//Why does my anxiety never go away?

Why does my anxiety never go away?

Updated 12/07/2018

I was talking with someone the other day about his anxiety and how he first suffered. He said that it initially came about due to being put under a lot of pressure at work and there were a few problems at home that were causing him a lot of stress and worry.

He then said ‘ But Paul I have cut my hours down, the other problems no longer exist, yet my anxiety won’t go away, nothing is changing, why?’

I said “The reason you are still in a cycle of anxiety is that you now have a new problem and it is this problem that is keeping your anxiety going.

To which he replied ‘What new problem’?

I replied “Anxiety'”

I could tell by talking with him that this was the case. He was rubbing his hands constantly and seemed agitated and kept mentioning how anxiety was ruining his life and that he had tried everything to overcome it without success.

How we stay in the cycle of anxiety

anxiety cycle

I explained that initially, yes, the anxiety was brought on by him worrying and stressing about work and home but even though this was no longer the case, the work and homes stresses had now been replaced with worrying and stressing about anxiety and his current predicament.

Instead of worrying and stressing over a deadline at work, he was now worried about his anxiety and how it was affecting him and those around him. His whole day was also taken up by fighting it mentally and physically, and this is the reason he felt so worn out.

He agreed with me and explained that he felt he had to beat his anxiety and that the people around him were telling him that his family needed him and that he must beat this thing. He said “Paul all I want is to be left alone but I have responsibilities, a family to feed. Everyone relies on me and your right, I have been up all night at times trying to figure a way out, trying to defeat this thing, only to have very little sleep and then wake up more defeated than ever”.

I explained to him that he was caught up in a cycle of creating new suffering through the process of worrying about his current state. All this battling and over thinking was only wearing him out further and keeping him awake at night. Recovery could never come through this approach.

The anxiety loop

anxiety loop

This is the cycle that so many find themselves in until they see the truth for themselves. You can’t heal your symptoms of worry and stress by worrying and stressing about the symptoms themselves. You have to realise that you are creating your own problems and continued suffering through a lack of understanding.

I did the same thing, in fact, my initial problem no longer mattered, this anxiety was a far bigger problem than what brought it on.

I went through the whole cycle of continually worrying about how I now felt. I went to war with it daily and tried everything to make this damn thing go away and just got worse. I had no idea at the time that I was creating all this extra suffering.

Once I explained all this to him, he said ‘Paul I truly understand what you’re saying here, and I realise now that I am doing all of the above and it makes sense and to why I am getting nowhere’.

We then spoke about how he could now explain to his family and his boss about not only how he was feeling but also what was needed for him to recover. He needed time, space and some understanding from others, so they put no any extra burden on him.

I also explained to him that he had to accept he had anxiety for the time being and stop this pointless pursuit of trying to defeat it. In doing this, he would just create more suffering and stay in a constant loop while not giving his mind and body the chance to recover.

To recover he had to break this cycle of recreating his anxiety and then be patient enough to allow the process of healing to happen. If my body could have spoken to me many years ago, it would have said ‘Paul just leave me alone and I will heal myself’.

It kept shouting this message at me until one day I finally listened!

Paul David
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Paul David

Paul David owner and sole contributor of this blog and https://anxietynomore.co.uk. Author of the best selling book on overcoming anxiety 'At last a life' and the follow up 'At last a life and beyond. Lover of all animals and the outdoors.
Paul David
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By |2019-01-14T10:55:56+00:00July 12th, 2018|Anxiety|107 Comments


  1. lorryt 10th September 2008 at 2:35 pm - Reply


    yes and some of us are still trying to get out of the cycle, others have figured it out, not that there is anything to figure out. i ithnk understanding is the key, ( as paul says) but now i understand i can start to put things in perspective. its just a reaction going on in my body that i cant control. i can feel sorry for myself but that wont help, just get on as normal and time will heal. i have been through a period of having a good few weeks of feeling nothing at all, only to have some bad news about a friend, hubby jacking his job, youngest daughter starting school, and someone has turned that electric current back on and the thoughts are upsetting me. but im letting myself get caught back up again. i think i cant handle being alone. what is there to handle ????like you say there is nothing to be afraid of, nothing is gonna come and swallow me up , only myself letting me react in a negative way.
    my initial emotional problems have been dealt with but what i have been through is gonna take time to heal. i think thats what makes u human really. sorry if i have rambled a bit but paul always has something good to relate to. cheers all

  2. lorryt 10th September 2008 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    sorry me again, candie, how long have you taken to get back to normal just out of curiosity? as you seem so positive about life, i will get back there bbut as you say you cant force it, it will come naturally. its just wearing sometimes. i am starting to analyze again, and feel i have forgotten it all. its so mad , you feel so caught into it all again. i am so tired , i just want to sleep it all off, but i know when i wake up , that electric current will be back again. help me .!!

  3. Peter 10th September 2008 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Hi all

    Having a bad day as well today lorry, and it’s come out of the blue for no reason! Think it’s because I’m quite tired also because when I woke up this morning it was still dark and it really felt that winter was not that far away. Has been really dull and windy here in London today which hasn’t helped either!

    Anxiety is such a crafty thing…..you can have days on end feeling good and then wham! you suddenly feel bad once again. I know what to do, am just getting on with my day but I don’t particularly like having this thing sitting on my shoulder!

  4. lorryt 10th September 2008 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    know exactly how you feel , cant seem to shake it today , but i know that one day it will go completely . just got to weather the storm out and get on with things i guess. this place is so comforting , as others who suffer truly understand.

  5. lorryt 10th September 2008 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I have just made the mistake of going back and reading sthe blogs on depression , and now my mind is playing tricks on me thinking i am going back down that road, this thing is getting to me today sorry

  6. Candie 10th September 2008 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Lorry- i am not back to normal, i still have anxiety i am just learning there is nothing i can do to change it. Once it really hits home you have no control over this, the fighting eventually starts to slow down.. then stops to a halt and recovery can begin. You will get better when you stop grasping to get better, recovery happens subcontiously when you give your mind and body a rest. So just for one day- tell yourself you can worry about how you feel, or you can feel like it anyway and get on with things. Why do you think you feel better at your lowest eb? Because you cant be bothered to fight anymore… so why not stop the fighting before you reach your lowest eb and give your nerves a chance to recover. Take that leap of faith and let yourself be- whats the worst that can happen? The truth is the worst that can happen has already happened, so you have nothing to lose in letting go of the fight.

    Take care x

  7. lorryt 11th September 2008 at 7:27 am - Reply


    i guess i have just lost my way again. i am soo tired, and worrying about stuff .i basically have a fear of being alone, and when my daughter goes to school i will be for a few days a week.it sounds completely mad, and i think im obsessing about it. i am alreayd looking forward to going to bed tonite as in the evening the anxiety dies down to nothing.im sorry to go on, but i need to get it out of my system.all sotrs of silly things grab my mind, i just have to calm down and try not to think about stuff.


  8. Jules 11th September 2008 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Your a star Candie, I see where you are coming from and Lorry, you are always so kind and supportive to others on here when they are having a hard time, try turning those understanding words on yourself x

  9. No More Anxiety 11th September 2008 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Yes that is good advice Candie and it’s really good to see someone who has truly grasped what I have always tried to get across.

    Lorry it does take time and nothing comes overnight. But please don’t do the anxiety search, going from one site to another, investigating every symptom. You will just end up going around in circles and making anxiety the focus of your day or more to the point you will make ‘How to get rid of it’ the focus of your day which is something I think you do and what does hold you back from time to time. Again it will all fall into place in time. Nearly everything I preach not to do, I know because I did everyone of them myself.


  10. mike 11th September 2008 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    i have only posted on here a couple of times but would just like to second what jules is saying in that you are always supportive to others when anxiety is at its worst with people lorry. its just remembering to accept the setback and let the anxiety chatter away in the background.
    also iam a lot better than i was at the end of may but i know the anxiety is still there and i see it at the moment as steady progression.

  11. lorryt 11th September 2008 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    cheers guys,

    i am too hard on myself , my friend said that today , went and had a cry on her shoulder, but im aware that i must grieve for my mate, just brings a lot back that i went thru with my mum. i must learn to be gentle with myself. i see my body as a machine sometimes and expect that after one cry i will be better. she also said that i build up all my anxiety and put myself in a situation, that isnt gonna happen.its almost like i set myself up for a fall i spose. you guys are very supportive, i didnt realise how much help i would get from you lot and how much of a difference it would make to me. Luckily my hubby is understanding and has been thru it all too.
    Its trying not to indulge in too much self pity, i fell into that trap last time, without realising it. i am much calmer now but as they say its the journey that counts not the destination,
    cheers guys you really are a godsend.xxx
    everyone makes progress in their own way

  12. Candie 11th September 2008 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    HI lorryt

    Your friend is right, you are trying to hold of anxious feelings as you never wanna suffer like you did before again, but in all your efforts your acheiving the oposite effect as you are breaking the ‘flow’. By trying to control how you feel you are setting yourself up for a false fight, as letting go is much easier and lets you disperse the tension and anxiety.

    Also if you want to feel sorry for yourself or indulge in self pitty due to your friends death then thats fine… it is only natural to be upset. It doesnt mean you are fighting anxiety by allowing yourself to grieve… you are adding to anxiety by trying to put of grieving and controling it- doing too much.

  13. Peter 11th September 2008 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Candie – I think it’s really good what you said about not breaking the ‘flow’ with thoughts and feelings. I’ve started to get a few pesky thoughts coming back and was wondering what you do/did when this happens to you – do you just let them be there or do you say something to yourself like ‘I’ll be fine’? It’s often hard to remember not to fight the thoughts and feelings of anxiety when you’re feeling rubbish!

  14. JR 11th September 2008 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Lorryt…let the feelings be there, cry all you want and let it all out. Feel really bad and let yourself feel this way…don’t try to change how you feel. What I’m noticed in my own recovery is that the more setbacks I go through the better I feel when my setback is over. During these setbacks I feel awful, horrible and all the thoughts pour in. I used to try and stop them, agrue mentally with them until I took the leap of faith that candie mentioned, let them do their worst. Sometimes that means an extreme urge to act of a thought but it always goes away and a little self confidence returns as a result. Remember little-by-little we get better. Two steps forward and three steps back. But stick with it and let yourself feel bad at the moment and don’t try too hard to feel good, it will come naturally.

  15. Candie 11th September 2008 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Peter, i actually suffered with the thoughts more then anything really, mainly due to the fact i have a controlling, perfectionist nature. Now as Paul says you really do need to accept them, but as most people on here know i couldnt really grasp accepting them straight of- as i had built bad habis fearingf them etc… then I got Will Beswicks book of the blog when paul had it up for a while.

    Will learnt me that due to my nature, i need to remind myself not to fight my thoughts. Doing this eventually lead to me not having to even remind myself not to fight thoughts- i do still struggle with some thoughts, but i am recovering not recovered so i dont expect too much of myself. I take comfort knowing thousands of people have come through this illness with simlar approaches, so there is nothing to stop me doing so. I really do reccomend Wills book though- as it really helped me isolate the process of where i was going wrong. At the moment i am learning new habits (rehabitulisation) through not fighting and accepting my anxiety. It is worth understanding also that even if you accept and dont fight- you wont always feel immediate releif. So dont get impatient, you are building new habits that will eventually overwrite your bad ones- but it will take time.

    You dont even really need to buy wills book actually, as like pauls site he has a lot of information on his site to help people- the book is optional. The link is http://www.doyoupanic.co.uk

  16. Peter 12th September 2008 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Hi Candie thanks for your post. I’ve got a copy of Will’s book and took another look through it last night bearing what you said in mind. I think I can see where I’ve been going wrong now! Like you I am a perfectionist and realise that I have spent loads of time going back trying to control/fight the thoughts I have been having and this has now become a habit of fearing them as well. This morning I am trying to let them ‘flow’ in and out, not question them and live in the present moment and feel slightly better already.

    I can see that this won’t be easy to do all the time and won’t be sorted overnight but like any bad habit it can be overcome!

