why it paradoxcially continues

    Any final thoughts welcome

    Ryan

  49. Nisha Says:

    Hi Paul and others,

    My worry is about having non stop intrusive thoughts. Yes i should not worry. But how not to worry? if i say something, its not like fighting with a thought? Its really confusing me and taking my life.

    I really do not know how do i let go of it? I understand its not about “how”. But still i am stuck with one thought after the another.

    Also i read about “Allowing”. How to allow the thoughts without talking anything to remind about it or to understand about it? Because it was said its like fighting a thought. I really do not know what is allowing and what fighting is?

    How to see its just anxiety creating stories without talking anything consciously? It would be of a great help to get an insight about this.

    Nisha

  50. Kostas Says:

    Hello everyone,
    I have a problem with the understanding part.I know that everything i feel is just energy and do understand why i feel anxiety,but when I actually feel anxiety on a high level I subconciously still want it to be gone.I guess I do not have to do sth about it and let it be changed naturally,despite my instict telling me that I have to always be able to allow it.Am I right?

  51. Kostas Says:

    To be more specific,I have read Paul’s book and truly understood the content.It is very sensible that I firstly thouht that it was like a technique and wanted it all to be gone as soon as possible.As time passed I understood that this was not the meaning of the book.I got it that i had to stop visiting the site and rereading the book every time i did not feel good.The feelings are not harmful,but just incovinient.despite knowing this, my automatic response is still the same and I still think involuntarily that it is smoething that I have to fight.The urge to fight is what I think is the most difficult part to actually allow,as we all have been thinking this way for a long time.Also,for everyone who thinks that allowing is something that they personally can not achieve,I can assure you that I used to think the same way, but without me trying to change it, some days now I can really get through and be at peace with my anxiety!Sorry for the long post,wish the best to everyone

  52. K Says:

    Nolan’s statement about people with anxiety eating certain things made me chuckle because I have tried gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free, all kinds of supplements. I even try to put my husband on supplements. Clearly, I am getting nowhere.

    Josh, Thank you so much for your encouragement. Having gone through bouts of headaches, then bouts of this or that, now I tend to lump every sign of physical discomfort under anxiety/depression. Some of it could be just from life, like back pain from picking up my daughter. I am trying to learn that not every sign of discomfort is a cause for alarm.

    On a different note, I notice that on good days my brain tends to run at 100 miles per hour trying to analyze and plan for everything in my day. I am trying to pace myself. Not sure if it is a form of control. I should probably just let it run until it exhausts itself.

    I am tempted to try another medication before I completely give up. It helps a close family member, changed her life after years of suffering. And again that letter to self guy says that if medication helps you do more relaxing things, then it just helps retrain your brain that there is no danger. I don’t know. Please don’t take my advice on that, anyone. I am just trying things out.

  53. Josh C. Says:

    Kostas,

    What you described is completely normal under the circumstances. Your mind is going to be triggered to start seeking a solution. It wants your attention. It’s reacting to a threat, doing exactly what it should be doing. It’s our habitual perception of the threat that causes all of the intense anxiety/panic when we don’t want it.

    When we teach ourselves that the old threats aren’t threats anymore by allowing the rush of thoughts to “FIX THIS! FIX THIS! FIX THIS!” our mind slowly starts to understand that it doesn’t need to alert us anymore of the threat of feeling anxiety. In other words, understanding that for now your mind and body are going to react to threats that you aren’t concerned with anymore.

    You will still feel panic and your mind will still be flooded with an “anxiety to-do list”, but the attitude is, “yes, I see what you want me to see but it’s not threatening to me anymore so I’m just gonna let you (mind and body) run all of this out.”

    It’s not a one day, one week or one month attitude. It’s a life attitude. It truly is adopting the attitude of “If this is me forever, fine”. (Nolan’s words)

    That can sound horrifying (I KNOW!!) but once you no longer care if you ever recover the anxiety starts loosing the grip on you. It still comes and shakes you up but it is no longer a problem. It’s just part of life. It’s no different than having to run to the store for eggs. No different than having to wake up for work. It’s all just part of life. You stop hoping that today is the day you finally “get it”. You COMPLETELY give up trying to figure it all out. You give up trying to accept it correctly.

    You can do it. Everyone can do it. I know because I’m doing it.

    Josh

  54. Josh C. Says:

    Ryan,

    I know exactly where you are. I was there for 6 years. I read over and over about how to just accept it. How to allow anxiety and just live with it. I tried SO many ways to do this but I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t working!

    Then one day (a day or 2 after going back on Paxil for the 3rd time) I just got so sick of worrying if I was ever gonna be ok. I had tried everything yet nothing gave me any lasting peace. In an instant I knew I had been trying to be ok all along. I had been trying to fix myself by trying to accept it. At that moment I totally gave up. I told myself, “I’m not doing this anymore. I’m gonna live the rest of my life either trying to fix myself (which always lead me to a dead end) or not trying to fix myself.” I decided to be fine with who I was no matter how I felt for the rest of my life. I stopped telling myself things like, “ok, I’m gonna give this approach a month and see if it’s working.” Or “maybe NOW I’m really accepting it. I’ll know in 3 months if this is the correct way to accept.” I had worn myself out trying to do everything correctly.

    Ryan, I finally understood that recovery wasn’t a mountain to climb. It wasn’t a day in the distant future where I would no longer feel anxiety, panic and depression. Recovery was my attitude toward anxiety.

    Josh

  55. Josh C. Says:

    K,

    I ate very strict diets for months at times. I had my days planned out to prep my anti-anxiety meals, get in 2 meditation sessions, go for a 3 mile run, get to bed at 9:30 among other things. I had read at different times (through my searching for a cure) about all the things I should be doing everyday to rid myself of anxiety. When I was actually able to complete all of the daily to-dos I rarely felt any better but had to keep it all up to fix myself. Most days I couldn’t get all the to-dos done and that was depressing to me. I was constantly thinking, “I can’t do this! How do people do all of this?? I have a job and a family, it isn’t possible to live with all these expectations!”

    This cycle of trying then quitting in depression then trying again and quitting in depression continued for years. This is what ultimately lead me to COMPLETELY giving up trying to stop the anxiety. I literally could not stop it and I finally understood that. Paxil would help but I knew it was never a cure. I knew I would eventually be back where I was.

    I had to go through all of this to understand that I wasn’t ruined. All the trying without any real, lasting results proved to me that I couldn’t fix myself. I understood that my attitude towards my life and anxiety/depression had been holding me back, not the anxiety and depression themselves.

    Josh

  56. Alz Says:

    Josh and Nolan thanks for giving people hope constantly . Iv written several posts above hoping that Paul or someone would reply because my symptoms seem ‘unique’ and ‘unbearable’ .But, I guess for everyone, their symptoms seem the same . Accepting is something that goes against our very nature because otherwise , why would we have anxiety in the first place? Unfortunately there is no magic wand or pill that will rid one of this self created mess. Just a willingness to see how bad it gets and then realising that it’s actually a spoof. Hope I can get to that stage!

  57. Josh C. Says:

    Alz,

    The truth is that you are going to experience some symptoms and thoughts unique to you. I spent a lot of my time searching the internet for someone that had all my symptoms, all of my same life experiences and was living the same lifestyle i was but I never found that person. I did find others that had many of the same experiences and sysmptoms I had, but never somebody that had held their son in their arms for an hour after his birth while watching him turn blue and pass away because he never developed lungs in the womb. Nobody that had adopted 3 special needs kids that completely overwhelmed them most of the time. Nobody working 12 hr shifts rotating days and nights that screwed up their sleep.

    I could go on, but the point is that there are people experiencing exactly some of the things you are but nobody is experiencing EVERYTHING you are. There isn’t somebody living the exact same life as you.

    For a long time I thought I was the exception to the cure. My life was too overwhelming and I was too traumatized to ever be ok. So, I sought and fought to be cured for years. “If I could just not have this or that problem I could be ok. If I could just get a new job I could finally start recovering. If I never would’ve adopted these broken kids I wouldn’t be so stressed and wouldn’t have all this anxiety. I have way too many kids and too many life obstacles to ever be ok.” In short, I blamed life for doing this to me.

    I’m not at all saying to stop trying to improve the quality of your life. I was doing that before anxiety and I’m doing that now. I still excersise and eat healthy most of the time (but I do eat junk some too) but I no longer avoid this or that or blame my circumstances for my health.

    I quit trying to figure it all out. I quit expecting to eventually not have anxiety. I quit expecting anything on any day. I just lived for today. I still felt like crap and had crazy to me thoughts that seemed to never end, but I knew worrying about all of it never did me any good. I decided to be ok with being this way the rest of my life. I had learned that not being ok with it got me nowhere.

    Hope this helps!

    Josh

  58. Pete Says:

    Hi all. Right now I’m struggling a lot with intrusive thoughts, which I know some of you here have experienced. These are intrusive sexual thoughts, the worst imaginable (don’t really want to write them out, but people with anxiety tend to worry about the same themes…because it’s all the worst imaginable). I was going to an OCD specialist, who told me that I actually have to “agree” with the thoughts, to say that I do “enjoy” them and they are indicative of my true desires.

    However, this raised my anxiety to ridiculous levels. I know that, with OCD treatment, you’re supposed to spike your anxiety, but I feel like it was spiking it unnecessarily high. I always thought it was okay to remind yourself that the only reason you’re getting these terrible thoughts is because you’re currently suffering from anxiety, and not because you actually want to do these things. Realizing that it’s just anxiety (which is 100 % true) has, in the past, helped me to brush the thoughts off and continue on with my day. I’ve been told that this is a form of “reassurance,” however…

    What do you all think of this? Thanks for any help…it’s been so long since I’ve posted here, I missed this forum and it’s bringing me warm feelings to be back!

  59. Kostas Says:

    Josh,I really appreciate your advice.That is something I was stuck with a lot of time.I will not give up despite all the hate towards anxiety that has grown into me.It is surely something that will change if left alone.Thank you again

  60. Mark R Says:

    Josh,

    Some great advice for others on here. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    Reading your story I just wonder if we are in the same boat….

    I’ve been with anxiety to various degrees since I was 21, I’m 37 now. I used to struggle hugely for a year then it would retreat and I would be well for a number of years. However since early 2010 anxiety has never really gone away for me. I’ve gone up and down, having great days, weeks, months and then the polar opposite. Due to this really I gave up on any type of ‘recovery’ and come to terms with the fact that anxiety would reappear for me.

    Like you I’ve blamed it on various things. Maybe I shouldn’t have had that drink last night, those chips or dated that girl etc. But truth be told its never been a thing I could point to easily, always more chaotic and random.

    As Ryan said it doesn’t stop him doing anything and that is the same for me really. I have to admit the frustration is there. I can go for a while not feeling anything at all then wake one morning (as I have done this last few) and feel like total crap for no reason whatsoever.

    You don’t really mention in your posts if you still struggle or consider yourself recovered so that was my question really. Does anxiety pop back into your life at points as it does with me.

    Many thanks

    Mark.

  61. Josh C. Says:

    Mark,

    I’m 38 and your story sounds exactly like me! My anxiety started with a terrible panic attack in October 2011. I had a ton of stress in my life then, more than I had ever had in my life up to that point. The panic attack was the start of pure hell for me for the next 15 months. EVERY SINGLE DAY was a nightmare that wouldn’t end. I thought all was lost and I’d never be the same.

    I eventually got on Paxil and about that same time read Hope And Help For Your Nerves. I started feeling better and 6 months after getting on Paxil I got off thinking I had whipped anxiety for good. I thought I had beaten it.

    I had anxiety on and off for the next couple years, and didn’t like it at all but it wasn’t anywhere near the severity of that first year. I would literally make myself think, “Face, Accept, Float and Let Time Pass.” over and over and over when the anxiety was bad. I saw this as the secret phrase to force myself to think when anxiety was bad. I wasn’t actually doing any of those, but I thought I was by repeating it over and over in my head.

    In October 2015 the anxiety came rushing back and my secret phrase stopped working. I regretted everything I was or was not doing. “I should have tried going to bed at 9 instead of 9:30. I shouldn’t have eaten those chips with lunch yesterday. I should’ve ran another 10 mins yesterday. I should’ve spent more time meditating.” My life was nothing but a huge regret. During this time I found anxietynomore. I read everything I could looking for another secret to beating anxiety. I desperately searched for someone just like me, in my same circumstances that held the magic words to get me out of the nightmare again. I had zero patience because I wasn’t sleeping (2-3 hrs of sleep in a 24 hr period, sometimes 1 hr of sleep) and my life was extremely busy with work and raising kids. I wanted so bad to accept all the terrible feelings and thoughts but I didn’t have time to go through it all. I needed to be fixed NOW. So, I went back on Paxil after a couple of months of trying to force myself to accept and allow anxiety.

    I basically repeated everything again. Then late last year (November sometime) it all came back again. I started the search for a fix again but decided I needed to get back on the meds.

    A day or 2 after starting Paxil for the 3rd time I had an “Ah-ha!” moment. All at once I realized I had never actually allowed anxiety to happen. I tried to force myself to be ok with it so that I wouldn’t have to feel it. In other words, I wanted my half-hearted attempt at acceptance to be a miracle cure. I realized that me not liking anxiety, trying to get rid of it, not wanting it to be there was the problem all along.

    Mark, I’m a month into this and still feel anxiety most days but it has very little effect on me. I don’t consider myself recovered in the sense that I don’t feel unwanted anxiety, but I do consider myself recovered knowing anxiety will never have the grip on me it did for so long. I honestly don’t care how I feel anymore. My feelings are just that, feelings. My thoughts are just that, thoughts. Anxiety is no longer something to overcome. I understand that recovery was never a day in the future that I could live without anxiety or depression. Recovery is living today with anxiety there and not wishing it wasn’t there. Recovery is our attitude towards anxiety.

    Do I think that one day I will live without unwanted anxiety? Yes. But, that isn’t my goal. That was my goal for 6 years and it got me to many, MANY dead ends. I was very frustrated! I’m fine with living with anxiety for the rest of my life now. This is why I know one day it’ll all go away…because it doesn’t matter if it’s there or not.

    Josh

  62. K Says:

    Josh,

    Let me just tell you, you are such an inspiration! I am sorry about your son and grateful for those kids. Look at you helping everyone around. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

    And really, Paul and everyone here, thank you so much for keeping me on the right course. The greatest victory is the victory over yourself and your fears.

    Best,

    K

  63. Chelsea Says:

    Hello,
    I have recently been reading Paul’s book and some of the blogs on here as I have been on a similar situation with Depersonalization and some other symptoms .. I’m understanding that you just have to accept and let it happen and not let it bother you anymore it’s only been a few days since I started reading the book and I know that recovery is not something that happens overnight bu when I seem to have negative thought I then find myself using mantras to be positive how do you get thought the negative through without using them and not give any attention to them also I’ve been finding myself feeling really confused and forgetful lately and also feel like I’m not connected to my body and just on auto pilot is this apart of anxiety to? Can anyone help please?
    Thankyou
    Chelsea x

  64. Ryan Says:

    Josh,

    Thanks for this simplification, almost sounds too easy

    respect for what you are doing here, big up

    Cheers

    Ryan

  65. Josh C. Says:

    K,

    Live for today. That’s where it all starts and ends.

    Josh

  66. Josh C. Says:

    Ryan,

    It is very simple, but that’s why it is so frustrating. It’s extremely difficult to be “trying” to be ok with all of it. This is why those that finally exhaust themselves (me, Paul, Nolan…) and give up altogether understand that the attempts to stop feeling anxiety was the problem all along.

    The dread of anxiety, the frustration, the wishing it weren’t there, the hoping I’m doing the right thing(s)…this is the catalyst for it. Take the catalyst out and there is still a reaction to be burnt off but nothing new is being put into it to keep it going and going and going.

    Josh

  67. Josh C. Says:

    Nisha,

    The intrusive thoughts are part of the burn-off. It is COMPLETELY normal.

    For years I hated the thoughts I was having. I hated not being in control of my thoughts. I just wanted to be able to think without panic being driven through me.

    But today I understand that the thoughts are all just burn-off. It’s how the anxiety escapes. It’s exactly how it should be. It’s your attitude towards it that makes all the difference. SO many people with anxiety experience this and it’s because our mind is just burning off the anxiety in us. Anxiety doesn’t escape through our skin, it escapes through our minds. When we let it escape this way we quit feeding the anxiety while letting it eat all the stored up food we’ve fed it in the past.

    Josh

  68. Nisha Says:

    Josh,

    Thank you so much for your response. I really appreciate your attitude towards your life inspite of the overwhelming situations.

    As you said i can understand that thoughts are just-off burn. I say to myself for my understanding that, “this thought is just another anxiety release and it is a good thing happening to you, nothing to be scared about this”. Immediately it has been a reminder to know what is happening within us and I do not fall into the trap.

    My biggest struggle is, “Am i understanding or am i fighting with the thought?”
    Is explaining myself a good approach or it is a fighting?

    I need a better understanding of this. Because Paul and others who have recovered always say: “See for what it is”. So for me to remind myself i consciously explain myself to understand it better. Of course it helps me whenever am thinking consciously. But i need to know is this a right approach?

    As far as I read from Pauls books, i mostly read about who people who were once confident and later in years got Anxiety due to other stressors and worries, got recovered by the right approach and felt the old self again.

    But in my case, its different. I have anxiety since my childhood with low level of self confidence, insecurity, intolerance, problem of acceptance, avoidance and lack of clarity about life, and so on. So how to change my belief system. If I change, again it is not fighting? Is this the same approach for every one who suffers with anxiety irrespective of when it all started? I am really confused.

    I would be grateful to get more clarity about this!

    Actually i was so hesitant to ask these kind of questions, although i visit this blog since two years. That was my anxiety who stopped me! It kept telling me: “Hey, you, why do you want to ask such silly questions?” “Why cannot you find it by yourself?” “See again you are seeking others for help”.

    But today i decided to ask for help how much silly my questions are.

    Thank you so much for your kind help and time which is immeasurable in this so called self-centered society. Respects to all of you who prioritise Humanity!

    Nisha

  69. Josh C. Says:

    Nisha,

    All the wondering is part of the acceptance process. It’s habitual thinking, nothing more. I know exactly what that like. I desperately wanted to just accept everything and move along but my mind would always be wanting me to try a new teqnique or question my attempts at acceptance.

    I realized that all of that was just going to happen and there was no reason to question my questioning (if that makes sense). I knew my mind was going to run wild with thoughts of all kinds and some of that was going to be me questioning if I was doing the acceptance correctly or if I should try accepting a different way. When those thoughts come up now I just let them come and go as part of not trying to change anything. I don’t question whether I should be having those thoughts or if they need extra attention. I don’t add to the questioning.

    I still have thoughts like, “Josh, what if you forget how to accept??!!” or “Josh, what if this doesn’t work in the long run??!!” but I completely leave those thoughts alone. I let the panic those thoughts create surge through me then leave. I don’t question those thoughts. I understand it’s my old habits just doing what habits do. My new habit is to not question all of it. My new habit is to leave it all alone to do whatever it’s going to do.

    Concerning the lack of self-confidence, being insecure and intolerant, lack of acceptance and direction in life etc… Nisha, that describes me. I also have a MAJOR lack of patience. All of these are reasons why I’m a Christian. I understand that I’m not enough for my family, my co-workers, or myself. I need something greater than me to help me in the areas where I fall short. I rely on and trust Christ for this.

    However, it isn’t at all necessary to have your life figured out to start forming a new habit. In fact, knowing you’ll never have it all figured out is a good thing. Nobody has it all together and is living a stress-free life. Understanding that is part of living for today. Not living today in hopes tomorrow will be better. As Nolan says, “Make you life bigger than the anxiety.”

    Hope this helps!

    Josh

  70. Debbie Says:

    Hi josh c iam feeling dizzy today and weird so now my mind is going back to what i ate last night i do eat healthy so now i will cut out what i ate last night . What is this a way of containment ? Just wondering i have lost alot of weight due to it iam asking beacause i see it has at times happened to you also .
    Thanks deb

  71. K Says:

    Guys,
    I need your help. I saw a psychiatrist today who was quite strict in his demeanor (he said that he doesn’t like when patients debate with him about which course to take), claiming at the same time that he strives to foster a partnership. He said that he sees psychiatric issues and that I am incapable of choosing what treatment is right for me (that made me feel like sh##) and that I am wasting my time and money going to wrong doctors and doing modern treatments (e.g. transmagnetic stimulation of the brain), etc. He wants to try Cymbalta for anxiety and pain. When I suggested he do this new genetic test that is supposed to rule out medications that probably would not work, he got uncomfortable and said that he would be making decisions and that the test is not something that he thinks would help (he then conceded that he would be willing to try it if Cymbalta does not help). I am so conflicted whether I should go back to him. I am tempted to go because what if I am incapable of deciding what is good for me. At the same time, I do not want to leave my free will at the door and be guided completely by someone else, even if an MD. Please help. I am not sure what to do. I do know that I want to try a medication.
    Thank you,
    K

  72. Josh C. Says:

    Hi, Deb.

    Food has been an issue for me from the very beginning of anxiety. The day after my initial panic attack in Oct. 2011 I completely changed my diet. I was convinced I had suffered a heart attack and needed to cut out any and all unhealthy foods and drinks. I was eating very healthy yet feeling worse and worse as the days went on.

    After 5-6 months of this I realized eating healthy food wasn’t helping me feel better so I basically quit eating altogether. In a 24 hr period I would have an apple or banana and a spoon of peanut butter. One day the thought of peanut butter getting stuck in my chest came up and terrified me so I quit eating it.

    This continued for over a year. I finally chose to get on meds and Paxil was prescribed. You may or may not know, but Paxil is known to cause weight gain. “Paxil packs pounds” is the saying. I was very skinny so gaining some weight would be good, but I was eating everything in sight. I gained 50 pounds in just 4-5 months. I was feeling good so my Dr. took me off the Paxil.

    This all happened again with my next bout of severe anxiety in 2015. I lost 50 lbs by barely eating then gained it all back after getting on Paxil again.

    I can’t count the number of times I swore off certain foods because I felt odd later that day or the next day. I knew anxiety was responsible for all the weird headaches, numbness etc… but I was so desperate to not feel anxiety or anything related to it that I would convince myself that not eating certain foods was the quickest way to not feel anxiety.

    But, I would see others eating horrible diets that didn’t have anxiety. I couldn’t figure out why I was working my butt off to be healthy (mentally and physically) yet I felt so horrible. Some people in my life weren’t even attempting to be healthy and were happy yet I was starving myself and exercising a lot and was miserable.

    Deb, when I completely gave up trying to not have anxiety it all made sense to me. It was never the food. It was never how many miles I ran that week. It was never how much sleep I got or didn’t get.

    I’m a big advocate for living a healthy lifestyle (to your ability) but I no longer avoid foods or anything else on the basis of fear. I eat birthday cake with my family to celebrate a birthday. I sometimes eat chips or popcorn watching a movie with my wife. I set realistic goals for exercise. I live in the moment, not concerning myself with how each activity I do will effect my anxiety. I don’t care if I feel anxiety. I feel it right now as I type this, but it doesn’t bother me. I dont need to fix it. It will fix itself if I just leave it alone.

    Enjoy today, Deb!

    Josh

  73. Holly Says:

    Hi guys!

    I just wondered if anyone could give me some advice?

    I had a terrible time with anxiety a few years ago and luckily I found Paul’s book which I can happily say saved my life! However, I found that the exhaustion never really went away, it comes and goes but always seems to be there in the background. I have had a stressful few months changing job and moving house, but I am really struggling with crippling fatigue. No matter how much I get on with my day and try to ignore the exhaustion, it never seems to get any better and it’s getting me really down. I know this may seem trivial as there are much worse anxiety symptoms, but this is almost constant and I just don’t feel like it is ever getting better. I just wondered if anyone else ever suffers with this? It doesn’t seem to be as ‘common’ a symptom as some of the others.

    Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions and I wish you all well in your recovery.

    Holly

  74. Josh C. Says:

    Deb,

    I should add that I have eczema on my hands that causes skin peeling and tiny cuts (like paper cuts) on my fingers. There is a diet called the Autoimmune Protocol or AIP for short. This diet is very restrictive and extremely hard to stay on long term but it clears up the eczema on my hands. I go on and off this diet but I know it’s not reasonable for me to stay on it more than a month or so.

    I’m telling you this so that you won’t misunderstand what I’m saying about the food. I don’t eat AIP to keep me from having anxiety, but to clear up the eczema. I make healthy choices and do research for my overall health but not because I want anxiety to go away.

    I read somewhere that anxiety isn’t a disease therefore it needs no cure. This is so true!

  75. Holly Says:

    I should also mention that I sleep like a trooper and have never had many problems in that sense, even when my anxiety was at its worst. I can easily sleep for 10 hours and still feel exhausted when I wake up.

  76. Debbie Says:

    Thanks josh iam down to 104 pounds use to be 132 . Anxiety is hell. Especially intrusives. Again thank you.
    Debbie

  77. A Says:

    Hi Guys, i’ve Just read through all the comments on here, and I just want to say you’re all so very inspirational.
    I’m trying to implement the acceptance of irrational and scary thoughts, to just let them run their course and burn out. Not doing very well at the moment.
    My problem is constant ruminating with thoughts of guilt and shame over a couple of incidents that happened many many years ago in childhood. At times, it’s overwhelming and all consuming. I never had any problem with them at all before my anxiety started, and now they’ve brought on pretty aweful depression. Do I try and treat these the same as irrational/scary thoughts, try to accept them and just not give them any respect or importance and let them burn out?

    Thanks Guys….A

  78. Josh C. Says:

    Deb,

    I have intrusive thoughts also. The less I care about them popping up and hanging around the less often they come. The more I just move along with my life the less powerful they become.

