//What is the best road to follow to recover from anxiety?

What is the best road to follow to recover from anxiety?

Updated 22/07/2018

When we suffer from anxiety, we can go hit a fork in the road with two signs.

One points us to a safe path that has very few challenges and can be very lonely, unsatisfying and ultimately leads us nowhere. The other points to a path that looks more daunting and is full of challenges but eventually leads to a far more fulfilling place.

To make my point, I once saw a documentary on a soldier who lost a leg and half his arm in Afghanistan, and when he came back to England, his partner said he had given up on life and that he just stayed locked in his room. He was full of self-pity and became very depressed with plenty of ‘why me?’ He had decided to give in to his disability and taken to hiding away, getting drunk and feeling sorry for himself.

This attitude continued until someone came and spoke to him and said ‘You can have a very fulfilling life with the way you are, you just have to choose to live again, your disability is not stopping you enjoying life, your attitude towards it is?’.

These words hit the solider hard and from that day on he was determined to give life a go and stop hiding away feeling sorry for himself. He chose to embrace his disability and went out socialising while finding local disabled clubs that he could get involved in.

This person then went on to represent his country in a particular sport at the Paralympics and made so many new friends, going on to live a life that he never thought possible.

I am telling this story because this person had a choice, he also met a fork in the road and initially took the safe one. He decided it was easier just to give up and hide away, while at the same time feeling sorry for himself; the same route I chose many years ago.

Well, I finally got fed up of this road, and one day I decided that hiding away was not going to give me my life back, only living it would.

Yes, this approach would be a lot harder, and yes there would be some discomfort and challenges to overcome, but I was sick of the life I had now and was determined to make some real changes. I had anxiety, yes, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t live my life, that was a choice I could still make.

Choosing the road of avoidance

Avoiding life anxiety

Most people pick the path of avoidance because they don’t want to feel the anxious energy within them. They falsely believe that the outside is actually causing their anxiety and so by avoiding it they think they will solve the problem.

The truth is that the outside has nothing to do with your anxiety, the inside does. If you didn’t have anxious energy stored within you, then you would not feel it unless you were presented with an actual situation that merited it.

So avoiding life is completely pointless and counterproductive, all it does is teach your mind that there is danger in the outside world and so instead of your mind being open and at peace with life, it becomes fearful of it.  The world then appears to be a threatening place full of danger, when it is nothing of the sort. The world spins the same for all of us; it is only our mind that makes it appear differently.

So this road of avoidance not only creates a fearful mind, but it also restricts our life and helps keep all the anxious energy stored within us.

Fearful mind

You have to realise that this safe road is not working and it is never going to give you your life back.

Initially taking the other road is hard as your mind will still be unsure and have some fear present due to your past actions of avoidance. But once you decide that you are no longer going to hide away and that your life means more to you than a few uncomfortable feelings, then you slowly teach your mind that the outside world is not to be feared. The best way to reprogram it through your actions, it won’t come through a book or by trying to master some technique.

Going out and living your life will also give you a chance to release this anxious energy within. The more willing you are to feel it, then the more you free yourself of it. Finally, your world will also begin to open up, and you will no longer be a slave to how you feel. Your anxiety will no longer make choices to what you do and don’t do; you will.

I remember the day I had, had enough and decided a life wracked with anxiety was better than no life at all. So from now on, how I felt would have to come with me, there were no more deals to be made with my anxiety, no more compromising. I was regaining my life back come what may and apart from a few uncomfortable emotions, what else could happen?

I am not saying going out there and starting to live again was easy, it wasn’t. I still experienced high anxiety, my mind still felt fearful, and I still felt a real sense of disconnection. But none of this was going to stop me getting my life back; I realised that to feel normal emotions again, then I had to be willing to go through the uncomfortable ones too and release the garbage within me.

There would times when I felt pretty exhausted mentally and physically on this journey, and so I would take some timeouts and rest when needed, but apart from these times, I decided never to let how I feel stop me doing what I wanted to do.

Choosing the right road opens up your life

When I chose this new road, I still expected to feel anxious, disconnected and fearful, even more so, as I was now coming out of my comfort zones.

I held no expectations of how I should feel, my only goal was to live a fulfilling life again. Progress wasn’t going to be measured on how I felt, but more on how much normal living I was doing. How I felt was secondary and certainly not something I would be trying to control anymore, I had tried this for years, and it did not work.

This fearless road finally took me to a far better place and a far more fulfilling life. Places and experiences that I previously feared and avoided now looked peaceful and welcoming. My life just began to open up, and all my previous emotions of fear and uncertainty began to leave me.

I eventually learned to love this new road, it was not as safe as the other road, and it had many twists, turns and bumps in it, but it was one full of victories and surprises. It felt good being in control of my life again, to be able to do what others did without going through a long list of what could go wrong and trying to plan escape routes.

I always thought that I had to feel great before going out and living my life when the only actual way to regain my freedom was to go out and live it. I had just had to let go of all my uncertainty and insecurities and embrace life and life it with these emotions present. Life ended up being my salvation; it was my cure, it was never something to avoid and hide away from.

Life helped me unearth all of what was inside of me, it brought all that anxious energy up, all the fear and insecurities and forced me to feel their presence, it was only through allowing myself to experience all this stuff that finally set me free.

I look back and realise that I was never avoiding life, I was scared of life triggering all the anxiety and fear that was within me, and that was my mistake. Once I stopped blaming life, I was finally able to live it again.

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 |2019-01-10T20:56:57+00:00July 22nd, 2018|Anxiety|648 Comments


  1. conqueranxiety 3rd January 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Excellent post Paul. What do you exactly mean by not controlling it ? Assume if I am walking and I started feeling adrenaline rush, dizzy etc my first reaction is take control of myself so that I dont fall etc. Do you mean I should not do all this and continue walking. Does anxiety causes hormonal changes as well ?

  2. elaine 3rd January 2012 at 8:56 pm - Reply


  3. Matt 3rd January 2012 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    Hey paul, thanks for the post. I have been doing ok here and there. I reconnected with my best friend after six months of losing touch because of what I was going through. Anyways, he is constantly worried about me and I tried to explain to him about DP and the anxiety I am experiencing and he believes it is something else, the drinking, divorce, etc. I guess it kind of got me down a little bit that I can’t really get him or my family to understand what I am going through. My family was supportive to a certain point, but I can see that they are frustrated with me and just want me to snap out of it and get on with my life. I tried to explain to them that I need my own space to just move on with my life, but they keep trying to force me to make changes that I am not ready for yet. I really do want to go back to work, but I have been taking small steps since I have been recovering that have been working well for me, like hanging with friends, doing stuff with my kids, and so on. But they just want me to jump in and finish school and work and do everything all at once. They seem to think I am the same person I was before the DP and don’t consider much about what I am going through. I don’t know, it’s just really frustrating me and wish they could be more supportive of me and be patient. Anyways, don’t want to bore everyone with this stuff, but is anyone else experiencing something similar to what I am going through? I mean I know I am on the right track and am the same person underneath it all, but after experiencing a whole lot of bad things that have happened to me over the past year I can’t seem to make anyone understand what I am going through and it’s exhausting! Anyways, hope everyone is having a good start to the new year.

  4. Matt 3rd January 2012 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Lol…ya know what? I think, after just rereading what I just wrote that I just answered my own question. I need to be patient with them and understand that they aren’t really going to get it, hell, if someone else was in my shoes and I hadn’t been going through this I would probably not understand either and get frustrated. My friend was an ex-UFC fighter and keeps threatening to kick my butt, I guess in his own way he cares, but just doesn’t understand. I guess I’ll have to start practicing patience with them like I am doing with myself.

  5. elaine 3rd January 2012 at 10:18 pm - Reply


  6. Eric B. 3rd January 2012 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul. Very encouraging post. I can’t wait to read your next post regarding thinking. I think(see, there goes the thinking) that my biggest problem is listening and almost believing irrational thinking about the future. Constantly checking my mind to see if the scary thoughts are still there, which of course brings them on.