  17. lorryt 12th September 2008 at 8:24 am - Reply

    i bought the book , but i find it a bit too much for me to understand, with all technical jargon. But i do re read pauls book when things are going downhill. i really struggled this morning to the extent that i got my hubby home from work.its when i am alone that the thoughts hit me hard, and although i dont panic as much as i used to , they still upset me. i tell myself they are just thoughts and can not hurt me and i will be fine, is that fighting ?, or beginning to understand what is happening to me. I am a person who catastrophizes ( if thats spelt correctly?!) and a am a people pleaser. the only person i should be dealing with is myself . i know my daughter is a distraction for me at the moment and when she starts school, although i work 2 days a week, i will increase to 3 as i need to keep busy the more i sit and think the worse i feel.
    i have so much to be happy about a great supportive family, 2 wonderful children (f not very testing at times !) , and a great circle of friends.
    Life is so sweet and there is so much out there for us to experience, i just lose my way and lose sight of the great things and dwell on the bad ones.
    i understand what you are saying by letting these feelings be there, you are releasing them, rather than sitting and thinking on them and keeping analyzing them and going over and over. as my hubby says go with the flow , it passes as you say.
    ok i think i am getting somewhere on the accepting level.

    wow guys, its true you really have to experience these things to truly understand them. The docs really do not have a clue.

    Thanks you lot, you are very insightful and truly a great help

    have a good one allxxxx

  18. mike 12th September 2008 at 8:50 am - Reply

    in the daily mail the other week there was an artical on a cricket player marcus trescothick who has suffered from anxiety over the last 2/3 years and has just released a book on it. i bought i copy and it is a very good read.
    basically the anxiety/panic has effected his international career and he explains his battle with anxiety/panic. just shows that this can happen to anybody even brilliant cricket players.

  19. No More Anxiety 12th September 2008 at 10:39 am - Reply

    That’s interesting Mike I never knew that and your right anyone can suffer. There are probably many more people in the public eye that suffer. On Will’s book, I think you either get it or you don’t. It is a little advanced, but can be simplified. The message in the book is to again not to have internel fights for perfection, simplified, ‘Don’t fight to be right’ and allow yourself to be.

  20. Paul Mc G 12th September 2008 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Hi all , nice to see the blog is going as strong as ever ! As for Will’s book ? Well for me ! If the only thing i took from it was , learning , not having to go through the secondary thought process , i.e not analizing/ fighting the initial thought , then it was a worth while read , although very repetative ! maybe thats the idea of the book to drum the message home !
    Things have been very up and down with me recently , after making a lot of progress in a short time , but i dont let it get me down like i used to , just ride the wave , so to speak , I guess this is better known as breaking the cycle , and not fuelling that fire Paul referred to earlier on !! This is why putting time demands on recovery is totally a NOT DO !!! Lorryt , you still seem to be putting yourself through the mill , The battle ! Give in and dont be frightened by it anymore ! The world aint gonna end if you do ! Luv to all ! Paul .

  21. lorryt 13th September 2008 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    hi there

    i find it really hard to let these thought in my head and not react to them eg i get a thought like im gonna be on my own for a few days next week and off the adrenelin goes again. then from there on in other thoughts go through my mind .i try to say to mentally fight em but thats fighting again . i have been bit better today but as ou say 2 step forward 3 back. what was the name of the book called by marcus trescothick as it would be interesting to see how he handled it> cheers all

    have a good weekendxx

  22. Frank 13th September 2008 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone.

    I’m going to respond to the starting post as sometimes its the feeling of entrapment is what can really let someone feel down while suffering.

    The only thing that really keeps us in the cycle of anxiety is the level of significance and the attention that we give it. It’s really that simple. The advice given here by Paul is a;sp entirely simplistic – accept the fact that you are feeling bad, and do not make it a broader issue. This method really works because it loosens the mental grip that anxiety has on us, and it also allows us to just freely move forward without adding any more fuel to the fire.

    We all have heard at some time Issac Newton’s third law of physics. It states that “every action must have an equal and opposite reaction.” I believe that this statement does indeed comply with how the human mind works as well. I believe that human mind functions on the principle that every emotion that we experience is a reaction to something we consciously do or think of. Another thing that I realized is that the reactions cannot be experienced without an underlying action. A simple example is us being either hungry, or full. When we are hungry our body sends us a message that we need to stop what we are doing and to eat and replenish our reserves. On the other hand when we start eating and we reach the point that we are full, our body sends us a message that we have reached our limit and that we should stop eating. This simple example not only shows us the action-reaction forces that happen but also reveal a deeper intelligence in that our body knows how to limit itself and that we cannot keep eating forever. This ensures that we can never really push ourselves over the edge if we truly listen to what our body is telling us.

    Now you may be wondering how this relates to anxiety. Well, I describe anxiety as purely a reactionary mechanism. We cannot decide to be anxious without some underlying action that takes place. This is very simple to prove; at this very moment try to be anxious, try to experience all those symptoms and things that you fear, will it upon you. I guarantee that you can’t. Therefore it is purely impossible to willfully experience anxiety.

    So the question remains, what is the underlying action that is causing us to experience all this? The answer is an over-stimulation of our minds, or us over-analyzing a particular situation. Think about it. When we are anxious, we can easily pinpoint the thing that we are fearing – be it a particular symptom, going crazy, losing control etc. While we are anxious a bunch of rapid fire thoughts enter our minds that relate to why we are fearing it, what its effects could be, what will become of us afterward, and plenty of “what if” statements that are poorly constructed and have carry little validity if we analyze them well enough. So it is clear that we are overstimulating the mind and that we are feeling this way purely because it is telling us that it needs rest and that it has had enough of this.

    So why when we are given all the useful most simplistic advice of accepting this anxiety, it still doesn’t seem to be working right away? Well, when we are anxious, our body is in an all or nothing phase. Heightened anxiety, like the fight or flight response, will make us so hyper aware of our surroundings, that we tend to look for potential threats and symptoms and take appropriate action, rather than to think of another solution. Since our minds are already overloaded as it is, when the solution to all this – the acceptance, the admittance to anxiety – crosses our minds, it is usually overanalyzed rather than being put to action. We think too much about the solution that instead of putting it into action, it remains a thought.

    This type of action is common in situations under pressure. Think back to high school when we are taking a multiple choice test. We’ve all been told that when answering these types of questions, go with your first instinct and stick with it. This is mainly because when we think about the question too much, we tend to over-analyze the question and we can essentially read things that aren’t really there. For example:

    What color is my car?
    a) red
    b) yellow
    c) blue
    d) orange

    If the answer is red, then we can immediately proceed with the answer. But when we come back to it, we can think “well, it’s red, but when the sun is shining on it, it looks more orange than red and when its night, the red doesn’t show as much as the orange does.” It’s really easy to see how over-thinking can lead us in the entirely wrong direction.

    So we know how over-stimulation of the mind can keep us in the anxiety cycle, but how can we break out of this cycle? Well think of it this way, our anxiety is something that is so irrational, so invalid, so stupid that we need a solution of equal value – recall Newton’s third law of physics. Paul’s solution of acceptance satisfies many of these qualities as acceptance, not worrying, possessing a whatever attitude destroys much of its significance already. But the one advice that Paul gives us on his website that really helped me the most

    “Stop fighting them, just say: come if you wish, I am ready for you”

    This notion of inviting, demanding its presence and willing it to be there is very empowering as it not only instills us with self-confidence, but it truly demonstrates the acceptance and our trust in our own bodies’ ability to protect itself. Jumping in the path of what we fear is something that we don’t think of right away since what we fear, is something that may hurt us. But when we really look at the situation, all it is is some excess adrenalin running through our bodies – totally harmless.

    So i guess to summarize, anxiety is a reaction mechanism that triggers when our mind is over-stimulated and that a threat is perceived. Upon close inspection this fear is simply our anxiety and excess adrenalin so it is perfectly safe to just confront it and see it for what it truly is.

    Well, hope everyone has a good working week.

  23. Gerard 13th September 2008 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone,

    It’s been some time since i last visited paul’s blog. I am slowly starting to understand the key to recovery now.

    I think the mistake I did was always thinking about this anxienty and how can i come out from it. Everyday i spent my whole day thinking about it and nothing happens. I started to accept this situation with my thoughts and that’;s why i was not going forward instead i was drag backwards.

    I recently found something which can help all of us. I would strongly recommend everyone to join this program. Its free of charge. It is recognize world wide. Below is the direct link to that website :


    I repeat is is free of charge.

    This yoga was founded by a Lady name Shri Mataji , at first i was a bit scared to go because i was born and raise as a Catholic person, but then i thought it’s better to give it a try rather than just think about this symptoms..I just went for the first class, and it helped me a bit. It was keeping me away from my thoughts. I have not completed this course yet, but i thought of recommending it to all of you’ll..

    You can browse through the website and see how it works before you decide to join the program.

    Trust me, by keeping yourself busy and doing something u slowly will come out from that cycle. That is what I believe and that i what I will start doing.!!

    Thanks Paul for your Guidance on this!

  24. Gerard 13th September 2008 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Hey frank,

    Thank you for your post. You really understand this problem and I am glad that you post something which I finally understand.

    Yes, I think that I think of a solution with my thoughts not action. That is the problem with me.

    I really am going to change my job and start keeping myself busy with actions .

    Thanks once again

  25. Candie 13th September 2008 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with frank, a few days ago i experienced probably one of the most scary anxiety attacks ever ( for me)! I just laid there and observed and let it burn out, it got to a certain point and i remember thinking.. is that it!!! Yep, that was it! Now im feeling really anxious, but im not that scared of it… guess its just my nerves playing up more then me fuelling it.. as im trying to force myself into a deeper level of panic and to just observe it… but there is no deeper level of panic! This is it….. all this time i couldnt quite recover because there was always that what if.

    So i confronted the ‘what if’ and i just cant be scared of it! Sure my hearts racing, feel dazed and hazey, shakey and having odd thoughts but thats just adrenalin realeasing…. this is the worst it can possibly be….. there really is no point of no return! I am almost mad with my anxiety for not letting me be scared so i can burn of some of this adrenalin! Now im sat here like a twitching, shatered wreck but its purely adrenalin… i feel no perceived threat.

  26. JR 14th September 2008 at 4:56 am - Reply

    just wanted to say its good to hear from paul mc…

  27. lorryt 14th September 2008 at 10:48 am - Reply

    thanks frank i understand a bit of that , so just let the thoughts come in and not try and answer them back, and say thats rubbish. i try and fiure out an answer to them all the time , but as im under a bit of dstress at the mo, purely created by me ?!! im the one doing it, so i shall step back and just try and get on with my life.

    cheers all have a good one lorryt

  28. No More Anxiety 14th September 2008 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Very good post once again Frank. To go along with a couple of things you say. The time we invite anxiety and its symptoms, we stop fearing them. I actually liked hitting a peak and observing just an increase of adrenalin and then seeing it die down. It was like ‘See again nothing happened, it died down as usual’ This gives you greeat confidence and the reason that you cannot not make yourself feel anxious’ This is because you do not fear the symptoms when inviting and allowing. I always had that’Come if you wish’ attitude. It also helps when you feel particulary anxious again as you have allowed it and seen it die down so many times, you become less impressed by any symptoms and it loses edge, you then tend to take it more with a pinch of salt, instead of in my early days of fearing symptoms, running away from them, worrying about them…etc…etc…The feelings were the same, but my attitude had changed so much towards them and with this new attitude I added no fuel to feed the anxiety and symptoms came with less force and less often as I broke the cycle and gave my nerves the rest they needed.

  29. mike 15th September 2008 at 8:38 am - Reply

    hi lorry the book is called coming back to me. it is a good read but he doesnt just talk about the anxiety he also talks about his career aswell just to let you know. hope everyone had a good weekend.