  79. Stacey Says:

    After a fab week or so I am due to go on holiday with my small children whilst my husband is away working. I was so excited for it but as it’s got closer the usual thoughts and fears about not loving my husband and the gloom feeling has come back! I don’t know if small changes and stresses(holiday) are a trigger but I think my problem is I don’t want to feel back like this so I’m fighting it!!

  80. kostas Says:

    Hi guys,
    Finally I have understood a very important thing and I would like to share it with you hoping that it will help and inspire you.It’s been about a year since first reading Paul’s book and after a long time I have come to a specific conclusion that has lift a lot of weight off of my shoulders.Specifically,once i read the whole content something clicked to me ,something that told me that the actual problem is your attitude towards those feelings.I stopped avoiding situations and started doing things that i used to enjoy,without actually enjoying them.The actual reason that was keeping me back was the fact that I could not confirm myself that I accepted correctly all these feelings,as I saw acceptance as a technique.Of course ,due to living with anxiety,confirming that was from the scratch impossible.I continued living with anxiety hoping that one day I will accept those feelings and that all this commentary in my head and the dislike will vanish.The previous weekend thanks to josh and his reply to me I understood that from the beginning after reading Paul’s book I have seen the truth about my feelings,but I could never accept my inner voice telling me that I should do this and that,so I ended up challenging my habit of disliking and analysing my situation.As you can see we all have those uncomfortable feelings and it is very sensible for us to be afraid of them,but they are not the problem.If you want to name something as the ‘enemy’,the only thing that was causing anxiety from the start was our inner voice and attitude towards anxiety.I believe that this is what we call ‘anxiety’.That is the only thing that needs to be changed and the way that will be changed is by living with it and see it as an old habit that wants to stop all this energy from being released,because the feeling is unpleasure.So accept that you will not always accept your feelings and do not see that as your fault.That is something that will change automatically so you don’t have to expect that day that this will happen at last.If you understand that, I believe that slowly you will also understand that this will take time,as your inner voice has been there for months or maybe years.I do not tell you that I am recovered,as now that I am typing my anxious part tells me that what i think and believe now is not true and that in a few days I will not be able to live with my anxiety,but my response to that is that there is no problem with worrying and being confused as it is something I can not control.But, I can surely choose not to worry about worrying that is actually what keeps me int the cycle.Let your mind play tricks to you and continue living your life.Love yourself and go on.This is a part of our nature and I cannot find the reason to label it as something bad.Greetings from Greece!!

  81. ?????? Says:

    Dear Paul, I am so grateful to you for what you are doing for us! I recently found your blog because I myself am from Ukraine. I allow myself to experience everything as you say and there are no problems with it, I am no longer afraid of my thoughts. But what to do with real problems, it seems that my actions have become different, I can no longer make decisions easily, is it also all my thoughts? I do not remember how I’d reacted to this situation earlier (parting with a guy) and now I do not know what to do, because I began to trust my thinking! I hope you understand me! Thank you!

  82. Christine Says:

    I’ve suffered with harm intrusive thoughts for the past five months and it’s been horrible. I have fallen into a depression over it bc the thoughts have brought so much sadness and despair. Nolan, Josh, anyone that can shed some light on my experience it would be greatly appreciated. I have read some people on the blog here say they have had the same and the memory of thinking like this once they have overcome it does not effect them but I cannot see how I will not be affected like this forever. At this point I can pass the thoughts off pretty good but the fact that I am still having them bothers me. I feel like I’m constantly living in my head thinking about if i think another thought. I wake up in the morning not so much with anxiety (other than thoughts) but more so a feeling of sadness and dread not knowing what the day will bring and if my thinking will ever return to what it was.

  83. Stacey Says:

    Ahhh I’m on holiday and can’t shift the glum feeling and thoughts anyone any words of hope I want out this setback so I can enjoy it I thought I was over this last week

  84. Josh C. Says:

    Stacey,

    Recovery isn’t wishing you felt different. Recovery is being ok with the way you are now and moving along. You don’t have to like it, just be ok with it.

  85. Josh C. Says:

    Kostas,

    Choosing not to worry about the worrying is HUGE! Good for you!

  86. Josh C. Says:

    Everyone,

    I want to share this with you to help with understanding the process of recovering.

    I had a very tough weekend. I only slept 2 hrs thursday and then again only slept 2 hrs friday. I was dead tired and by Saturday my anxiety had become very intense. It was a very troubling setback, but my attitude towards anxiety never changed. I never attempted to not have anxiety. I never questioned the questioning going on in my head. I just let myself feel completely exhausted and feel totally overwhelmed with anxiety. I didn’t expect it to go away. I just keep moving along through all of it.

    Today I woke up feeling very depressed. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to eat anything. I didn’t want to try…at all. But I did get up and I got moving along with my life. I didn’t try to pretend I was happy or change my feelings. I just accepted that I felt terrible but went on with my day just the way I was. By this afternoon I had small windows of forgetting I was depressed at all. This proved to me that my acceptance of my feelings and my decision to get out of bed and get on with my day was the right thing to do. The depression didn’t go away completely, but that’s ok. I’m not expecting a miracle cure. I’m living for today just the way I am.

    There are rays of sunlight through the clouds. That’s just the way it is and I’m totally fine with that. I understand that just because I felt really good last week doesn’t mean I’m going to feel great this week. It’s a process. The more I understand that the more at peace I am with all of it…the good and bad days.

    Live today for today!

    Josh

  87. K Says:

    What should I do if I cannot fall asleep? I am not particularly anxious, but I am probably overanalyzing. I could take an antihistamine that makes me fall asleep. I guess I should instead stay in bed and try to not care whether I would fall asleep and whether I would be tired tomorrow? I am not in pain and I am thankful.

  88. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I posted earlier in February that a domestic squabble had sky rocketed my anxiety. The same situation occurred yesterday and the same thing happened. Its a situation I have now walked away from for my own good but spent yesterday fully cranked up and was even sick in the evening.
    I’m also really poorly at the moment, proper flu bug and have zero energy and can barely get out of bed. Dealing with this and increased anxiety symptoms is no fun at all.
    I was just wondering though how I’m ever going to cope with a relationship when my system reacts like it does to an argument. The squabble mentioned above was girl related. Maybe I’m too sensitive to have one?

    Josh,

    I’ve only just logged in so need to say thanks for the message you left for me last week. Its remarkable how similar our back stories are. I think you have a great attitude towards it all.
    From reading your posts some things really stand out for me…..that these feelings don’t matter and Its important to live our lives regardless. Also the fact that Anxiety if left alone is just energy that burns itself out. The latter is very important to me when I’m having a rough time.

    I only come on here when I’m struggling but I’ve had some great days recently so hopefully I’m trending the right way.

    Be well all.

    Mark.

  89. Calm Guy Says:

    Hi! Sorry for the terrible grammar, English is my second language.
    When I read the it’s always made me feel confused – if people read the article and still feel so anxious- maybe the method is wrong?
    Well to my experience Paul method is the only way and I’m breaking my teeth with your odd language first to say thanks ?? and second in order to be one more point of light for those who ask themselves if it’s possible to recover.
    I’m a mid age pediatrician. I learned and thought that anxiety is a disease of neurotic people and That I’m naturally immune – until two years ago I never had any emotional issues. After returning from a year as a fellowship at the USA to my “not so stable homeland I was extremely worried for my kids future, felt guilty for my decision to come back. After six months of worries I had started to feel lump in my throat and was sure that it must be something terrible. When I realized that it’s anxiety – instead of feeling relief I started to try and control my feelings and thoughts, few months forward and I was in a terrible mess. Every feeling was a possible cancer, every thought was not appropriate one.
    Psychotherapy ( by famous anxiety specialist) just made me look after my condition more, pills, self hypnosis and so one.. I sank dipper and dipper.
    Accidentally I read about Paul book and I immediately knew that this is different. It took me about six months to change my habits and learning allowance, layer by layer I found the old me. At every setback I doubted it all again and again but than I read Paul advices – I could see how it’s so simple and true- anxiety is not s disease! It is really a condition we created in order to protect ourselves instead of accepting our feelings! Every thing I learned about anxiety at med school was wrong and when parents of my patients are telling me about the drug they take for their anxiety I feel so sad!
    I wish I knew about Paul method when it all began but from the other side I so much stronger and wiser now. Thank you Paul!
    Hope you all feel peace and accept it when you not.
    Best regards
    Guy

  90. Sandra Says:

    Hi…. I’ve never posted here before although I’ve read it alot… twice in the last four years I’ve experienced acute and intense anxiety to the point of going to the gp and being prescribed anti – depressants. … I’ve hated being on them as firstly, I don’t believe I was depressed & secondly I hate the side effects…. I came off my latest round at Christmas & then 2 weeks ago my anxiety came back with a vengeance. .. I’ve been trying to allow it & accept it and have had good days or hours amongst the bad but yesterday was exceptionally difficult and I’ve barely slept last night so am incredibly shaky today. I’m due to start a new job on Monday, a promotion within my organisation but in a totally new section & I’m not sure I’ll cope…. All night I’ve been ruminating about whether to go to the doctor today to get something to take the edge off for Monday as I can’t imagine dealing with these symptoms while being trained in in a new role… I don’t know what I’m asking here or why I’m posting but could do with some help…. I have children I need to be present & we’ll for and the journey of accepting * allowing seems incredibly difficult with all that’s going on in my life… Thanks for reading x

  91. Kostas Says:

    Mark,
    The situation you say that you are in is something actually good for you,but through habbit you see it as sth bad.The only thing that happens to you is a detox.When you allow yourself to feel anxiety,your second fear rises and tries to stop you through the best it can.So move on and see it as a part of the process,a difficult one,but also a really helpful one.Do not plan your day regarding the way you feel.Show to your second fear that there is nothing in fact to be afraid of and let it shout at you the loudest it can.I also go through a period of very heightened anxiety but I cannot find the reason to try and change it,or hide myself from the outside .I have convinced myself that this is what causes anxiety,so I prefer to flow with the energy and let it do whatever to me.But it will not stop me from anything!
    Be hopeful and everything will start to change little by little,anxiety is not your enemy and time is your healer.??

  92. Atil Dilmac Says:

    Hi im new tp this blog i suffered anciety in 2010 for one year i managed to over come it just need a little advice as im stuggleing againg from August last year imma barber and a pretty busy onevmy anxiety is really affecting my work as i can not bevtgat happy with my clients im stuggleing with accepting as i find my mind fighting some times i get confused if its me or my anxiety thoughts sleepong is very poor and every one on here will know that lack of sleep can really affect your work

  93. Tom Says:

    Hello everyone!

    I would be greatful if someone would clear up my confusion regarding acceptance. As I understand, when an anxious thought arises, the right thing to do is to not feed it with my attention, therefore taking away its fuel.

    What I am confused about is whether in such a situation I should force my attention onto the activity I am doing at the moment, or if I should just acknowledge the anxious thought’s presence, see it for what it is, and even let my attention be on it if it wants to, but doing so with an attitude of not taking the content of the thought seriously.

    Forcing myself to focus outwards on the activity I am doing is very tiring, and I can’t keep it up for a long time, since I cant concentrate well because of the fatigue and lack of sleep.

    Is letting the thoughts and sensations be there without taking them seriously the way to go, or do I also require to keep my attention on the present moment?

    I would appreciate any explanation, since I have been stuck with this question for a long time.

    Thanks,

    Tom

  94. Bryan Says:

    Hi Tom,

    Your question indicates a good understanding of the process and the decisions that arise for us. Your conundrum is common and I’ve certainly had this thought often through the years.

    The answer (your to me) is in between the two options you gave. In option 1 you used the word force. You probably know intuitively that force requires strain or fight and we want to avoid that the best we can. Conversely we do want to stay outward or external the best we can.

    So what about just making an agreement with yourself that these thoughts CAN come along with you, but that you do choose not to engage in debate/analysis/drama with them.

    So for me, I would get up and go to work. Or if at home get up and get busy with whatever I needed to do. If the thoughts arose I’d try to say… “I see you, but today isn’t about you… it’s about what I need to get done”… and gently redirect back onto my tasks.

    I think you’ll find that as you gently redirect back to your business enough times…without adding drama… the mind eventually loses steam for the BS and gains traction for the tasks/business/activity you are engaged in. Eventually…the thoughts just kind of vanish. You may have to repeat this gentle redirection 500-1000 times im a morning. (Or maybe only a few)
    But when done calmly and with consistent purpose… you overrule the BS and the mind gets on board with YOUR plan, and dumps it’s own.

    Of course this may be a daily process for a while. Of course you’ll have days where you do your best but honestly engage with the BS too much. And that’s ok. Dont add “grading” yourself to the BS. That’s just more BS. Try to accept that imperfection in this process is normal. I’m years into improvement but still have days where the stupid thoughts or worries can get me off track. But not often because I’ve chosen the path shown by people like Claire Weeks and Paul as well as great folks like Nolan around here.

    See it as a process to gently practice and firmly commit to, not a test or show of force. Your question shows that you are on your way to moving past it all. Keep it up.

  95. Stacey Says:

    Guys I’m feeling awful. I’m exhausted from taking two small children on holiday last week on my own so I think this is adding to it but my fear of not loving my husband is haunting me so much that I feel awful and shaky around him as the thought keeps coming in

  96. daryl Says:

    Hi Stacey,

    It is hard and that is the truth.
    I struggle with exactly the same theme, the same intrusive thoughts as you and I have been for sometime. What I will say is that by me giving you reassurance I am not doing you any favours, so I’ll try not to do that.
    In my case and I am sure in yours too,I find the thoughts so believable and to be honest the reason they are believable is because there is a grain of truth to them. There is a possibility we don’t love our partners, or it could be possible that there could be a better match out there but the reality is we had these thoughts many times in the past just like every single person does but we didn’t react to them. The power we give to the thoughts gives them importance and then suddenly we have given our brains an impossible problem to solve………..the brain loves nothing more than a problem to solve and so we then ruminate and research looking for the definitive reassurance we need to stop feeling anxious. The reason you focus on this (and I do too) is that it is a grey area where no definite answers can ever be found………..because you cannot find the answers and you are in the anxious state you keep searching for the answer, the answer that you do love your husband, the answer that you want to hear so that all this anxiety and worry will stop.
    Thing is, it won’t.
    I know from my experience that what initially caused my anxiety was not this theme of relationship anxiety. It was something else………..something that I now no longer see as as big of an issue. In other words, whilst I didn’t solve that problem, I must have accepted it……….it doesn’t hold much fear for me now.
    The issue is that I have replaced the initial “problem/doubt” with another problem………..another grey area for me to ruminate on and whilst we are in the anxious state I believe that is what we all do.
    Think about it………..if something extremely scary happened to you at this moment, would you still be focussed on whether you loved your husband or not? I doubt it…….you would tend to the current scary situation……….the doubts about your relationship would only resurface after you had dealt with the more pressing issue…………therefore this has become your (and my) default state, our relaxed state if you like and it is this broken way of thinking we have to allow to heal.
    The problem isn’t on the outside, the problem is on the inside (a bit of free reassurance there :)) and we need to focus on changing the way we react to our thoughts rather than changing the thoughts themselves. If I manage to do that (And I feel I am definitely making progress) I will let you know.
    In the meantime focus on your kids and your family even if your anxiety is is trying to make you do the opposite because those are your core values. Take care.

  97. Stacey Says:

    Ah thank you so much Daryl.
    You seem to know all the answers and what you need to do. Now just keep going :-)
    Thank you xx

  98. Josh C. Says:

    Tom,

    Acceptance is a difficult idea to convey, but Bryan (and others) have done well explaining it.

    When I totally gave up the fight, when I completely quit trying to not have anxiety, acceptance was the first thing that was there for me. I understood that all this time my trying to accept correctly had been me fighting. I realized it was me not wanting to have certain thoughts and feelings that kept fueling the anxiety. I saw how I had been keeping myself in the cycle by trying to get out of the cycle.

    I understood that I was just going to have to live for today and make it the best I could without worrying if I was doing or not doing things correctly. I quit worrying about which thoughts would come up and drive panic and anxiety in me. I quit trying to do anything except make today as good as I could.

    I started to see the scary thoughts as nothing more than thoughts. If I got sucked into them for a bit, so what. If I let them pass without a second thought, so what. If they stayed around a while, so what. If they didn’t come up for a while, so what. None of it was something to be concerned with any longer.

    I will sometimes just sit, close my eyes and let me mind race with everything that scares me for 5 mins or so. I give it all my focus and just let it burn itself off. Then I’ll get back up and move along with my day making it the best day possible. Nolan has previously stated, “Make your life bigger than anxiety”. That’s exactly what I do. That’s acceptance. Not trying to do the right thing today so you won’t have anxiety tomorrow. Not trying to force other thoughts so you accept correctly. Just feeling it all without hoping you don’t have to feel it someday. Being ok with all of it because today is all I have so I’m going to make the most of it.

    Josh

  99. Stacey Says:

    On bad days does anyone else feel really low and wake up with pure dread?

  100. daryl Says:

    Hi Stacey,
    Yep……….of course………there is that 3 seconds where you do not engage the brain and you feel “normal” but once you start thinking, there it is again :).

    It’s anxiety, its habit and if you can try to accept it the theory goes that it will run out of steam. Hope you have a good day………..just try to keep pushing on with the things you do, it isn’t easy but we have thought ourselves in to this, the trick is to accept that we can’t think our way out. They are just thoughts.

  101. Tom Says:

    Thank you Bryan and Josh for your replies!

    I will do my best to keep myself engaged with my tasks, and will try to not be hard on myself if it feels impossible on a given day.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Tom

  102. Fleur Says:

    Stacey, daryl

    Exactly! Every day when I wake up, I am normal, content for 3 seconds, but then brain starts thinking and immediately I am bad again. Pure dread

  103. Josh C. Says:

    Fleur, Stacey

    This is something just about all of us experience. It’s the habit so many of us have created. Wake up, start checking for anxious feelings and thoughts and sure enough, they show up. We condition our minds to do this by fearing the very thing we want to get rid of.

    When we stop caring if those thoughts and feelings greet us every morning they start loosing power. Then they come less frequent. Then they are just a memory.

    Forming new habits gets rid of old habits.

    Josh

  104. Stacey Says:

    Thanks for replies guys xxx so appreciate it I have felt so awful.
    Does Paul come on here much or do private sessions?
    Thanks in advance

  105. K Says:

    Hi Josh,

    I am doing the best I can to not do things right today for the sake of feeling better tomorrow but every time I stay up to watch TV, have a dinner with a friend or do something anxiety-free folks would do, I go to bed with a headache or wake up tired (my baby wakes up at 6am). How can I break this cycle?

    Thank you,

    K

  106. Louise Says:

    Hi all iv been following pauls advice for over a year now and it took me up until last month to actually get it all but I am having more weeks of peace im just wondering if anyone has ever had a fear of taking medication antibiotics etc and if so how did they get over this as this is kond of my last hirdle so to speak thinking im allergic to everything and also did anyone suffer with aches anf pains in their chest and back. Thanks

  107. Carl Says:

    Hey Josh,

    I have been suffering since March of last year, read all there is about acceptance. I go through stages, up and down. Some days better than others. It’s usually thoughts > nervous stomach (sometimes for no reason, sometimes over certain triggers) > foggy minded. Sometimes however, I get nothing at all and feel wonderful. Strange huh? The minute I think i’m getting somewhere, the minute it raises its ugly head again. It raises its ugly head by the way without any worry or added stress. The symptoms just simply ‘linger’ and linger and linger to the point now where I simply think ‘right, ok.. this is me now forever, they aren’t ever going to go’.

    What I believe is THE fundamental fuel for keeping me in this ‘cycle’, is my dire need and crutch to want to visit anxiety forums to seek more reassurance the second things get bad. I do use willpower and vow never to visit such sites again as I believe all it is doing is reminding me I am still suffering and also not fully accepting. I almost get disappointed in myself that I didn’t allow myself to fully accept because I wanted a quick fix again and feel stupid afterward. There is no quick fix, it’s a journey of self discovery.

    I say to myself, right…from monday onwards I am never going to visit a site again… that way I MUST be accepting, and given enough time it’s bound to go right? The most I last is ONE week ! and I return :(

    What I also believe is that recovery is possible for some…but not everyone.

    Thoughts?

    Cheers.

  108. Mamba Says:

    Has there ever been like an offshoot/collection of posts on this blog? like a reddit, facebook group or a forum? i’d really like to read the success stories of people on here. knowing you can get clear of this is one of things that keeps me going.

    i’ve been back on 30mg citalopram for 6 months now and back to taking citalopram every day since March. Life in general is a whole lot smoother, no morning worry, no constant waiting for bad news or fear of the next phone call. Still too much chatter in the head but managing to ignore the negative stuff most of the time. feeling better than i have in a few years.

    One of my big problems is relaxing especially to enjoy films and tv (i’m a huge film nerd). it has improved but that feeling of just being switched off and totally engaged in something rarely happens. it happens at other times like when i’m reading or playing games etc

    my head just keeps chatting away and a constant checking to see if i’ve switched off. there are times when i get “ok, concentrate this is an important scene” than (i guess) the adrenaline increases and the frustration builds and more questions and looking for answers starts to happen “this is only temporary” “concentrate it’ll pass” and then every now and then

    “can this just be anxiety?”

    “i’m going to be stuck with this forever”

    I’ll go to youtube to watch something and then all of a sudden i’ll get a thought “you won’t get into this” like with other negative thoughts i try to just ignore it and at times it’s stops and at other times the checking just starts again

    I’m worried about asking the doctor what to do next due to knowing they’ll just up the dose and i’ll have to go through the increase in anxiety again and side effects

    Has anyone on here had similar problem and managed to get over it? do you think it could just be something that has to fade with time and patience? or could i need a higher dose or a change

    Thanks for any help

  109. Josh C. Says:

    K,

    It sounds like you’re doing the right things for the wrong reason. If you’re going to eat with a friend or staying up to watch tv hoping that it will make your anxiety go away, that’s just a technique to cover up anxiety. Doing those things because you’re ready to live your life again regardless of how you feel about doing them is the attitude to have.

    I have to wake up at 3:30 am at least 7 days a month and stay up all night going to bed at 6 am at least 7 nights a month for my job. I also have young kids that get up very early. I understand what being tired feels like. I’m exhausted most of the time. I get headaches too. I understand what feeling crappy is like, I really do!

    But, I no longer let how I feel determine my day. I got sick and tired of living in fear of myself and how I felt. I decided today is the only day I have so I’m going to make the most of it…headache, exhaustion, how ever I feel. I do this EVERY day. I still get thoughts and feelings of dread some mornings but my response to all of that is, “I hear you, but you lived my life for me for years and now I’m living my life with or without you.”

    Life is crappy sometimes…FOR EVERYBODY. Wasting the days wishing my life was different or I felt different isn’t an option for me anymore. I get up and live my life instead of spending the day dreading my life and wishing I had not stayed up so late or gone to dinner with a friend. I still feel anxiety and depression on and off but I’m not living for those anymore. I’m living bigger than those things. Those things get my attention at times and that’s ok, they are part of my life. I don’t care if they are part of my life. Im ok with feeling them even though they are uncomfortable. My life is so much more than those things now.

    Hope this helps, K!

    Josh

  110. Josh C. Says:

    Carl,

    I know exactly where you are. For over 6 years I was a total wreck for months then feeling good for months. Up and down, round and round. I finally got sick of riding that roller coaster. I quit letting my thoughts and feelings determine my days. I quit wondering why I couldn’t just get past all of it. I quit trying to figure it all out.

    To be honest, I hate the way I feel some days but those feelings no longer set the course of my day. I have 2 choices every day…I can choose to live my life with those feelings there or choose to let those feelings live my life for me. (It’s the same attitude with fearful/intrusive thoughts)

    To address recovery, I no longer care if I recover. To quote Nolan again, “If this is me forever, fine.” I quit hoping I don’t have to have certain feelings and thoughts someday. Maybe I fully recover, maybe I don’t. I’m not concerned with what the future holds for me in that sense. I’m making the most of today. I honestly don’t see how anybody could recover always hoping that 6 months or a year down the road will be the day to start living again. In my mind recovery is what I make of today. I no longer view anxiety and depression as something to get rid of. If they are present, fine. If they’re gone, fine.

    They are thoughts and emotions. EVERYBODY has them. It’s our attitude towards them that determines our days.

    Carl, GO GET TODAY!

    Josh

  111. Josh C. Says:

    Carl,

    I have sworn off this blog more times than I can count only to come back a few days later looking for the right words to quickly make me feel better. It’s totally normal. It’s human nature to want to fix things we don’t like. I have read Paul’s posts and the comments many times, studying each sentence to find the magical phrase for relief. I have tried so many different ways to accept. I have forced myself to think only positive thoughts. I have done just about anything to not feel anxiety and yet it never got me anywhere. Once I recognized this I came to terms with the idea of acceptance. The strong desire to not feel it just fed it. I stopped viewing it as something needing to be fixed. I understood I had spent years developing habits that kept me in the cycle and I was completely giving up the fight and the desperate search for a cure. I still had days of feeling super amped up and I would come to the blog and search for relief, but as the days went on I stopped looking for a cure. I stopped coming to the blog looking for relief and instead started coming to share what I had learned.

    It takes courage to just let yourself completely fall into anxiety, but there is also some sweet relief in it as well! The struggle ends. The feelings still linger, but the fight is over. The days become what YOU make of them, not what anxiety makes of them.

  112. Carl Says:

    Thanks Josh for your replies.

    You are completely right, I guess that deep seated within me I am still wishing and hoping it will disappear one day. That to me isn’t truly accepting, it’s setting myself up for failure. There isn’t a day that goes by without me ‘checking’ how I feel. Even if just for a brief moment. When I feel good, I think ‘wow I’m feeling great at the moment, this is awesome’ that often then brings the feelings back.