  7. Candy D 4th January 2012 at 3:12 am - Reply

    Hi Paul,
    I really liked ur post needed to hear that, I have come along way since just moving on with my life instaed of fighting myself all the time. I can tell that i am lot better than I was. Sometimes I get some setbacks, but i remember what i have learned from your book. the constant watching is there still but not as bad. It is really starting to get quite annoying and i am really just letting it all be there and just really I guess giving up on all that. Negative thinking and what if’s got me nowhere for far to long. I know i will recover one day and all my negative thinking got me here and I have been working on the postive thinking I am alot better than I was and that is what I remind myself sometimes when i am having a bad day or week. So thank and look forward to your next post.
    Candy D

  8. conqueranxiety 4th January 2012 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Eric you are bang on the point, I have the same issue of “Constantly checking my mind to see if the scary thoughts are still there, which of course brings them on”.

    Paul please help us I know i should not do it but still do it 🙁

  9. Sophia 4th January 2012 at 5:34 am - Reply

    I too suffer from constant mind chatter which makes me part of the story i’m thinking and subconciously i’m always conscious of how I appear before people as I myself is on the belief that I’m different from others in the sense I get so stuck when I’m around people..I struggle to come up with something to speak..its realy is a headache for me to speak I simply love to sit quiet but then again mind wanders.. ”how can u sit quietly like this?”
    So when i try to be rational it doesnt seem to work..i look like I’m trying to be a people pleaser…

    I dont know where the line lies between being natural and talking to people and being aware ur with others so u need to speak something if not mind chatter begins on how awkward the situation is..!!!

  10. Brandon 4th January 2012 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Out of all my years of suffering (continuously for most of my life on a daily basis), I’ve realized that there really isn’t much that anyone has ever said, much less done, that has really ever helped me, but rather the opposite (with the exception of maybe blogs like this, etc). I’m finally realizing that one of my biggest problems (and most people in general, I think) is that I went though life caring too much. Of course, all everyone else sees is me not functioning at all as a normal human being for so long, appearing as if I don’t care. So, their automatic response is that I need to go out and do this, or do that. Hearing this all my life only created more pressure, and a subconscious desire to keep pushing, and keep fighting. In reality, the problem is that I need to STOP fighting (I obviously can’t function anyway, and haven’t been able to for most of my life now). STOP trying, STOP caring, just simply STOP. This is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever faced (aside from being stuck at rock bottom forever, to the point where I know no different, and everything that brings with it over the years, etc). I’ve done nothing but drive myself crazy. Fighting and trying to continue on is what got me here in the first place.

    With that said, however, I think there’s a very fine line between completely “giving up” and letting my destructive mental habits continue to control my life, versus stopping and not caring so much. At the same time, I must realize that I can’t continuously “try” to stop caring, worrying, and thinking, as that only leads to more worrying and thinking. I can’t fight my mind with my mind, that’s just a vicious circle that leads to nowhere. I think one has to realize this, in order to have a chance at eventually recovering and finding a middle ground. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Like he said over and over again in his book, you have to learn how to really stop caring about how you feel. Of course, in cases such as mine, that can seem next to impossible when you’ve been so exhausted and unable to function for so long. Having to be around any people is the worst, as I usually find myself constantly fighting just to keep my head up and my eyes open, and to keep from blurting out negativity. Every little thing is such a huge battle, and always has been for as long as I can remember.

    In short.. stop caring, but don’t try so much to stop caring, as that means you’re still caring too much, which keeps you stuck in the same vicious cycle.. however difficult that might be to accomplish (obviously, I’m currently working on this myself).

  11. Teresa 4th January 2012 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Hi All
    Another excellent post Paul –
    All, I have had a very long road and I am still recovering – but if i can reassure you that this is the way. Recovery can be slow for some people who have established long term habits but it does come. Be prepared to accept improvement, rather than complete recovery and that eases the pressure to be ‘well’.
    I have been through so many stages, but each one reveals more about what I need to learn. I have now realised that if I have the same ‘accept’ attitude to the anxiety as I have to individual symptoms that it has the same dissapating affect. We need to be strong enough to reassure ourselves that there is nothing wrong – for some reason we find this hard to believe. There is nothing wrong, apart from your mind is tricking you into believing there is. Try not to be hard on yourself, accept if you have a bad day – just accept tomorrow or next week will be better – you don’t have to like it but try not to fix it. It really does work. AND YES – i know there will be days when you cannot convince yourself, and that you will be overwhelmed by it (I still do get them) however, they go! and the good stuff comes back. Come back to the blog, don’t blame yourself for coming back and needing support, don’t think because you’re here you’re the only one not getting it – you’re not. you are further along your road of understanding (further than you think), and you need others to explain that to you in order for you to pick yourself up and get up on that road of recovery again. Keep getting out there, keep believing and when things are not so good come here to be guided back. It does not matter how many times, because its all improving.

  12. Nikki 4th January 2012 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Just wanted to say hi and I am so glad I found this site. Had the worst year ever in 2011 with anxiety. Things became so bad that I had to give up my work in october and am afraid to say my world has become very small now. I am fairly agoraphobic and can only go places with people. I can do this easily and my anxiety is low when someone is with me – however my anxiety is overwhelming at the thought of doing things on my own – so I don’t. I avoid everywhere on my own. I don’t want to live my life like this. I want to be able to go places on my own – even to the shop round the corner for milk!

    Over the last year I have virtually lived at the gp’s and have found them to be nothing short of useless. They are desperate for me to take ad’s but I have resisted all the way as I don’t believe they will help. Many years ago I was crippled with anxiety after a bereavement and I got my way through it using Claire weekes techniques. I am annoyed that I have allowed myself to get in such a state again. Then someone recommended this site. I ordered Paul’s book and found it useful and encouraging. So here I am at the start of 2012 looking at the two roads ahead – and I am scared.

    I want to live the full life and determined that I will but I don’t know that I have the strength or confidence to do it. It feels like a lonely journey – who will encourage me when it feels too hard – will I be able to force myself out the door whilst anxious – I don’t know? And yet I know I don’t really have a choice. I am already hating not working and the amount of time I spend at home consumed by my mind chatter! Anyway I think this is enough of an introduction. Thank you Paul for the analogy of the two roads – for me right now that fits well with where I am. X

  13. JAN TURNER 4th January 2012 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Hey Teresa, what a good post! I was thinking before reading this about how I am feeling, wondering whether ill feel better next week, then realised exactly what you are saying that I am not accepting it at all!!! Patience is definately a virtue and something that I have never really had, but so need to learn.
    Cheers Jan

  14. Paul David (Admin) 4th January 2012 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Someone asked me yesterday if they should use the blog for reassurance and I said use it to educate yourself, not as a crutch, there is a life to live out there.

    With anything I or others write, some will really relate to it, others may think, mmmm I don’t really suffer with D.P, irrational thoughts, so each post or reply will have a different effect on different people.

    Brandon that really is what you have to do if you are stuck in a mental battle, even my post above says to stop caring, so you can then live your life. I said in it that is was ‘The Caring’ that had me stuck for so many years, it was caring that sent me down the safe road of hiding away, making excuses. Caring how I came across. how others saw me, how I was coping, feeling. It just ended up with a awful mental battle with myself to get through the day. Only when I give my mind the freedom to think and feel anything without judgement did it help, I learnt to no longer care how I came across, when your caring, your watching, when your watching you become internal.

    As stated below

    “Anxiety is not a disease, therefore it needs no cure. It is simply the psychological and physiological consequences of worrying. It is treated by patients learning not to worry.”

    And your point about stop caring, but don’t try so much to stop caring is true, as this turns into another battle, that not caring comes from inside and not something you have to keep repeating to yourself to get through a situation.

    I just felt every inch of my anxiety, withdrew from none of it, stopped being on my guard ! If you withdraw and hide you are teaching yourself that it is the enemy, something to fear and run away from, something to sort out and fix. By allowing into your life and feeling every inch of it, then you do the opposite and this means allowing yourself to feel anxious/scared/detached, feel it all, until it no longer matters. When we allow ourselves to feel it then it loses a lot of it’s importance, it’s edge, it’s power over us.