  30. LORRYT 15th September 2008 at 11:17 am - Reply

    thanks mike, i like the sports biographies, wouldnt think that sportspeople would suffer, but hey it can affect even the most unlikliest of people.
    yet again my mind is on the go, worrying about the stupidest of things, none of them i can change, but my brain wont shut up.i am giving these thoughts too much respect arent i?. i cant seem to get my head round work and although i am joining in coonversations im not really in them. i am trying to just be, but as im typing i realised i put the word trying in which means im @doing@, and i should be not doing?!. this thing is a real annoyance today as i thought i had been having some good weeks, but i guess the analyzing has crept backin and caught me out. i know i am on the right track , but its so easy to get it wrong?!

    ummmm. i need to get into my day rather than getting caught up in how to stop my silly thoughts .

  31. Jules 15th September 2008 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    It seems something has sunk in over recent days and I am starting to feel a little better. Something I have not been able to say, and really mean, for some months. I’ve been reading the blog, the book, searching symptoms, reading the book, the blog, etc etc, knowing it made sense on paper but still not able to really believe that it was anxiety, seeing the patterns but interpreting them as a threat rather than just anxiety. I
    I ended up seeing a neurologist because of pins and needles, prickling and general tremor and burning sensations on my skin. All frightening to me but gp, friends, family saying they were psycho somatic-I didnt really understand what it meant. The neurologist said that the ‘healthy brain’ (ie not a brain with someone having anxiety) had filters that filter out alot of the sensations going on in our bodies. In a anxiety brain the adrenaline has over stimulated parts of our brain and there are no filters, like the tuning fork analogy in a way I guess, which is why I was feeling all these other sensations. They have calmed down since now I understand and can see the connection with the anxiety, tremors, negative thought cycles,exhausted etc. As my body is healing itself I can feel these symptoms weakening and as they are weakening I understand more that anxiety, adrenaline, tired nerves, whatever you want to call it is causing it and I am letting it be.
    Just for today and the last few days it has not been scaring me as much, if at all. The cycle of anxiety!
    i’m gonna take things one day at a time although I feel something has clicked for the moment which is welcome.x

  32. Shirley D. 15th September 2008 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Well, hello everyone.
    It is 12 months this month that I had the onset of anxiety. I am now completely over it. Trying to reason out why it happened just made it worse. Trying to stop just made it worse.
    My sleep pattern has returned to normal – once upon a time I dreaded going to bed because I knew I wouldn’t sleep, now I can’t wait to get there because I now enjoy sleep. Sometimes it can be a little disturbed but at least as soon as my head touches the pillow i am away. It’s like i’m sleeping the sleep that I missed out on over those six horrible months. I can’t give you the reasons for my cure but as i’ve said before, finding this website was the start. Everything simply explained – something to beleive in. The confidence returned because I got another job.
    I just want to say that recovery is there and is very real – so please beleive.

  33. Lisa 16th September 2008 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    I’m a relatively new sufferer from panic/anxiety and am still in the first stages of recovery. I went through a dreadful weekend with intense continual rushes of adrenalin and try as I might I couldn’t seem to use pauls method of letting it wash over me and ignoring it, things went so bad I visited my gp yesterday who gave me a short course of oxazepam, I’m under no illusion that these meds will cure me, just hoping they’ll give me some relief from my physical symptoms while I use pauls methods. the adrenalin rushes calmed down and the ones I felt didn’t bother me, but then I started to feel like I couldn’t breath, my doc checked my heart and lungs yesterday and I’ve also had ecgs when I didn’t know what I was suffering from, this difficulty breathing really scared me which made it worse I’m sure but its so hard to think rationally at the time. I’ve also developed a problem with food, my first panic attack came out of the blue after I’d eaten, today I felt a little better and went out with my friend, i bought myself a snack to try as of course I have to eat, started my food and seemed ok then out of the blue i got a huge urge to run which I did, started playing games on pc to distract myself, didn’t work, got to the point where i was imagining ambulances and hospitals. I then decided to lie on the sofa turned on a loves songs channel and laid down and tried to relax, i knew i was tense because my legs were stiff, tried to shut down my mind and drift off, the phone rang and woke me up but I did feel much calmer. I’m sorry this is such an essay but did I do the right thing? Is this what Paul is saying when he says to let it take you? Is just the breathing going off normal? I felt no rushes of adrenalin as such. Should I take myself off and try to relax and breath through it? Does or did anyone else here have the problem with food? how did you combat it?

    Thanks for listening.


  34. Amy 16th September 2008 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hi all

    I had been reading this blog on and off a while back, but haven’t been on it for ages. I first got a copy of Paul’s book last May when I was in the depths of my anxiety. Right now I’m a recovered anxiety sufferer and wanted to let everyone out there that you really really can do it. Really, you can.

    My story goes like this. I’ve always been a people pleaser, afraid of making mistakes and generally tip toeing around everyone. Even when i was young i can remember being anxious – shy, having fears about stuff like going into lifts. As i came into my twenties, I first experienced panic attacks when I was studying, with bizarre obsessive thoughts, gastro problems. I somehow managed to overcome this period and forgot about it. Forward 3 years, I had just been travelling around the world and came back to a job I didn’t want to do. I was working alone in a high pressured job, this was the start of my breakdown really. After a year decided to go back to study to change my career path. However, I took up an intense 2 year postgrad course. Initially loved it but realised i was still really tired from my previous job. I took up 2 part time jobs and was studying full time. One day (as claire weekes mentions) I woke up in a panic and was really dizzy. My nerves were what I know understand as SENSITISED. I tried to get on with things, but the work load was immense and a few months later, crash. I slept for 3 days only waking to eat, returning to my GP who was going to prescribe me seroxat, i said i didn’t want it and he said ‘well what do you want me to prescribe then?!’…….helpful. I had to take time out of uni and was gutted as this was supposed to be my new life changing thing. So i struggled on over the months and was ready to leave my course goodness knows how many times.

    Over the last 6 months, after reading over and over about how others cured their anxiety, things clicked. The information given here is the answer! I faced my fears, all my symptoms (derealisation is a b*****) and really crazy thoughts without tension or emotion and they subsided. As of last week and finishing later than my coursemates, I am now qualified and ready to go for interviews. I graduate this november with the rest of my class. I’m ready for a new life and would never have thought I could have achieved this.

    My last symptom to go was my dizziness, however I found this really was linked to tension in my neck, shoulder and chest muscles.
    I read into the Alexander Technique which helped a lot.

    The key things that helped me were understanding, dietary changes ( my blood sugars can drop real quick), exercising, breathing properly, stopping alcohol ( much easier than i thought), decent sleep and taking time out for myself to relax. Also stop trying to please everyone, you can’t!

    Anxiety is horrendous but when you get over it, you then can write your story and journey to recovery.

    Thanks to Paul for his book and website. Read until you understand then let it go until you need to read again (ie during a bad day/week/month etc).
    My story is a bit all over the place but just to let you know, you can do this. Believe in yourself.

  35. lisa 16th September 2008 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    hi guys,just to let you know im moving house soon yippee!!!!! so might not get on for a while so dont worry about me..lol hope everyone well 🙂

  36. No More Anxiety 16th September 2008 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Thank you for telling your story Amy and I am so pleased you found your recovery and the book and site helped, it makes it all worth it. And as I always say stories like yours give so much help and belief to others. Well done and good luck in the future.


    Lisa, Don’t forget the house warming invites and good luck with your move.

  37. Emma 16th September 2008 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Hi again
    The post I was referring to was ‘Franks’ post. Quote:
    Now you may be wondering how this relates to anxiety. Well, I describe anxiety as purely a reactionary mechanism. We cannot decide to be anxious without some underlying action that takes place. This is very simple to prove; at this very moment try to be anxious, try to experience all those symptoms and things that you fear, will it upon you. I guarantee that you can’t. Therefore it is purely impossible to willfully experience anxiety.
    The above is what I dont understand because I can actually make myself very anxious and without too much effort! Maybe I am reading it wrong???
    Emma x

  38. JR 16th September 2008 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Can anyone relate to this? Feeling really excited and anxious while having a conversation with someone…my usual conversations are started anxiously, like I guess I should talk to them, then I start talking to them and once the conversation is going well, then I start getting excited, and start talking real fast…I try to calm down while I’m talking but it real hard cause I feel like the other person can notice all my reactions…I start to notice every movement I make and how I stand when talking, if I swallow or not, etc…Then I notice how easily most people can switch what their thinking, say during the above conversation a person comes in the room…the person I was talking to can come up with something to say to them so easily…like their in a flow of some sort…

  39. Candie 16th September 2008 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Emma.. you will be able to willfully make yourself anxious if you are afraid of how it makes u feel.

    Lisa… get back online!

  40. Frank 17th September 2008 at 4:30 am - Reply

    I normally don’t make two posts per topic but the thoughts of the first post seems like the perfect place for this.

    I like to point out a few points on how an aspect of our thinking minds that may put a perspective on anxiety and recovery. The truth is, all our thoughts are connected. Often when we suffer from an anxiety attack or fight or flight response, it is often due to a single thought that we become truly scared of, and this triggers many other thoughts that come at us in a rapid fire fashion. This is primarily caused by our adrenal glands releasing adrenalin all over our body. Often while this happens, our fear of the situation rises because we start to draw connections between two similar thoughts, and eventually this string of thoughts becomes so frightening that we start to panic. While I have experienced this, this sense of panic usually stops itself after 15 – 30 minutes later as one single thought finally brings us back to reality.

    The key point of all this is that every anxiety “attack” that happens is a string of thoughts that are tied together with one particular thought that we “fear” or are “fearing”. While it may seem that the attack comes out of the blue, if we look back and inspect it, we can actually find that that it actually builds up and that the moment of panic was not caused by a particular thought out of the blue, but a string of thoughts that we conjured either consciously or subconsciously.

    Let’s take a particular example of how our thoughts are connected. In fact I’m sure many of you can share this experience I’m about to describe. Let’s look back when we first suffered. After an anxiety or panic attack, we begin to question our well being and we begin to do some research on how we are feeling and all our particular symptoms. We are pretty much in a state of desperation. We go on to google, and we type in things like anxiety, panic attacks, cures, recovery, symptoms and other things that worry us. Finally we land on this site as Paul guides us towards recovery.

    Compare this to a panic attack. We experience one particular sensation or worrysome thought at some point earlier in the day. We tell ourselves it’s a one off and that we shouldn’t worry about it. But what do we do? The thought sticks in our mind like a magnet and we can’t seem to get rid of it. Then another string of thoughts come in and eventually the string gets longer and longer. Pretty soon the length of the string overwhelms us and we panic. So the connection of thoughts is definitely there. Often we are to bewildered to notice this right away.

    So the question really boils down to what this topic is saying. How do we break out of this thought cycle. How do we recover and cut that string of thoughts to return to our normal selves. Well, I’m sure many of you see recovery as the freedom from constant anxiety and constant fear. To be able to live life to the fullest and to not worry about a particular symptom or sign that something is wrong with us.

    The stigma of anxiety and recovery, I like to describe it as, a two sided coin. Essentially what it means is that when you fully experience one, the other comes in shortly after. THe cycle of anxiety attacks works this way too. We panic, then we enter into a state of calm, then we worry, and finally we panic again. It’s the cycle that many of us are trapped in right now.

    The truth is when you think of either one of them, the other comes in as a secondary thought. It’s inevitable to not view it this way. When a person views themself as anxious, then that person is likely to think of recovery. However when a person views themself as recovered, then it is true that they may have recovered, but when they begin to realize what they have recovered from and often they get too overconfident that they fall into the same cycle after feeling another symptom. So it is clear that the thought of anxiety and the thought of recovery are connected.

    Let’s look at another example. Let’s say i give you a set of numbers.

    10, 50, 65, 87, 30

    Then I tell you, I want you to remember all of these numbers, but I want you to absolutely forget that the number 65 is on the list.

    While it may be easy to recite those numbers and not the number 65, the mere fact that I told you to forget about “A specific number” makes it literally impossible to forget about it. Chances are, you will either remember all of them, or none of them. You can’t truly tell someone to forget something because the mere thought of it being there is what attracts it. It’s very much like a magnet. This is the exact reason why telling someone regarding anxiety to “get a grip” or “forget about it” is completely useless. It only drills the thought into their head even more.