    Also when my body doesn’t react to certain triggers sometimes (zero anxiety felt), I think ‘oh wow, I didn’t react that time, I must be getting better!’ But then other times I do react to them. When I say react I mean feel an automatic feeling I have no control over, I don’t overwhelm myself with fear and panic. This again, is a form of self checking and therefore having certain expectations. If I recognise I didnt experience anxiety , it still causes me to think of it. The aim would be to experience triggers without the anxiety and not even recognise that I didn’t feel anything, if that could happen 24/7 then to me, I am cured.

    Get on with our lives , with or without it, get busy living or get busy dying. – Shawshank Redemption quote.

    Thanks.

  113. Carl Says:

    Josh,

    If you don’t mind me asking, what is the longest period you can think of where you’ve stayed away from anxiety websites? Whether that be to seek reassurance or to give reassurance.

    Carl.

  114. Flemming Says:

    Hi! I have medication issues. After reading pauls books I’ve started ruminating more than ever on medication. Because i get the feeling of that is wrong. I got so bad after last time quitting medication that I couldnt work anymore. And I havent been working for about a year now. I want to “work”with my anxiety issues but I feel it is just a waste if medication only is a crutch. I dont no who to believe in anymore. Paul or my psychiatrist. I want to be medication free but I dont know how. Been on Cipralex on and off for 10 years. Anyone Else here who is coping with pauls insights and are on medication? I know medication is my choice, but after using it for so long I dont know if I ever will manage without. My brain has got so used to it. And I get totaly nuts without.

  115. Josh C. Says:

    Carl,

    Before I found this blog I would read Claire Weekes Hope and Help For Your Nerves over and over again. That went on for 6 months or so but at some point I quit reading the book due to thinking I had finally overcome anxiety. It never fully went away but due to being on Paxil I was able to function daily but the Paxil made all of my emotions numb…I was no longer super anxious but I didn’t feel much of anything.

    After I got off the Paxil and all the anxiety came back I found this blog. I came on here several times a day searching for a cure. I was never cured so I went back on Paxil, felt better and was off the blog for several months, again 6 months or so.

    This happend 3 times before I finally said, “Screw this! I’m done doing this.” and quit the Paxil and didn’t come on the blog for a couple of months.

    Carl, my life is extremely stressful and I have really bad work anxiety and also have bad sleep issues due to the work anxiety. I don’t expect to ever fully recover because my lifestyle is not healthy but there’s not much I can do to change any of it. It is what it is. I only slept 2 hrs last night and have been super amped up today. My anxiety was through the roof most of the day today! But I have quit trying to get rid of the anxiety. I just live with it now. I accept it being part of me. I know my weeks will be mixed with good days and bad days and I’m ok with that. I don’t like anxiety and I hate being tired but there isn’t anything I can do to change either of them…I tried for years to do so!

    Josh

  116. Doreen Says:

    Hi Nolan. Good to see you are still popping on here from time to time with words of wisdom. I think there is little I can add in the way of support to those who are still struggling as there are so many others on here who are getting the message and helping others. Good to see.

  117. Carl Says:

    Josh,

    I empathise with what you’re going through and hope you get your quality of life back soon, if not already. Because that’s what it comes down to at the end of the day, quality of life. If medication helps give that back, then great. Unfortunately I can’t relate to any medication as I’ve never tried any. I tried to get over it naturally… albeit it’s been hard.

    I guess everyone experiences anxiety from time to time , it’s natural. We need to remember it isn’t something to ‘get rid of’. We know deep down it isn’t needed and the threats are false but our prehistoric brain doesn’t know that. That primitative part of the brain lacks reason and intelligence.

    On another note, Nolan, are you Beevee from Healthunlocked?

  118. Stacey Says:

    I can’t see a way out this setback it feels worse than ever so awful!!! Any advice

  119. John Says:

    Hi Josh,

    Just wanted to add to what carl said in the post above, if medication helped you to give you some break from anxiety and get a better night sleep, why did you dis-continue from them?. i know there is lot of people out there, the medication does not help either and they have no option rather to accept and live. you are the lucky one as medication helped you. I know how difficult is live with 2 hours of sleep, your mind will almost stop working. The quality of life is also important josh.. My suggestion to you is to get some help from medication and also do the acceptance. i feel you will be in a better place and enjoy your life if you do both. it is just my 2 cents. If the medication does not help, it is a different story altogether.

  120. Josh C. Says:

    Hi, John.

    The meds helped me not feel anxiety but they also kept me from feeling joy. It was numbing. Paxil also made me feel extremely hungry all the time and I would gains lots of weight due to all the eating and the lack of motivation to exercise which lead to other health issues. I haven’t completely ruled out meds and in fact I used some Valium last night to help me get some sleep.

    My biggest issue is work anxiety. I had my first panic attack at work and I work long shifts reotating days and nights so my sleep cycle gets interrupted every few days. I e tried just about everything to help with sleep and nothing has helped much. The Paxil helped relieve anxiety but didn’t help with sleep.

    I know that acceptance isn’t necessarily the cure for my anxiety but I’ve tried lots of other things and ultimately have chosen to live the best I can with my condition without meds right now because I am much more involved with my family and much more active off meds. Even though I feel more anxiety at times I would rather than than to be numb. But, who knows what tomorrow will show me. In the end I may live out my life on daily anxiety meds.

  121. daryl Says:

    Hi John,
    I was reading yesterday about medication and the thoughts that they actually do help some people, so thank you for your thoughts, it helps to get opinions form people here. I know with the first anxiety induced breakdown I had meds massively helped. I am not sure if it was placebo or the actual meds but I got over everything and I stayed anxiety free for over 12 years. For some reason (stigma I think and fear of failure) this time I decided not to go down that route and I have found it so, so tough. I have improved massively (due to having a better understanding of this condition) but my anxiety has morphed into Obsessive thoughts unfortunately.
    I don’t feel general anxiety much at all these days, just the same recurring intrusive thoughts and sometimes I wish I had taken the meds at the start so hopefully these thoughts may not have found space to take root.
    All in all, I think you are right, it is horses for courses, there is no “Right” way to recover and people who rely on meds haven’t failed in any way. I just wish I had taken that advice 12 moths ago :).

    Hi Stacey,
    Like I have said before. I don’t want to give you reassurance, I am sure that won’t help in the long term. Relationship OCD (as they call it) is an offshoot of anxiety. You won’t believe that…….I very rarely believe it either even though deep down I know it to be true! Rather than me give you reassurance I will give you a few people to look up.
    Conscious transitions website has a lot on this. It is geared towards women and has lots of info. Stuart Ralph has also done work on this so you can google him too. All of these people basically follow the same path as Paul though, there is nothing new, they just explore the same underlying issue but focus on our specific anxiety theme.
    I am struggling myself today but I am hoping to just suck it up and see what happens………..it passes, the important thing is to not react to what your mind is telling you to do………..by changing the way you do things you just give it more power.

    Good Luck!

  122. Carl Says:

    Hi again to all,

    I have a bit of a burning question that i’ve been thinking of lately.
    Paul, among others preach to ‘allow’ feeling this way (like crap), until it passes and by repeatedly doing this we are releasing all of this stored up energy / adrenaline.

    Also that it is the ‘search for the exit’ that keeps us stuck. Unfortunately I have an ‘unwanted’ habitual crutch to want to search for that exit (hence being on here), the minute I feel uncomfortable (human nature to want to fix things), but it does only provide temporary relief. I was curious to know whether searching online for reassurance/advice is the same as mentally saying ‘you’re ok, just let it pass’. Isn’t that reassuring myself as opposed to googling?
    Thanks.

  123. Daryl Says:

    Carl,
    I don’t think so mate. I think the idea is not to repeat mantras like “I’m ok, it will pass” and to accept it is there and carry on. I think it is different but definitely different to looking for reassurance (which is what I also do a lot) online. By doing that you are giving it the energy it needs to survive.
    Do you watch Sky Sports news? My brother told me an interesting analogy last week which I thought was good.

  124. Carl Says:

    Hi Daryl,

    I didn’t mean by saying it out loud or anything haha. I suppose you are right tho, there must be a BIG difference to googling for reassurance and then accepting regardless! You’re pouring fuel onto the fire by having your ‘interest’ on the subject aren’t you.

    I don’t watch it no, what was the analogy?

  125. Ruby Says:

    Dear All,

    I am 25 years old from germany, (I hope my english is not too bad :)).. To keep it short, I have a quite long anxiety story. It all started so to say ‘basic’ in summer 2014 , i came home from a stressful period of university (exams etc) for the holidays – we just sat together with my family and drunk coffee and suddently I got very dizzy and I couldnt hear anything. And I got a very BIG panic attack – by this time – I had no idea what anxiety is or how It can affect our body/brain so I basically thought I am going to die.
    I became so obsessed whit the thought – what is wrong with you or are you sick etc – that the other days also depression flipped in. So I lived like this for about 1,5 year + DP/DR + 5-7 panic attacks a day + extreme health anxiety + 1 mio hospital visits and checks. But one day I came to this blog and understood everything what was going on. You explained everything so good Paul I really felt that this guy knows what he is talking about and thought to myself ok I have nothing more to lose and started to implement everything Paul explained and bought the first book – it was really hard but after 5 month or so everything began to dissapear, EVERYTHING step by step. First I became panic free – then DP/DR free – then my hypochodria dissapeared and in 2016 I was almost back to normal (just left with an extreme fatigue – but that was more or less ok for me) till Sep 2017. Thats the good news..

    Now in Sep 2017 it came again but it was weird tho. It was after a stressful work week. I had like 4-5 strong cups of black coffee that day. I came home and felt really bad – I had again extreme fatigue, I felt REALLY bad, and my mind just thought about : what is wrong with you?, why are you so tired?, why cant you concentrate? and so on.
    And in that moment my sister talked to me and I couldnt follow the concentration – I felt so distant and dr/dr and then I began to think like : You must be psycho, I must have depression or some other mental illness and I got again a big panic attack which lasted like 2 hours and during this attack it was like my brain ‘clicked’ and I became from one minutr to the next like really depressed and from that moment on I became obsessed with the feeling of depression , I became like emotionless/ listless, didnt feel fun for normal stuff I usually like, and just stucked with the thought : I must be depressed .. and began again to figure it all out and question everything in life, and I became anxious of maybe hurting myself it was really horrible at the begining.. And then again I remembered how I became anxiety free, and bought the second book of Paul and now I am again trying to accept but its somehow different because I have no panic attacks and no fear of illnesses but fear of being depressed (because I really feel depressed)..

    I dont know what to write more,but I would be glad to hear personally from you Paul. What would you say about my story – how can I cope wth this fear of being ‘mentally ill’ – because my problem is I really feel this feeling of depression and this very feelings make me anxious. and also this what if thought – like what if I am really depressed and stay like this forever..

    Maybe also other guys can relate or give some advice.

    Anyways thanks for ‘maybe’ reading my post. And again sorry for my ‘not so good’ english. :)

    Ruby

  126. Daryl Says:

    Hi Carl,
    Sorry, hope you don’t think I was being out of order, written words are tricky sometimes, I would never mean to make anyone feel bad and hope I haven’t in this case.

    I didn’t necessarily mean saying the mantra outloud, even internally saying it to yourself can stop you from accepting it……..almost like you are stopping the thought by acknowledging it and by even acknowledging it you are done how giving it relevance. I am no good at this myself :) and that is why I struggle. I almost force my irrational thought up even when I am feeling good almost like ” where is that thought…….oh yeah, there it is……..my life is pants blah blah” it’s very frustrating :).

    All I can say is, if you need the blog and support, use it, just try not to over do it. I had a good run for a few weeks and it is true, when you are on a run like that, you never come here. You have other things to focus on. That’s where I want to be permanently. Hope we can both do it.

    Good luck!

  127. K Says:

    Thanks Josh. I think the fact that I am still thinking of how certain actions make me feel suggests that I am still in the anxiety loop. I will just do what I want instead, rather than weigh the consequences. The reality is that I am a mom of a young child and I do need more rest than someone else might, so I will just go ahead and go to bed earlier if that’s what l need. I never liked staying up late anyway, so why should I challenge myself just to prove that I can do that and be ok the next day, right? That is what I would have done before/without “anxiety”. Tired – go to bed. Up to watch tv – go watch tv. Invited for dinner – go if you like company. Or don’t go if you think you need to catch up on sleep. End of story.

  128. Josh C. Says:

    K,

    Exactly. I much prefer going to bed early but due to my job and the fact that I would never spend any time with my wife if I went to bed early keeps me up late most nights. I get very little sleep in general and also have young kids along with special needs kids and a teenager. (For some reason my teenager has become about as helpless as my 2 yr old. ???? Ha!) There’s nothing I can do about that so I do my best to accept it. I need my job and I need to spend time with my wife and since there’s only one of me I have to give up things for my family.

    You’re attitude towards it is correct. Don’t let anxiety stop you from doing things but also don’t do things just to prove you’re accepting correctly.

  129. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Bit of a different post from me on here.

    I mentioned in a previous post that I had a little bit of stress and it seemed to inflame my anxiety symptoms. Well the stress I mentioned was revolving around a girl I had been seeing. I initially decided that it wasn’t right for me and had the conversation with her. A couple of weeks passed and having chewed it over in my mind and spoken to others I came to the conclusion that I had made the wrong decision. I bit the bullet last weekend and went down to see her. I had a great weekend and for the first time in almost four years (largely due to anxiety), I felt what it was like to have feelings for someone again. Without sounding too gushy, for a week I had a warm glow and my mind kept reverting back to her at every given opportunity. It was also nice to find out that she felt the same.

    Now this weekend she came to see me, I felt exactly the same as above until Saturday lunch time when for an unknown reason (isn’t it always) I became anxious again. From that moment all of the nice feelings had fallen away and my mind was flooded with ‘Perhaps you don’t like her at all’, ‘Maybe you made the wrong decision’, ‘She’s probably not right for you’.

    Being objective about the above I can see that feelings for someone won’t just disappear in the space of a second. Also, anxious feelings take precedent over everything else, and any other pleasant ones are submerged into the protective ones. I’ve been feeling like total crap for the last few days now and it’s hard to feel anything else, especially feelings for others.

    I hate to admit it but I’ve always skimmed over the ‘relationship’ anxiety posts on here as they were not pertinent to me but the last few weeks can absolutely see why people can get in a tangle over it. She’s an understanding girl and I don’t for one minute think that my anxiety issues will make her change her mind.

    I guess that I’m posting this to help others and to see if anyone has been in the same situation, I’m sure they have.

    Hope all are well.

    Mark.

  130. daryl Says:

    Hi Mark.

    Yes, it is my recurring, non-stop theme as you probably know from my posts :)

    Good thing is, it is a new thing to you so you should very easily be able to see it for what it is………anxiety but anxiety manifesting itself in a new way with a new theme.

    Now, the way I see it is that your relationship is a great place for your anxiety to “hook” itself and fester. Essentially who can say for sure that this girl is right for you? I can’t, you can’t, nobody can. Sorry if that last sentence caused a spike in you anxiety but it is the truth.
    The point is……….it is your reaction to these thoughts rather than the thoughts themselves just like with everything else in anxiety. Relationship anxiety sits in that perfect grey area where you can never get a definitive answer and so that is why it is so powerful and why you react so strongly to the thoughts.
    The answer to this? The same as everything I am afraid……..accept the thoughts, try to see them as meaningless, try not to react to them and get on with what you are doing. Your relationship may succeed, it may fail………..there is no answer, it is totally uncertain, as is mine, so just enjoy the now and enjoy your new found happiness with someone you clearly like and enjoy.

    Take care

  131. K Says:

    Mark,
    Ditto, Daryl. I constantly worry about whether I love my husband, whether we are different and whether we would divorce at some point due to our differences. A few other people here worry about similiar things, as I noticed. Nobody knows what the future holds. So we have two options. Stay with the person, do our best – ONE DAY AT A TIME – and see if we are happy with them. Or we can go our separate ways and meet someone else or be single and have a kick-ass career (to each their own). Either path will take time and risk, and you would not be able to know in advance what is best for you. We have no control over future. It’s a trial and error. So don’t beat yourself up over choices. Instead, try things and see how they go. The universe will take you to the right path.
    Best,
    K

  132. Mark R Says:

    Thanks both for the posts, very thoughtful and insightful.

    I felt good yesterday and I had no doubts about her. A rise in anxious feelings today and the doubts and disinterest return…….anxiety is clearly the culprit.

    Mark.

  133. Tony Says:

    Hey everyone. I had a nervous breakdown back in the mid 00’s that this website was instrumental in recovering from. I’d had anxiety on and off since I was 5 and acceptance was the only thing that set me free. I enjoyed 8 long, completely anxiety free years after. I thought I’d kicked it for good.

    Unfortunately last year I developed a sudden anxiety which was less emotion based and more around something physical and concrete that I wasn’t able to dismiss and accept quite as easily. It was insomnia. It gave me the worst winter of my life. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t obviously and through a book which taught acceptance of the insomnia – identically to Paul’s method – I was able to make huge progress past it. Trouble is after that my anxiety just kept doing other extraordinary things to my body which just gave me set back after setback. First terrifyingly loud tinnitus, then whole body twitching, then unbearable itching and each setback just felt like another weakening blow. I felt acceptance becoming harder and harder with each knock. It actually felt like body was deliberately throwing new symptoms for me to suffer each time I got past the other so I’d never be able to move on.

    I started practising mindfulness which felt like it helped me recover from one symptom, but then actually feels like it can trigger another. Does anyone else have that experience with meditation/mindfulness? That it can feel like the cure one minute then actually trigger a setback another day?

    My new phobia on the latest set back just may be the most bizarre and neurotic obsession I’ve ever had, and it also feels like the hardest to accept.
    I’ve become scared of good emotions and good memories!

    They sometimes occur during meditation and sometimes don’t. And if during meditation good feelings/memories fail to appear I start to become anxious that it means the session is not going well. A few days ago I was meditating and good emotions started to appear and I thought “these cause me problems and are unreliable” and then I thought “what if good feelings become permanently associated with fear in my mind and am no longer able to feel good without it triggering anxiety….for the rest of my life?”
    Can you see the level of utterly stupid neurotic thinking I am stuck with?

    But it has triggered huge depression and fear that my life is ruined and this time, I don’t even have the comfort of tiny glimpses of good feeling between the waves of despair that used to pull me through, because I’ve become afraid of those! Every setback just feels harder and harder to accept because its another disappointment, and the kaleidoscope of fears and symptoms are constantly changing meaning that I have to keep accepting a new thing each time. This is getting exhausting and I just don’t know how I’m going to survive this one, if even happy feelings are ruined by fear that may always cause me fear now. How am I supposed to recover from that?

  134. Daryl Says:

    Mark
    That is the truth…….you know it. The anxiety will make you think otherwise but don’t believe its lies.

    Good luck mate.

  135. Alz Says:

    Hey guys!
    Hope you all are faring relatively well ! I have been going through one of the worst setbacks of all time . Here’s what some of my symptoms are :
    -constant scary thoughts – I can’t read ( yes absurd but v scary), I’m losing my mind ( this thought constantly dominates my conversations with people such that I’m less talkative)
    – A CONSTANT FEELING OF UNREALITY SUCH THT IM QUESTIONING IF I HV TO TRAVEL OUT KF THE CITY OR NOT or fr eg IS MY MOTHER AT HOTEL X or HOTEL Y
    – extreme irritability and fatigue
    – no desire to dress up , would rather be in bed sleeping all day
    I was going to see my psychiatrist today but the wait is about 3/4 hours and he’ll prob up my medications or whatever.
    I really need some reassurance esp about the constant doubt abt events tht are real and whether my actions are normal or not . It’s really upsetting me

  136. Alz Says:

    I had to travel out of the city yesterday and the constant thought of whether I have to or not was really playing tricks on my mind. At one point I couldn’t just shrug off this fear as a thought .. thts what’s scaring me – the intensity of my thoughts .

  137. Belgian Says:

    Hi everyone!

    It’s been ages since I was on here. I just popped by to share with you my current thoughts and feelings. In short, I feel like crap. Exhausted. Stressed. Sad. Dizzy. Unable to concentrate. Anxious. I have very vivid nightmares.

    Luckily, I do have a choice on how to react to this.

    Here are my options:

    1. Run from this: Call in sick. Take days off from work and start the ‘why’ and ‘what if’ circle.

    2. Fight back: force myself to feel concentrated, happy and “under control”

    3. Accept: To the best of my abilities accept the way I feel. Float through the days. Take enough time to rest when I can.

    I choose 3. Always. I do catch myself from time to time choosing one of the other options, but I mildly ‘correct’ myself at that moment. In addition to that, I feel I have to take better care for myself. I want to do some sports again and change my eating habits.

    In similar situations in the past, I would have chosen my anxiety ‘topic’ by now. An obsession to worry about. It has been both health as well as relationship related. For the first time, I notice these obsessive thoughts can’t find anything to cling onto. As if I FEEL they are nonsense. I believe the acceptance I practice has a direct impact on this.

    There are several lessons learned I wanted to share with you:

    1. Recovery doesn’t mean you can’t feel anxious again from time to time. We are people and we tend to make ‘mistakes’. In addition, life can be stressful sometimes without anything we can do about that. Recovery is about understanding and practicing what is needed to recover. Time and time again.

    2. Progress can only be made through hardship. I don’t like these feelings at all. However, I can also appreciate the opportunity to practice once more.

    3. Everything is temporarily. Feelings and moods are always in movement. They are not absolute realities. Therefore, there is always something you can put your faith and trust in and that’s time. Trust in time. Time will bring you new things. In my worst moments, this belief, this truth offers a little light in the darkness.

    Take care everyone!

    Belgian

  138. Melissa Says:

    Alz,

    What meds are you on?

  139. Josh C. Says:

    Hi, Everyone.

    I wanted to let everyone know that I have started meds again. It is very disheartening to me to have to do this, but over the course of 2 weeks I went from being able to accept a setback to sleeping very little and ultimately having a major panic episode in the store which has turned into constant, relentless anxiety…classic stuff but very real. Derealization has started again and I’m overwhelmed with all of it…thoughts, emotions…

    Since I don’t have the flexibility of taking time off of work to help in my recovery I need to get some help and meds have been a big blessing to me in the past. I’m hopeful that one day I will be able to stay off meds permanently, but right now I need the help they provide. I have been discussing my issues with a close friends that also deals with anxiety and he has encouraged me to do what I need to do to be ok right now, and I agree with him.

    It usually takes about 6 weeks for me to start feeling better after starting Paxil, so I may be on here venting and asking for support and prayer in the interim.

    I want to be clear with everyone that the advice I’ve given over the past few weeks still apply. I honestly thought that my attitude towards anxiety was going to see me through in the long run as I truly have given up fighting and am accepting it to the best of my ability, but the setback I’m experiencing is too much for me to cope with right now. I need some peace in order to rest and focus on my responsibilities at work and home and the meds have helped with that.

    I will be checking in periodically and will answer any questions.

    In Christ,

    Josh

  140. Nolan Says:

    Hi Doreen,

    really good seeing you around again. Hope all is well. My wife and I had our second child back in August. Her big brother loves taking care of her.

    Hi Carl,

    Nope… not familiar with that site.

    Take care.

  141. Kostas Says:

    Keep going Josh,
    What you have learnt cant have been forgotten.It is just your old self that wants to fight the way you feel and it is pretty hard to stay calm.Do not try to stay calm.You wont even notice it when you will be ok again,just float with all this energy.Do not give up we all are on this experience together

  142. Alz Says:

    Melissa , the much dreaded Paxil ( or seroxat ) as they call it here . Anyway would appreciate a reply from someone !
    Melissa hope ur well and the baby too :)
    I want to conceive again but my past trauma and current symptoms just make me feel so low abt thinking of trying …

  143. Alz Says:

    Josh keep going . We all are. I understand how medication is needed in ur case because life can’t wait for you to recover from ur setback and to meet the demands of work etc medication will just expedite the recovery process.
    I would wish that all of us find the peace we are aching for, that we are able to accept our anxiety and that we all recover like SO many people on this blog have ! I sincerely wish suffering from mental illness was as straight forward to fix as a wound on the hand …
    Love to all

  144. Josh C. Says:

    Kostas and Alz,

    Thanks SO much for the support! I have not lost hope in recovering one day and am going to be working on changing my lifestyle in the meantime. I have a friend that does great on Paxil and I feel much better on it too. I truly believe that everyone can recover and I honestly can’t imagine anyone having anxiety as bad as mine. I know that’s cliche, but I get SO ramped up for weeks and months at a time.

    I will continue to support others and work on allowing myself to feel however I feel. I know I can recover and so can you!

    Josh

  145. daryl Says:

    Good luck Josh!

    You need to do what is right for you………..no shame in any of it. Take care

  146. Jake Says:

    Hi All

    Does anxiety lead to depression? This worrys me as I fear I will have to deal with this for life.

  147. Alz Says:

    Jake anxiety does lead to depression because when u can’t deal with anxiety , it leads to loss of confidence , low self esteem and then depression . However , it’s not depression if you read Claire Weekes , it’s just complete depletion of your nervous system ( spiritual fatigue ) and again , whether it’s anxiety or depression , the way out is the same . Face. Accept . Float and let time pass fr your hormones to reach their base level . Easier said than done !!

  148. Alz Says:

    Also Jake , dealing with it forever sounds like a mix of self pity and hopelessness .Dont go down that road .. it’ll just release more adrenaline .. so basically it’s all in ur hands … u just hv to muster the attitude of .. so what, I don’t care and I’m ok ?

  149. Nolan Says:

    Hi Jake…
    I’ve had anxiety by itself…. I’ve had depression by itself.
    I’ve had anxiety which eventually lead to depression (with the anxiety).

    But through it all I kept the same attitude: “So be it… I know what I need to do with my life.” And I moved on. This isn’t to say I never stalled, fell, broke down. I did. But, I was able to eventually (sometimes quicker, sometimes more slowly) moved back on with my life despite the storm raging around me.