    Again I did not use this to make myself feel better, otherwise it would have gone like this ‘I should feel better now, that’s why I am allowing this’ then being dissapointed, giving respect once again. This is wrong, using tools, mantras to bring relief just has you back watching, fixing again.

    At one time everything was black and white with me, it was all about feeling good, so I spent all day trying to make it happen, fighting a useless battle. I never actually knew it was o.k not to feel good, that realisation brought me so much relief and far less mental anguish.


  15. Sally 4th January 2012 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Thankyou Paul for your words of wisdom they help so much.X

  16. Ian 4th January 2012 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Thanks Paul. Think I am ready to take this road.

    Ian (aka heavenisofhoney)

  17. Patrick 4th January 2012 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Hi All, I haven’t posted here in absolutely ages as I have felt great for a very very long time. I have had a few brief periods of anxiety in between but just setbacks which seemed bad at the time, but I never lost my way and they passed. I still expected setbacks and never feared them, and I am having a bit of a setback at the moment. Strange as it sounds, I was enjoying the setback and welcomed every bit of it and it was an annoyance until a few days ago when the feelings of panic were so intense – brought on my the thought “it’s back!”.

    I am just getting on with my days, and generally have the feeling that “so what, it’s back, what difference does it make”, but I have literally felt my strength and positivity dwindle these last few days, to the point that I am struggling to feel the so what attitude that I have become so used to.

    I know it’s the thought “it’s back” which is causing my adrenelin levels to raise, I get that burning in the chest feeling and that triggers the high anxiety. I know this post is about choices but how do I choose to feel positive when in all honesty, I don’t at the moment ? Surely trying to feel positive is fighting, so should I just go with this and accept the positivity will come back ?

    It’s like I have forgotten the So What attitude – I was so good at this before and it wasn’t just words, I literally felt “so what” which is the route to full recovery.

    I feel I have lost the strength I had and now it “does” seem to matter that I have anxiety again!

    Obviously I can’t force it not mattering, no point pretending and saying mantras over and over, so does anyone have any thoughts on this ?

  18. jayneymy 4th January 2012 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I can really relate to your post teresa. as im a worrier (which is the final part im trying to fix), my mind often tries to trick me into thinking that there is something else wrong with me, especially when my anxiety maniufests itself into physical symptons. I am also learning to accept the symptoms as anxiety, and when i do this, and forget about them, they do magically disappear! I am in the habit of always thinking the worst, and hopefully 2012 will be the year when i change this uselss habit for good!

  19. Teresa 4th January 2012 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    hi Patrick – I am still recovering and know how fickle the balance of believing is – it really is about confidence and some times you believe and have faith in what you know and sometimes you temporarily lose the belief of your own voice – and that is where the blog can be so good. I don’t know if you are the same Patrick that posted on the 24th June 2010 – there is a good tip there! as it has helped me more than once.
    Try not to concern yourseltf with ‘it’ – you have lost confidence temporarily – but the good memories you have of your recovery will soon make you bounce back. When you lose the vision – it’s like you have never been well again – but equally when you bounce back you realise how temporary the set back is.
    Its a bit of a shock when you have sampled feeling nearly normal again and it hits you, its more of a shock than when you were used to it – but
    you will be back here helping people before you know it. As ‘Patrick June 2010′ said – ok so i feel bad today, but i know this will pass eventually – AND BELIEVE ME IT ALWAYS DID. It’s like everyone said, once you learn to live with the bad days without too much trouble, there isn’t much left to fear.’
    I am sure you will soon be back to recovering – and giving reassurance to others.
    Jan Turner
    Glad it helped – patience with anxiety is a difficult thing but perhaps you can just have an attitude of, there’s nothing i can do about it so I’m going to give in and do what the hell I want despite it. Hope that helps too.

  20. Patty 4th January 2012 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Hi all. I am in the long recovery process, and one symptom that keeps popping up is the fear/feeling that nothing and no one is “genuine”. I feel like people are very manipulative and also that a lot of what people tell themselves is just something to make them feel better. I have experienced this before during another anxiety cycle, so I feel almost certain that it is just the anxiety “speaking”, but I was just curious if anyone else had experienced this? Thank you.

  21. Patty 4th January 2012 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    By the way, I just want to thank Paul and all contributors to this blog. It does help to come here and just know that I am not alone. We will all get through this eventually. Love and peace to all.

  22. Patrick 4th January 2012 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Teresa, yes it’s the same me! I still consider myself recovered – anxiety used to be something that I must be rid of, now, I accept I do still get anxiety over stuff like job interviews, and I have had many “setbacks” over the years, but anxiety is no longer the dreaded beast! I have realised it is part of me and from time to time it will crop up.

    Despite this, for some reason at the moment some of my fear has returned and although I know I have nothing to fear, I still feel fear! Very strange. Today was a day of high anxiety filled with all sorts of stupid thoughts. It has subsided somewhat now, without me actually doing anything, I just got on with my work as best I could.

    But yes, I do feel a loss of confidence and a bit of doubt has crept in.

    I found Clare Weeks books really useful, and she says that when a set back occurs, you have to re-balance yourself, and that is what I found – the first few days of a set back which would be like “oh no, not again”, then my attitude would quickly “re-balance” and I would simply not care how I felt – then I would realise out of the blue almost that the setback had passed and I felt fine again. They were never really a problem so maybe I was due a “difficult” setback!

    I think I am having trouble “re-balancing” at the moment!

  23. Matt 4th January 2012 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    nikki….I have been exactly what you have been through. that happened to me last february during bad circumstances in my life. I went through panic attacks and high anxiety and had to have someone with me at all times it seemed. I lost my job and felt crushed. But, what did help me was to understand what was going on with me and that the thoughts of, “I can’t go here alone, or do this or that” were all based in fear and anxiety. So I gradually went to do more stuff by myself and got out of that rut fairly quickly until DP hit me in june, now recovering from that as well. I’ve stated this before, but, I had real bad panic attacks two years ago, which started the whole anxiety problems in my life, and had them for a year. I thought I was going crazy and had fear for no reason and all the common symptoms. I became agoraphobic too, didn’t go to certain places or do certain things. Hell, I stopped writing, which is my passion, because I attributed that to the panic attacks and was afraid that if I did write it would bring on more. It was just fear on top of fear, until I gained some knowledge and confidence to just move on from it, which I did for a good long while at that point.

    My suggestion would be to start out slowly in going places you fear by yourself, it’s only adrenalin and can’t hurt you. It’s a scary feeling, but look at it this way. If you suffered from no anxiety problems and someone was trying to attack you, you wouldn’t be concerned about why you had all these feelings of panic and anxiety at the moment, you would be trying to get out of the situation. Well, anxiety is just an overload of adrenalin and places, people that held fear shouldn’t, but because we worry and focus on the feelings, they don’t have a chance to go away. It’s just the fight or flight mechanism going haywire and that, in turn, leads us into believing there is something to fear and we feel anxious. So, like I said, go out and do stuff that you’re scared of and desensitize yourself, that’s what I have been doing with my situation and it really does work. Now, if I can get rid of this foggy brain then i’ll be fine. anyways, hope everyone is having a good day!

  24. Steveo 4th January 2012 at 9:42 pm - Reply


    I do not feel in a position to offer you any help as your posts have helped me so much in the past.

    I feel as though you may have lost the ‘so what’ attitude for a few days but that it will soon be back again.

    You should re-read some of your own posts. Especially the ones from a few months back I think it was… They are very helpful and absolutely spot on!

    Be patient and you will get back to your normal self 🙂


  25. Teresa 4th January 2012 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Patrick – you have lost the ‘so what’ attitude but only for the moment. I know at the moment you can ‘talk the talk’ but not ‘do the walk’ – in other words you can think correctly but not convince yourself – just keep not trying it will pass, your attitude will change on its own. As Steveo says be patient – I know how hard it is to accept when you are in the middle of it, a bit like being caught in the eye of a storm, just sit in the ship and and wait for the storm to settle – no good jumping ship and trying to swim. I know you know all this better than me – but when you’re in the middle of it its as if the brain tries to automatically take over and make you ‘react’. Hold on, steady as you are doing – it will pass – and sooner than you think. sometimes it can just be for no apparent reason but chemical changes in your body – once those level off your right mind will come back.