    So how do we really situation from this two sided coin of anxiety and recovery. The solution is simple, you take away the coin. This is essentially the core of the advice that Paul gives us. The advice he initially gives us is one of acceptance and admittance of our bad feelings. This act, I like to describe, as an all or nothing act because it takes us out of the realm of anxiety and recovery. The notion of Paul’s advice can be this

    “no matter how bad I feel, I accept it and will move on with my day accordingly”

    This stance puts absolutely no emphasis on recovery or anxious thoughts because it takes away the significance of the sensations we are feeling. No matter how bad they are, I accept them and will move on. Often we make the mistake that we tell ourselves this, meaning the motive of recovery is there, which means that lurking in the background, the anxiety is there. In order for this to actually work we need to take both recovery and anxiety out of the equation. In essence take the coin away.

    Let’s look at Paul’s second advice

    “Come if you will, I am ready for you. Show me your worst. I want more. Is that really all you got? huh?”

    Paul’s second advice is also all or nothing since once again it places no emphasis on anxiety or recovery. This time you are willing the fear on you. Demanding it. No matter how bad it is, you want to feel it, you want it to bring its worse. The aspect of recovery doesn’t matter. This advice is 100% stimulating. Once again, the stigma of the coin cannot have an effect since you have taken it entirely out of the equation.

    So I guess the point of all this is that recovery from anxiety really involves taking our incentive to recover away. The more we think about recovery, the stronger the thought of anxiety will be. Essentially we must look straight ahead; not into the future and not back, but live in the now. The more we stop thinking about it, the lesser the impact that it will have on us. But it is vital that we do not impose this style of thinking on ourselves. This will only make those thoughts stay. We need to think beyond the sense of recovery and naturally it comes to us.

    Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the week.

  41. Symbiotic 17th September 2008 at 6:04 am - Reply

    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

  42. Nicole 17th September 2008 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Thanks Frank,
    Your analogy about the string of thoughts getting longer and longer is something that I have been facing over the past few days. Ironically, I have been feeling so much better, but it was this thought that started me thinking about the anxiety again and then worrying that I was going to have a bigger fall if I climbed too high, if that makes any sense!
    Then, last night I attended my usual yoga class and the instructor who I really admire started talking about a person she is working with who has OCD. She kept talking about it throughout the class and well this was enough to start me thinking that maybe all of this thinking about anxiety that I am doing is OCD, which happens to be one of my bigger fears; or the stigma of this is something I fear. I have learned alot from this instructor about living life in the moment and being a witness to thought and not a victim to them. I was thinking that this may just be an opportunity to deal with this particular fear and that I should face it instead of run from it.
    But trying to face it means thinking about it which is what I am trying to stop so you can see the problem! It really sounds quite funny and ridiculous as I am writing it down. I know that the answer is close to me, but I have read too much and thought too much to see it right now.
    “Can’t see the forest for the trees”. Oh well, I am feeling better just writing this down, it is a little cathartic. This has caused me to lose some sleep which often gets me down, but as Paul has advised, I will try to shrug it off, not pay it too much attention and move on with my day.
    If anyone out there has any advice though, I would appreciate it.
    Thanks, have a beautiful day!

  43. Candie 17th September 2008 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Nicole… OCD is a label for a habit caused by anxiety… nothing more. Its not hard to develop an anxiety disorder, especially when you are confused and scared… habits of control i call them. But acceptance isn’t about fighting or controlling- so you can recover from any form of anxiety using it.

    Like i mensioned before, Eg, a person- has an attack in a shopping centre…. links the feeling to a thought- ‘the shopping centre’… so next time they are at the shopping centre they worry about a repeat episode and they panic again. Before they know it there world has got smaller and they are a full on agrophobic. Understandably an easy habit to fall into!

    The main point is it all starts from bad nerves, then we create habits…. which can be reveresed.

  44. No More Anxiety 17th September 2008 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Very good post Frank and yes you can only make yourself anxious if you fear the feelings, anxiety lives on the fear of it.

    I am also glad Frank that you said this as I think it is very important.

    Paul’s second advice is also all or nothing since once again it places no emphasis on anxiety or recovery.

    And yes as I have said before, ‘don’t make it your daily aim to get better’, give up that battle and you will move forward. I remember someone saying to me ‘I have tried all day to keep my anxiety at bay’ I said ‘Well not only have you fought all day getting no where, you have also made it the focus of your day, try the same battle tomorrow and you will lose again’. Let anxiety and its symptoms go where it wants, don’t feel the need to control or stop it, allow, welcome it even, it has no power once we allow it. We no longer fight it, we no longer worry about it, we no longer go around all day thinking of ways to rid ourselfs of it, we no longer fill ourselfs with self pity, we no longer make it the focus of our day, yes it still lingers in the background and that’s fine, we have been focusing on it for a while but that habit will die down in time. Too many people think once they give up the battle with themselves they will feel great and if they don’t they are back asking questions or searching symtoms around the internet.

    As Candie said in an earleir post is that she still feels anxiety, but has a total different attitude to it and looks at it with interest and not fear anymore. She is not as bewildered by it and understands enough to not let it scare or bewilder her. So she worrys less about it, does not try to do anything about it anymore, understands it always dies down so is less impressed by it. All this I went through and all it means is she has finally opened the door to recovery, she understands it wont go overnight but feels enough of a change to know that she is going in the right direction. All this happened to me, people sometimes say I am better but not sure how or what I did. They understood enough to take the fear out of anxiety, it bothered them less and they started focusing on other things and recovery just creeped up on them. It all started with a better understanding and less fear of their symptoms. I was so un-impressed by how I felt I would have to think about how I felt. At one time how I felt was my day as I was so impressed by it, I thought of nothing else but trying to rid myself of how I was feeling. This had to change before I could hope to move forward.


  45. lorryt 17th September 2008 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    the last sentence applies to me , i wake up and off we go, how do i feel , ohh i feel pants, then my brain goes off on one. the thought seem to start off the adrenelin, then the cycle begins. i know i cant rid myself of the thoughts, but i keep talking myself into the fact that what will happen will happen and i cant change things, que sera sera has always been my dads attitude , but i have lost that at the mo. i seem to panic over the slightest things, and although i am a lot better, and the physical side of it i no longer react to, the thought still impress me i guess. how can you have a thought and not react to it. its almost as if i scare myself?!!. i can sit at work and have an anxious thought and carry on withh my day and feel the stomahc churn and the heat rushing over me and the urge to run , but i just carry on. so for me its the thought that start it all off, not the fear of the physical feelings.
    any advice ?

  46. Shirley D. 17th September 2008 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    I have lost it today! For a few seconds. Last week tidy Shirley placed some (i thought) unused keys into a plastic money bag and removed from the drawer they were in and placed them into a key tin. I got to work today to find an e mail from a colleague slightly ticking me off for doing it – just in case those keys might ever be needed. My mind went to pieces – i felt sick, wrote an apology e mail in return and then as the morning wore on I pictured an e mail i was sent two days ago about the plight of other poor poor people in this world. A young girl wearing what I thought were flip flops and then i realised they were large fizzy drink bottles which she had laced up for her feet and she was as pleased as punch with those shoes. I have to tell myself to get it into persepctive. But like Candy I am a perfectionist to a certain degree, don’t like upsetting people or be upset by other people. Don’t like to think that I have done anything wrong – i am a true Virgo. The more I thought about the key e mail the lower I sunk, even to thinking that i wouldn’t buy any more biscuits for her to share with me – stupid stupid things, then i read my horoscope for today and it said ok you might think it’s serious but laugh about it and you will feel better. So apt.
    My mind took me right back up again and by this afternoon I was back to my normal self. Scary that it can take such a small thing to trigger it off but it was such a miniscule moment – not worth giving another thought.
    We all think we are in anxiety by ourselves when we are going through it but just look at all the help that there is on this sight – each with their own stories and advice galore.
    Panic attacks hit me real hard for nearly three years, once i had one on a particular part of a certain road you could guarantee that next time along that road would trigger another until in the end (as Candy said) you can become Agrophobic. I got to the stage of just putting my hand on the door handle of the car would trigger one and i just couldn’t face getting in the car, your world does close in around you. Anxiety is the same it encloses you and it’s bursting through that bubble which is the cure. My feelings today weren’t anxiety just an off shoot that I had gone outside my safe zone. To be able to tell yourself that you aren’t the only one suffering is a good start. thankgoodness for the internet, thankgoodness for this site – without it – i’m not sure what my future would have been. I read Paul’s book and it was instant realisation with those words – ‘do your damndest – see if i care’ that was my road to recovery.

  47. Candie 17th September 2008 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Yes Paul, before i beleived acceptance was my key to make it go away… for months i just put up with my symptoms… but now im slowly moving towards them. I think you have to invite the fear in your anxiety causes before you can make real improvements. Acceptance to me goes this way- learning to live beside the anxiety, anything else is a bonus.

    Expecting too much of yourself can really hold you back. I used to say to myself ‘accept it and you will feel better’- then i never instantly- and would get more agrivated! It can take a while for the cobwebs to clear.

    Shirley- i am exactly the same! We are sensitive souls! I hate the thought of anyone been mad at me, im not a push over at all… but when i know there has been conflict my mind just races about it for ages lol. I would of thought the same about the biscuits- as soon as u said it i thought- that is soooooooo me!

  48. No More Anxiety 18th September 2008 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Yes good points there Candie and once we understand we wont feel better overnight and it does take time for the cobwebs to clear then we start to make real progress, getting frystrated and impaitent certainly holds you back as again you begin to fight and make it the focus of your day. Each week and month became a little bit more clearer for me and as I suffered for so long I knew that I would not turn all that round overnight and never put any pressure on myself to get better quickly. Also you are right I went through a very delicate stage where it would have been easy for me to hide away and shut the world out, but I never let anxiety win no matter how much I had to drag my body around or how awful I felt in social situations, I kept on and it was the best thing I ever did as again the cobwebs began to clear and things got so much easier.


  49. Beth 18th September 2008 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    One of the biggest “Ah ya” moments for me, and it wasn’t easy, was to finally realize and to start to internalize that I do not have control over what happens to those around me. I was always trying to make everything right for my husband, my kids, my mom. Always trying to control the environment…usually by just worrying about it. I had this distorted idea that if I wasn’t worrying I wasn’t doing my part…like I didn’t care. Then I finally realized, no one knows what is going on inside my head, no one knows whether I’m worrying or not and worrying is not helping the situation and it certainly wasn’t helping me. I am slowly living the idea that I don’t have control and I never will, so all of worry in the world won’t change that. There is a scripture something like “Worry never added one day to a man’s life” so I try to remember that and live for the day. Release control and you’ll feel the freedom of recovery.

  50. Dave 19th September 2008 at 10:32 am - Reply


    I have a question I have recently started feeling this way (anxious/spaced out) after a few minor stress full events in my life – I went to the Dr who prescribed me fluoxtine and I have been looking for an answer to my problem as I know I can not be the only one who feels this way and lucky for me I found this web site which is fantastic – I don’t really want to be on these tablets as I feel I don’t feel like they are doing anything and that my mind is just playing its tricks on me – obviously I would not just stop taking my tablets and would consult my Dr first but I was just wanted to know yr views on the tablets and there effect to the road of recovery ?