  150. Josh C. Says:

    Jake,

    I deal with self pity at times and as soon as I recognize that I’m feeling sorry for my self I choose to stop that. At times I have STRONG desires to text my wife and/or come on the blog and type things like “It’s too much! I can’t handle this! Ugh! Why can’t I get through this??” If I wait a few minutes the spike in panic usually comes down and I see that I was just feeling sorry for myself.

    I have stopped trying to feel ok all the time. I’m ok with not being ok. I fall at times and have a pity party, BUT I pick myself up and get back on with my life feeling like total hell all day some days. A good day can seem years away at times but I understand that’s just part of recovery. That’s just the way it is. We take the good with the bad…even when the bad days outnumber the good days.

    You can’t change the way you feel today but you can change your attitude towards how you feel today.

    We’re all in the boat with you, Jake

    Josh

  151. Josh C. Says:

    daryl,

    Thanks so much for the support! I hate that I’m going back on meds but I need the stability they help provide right now as this season in life is very stressful.

    Again, thanks for encouraging me!

    Josh

  152. Jake Says:

    Thanks all. But is it a case where you slip too far and ebd up in a severe depression? And just accepting will not be enough to get you back. I feel this is me now forever.
    I love reading success stories but always think you are the extreme case

  153. Jake Says:

    Also is anxiety trying to tell you something?
    For example my concern is relationship anxiety – so is it just trying ro tellyou that your relationship is now up?

  154. Char Says:

    Hi Alz and all

    Alz how are you doing, not been on here for a while as life been chaos and now I feeling anxious again but hey ho trying to accept . Sorry to hear u in a setback but u seem able to see it and still give out great advice .

    Hope u and all ok

  155. Alz Says:

    Hi char!
    So good to hear from you . It’s like we’ve developed this cyber bond thanks to our anxiety . Char honestly speaking u know it’s been about 6 months now since the setback . Remem I told u I’m leavign work? It worsened after that – sitting at home is not one of the best things to do . Yes I see it but sometimes it’s hard to convince myslf that it’s just anxiety and that deep down I’m ok . My therapist reassures me all the time but at the end of the day I need to reassure myslf .
    Ul be ok char ! I have so much faith in you . Just a few weeks ago I were giving solid advice ! In fact seeing you have anxiety and still have kids gives me so much hope .
    Just always know we’re all in this together no matter which phase we’re in .

  156. Josh C. Says:

    Jake,

    I had major fears about falling into deep depression. I’ve learned that those fears along with everything else my mind races with are all just part of anxiety burn off. I could probably list 100+ “normal” activities in life that give me panic on a daily basis. A couple of the most ridiculous are the sun setting and seeing my kids laugh and or sleep. These things send panic raging through me, but I understand it’s just burn off. It’s just anxiety leaving me. It feels terrible but worrying about why it happens just adds more worry. I’m feeling extremely depressed as I type this, but I know it’s just part of a process. Nothing is going to change overnight. It takes time to recover so I do my best to give myself that time to do so.

  157. Char Says:

    alz

    U are so right about working! Worst thing ever for me was when I once took time of work and stayed at home. My mind had nothing to focus on and my anxiety went sky high !

    Yep have kids and anxiety and I’m on meds and was on in meds during pregnancy and after and had no probs at all!

    Hope your therapist is helping u with your trying again f that is what u want to do – difficult situation Alz for anyone – and I think u manage great .

    C

  158. Josh C. Says:

    Everyone,

    I know for a fact that I’m accepting to the best of my ability yet this setback just seems to get worse and worse as the days go by. I know it’s not for me to figure out, but has anyone else experienced setbacks that seem to throw you right back into the cycle and keep going on and on making you feel worse and worse?

    Thanks.

    Josh

  159. Josh C. Says:

    Nolan,

    Did you experience constant anxiety and panic for days on end? Not necessarily situational, but just anxiety all day that seemed to never end?

  160. Chrissy Says:

    Jake and Josh
    Yes. I have been there
    When my anxiety spikes I am afraid I will go into a deep depression
    I have had panic attacks every hour and anxiety all day (so it seems)
    You will not go crazy
    You will not be depressed your entire life
    It’s your mind playing tricks
    Let your thoughts and feelings roar, let them loose that’s all they want to do is be set free. We are the ones blocking them so they come back fighting harder. (They aren’t that smart). They think if they roar harder and scarier you will let them be and get out of their way
    Let the thoughts and feeling be. Observe them. Say “oh hi. We’ve been down this route before and nothing happens except me focusing on you and suppressing/blocking you”
    Live life with it. Yes it’s difficult. Yes some days you may question if this method works. Yes some days suck
    But then you start having good days. Good hours even
    And you realize we are the ones keeping ourselves in this chaos and we don’t need to be
    Life has stresess. Life is depressing sometimes
    but we can still live life with it
    Say hello to your anxiety and depression
    This method works. Believe me. Believe in the numerous people who have recovered and don’t care when the storm rages

  161. Josh C. Says:

    Hi, Chrissy.

    Thanks for the reply! I feel so alone in this right now. Very few people can even imagine what this is like. Being totally overwhelmed with anxiety is so exhausting. I need to remember that giving up the struggle, the desire to feel different is no lost in me. I had it just a couple of weeks ago and now it seems to be lost in my anxiety.

  162. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Josh,

    Every setback is like that for me. It feels like too much, never ending, I question, panic, etc etc. That’s the nature of anxiety. But I know – and you know too – that it’s all a lie. Every setback ends. So in the midst of them, do the best you can. Be kind to yourself. Rest more if you need to. Pray. Cry. Live your life alongside all of the chaos, fear, confusion, exhaustion, and panic. Practice that attitude of “oh well, so what”.

    God bless you!

  163. Jake Says:

    Cheers Guys.

    Its really is an annoying thing!!! My anxiety focuses on my relationship and makes me think il just be depressed forever.
    I know I need to just welcome this and become at ease. Just feel this is going to go on forever

  164. Jake Says:

    On another note can we actually beat this anxiety totally or is it something we will just have to manage? I think my relationship anxiety is so deeply rooted ( whole life) that its something I will have to endure

  165. Chrissy Says:

    Jake let it go
    Stop focusing on it
    Let it roar let your anxiety/depressive thoughts just be.
    They say their are two phases of recovery
    One when you live with your anxiety. The hardest part in my opinion. Because who wants to live with feeling uncomfortable! but do it!
    Because once you show it your bigger that you don’t care anymore it lessens
    There are a lot of stumbling blocks to this. Setbacks. For me everything bottled up. Everything I suppressed came out. Which is difficult
    however I still lived life with all my anxiety and depression (which to me is the same). Sometimes it was awful
    Then I began to have days I didn’t have anxiety.

    Second phase is when you don’t even notice the anxiety at all
    However you have to go through the storm to feel this
    Believe in yourself.

  166. Jake Says:

    Thanks Chrissy

    I know what I have to do just hope I can do it right. This is something I.dont want to live with or manage for the rest of my life.
    I want to get to the other side but I know it takes time. I think if I left my relationship it could be a mistake but I’m not sure anymore and just feel I would be relived if I left but that could be anxiety piping up

  167. Alz Says:

    Char ,
    Well I’m so lazy these days that I’m not even looking . But yes , being occupied helps . Right now my anxiety is just crazy with me questioning everything – today fr eg:keeping the car on the left or right , what if I hit the car because my thoughts completely take over , am I talking sense .. oh and a totally intense hesitation to talk .. it’s kind of grotesque – the way my mind thinks right now .. and it’s just not easy to let these thoughts fly .. I’m literally kind of pretending my way through things . The clarity will come once I understand tht my thoughts are just thoughts and not reality ..
    my therapist is really good and the main thing she says is tht I have a lot of feelings of unworthiness .. I need to love myself more .. I don’t know if the loving oneself is a result of anxiety or the other way round .
    Cheers !

  168. Alz Says:

    Loving oneself less

  169. daryl Says:

    Hi Jake,

    Exactly as I feel………….if I left it would all be fine………but would it? Would it really? Do I really think that if I walked out I would feel better? I am not sure……and that is the twist…….its the perfect place for anxiety to reside, just in that grey area of not knowing.

    I honestly think when I read your post that it really helped me……..the questions all of us with relationship anxiety have to ask are…….

    have you ever suffered with anxiety before this “theme” came up?
    What have the themes been?
    Were you a completely non-anxious person before this thought popped into your head?
    Do you think people who get divorced or split up or finish relationships all suffer from extreme anxiety just prior to splitting up and do they suddenly get completely better the minute they walk out?
    Does a big smile come across their face as they leave their partner safe in the knowledge that anxiety will never trouble them again and it was their relationship after all and not underlying anxiety?

    I would say it is doubtful.
    I would also say that even though the reason I had a total melt down 15 years after my first episode was something unrelated to my relationship. Unfortunately my mind is very good at making me discount facts and believe that there is a solution outside myself for ending my torment. In reality I don’t think there is………..I think all the issues are created by myself.

    I think we both need to look at ourselves rather than those around us for the answers to this puzzle. But just like Paul says…….trying to solve the puzzle won’t work!! That’s the twist…….the more we think the more we suffer. We have to keep trying the opposite.

    Good Luck!!

  170. Anon Says:

    One thing about dealing with relationships anxiety is that in the anxiety state we cannot see a situation clearly. When we can’t see clearly we don’t have good decision capacity. So deciding to end a relationship for the sole reason that anxiety tells you to is not a good rationale for ending it. We all need to make our decisions from a place of calm and clarity, Which anxiety obscures.

  171. Anon Says:

    Also, I had relationships anxiety around my relationships with my kids. Leaving that relationship is not an option. It got better and then disappeared. Nothing really changed other than the state of mind. That’s why I agree with Paul that it doesn’t deserve the attention we give it.

  172. Jake Says:

    Hi Guys
    Its making me so frustrated. Its bringing every possible negative to my situation. I need to get back living because this is pulling me into a rabbit hole. As I mentioned I think if I leave I would have this constant crap – do you love, do you find her attractive, you are just afraid to leave etc etc etc.

  173. Jake Says:

    Wouldnt

  174. Alz Says:

    Ok so it’s confirmed ! I’m pregnant . Just did a test and the result is positive . Need all the support I can get from all of you since this is a pregnancy after my first still birth ( some of you who’ve been here long enough would know)
    So I guess the preg hormones are making me more anxious . It’s hard to talk and think that I am ok ( normal) . Anywya would love ur prayers and support especially if I come on here a lot for reassurance . Char, rich , Doreen , Nolan , Bryan, Belgian and all the people who’ve helped me in the past , will need ur support the most now !

  175. Stephanie Says:

    Alz,

    Congratulations!! That’s wonderful news! I’m also pregnant – due in June. I was scared to have another baby for a long time, because this whole anxiety journey started with postpartum depression/anxiety. But I finally decided I didn’t want to look back with regret that I let anxiety hold me back. So here I am! I know that even if things get rough again, I’m much much more knowledgeable and aware this time.

    Perhaps you could join a pregnancy after loss group on one of the many pregnancy apps? I’ve heard that’s helpful for many women.

  176. Clay Says:

    So my question is to Paul or to anyone who has read the book. Do we need to find out first why we’re having this anxiety to recover or just starting working on recovery?

    Because the book says we need to know why, but also we should just start moving ahead to recovery.

  177. Fleur Says:

    Alz, congratulations :-),

    All,

    I am in recovery. Firstly since my big panic attack in January 2015.

    Jake,

    I had relationship anxiety for a long time. I was convinced that my love feelings will not come back. I had a period in my life, when I looked on other men and was thinking that if I left I would be happy with someone else. It tormented me, I was feeling as I was in a prison. Unable to be happy. It came to the point when I could not touch my boyfriend without almost resistance. But then, I do not know HOW, another fear came. Fear of depression.

    I was not feeling any emotion towards my boyfriend for a year or so, and then when my fear changed, my emotions towards my boyfriend was slowly changing and improving.

    It was before 1.5 year. I became convinced about depression. I had low moods, deep thinking about point of life, it was horrible. I felt no escape. Everything was magnified because of fear, and then I changed my attitude. I had maybe 4 days when I was OK. Since that point I started to accept. Now it is 3 weeks.

    I had not 2 normal days in a row for 3 years. And now I have 3 weeks of accepting and I feel almost normal.

    So my fear of depression decreased, and 1 week before I felt no love again. But I knew that it is a trap, my anxiety is looking for a problem! I accepted it and yesterday I felt love again. Mind is playing with us. 😀

    I feel happy, and of course my mind is trying to scare me, so there is a nagging thought about bipolar. But I accept and smile on it.

    PS. I know that this attitude is the way. I finally get it. I would really like to help others but my english is bad :(. I only wanted to share with you my positive moments and to give you a hope!

  178. Alz Says:

    Thank you Fleur and Stephanie :*
    I couldn’t sleep last night once I found out and obv so many thoughts were running through my mind. My current fear is abt losing my mind . I am so self conscious when I talk ! HOW do I get rid of the constant thought that when I am talking to someone I am not sure if what I said happened or didn’t happen. It’s really nerve wracking ! So if my friend hit a car.. did it happen or not happen? While talking to people – am I making sense to them or do they think I’m mad .
    Sigh
    Anyway Fleur don’t worry abt ur English ! I really understood what u said :)

  179. Jake Says:

    Hi Fleur

    I actually smiled reading your post. I am the exact same, I am so caught up in relationship anxiety ( which I had spells for years) but never knew what it was that I have no feelings towards my partner and have absolutely no attraction towards her. I basically pick her apart while looking at her and think I need to get out but I have kids so I need to try make this better but just feels like it never will.
    I also feel if I keep going on like this I will slip into a deep deep depression.

  180. Debbie Says:

    Alz congratulations you will be fine iam happy for you.

  181. Fleur Says:

    Jake,

    my relationship anxiety decreased when my fear of depression took place. I stopped worrying about love (because I had bigger worries about mental health), so my love feelings came back naturally. I thought that depression is worse then my relationship anxiety was.

    I hadn´t relationship anxiety for a long time now. My depression (or depression fear) decreased 3 weeks ago. Something changed in me. I started to accept depression which I have had 1 year and I started to feel a lot better. Of course my old fears are trying to haunt me. I was feeling better mentally and was more happy, and then 1 week ago, my feelings towards boyfriend little bit vanished. I knew that it must be some TRICK my mind is trying to play on me. So I accepted, this type of anxiety had not a chance with this attitude, now my doubts are gone.

    I do not know what is happening here, if I am really recovering. I am still not like before, fearless, but I have goals, I feel happiness a little. I expect a setback, but I believe that with this approach I will be OK, because I stopped believing my thoughts.

    Jake, I believe that you have what i have had. Only relationship doubts and anxiety. Feelings are so strong when we have this mindset full of fear. Try to accept it all, live your life fully, our happiness is not dependant on other people. We can be satisfied internally within ourselves. And when you will be mentally better, adrenalin and everything will calm down and your feelings will come back. Good luck.

  182. Jake Says:

    Thanks Fleur.
    I really hope you are right. I am so unhappy at the minute but suppose it’s to be expected.

  183. Ryan Says:

    Josh C.

    Maybe take your own advice back, I id think you maybe speaking a little too soon previously; but your advise is still what I believe to be fundamental to Paul’s teachings:

    “I’m not doing this anymore. I’m gonna live the rest of my life either trying to fix myself (which always lead me to a dead end) or not trying to fix myself.” I decided to be fine with who I was no matter how I felt for the rest of my life. I stopped telling myself things like, “ok, I’m gonna give this approach a month and see if it’s working.” Or “maybe NOW I’m really accepting it. I’ll know in 3 months if this is the correct way to accept.” I had worn myself out trying to do everything correctly.

    Ryan, I finally understood that recovery wasn’t a mountain to climb. It wasn’t a day in the distant future where I would no longer feel anxiety, panic and depression. Recovery was my attitude toward anxiety.

  184. Nolan Says:

    Hi Josh,

    At my worst the anxiety never seemed to relent. A constant tension, fear, despair, dizziness, inability to ‘look beyond’ it.

  185. Jake Says:

    How are you doing Nolan. Hope you are keeping well and completely anxiety free these days.

  186. K Says:

    Test

  187. K Says:

    The more intrusive thoughts are raging, the calmer I become. I don’t react to them. I don’t agree or disagree. It’s nothing but a background noise.

    I can’t help but watch and anticipate my pains, my sensations, my emotions. I get upset. I am working on disregarding how I feel. I am a work in progress.

    I catch myself doing or planning certain actions because of how it would make me feel. I catch myself and stop. I just do whatever I need to do. Today. I don’t plan for days ahead.

    I could so easily give up and fall deeper into depression, but what good will it do to me? What good will it do to my baby girl? What good will it do to my husband? I have been there. There is nothing good there. Just a temporary comfort after a long cry.

    I know I will overcome this. I will learn whatever it is that He wants me to learn. I am not being punished. I am a work in progress. I will get better and stronger.

  188. Alz Says:

    K that’s very inspiring!
    Debbie !! Thanks :*

  189. Anxious Indian Says:

    @Alz Anxiety makes our mind question everything. From reading your posts, I feel that maybe when this all started, anxiety made you question what your friend said, and you reacted with a lot of fear to this thought. Now your mind is constantly obsessing over this problem.

    Please accept that as of now you might not always know if something happened or not – the reason being when your mind obsesses so much and goes over things a zillion times, it can’t have clarity. Just like when you are deciding between which dress to buy for a special occasion and you overthink about the choices, we then can’t decide at all and we usually sleep over it so that our mind clears.

    Now YOU have to break this cycle. You can’t let anxiety hurt your health. So say to yourself: “That I might feel awful but i will go through it and wont add fear to it, if for a while I am unsure about whether something happened or not I will play along, laugh it off with friends and just say sorry I have a racing mind today”.

    The reversal period might be full of ups and downs, but it’s the only way to get full freedom from this – don’t add fear to this. Understand it’s your tired questioning mind – give the poor thing a break.

  190. Jake Says:

    Hi Guys

    Can you get over this so it doesnt have to haunt you all your life or is it something that will just have to be managed forever

  191. Alz Says:

    @ anxious Indian .. thnks! Tht makes sense .. I need to do this fr my health ( and the baby’s ) but obv the ‘second fear’ ( Iv gone over Claire Weekes book several times) is so strong that it’s hard to believe ur not losing it . I guess I need to trust the path of acceptance and people like u who’ve come out triumphant !

  192. Anxious Indian Says:

    @alz: the 2nd fear is false. People who actually lose it do not realize it themselves. It’s definitely anxiety which is obsessing over this problem.

    Ok let’s try this – say to yourself that for a mnth you will believe that you are not loosing it, you will treat it as anxiety. A month worth of this assumption won’t hurt right? What’s there to loose?

    Just put your faith in this for a mnth and calm down and take good care of your health.

  193. Alz Says:

    @ Anxious Indian ok let me do this although as I type my mind is obviously playing all sorts of tricks and making me believe it’s not anxiety .

  194. Debbie Says:

    Anxious indian how are you doing?

  195. Anxious Indian Says:

    @Alz – Think of it this way. Your belief in your ‘second fear’ might be the ONLY thing keeping you from recovery and a peaceful life – will you not be then willing to overlook it for a month and try and calm down.

    Trust me, when your mind calms, you’ll find all the answers you need. Just don’t look for them now.

    @Debbie – Hey Debbie! How are you? just saw your last few posts.
    It’s your tired mind racked with anxiety. Try and calm down whenever it starts to intensify. Dismiss it as anxiety and cut off from analyzing – that is what creates most of the trouble and one of the main reasons that we stay in this mess.

    Once anxiety goes, you realize that the fears were irrational. We tire and confuse our minds further by arguing with and analyzing irrational fears, because we’ll never win. By analyzing it, we add credibility to fears that deserved only a ‘bullshit!’ if we were not anxious. Please trust me when I say this – it’s the most counterproductive thing during anxiety. Although I know it’s tempting, but it never works.

    Just keep your faith it is anxiety, dismiss things and cut off from analyzing – even if you have to do this 100 times a day. The more this becomes a habit, your mind will start to clear up.

    Also, if you can, start meditating for half an hr. It really helps!
    Have faith! You’ll be fine real soon.

  196. Anxious Indian Says:

    @Jake I think there comes a time when you see through the illusion anxiety creates, and you see it multiple times to reinforce your belief. And then you realize that you don’t have to trust it anymore, analyze it to pieces or worry about it – you just have to dismiss it.

    Then it ceases to matter whether anxiety sometimes rears its head or not. You lose the ‘fear of feeling fear’.

    Post that recovery is imminent – you will definitely recover a 100%. We build up some anxious habits at times, but once anxiety clears and the normal you is back, you see through those as well and reverse them. It will all come naturally to you. So don’t worry about it.

    Not only that, anxiety is a great teacher – it will leave you a calmer person for the rest of your life. You might even be thankful for the experience :)

    P.S. The worst thing to do is worry whether 100% recovery is possible during anxiety, as it will just give it more fodder for worry. You know how anxiety works right? The anxious mind is ready to jump onto any worry. I won’t be surprised if tomorrow it worries about “what if I grow horns” lol

  197. Jake Says:

    Hi Anxious Indian

    Firstly thanks for that.

    Yes I know exactly what you mean as I keep thinking ill end up in a serve depression or I will never get away from relationship anxiety but I suppose Im just playing into its hands.
    It is a bumpy road but if I get through to the otherside it would be my world

  198. Anxious Indian Says:

    @Jake what your anxious mind is saying to you is to this (a lot of lies) >>

    Feeling anxious and depressed NOW due to anticipation of feeling anxious and depressed in the FUTURE. You see the absurdity of it? In fact most of the fear is this, we feel horrible now due to anticipation of feeling horrible later. Why not feel ok now and face what the future brings, it is seldom as big as your mind makes it to be, and never as huge as your anxious mind makes it to be.

    Why not feel ok now and be willing to deal with what your relationship throws your way. Everyone deals with relationship troubles, but it’s the added anxiety that makes it into an obsession.

    Also, your anxiety is telling you another lie – that your happiness is worth only based on your relationships. How can that be fair? Your life is worth so much more than just your relationships – don’t let that one aspect of your life overshadow all the blessings that the universe has for you – your extended family and friends, your health which supports you the best it can in spite of stress, your hobbies, your travel experiences or whatever you hold most dear. You might not feel it now, because anxiety/obsession with one aspect is blocking out everything else, it is leaving no space for anything else.

    However don’t blame yourself and try to fight the relationship anxiety because it is not possible to fight anxiety when it’s going strong – just remind yourself it’s anxiety making a HUGE ASS deal out of something you can calmly deal with, and let it pass. You’ll still feel scared as you are very sensitized to it, but a reversal process will begin. When the anxiety goes, you’ll get so much clarity and all positive aspects which are currently clouded due to anxiety will shine forth, your mind will balance and you will be able to deal with your relationships like any non-anxious person.

    Keep the faith!

    P.S. I want to share something that helped me in my worse days, it may or may not work for you, but you can try it for 2 to 3 weeks. There came a time in my deeply dark days when i was trying to desensitize to anxiety but it felt like a failing battle. This obviously created more anxiety as my mind said this is me forever and I had no answer. But battering myself was not getting me anywhere either.

    One day I went with my friends to a beautiful resort in the middle of the plantations for a day. Anxiety, as expected struck, and I felt miserable that how everyone is able to enjoy life and I am in such a mess. I just decided that ok I can’t win, but the next 15 mins I will give to myself and I will just look at the trees, flowers, the birds and focus on them. I can give 15 mins to my present moment. Of course the anxiety and thoughts raged alongside but I kept bringing back my focus to the present moment. At the end of the 15 mins, I couldn’t stop, and I did it for 15 mins more. I was feeling much better but wasn’t sure why, because obviously my mind was still racing/obsessing.

    But from that day onwards, everyday, I sat for just 15 to 30 mins anywhere – home or elsewhere – and decided to be a witness to my thoughts and feelings.
    That helped me like nothing did. In the initial few days I did it just because i craved peace for that half an hr, but later once my mind raced a bit less, I realized that my habits were changing to non-reacting which was helping my mind balance. If you can try this for 2 to 3 weeks and not try to analyze, just do it for peace and changing habits of extreme reactivity, it will help you too like it helped me.

  199. Jake Says:

    I will indeed. Thank you very much for your help you talk sense.
    My relationship is consuming my life – there is nithing wrong with it but I just convince myself I need to leave to escape this crap! I have kids but just feel hopless about my situation – apologises on the negativity all.
    I just look at her with hollow feelings and am not attracted to her!!
    It is a crazy thing really but suppose it always is

  200. Anxious Indian Says:

    @Jake It is very rare with strong anxiety to feel very attracted to anything. Anxiety leaves no space for anything else.

    Do you feel as attracted to your favorite food, travel, fun tv shows or your hobbies as when you are non-anxious? And in your relationship’s case, anxiety has latched onto it so it will obviously not let you feel the attraction.

    Try and focus on the little pleasures of life, your kids and distance from this doubt for a month. I pray that it will bring you clarity.

    Also, NEVER take important decisions when anxious. They can always wait for when your mind calms down.

    One of my very close friends with severe anxiety loved a girl for 6 years. The girl was a beautiful soul who loved him despite his weekly panic attacks leading him to every hospital in town fearing a heart attack, she peacefully dealt with him being withdrawn for weeks on end, she gracefully accepted the occasionally weird behavior that anxiety causes even in front of her family. Her parents opposed but they got engaged. And he used to worry for 6 yrs that she will leave him because of his anxiety – a constant worry and he loved her so much. But look at the irony – when he got engaged, the anxiety shifted to how he, an anxious person, will deal with marriage. It got so intense that HE broke the engagement. The girl was heartbroken and embarrassed in front of her friends and family. And later when he felt relief, he cried so much, he lost his love of 6 yrs. You see the irony here? His anxiety made him worry that she will leave him for 6 yrs, and when she fought all odds to marry him, he sabotaged it just because the anxiety now clung to dealing with marriage. I pray that no one trusts anxiety and takes decisions when anxious. It’s always best to calm down and use a balanced mind to take important life decisions as 99% of the times anxiety lies, and 1% of the times it exaggerates stuff a 100x.