  26. John J 4th January 2012 at 10:45 pm - Reply



    I think that what i have been searching for has just ‘clicked’.

    It is still early days, but I have significantly reduced my anxiety in the last 7 days by accepting that I have anxiety and I will just have to live my life with it for now.

    I have been able to have strange odd thoughts coming into my head and I have not reacted to them. I know that they are there and I am still aware that I am having them, but I have not allowed them to grip me and take over.

    Sometimes they come with extra force and it takes a short while to remember that they are nothing to fear, and as soon as those moments of initial acknowledgement are over, I am able to feel my body calm down.

    I was in bed the other night and I was feeling great. I was reading a book and I felt so alive and at peace. I felt no anxiety at all and I actually wished that I could have a surge of panic or fear at that moment because I wanted to test how I would cope with it. It didn’t come no matter how much I tried to think of things that normally set me off! This made me realise that with a relaxed mind, it does not matter what you think of.

    Over the last few days, I’ve had far more good times than bad times. I’ve still had the bad times, and I have still found it hard every now and then, but I didn’t cave in.

    I have had times when the fear has tried to eat me up, caused me to bite my nails, wobble my leg, and tried to pull my thoughts to problems from the past or imagined problems in the future. A few times I have been afraid that it was back for good. I have also been afraid that I will be stuck and that the good feelings I had were only temporary.
    But overall, the good feelings have outweighed the bad. I have found myself forgetting that I am ‘me’ and just getting on with things.

    As soon as I realise that I have forgotten about anxiety, it pops back up to remind me that it is still there and that I am aware of myself. It does not want to be forgotten about so easily. But, I feel I have the strength to let it shout and scream and try and grab my attention without letting it crush me.

    I feel that I have made progress. It may only be a small step, and I still feel terrible sometimes and I still get scared and I still worry about the future, but over the last few days, I have had a taste of what ‘letting it be’ is like.

    I may have times in the future where I drop back and it overwhelms me for a while, but I know that I have a choice in whether I let it get its claws in, or whether I just let it play out what it needs to and I get on with my life.

    I am still at a very stressful period of my life, so if I can start the acceptance now whilst stress is high, then hopefully when the stress of life receeds, I will be able to cope far better than I have done before.

    Reading Patricks post sent a small shiver through me and I allowed a ‘what if’ to get to me for a short while. But now, as I type this, I am thinking, ‘Patrick has been there before. he has succesfully accepted and he has made it to a good place. His anxiety is trying to pop back up to get him again and he knows what he has to do.’

    If it takes an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, of just letting this anxiety play its game in the background without trying to get rid of it, without giving in to it, then it will be worth the wait to get the rest of my life back.

    I’ve found it hard to accept this in the past and I thought I was on the way to recovery before, but setbacks kept on coming and I kept on reacting to them.

    This time it feels slightly different. Time will tell.

    I shall only post in the future based on two things.

    Should I fall into setback and need encouragement, I will pop back on here just to ask some advice.

    Should I find myself doing well and feeling that I am getting better, I shall come back on here to let you all know how I am doing.

    Other than that, I will not be posting any more questions, problems, worries or fears. Everything I feel is anxiety. There is nothing else wrong with me.
    Should I come back on here with any self pity, then I would like to be reminded of this post as this has been written when I really can see and feel how to move forward. I’ve spent too long waiting to read something that will tell me the miracle cure, that will tell me how to fix it overnight.

    I think the way forward is just to live as I am. This is my life and I am going to live it regardless.

    I never understood what the slogo’ KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON’ really meant until today. I shall try and do just that.

    Anyway, sorry for going on so much! I hope the new year can bring us all a fresh perspective on how to move forward.

  27. Robbie 5th January 2012 at 1:34 am - Reply

    I had a really good 9 months or so and then all of a sudden I had a night of adenaline laced nerves. I chalked it up to a setback, did not react much to it and was better within a few days. That was 3-4 weeks ago. Last night I had the same thing happen to me. I really can’t tell you what I was thinking about that worried me so much, but I do have the persistent fear of “what if it (anxiety) comes back!” I also have the fear of becoming severly depressed so anytime I am tired, sick, or not energetic I tend to check in on myself and start the what if cylce all over again. I’m not real sure why this scares me so much, but I guess it really doesn’t matter.

    I’m on the road a lot for work, often times by myself. That causes some time for thinking which can be good, or if you are suffering from anxiety, not so good. However, I realized that I’m becoming anxious about being anxious – talk about a vicious cycle. Accepting is a verb, but not in the way we may think. Like Paul said, we tend to think of accepting as something we “try.” Instead we should think of it as something we do through another verb – living. Accepting is going on with your life no matter how you feel. For example if I have a runny nose, then more than likely, I’m not going to take off work. I’m going to go to work and do what I do knowing that my runny nose will eventually stop. It should be the same way with anxiety. No matter how we feel, we should continue on with our life as if we don’t have anxiety knowing that eventually it will subside.

    John J uses the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” in his post. I would restate it to just “Carry On” no matter how calm you feel. Is it hard sometimes? – absolutely! But you will get out of it what you put into it. Just like training for a sport, getting in shape, going on a diet, studying for a test, etc. I’m learning more and more that I am the one that has to take the steps to improve me – not my doctor, not my loved ones, not my counselor – just me. The good thing, as opposed to training or studying, is that you really don’t have to “do” much to get past anxiety. All you have to do is live your life. Unfortunately, as simple as it sounds that can be the hardest thing to do.

    Anyway, I’m a lot better than I was 9 months ago and had a pretty good Christmas. I hope everyone is able to use this experience as a stepping stone to making them a better person. I know it sure made me one!

  28. ginger797 5th January 2012 at 6:31 am - Reply

    Hi everyone…
    i have a question…today i took my son to a friends for a play date (in the very bad middle part of my anxiety and dp i would fear taking the kids to friends houses or having the friends pick the kids up from my place ad i think my brain remembers this fear and trys to use it on me every time i take the kids to friends houses) any way ive been trying to change this pattern but today i was good about it but on the way there my mind started telling me things like” you know you will be scaed to leave him there or just silly sarey thorghts i tryd to ignore the torghts with shpping and then in my mind i started to fight with myself by getting angry and yeling in my head that i just dont boody care that id eft him there andi aint bloody scared..is this wrong to do??? also dont have dp anymore but i do find like today in my thorghts i would straight away at that very moment i feel detatched from my kids and my happiness that ive tryed to build up around me again in that instant feels empty to me,i start to feel like i have nothing to look forward to and it all feels empty but only lasts in the moment of the anxiety state mind chatter….so how do i stop feeling this way???? also wth the adrenaline from todayi feel like i could just open he front doorand run as hard and fast as i can i also feel like i ned to go punch into a pillow/puncing bag or air anything..what is that is it the fight or flight response o i want to fight??????/ any help would be lovely

  29. ginger797 5th January 2012 at 6:33 am - Reply

    just a add to my post i guess i worry that my DP will come back and take “me”away again and i will not fin happiness in anything and wont care abou the people i love the most again……

  30. Nikki 5th January 2012 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Hey Matt thank you so much for your words of encouragement they really give me a lot of hope. I like the phrase it’s only adrenalin – I think I will be able to hang on to it when I start to go out and the storm inside starts to rage. I will be using this site too to access support for myself.

    Hope your foggy brain lifts soon. X

  31. Lucy 5th January 2012 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Ginger

    Have just been reading your post and I think I can empathise with how you are feeling. It sounds as though your anxiety focuses more on your children, mine is focused on my relationship and whilst I have made big improvements, I still struggle daily with the horrible obsessive thoughts.
    I didn’t really understand what DP was as I didn’t think i’d suffered with it, but after reading your post it seems like a good explanation as to why I feel ’empty’ and so emotionless towards my partner. It upsets me so much that I cannot feel love or happiness around him and I am scared that one day, that will just become my ‘true’ feelings, if that makes sense.
    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone and I understand how you are feeling. Does anyone know how to get your feelings back? I think mine have gone as I spend so much time worrying about the horrible thoughts, there simply isn’t room for any nice ones! x

  32. elaine 5th January 2012 at 12:15 pm - Reply


  33. Paul David (Admin) 5th January 2012 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    John Says: I have been able to have strange odd thoughts coming into my head and I have not reacted to them. I know that they are there and I am still aware that I am having them, but I have not allowed them to grip me and take over.