  51. Dean 19th September 2008 at 11:24 am - Reply

    hi everyone

    I think now im really starting to let go and let things pan out they ment to.i would constantly beat myself up in the choices i had made about my life and in terms of anxiety,if i made the right choices.but the one ladyb i go and see for my anxiety told me there is never a right or wrong decision to make which hit home for me and it made me feel easier,obiously ur mind will try to counteract that decision and makee you feel like u have made the wrong choice,but its not in my hands its up to the universe now were it wants to take me.and everything is all working out in my best interests.i just have one hurdle to try and break or visious circle is the eating thing.i constantly analyse now wat i put in my mouth in case it gives me an allergy or a bad reaction and its caused me to i think loose alot of weight coz im not eationg and enjoying my food like i did and not give it a second thowt of what i eat.all the foods i enjoy im now worried it will give me a bad reaction and i need to break that fear coz thats it all is.so people if you have some pointers for me i wud really appreciate hearing them.sorry for the complaint but needed to speak about it.

    keep well people

  52. Candie 19th September 2008 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Dean- eat the foods, eat them as often as you would like- until the fear subsides. The way to get over this is to move towards the fear. Whiles you still fear this the anxiety will stick around. Only you know if this is an irrational fear, or if you really have allergies to these foods- you can have tests done if you are confident you have them.

  53. James 19th September 2008 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Hi, i am new to this but am looking for some advice really. 10 weeks ago i suffered what i now know to be a panic attack. For a few weeks after i went from pillar to post trying to find out what happened and i now know it is anxiety (generalised). Over the weeks i have tried a few things and have been feeling better as i try to re-grasp some of the things i enjoyed before anxiety took hold. However, despite starting to feel less anxious (which is so much easier when i am busy) it constantly feels like 2 steps forward and one back. One metho i tried says do not talk bout your feelings or think bout them, but that is crazy, this has gripped me for 10 weeks and massively changed my life. In a nutshell, how do i continue on the right path to reducing my anxiety levels. Any advice would be great. Thanx!

  54. Susie 20th September 2008 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Hi, New to writing on this site but been reading it for several weeks. This is all so familiar to me. I haven’t got the book but have read Claire Weekes books on and off for years, which seem to say similar things. Since recovering from cancer my anxiety has come back with a vengeance. Although the prognosis is good and it’s nearly 2 years since finishing chemo the anxiety remains. I understand its the automatic thoughts that release the adrenalin and then the cycle goes. In the evening I seem to feel much better and can see things rationally and then as soon as I wake in the morning the cycle starts again, how am I going to get through the day. It seems so difficult at times to just let the anxiety be there but I know its the only way to lessen it. If only we had an on/off switch. Suppose we need to look at it like a dimmer switch that is more subtle. Reading how other people suffer and cope does help to know I am not alone and I can get better. Take care

  55. Sarah 20th September 2008 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Well, having read this site on/off for a while, I seem to have reached an impasse. I bought Dr Claire Weekes about 5 years ago, and was helped immensely. After a few major life changing events, quitting a very stressful job & emmigrating & getting married, I rather foolishly attached conditions, that ‘when this happens, I will be alright’ But alas, of course it wasn’t. I understand, that healing must come from within, and can assimilate all the information that I read here, and from the aforementioned book. I just have difficulty in ‘putting into practice’ I also know I am not alone in this fact! After a particularly ‘bad turn’ last night, my wonderful husband, who is so understanding, and certainly doesn’t mind if I wake him up with the 4am terrors, said to me’ I am not cross with you, I will never be cross with you, but what I do find difficult to accept, is that for such an intelligent woman, why is it the penny has never really dropped?’ A while back, I had the obsession of suicide, primarily because I am afraid of death! I know now I made the critical mistake of analysing etc. and that just prolonged my misery. Finally, it dawned on me, that I could never do such a thing for a whole variety of reasons, and ‘all it was’ was anxiety. This especially came about when I read Paul’s blog on obsession, and a letter was there from someone who described all my symptoms, the penny indeed ‘did drop’ and I was able to relax- for all of 5 seconds or so.
    My thoughts then turned even further inwards (if that is possible) and I started to pick apart aspects on my brian function. Typically, the sequence of thoughts would be as follows;
    ‘how does my brain work?’
    ‘What makes me feel sleepy?’
    ‘What if I was scared of using my imaginantion?’
    ‘What if I was too frightened to re-call any past or create a future image?’
    ‘Is my brain a big scary thing, that I have no control over?’
    ‘What if I don’t want to use it any more? How do I stop it? I already know I am not going to commit suicide, so what next? what does the future hold for me?’ Hospital? being ‘commited’ ECT?- (A major fear of mine!- I think I genuinely would die first!)

    So on, and so forth, until I feel literally ‘frightened out of my mind’ this will result in me throwing up, crying my eyes out, and then reaching for a ‘glass of wine to calm me’ The reality is I KNOW not a pill, nor a Dr is going to make me better, only I can do that.

    So the question is this; If I am the creator of these thoughts, and I choose whether or not to let them bother me, do I need be impressed with any thoughts that pop into my mind? I know in therory, I should be in the driving seat, and that my common sense and wisdom should get me through, but a lot of the time, I feel like a passenger, and my wisdom’ is as far away as the moon. My family, keep telling me to ‘change the record, live in the moment’ but it seems, even ‘living in the moment’ is painful. I seem to have given myself an analogy; In my poor knackered mind, I am standing in front of 2 doors, one leads to misery and despair, and the other leads to the prize of freedom, happiness and gratitued. Which door I choose is up to me, I have enough understanding (even though I do not understand how to put it all into practise evidently) So it feels like I have been given a golden key, but will I use it? Which door do I choose? My fear of what is behind the door of despair, is sure to head me towards it, but I so desperately want to choose the door of happiness.

    Ultimately, I am now being afraid of a thing, that in therory should hold ‘no fear’ Ie; my brain, even though it has played it’s tricks in the past. Is this just ‘anxiety’ but a different shade of trick? My logic, when I can grasp at it long enough to make sense, tells me, ‘well of course’ if it is frightening you’ it’s anxiety! No matter what the contents of the thoughts!

    Oh good heavens above, what a ramble, I have bared my delicate soul, my family would be so ashamed of me, even I am ashamed of me; what a state to get in! I do not feel self-pity, I know that is of no good, but I do so want to get better, when I ‘make the effort’ I do gather hope, but it is not long before this game of snake’s and ladders takes over, and believe me, I seem to be on the snake, in no time at all. My hope is that ‘one day’ I will be better, and I like Paul, can help other people. Sometimes I am a smart enough girl, to see it clearly, other times not. I guess I am going to cringe that this posting when I am feeling better, but maybe I will be more philisophical than that. I sincerely hope so.

  56. BIA 21st September 2008 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    First time posting on here (so be gentle with me!). I have read Paul’s book which I much say certainly seems like the way to go and makes a lot of sense when you look at it logically. I’ve been stuck with this for 10 years now and have probably spent a disproportinate amount of time on various forums, loads of books, therapy etc to the point whereby it just starts to take over your life and you spend every waking minute looking for that magic cure!

    The problem I have is that my anxiety seems very centred around my job (I’ve had various so its not just *this* job) in particular around presentations, meetings, phone conversations and anything where I have to verbally interact with people in a performance related context (i.e. chatting informally is fine). I am always worried about making a mistake and seems to sometims be afflicted with wierd facial twitches when really anxious which makes me worry even more in case anyone sees them – as a result I am always thinking about it which obviously goes against the whole point of Paul’s method. What advice would everyone give ?? – I always worry that if I mess up (which ironically hasn’t happened yet) it would affect my job and therefore my income etc so I find it hard just to say “so what” (I suppose the classic catastrophising)

    I read an earlier post about over-analysing stuff as well which seems also very relevant. I have noticed recently that rather than just talking to people I am conciously thinking about what words I am using, how I construct the sentences etc rather than letting it come naturally – again probably an effect of giving the anxiety too much focus.

    Just interested in peoples views on this. I feel I have a few good weeks, hit a setback and then its back to over-analysing everything!

  57. Candie 21st September 2008 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone, big welcome to the blog for the newbies too! 😀

    Sarah, you seem to be scared of your own mind… which is something we all experience. The way to lose these thoughts is to confront the fear they cause- i was at my wits end so i sat and waited for myself to ‘lose control’… but it didnt happen. It never does, if your going to lose control it happens anyway. I supose anxious thoughts are caused by trying to re-inforce control internally- to gain some relief from the anxiety. But it has the oposite effect! As someone once said on here, loosen the grip on trying to gain control and recovery will come to you.

  58. lisa 22nd September 2008 at 10:48 am - Reply

    hi just checking in on you all at the library,having a break from packing boxes.dont worry candie il be back on msn soon .lots of new names coming on hello to you all 🙂 cant wait to get moved in now.paul it will be bring a tin of paint party hope your good at decorating ..then il see about a couple of ciders for you..lol

  59. Amy 22nd September 2008 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone

    Just few things I thought I’d write to help which helped me to recover

    1.Stress and tension can take a while to wear off. Once stress levels return to normal AND your body has healed, will the symptoms decrease. Practise patience as this will help you overall in life to slow down. There are too many expectations for us to behave a certain way and do things so quickly. We physically haven’t evolved (hardly at all actually) at the same rate as the fast paced high tech world we now live in. Take it back to the basics – exercise, good food, water, and proper breathing (ie slowly from the stomach). Once you have these then focus on what you really want from life – hobbies, loving relationships etc.

    2.What I realised is that I had the same symptoms for a long while. They came continously and intermittently. Did I come to any harm, did anyone else? NOT ONCE. I got so bored of my symptoms, they were crap and so boooooorrrrrinnnnnnng. So i let them come, asked them to come, learnt to attach no emotion to them. When the brain relearns that you have no emotion attached to your symptoms – whether that be tingling, palpitations, the sweats, those lovely waves of panic spasms, depersonalistion, dizziness, and most of all the crazy old thoughts or whatever (there are hundreds of symptoms)-it learns that they don’t matter. We only notice symptoms because we have attached an emotion to them, and what emotions are they?? All together now – FEAR and WORRY. Those dreary pair. The most useless pair of emotions. Neutralise the emotions and the brain knows it doesn’t have to bring your attention to the symptoms anymore.

    FAO Lisa. You asked about food. I used to find that i could get panicy after eating. This was mainly due to the fact my stomach, oesphagus (gullet) and throat muscles were tight. SO when I ate, it affected my breathing as your lungs are in that area too and the diaphram is just above your stomach. Along with the fact that your chest muscles may also be tight, after or during eating this can affect how well you breath. When you breath too quickly or too shallow, you start to hyperventilate = panic. Best thing to do overall is try breathing from your stomach , mentally think about relaxing those areas, don’t physically try to do it apart from straighting your back. It might not work right away but it will after you do a few times. Also 5-6 smaller meals per day instead of 3 large meals might help.

    Not sure this will help anyone but thougth I’d give it a try

    Oh also, I started reading inspirational books on happiness and for me it was people’s stories about travelling and photograph books on beautiful places.

  60. No More Anxiety 22nd September 2008 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Yes as Candie says welcome to all the new posters over the weekend, I think there were about 6 newcomers all in one day. Although I may not have the time to answer all your questions, I will pick up on some main points and post a little something later.

    Lisa: Painting for cider, Well sounds good to me, the longer I paint, the wobblier it may get though. Good luck with your move and keep popping in to say hello.

  61. candie 22nd September 2008 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Some very good points there Amy, im sure they will help lots of people 🙂

    Lisa… CIDER!!!!! Eurgh…. that stuff turns my stomach!

  62. SJ 23rd September 2008 at 11:59 am - Reply

    I have come a long way in my battle but seem to be left feeling unhappy and unexcited about things. I wonder whether you can truly get back to the person you once was once these feelings subside or is it something you have to work on over time. I find it frustrating at times but at the same time know that it is a matter of patience and time. I also think that the memories will be hard to let go of and have become a habit to think about often which may also be causing this feeling. If anyone has any thoughts or has experienced or is experiencing the same stage then some advice would be good.
    Take care everyone

  63. Lisa 23rd September 2008 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Thanks Amy, I think I’ve developed a phobia against food 🙁 How do you let physical symptoms wash over you? I get like an itching burning inside me that irritates me so much I can’t ignore it, its 2 physically uncomfortable 🙁 anyone else had anything like that?

  64. Amy 24th September 2008 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Hiya Lisa, I went through a phase like that, as I thought i might have a food intolerance. But I didn’t. Can you relate the itching feeling to any particular types of food? and can you say where the itching burning is ? above your belly button or below it? Possibly right at the point where the ribcage/breast bone ends?