  201. Jake Says:

    Thank you.
    Yes I am trying to stop myself doing something stupid but its tough. I have had this in spells for years!!!
    I am going to try get through this. I think if I left I would be relieved but I think it may come back to haunt me but just not sure

  202. Anon Says:

    Brilliantly stated, AI. Anxious state of mind makes for bad decisions. So what happened with your friend? Did he marry someone else?

  203. Anxious Indian Says:

    @Jake – Reach a calm mind, the decision can always wait a few mnths in the interest of it being rational. The anxious mind wont let you take a balanced decision.

    @all – I am going off the forum, but just want to say to all – even if your anxiety questions whether what you are struggling with is the anxiety or not – you are still feeling anxious right, that is why you are here. And ‘anxiety’ of any kind will always present a distorted negative picture. So park what haunts you for a while, distance from it for a while, wait till your mind calms for a few weeks and then go back and deal with what was haunting you. A balanced mind will help you respond the best as compared to an anxiety mind. What do you have to lose by postponing dealing with your issue for a month? But you stand to gain a lot on the contrary

  204. Anxious Indian Says:

    @Anon – It’s been about 1.5 mnths. He is severely depressed, feels super guilty that he broke her heart and says he will never marry again. He is in a very dark place right now, but time is a great healer. I’ve explained to him that excruciating anxiety is not easy to deal with and he should probably first work on forgiving himself. But dealing with lost love obviously takes time, and anxiety on top doesn’t help :(
    Tbh, I feel very helpless in his case :(

    As Paul says, some people can trust it’s anxiety, try and go through it and start to discover the illusion it creates, but for some people the suffering takes over and it’s hard to have faith that anxiety only lies/exaggerates :( We can only pray/help/advise, but unfortunately it is the person himself/herself who needs to go through the cycle to reverse it. My heart breaks when I see such unnecessary suffering!

  205. Alz Says:

    @ anxious Indian did u go through anxiety or was it just the person ur talking abt ?

  206. Alz Says:

    @ anxious Indian did u also go thru anxiety or was it just the person ur talking abt above ?

  207. Anxious Indian Says:

    @Alz: I went through intense anxiety for 2 yrs. It was Paul and Nolan’s words that helped me out of that hell, plus brilliant posts from Scarlett and Candie. Then I had peaceful stretches where my mind cleared and I realized the lies anxiety creates. A few months back though, I again had some setbacks, but this time I had past knowledge and practice and was able to get out of it sooner.

    The only thing that helps is – not arguing, analyzing, believing – we can figure out stuff once the mind calms, and usually there is no need for that as it was all false fears. The less you interfere, the sooner it passes, and the more you practice at this, the more you come out stronger and you then lose fear of going through setbacks. They are more like a nuisance.

    Plus your body and mind’s anxiety habits are reversed only during setbacks. That is why Paul says welcome setbacks.

  208. Alz Says:

    Hey!
    It is not just one symptom( fear of saying something tht might not have happened) but a host of them .. hving to be on bed rest is really not helping much . The help just walked into my room and I imagined her face being different .. it really scared me. Now it’s the fear that everyone’s faces will look different . I’m willing to feel everything but sometimes esp now , it’s just a bit much!

  209. Char Says:

    Alz

    Just seen your post – massive congratulations!! You will be so fine and I am so so pleased for you . Yes your anxiety might be there as to be honest I find the whole pregnancy thing an anxious time but , it’s only anxiety and we are all
    Here for you cheering you on!

    C

  210. Wendy Says:

    Hello everybody,

    I used to visit this blog daily a few years ago! Paul is a hero and I am so thankful for this blog! I am anxiety and depression free today, living a normal and happy life! I just wanted to let everyone know that you WILL recover! I always thought my anxiety was the worst and that there was no way out, but there is!! Feel free to ask my questions, I would love to give some advice and support:) Stay strong everyone, and never forget: anxiety is just a feeling, nothing more ! It will never do you any harm therefore don’t pay it too much attention!

    Wendy

  211. Alz Says:

    @Char
    Thanks :)) so good to hear from you! I won’t be honest if I say that my anxiety has t hit the roof . I’m checking this blog every half an hour ( which I know shouldn’t be the case) . Anyway my mind is playing all the tricks it can to mk me feel afraid – scared of talking, hearing things wrong , thinking I might see images and honestly just too self conscious to talk ; basically thinking Iv lost my mind. I honestly don’t even hv the energy to discard it as anxiety all the time . Anyway I guess it was inevitable given that I’m hvimg a baby after a loss, that my anxiety meds hv been reduced and that the hormones are not doing any good . Can just hv the faith and leave it all on god honestly !
    @ Wendy ! So glad to hear Iv recovered.. !

  212. Chrissy Says:

    Having a major setback
    Which I know is expected
    Menopause and a sick mum has turned my life upside down
    I have suffered anxiety symptoms for years and never dealt with them
    I denied my stress I suppressed anxiety symptoms and stress for years
    So it’s to be expected it will all come back
    All the stress and feelings I suppressed are now coming out and wow they are powerful
    However I do know I need release the feelings and thoughts
    No suppressing just allowing
    All this built up energy needs its space
    I will not go back to old habits

  213. K Says:

    Chrissy,
    You have my support. Different issues, but also feel like I have a lot of supressed emotions and pain to release. The more symptoms are raging, the calmer I am. I will not add to it. If I need to cry, I cry. But I know it will pass. I do not believe that I am ‘disabled’ as my anxiety wants me to think. I don’t need that kind of protection. I am strong and resilient. Not ‘being positive’, just stating the facts. Who else can go through the torture that we go through and still smile? Well, anxiety sufferers can.
    You can, Chrissy.
    Best,
    K

  214. Jake Says:

    Hi Guys

    Can you get through relationship anxiety?
    I feel so so low about my current situation.
    No feelings, 0 attraction and just completely shut off.
    All I keeping thinking is if I leave this gloom will disappear.

  215. Chrissy Says:

    Thanks K
    Very well said

  216. Char Says:

    Hi Alz, I can relate totally. Just try to keep focusing on small little tasks, anything to give you mind something to focus on , however small . Just little things .

    CGB

  217. Alz Says:

    Char it’s really good to hv some support here .. thank you!

  218. Carl Says:

    @Wendy,

    That’s fantastic news! It’s within us all if we just do nothing other than ride the waves in the stormy seas until eventually we calmly float to the sunny island :)
    Carl.

  219. Char Says:

    Alz

    Where are you living again – I know you are in a different t time zone . I’m in the UK

  220. Alz Says:

    Char I’m from Pakistan

  221. Alz Says:

    Would love to connect some other way if that’s ok because the time zones don’t really help

  222. Char Says:

    Ah yes that’s right . R u on Facebook ? Have u liked Paul’s page on there ?

  223. Alz Says:

    hmmm no I haven’t . Let me actually

  224. Alz Says:

    Hey! So I just liked his recent post which is the same as this one . My name is spelt differently and I don’t really go on fb that often tbh . It’s Alizeh khalid . See if you can look me up or better would be just dropping me an email at alizehkatgmaildotcom ( I think this is the only way I can send an email address)
    Tc!

  225. Char Says:

    Hi Alz

    I sent you a request on messenger !

  226. Fellner Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I have a question about anxiety in terms of how to apply acceptance and patience to what isn’t there.

    A few weeks ago I had this idea that It would be awful if feeling comfort or peace or anything that made me feel happy became associated with anxiety and then it did! I then endured a week or two of extreme anxiety over this which has since calmed right down after patiently accepting the fear and waiting for it to pass. It did. The constant anxiety is gone.

    The one thing that hasn’t, or isn’t able to return at the moment are my normal good feelings. I can only feel a kind of flat, empty neutral feeling at the moment because if anything like peace or love/affection or even a small twinge of happiness thinking about something I’d normally look forward to or a nice memory tries to happen in my brain, I feel a lump of sharp, instant fear rise up and extinguish the feeling immediately. Every time this happens I’m so dismayed by it that it threatens to make me anxious all over again.

    The trouble is the anxiety comes on so quickly and then goes instantly I don’t feel like I have time to accept it and embrace as it lasts a second or two. Its the empty, emotionless hole it leaves behind that is now the problem.

    My question is how do I apply acceptance in this situation when normally part of my recovery would be a. the bad feelings disappearing and b. the good ones coming back. How can I recover when I feel like the last part is unable to happen?

    Any advice helpful. Thanks

  227. Wendy Says:

    Jake,

    your mind is playing tricks to you :) when we suffer from anxiety our nerves are super exhausted and that is why feel like everything we think must be the truth. Try to not overthink everything! Give your nerves the rest they need and once you have a calm mind you will see everything in a totally different light! Just have some trust in your body. You don’t have to figure it all out. Letting go is the answer.

    All the best :-)
    Wendy

  228. Jake Says:

    Thanks Wendy.
    I feel like im stuck like this forever and will end up severely depressed just see no way out.
    I know I am battling against myself whuch is making it worse.
    Good to see you got through it

  229. Wendy Says:

    You WILL get through this, promise :) I always thought my anxiety was the worst! I was scared of everything you can imagine, had really bad depression and depersonalization and it‘s all gone today! It takes time and the most important thing is don’t put pressure on youself! Allow youself to feel this way for now, it’s totally okay and it can’t harm you. There will be light at the end of the tunnel but for now just try to enjoy the ride through the tunnel :)

  230. Jake Says:

    Did you take medication?
    Have you been hit with any set backs from depression or anxiety

  231. Scott Says:

    Am taking some heart from Wendy”s comments as i need to see success stories regularly to keep the faith. Has anyone recovered fully from the 24/7 vertigo / unsteadiness that’s my crutch to be honest i just cant get used to it drives me mad and can be quite dangerous when driving at times. All the other physical non sense seems to come and go i’m About 12 months in to trying to accept daily but its tough going most days…….

  232. Chrissy Says:

    Wendy great post!
    Jake we all though like you do at some point
    Look at all the people on this forum
    It’s not just you

    Let it go. Be with it.
    I know it would be easy if there was something else besides us that can make this all go away. But fighting it and wishing it away isn’t the answer
    It’s difficult to feel like this. It’s uncomfortable
    It’s not fair
    However. The key here is to let the depression ,the anxiety,the thoughts and feelings to come out. Let them free
    I am in the middle of a set back. It sucks and I look at other people and wonder why I have this and no else seems to
    However I also know I suppressed all my stress and never let my anxiety and depression, all that negative energy out.
    So not it’s screaming to be let loose. I just let it and focus on living my life

  233. Jake Says:

    Thanks Chrissy

    Its really is horrible. I just hope Im not stuck with it as you see alot of information that its something you will just have to manage for the rest of our life

  234. Chrissy Says:

    And who cares Jake
    Try not giving it so much power
    I have depression and anxiety and I live with it some days
    Doesn’t matter because I know in the past I went months without it
    We are human not perfect
    Let it roar. Having a shit day? Yup ok had shit days or week we will be ok

  235. Jake Says:

    I hear you..I would hate to even have to manage it. I strive to be completely free but not sure if its possible

  236. K Says:

    Jake,

    Think of it thus way. No one us anxiety-free. Not even people that appear happy to you. Anxiety is a natural emotion and you should hope it will always be part of you to keep you from danger. You (and me and other people here) just happen to be more sensitized than some other people might. And that is okay. Other people might have diabetes all their lives. Or asthma. And they manahe it and live their lives, having good days and bad days. Stop seeing anxiety as an enemy. See it as a teacher, if you will. It is teaching you to pay attention to things that truly matter – your health, your family, your freedom, what you do with your time. If you have to do therapy or medication, you should consult with a practitioner you trust and try that. But at the end of the day, you still should accept that anxiety is part of you. But it is not a bad thing. It is a wild animal that you will tame. And then you will be giving relaxation advice to all those happy-looking people who sweat over small things.

    Best,

    K

  237. Carl Says:

    Hi Wendy,

    How long have did you suffer if you don’t mind me asking? And how long did it take you to recover since you began allowing and letting go? I feel I’ve pretty much overcome my anxiety disorder now after it starting a year ago. I guess my only concern now is that I’ve shortened my life span as obviously anxiety causes great stressors on the body! Thanks, Carl.

  238. Stacey Says:

    Hi guys two brill weeks followed by the last 2 days feeling awful!! Can’t feel anything but fear doom and gloom and horrible thoughts scaring me!
    In recovery did anyone else have this up and down good weeks bad weeks and still eventually recover. I feel like there’s a vacuum sucking my feelings away

  239. Debbie Says:

    Hey guys ive been for the last few days having adreneline feeling in my legs than my heart starts beating fast and takes a while to go back to normal than a few hours later it happens again . Is this constant panic attacks? I dont even want to go out thinking its gonna keep happening so scared.

  240. Jordan Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I have read both books of Paul’s and think they have been a tremendous help in my life since I discovered them a few years back. However I really struggle with consistency and my anxiety, mood etc fluxuate on a daily basis. I work a demanding 3 shift pattern in a job I hate which probably doesn’t help but haven’t got the confidence or belief to progress or change jobs so I’m stuck for now. I don’t think I have truly grasped the whole ‘allowing’ thing as I get just get confused, end up overthinking everything and just end up going round in circles.

    Also Paul mentions a lot about how anxiety affected him for 10 years, but before that he was an outgoing person. However I’ve suffered from anxiety from as long as I remember throughout my life (I’m 27). Social anxiety has always been there especially but I tend to be good at masking it.
    Anyways was wondering if anyone else has similar life long struggles and any advice would be welcomed.

    Ps it’s really comforting knowing that so many of us experience the same problems as anxiety can feel so lonely at times.

    Apologies for the long post and thanks ?

  241. Jordan Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I have read both books of Paul’s and think they have been a tremendous help in my life since I discovered them a few years back. However I really struggle with consistency and my anxiety, mood etc fluxuate on a daily basis. I work a demanding 3 shift pattern in a job I hate which probably doesn’t help but haven’t got the confidence or belief to progress or change jobs so I’m stuck for now. I don’t think I have truly grasped the whole ‘allowing’ thing as I get just get confused, end up overthinking everything and just end up going round in circles.

    Also Paul mentions a lot about how anxiety affected him for 10 years, but before that he was an outgoing person. However I’ve suffered from anxiety from as long as I remember throughout my life (I’m 27). Social anxiety has always been there especially but I tend to be good at masking it.
    Anyways was wondering if anyone else has similar life long struggles and any advice would be welcomed.

    Ps it’s really comforting knowing that so many of us experience the same problems as anxiety can feel so lonely at times.

    Apologies for the long post and thanks :)

  242. Wendy Says:

    Hey Carl,

    I suffered from anxiety for about 6 years. I can’t really say how long it took me to recover. I had some difficulties with learning how to „accept“ at first. But once I had my inner peace recovery came step by step. There were anxiety free days and „okay“-days and setbacks where I felt like I was back at the beginning. But it’s all part of recovery and after a while I just stopped caring about how long it takes. I knew it was just a matter of time and that it‘s important to be patient, so i just gave my body the time it needed :)

    And trust me, anxiety is not dangerous and you won’t die earlier! Think of all the people who lived during the last world war, THAT was stress! And my grandparents are nearly 90 years old today and their war experience has just made them stronger I guess :) Stop worrying about that, you WILL recover and there will be NO long term effects!

    All the best :)
    Wendy

  243. Carl Says:

    Thanks for the wise words Wendy.

    I guess you are right, our bodies are far more resilient than we can imagine. The fact it has the ability to heal itself from an anxiety disorder is remarkable. I’m proud of all of my achievements thus far. As time has gone on, my symptoms have melted away more and more. Setbacks have come, but they are nowhere near as strong as they used to be, even my DP/DR has lifted again. If any of the symptoms, including the thoughts come back, so what … just treat them all the same and carry on regardless! Acceptance is the answer. I’ve done it all without the use of medication too.

    Thanks again, Carl.

  244. Ciara Says:

    Hi all, so I haven’t posted here in maybe 6 years, had been doing fairly well living my life doing everything regardless of how i felt. Then last Tuesday bang panic attack ion the kitchen while getting ready for work,l wasn’t expecting it and it frightened me quite badly. Since then I ve been in a constant panic state, can’t sleep and when I do I wake up terrified. Cant eat have no appetite at all.
    I’m trying to not let these feelings bother me and trying so hard to continue doing what I d normally do. But they seem to keep getting the better of me and then the thoughts come and make it all worse. Any advise would be greatly appreciated

  245. Char Says:

    Hi Ciara

    I think a lot of us can relate to your post and Stacey aswell , where we think “it” has gone but then it comes back to get us again. I know I can relate cause I do it all the time and also “it” has come back for me again.

    I think I’m slowly realising it’s a journey for me anyway, there is no magic solution but rather an acceptance and understanding that anxiety is normal , some of us are very sensitive to it, but with our understanding it will pass.

    That’s said it feels rubbish and I don’t like it !

  246. Stacey Says:

    Definately so up and down and when the anxiety comes in after a few weeks peace it feels worse than ever to me after a little tiny break from the thoughts and feelings. This time it’s gone back to fear of depression which is making me feel depressed!! So silly but feels so real and scary. I look at my children and feel sick with guilt as I keep thinking this is stealing me from them and am I ever going to get back to the normal me

  247. Stacey Says:

    Also does anyone ever go into complete despair this week I was so so disheartened as I felt it coming back that I just lay on the floor sobbing to my husband to just take it away and help me. I felt completely petrified. Anyone else ever felt like this?

  248. Char Says:

    Hi Stacey – yes I have felt like that and done things like that. This week I was scared of becoming depressed- well yesterday actually and cried to my husband and told my friend… today I’ve been worrying about my feelings of unreality and what if I’m like this forever ….

    Also got 2 kids and also have the same feelings of guilt . I don’t have any answers other than we are all so similar that I guess if shows it’s “just anxiety” and we just get ourselves in a bit of a mess with it at times !!

    We have just been swimming and now in the usual Sunday night rush to find pe kits and all sorts !

  249. Fellner Says:

    To whoever is moderating the comments section of this blog.

    First of all I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for all of Paul’s hard work and generosity in devoting his time to helping anxiety sufferers all around the world. And to whoever volunteers to moderate this comments section of the blog.

    Because of my appreciation for this and how much I have benefited from this site in the past I feel reluctant to criticise the site in anyway and have no wish to be discourteous or disrespectful to anybody. Despite this I feel that I really have to say something about the way I feel I have been treated by the moderator of this section as it seems completely unfair to me.

    I completely understand Paul’s reluctance to allow this section of the site to become similar to other anxiety forums where people are given a free platform to frantically question, bemoan the suffering and complain while not accepting and basically perpetuate the constant struggling.
    And I have at various stages of my breakdown of the past two years have been guilty of this and can see why my certain posts of mine were considered unhelpful and counter-productive before.

    But a couple of my recent ones were not posts of this nature. I feel in my opinion that my very last comment submitted for moderation was a legitimately curious question about how to apply Paul’s method to a problem that had arisen during recovery that I felt was strange and confusing in terms of making Paul’s ideas work.

    It was not hysterical or begging or pleading. It was not fear based or self pitying or refusing to accept a situation. I even mentioned in my post that by following Paul’s advice I had managed to overcome, yet again, a particularly horrific setback and was now a lot calmer. My question was just regarding an unusual problem that was making the last stages of recovery difficult for me even by accepting and allowing, and I would have really appreciated other member’s thoughts and ideas about it. Just like everybody else who posts here seems to be given the privilege to enjoy.

    Which brings me to my second point. I have looked through the posts of other members here and I very frequently see panicked, questioning posts of the not accepting, fear based kind. Posts that demonstrate lots of members here are not willing to trust or have faith in the healing process which I presume is the reason mine keep being discarded and ignored by the moderator.
    Despite the fact that I was very careful in my last post to display none of these behaviours. I was just asking for help with a confusing aspect of recovery.

    Compared to this I see many, many frantic panicked posts asking for help which pass through, questions and fear based posts about symptoms that pass through. One astonishing post from a panicked member who even asked Paul directly about blood pressure symptoms and asking for reassurance with that which incredibly, was allowed through.

    In fact the only criteria it seems the moderator here uses in discriminating which comments to post is that they not be made by me.

    It saddens that me that a website I have come to really admire and think highly of has chosen to completely ignore any of my very polite and respectful requests for help despite the fact that I have tried to show respect for both the site and other members by not adding to the atmosphere of panic, which other members seem to be permitted to do frequently.

    I am truly saddened that a site which I think is one the best in the world to help anxiety sufferers seems to have no desire to allow me the same access to help everyone else who posts here enjoys.

    Tony Fellino

    tonydfellino@googlemail.com

  250. Alz Says:

    Hey all !
    It’s just been a great support being on this blog during the times Iv been really down and under . Well now I’m expecting after my still birth ( 2 years ago ) , am on bed rest and have had to cut down my anti anxiety medication drastically .
    I’m almost 6 weeks and it’s not been easy at all . I would love to get some advice on the strange symptoms I’m getting these days :
    – complete inward thinking and questioning my sanity – it reaches such a bad state tht I can’t sit with my husband or if I’m talking I’m questioning how the words came out and how they made sense .
    – at some points I do think Iv lost my mind while talking to my husband especially .
    – a constant questioning of events and either they happened or not .
    I’m actually so tired now and I really think there’s no getting out of this bad phase . I called up my mom yesterday crying and telling her it’s getting really hard and I do think I’m losing my mind – evthing seems like a blur . She said we’ll see when it happens 😐
    Ps : thnk you char for all the support :)
    Alz

  251. K Says:

    Stacey, Char, Alz and other current and future moms here,

    Being part of this community has been immensely helpful in general, but posts from women in a situation similiar to mine make me feel really understood and connected. I can say that my pregnancy was very tough from anxiety standpoint, but I prayed and practiced acceptance and it worked out in the end. I am getting better at motherhood every day. As I developed physical pain (in addition to everything else) that could not be diagnosed as anythung other than anxiety, I am trying a new med, and it seems to be working for me. I sleep well, and my pain seems to be decreasing. Those things alone put me in a better mood. Anything else is handled with acceptance. I am hopeful.

    Best,

    K

  252. Anon Says:

    I am also a mom and have been through all of the same. When I forced myself to do all the things anxiety screamed at me to avoid, and felt all of the worst symptoms while forcing myself to do all those things, the anxiety very gradually dropped off. Almost imperceptibly. Paul is right.

  253. JCG Says:

    Hi, I’m a new mom on here. Have struggled with anxiety for about five years and thought it was behind me after having my firstborn. I was pleasantly surprised how well I handled myself. With Paul’s approach I was making great progress until “something occurred to me” when I was under an immense amount of stress. Had a scary intrusive thought and it feels like I’m starting over. This time it’s worse because my emotional involvement with my daughter has led me to a dark place of sadness and despair. My once good feelings of motherhood have a dark cloud over it and I constantly question if I’m cut out for it. It scares me, I can’t imagine being stuck in my thinking forever. I want the intrusive thoughts to leave!! They’ve gotten better but there are still quite a few that have a huge pull and give me striking/gut wrenching anxiety.

  254. Stacey Says:

    Hey guys After being on my own for a week with my two small children I’ve spent sooo much time in my head and online and searching intrusive thoughts ocd and now I feel AWFUL probably worse than ever. Shaky and petrified I’m on the verge on a deep depression(my fear) and I’ll never be myself again.

  255. Stacey Says:

    Hey guys I’ve been on my own all week no family around and two small children. I feel EXHAUSTED I have spent most the week in my head and googling and reading about intrusive thoughts ocd etc. I’ve now confused myself and feel so so bad worse than ever. Convinced I’m definately on the verge of a deep depression(my fear)
    Argh! I’m making this worse myself arnt I
    I thought I was getting better but I’ve gone right backwards

  256. Stacey Says:

    Sorry it wouldn’t send so there’s now 3 messages (haha)

  257. K Says:

    Hi Stacey,

    Please stop researching. Most of us are graduates of the Google university, as one comedian said. There is no reason to frustrate your tired mind. Please give it a break. Even if you have OCD, how are you helping yourself by getting yourself tired? Forgive me if my advice is not exactly what you want to hear, but instead of googling, find a very experienced phsychiatrist who can rule out all the worrysome-sounding diagnoses and can tell you that you probably just have a generalized anxiety disorder complicated by motherhood stress, etc. He or she might or might not prescribe a medication to help you temporarily. That would be your personal choice. And then back to practicing acceptance over and over. Your intrusive thoughts are only bothersome because you give them power. Once you truly decide that you DO NOT GIVE A DAMN whether they are present or not and go about your day or lay on the couch all day REGARDLESS OF SUCH THOUGHTS, and keep practicing this approach over and over, you will see the difference. You will see that such thoughts are no different than some annoying chatty radio host talking nonsense all day. You can choose to listen to him/her or not. It is really up to you.

    Best,

    K

  258. K Says:

    Hi Anon,

    I was wondering what are some of the things that you forced yourself to do? Some days I have to make myself go to the gym, but I am not sure if my ‘pre-anxiety self’ would just spend that time resting while not watching the little one. So back to doubting.

    Thanks,

    K

  259. Stacey Says:

    Hi K I’ve seen a psychiatrist and I’ve been seeing a psychologist for over a year they have said it’s anxiety and all fear and what ifs and it’s all lies but I think being so homesick and having young children is making me alone so much I’m driving myself wild with it all.