    Sometimes they come with extra force and it takes a short while to remember that they are nothing to fear, and as soon as those moments of initial acknowledgement are over, I am able to feel my body calm down.

    John you make a very important point, acknowledge the thought, DON’T run away from it or try to supress it, don’t try to deny it’s existence. Anxiety causes anxious thinking at times, it is not real and should never be deemed real.

    It is like going on one of those roller coaster simulators, we still duck and dive when we meet tunnels etc, as our mind tricks us into thinking it is real, without this sensation we would not go on them. This is a trick of the eyes, we see it, so we momentarily think it is real.

    Thoughts are the same, the intital imact seems real, but if we observe it and let it go, the effect dampens and we can see it for what it was, a false thought brought on by anxiety, adrenalin finding an escape.

  34. Diane 5th January 2012 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Robbie-Totally agree with you, when I am feeling unwell or tired the checking myself and what ifs come back and the fear that my anxiety is going to come back and take over my life. I have been doing well but like you have a night or day that I am over aware and the viscious cycle of fear and worry seem to come to the forefront of my mind. II agree with the ‘carry on’ regardless of how you feel, the last cuple of days have gave in and not went to social things that I know i would like , because I am feeling shaky, will take you advice, thank you, hope you are all well this site really is supportive and thanks to you all and Paul

  35. Bill 5th January 2012 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Any advice please,i have decided which road i wish to take,i am 56 and for months would not accept that my symptoms were that of anxiety,despite being told by numerous people to the contrary.Well i have been living in my little troubled world and i am making no progress,surprise,surprise.
    I go for at least 1 walk a day,i go to the library regularlyand the supermarket.I still get anxious every time i do these activities,mainly with dizzyness and disturbed vision.I have read Pauls book and am trying to accept all of the thoughts and feelings etc.but i am finding the dizziness getting stronger,this makes it very awkward not to give in and not go out when i really want to.I have the sensitised nerves exactly like Paul says in the book,ie tuning forks.Because i walk every day maybe it does not help,as i am probably comparing every walk with my feelings,i don’t know.Any one with similar problems or any advice would be greatly appreciated,thank you and best wishes to all,Bill.

  36. Paul 5th January 2012 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    Paul I have moved this post here so others can listen to your record and added the youtube link instead. I have also added a link to your site below it. Great song by the way.

    Hi Paul,

    That was truly amazing,for the first time I can understand what anxiety has been doing to me,it has completely disabled my life,really stopped me from living.one good thing that has come from this I guess is that I have written a song truly from my heart and if you have the time please take a look and listen to my lyrics,I hope this song could help others with this condition….

    The song is on youtube and called The reason I am alive


    Edit: Added link to your main site below Paul



  37. Christian 5th January 2012 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Hey Paul,
    Anxiety started to effect my life in freshman year of college, where I forced myself into a relationship because I never had a serious girlfriend before. It is a very long and dreadful story but to make it as simple as possible, I was slowly changing who I was for this girl, completely used and took advantage of my for 6 months (without me even realizing it. When my mom brought to my attention that I was slowly sinking myself into a deep deep hole, I saw it from a different perspective and called her to break up with her. She then threatened to kill herself. That summer, I was scared every time I thought about her because I truly believed there was no girl out there for me and lost my identity. I also dreaded going back to the small college because I would see her. That year, I clung to another girl at school thinking this would fill the void. She happened to be very independent, and this made me completely insecure and self conscious.. Half a year passed and I was severely depressed and made up all these negative irrational thought like she was cheating on me, she’s glad I left her dorm room, she is going to break up with me etc. That same time, a girl in my dorm hung herself. I obsessed about how someone can drive themselves to do that and was very frightened of myself. I ended up breaking up with her and leaving the school and had my first full blown panic attack and thought of suicide. Since then I had struggled with obsessive disturbing thoughts, depersonalization, and panic. I left a job because I thought life wasn’t real, I called my mom everyday even thought I was home. This was the best information I found back in the summer and I have gone a loooong way. I have many setbacks but I know its ok.
    I went from house bound to transferring to school and living in the city.
    The one thing is, I kept in contact with my last girlfriend who I liked and who I explained the reason why I left her. She came to visit me this week and it went very well until the end. I found out she received an STD from my friend/roommate from school after I left. It was back in May, and she explained how she was very very drunk and not comfortable with herself at the time. But, what bothered the hell out of me was the “ex-friend” .This hurt when I heard it, and made me kind of depressed, but I just let it happen. My mind is occupied, but it is not stopping me from doing what I do. I believe eventually the hurt will pass if I let it be. Am I right?

    Thank you, please post back.

  38. Sophia 5th January 2012 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    what I am going through is– cannot explain it how–i feel total disinterest in communicating with others..its not DP and i feel no anxiety…
    i dont know what is wrong with me?
    i have to dig deep and find something to communicate..
    its not the inability but i dont want to…is this anxiety as well as there is avoidance

    the difference now is i have already pre concieved notion of avoiding things as to why to take such tension and confusion and this looks very true as i cant percieve the situation outside any different…everything in my life holds a particular emotion and i fear going through the same emotion again..

    I need to reframe my thoughts without changing the situation..but how? i see myself as a victim because of my lack of ability to respond..if i cannot respond its ok…i shud still carry on..but now i cannot..i sabotage myself or get annoyed or get temparamental with others..at times the other perso may not have intentionally done anything but it would have irritated me..how do i correct myself in not reacting/ or how do i recognise that it was a random thought that infuriated me ..because of this i spoiled couple of relationships..! Phew

    hence i avoid and live in my safe haven…and i am happy that way…
    the issue is i dont realise this is anxiety as i am happy avoiding them and if i am confronting them i am so uncomfortable..and feel its best to avoid them..

    in this way i have avoided all situations which may seem to be of difficulty…
    what i want now is to have a different mental frame where i am aware of my thoughts and decide for myself whether to react or not..so that i get a picture of what i ”should be sayiing or doing?” instead of simply living by the thoughts not knowing what is right and what is wrong and seeing onself as a big flaw and doing things with utmost care as if things are to be wrong anyways…!

    thanks paul for the above msg to John holds true in my case too but once we are living our life and thoughts flow so easily there seems no time to think whether the thoughts holds any truth..its so random…
    this is where i’m lagging behind…

    and those who have DP..my experience with DP initially was scary…but once i start living alongside..i started going wherever i wouldnt dare otherwise..gradually things became easy…infact dp didnt stop me from doing anything it helped me move forward ..

    now my situation is a little different…i have no issues but to move ahead of the day.. i’m still confused of my attittude…meaning of life..not able to view the world as it is…..i may relate myself to the events happening outside..and so forth

    i guess Paul can shed some light into this dilemna..did u experience the same in ur last phase? or have i taken the wrong road again after getting out of DP and other symptoms..?

  39. Steveo 5th January 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply


    Great song, very good!

    It’s amazing to think that at entertainer like you can also struggle it’s anxiety like the rest of us. I hope you are improving!

  40. Paul David (Admin) 5th January 2012 at 10:52 pm - Reply


    Great song, very good!

    It’s amazing to think that at entertainer like you can also struggle it’s anxiety like the rest of us. I hope you are improving!

    Yes it’s good Steveo, more I listen to it more I like it. Paul won Star in your eyes as Ronan Keating, you should be very proud Paul.

    Lyrics and video are very touching, great job.

    Oh I did tweet this yesterday, but forgot to put it on here, The Daily Mail did a story about a woman who suffered with anxiety/panic and then made a very courages decision to visit all her facebook friends all over the world. I don’t know if she came here or not, read my book or whatever, but the paper put a link at the bottom of the article to my main site http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk, which has brought a massive surge in traffic recently, interesting article, here it is


  41. Kathy 6th January 2012 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Paul’s song is beautiful and from the heart. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. You have a magnificent voice, and I can tell the song comes straight from your heart. I have shared it on my FB page, and I encourage everyone to do the same.
    You have touched me, and I am grateful.