  65. Peter 24th September 2008 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Hi Amy
    I remember in previous posts you mentioned you felt more anxious when the weather was dull and miserable. I have had the same thing, often feeling more anxious on cloudy dull days. What I have noticed is that now I am improving I don’t feel nearly as anxious but am still left with the memories of how bad I felt so dull days tend to remind me of my anxiety! I do worry that I’m slipping back sometimes but on the whole I’m definitely moving forward. Is there anything you did to help yourself overcome this particular thought pattern?

  66. DS 24th September 2008 at 8:30 am - Reply


    First of all im new to this forum ! so howdy folks.

    In response to SJ – I am at a very similar stage were I do not feel a like im in a constant anxiety attack but I am finding it very difficult to find enjoyment in anything like I used to – I loved keeping a clean house, going for walks, watching films + listening to music but at the moment nothing moves me I do everything with a forced entrepidation which ultimately cause me to feel anxious.

    On a more positive note I am presently trying to find some kind of sport/activity which I can join im up for most things so any ideas would be great (I have thought about kickboxing but don’t know if I dare :).


    I have/Do experience very similar symptoms as yr self – I am a big guy and have always enjoyed food as a rule – Loved going out for meals, getting take always and cooking but at certain stages of my anxiety I feel like eating is a chore one which feeds my anxiety I often imagine that anything I put in my body will only make me feel worse I avoid stimulants at all costs.

    I get a sensation of heartburn as soon as I think about eating anything ! then worry that by not eating my body might shut down and no longer function (all of which feeds my anxiety further) but then when I do feel like eating I can only eat Junky food and have no interest in anything healthy which then makes me paranoid and once again feeds my anxiety.

    It is very easy to get caught in this cycle I find the best way to combat this is to eat little but often eating the things I know are essential to my body in order to maintain daily function having a concentration on yr diet will also take your mind off other things.

    be well people.

    ”Next time you feel despair, remind yourself of the choice between feeding your heart, and feeding your fears”

  67. Lisa 24th September 2008 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Hi amy, Its kinda around my diaphragm area really and sometimes my stomach, my gp thinks its probably adrenalin and so do I really just find it hard to ignore when its so physically uncomfortable. The food thing is slightly different, I think I’m anxious about having an attack while eating or after food, ive only ate mouthfuls at a time for about 3 weeks now, sometimes I get brave and go for it but usually I feel full or the adrenalin starts rushing grrrr


  68. Duya 24th September 2008 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Hi all; I’m new here… I’ve been some 6 months through this. I [believe I] made some progress, though bad days are still around. “The Friend (TM)” likes to kick you when you’re down… I’ve had a mild flu and stomach ache recently, and wham! it starts frying from the early morning… I suppose I’ll have to accept this as well…

    @SJ: I feel mostly the same, and try not to think about it, but to live day in-day out… just another set of unhealthy thoughts. Luckily, I have moments of True Serenity, and everything looks just as it should be then.

    My take on this is as follows: when you’re in the Survival Mode, which anxiety is — no matter how progress you made — the only thing that matters is how to survive, and in this moments nothing else feels of any worth. You can really dwell on “secondary” things (such as fun, art, music, and everything else that makes life worth it) once you reach the state of Serenity, i.e. when The Friend (TM) goes away. I don’t expect that state to last 24/7, but I believe that it’s reachable… once in my life. No matter how bad I feel, I find that having a Leap of Faith — that the life has a meaning and is just as it should be, despite what you might feel at the moment — helps to get you through the bad times.

  69. Amy 24th September 2008 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Peter I think it must have been another Amy but funnily enough I did feel worse on dull days. What I did was broke that pattern of memories. I would recognise that it was memory and not fight it, tried to look at the memories without reacting to them ie not highlighting the fact that these memories were important. With time the brain learns that those memories don’t matter anymore as no emotion is attached to them. ALso I spent as much time as Icould outside, even if for 10 – 15 mins at lunch time and after work. Exercise , for me swimming is good as it gets my arms and shoulders moving where a lot of my tension lies.

    Also, when you start remembering about your anxiety and how it used to affect you, you have a choice as to how you react to it. You can either let it make you feel apprehensive, scared , or sad OR you can choose to think ‘man, I’ve experienced things others haven’t (but many have), I must give my self some slack and think wow that takes courage and patience’ ie make it a postive experience and learn from it. I certainly take a lot of time to chill now. I learnt my behaviours were my downfall – always on the go, doing to much, trying to please others etc. Once you can face your past without fear, you are there. SO face these memories, don’t flinch, don’t attach emotion and be pleased with yourself with what you’ve come through. Visualisations of sunny places on cloudy days also make me feel better too.

    Also, last winter I got a lightbox from ebay. i know they can be expensive, think mines was £40 but man, they certainly light up your room. It’s quite nice to get some bright light. they do work for a lot of peeps esp in the winter. Not sure if this info helps .

    Hiya Lisa, I had mega probs with my stomach just like that. it’s a lovely mixture of tension and nerves being sensitive. There’s a saying something like the stomach cries when other parts of the body aren’t working right otherwise it’s very sensitive and the core of your whole body. Also stomach acid will play at part in causing some pain. What I did was felt and noticed the discomfort (dont flinch from it) and tried to eat every 2-3 hours. even something plain like a piece of toast or crackers with spread. My main thing though was milk. when you haven’t had much in the day, milk is nutritionally sound to help you get your appetite and metabolism going again. You might not be feeling hungry and the mo (or full like you say) as your muscles are tense and metabolism has learnt to slow right down due to you not eating much. so slowly do it and don’t panic if you don’t finish a whole meal, just come back to it later but once you mentally release that tension in the stomach it does go. Believe me. ALso if you take an attack during eating then let yourslef have an attack. WHo’s in charge here you or anxiety? It doesn’t matter just let it come, let it go and your body will learn that it’s much easier to be not anxious and tense than anxious and tense/ Add no emotion apart from carefree and you’ll feel lots better. I’ve been where you are. You can do it!!! Time to take control back.

  70. jay 25th September 2008 at 2:29 am - Reply

    Is it normal lose weight during anxiety? I seem to lose some weight over the past months even without exercising. I eat normal and I eat the right food.


  71. DaveM 25th September 2008 at 2:30 am - Reply

    I too am stuck back in the hole…

    I cannot tell if this is depression or anxiety… it’s like anxiety over feeling depressed. *sigh*

    I was feeling better and started to look for an apartment to move out to in new york… This would be really my first move out of my parents home besides one ill fated month over the spring where I had to move back.

    On top of that I asked for more responsibilities and more work to do at work, because I was basically being paid to do nothing. Now I worry it was a mistake.

    I keep worrying about what if I am not able to keep my job. What if I get too depressed to get out of bed and go to work. What if I am not supposed to be at this job. What If I should leave New York where I grew up? I don’t like it here anymore. IT’s getting colder too and fall and winter in New York is a very hard time to go through. I also have no girlfriend and I have some friends but none of the very close types are that I can talk to every night and feel better. This is a very hard time in my life. I keep thinking every day that maybe I need to take some medication to get my brain chemicals back in the right order, but I dont want to start down that path. I heard that medication basically takes your recovery out of your control, not to mention the side effects that one can have. Life just feels very hard and kind of hopeless. I would never kill myself but I am considering just running away, traveling or moving to somewhere where it’s summer all the time. I wish life came with a handbook as to what to do.

    Frank BTW… one thing I keep thinking when I read your post… it all makes sense, but I feel like there actually IS something to fear. And that is the bad feeling of fear itself. If that makes sense. Every good advice always says “what is anxiety or panic, it can’t actually hurt you, it will go away”, but the thing that hurts is the pain of going through it

  72. No More Anxiety 25th September 2008 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Again welcome to the new 3 posters, if you don’t receive a reply then do keep posting, we are having so many new posters at the moment that it is hard to answer them all.

    Also Dave your post above I have made into 1 post as you had 3 post after each other, it just makes it easier to keep to one post.

    I was going to post something new today but I as there are so many new posts I thought I would leave it for a couple of days, so there will be something new over the weekend. One point and then just a few bits and bobs, a bit of a social one really.

    And Dave on your point above about thinking there IS something to fear and the pain of going through it. That’s exactly what you have to do ‘Go through it’ if you meet a situation in real life that scares you, adrenalin comes and you feel fear, but it dies down and this is the reason it does not bother you too much, but you still have to feel it, no one goes through life not feeling fear at some point. Now with anxiety fear comes to easy as we are sensitised and something small can set us off, if we run away and avoid this feeling, then it causes us far problems and we give the feeling such importance, trying to avoid it coming at all costs, instead of seeing it as natural in the circumstances and just a feeling that will die down. We are actually not running away from the feeling of fear in many cases, it is where we think it will take us. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to get away from how I felt or not go certain places, but I just went everywhere at will and honestly had the attitude of ‘Whatever happens, happens I no longer care’ all that ever happened is an uncomfortable feeling for a while and then I was fine, I only had to go through this a few times before I had a built in confidence that fear only had so much power, as much power as I let it have. But the main point is I allowed myself to feel it and did not try to control or stop it, I would have lost that battle for sure anyway. In time I de-sensitised and was able to go everywhere with no problems and felt very little or no fear. But I had to go through it to build my confidence and de-sensitise, I could not have done this avoiding or running away from how I felt and deep down I knew this and I refused to see my life get narrower and narrower. And as Frank said and I will say ‘What was the worse thing that could happen anyway’ it is only adrenalin. But this reaction is to tell you that you are in danger in a healthy body, so we feel the fear and it is an instinct to run away, that’s why it is important part of out bodies make up, so yes it really is a case of going against this instinct and not running away as there can be no danger being in a certain place that you would have breezed through before.

    I hope that make sense


  73. SJ 25th September 2008 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    a question for Amy: How did you overcome the fear of the anxiety returning. I feel i am getting there but am not back to my old self and seem to have the fear of the anxiety being there or returning in the future. I have not read too many success stories rather people just coping with it so to speak so i would be interested to know what full recovery feels like and how you know when you are there. I am not on medication and do not worry too much about what things i eat either but would like to try and look forward to things and feel happier than i do at the moment as it puts a terrible strain on my whole family and i would like to see myself well and enjoying life the way it should be. Do you feel like your old self or is there something missing. I also feel like i have got into the habit of holding back for some reason and get a little down from time to time more through frustration than anything else and also hearing how some people take forever to get over it if at all which i know doesn’t always help. Maybe hearing a success story and concrete proof that it can be achieved would be good and give belief to others.

  74. Candie 25th September 2008 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    SJ there have been lots of sucess stories on here, i can think of reading about at least five people that have recovered! Then there are the people that dont post,who just follow the blog- lots of them will have recovered too. This website will always be full of people that are recovering rather then recovered and still posting lots… as most people that recover would like to move on from the anxiety and forget about it.

    The people that dont recover are the people that dont know how to recover- like Paul… he had anxiety for 10 years and didnt recover. When he received good advice and put it into practice he recovered. I think if someone can recover after ten years, recovery is there for any of us.

    Hope everyone is having a good week, again- welcome to all the new posters!

  75. SJ 25th September 2008 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    hi again,
    I guess i have read too many things about people suffering for a long long time and also mainly about how to live with it rather than recovering from it. This is what most articles suggest and there aren’t many which give positive advice like Paul does. I would like to believe everyone can go on to recover and live healthy happy lives but i think sometimes a bit of doubt creeps into everyones mind from time to time rightly or wrongly. At the end of the day i know it comes down to patience and time but i think we are all guilty of looking for answers especially when all we have done is stress/worry for a while and then suddenly everything is turned upside down and we are left picking up the pieces.
    I am not disputing that people have recovered and are recovering and hopefully at some stage i will be here saying just that but i think there is too much negative reading out there and not enough positive which is what we all need when battling.
    It does help knowing others are in the same boat nonetheless and helping each other.