    Thanks for you me advice
    X

  260. K Says:

    Hi Stacey,

    I understand. Don’t be hard on yourself. That is how anxiety is, ups and downs, and downs feel like going back to square one. I am glad that you got a professional opinion. If there was something more, they would have told you a long time ago. My understanding is that OCD, bipolar and other more complicated forms of illness stand out and are diagnosed pretty quickly. So you don’t need to go down that road. There is a lot of confusing and unverifiable information online. Instead, focus on what to do with the problem in front of you. Anxiety over everything. Do you want to go on its ride and drive yourself bananas every moment or do you want to take your chances and wait and see what the future holds. The second option is much better. You cannot control the future, so there is no reason to wirry about it. If something is meant to happen, it will happen, regardless of thoughts. So put that ‘radio host’ on mute or lower the volume and go read a nice book or enjoy a delicious meal. I also find it helpful to lose myself in teaching my daighter something. It really feels good. And the chatty mind will shut up in due course.

    Best,

    K

  261. john Says:

    hello josh,

    how are things going with you? i am also experiencing insomnia relapse. hopefully its get better.

    john

  262. Anon Says:

    Hi K. It is hard for sure. I had big time pain, as I believe you have dealt with. Anyway, I forced myself to go to optional meetings at my children’s schools, optional business lunches, optional events such as parties, walking in my neighborhood on a daily basis, going to visit relatives for extended periods, working, cooking, doing optional educational activities with my kids, such as math practice, taking my kids to lessons, and so on. Anxiety was through the roof and what I assume must have been some level of depression as well. It told me I was in danger and I was in uncomfortable adrenaline mode at all times. I just could not make myself believe it was really anxiety until my intense back pain that was with me for over a year disappeared on its own without medication or anything else and the symptoms just lessened gradually on their own. So in retrospect I did believe it was anxiety but always soured it while it was happening. It is the most convincing bluff of all. But once you see that it’s a bluff it loses its power.

  263. Anon Says:

    Sorry I meant that I doubted that it was anxiety at all times when it was happening but in retrospect I see that’s what it was.

  264. Alz Says:

    ??hey !
    It’s been 2days and Iv been wondering where the most recent blog post just disappeared. Not the best thing to do with someone high on anxiety (hehe) .

  265. Roman Says:

    Hello!

    Im sorry but my English is not so good.

    I try to describe what bothers me.

    I have a lot of progress I suffer from anxiety
    for about 4 years already but it calms down.

    The main thing is the times of the year.

    At spring and summer I have not so many
    anxiety and setbacks come every 3-4 weeks.

    But when the autumn close I feel that my
    anxiety increased at 5 times.

    Im very upset about it because at summer
    you think: Wow I get better and then for
    some reason in September everything
    appear and I began obsessed.

    And again now is spring and I feel a lot more
    comfortable than in autumn-winter.

    The feeling that at this autumn thing would
    become bad again is very scary. I mean now
    I feel real relief and very low level of anxiety
    but I understand that everything will be bad again
    at September – February. That goes for 4 years
    already the same way.

    Can anyone apply something to this.

    P.S. I read this blog and a book. Things become
    more clear but when suddenly at autumn anxiety
    increases I felt very disappointes and totally broken
    and upset that nothing changed and that this feeling
    would be so intense till spring.

    Thanks

  266. Mark R Says:

    Hi all.

    Hope people are doing well and are making progress.

    Just a bit of an update from me as its been about a month since I posted last.

    As per my previous post I started seeing a girl I met and things are going very well. Its a long distance relationship, but we are coping well with it and making the most of the weekends.

    Externally, life is 100% better for me than a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, anxiety continues to invade my life, albeit it at a lesser extent. My days are usually good but I’m still being dogged by the usual feelings I’ve felt for a long time. I can be having the most peaceful of days, but then I get a slight twitch of a worry or DP and my mind will go down that well beaten track. Sometimes it passes within a few mins, sometimes a can be a day, few days etc.

    The girl in seeing is totally okay with what I struggle with, which is brilliant in itself but for me I would love the nonsense to stop. Maybe it won’t, who knows. I deal with anxiety much better nowadays than in the past. It no longer dictates what I do but inevitably dictates how I feel.

    Anyway, update over and peace to everyone on here.

    Mark.

  267. Louise Says:

    Has anyone ever had a fear of taking medication such as antibiotics, paracetamol etc… My anciety started when I took antidepressants and was also on amoxicillin which iv taken antibiotics all my life with no effecta but now im scared to take anything and its been nearly 2 yrs im just wondering if anyone has dealt with this or going through this and how they over came this thanks..

  268. Debbie Says:

    Hi louise iam afraid to take any medicine of any kind and sometimes vitamins also . I have very bad anxiety about medicine.

  269. Monica Says:

    Hi everyone!
    I have been suffering from anxiety for almost 3 months now. It all started with a bad anxiety attack, which seemed to come out of nowhere. I have always been somewhat anxious, but it was never nearly as bad as it is now.
    I came across Paul’s website about a month and a half ago and I immediately bought the book. I have somewhat improved, and I can think a bit clearer. But I have a problem with obsessive thoughts. One thought in particular just does not want to leave me alone, and that is: life is pointless, as we are all going to die anyway. This thought usually pops up when I am doing something mundane such as watching tv. I really try not to dwell too much on it and just let it pass, but it brings me great distress, sadness and I consequently see the world completely differently.
    I’m really afraid that this thought will stay with me forever or that I will do something to myself because it will lead me to believe it. Deep down I know this thought is silly and just a product of anxiety, but I just can’t seem to shake it.
    If anyone could help me in someway, that would be great.

  270. Mark R Says:

    No thoughts?

  271. Alz Says:

    Hey ! Mark a few thoughts(:p) : it’s great ur doing well and hv progressed so much within a month . I guess anxiety is an up and down thing until you’re finally able to live with it and accept it as part of ur present mindset .
    Easier said than done !
    Anyway an update from my side is that with the pregnancy and drastic reduction of the medication I was on , the initial few days were extremely bad now I hv scary thoughts of what if I do somethig to myself and the baby .. it’s a thought but it carries so much energy .. I’m scared that maybe when I’m completely feeling hopeless I might do something .. it’s just awful .
    This is going alongside the thoughts of I’m losing my mind , feeling horrible in the midst of people , questioning the reality of day to day events when I’m narrating them and just hoping and praying that I see anxiety fr what it is as so many people hv done ; to have that a ha! moment …
    I can’t be like this forever ..

  272. Mark R Says:

    Thanks Alz.

    You are right. It is so up and down. I woke today feeling calm and have been in parts of the day but at some points feel so anxious I feel like I want to cry (like now).
    The girl I’m seeing is going away to China for 10 days on Thursday. We’ve spent the last six weekends together so can’t help but feel that may have something to do with how I feel.
    Sorry to hear you’re having a rough time. Keep going though it will get easier.

    Mark

  273. John Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Do you have sleep issues related to anxiety? If so, how do you cope with it?

    Thanks!

  274. K Says:

    Hi Alz,

    It is not easy being pregnant and dealing with anxiety, but you will get through it. Those thoughts are a way of your mind to protect you. Please do not be afraid of them. I had them too. I had all kinds of thoughts during pregnancy. I am sure you know about all the hormonal changes that affect your body and mind and might give you multiple symptoms. Focus on taking care of yourself. You are growing a human – it’s a big job. So focus on eating right (small portions every couple of hours work wonders for your energy levels), light exercise (if doctor allows), sleeping and taking naps. I am here for you. Take care.

    Best,

    K

  275. Mark R Says:

    I posted on Monday and Tuesday but then I had a couple of realisations since then. I think as anxiety sufferers we tend to write off any feelings as a disorder or illness, when in fact they are completely natural.

    As I posted above I mentioned about me seeing someone the last few months. Well we’ve spent 6 weekends together and the next 2 weekends she will be away. Is this enough to unsettle a system? Well of course it is. It would do in anyone, not just someone who has anxiety issues. Unsurprisingly, she is feeling the same but has no history of anxiety or depression.

    In addition to the above, I’m at the start of something. This is also disconcerting for people as you are putting your heart with someone and it could get hurt in the process. Again, this is completely natural.

    Maybe we feel things more deeply as sensitive people but I just wanted to point out that not everything we encounter is down to anxiety. Sometimes life stress is completely natural.

    Mark.

    Ps John, I’ve never really had sleep issues. There are a ton of posts from Nolan on here though which relate to it.

  276. K Says:

    John,

    I have been struggling with sleep issues for a long time. I tried just getting by without sleep, and I can tell you it is possible. Some of my best non-anxious have been after a sleepless or 1-2 hour sleep nights. I can say now though that it is unnecessary. I would suggest finding the smallest dose of an antihistamine that would put you to sleep and keep you asleep, and you can practice acceptance during the day. The key is to remember that it is still your attitude toward anxiety that will get you out of this crap, but it is much easier to do when your body gets the night sleep it deserves.

    Best,

    K

  277. K Says:

    *non-anxious days

  278. Mark R Says:

    Despite my realisation/bravado I’ve taken a huge turn for the worse since the other day. I ended up crying on my friends shoulder and I’m currently going through the worst of times again. I wake early, no appetite, sad, anxious, inward, little interest and I feel utterly horrendous.
    As you all appreciate the hardest thing is the contrast. A week ago my world was big and bright… Laughing and joking, feeling loved up, working productivity and making plans for the future. Now the future looks vile and I’m getting through the next hour as best I can.
    I’ve been through this 100 times before and this will be 101. I have that leap of faith that things will be okay again.

    Any messages will be greatly appreciated.

  279. DCYL Says:

    Hello everyone,

    It’s been a few years since I’ve been on this blog. I just happened to think about it recently. I looked around at Paul’s site and see if there was anything new (I see the new book!).

    For those struggling, I do want to say that recovery is ABSOLUTELY possible. But it can be a struggle and it will happen in it’s own time.

    My anxiety struck me when I hit a particularly stressful time back in 2011. I had a panic attack and my anxiety symptoms never subsided afterward. I was stuck with a fast heart beat and my mind was racing. I became fixated on some particular words that scared the hell out of me.

    I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. It just so happened I had a book written by a therapist who was in my area. So I went to see him for a month or two (maybe more). The conversations were helpful but never fixed my problem.

    I somehow discovered Paul’s site and the book. I bought the book and read it. It took a LONG time to absorb that you just had to live life and let the anxiety “be”. You couldn’t fight it.

    But I do remember one time I was watching some sports event live and somehow, for a brief moment, my anxiety had seemingly cleared. I remember my head was clear and I seemed relaxed. At that time it was only temporary and symptoms returned later on.

    But over time, I just realized that I had returned back to normal. I’ve occasionally fallen back into anxiety but it doesn’t stay long. Once you’ve had the experience, you just ignore the feelings and move on with life.

    I’m fortunate I found the book early and it took a few years for my situation to clear. Some people suffer for years and habits are hard to break, but I think it can be done.

    I don’t know how often I’ll be here, but feel free to ask questions and I’ll answer them if I see them. Best of luck!

  280. Ruby Says:

    Hey DCYL,

    I wanted to ask you, what kind of symptoms did u had?

  281. Debbie Says:

    Mark r you will be fine again i feel the way you do over my heart scared its gonna beat fast it stops me from doing alot . Its all due to a cardiologist telling one one day i will get atrial fib i have lost 20 pounds its all due to anxiety right now . I know how those horrible days feel from hour to hour than dp,and every other thing . You will be ok its just nasty anxiety playing tricks .
    Hope you feel better

  282. Debbie Says:

    The cardiologist said i would get afib because my mom has it and i have a leaky heart valve.

  283. Nolan Says:

    Oh wow…. hi DCYL!
    You probably won’t remember me. I first started posting here (beginning of 2013) and you were a regular presence back then.
    One reason why you won’t remember me is because back then I would post under numerous names all because I wanted to get more people talking about sleeplessness related to anxiety.
    I was so certain that my form of anxiety was that much more unique and worse from everyone else’s.
    So I would post under one name asking if anyone struggled with sleep related issues. I wouldn’t get many responses then I would log back in under another name also asking similar questions…. and on and on.

    Anyway, you and I interacted a few times back then. I think one of the more regular bogus names I used was a MikeStevens. You would offer advice to me too (along with others that I was ultimately able to cajole into responding).
    The advice you offered me was spot on. Even though I was certain that I was broken for good. That I was worse off than anyone else.
    Though the advice was good I still had my walls up, I still had my deep doubts, and I still was hoping for “reading just the right thing that will make this all go away”…. but we slowly learn that it’s not in reading good advice that makes the storm lift…. it’s in living that advice.

    Great seeing you again. I’ve been pretty much cleared up since mid 2016… thanks to people like you, Paul David, Doreen, Joe Pro, and many others.

  284. Nolan Says:

    DCYL you wrote:

    “But I do remember one time I was watching some sports event live and somehow, for a brief moment, my anxiety had seemingly cleared. I remember my head was clear and I seemed relaxed. At that time it was only temporary and symptoms returned later on.”

    I love talking about these stories.

    I’ll share alittle of my experience which is almost exactly the same.

    From Feb 2013, when it first started, it was always there. The fear, the doubt, the certainty that I was broken, the despair…. now early on they were on intensely high most of the time. I read Paul’s book in May and I felt slightly hopeful but that fear, doubt, despair (and symptoms) were all still there. Maybe alittle less, but there.
    Following Paul’s advice I would have moments where live felt livable again. I didn’t feel great but I thought I could possibly live like this. Those moments were usually pulled down and the intensity would rage on. But through all of this the storm was still there (in greater or lesser degrees).

    I grew frustrated with this up and down because even during the ups I still felt IT…. Maybe it was the realization of this but I fell into one of my bleakest moments in mid autumn of 2013. It was then I got the best advice, the best encapsulation of what Paul was saying. I came to this blog to complain and said there was no hope for me. That my mind and body were simply broken and there was no going back. Some lady responded with something like “So you’ve finally given up trying to get better because you’re convinced you’re broke? Good…. now you can move back on with your life because it doesn’t matter what you do since you’re certain youre broke. YOu can live your life without the hope of fixing it”.

    At first I was shocked and her bluntness. BUt then it kind of made sense. I noticed that I was using my postings here as a crutch: screaming for someone to through my a safety line. So I might as well give it all up… with no hope of getting better.

    Then one day, shortly after that, I was carrying my son from the bathroom in the bedroom out to the livingroom. I walked past the bed, glanced at it and felt true peace for a fleeting moment.

    The sight of the bed didn’t fill me with anguish and torment (as was typical from my insomnia)…. for a moment I felt pure freedom from the storm. It had lifted and at that moment, for that moment, I was convinced that there was an end.
    That moment passed and more storms came…. but it was the first time in months that I didn’t feel the despair and hopelessness.

  285. Si Says:

    Well…. here I am again!!

    I have often thought about dropping in to give some encouragement to people still struggling to cope, however I was also hesitant because I thought It would be smack me in the face and come back. I haven’t been on here for a couple of months and actually thought I had overcome all my anxieties and depression. I’ve had a few moments within the last month where I didn’t feel right but just kept going and it was ok.

    I’ve had what I can describe as feeling almost normal, work has been challenging and I rose to it and actually enjoyed it. I’ve joined a gym and looked forward to attending the classes. Just been away for the weekend which was really great despite having a viral infection for the last few weeks.

    I started to feel a little low last week but put it down to the infection, but that’s almost gone and I feel so low, so anxious, all the symptoms that had disappeared have come back, just want to curl up and cry!!!!

    The last place I wanted to come is back here, because for me it starts the cycle off again….. looking for help, when all I need is to ride it out.

    Just checked in on a few comments above and I see Mark R is on the roller coaster too, which in a way makes it a little easier to cope knowing someone else is with me!!

    The last few months have been a little stressfull, but it was an enjoyable stress, not the stress we hate, more of a get up and go for it stress. Now I am exhausted, with no interest, no get up and go and no hope.

    IT’S SO STRANGE HOW WHEN WE FEEL OK WE TELL OURSELVES “IF IT COMES BACK I KNOW IT’S NOT REAL, I KNOW IT WILL PASS AND I’LL BE OK”, but when your in it (me now) you don’t see any hope

    Best wished too you all

    Si

  286. Nolan Says:

    Hi Si,

    You said:

    “IT’S SO STRANGE HOW WHEN WE FEEL OK WE TELL OURSELVES “IF IT COMES BACK I KNOW IT’S NOT REAL, I KNOW IT WILL PASS AND I’LL BE OK”, but when your in it (me now) you don’t see any hope”

    This was always my experience, so just know that.
    When the setback would come they always seemed to raise all hope i was believing to be building back up in me.

    Just treat it all the same.

  287. Nolan Says:

    I meant “they always seemed to erase all hope”.

    Just to correct that.

  288. Bryan Says:

    DCYL;

    I remember you too, and took a lot of guidance from your posts back then.
    Great to see you pop in. I’m rarely here anymore either. Things are pretty good for me these days but I’ll get the occasional storm rolling through. So at times I get a not so friendly reminder of how this all felt. I always do my best to use it as a chance to learn, practice and help me grow. Of course, sometimes it just sucks but we always come around to our true natural state when we work through it the right way.

    Nolan,

    Love these stories. Thanks for continuing to share them. People going through the process do need repetition and these experiences you share helps the learning process.

    Hope everyone has a great Easter/Passover or whatever you celebrate.

    Be well.

  289. Mark R Says:

    Hi Nolan,

    I’ve screenshot that story of yours a lot of times. It helps to remind me when things get really rough that there is always peace within us, waiting to ride.

    Simon,

    Sorry to hear you are struggling again. I had a terrible week, which started last Sunday and peaked on Friday. It was a truly brutal day. I could I only get through it one minute at a time, and did some things on Ebay to pass the time. But do you know what? It always passes. Always. Yesterday morning I woke up, felt off but was just pleased to be out of that awful state. I drove to Liverpool and back for the football and even bought myself one of those cheesy boxsets from the services. On the way back was singing to 60s songs for 2 hours. Go back 24 hours and I swear I’d never raise a smile ever again.

    Keep your chin up mate. You know in your heart that it’s temporary, despite what your head is saying.

  290. Char Says:

    Aw I feel like I am back at square one again. Have been good for months but struggled with anxiety symptoms last few weeks and then last night it all came back again full on. Can’t sleep or eat or relax at all… constant mind chatter and intrusives. It’s happened just before I am due to go away with my family on a little holiday – the same thing happened last year just before our family holiday . I feel terrible.

    Any wise words please

    Char

  291. Mark R Says:

    Me and my big mouth.

    Feel terrible again this morning and can’t stop crying. So glad I’ve got yesterday to fall back on.

  292. Mark R Says:

    Hang in there Char.

    Our mind is always on the look out for similar patterns and thinks it knows best. It’s the same with me every Christmas. I had an awful time in 2012 and each year as the time comes near I have a raise in symptoms.

    I’m mega rough this morning. If I’m objective about it though I had real bad stomach problems in the night. So any kind of stress or anticipatory stress can set the alarm bells ringing.

  293. Char Says:

    Mark – hello – did u see my post above yours…. it’s a mare this anxiety isn’t it !

  294. Char Says:

    Hi mark

    Do u think its a pattern? I travelled with work a few months ago to Asia and no problem at all. Now it’s m about to go away with my family and I am in a mess. We are not even going abroad just a few days in the UK. Can’t understand it, I have been struggling last few weeks but suddenly yesterday anxiety went through roof…

  295. Mark R Says:

    Absolutely.

    Whatever it is telling you is utter b******ks. And I’m guessing it’s saying you won’t be able to go on holiday or enjoy or feel bad?

    I feel so sad and depressed today. My mind is convinced I’ll never be okay or happy again but see my post above and its wrong.

    Total lies.

  296. Char Says:

    Yes mark that’s exactly it – but it’s right if I can’t eat or sleep or relax – cause that’s what happens when my anxiety is like this.

  297. K Says:

    Hi all,

    So I have been here a lot, telling you of my pain, frustration with it, sleeplessness, general anxiety, taking care of a small child and having doubts about feelings toward my husband, etc. I have been on Cymbalta and a small dose of Remeron for sleep for about a month, and it has given a real break to my body physically.

    Nevertheless, I am continuing to practice acceptance whenever anxiety strikes. Although the anxious moments still feel just as bad, I can see the method more clearly and I have accepted the fact that anxiety is my cross that I have to carry. I am okay with it because it does not stop me from living my life anymore. I keep reminding myself that I just have to ride out the discomfort. There is no easy or convenient way to do that. Reading comments will not help. Hiding from it won’t help. You just have to plow through it while living your day with no expectations. It is also important to not get sad about it. Hey, this is not the worst ‘disease’. You can still get up and do anything imaginable. You are not missing a limb. You are not dealing with a physical disfunction. Your ‘disease’ is a ghost. It is something that plays with your mind. But you are always in control and always have a choice – to get sad about your symptoms or do what you have planned anyway. You have to remember it in your worst moments even if you don’t feel like it.

    Best,

    K

  298. Si Says:

    Mark / Char…..

    Same here, been in floods of tears this morning explaining to the wife how empty inside and alone I feel and that I can’t find any peace internal or external!!

    But like you both, we have had some good periods of feeling much better and we have all hit another blip. So what do we do, we try and work out why we feel like we do, what TRIGGERS this thing off in hope that we can either avoid it in the future or find some way (any way) not to feel like this, and what does all this do, it starts us inwardly thinking, we grab any little moment where we have feel ok(ish) and then get down when the feeling goes.

    Like I said in my post yesterday and I am sure you’ll agree, when we feel ok we often think ‘how could I have felt that way back then, it’s not going to win me again, I know what to do when it comes back’, we become quite optimistic and confident again and then wham!! it hits us again and we CAN’T see any hope like we did when the mind was clear. We need help, we need anything just to get back to them normal feelings, and yes it’s the most horrendous feelings, all them symptoms come back!!!

    So my advice to you and myself is to just do what we did to get out of this before…. we go against our beliefs, we go on that holiday, we watch that film, we cry a little if we must, we talk back to ourselves, we challenge our thinking by sometimes just ignoring what we are thinking, we stop the over thinking by JUST DOING!!, we don’t let the thoughts STOP US we let the thoughts MAKE US STRONGER and we continue to re-built that confidence that has been masked by these feelings, because they are just thoughts…… how can you be confident one minute and then a total wreck the next – it’s not chemical – its what we think and it’s tough, it’s horrible, but IT’S OUR LIVES and we will keep going.

    I beat myself up when I come back to the blog as I feel I have failed myself, but to be honest If it makes me feel a little better then it’s a stepping stone to being better, small steps and large leaps they are all the same – we move forward.

    I hope we all get through this storm a little quicker each time x

  299. Char Says:

    Hi Si

    Thanks so much. I will screen shot that post. My symptoms are so extreme – well they are in my mind – that I can’t eat or sleep or get any peace.

    I most definitely do the thing you describe – when I am “normal” whatever that is – I can sit in wonder about what all the anxiety was about – why did I let myself get tricked etc – but then exactly like you say – when it comes back and you are in the eye of the storm again – it feels like all that gained knowledge has gone….

  300. Char Says:

    Si

    I am doing all the above and more !! Because I feel my symptoms are extreme. – I can’t eat or sleep or get any piece that I think mine is worse than anyone else’s…. also it is so true that when I am “normal” I can sit in wonder at how I can be tricked my anxiety. But in the eye of the storm I forget it all in an instant

  301. Mark R Says:

    c

  302. Mark R Says:

    That was a really long reply that I totally messed up!

  303. Mark R Says:

    Si,

    There is no shame in popping back here when things get rough again, I never feel bad in doing that at all.

    I agree with what you are saying. What’s the use in looking for a cause? Unless something ridiculous brings back the feelings, we can’t cut them out anyway. My mind is very good at giving me the reasons……Girlfriend away, girlfriend not texting back promptly, something I ate, driving long distances, stomach pains etc.

    We should also be kind to ourselves. I ask nothing more of myself on days like this than to just get through them. So what if I don’t achieve anything? I’ve listed 2 ebay items and cooked some soup. It doesn’t matter.

    I’ve got better at dealing with these storms (that’s a fantastic analogy). I look at the day in isolation nowadays. A bad day is just that, doesn’t mean tomorrow will be. I cried a bucket of tears today, I was happy yesterday. Overall things are much better. Externally they are 100% better.

    Keep going both and we will be okay again.

    Mark.

  304. Julibb Says:

    Hello all and Happy Easter

    I was wondering if anyone could relate to this feeling of what i guess is extreme sensitization. Basically since this setback and anxiety that started 5 months ago, I feel not only chronically fatigued and easily panicked and have a whole host of symptoms daily I also feel extremely sensitised. I find it hard to explain how this feels in words but basically it feels like I am super sensitised to every physical symptom, so for example any slight tingle or if I sit upright and I get a bit of a head rush or everytime I walk around I feel like I’m about to faint, I basically notice any tiny little change within my body and it can send me into panic and make me rush back to my bed where I’ve been resting for the last few months. Also it’s a sensitisation feeling just generally, since this began I’m very sensitive to anything medical, I can’t talk about medical things it sends me in to a rush of panic and if people talk about anything violent or anything that can trigger anxiety. I get overwhelmed easily and can’t seem to have any kind of conversation about anything that could trigger anxiety. I also developed that huge irrational fear of fainting and that is why I’m very hyper aroused and notice every single physical symptom. Its extremely difficult.

    I also describe it as I am sensitive to any kind of emotion, so it can be something positive that we talked about or something funny that makes me really laugh and I’ll have a big surge up my body and I go all light-headed. The surge isn’t like tingling or anything like that it’s just feels like a rush up my body, sometimes the rush can feel a bit cold. I get these cold type rushes whether it’s her positive thing we discuss or something positive happens or if it’s negative. So if we talk about my mum or my family (an obvious trigger for me) I’ll get these cold rushes all the way up my body to my head and I panic. I guess everything comes down to fainting but I feel like I get these rushes all the time. It’s really really difficult and my husband has read some anxiety books to try and support me and he said it sounds like extreme sensitisation when I get this rush feeling and being sensitised every emotion, every physical sensation, and feeling like I’m hyper aroused 24/7. Can you relate to this at all? Does this sound like anxiety?