  42. ginger797 6th January 2012 at 12:40 am - Reply

    PAUL Admin Could you please tke a look at my above post and giveme some advice or tips…thanks

  43. conqueranxietyj 6th January 2012 at 8:07 am - Reply

    Isnt it a good idea also that whenever we get a anxious thought or a thought which troubles , to create another thought which is more positive and diverts the attention from the troubling thought for time being. I am saying that let both the thoughts coexists but focus on positive thought like visualizing a flowing river, remembering a past success story,remembering good time spent with a friend etc

  44. Steveo 6th January 2012 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Wow Paul, what a great link to the site. Exactly what you want 🙂

  45. Jamie 6th January 2012 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    I desperately need some advice! I was doing so much better with letting my thoughts be there and not fighting them. Now for some reason the worse thought I have ever had has come and settled into my mind. I’m very scared that I will actually do something. Last night I was in an absolute fit of tears because of this.

    My question: is this new thought sort of a last ditch effort of my brain? I was so sure that the last thought that usually isn’t very scary anymore was the end, but now here is this horrific and terrifying thought. For a few weeks,my brain has seemed to be on can. WHen one thought wouldn’t stick, it would just jump to the next one. That was annoying but none of the thoughts were horrific, but now i have a thought that has stuck for a couple of days that makes me feel at square one.

  46. Lucy 6th January 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Jamie

    Just wanted to let you know that this week I have experienced the exact same thing! I have been doing ok recently and to some extent, not letting my horrible thoughts bother me all that much. But this week something has triggered off a new and even more terrifying thought for me and I have gotten myself in a right state. I am feeling better today and am able to recognise it as anxiety again but I do know how you are feeling. I can’t really answer your question, but it is nice to think that it could be the brain’s last attempt to scare us! I guess the anxiety is realising that it is not winning anymore and is doing whatever it can to still be noticed. Unfortunately it sounds like we have both let it! If only we could think so clearly when we are in the midst of it though!
    Stick at it and remember the thought is NOT real and just see this as a setback, from which you can learn and move on. It’s obvious from what you have said that you have making great progress so try and stay positive. Believe me, I know that’s much easier said than done but try and not let the anxiety ruin the progress you have been making! Lucy x

  47. Jamie 6th January 2012 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Thank you Lucy! As I read that i am tearing up a bit. It’s so nice to feel like i am not alone. This whole think is so difficult. I keep thinking if the thought wasn’t what it was that maybe I would be more okay, but then i think that’s not true either. Lucy, you hang in there too! We are all strong people and can beat this thing someday!

  48. paul 6th January 2012 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    I would just like to say thanks to you paul for sharing my song on your site,thanks to steveo and kathy for your lovely comments.
    I hope a message through my song will lift more hearts in the future.x

  49. Steveo 6th January 2012 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    No problems Paul. Hope you are doing okay!

  50. Nikki 6th January 2012 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    Oh dear I feel like I can’t even get started on this road. Just back from tescos where I had a panic attack after losing my hubby up an aisle. Tried to stay with the anxiety but failed miserably. Now I have spiralled in crying and self loathing. I hate who I have become – I don’t know how to get out of the anxiety rut I have got myself into. I think my family would be better of without me as I holding them back. I feel like I have no future – gave up work last year because of anxiety and I honestly can’t see a way back to having a full life again. Is this a normal reaction when you start to think about recovery? My gp would slap me on ad’s in a flash but I don’t want them although am aware how low I sound tonight. Any words of encouragement welcome. X

  51. Louis 6th January 2012 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Paul, I really struggle with any conversation. I already have a negative view of myself and how I am in conversation, that before i even enter, its doomed. When I’m in a conversation, I think people are bored or see me as unusual to the norm. I get extremely anxious as I think they are laughing at me, or putting me down for the way I come across. This is why I avoid everyday life as I can’t shake this attitude or paranoid (or not so paranoid) thinkining. Can you please tell me that you went through this, as I feel very alone with this, I don’t want to be a special case. Can I recover with your attitude/method? Kindest regards.

  52. DEBBIE 6th January 2012 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Well thats it ive had enough of the so called experts! Having had a bad 5 months it came to a head and i had to see a mental health doctor today, straight away its we think its best to double your tablets, so even though i had just said i cant cope with feeling like a zombie and side effects that was their answer. So after two days of making myself get off the settee and do something ive proved that it does help, so i said
    no thanks! He didnt look impressed at all, im having cognitive behaviour therapy which is helping now that ive kicked myself up the bum to actually do what they say, its so hard when you feel so bad but it works,so more action less feeling sorry for myself and no more constant thinking about how bad i feel!

  53. jackie 6th January 2012 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Nikki

    I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but things will get better for you.

    I started suffering badly with panic attacks and anxiety back in August but was well stressed for a long time before they started. I have been to rock bottom and am finally climbing back up again. Today I went into the store where I had my first bad panic attack. Yes, the heart started racing again and the old dread started to come up, but this time I didn’t freak out, I didn’t do the usual, Oh My God!! it was kind of weird but it was like Oh I know whats happening to me and I understand now why this is happening.

    I went on an anxiety workshop which was really great and helped me a lot to understand panic attacks along with Paul’s site and this blog. It is only addrenalin and it can’t harm or hurt you in any way whatsoever. No matter what crazy things you can think of, they are all untrue. Nothing bad will happen to you when having a panic attack.

    I have had all the same thoughts and feelings as you have described, exactly the same, but really, time and understanding and just going with it, going through it without being too harsh with yourself will bring you out of it. Get up and do what you have to do, no matter how you are feeling and do it everyday even if you are feeling at your very worst ever. Keep on doing what you need to do in your daily routine. You may feel like hell but if you carry on doing everything feeling so bad eventually you will see yourself coming out of it, coming through it. Any negative thoughts can chatter away all they like in the background, let them, but just carry on with what you are doing, eventually the chatter slows down and eventually stops altogether. Also my doctor was really insistant on me taking everything he prescribed in the early days… Betablockers, AD’s and Valium!!! – I never took one of them –

    Someone on my facebook posted a status that I loved.. It was

    That little voice in your mind which says “I don’t think I can do this” is a LIAR! 🙂


  54. Rebecca 7th January 2012 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Hey Lucy and Jamie, i have been going through exactly the same as you, holding on to a specific scary thought, i can be getting on with my day and it just jumps into my mind uninvited and really upsets me. I had a full blown panic attack the other night and have never been that frightened in my life but after that I felt alot better, it’s as though the adrenaline has just been released. It can be so hard at times and I too can feel very lonely in all of this, it is so nice to be able to come on here and talk to people who are experiencing the same things. I remember a few years ago when i first experienced extreme anxiety, my mum was around alot and provided so much support but now i live a few hours away and have been able to manage this alone, I guess i have got to the stage where i feel I need to have control over this by accepting it and trying to get on with my life as normal. After that panic attack the other night which was so frightening i managed to just bear with it for a hour or so, i then had to go to work the next morning, i think trying to just get on with your life is so important like Paul quotes.
    I have had to be so strong, being strong is so important with anxiety, you need to keep being yourself and continue to live your life, not let anxiety live it for you.

  55. Gemma 7th January 2012 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Hi paul,
    I have just finished reading your books I have been told by my dr that in suffering with GAD. It’s been a nightmare as my husband is in the military and we live away from family. I came across your book on the Internet and its really inspiring. I try everyday to do as you advice but I can’t stop crying every morning no matter what I do I cry and then it makes my anxiety worse. I was just wondering if you had any tips to control the crying or prevent it somehow. I am really struggling with it all now especially the life that me my husband and children live in.

  56. mm16 7th January 2012 at 11:27 am - Reply

    hi jackie, i love the quote at the end of your post , going to try and remember that because its so true, anxiety thoughts are lies, thanks for sharing that .