  76. No More Anxiety 25th September 2008 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    SJ, as Candie says when people recover they tend to want to just carry on with their life and move away from it. It took me a while after my own recovery before I felt I could come back and help others, I just needed a long break and to integrate back into normal living, memories and habits were a bit too raw to jump straight back in to helping others. I have many people email me who say they are now back at work and doing well, people who are doing stuff they could not imagine the year before or feeling far better than the year before.

    I do post positive posts, as you say people want to hear positive things, I detest it when I read something like, ‘you just have to cope with it’, no you don’t! I am glad I did not take that advice. One thing you wont see me say though is that its easy and all you have to do is this or that and next week you will be back to normal, it does take time and happens gradual. The person that comes on here to feel better by next month is following the wrong blog. I cannot tell you how many people have told me they searched for the impossible overnight cure and it does not exist. All the so called ‘famous’ miracle cures that are out there are just publicised machines. I am not allowed to go into more detail for certain reasons although I would love to.

    This site is and now this blog, has become so big and popular because people talk about it and its content. Certain therpists send their patients here, becoming so popular does not happen by chance, its word of mouth and people linking to the site because they think I have something helpful to say. So stick around and don’t make too many judgements too soon on your own progress. The people Candie is talking about are people who came here as desperate as anyone and went away recovered or certainly far, far better when they first came. But trust me I had to keep the faith more than once in my own recovery and not go down the road of self pity or being tempted to shutting the world away.


  77. SJ 25th September 2008 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the advice. I do try and keep away from the subject when i can as i am aware that drowning in it as a subject doesn’t help. I think i would be the same after recovery and not wanting to relight the fire so to speak. I think i take too much to heart and reading about ‘coping with it’ or ‘living with it’ is not good enough for me as i would like to think i can go on to fully recover and just be more aware of it in the future. Reading your story is a positive and talking to others who have been through the same experience does help greatly. You are right when you say it is an up and down affair and i do feel i have come a long way to how i was. This site has been very helpful to me and i will stick around as there is some good advice. I think i am guilty of being impatient and a bit of self pity from time to time and reading information which is not always helpful and sows the seeds of doubt. I think this is the only site that doesn’t want to sell programms or cd’s of miracle cures and offers the advice for free. It is hard to keep the faith at times but when i get back to being the person i would like to be i shall be glad i did keep the faith.
    Thanks for the reply

  78. SJ 25th September 2008 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Just another quick question. Is it possible to recover from it and stay recovered or can it come back again at a later date?
    I guess i am still trying to not worry when it is all i have done for 5 months.
    Advice would be good. Thanks

  79. Lisa 25th September 2008 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Amy, I suffer from acid reflux and a hiatus hernia and have had an ulcer, this “pain” “irritation” is so real I think I’ll go back to the doc and ask to have tests done. I don’t suffer from health anxiety I don’t think as I hope it is something physical that can be treated. If it turns out to be not physical then maybe I can learn to deal with it, can’t see it tho as its physically dominating my life 🙁

  80. No More Anxiety 25th September 2008 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    SJ it is not about ‘it’ coming back, once you learn about it and recover it is only you who can go back there again. But you learn so much, I am a far more calmer person before my anxiety, my whole outlook on life has changes, trivial things seem just that. I learnt not to worry or stress about things, what will be will be and even through my recovery I learnt not to worry about how I was feeling as I understood it, how could I worry or stress about it when I understood, before I did that is all I did ‘Worry’ about every aspect of it. I can guarantee I will never go back there, I could never worry or put too much stress on my body to do so. Even now I may get a day when I feel a little anxious and it does not bother me in the slightest. You are worrying about anxiety and this puts more stress and worry on your body, hence you stay in the cycle, it is all the fuels it needs. My recovery came when I started to do the opposite and that came through knowledge, when I did not understand sure I was bound to worry and stress about it, try to get rid of it, try and think my way better, yes all the things that kept me in the cycle. It is like learning a new subject and this is why people recover later down the line, the more they learn and understand the less they worry or question how they feel, the less bewildered they are.

    And it is not a ‘thing’ or an ‘it’ that has chosen you or others. Anxiety is just our bodies being overworked, our nerves get over worked and become bad if you like, we become sensitised, it is just our body telling you it needs a break. If you overwork any machine beyond it limits then it breaks down or starts to clunk and run bad, your body is the same and just now needs a break to recover, but we don’t do this, we then worry about how we feel and the cycle continues.


  81. JR 25th September 2008 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    SJ…About six months ago I thought exactly want you mentioned. “Do anyone really recover from anxiety?” I wanted to know why there is so much suffering on the internet and not much help.

    Well I’m here to attest that Paul’s book and this blog is where the answers are for anxiety and DP recovery. I have a long story of anxiety starting back in high school and DP which started in college. After following this site, reading Paul’s book and putting the ideas into practice (this is the key) I’ve become a new man.

    I’m not 100% yet – don’t let this scare you because it’s only a matter of time – but I’m felt feelings and emotions that I haven’t felt in years. A sense of pride has returned as well. I’ve finally found what I was searching for…anxiety and DP recovery! And this blog and book is the main reason why.

  82. Kamini 26th September 2008 at 5:35 am - Reply

    Dear Paul & Others,

    Hope you are all doing fine with your recovery. Well, As you all I am an anxiety sufferer and I am blessed to have discovered Paul’s website. I have gone through Paul’s book, everything has started making sense for me now. I have even know that i am only suffering from anxiety and nothing more.Before, i did not even know what was happening to me.

    Well, I want some clarifications: Is it possible for someone who is going through recovery to experience new symptoms? Because I feel some new symptoms which I had never experience when i was in my worse. I feel a lot of dizziness and headache. is it normal?

    Moreover, i have a lot of thoughts running in my mind. Everytime i have my attention going in mind. Everytime i accept it by using sayings like,” it’s ok to feel like this, play your tricks, OR Come if you wish, and i even say positive statements to myself. Is it OK the way i am proceeding? Or am i not tiring my mind further?

    Please someone clarify. I really need your help on these 2 points

    Wishing you all lots of success in your recovery.


  83. No More Anxiety 26th September 2008 at 9:22 am - Reply

    J.R that’s great and I am glad the book/blog have helped you so much and you make a good point, you are not there yet but so happy with the great progress you have made. This is what I always tell people, don’t look too far ahead and demand full recovery, just go for progress, this is a far better attitude to have as recovery comes bit by bit, little parts of the old you surface, you start to feel emotions again, you start to enjoy things again, smile again, feel calmer, more able to hold conversations, it all comes in layers, it did for me. When people look at recovery it seems so far away, but when they felt healthy and anxiety free they probably never imagined feeling like this. So just be happy with progress and don’t put the pressure of recovery on your shoulders.

  84. SJ 26th September 2008 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    hI ALL,
    I know i am recovering as my emotions have come back, i can hold conversations, i have no trouble sleeping at night and do feel calmer. I would like to get to the stage of looking forward to things and smiling. There are a few things holding me back and i intend to try and work on these. I think sometimes i am too hard on myself in fact i know i am but i am determined to get where i want to be. I’m sure not being on medication is helping me but i still need to address some worries. At one time i awoke feeling anxious but for the last few weeks have been waking refreshed and calm and more relaxed than ever until i go on a merrygoround of checking in on myself etc. I guess i have just picked up some bad habits as it is all i have done since it started in May. I think a lot of my problem is overcoming what has been a frightening experience and something which still disrupts my daily life in one way or another. My sister has experienced it and so to has my father and in time they overcame it. I find it helpful getting advice from them not to mention support and if they can overcome this and lead happy lives then i’m sure i can as well given a bit more time. There are too many negatives out there so i am now stepping back from reading these stories and shall only stick with the positive ones in the future.

  85. Duya 26th September 2008 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    SJ, I could sign most of your posts as if they were mine (so keep up on good work :-P). I’m about at the same stage — I made some progress, yet the impatience of “getting it over with” pops up, and the “what if I’m not on a good path?” and “this treatment takes too long”… looking too far ahead I guess. That’s probably slowing me down a bit (along with this awful weather in Continental Europe, and mild illness which also causes lack of exercise, some extra stress on the job,…).

  86. Candie 26th September 2008 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Kamini- i have experienced lots of new symptoms- but i have never attached fear to them as i now know the tricks anxiety can play, if i hadnt of found this website id probably be scared of them though. I can feel surges of tingling in my hands and feet sometimes, i think its adrenaline- i’ve never been scared by it… found it funny really. I have also experienced derealisation… mainly a side effect of medication (which i was wrongly prescribed!). I also have lots of odd, obsessive thoughts… which race in my mind- mainly when i have high anxiety. Its like my attention is on my mind and what im thinking… i think thats a symptom of depersonalisation to be honest… but as Paul says all symptoms calm together through recovery. I know mine all calm when i have no anxiety, so im not worried by them as there just adrenalin releasing.

  87. Lisa 26th September 2008 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    How do you all cope with the unpleasant symptoms like feeling as if you can’t breathe? Its so hard to ignore

  88. Candie 26th September 2008 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    The first step is understanding Lisa… if you couldnt breathe… then you would stop breathing- yet you havn’t- so clearly you can breathe. I get a feeling like my throat is a bit ristricted sometimes, which makes me breathe heavier. So one day i thought ‘sod this’…. i willed the anxiety on and sat there and waited for me to stop breathing. Well i could of waited forever, because it didnt happen… it never does. Anxiety is fear of what may happen, and the feelings you feel during this. If you are ashmatic however, i wouldnt advise you to ‘dare’ the anxiety… but give it a go if your not and i can gaurantee after a few times the fear will dampen.

    If there is one thing that will show great results during recovery it is embracing your fears, and keep doing it till you no longer fear them. If your scared of chest pains, breathing, thoughts, phobias,leaving the house, eating… ANYTHING- then face the fear. It is the last step for me, i have accepted the physical sensations… now im learning to embrace my fears. You dont have to throw yourself straight in at the deep end either. Just move slowly towards it at your own pace.

  89. Lisa 26th September 2008 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks Candie, i had a weird experience earlier, i was sitting here at the PC after having a mild PA and I suddenly felt as if my mind had left my body, as if the life drained out of me almost, it scared the hell outa me and i got up quickly and the sensation passed, is this depersonalisation??

  90. Candie 26th September 2008 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Sounds like it Lisa, iv had it plenty of times… but didnt realise i had it for a while as i was too wrapped up in other symptoms! Iv had it where things around me feel unreal… and my hearing goes dull… sometimes things even seem kinda static like a tv with a bad reception! I have also looked at my hands and felt as if i was divorced from my own body. It cant harm you, and always passes. Like you though Lisa, i already new what it was and had this blog and Pauls book to look through… so i have never really suffered with it. Sure iv had it… probs only once or twice a month, but i quickly lost fear of it as i new all about it.

    Have a good weekend everyone, iv got my nephew round.. hes only 2 bless him and a right cheeky monkey! Kids!