    Despite my anxiety improving from how bad it was before Christmas when I had 10 weeks of constant panic attacks, nausea, shaking, unable to eat, upset stomach etc I’ve been left with this extreme sensitised over stimulated nervous system.
    I never had any of this prior to this anxiety that started five months ago. Since that severe anxiety I’ve just been in this strange sensitised state and it’s just exhausted me completely. My chronic fatigue has worsened.

    Julie

  305. Tom Says:

    Hi

    This Book has really helped me with my DR and DP and irrational thoughts. I was wondering if anybody suffers with Health Anxiety aswell and knew if
    the same concept works?

    Cheers
    Tom

  306. Si Says:

    If only I could do what I advise others to do!

    So day 3 of tears and feeling so lonely even though I have everything I want, loving and caring family, friends a good job, reasonable health….. and so on!

    I’ve just had a text from a friend asking how I am has he had noticed I had gone off sick a few days with my part time job (some of you will know what my part-time job is). That said I am not going to let this stop me from carrying on in my full time job even though I know it’s going to be tough again when I feel this low. Only the last few months have I got really involved in work and given 200% and enjoyed it, but now I’m lacking the get up and go and just want to feel my old self.

    I am sitting writing this and thinking to myself “only I can do this, no one else can do it for me” and then I reminisce thinking why have I come full circle again. The last few months have had there ups and downs but they were met with a so what attitude and I carried on. But in this storm I don’t see any relief, any escape, I don’t have that same so what attitude. What did I do to feel ok ……. why can’t I remember ….. why can’t I just enjoy my life no matter what?

    Like I said before, coming back on here feels like a step backwards, I wanted to come and tell others that it is possible to overcome the intensity of anxiety and depression, not to tell them I have had a sneak preview but It’s all come back (which is what I’ve done).

    My worry is that when I feel this bad, I do cry an awful lot, I loose all interest in life and i spend too much time refreshing this page to see who’s wrote back. I am not knocking this site or Paul’s work because like many it has saved my live, but all things in moderation maybe?

  307. K Says:

    Julie,

    Yes, we all can relate to what you are describing. What started your anxiety? If you remember, it must have been something that scared you and sensitized you. Since it has only been five months, you are in a great position to change your reaction to all these symptoms before bad habits develop. Many of us have been suffering for years. No matter what your mind is telling you, keep going on with your life. And the less you pay attention, the sooner the symptoms will go away.

    Best,

    K

  308. K Says:

    And you are exhausted from all the energy wasted on why you feel that way. Stop fighting.

  309. Julibb Says:

    HI K

    Sadly I’m not new to anxiety. Mine began 5 years ago after a traumatic time. Its just this latest setback has been by far the worst time with it. I know the trigger was some stress/upset i experienced and i was withdrawing slowly from my meds. This setback was extreme panic and now the extreme sensitisation and chronic fatigued state its left me in. I’ve improved greatly from how i was before Christmas during those bad 10 weeks but this extreme sensitised state is very new to me and difficult. I’m guessing its how extreme sensitisation feels anyway.

    During the 5 years I’ve had intrusive thoughts, social phobia, agoraphobia, panic attacks and high general anxiety. I’ve had it all but this setback hit me so hard i ended up in 15 hour panic attacks bed ridden for over 2 months before Christmas. Its left me now with the symptoms i described and its pretty new and intense.

    Thank you
    Julie

  310. Ciara Says:

    Hi all, so this setback is horrendous, I can t eat, I can’t sleep, I’m continuously terrified of everything and anything. Such as having a shower – don’t know what I’m afraid of just feel terribly panicked at the thought of it. I’m afraid this is me forever that my boyfriend will leave me as im not the woman i was when we met. I feel I’m destroying my families lives, needing them around me all the time. I constantly get an urge to admit myself into a mental health facility and then I think if I go in I ll never come out. I feel like I can t leave the house at all. I wish I had the strength to just allow these thoughts and feelings to be there and just release all this negative energy but I just can t seem to trust myself to go there. I feel like I fighting for my life. Any advice or guidance would be so so greatly appreciated

  311. Julibb Says:

    Ciara

    I can truly relate to every word. When my anxiety hit hard before Christmas I’d sit crying about washing my hair or having a shower and they’d cause me extreme panic attacks.. Everything overwhelmed me and even now some days I can feel that dread hit a bit but its got easier.

    Anxiety causes us to feel so much overwhelm about things that wouldn’t usually cause fear at all. When anxiety hits hard ir can be so debilitating. Before Christmas i was bed ridden for 10 weeks shaking all day, panic after panic, unable to eat anything, upset stomach several times a day, nausea, dread, overwhelmed at everything. It left me so exhausted and i couldn’t leave my house.

    I have improved from the constant panic i was in but i still struggle to get out due to anxiety and fatigued state I’m in. I still some days reel overwhelmed easily about trivial tasks i have to do. Its completely normal and part of anxiety. You don’t need to go to a psychiatric hospital, wow if you’d seen how anxious i was those 10.weeks last year and i got through it, you’d realise you are ok and safe at home. My gp told me hospital is for those at great risk, which we aren’t.

    If you see my post above you’ll maybe see some similarities. You arent alone, you aren’t different and you will come through this. We learn in each setback and come through it stronger and wiser.

    I just wanted you to know i can relate, sorry I’m not much help. Sending you a huge hug.

    Ju

  312. Mark R Says:

    Si,

    What you describe is how I describe it to friends and family when I’m cranked up. You have everything in life, but our brain wants to keep us safe so doesn’t care if you have a loving wife, good job, great friends etc. There is only one culprit for making those things seem insignificant and we know what that is. Don’t stress too much about not seeing it ending. When we are feeling it we never can, but it’s always a nice surprise when things calm and we have a good day.

    Like you, I had 3 pretty good months where I just took the ups and downs of anxiety and breezed through them. Why do you think we had those good months? It wasn’t a fluke. It’s because we carried on despite how we felt. I know it’s hard to face the feelings again when you’ve been okay. Over the last 17 years I’ve been in this position dozens of times, but you know what? They always end.

    Stop beating yourself up mate. Anxiety returns, it’s never our fault, we don’t ask for it. We just deal with it in the same way and it dies down again, but each time we get better at dealing with it.

    I’ve had a lot of tears over the last few days. Yesterday was horrendous and had a kids birthday party to go to. My anxious brain was screaming at me not to go but I decided to anyway. I felt absolutely awful, but I interacted with the little one anyway. I ended up in a ball pool with her throwing coloured balls at my head!
    I decided to push myself today. Rather than mope about the house I went out charity shopping. I felt off the whole time and close to tears. I had a crying spell in the car. There is no shame in it.

    I know you are stronger than this. Don’t let it beat you. Make it insignificant again and the good times will come back.

  313. Ciara Says:

    Thanks so much for your reply Julib, it’s just so so terrible I dread going to sleep for the panic and fear in the mornings, I feel like I’m doing serious damage to myself, I m convincing myself that I’m allergic to everything food wise, I have no allergies at all. I work in the medical profession so was subjected to tremendous stress since around November, every day was spent with families of patients that were dying i just felt like I was absorbing their grief all the time this continued until 3weeks ago when I just couldn’t take anymore of the stress from work and other rubbish I built up in my head had massive panic Attacks in the middle of the night and from then I ve just been in full fight/flight mode. Gp gave me some medications to help sleep but I ran out and he s on Holidays, I can’t stay awake all night ruminating it’s driving me nuts.
    My parents have been unbelievable and I’m not that young!! I know I’m so blessed in so many ways but I just can’t feel it, I can’t see anything outside of myself and what’s going on in my head !

  314. Julibb Says:

    Ciara

    I developed the same fear of food, how funny you’ve written that. I still have such a small variety of foods i will eat but slowly I’m introducing certain foods again. It was so strange i suddenly felt tingly feelings at the back of my mouth, so if it happened eating a banana I’d stop eating them, if nedt it was oats I’d stop eating them and so on. This wasnt something I’d ever experienced before either.

    I experienced extreme stress in the autumn, i had also started withdrawing from an anti deoreant and it all got too much and i broke. Stress definitely over flows and comes out in panic and anxiety, it has for me. Im not surprised in those circumstances you broke. My therapist told me once that those that work in the medical field cope well and are resilient but it takes 1 event to trigger trauma and otsd and wham they suffer extreme anxiety. As a student nurse i definitely experienced a lot of traumatic shifts and to then go on to experience further trauma in my personal life just broke me and I’ve suffered anxiety for 5 years in different severity.

    I have a wonderful husband and 3 amazing children, I’m blessed beyond measure but it is hard to feel that some days when struggling. I can relate.

    Sending you a big hug.

  315. Anon Says:

    Julib, consider that Ned withdrawal is causing your symptoms. I was in this boat after I stopped anti-anxiety meds. It was 100% worse than any anxiety or panic I had ever experienced before that. It took me about 1.5 years for the symptoms to taper off. Yes meds can absolutely do this. It is called rebound anxiety.

  316. K Says:

    Hi Julie,

    I am not a doctor, but it does sound like meds withdrawal. You should take a few months, if not more, to taper off, if that is your choice. Please look up more resources on that. And I have read that people tapering off should take magnesium and other supplements. I am taking an anti-anxiety med, which has reduced my pain and insomnia, and I am okay with it. I am not going to beat myself up over something that is helping to some extent. I continue using the acceptance method, nevertheless. That is key – to keep changing your habits, knowing that the only thing that causes you struggle is your reaction to [fill in the blank]. Change your reaction, and you will see the change in your struggle. I just see it more clearly with the help of the med because I am not that overwhelmed with fatigue, pain, etc.

    Best,

    K

  317. Debbie Says:

    Julibb hi ,i feel like you its funny what anxiety dos to the mind when you were talking about eating if i eat something and my heart skips a beat i will not eat eat even if i feel strange i have eliminated so much food and lost so much weight . My dr said it dos not want to hear about my heart any more . Than a get an adreniline feeling in my legs and boom my heart starts beating fast. I also just want to stay in my bed . Once i feel a skipped heart beat i get a panic attack. I feel horrible and look horrible.iand feel scared.

  318. Julibb Says:

    Anon and K

    Thank you. I think its definitely been med withdrawal as my anxiett went haywire those 10 weeks before Christmas. I lay dhaking all day, hot flushes, diorrheoa, nausea, couldn’t eat, weird irrational phobias and thoughts would spike panic all the time and huge overwhelm. I jad no idra what was going on and was terrified. Things got easier then i got flu in February and 2 weeks after flu another nasty virus hit the house and we all got ill again and wham my anxiety returned. My body felt broken after the severe debilitating anxiety and then illness, it really was too much.

    I took my withdrawal very slow as advised to from Mirtazapine. Ive stayed at the latest drop when all hell broke loose since August. Ive spoken to my gp and they advised i now increase back to the 15mg i was on originally ajd they sais i probably should not have weaned off in thr first place as its not the right time when really i am coping with a young family, still in recovery and have health issues. So I’ve increased slightly and will increase in small incriments until back at the 15mg. I just pray it works again at that dose. I can’t face withdrawing anymore because after 8 monthe on the current doar I’ve not felt its settled. Im not aa bad as i was before Christmas but I’m not how well i was last summer.

    Thank you for your help. Its actually reassuring to know withdrawal isnthe reason i had the breakdown. It was a living nightmare but I’m still here, still coming through it but I’m proud of how far I’ve come even if I’ve a long way to go yet.

    Ju

  319. Ciara Says:

    Well done julib, your doing great, I think mine may have have been caused by medication withdrawal also and I made the foolish decision to come off them myself unsupervised, it was like opening a floodgate that I couldn’t ignore no matter how hard I tried. Back on my medication nearly 3 weeks but still struggling to accept what has happened and to allow anxiety to be there!

  320. Anon Says:

    Hang in there Julib. I went cold turkey and never went back. Withdrawal was hell. I had exactly same as you. The shaking all the time. The crazy fears. I was afraid of work, my kids, talking to people in the phone, my thoughts, driving my kids to summer camp (of all things), lost my appetite for several months, crazy dreams, sleep problems, and what I assume was depression for the first time ever. I had anxiety before this but this was like crawling out of my skin. I had the symptoms even before quitting. They would happen between doses. It took me and my husband months to figure out what was going on. Also I got illnesses that dragged on and on in ways I never had before. Then I researched it and learned that these drugs (benzodiazepines in my case) affect the immune system. I also had issues with my cycle, which was regular before and since. I never went back to the pills or to the doc once I realized it was withdrawal. After about 1.5 years it has mostly settled down. Paul’s blog got me through. I sympathize with you It is not your fault and it is absolutely hell of the worst kind.

  321. Julibb Says:

    Thank you Anon

    Its hell on earth, out of sheer desperation i have slowly increased the last few days. Mirtazapine is known to be very difficult to get off. So many end up back on the dose they started on. I hate I’ve had fo make this choice because it makes ne fear being stuck on it forever but after what I’ve been through these 5 months, i cant face withdrawing any further. I’ve made a small improvement but I’m stuck wnd had to do something. I just hope increasing again helps.

    I can relate to all of what youve said. I literally ended up bed ridden, shaking all day, red hot flushes, irrational thoughts triggering panic. I developed a fear of seeing blood, feared I’d faint if i even imagined it, fears of certain words and anything medical. Nothing I’d ever experienced before. Really strange and scary. Its effected me so much, its been like nothing i experienced but after reading ane talking to others who withdrew from mirtazapine it seems so many suffered severe breakdowns and anxiety when weaning off it. Someone told me she used to be a heroin addict and she found withdrawinh from that far easier than mirtazapine. Now that’s scary.

    Thank you for your kind messages. It helps knowing others understand and don’t judge me for suffering in this way. Meds withdrawal is hell on earth for some and support goes a long way.

    Ju

  322. Anon Says:

    It is totally crazy julib. You are in good company. As I said I stopped cold turkey not realizing that was potentially dangerous. Everything you describe–the hot flashes, the fear, the worry, Bizarre symptoms, infections without end, was there. My understanding is that only a handful of docs know how to taper people off correctly. It makes me angry that these medications that are supposed to help us just compound our problems for some of us. You are definitely not alone in this and unfortunately everything you describe is par for the course with withdrawal. Hopefully that is reassuring. I questioned if it was me but realized after a while that “me” had never experienced anything even remotely like those symptoms. I look back on it now and go what the hell was that?

  323. Julibb Says:

    Thank you Anon

    I can totally relate. I would say to my husband this isn’t me, what the heck is going on.

    Its a long road to recovery that’s for sure. I just hope I’m doing right increasing it again. I was just too afraid to withdraw any more and make this situation worse.

    Ciara

    You will get through this, 5 months on I’m still struggling with withdrawal but things have slowly got easier.

    Surround yourself with people who love you and support you. I’d have been lost without my family and friends these last 5 months. They help us stay positive and hopeful and make us laugh along the way.

    Sending you a hug.

    Ju xx

  324. Alz Says:

    Hey all !
    Iv been here before desperately asking for help and some reassurance . However, it seeems that asking fr reassurance is just another symptom of anxiety- when we’re in it, we just don’t think we’re OK!
    Anyway , I had been ranting about my anxiety fr the last couple of months and while Iv missed the support of people like Rich , Doreen , Bryan etc , Iv had many people respond to my ‘panic’ posts and support me .
    Currently I’m expecting and after reading the posts by Julibb etc have realised that my symptoms might be magnified because of stopping my medication abruptly- I guess that had to be done for a safe pregnancy .Also , preg hormones can play havoc with a non anxious person so I shouldn’t be surprised my hormones are doing the same multiplied by 10!
    Anyway it’s so hard and a lot of the recent posts mirror how I’m feeling . However , there’s no way out and like Paul said , this energy has to be released once and for all. It’s crippling , debilitating and can completely change ones personality BUT if it’s just anxiety then shouldn’t we all trust the advice people like Paul etc give and just walk towards this fear ? This fear can’t even be expressed in words but when we’re able to assure ourselves that it’s temporary and just anxious energy , it’s force lessens a bit . ! I’m hoping that we all can find peace and courage during these setbacks and finally realise that it’s just anxiety and we’re not broken but meant to be a even stronger once we can understand completely .

  325. Anon Says:

    Amen Alz! When we realize that the only thing anxiety can do is frighten us but not harm us, it does deflate it quite a bit, doesn’t it?

  326. Melissa Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I hope you are all doing okay. I haven’t posted in a while, but felt the need to reach out today.
    In November I found out that I was expecting, then in January I found out we are expecting twins. I am so thrilled, but also overwhelmed by anxiety. I’m so so scared of perinatal psychosis. My anxiety is causing crazy intrusive thoughts, that is then leading to extreme DP/DR. I know given this huge life change that all of this is normal, but I’m having a hard time working through all of this. It makes it hard to enjoy this joyful time.

    I am so scared of going crazy and not being a suitable mother.

    Help :(

  327. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Just a bit of a vent really.

    Overall I’m struggling. It’s been a week and a half now of feeling strong anxiety symptoms. Sometimes they are to a lesser extent and sometimes I can feel pretty desperate.
    I know I have to keep going and it’s very temporary but it has been a stark contrast to the previous 3 months. Except for a couple or days I wake most mornings not wanting to get up and feel the urge or pull the covers over my head and not bother. For someone who when is well is singing, whistling and cracking jokes all day is hard to bear.
    My girlfriend has been away for the whole time I’ve been feeling like this so whether it will settle down when she returns I don’t know. We have told each other that we love each other in this time and whilst she’s very happy at the moment I couldn’t feel further from it. I’m gutted that I’m feeling this as just over a week ago I was feeling loved up and it felt brilliant.
    Yeah it’s a setback and it will pass. I’m 100% certain it will pass but its horrible.

    Any words would be appreciated.
    ,

  328. Mark R Says:

    Melissa,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling too. If you read my post again I am in the same boat. Seems we both have some positive life things going on and our systems are reacting in the wrong way.
    Its good that you’ve been objective that a huge life change has stirred things up. I cant offer any other advice than that parental psychosis is very rare. This is only another anxious thought due to a ramped up system.
    Keep going through and we will be fine.

    Mark.

  329. Alz Says:

    Completely agree with you anon
    Melissa congratulations on the super awesome news that you’ll be having twins ! Ul have double the joy soon :)
    Anyway this whole notion of ‘perinatal psychosis ‘ sounds like something you’ve found on the net .PLEASE STOP SEARCHING THE NET – it has horrible information which our anxious mind tends to cling to .Trust me on this . During my last preg I thought the same thanks to the info on google and I feared it so much . However nothing like that happened! Infact If you’ve read my previous posts, I suffered from a huge trauma and didn’t develop psychosis even then . Ul be ok :)
    Yes ur right – pregnancy is a trying time and for anxious people it’s very difficult -so many people hv posted about it on Paul’s blog . Don’t worry – uv passed majority of the time and you should pat yourself on the back fr that .
    I’m just a few weeks into this pregnancy and I have everything you’ve mentioned – intrusives , dp/dr etc ( just read a couple of my posts from this just this v blog post )It’s hard feeling joy under such circumstances and that’s ok – don’t be so hard on yourself !
    Also there’s a lot of uncertainty which plagues everyone but as anxious beings we just cling to the negative aspects of the future . I don’t understand why but I guess that needs to be accepted too . You’ve come this far and let’s try to accept the fact that the entire drama that anxiety plays in our head is so real BUT it’s not true !

  330. Carl Says:

    Hello all,
    Having suffered from an Anxiety disorder since April of last year, and accepting all of my symptoms, feelings, thoughts, triggers etc 100% without fail since August last year and never trying a single pill… I think it’s safe to call it that this is probably the best I’ll ever be at. Whilst I’ve made huge steps in my recovery from where I used to be.. the underlying anxiety *still*lingers. No fear is added to this I must add, the sensations arise on their own with sometimes no obvious reasoning behind it. Sometimes my body sends a mild signal when a trigger arises, sometimes I get no signal at all. But the misfiring hasn’t gone away completely , they are just more manageable now. I cope. And that brings me onto Anxiety recovery as a broad spectrum from a sufferers journey and my personal opinion as a result. My opinion is just an opinion and not concrete, however I believe those that claim to have ‘recovered’ have only got to a point in their lives where they don’t care anymore about these lingering feelings, they get on with it , they accept them. If you accept them, great… I do it every single day, but they are still there. But… the word ‘recovered’ to me means that the anxious thoughts , feelings, reactions to what you *used* to fear, simple aren’t anymore. I get good days , and I get bad days and I’ve come to realise that whilst some may be able to FULLY recover, the majority cannot, and never will. I get days where I feel great, and I get days where I feel awful. Anxiety is a normal part of life when in a rational situation, it’s going to arise from time to time, but then once that situation has passed, the anxiety subsides and never returns , why? Because you forget about it and get on with your day as you haven’t crossed the border into the ‘disorder’ land. Once you’ve crossed that border, I don’t think we ever get back to the way we once were where Anxiety didn’t consume our lives, instead we just accept it now as a part of us and have to embrace it everyday until the day we die.
    Apologies if this post has come across negatively, it was not my intention however my hope has faded and I’ve finally realised that this is me now. Is that me finally giving up? Finally accepting? Maybe. Time will tell, but I’ve tried time… 8 months of it. I guess i’m just done grasping onto the ideology that anxiety disorders can be FULLY overcome.

    How come Paul among a select few are the only ones who made it and countless thousands aren’t recovered? Why isn’t there many recovery stories out there, cause people haven’t recovered.

  331. John Says:

    I 100% agree with you Carl. The boat has left the dock and there is no coming back. But with acceptance and other technique we can have a reasonable life. You know when I was well I do not know what is good day and bad day, everything was the same. But after anxiety stuck, whenever I get good days, I enjoy as much as I can which is a big difference.

    Thanks!
    John

  332. Anon Says:

    Wondering why this blog no longer linked from main site. Is it going away?

  333. Char Says:

    Anon

    I think it’s just because the blog has been redesigned and that’s why it has beenhaving problems lately

  334. Ciara Says:

    Oh guys the thoughts are becoming unbearable, thinking and believing I’m allergic to everything I actually think I’m heading for a psychotic break can’t allow these thoughts without reacting to them, I’m losing weight I’m exhausted frustrated and basically at my wits end. My gp wants to me see a psychiatrist but it’s and hour and a half away from here I feel the journey is just too much for me right now. I hate being this way it’s so so difficult and no one understands me except u guys. Advice needed ASAP

  335. Alz Says:

    Ciara ,
    Breathe . I dotn know how difficult it is to get a relaxant from abroad, but just take one so tht you’re nerves can calm down temporarily . If you can’t get one go for a good run . Right now you’ve just gotten yourself into the adrenaline -fear- adrenaline cycle . Your mind will whip up anything to scare you . You are ok ! If it helps , If it helps , I’m in the same boat and having had a super challenging day all I can say is it passed ;and it passed more than easily being around ppl and trying to keep myself occupied no matter how many thoughts kept on buzzing in my mind . If one would enter my mind , it would be a hurricane of negative , self defeating and debilitating thoughts but the day has passed and I’m grateful :) It isn’t easy like u said but u must realise that ‘it’ is something we can lower by living our life as we would if ‘it’ wasn’t there .
    Lots of love and prayers!

  336. Alz Says:

    Basically you need to break the adrenaline-fear – adrenaline cycle by facing the day. Also ur fear is of being allergic to everything right? You need to challenge that fear despite how badly the thoughts arise..

  337. Ciara Says:

    Thanks for your advice alz, I just thought I d never be back here again. 6 years of feeling reasonable living my life going to work holidays etc. And then bang my whole world comes crashing down due to extreme stress I ignored the signs came off my medication thinking I had beaten it once and for all, I’m literally watching myself fade away and feel like I can’t do anything about it. My heart and head are broken

  338. Si Says:

    Hi Ciara

    I feel that some of us on here have returned from a “relatively normal existance”, give or take a few blips anlong the way. I too have a return of all those symptoms I hade nearly 10years ago and had a good run uptil 18 months ago. Probably like me you thought it wouldn’t happen again and if it did you knew what you needed to do?

    Well we do know what we need to do, we need to live along side these feelings, go against these irrational thoughts (that’s difficult I know), ignore the self talk that tells you that you “can’t” because you / we can, the only difference is you / me are looking to feel better when we go against this horrid condition and when we still feel the same we feel we can’t do it. For me I moan to myself about “Having to push” past the feelings, but I suppose although it is an action “to push past”, if we don’t push past we most certainly sit and think….. and thinking is what is creating the feelings ……. I am probably telling you something you are already aware of, and I am only telling you something that I have to keep reminding myself about too.

    So you are not alone, not one bit…..

    I would also like to add that a post futher up about “we can’t recover” is not entirely right or wrong, yes anxiety/depression/low mood is always on your back foot when you’ve had this condition, but tell me what condition isn’t when you’ve experienced 1st hand ?

    Recovery is possible, but you’ll never forget how hard it was during the trip (never!!)

    Si

  339. Alz Says:

    Ciara , like SI has said, you’re completely not alone . And yes , I agree with u si : the posts above are a bit disheartening because recovery is possible . A few handful prob talk abt recovery because thy don’t use such blogs or web sites anymore . Also perhaps recovery is not about counting the months passed before you practiced acceptance because tht just shows ur ‘waiting’ for recovery which doesn’t happen magically over night.
    Again , people like Claire weeks have made recovery fr thousands of people possible sans medication and the same approach that Paul talks about .. acceptance .

  340. Alz Says:

    Using the same approach

  341. Char Says:

    Ciara

    We know how you feel as we feel it too. My anxiety is very thought based – it’s all about my thoughts and fear of anxiety and going crazy. When at my worst I didn’t eat for weeks apart from snacking late at night when the nausea went. Like si and others , I had a good clear spell and then last summer it came back – went after a few weeks and not it back again.

    I’m really trying to learn from it but it so hard . Mine was probably brought back by stress aswell – but we are only trying our best and sometimes we will spot the anxiety building and sometimes not.