  57. Sally 7th January 2012 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Jackie
    I love your phrase at the end of you post will think on that one X

  58. Nikki 7th January 2012 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Jackie thank you so much for your words of encouragement you have no idea how comforted I was by them. I cried so much last night that my body hurts today but maybe I needed to let the tears out. Needless to say am feeling rough – wonder why crying hurts so much! Anyway I took your advice and got on with my day anyway. It was not easy but am pleased I did all I needed to do. Am still a bit flat and it wouldn’t take much for me to cry again but I guess that’s ok too – as long as I don’t start worrying about feeling like this! Tom is a new day and onwards we go. I loved the quote at the bottom of your post – I will defo steal it and use it myself. Thanks again for taking the time to encourage me. Xxx

  59. jackie 7th January 2012 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Hi again, I’m glad my post helped a little.

    I really know how hard it is to stay even a little positive, but you must keep on going forward. You don’t have to fight your way out of it, the most important thing I learnt!! Go with whatever happens when it happens, and keep going 🙂 One of the posts Paul wrote was about how our aim is to be no longer worried or scared at the way we feel and this is so true and just this helped me so much. xx

  60. Jerry 8th January 2012 at 3:28 am - Reply

    Hey all,

    I’ve had anxiety/panic attacks since I was about 15 and I am now 29 years old. I was put on paxil as a teen and did therapy, and while they worked temporarily, they never really allowed me to address the issue. The anxiety went away for about 7 years and then came back. I’ve been wrestling with it intensely for the past year and I must admit, Paul’s site has been an excellent source in helping me understand what exactly is happening. The fear of losing control, hurting yourself or someone, doing something wrong in public, depersonalization, chest pain, etc. etc. I’ve had it all, BAD. During the months of June-October I’ve been to the doctors about 8 times, thinking that I was “dying”, when in reality it is the surge of adrenaline and the worry that it inflicts.

    For the past two months, I’ve been doing incredible. Feeling great, STILL with anxiety, STILL with thoughts that shake me at times, BUT I now know what they are and most importantly, know how to see them through. I have a wife and two kids, and am determined NOT to be the dad that isn’t at school functions, or athletic games because of his anxious heart. The body consist of our mind, body and spirit. We must find the RIGHT nourishment in these 3 vital aspects of our being to be successful in anything really. Set backs are expected, not favored but expected. They will happen, this doesn’t mean that you are stuck. It means that this is your opportunity to show your anxiety that its under your authority, not the other way around.

    I was much like Jackie, handling stress for a LONG time and then BAM, its translated into full blown panic. My advice, slooooow down. Hug your wife and kids a bit more, play with your dog, breath, worship, sing, what ever you have to do, slow down. Life isn’t over, you aren’t stuck, in fact, you’re growing. When you feel like you’re going to lose control, sit, breathe and ask yourself “How many times have I felt this way and How many times have I ACTUALLY acted out on these thoughts?” This is a reminder that you’re body is just anxious and you AREN’T losing control, but fearful. Breathe.

    I can relate to so many of you, and the beautiful thing is that we continue to fight. One day this will not be this way and we will rejoice at the affliction we’ve faced, because all along it’s been part of becoming…


  61. elaine 8th January 2012 at 3:51 pm - Reply


  62. conqueranxietyj 8th January 2012 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    elaine but everywhere I read paul says accept your thoughts but you say ignore your thoughts. isnt ignoring not accepting ?

  63. Helen 8th January 2012 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Conqueranxietyj,

    Say the thought popped into your head ‘what if i go mad?’, accepting it means just allowing the thought to come and be there. It means not trying to think your way out of it, not trying to work out why the thought, feeling or whatever came. When anxiety thoughts or feelings come, the minute you say to yourself ‘why did that thought come, what does it mean, does it really mean i might go mad?’ you feed anxiety by listening to it and trying to answers it’s questions. When you accept anxiety, you allow whatever comes to you. Ignoring it is slightly different as when you ignore something you generally push it aside and have to deal with it later. A lot of people ask what is the difference between acceptance and ignorance, with acceptance you acknowledge that the thought of feeling is there and carry on with your day knowing that it is there and to just let it be. Ignorance generally leads to a battle as you do things to try and not feel the way you do or think the way you do and that is a big difference. You have to acknowledge and accept anxiety whatever it makes you think and however it makes you feel but don’t fight it and don’t try and ignore what is happening in the hope it will go away. When you accept anxiety you learn the most valuable lessons in life and that is that you can cope with anything, head on, no skirting round it, no closing your eyes to it.

    Next time you get a thought or feeling you don’t like, acknowledge and accept it is there and don’t fight it and in time it just fades away.

    I hope this has made sense, if it hasn’t now, it will do in time, you’ll see.

    All the best

  64. elaine 8th January 2012 at 7:01 pm - Reply


  65. marcb 8th January 2012 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Hi all, I wish I wasn’t writing on here again, but sadly I am. I really feel my anxiety is getting worse. I have a thought that pops in my head that I am struggling with massively. I have something physical that isn’t perfect, in fact I have several things, scars, slightly concaved chest, asthma and a few others, none of these bother me in the slightest, however I also have a “non-perfect” penis, and it is sending me backwards. I get thoughts (every minute) that I “should have anxiety” as my penis isn’t perfect, its this thought and similar ones that I cannot seem to accept. I have a girlfriend, I’ve spoken to her about it, she couldn’t believe it, she was gobsmacked I had these thoughts as she cannot see a problem. I am doing my best to accept, but because I can see it I’m struggling, (my penis is thinner and softer at the base). I have asked 2 doctors to refer me to see a urologist but both said no as they couldn’t see a problem. In Pauls book on page 61 he says “just let all negative and destructive thoughts float away” but I cannot seem to do that, I have thoughts that it “needs to be straightened out” and “this is the reason I have anxiety”. This may sound strange but my penis wouldn’t bother in the slightest if only I didn’t get these continous negative thoughts streaming thru my head. I would really appreciate a reply or two, has anyone experienced similar thoughts? Do I just try harder to do what Paul says “let all negative and destructive thoughts float away”? I hope any ladies reading this aren’t offended about what I’m writing about. Many many thanks…. MarcB…x

  66. Sally 8th January 2012 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Hi Conqueranxiety
    I was 60 last Dec and for nearly all my adult life I have battled with anxiety believe me I have had the meds the counselling the lot and I have fought it and fought it and got nowhere until now.With the help of Claire Weekes and Paul who I stumbled upon a couple of years ago I have understanding of my condition,if you read Claire Weekes she calls the adrenalin we make by fighting the second fear,this means when you feel anxious as Paul says do not be anxious because you feel anxious try and just let the 1st feelings be there without worrying because you are anxious this is only making more adrenalin and intensifying the horrible feelings,so you need to just let the feelings be there I don’t mean you will not like them none of us do but you will find by not making more fuel ie adrenalin you are not feeding the fire.I have had many good days practising Paul’s way far far more than the medical proffession have given me.I am far from cured I know this will take time but I am moving forward and you can do the same this way Kind Regards Sally X

  67. mm16 8th January 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    helen, a big thanks for your wonderful post.

  68. Eric B. 9th January 2012 at 1:17 am - Reply

    Helen, your’e posts are fretful helpful. I struggle with 2 recurring thoughts that can’t seem to shake. I have learned to react less to smaller thoughts, so I am taking small steps.

  69. ginger797 9th January 2012 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Sally…thanks for posting i was thinking of buying claire weekes book and after reading your post im definatly going to buy it:)

  70. Vamanan 9th January 2012 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Helen you said it very well. I used to wonder the difference between acceptance and ignorance. I had a wrong belief that I have to correct my negative thoughts. This is because they bring some depressed emotion that change my mood. But I am realizing that consciously I understand the negative thoughts are not true. So the right thing to do is not fight the thoughts (and any feeling it may bring) and continue with our lives.

  71. Paul David (Admin) 9th January 2012 at 2:31 am - Reply

    Just a quick polite notice as things are getting out of control.

    The site and blog has become a bit of a monster over the last couple of years and as it says on my contact page I can’t answer personal emails asking for advice and recently my twitter and email account has been swamped with people asking me for personal advice.