  91. lorryt 27th September 2008 at 9:46 am - Reply

    hi all

    i have kept away as i felt it really wasnt helping drowning myself in the subject and guess what it has worked a lot !!!!. i have been working while kids are at school and keeping mysefl busy, a little too busy as i am struggling again. i am learning we all have a point at which we have to say enough is enough. i atteneded my friends funeral and although sad at th eloss of her , she has gone and i am still here so i am the lucky one and intend to enjoy my life. i still have this anxiety sat on my shoulder, but i am aware its there and pay it no mind. one sentence really helped me paul said you can be too impressed with how you feel. this fro me clinched it. i was too inward and too much me me me, and neede to take myself out of it. my daughter has started school and guess what , nothing happened!!. she is always my daughter no matter what she does!. i was getting myself into such a state about things it overtook reality . well i am aware of what i need to do now, nothing !!!!!! just get on , dont fret stay calm, let it do its worst when it wants to and in time it will eventually go when my body is ready !!

    wow you guys you have taught me sooo much , i just neede to put it into use and stop fretting

    speak soon and have a wonderful day

  92. SAMANTHA 27th September 2008 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    hi paul

    i wondered if you could do a post on the feeling of something bad is going to happen i have this feeling most days and it really does upset me i have improved so much over the last couple of months but yet this feeling is still with me i just feel like it will have me spiralling backwards it leads my thought processes to think i am not getting better and will always be caught in this anxiety spiral

    many trhanks


  93. Candie 27th September 2008 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Hi LorryT, Thats great news… i wondered where you had got too! Stick at it and you will get better 🙂

    Samantha, i get that a lot.. its apprehensive fear… thats what adrenalin does… prepares you for something bad to happen, then it doesnt happen so a lot of people divert this internally with thoughts of not recovering, odd thoughts, thoughts bad stuff is gonna happen, or just generally over reacting to daft things as we are so tense on edge. I have learnt to label it for what it is ‘a false apprehension of fear braught on by adrenalin’- then i move on. There is no need to preach to yourself, but if you find yourself fighting etc.. just remind yourself of it. Infact everyone who has anxiety has this feeling, its totally harmless. Thats why thoughts bother us sometimes, but not others… depending on adrenalin levels etc.

    Hope everyone is having a good weekend, i am 😀

  94. Sarah 27th September 2008 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Candie,

    Thanks for replying to me, I have been digesting the information here, and I must tell you all, I have had quite a ‘revelation’ yesterday! Let me explain;

    I live in France, and for the past 3 weeks or so , I have been trying to teach my mum French, as she would like to converse with our lovely neighbours (who have taken to dropping in wild mushrooms, smoked trout and all manners of alcoholic drinks, made with apples!) Anyway, she was really fed up, as she could not seem to absorb the basic principles, no matter how hard she tried. I asked her, when was the last time she had really ‘tried’ to learn anything? She replied, ‘ when she was at school’ (a long time ago!) I then said to her, ‘well, when I first used my nintendo brain train, my ‘brain age’ was 90 yrs old!, but after some practice, this has reduced considerably, so therefore, it must mean, I am activating a facility, that I have not used very much, and am progressing smoothly. Therefore, she couldn’t expect to learn French straight away,as her ‘learning part’ was a tad rusty!
    As I said this, it came to me, if I have been using my analysing facility, lots and lots (and believe me I have) it is well ‘oiled’ and going to be set a a really high level. So, when those of you in the know, say, let the constant analysing pass, give it space, but do not indulge it, what we are really doing is re-setting our levels. So! I tried it today, I said to myself, right, no analysing about stuff that is really not important (you may re-call I was stressing about my brain function last week) The thoughts drifted in and out, and all the while I concentrated on the task at hand, and got on with my day. It turned out to be a really good day! Earlier this evening, I felt myself feeling tense, and apprehensive, even a bit sad, so I told myself, ‘what do you expect? You have been in shreds for nearly 6 months!’ And do you know what? It PASSED!

    I reckon I have finally got the last peice of the jigsaw, the thoughts were always so much harder than the physical symptoms, it took me no time to get shot of those, but it looks as if I will be able to get shot of the thought aspect after all. I can really accept that it is going to take a while, they have been with me on/off for 5 years now, though really bad the last 6 months, but hey, habits can be changed! I know this much, if I stopped speaking French today, within 6 months or so, I would have great difficulty in conversing, so why not lose the anxiety habit?

  95. Jimmy 28th September 2008 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Hello everyone this is my first post here but have read Pauls and Wills books and both have been very helpful especially Pauls and this blog. I would like to ask you Paul or anyone else about a physical symptom that I can not understand. I have had panic attacks in the past years been to the er’s and no heart problems found. I was diagnosed in 1984 with mitral valve prolaspe but DR’s say they cannot hear it anymore upon regular check ups. Any way the question is I can be doing nothing and get a rapid heartrate and the old butterfly feeling in the gut seems like for no reason. Sometimes I may be anxious a little about something and some times not. It does not happen often mabe once or twice a month. When it does happen anxiety gets pretty bad until it passes. Is this still mabe a form of panic attack that just has this one symptom or what. Just wonder if anyone else can relate to this. Paul I live in the U.S. and have searched everywhere there is but have to say you are on this better than anyone I have ever came accross great job and thank you very much to bad there is so much water between us all. Good luck to everone here

  96. lorryt 28th September 2008 at 8:08 am - Reply

    hi there, i can totally relate to the thoughts thing, and like we are all getting reminded it is just habit. but we have to really believe it beforewe can change it. we can all get there, we truly can and i am saying that with so much belief now. it has taken me a long time to get into the habit but i have and thats the main point !. hi candie and lisa and katy hope youa re all well , and shirley too!.

    as i always say this place is such a great help.

    going off subject. i live in southampton quite close to where the young dad and his 2 kids died. i was trying to explain to my hubby that so many lives have ended needlessly because they truly believe the thoughts that they are having are real.It was such a tradgedy. its people like paul who really help and get us to understand things.
    have a good day all

  97. No More Anxiety 28th September 2008 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Welcome Jimmy and thanks for posting. Again I am glad the book and this blog has helped you. Samantha, Candie is right with her explanation about the ‘feeling as though something bad is going to happen’, don’t worry I had this also, like a hovering apprehension, but it does pass, just allow yourself to feel like this and don’t pay it too much respect.

  98. James 28th September 2008 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I would appreciate some clarification on the following, my doctor says i have anxiety and having used the info on this site and other resources i am feeling much better than 10 weeks ago. However, some days i still feel like i do not want to get back fully to the cut and thrust of normal life. Is this because my anxiety is getting worse, or am i having a mental/nervous breakdown or is this the norm. Paul i am sure you may be able to appreciate where i am coming from. I think in a nutshell i am worried that having made great progress, i dont want to suffer a major relapse. Cheers

  99. James 28th September 2008 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Paul, i would just like to apologise for my last, slightly desperate post. By making posts like this i am just keeping myself in the cycle. Its odd, i sometimes have a blip and look for reassurance. However, as you say, reasssurance ultimately must come from within. I remember someone once said to me that the hardest person in the world to live with is yourself and once you master that then life will become more clear. I now know how they felt. I have made great strides through this site as well as the teachings of another recovered anxiety sufferer. It is these people, like yourself, who can teach me the most. In addition, by just reading existing posts i can get answers to my concerns, my obsessive thoughts, habits. Thanks for putting a common sense approach forward and also explaining recovery,

  100. Candie 28th September 2008 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Hi LorryT, iv’e read the story your on about in the paper, its awful isn’t it. The man that did it was suffering from depression i read, a bit like the story about that man who jumped of a balcony on holiday with his kids. Some would call it a selfish act of love, some would say he was mad.

    James, this blog is here for to help people, so dont be frightened to post how you feel! I know i have come here in the earlier stages of my recovery and posted a few desperate messages. As Paul said he wanted this website to be the last place anyone with anxiety had to go for answers. It is fine to seek some reassurance, aslong as you remember recovery is about beleiving in yourself too. It is a learning experience, confidence builds slowly- thats why it can take coming through bad periods of anxiety for us to see there is no real threat. I know after iv had a bad week i always come through thinking- yet again nothing bad ever happened. Anxiety reared its ugly head earlier today… so i thought whatever, this is boring now… nothing bad is going to happen, it didn’t and it never will. I feel great now and havn’t give my little episode a second thought.

    I have come to a stage now where i really am bored with what anxiety throws at me, its like… oh you again, get on with it then so i can see yet again how nothing bad is going to happen…. i call its bluff everytime and nothing bad ever happens. Infact, after reading what iv put- i think i have bigger problems- talking about anxiety asif it is a person! haha

  101. James 28th September 2008 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    thanks for the reply candie, u mention about the gradual recovery which i now realise. The problem i had when the anxiety started is that, as i am getting married in 10 weeks, i was saying that i must be ready for my wedding, which i now know is unhealthy as it adds pressure. In living by the day i have started to make progress but as i push my boundaries further i become more physically tired which leads to mental tiredness at which point the doubts start to creep in, which is normal and, as i now realise, all part of the healing process.

  102. Kamini 29th September 2008 at 7:27 am - Reply

    Thanks Candie. I knew you would reply me. U r so generous, just like Paul. U r always there to reply the others. Well I am keeping acceptance in practice. Week end was really worst for me. I had the worst setback. But I am taking it positive. It means i am on the right direction.

    Anywayz thanks again Candie. And are you in facebook?

  103. Lisa 29th September 2008 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Thanks Candie, I asked the question on another forum and it was suggested that maybe I got to relaxed and that scared me, it makes sense kinda cos for the rest of the day I was afraid to sit down! probably my body is so used to being tense it came as a shock lol

  104. candie 29th September 2008 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Kamini and Lisa

    Your welcome 🙂 i like to come on here and help people, as it was me on here all bewildered back in march when so many kind people helped me! So i think its important for me to stick around and show people you can recover! I know im getting there, as i have gone from terrified of symptoms.. to realising they really are just adrenalin and anxiety… to being fairly bored of them!

    My email adress for facebook is candielovescandie@hotmail.co.uk , add me

  105. xxRachxx 23rd November 2008 at 4:09 am - Reply


    im pretty new to this blog althou i have been reading the site for the last few months.i realise this blog is pretty dated now but everything u guys are talking about is everything im going thru at the min,im finding it VERY difficult to break the anxious though cycle. my anxiety started at 16 althou at that time i didnt know what it was and even went to the hospital begging them to sign me in because the thoughts were that bad,thankfully i got thru it within 4 weeks i was back to normal and althou i have had the ocassional intrusive thought over the last 6 years ive managed to brush it off.this bout of anxiety reared its head in september the only thing i can pinpoint is a miscarridge i had it just went from there,ive gotta say im feeling alot better than i did 2months ago and theres days when i feel im on the road to recovery and belive i can and will get better but theres also days when the thoughts come and i cant brush them off i think isit really worth going thru this everyday? then i dout that i wont act on the thoughts,just wondered if this is normal on the road to recovery beign as it went on its own before im finding it hard to relate to the feelings of recovery .if that makes sense.i hope it does and sorry for rambling on

    take care everyone xxxx

  106. Nicole 30th March 2009 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Hi Lorry T and Candie,
    I am in Canada but occasionally there are similar stories in the paper here and just recently I read on my yoga teachers’ blog that one of her students took her own life. This used to be something that really scared me and to tell the truth it is still a kick in the stomach when I hear of such things. But I remind myself that it is difficult for everyone to hear not just people with anxiety. It is okay to feel sad and I am allowing myself to feel that and then move on with my life. Worrying about it won’t help. I also remind myself that this is not the only time that I will be confronted with news of this sort so it is an opportunity to deal with it in the right way. There is a temptation to try and work it out, reassure myself that I wouldn’t do that…. but as you said Candie, your faith in yourself builds on the road to recovery and I am truly feeling this, so the need to analyze every emotion is fading.
    Staying off the blog has helped too. I was too reliant on it, as much as it has helped, I needed to think of other things.
    Hey Scarlet, I picked up a book you recommended a while back – “Stop worrying and start living”. It’s a good read, and interesting to see that through time, much of the advice on recovery has always been similar, even Eckhart Tolle’s popular work echoes what Claire Weekes was saying 50 years ago – that we have to start witnessing our emotions and stay in the moment. Sounds so easy doesn’t it! Off to start the day, have a good one all! Nicole

  107. PT 26th March 2012 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone, I am new to this and is in hope to find some answers. I’ve been having symptoms for a year and no doctor could figure out what I have. I’ve had tons of tests done and all came out negitive except for one which really bugs me but the doctors believes its nothing. Everyone tells me I have anxiety but my problem is that I don’t believe it because it’s my own body and I truely believe something is wrong with me… It’s not the usual racing heart or numbness but other things like leg pressure and pain… There’s also clicking noises at the bottom of my skull and many more… Does anxiety cause all of this? I keep telling myself something is seriously wrong but doctors, family and friends just brush me off. I believe I have something wrong with me and if no one helps me I will get worst and it will be too late. Any response will be very appriciated thank you god bless

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