    Hope u ok

  342. Ciara Says:

    Thanks char, really feeling awful and have no where to turn to. Tried eating a little today but not doing to good with that either. I’m scared I ve let myself and my entire family down that I’m at this stage again it’s terrible and frightening.

  343. Anon Says:

    Ciara, I have been exactly where you are. Please remember that anything following the words “I’m scared that” is a lie that anxiety tells and is objectively untrue. When it passes (it always does eventually) you will see it clearly in hindsight and wonder why you ever thought those things or even believed them for a second. It is all a very scary and convincing bluff. I know it is hard but please remember that there is absolutely no requirement for you to believe any of it. Knowing that can be liberating. You are still in charge of you. Anxiety is very convincing. But it is all a huge bluff. Do what you value in spite of all of it.

  344. Char Says:

    Nice words Anon.

    Ciara I cannot tell u the number of time I sobbed those exact words – that I was lettIng my family down. U r not letting my anyone down .

    Don’t stress about the food – eat what u can when u can – have shakes if you can- or oranges i found I could manage.

  345. Julibb Says:

    Ciara

    You’re not letting anyone down. I’ve been there during these 6 months crying I’m letting my husband and children down for anxiety returning so badly. We arent letting anyone down, and those that love us dont think tjat either. Anyone who walks away from us during times like this aren’t worth our time, those that stand by us and show they care, don’t judge us or think anything bad of us. We don’t ask to be this way, we don’t want to struggle, therefore we should drop that guilt. I know it’s hard as i get days the guilt hits me so hard. I’m learning though.

    My anxiety was so thought based a few years ago, barely any physical anxiety. All intrusives and fears of going crazy. I was terrifying. This time round its been so physical, panic attacks and severe general anxiety. Then on top I’ve had some fears and thoughts that repeat each day ans they too fuel the physical. Both sides are equally as difficult to deal with. They’re all anxiety, and being somsone whoss experienced both types of anxiety I know how hard it is.

    You’re not letting anyone down, never think that. You will come through this. You aren’t alone. I met a friend on here 4 years ago who helped me no end, and we are still good friends today.we support eachother every day. You’ll meet others here who understand and who may actually help you on your path to recovery like i did. Keep posting and I’m always happy to offer advice or just some sympathy if you need it. It can be ao isolating i know.

    Hugs.
    Julie xxx

  346. Julibb Says:

    Ciara

    With regards to eating, aa i sais I’ve been there and there are still some foods i avoid but its betyee than it was a few months ago. I lost wieght and lived off bananas and oat cakes. I can now eat meals again, so trust me you can come through this.

    My advice is start with safe foods, say a plain jacket potato. Eat it slowly. Have a mouthful then wait 5 minutes, do the same again. Do this while watching a funny tv show or play on your phone so you aren’t fully focused on the food. Once youve got used to this food, add some veg with the potato, maybe a slice of cheese. Bland foods to begin with, as i found once i started eating again my tastebuds tingled to strong flavours. It just wasn’t used to flavour.

    Its all anxiety, not an eating disorder or anything like going crazy. Anxiety made me terrified of everything, even myself to the point i ended up shaking on my bed all day. I was teririfed of anyone coming in to see me, including my husband. Anxiety shrinks your world and sees everything as a danger. It did this to me with food so i had to slowly face it and in time by facing it i proved anxiety wrong and reassured myself i could eat.

    Anxiety is just trying to protect us, and once its stuck at such a high level it sees everything as a danger. It’s your security guard but he’s on super high alert to everything. If he cant find a real threat/danger, Mr Anxiety then turns inwards and then thinks you must be the danger (hence scary thoughts) or everything around you is a threat. Its trying to protect you but its misfiring. Its a fault smoke alarm.

    Sorry this got long but felt i needed to try ans help with your allergy fear aa i know its terrifying.

    Julie

  347. Anon Says:

    Thumbs up Julib. Totally correct It derails us. But only for a while. We are some of the strongest people!

  348. Alz Says:

    Julibb and anon u both are right- anxiety is a big spoof just trying to scare us out of our own wits . Writing this post again because I don’t know why the previous one didn’t get uploaded (argh) !
    My anxiety is so bad these days that even writing this post is anxiety producing for me . I have the fear of losing my mind or that I have lost it , and so as I write this , I’m constantly bombarded by thoughts of ‘ will this post make sense ?’ , ‘ is this post coherent’ and so on .
    Anyway writing sense is just one of my symptoms ; I have so many these days such as while I’m talkig I question if I’m tht is actually the way to talk – yes , I seem to have ‘forgotten’ how to carry out a conversation or rather that is what my anxiety is making me think . Last night I had the thought that my hubby isn’t my hubby and that the fact that this thought didn’t even scare me made me think I’m really headed towards insanity. Sometimes this day in day out anxiety is so bad that I think if I have to go insane I might as well because living thisdual life is not easy .
    So besides the fear of talkig , socialising , writing I have other symptoms such as forgetting how to pray – somethig Iv done since childhood . However , what I try and do , is pray irrespective of whether it’s right or wrong . And this is what I try to do with all the other symptoms – no matter how real and ugly they are – I challenge them ! I really am exhausted given that I’m pregnant and anxious ,and yes the guilt part comes there because I feel no joy during this time but there’s really no other choice .

  349. Paul David Says:

    Sorry I have only just got around to moderating loads of comments as I have been ultra busy recently, these are mainly first time posters. These people can now post without them going into moderation.

    Thanks Paul.

  350. Julibb Says:

    Hi Alz

    It’s all normal.. When my anxiety was at its worst 4 years ago it made me think so strangely and fear some things that weren’t even happening. I remember once worrying my husband had a third eye in his head haha. I was scared to look at him What is that all about. I was afraid i was hearing voices or noises, i wasn’t it was my fear of it all. I was very self aware. It was a horrible time and i feared i was going crazy so i became ao aware of everything i saw and heard.

    Anxiety takes over our life so our sole focus is on ourselves. Its all we think about (not our fault). My children can be talking to me and i sometimes take nothing in because my mind is so focused inwardly on how awful i feel. Its horrible and i feel so guilty when that happens but its not my fault, i realise that and so i ask them to repeat what they said and try to focus hard and take it in.

    I also get anxious typing out about myself, it triggers physical anxiety in me. Very normal as its hard talking about it.

    All very normal, when our focus is always inwardly its hatd to focus on anything else and we do become forgetful as our brain is just focused on danger and fear.

    Ju

  351. Julibb Says:

    Thank you Anon, sorry I’ve only just seen your message above.

    You’re right. We are definitely stronger people for this experience. This is hell but when we come through it’ll make us appreciate every single day of our lives. I like to think like that because i know once this settles again i won’t ever take a day for granted. Something good will come out of this and it’ll be true happiness and strength.

    Julie

    Ps sorry for any typos in my posts, since my recent samsung update my phones keyboard is awful and lags a lot.

  352. Debbie Says:

    Hi alz hope your feeling better . You are always in my prayers,its just anxiety that what it dos . We have talked about the way we think and feel but none of us has lost our minds . Iam at the worst i have ever been but i make it through the day very scared .

  353. Alz Says:

    Thanks Debbie :) means a lot
    Julibb Thnks fr tht post

  354. Julibb Says:

    You’re very welcome Alz.

    I hope you’re ok.

    Ju

  355. suzys Says:

    what do paul mean here by “forcing temporary peace”
    does it mean we don’t have to breath when we have the panic attack or the scary thought?

  356. Ruby Says:

    Dear Paul thx for moderating.. here is my post again!

    First of all.. thank you for everything you did and do! I read already both of your books and they r really amazing and helpful.

    I am 25 years old from germany, (I hope my english is not too bad :)).. To keep it short, I have a quite long anxiety story. It all started so to say ‘basic’ in summer 2014 , i came home from a stressful period of university (exams etc) for the holidays – we just sat together with my family and drunk coffee and suddently I got very dizzy and I couldnt hear anything. And I got a very BIG panic attack – by this time – I had no idea what anxiety is or how It can affect our body/brain so I basically thought I am going to die.
    I became so obsessed whit the thought – what is wrong with you or are you sick etc – that the other days also depression flipped in. So I lived like this for about 1,5 year + DP/DR + 5-7 panic attacks a day + extreme health anxiety + 1 mio hospital visits and checks. But one day I came to this blog and understood everything what was going on. You explained everything so good Paul I really felt that this guy knows what he is talking about and thought to myself ok I have nothing more to lose and started to implement everything Paul explained and bought the first book – it was really hard but after 5 month or so everything began to dissapear, EVERYTHING step by step. First I became panic free – then DP/DR free – then my hypochodria dissapeared and in 2016 I was almost back to normal (just left with an extreme fatigue – but that was more or less ok for me) till Sep 2017. Thats the good news..

    Now in Sep 2017 it came again but it was weird tho. It was after a stressful work week. I had like 4-5 strong cups of black coffee that day. I came home and felt really bad – I had again extreme fatigue, I felt REALLY bad, and my mind just thought about : what is wrong with you?, why are you so tired?, why cant you concentrate? and so on.
    And in that moment my sister talked to me and I couldnt follow the concentration – I felt so distant and dr/dr and then I began to think like : You must be psycho, I must have depression or some other mental illness and I got again a big panic attack which lasted like 2 hours and during this attack it was like my brain ‘clicked’ and I became from one minutr to the next like really depressed and from that moment on I became obsessed with the feeling of depression , I became like emotionless/ listless, didnt feel fun for normal stuff I usually like, and just stucked with the thought : I must be depressed .. and began again to figure it all out and question everything in life, and I became anxious of maybe hurting myself it was really horrible at the begining.. And then again I remembered how I became anxiety free, and bought the second book of Paul and now I am again trying to accept but its somehow different because I have no panic attacks and no fear of illnesses but fear of being depressed (because I really feel depressed)..

    I dont know what to write more,but I would be glad to hear personally from you Paul. What would you say about my story – how can I cope wth this fear of being ‘mentally ill’ – because my problem is I really feel this feeling of depression and this very feelings make me anxious. and also this what if thought – like what if I am really depressed and stay like this forever..

    Maybe also other guys can relate or give some advice.

    Anyways thanks for ‘maybe’ reading my post. And again sorry for my ‘not so good’ english. :)

    Ruby

  357. Alz Says:

    Hmm I think somethings wrong with this site because I post comments n they dnt get through-two are awaiting moderation and one just disappeared after I submitted it

  358. Alz Says:

    Ok since thie last one went through, let me try again( fingers crossed)!
    Julibb im alright . Yesterday was so bad tht I couldn’t seem to get out of bed and I just lay there trying to muster up the courage to do something -even talking is hard because I fear I might say something wrong . When I do talk, I am surprised that I am talking correctly but I’m in a sort of trance . It’s hard to explain .. anyway I did get as the day progressed and by better I mean I was able to talk to my husband, eat and get out although I can’t explain the myriad of symptoms I was feeling while doing all those things .
    Today was better and strangely enough I woke up feeling like myself ! However , when I went out fr dinner today , I was in this trance like state again ( totally self aware and fearful ) . I thought I heard my frnd calling out my name before we went for the dinner ( which she hadn’t) , I thought a kid was taking my husbands name , I was talking but not with it , paid the bill and counted the money twice because I was unsure I hadn’t read the right amount and even when I did pay the bill I thought the waiter will stop me because the amount is incorrect . Oh and while I was on the way to this dinner , I was speaking to a frnd and was so self conscious while talkig ! There were other things I felt or thought but I just want to say tht one event has me thinking or feeling so much ! Also there’s tht constant hesitation to talk lest I say somethig incorrect …
    I’m just hoping and praying that exposing myself to situations will calm the multiple anxiety symptoms that I’m getting . Also hoping tht it is jus anxiety because there’s ALWYS some new symptom or th other !

  359. Aoife Says:

    Hi guys,
    I think I need some reassurance.
    I’ve posted on here a couple of times, I’ve managed anxiety now for a long time, especially over the last six years!
    It focuses on lots of different things – fear of mental illness, depression, relationship fears, obsessing about sleeplessness, worries about harming others.
    The list goes on…..
    I dwell on thoughts & end up allowing them to consume me!
    Recently there was a tragedy in our local area where a young person died (I didn’t know this person personally, just from social media) & I am consumed by the thoughts of the pain that this persons family & friends are now experiencing. My heart breaks for them.
    I have been wrecking my mind trying to understand why this has impacted me so much & I can only assume it’s because my family have gone through a similar situation where we have lost a sibling & child.
    My mind is dwelling on this so much!
    I need to continue to remind myself that this is just my mind & I have to allow the thoughts & feelings to sit with me & welcome them in but it is so difficult sometimes when they cause distress, upset & pain.

  360. Ruby Says:

    would be glad for an opinion..)
    Can someone relate, or has some helpful advise?

  361. Char Says:

    Hi ruby

    I think many of us can relate completely. At the moment one of my main worries is what if I am depressed or what if you get depression. It is running around my head with loads of other anxiousness thoughts!

    We need to treat them all the same – and this one is very common you can see from reading some of the other posts!

    Hope u ok
    C

  362. Stacey Says:

    Yes Ruby the way you are describing sounds exactly like me! Then I’ll a catch myself feeling okay for a tiny minute then the thought comes in about depression or another fear and hits me in the stomach and brings me back down again.
    We will get through this guys x

  363. Char Says:

    Hey Stacey – snap. Exact the same here also. Had such a bad day and can’t stop the guilt feeling with my kids as I know I’m not paying proper attention to them- although to be fair watching a dance routine for the millionth time as my 6 year old would have me do is a little bit tiresome!

  364. Si Says:

    This first statement is straight off the cuff of how I feel at the minute….. I hate feeling this way, I can’t get out of my head, I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to face the day, I hate lying in bed because my anxiety plays horrible tricks on my mind when I try to nod off….. I am sat here writing, but don’t know what to write….. I NEED HELP, I NEED TO FEEL CALM AGAIN!!!!!………….
    So now I am going to try to put in words what I think’s happening…..

    Is this a setback??? – is this a true setback, because I have had many ups and downs, but this feels like back to square one. Depressed, feel lonely, no joy, no incentive to do anything, but can’t rest.
    Have been looking at Pauls “Helpful anxiety quotes” over the last few days and I really really really

    Want to just accept this is me. I’ve had a good few months of feeling normal uptill a few weeks ago and it’s hit me again. So now I feel like I am trying to clamber out of this hole (this feeling). I am wasting my life by trying to feel better, trying to rid this horrible condition. I had days were I just felt normal, wanted to do things, looked forward to stuff, now its just dread again but they all seem like a distant past and I’ll never get over this. I am in the circle of me me me again and I am struggling to get out, struggling to interact with the outside world again… why why why can’t I just go with it?

  365. Char Says:

    Si

    I don’t know if u remember me but I was having a really bad time last summer while I was on holiday and U replied to me a few times on here.

    I could have written your post above as I am in the sameness position. It’s constant and relentless for me apart from some evenings when I have some relief.

    I think the fact that we have recovered before and that our symptoms r so similar prove it’s just anxiety and that we will recover again but we need patience – and it’s hard to have patience when the anxiety is telling us we need to get rid of this now.

    Prob not much help in my post but just to say I hear u !99

  366. Si Says:

    Hi Char, yes I do remember you….

    My biggest issue now is that because I have had a good / fair couple of months without having to visit here, with managing my anxiety enough not for it to rule my life. Now I am in a panic state because the feelings have come back, the thoughts are driving me crzy and I can’t stop the negativity. So I am looking at “What did I do for it to go away for a few months, what do I need to do now, how can I stop it coming back I can’t carry on living with these debilitating feelings – YET I don’t need to do anything, I just need to drop it all because I think (THINK) that’s l did, I dropped the searching, the feeling sorry for myself and just did stuff, normal stuff. I had moments when It came back and reminded me it was still on the back foot, however I was strong enough to pay little or no attention, take a deep breath and carry on.

    So am I at that point where I am not accepting again, have a slipped back into my old ways, is this normal? I am sure you and Mark R are exactly the same, hopefully Mark is getting a break again as he hasn’t posted for a few days.

    But how hard is it to keep trying to reason with our thoughts, surely we do have to reason with them or they will pull us further down. We can’t ignore them, we cant run away from them, but are we supposed to challenge them?

    Best of luck to us all

  367. Char Says:

    Hi si

    I do challenge my thoughts because if I don’t I feel like a victim. I try not to get involved in an argument but I do either acknowledge it as an anxious thought or I answer it back once.

    I got better after last summer and was totally anxiety free til a few weeks ago and so I totally get it and my mind is also racing as to what have I done wrong and why does it keep coming back.

    I totally agree just by “doing” is the best way to move forward it’s just the act of doing is so hard d with all the symptoms and thoughts !

  368. JCG Says:

    Hi all- I posted above but just wanted to write to let you all know you’re not alone. Sometimes you find comfort in knowing others are experiencing the exact same thoughts/feelings. I know I do. Knowing my mind is “normal” in some sense because of it wasn’t others who suffered wouldn’t have the EXACT same thoughts and feelings. I can relate to so many other people’s fears! It’s madness. In September I was under a period of high stress in addition to becoming a new mom. I have a history of anxiety and was passing off all thoughts and feelings nicely until “something occurred to me”. My mother in law told me a story which made me start questioning all of my “normal anxious thoughts”. My thoughts then took a darker turn and one finally put me over the edge and it sucked me in and I spiraled down from there. I can say I have made progress since that day. I’m not in constant distress looking for reassurance every second and I’m not up to my head trying to find answers to “my new found problem” as Paul would say. Because my thoughts have targeted my character, it has brought a whole new aspect of anxiety to me. It has brought in an emotional side which has been the hardest to deal with, for me. I was crushed and still get crushed when I revisit different thoughts I had. I started Zoloft but I feel like it makes my emotions blocked, I can’t get excited like I used to. Excited for progress I am making. I have had a hard time allowing thoughts because I automatically want to resist them, but slowly I have done it. It’s easier at times than others but they are becoming less frequent and come with less force. My anxious brain wants to believe it’s something more than just anxiety, my anxious brain is still so easily triggered by any talk of mental illness self harm or harm to others. And there are thoughts that still pull me in a lot which makes me tearful and have a lot of self doubt. I think my biggest thing is that I long for my feelings to come back, I want to let my guard down- I feel like it’s always up- I’m sure with time that will pass too. It truly is a waiting game, go easy on yourselves. Be patient with yourselves. I know easier said than done, I need to practice self compassion more, too.

  369. Si Says:

    Hi Char,

    Can I also ask you and anyone else on here.

    Do you have the urge to write things down against your negative thoughts. So for instance I am going to the movies in a while, I really don’t feel like it and feeling extremely anxious about it but I am doing it for my wife and daughter.

    But why am I anxious? This is when I feel I need to write down stuff (suppose its a bit like CBT) however I can’t help but think this was and will be my downfall again because it then becomes a MUST, and this just keeps reminding me I am not doing great, Yet when I don’t do it and get on with stuff I seem to do OK until the next time a have a melt down…… Oh it’s all so confusing.

    Mindfulness was another, someone said I must try it and don’t give in – however it feel alien to me I am not one for shutting the world out because that makes me feel alone. So I have tried it before, didn’t like it and now I am trying it again.

    I see a pattern here myself – I AM TRYING – trying to rid it all away. What I SHOULD be doing is trying to live my life with these feelings present – I know what I need to do and feel I could do it now, but in 5 seconds when I put this laptop down – WHAM!!! it all hits me again, I need to learn to do what at this point???? any advise would be great please

  370. Alz Says:

    Hey !
    Si I filled diaries writing about myself up until a few months ago . Now I feel if I write anything which is mostly how I’m feeling , the negativity will be reinforced . Also to be honest , I’m in such a state that I can’t even think of writing .
    I also used to practice mindfulness meditation everyday and now it’s like hard to concentrate on the breath without a whole host of thoughts racing in my mind .
    Just now , I thought I should talk to my husband ( whether I’m anxious or not) and it was so bad that I just wanted to end talking to him within 5 minutes. Like char, I’m trying to challenge this thought of me hving lost my mind but it’s so hard ! While I’m talking to him , I’m in a trance such that I can’t even manage to distinguish my thoughts and I’m just talking . I guess the level of anxiety is so high . Iv never felt this way befr . If I had, perhaps it would hv been easier to deal with this setback .
    Also Si , the feeling of being in a hole , I can totally relate to it .its like everyday there’s something thts being cut out from my life because of anxiety . My mom says Iv let this monster grow so big but honestly if I did because I fell back on a few things tht would reduce anxiety, why don’t I have the ability to shrink this monster as well ??
    I just need help with the whole feeling of hving lost it or losing it . It’s so real ! It’s all just thoughts but when I’m actually trying to challenge them it’s so hard ( eg when I hv to talk to my husband ).

  371. Stacey Says:

    So because I have moved so far from any family and friends and had a complete life change I was in a unsettled nervous state when all this creeped in two years ago. I have since had another baby which is another change and the thoughts have got so much worse and feelings. Is it really common for these thoughts to be so bad when feeling uneasy and nervous. I keep thinking there all real they make me feel sick to the stomach

  372. Debbie Says:

    Testing

  373. Char Says:

    I seem to have lost my nearly sensible brain this morning, anxiety is so high probabaly cause my hubby gone back to work and I’m on my own with the kids today. Going out with friends in a bit but am so scared I will be sick or something

    Aargh I know I should t be here and that I need to go but it feels so awful when it this high

  374. markr Says:

    Hi all,

    I’m doing better although not brilliant.

    A week last Saturday I went to the Merseyside derby. I felt utterly dreadful. I cried on the way there, cried during the game (into my coat so no one noticed). On the way back it felt like a veil had been lifted and after two weeks of constant pain and misery I felt happy and external. In the space of a few minutes I went from not being able to see past the next five minutes to looking at scenery and cows grazing in the fields. Of course, I knew underneath that what I was feeling was temporary but when in the throes it certainly never feels that way.

    Since that day things have been much easier for me. I’ve had some difficult days, particularly Friday and Saturday this weekend past but I still did what I needed to do. Now yesterday was great. I felt completely myself all day and spent a wonderful day with my gf visiting National Trust places and then a comedy gig in the evening. Today isn’t brilliant but I have a choice here….I can either

    a) thrash about, analyse why I feel crappy, blame myself for things I did yesterday…..’Shouldn’t have gone to the gig’, ‘maybe the walk was too much’, ‘shouldn’t have had a bottle of beer etc’

    or

    b) Realise that I have next to no control of how I feel. Accept how I feel, carry on and reinforce the message to my brain that I’m okay and I don’t need these overpowering feelings’.

    Now I’ve been through a real rough patch. Things have massively improved over the last week or so, even though I don’t feel as good as I did in Jan to Mar. Being pragmatic I expect things to be choppy until they settle down.

    This a message to myself and to others to say that if you’ve hit a bump in the road, keep going. Our bodies are always capable of finding peace again if we let it and stay out of the way. It’s not fluke that you felt okay on xxxday or last week. It’s you settling down but sometimes the message needs to be reinforced over and over again.

    Hope all are well.

    Mark.

  375. Tom Waldron Says:

    Hi

    After reading the book i dont feel anxous anymore as it described what my symptoms were, i do however occassionally get a feeling of, not detatchment anymore, but feelings on unreality, this then triggers scary thoughts. I feel this is my only thing to overcome and just need some reassurance that it is normal. Can anybody relate to this?

    Cheers
    Tom

  376. si Says:

    I am after a little advise, or am I ?

    I am struggling so much at present and I came off my meds a few months ago, over this time I have felt quite well as mentioned in my previous posts, however the depression more that the anxiety is hitting me hard.

    My question is this, what do I do?

    Go back on the meds? …. but don’t really want too
    Go back to my doctors? … but what can they actually do?
    Sit it out, it will come good by itself?

    The later option I am trying so hard to acheive, but as you all know its so so hard.

    I really want to see if I can do this alone, but I feel so alone and not with the world.

    Sorry about the negative questions

  377. Mark R Says:

    Si,

    I’m in the same boat as you. Today has been dreadful and my mind is asking questions:

    Weren’t you happier single?
    Maybe you’re not cut out for a relationship?
    You weren’t ready.
    You will silly to get involved
    You miss her too much, long distance doesn’t work

    I know it’s not the same situation but do you think our minds are looking for a quick fix? I think the same principle applies. I don’t have these questions flying around when I have easier days so I feel they are circumstantial.

    Please don’t think I’m trying to dissuade you from going back to the docs/taking meds at all just trying to give my point of view. I know how hard it is when you’re in the throes and you don’t have access to rational thinking. I’m choosing your last option. I have complete confidence in myself that things will even out.

    Mark.

  378. Char Says:

    Si and Mark

    Same here – good ish yesterday, awful today. Si my opinions on meds
    Are that they are not a cure but instead they take the edge of my symptoms. That allows me to have abit of a cleArer mind so I can implement my strategies a bit better like doing my meditation etc.
    I take meds and have no intention to come iof because for me they heilo
    Me and my anxiety – others have different opinions .
    I also have counselling not because I think it will cure me but I find talking helpful.

    To me anysthig that chips away is anxiety is good and useful – I say hit it from all directions. I realise this is maybe not in alignment with total acceptance for me this the approach I have decided to take

  379. Lavender Says:

    Hi, I haven’t been here for a while. Pop in to say Hi

  380. Lavender Says:

    Hi markr, your posting is so true.. indeed it is to live life despite anxiety and just keep going. The message unfortunately has to be reinforced over and over again.

    I also tell myself to just treat the feelings / thots as normal, and not to react to them. The automatic brain just immediately hits the panic button – but it has been so many times, that I just wearily remind myself : it is ok. Just breath and carry on. And eventually the symptoms go off. It is part of me, part of life.

    So whether we are in a good spot or bad spot, press on! move one foot in front of the other, keep on keeping on. Whether the day is rainy or sunny, keep moving. And the peace we all crave is still here – within us. Just give ourselves some time and space, and we do experience it. :)

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