    The only way I can stay accessible is through coming back to this blog when I can and posting here. I don’t blame people for asking as they probably think this is the only email or twitter question I receive all day. I wish that was the case, but I receive around a hundred questions a week through both accounts, then as you would understand one question leads to many more, it is just impossible to keep up and I would be doing nothing else all week but answering emails, I would not even have time to sleep.

    The main reason for this post is a lot have come from people on this blog and who follow me and twitter and rather than come across as ignorant, I just wanted people to know the situation and the reason I just can’t answer.

    Again it’s a polite notice and I hope people understand.


  72. Carlie 9th January 2012 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Oops, didn’t realize there was a new blog entry, so I’ll post this here too, hope that’s okay.

    Still having a rough time… It’s just hard to believe the DP will ever go away and I’ll feel more “connected” to myself again and things will stop feeling weird, even though I’ve had some moments of clarity where I feel like I can definitely overcome this if I’m more patient. I just keep having these thoughts that maybe I’ve had this several times throughout my life without knowing what it was, and this time it was really triggered and now I’m stuck with it. I know that’s a stupid thing to think, but those are the kinds of thoughts that pop into my head. I also get upset easily like tonight when my dad was talking about me getting out and doing things more often. Which I KNOW I need to do, but I guess I just wish he had talked to me a little differently about it. I know he’s just trying to help, but it wasn’t really a good night for that. Sometimes I just feel like my life has fallen apart so fast and I don’t know how I got here. I try to just do what Paul says, but at the same time, I’m scared to because I’m afraid it still won’t go away. Sorry to be negative, I’m just not having a good year so far. And it’s hard to even explain how I’m feeling because my mind is such a mess and I’m sure I left out some things I wanted to say. But I was also just wondering if anyone has ever just “snapped out” of DP? I’ve read a few stories where people said that happened to them, and it just seems weird to me, and different from everything else I’ve heard. I guess it doesn’t matter, but I keep thinking about that. Oh and I just read some of this blog entry, and it’s definitely perfect for me, because right now I’m still staying in my safe zone a lot… in the house and on the internet or watching TV or something. I know that’s no way to live and it’s not helping, but it’s such a hard habit to break. My parents have been good because they don’t push me, and sometimes I wish they would push me more. But then when they do, I usually get upset. :/

  73. conqueranxietyj 9th January 2012 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Helen you made my day !!! Now I am feeling relieved and self realization is coming after reading your post that why I have suffered for so long unnecessarily. I believe now I can live with it or cope with it effectively. I have hope now. From today I have decided not to research on this topic anymore because I have got my answer. Will update my progress but I feel I am cured now 🙂

  74. Carlie 9th January 2012 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Oh and one more thing… I have this tendency to stay up really late because going to bed “early” makes me anxious. And I think that usually what I do is I stay up long enough to make myself completely exhausted until I know I won’t have as many weird, scary thoughts as I’m falling asleep. I’ve done this forever, but it’s worse now. I end up depriving myself of sleep or sleeping most of the day, and then I feel guilty for sleeping so late. Just wondering if anyone else does this.

  75. Teresa 9th January 2012 at 9:07 am - Reply

    I wonder if anyone who has suffered for a ‘long’ time and is recovering or has recovered can help me . I feel that when the penny drops i am understanding how to react and have the right attitude to the ‘symptoms’ -( which at the moment is muscle pain ) and thoughts, this reduces their impact and I am like Elaine says 80% there. however within weeks I get a different reaction to the pain and all of a sudden I find the pain is intensified to a degree that it has not reached before and now has increased the fear which in turn brings it back, I then find i am locked in a fresh frightening cycle, even to the point that I wake several times and once i am aware I am awake the pain returns with force. i know as I write this if I was not ‘thinking’ wrong it would change but after understanding acceptance so well it is difficult to understand why i keep falling back into being so intensly frightened of the pain and not accepting it. I know if i go out and do things that the majority of the time it will lift – but as soon as I sit down to do normal things it comes back with increasing strength.
    Obviously I do not want to be yo yo ing like this – but i find it hard to maintain acceptance when i am in this frame of mind – and when i am in this frame of mind i find it hard to look outside the ‘moment’.
    Carrie – regards DP, I snapped out of DP just like that! I was on holiday – and swamped by it on a particular day, all of a sudden my reaction to it changed and i thought , its quite comfortable in this fog I don’t need to fight, as it was almost like being sedated – within hours it lifted and that’s going back a few years, it has not returned. You may not want to go out – but if you can go out you should, try and interact with other people too it is a big step foward. Start with small steps – it will give you confidence.

  76. Nikki 9th January 2012 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Hey Paul thank you for posting – you sound extremely busy and a bit overwhelmed by all the demands being made on you – neither wonder you should not be expected to support and help everyone in the world with anxiety! What on earth were you doing posting here at 2.30am?? You should have been in bed! Remember exhaustion and stress can lead to tired nerves ….,

    I think when people find this approach for the first time it raises so many questions initially for people – however there are lots of people already on this site who are able to offer lots of encouragement and support. It should not all fall down to you.

    Teresa like you I am trying to manage pain which often feels worse when I think about doing something that feels difficult thus making me not want to do it cause I am in too much pain. Am also finding myself reaching for pain killers to mask the pain so that I can get on with my day. I am hoping to try accepting with the pain as well and trust my body to heal itself. I am not thinking it is going to be easy but hey I might find it is easier than I fear. X

  77. marcb 9th January 2012 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Hi all, Have woken today and feel unbelievably lost. I would really appreciate a possible reply to my post. Thank you, Marc x

  78. Paul David (Admin) 9th January 2012 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Your right Nikki I should have been in bed, but I am a big fan of the sport NFL and it does not finish until late and tends to play havoc with your sleeping patterns, thankfully it finishes soon.

    The last thing I want is for people to think I ignore them, that really was what the post was about and to highlight how impossible it is to answer. People are deperate and so was I at one point. But this blog does help to share it around and that is why I am thankful for everyone else who helps and supports others. The last thing I want to be though is some invisible person behind a website that no one can reach and that will never be the case.

    Thanks for your words Nikki and I promise to get to bed earlier tonight mother 🙂

  79. Helen 9th January 2012 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Marcb,

    You have to realize that you don’t have anxiety because of any physical imperfection you may have, the simple truth is that anxiety attaches itself to any area where you perceive it to be a weakness. You then get the belief that if you fixed the particular problem you wouldn’t be anxious anymore. This is where you are doing the exact opposite of what you should be doing. You aren’t perfect, never will be, no one is but anxiety is tricking you into attaching on this area so that you try and fix it, work it out, make sense of it. You can’t, you are who you are and that is the palin truth. Let the thoughts be there, they will carry on for a while but don’t fight it, don’t try and fix it. Acknowledge and accept that these thoughts are there, don’t push them away, don’t think that if you were to address them physically that you would solve it, you won’t as anxiety will just attach itself to something else and you will go through it all again.
    To recover from anxiety you have to accept ALL thoughts and feelings that come at you, just let them be there but that is all. Carry on with your day, your relationship, your life as you would like to and things will subside gradually.

    I hope this helps, make sure that today, no matter how you feel, no matter how your thoughts come at you, you get up and do things you want or need to. You just have to this every day and I promise it will get better.

    All the best

  80. Bill 9th January 2012 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Hi,doing my best to get out and about but i feel almost permanently dizzy when i stand up,and then my vision goes a bit blurry when i get in a confined space,any one else get these feelings,please answer,it just makes you doubt yourself a bit,thanks.also legs are a bit wobbly.I walk every day but still get the same feelings of anxiety,sometimes even stronger than previous days.Any comments would be much appreciated.

  81. marcb 9th January 2012 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Helen thank you so much, that is a wonderful reply you have written. I was doing so well in the summer then this has crept up on me very slowly. I truly appreciate your reply. Marc x

  82. ShellH 9th January 2012 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Bill,

    This is the first time I have posted on the Blog.

    I am too feeling dizzy and sick today. I got Pauls book about 3 weeks ago and from that I am beginning to realize that these symptoms are anxiety.

    I am trying to just get on with my working day but it is hard. The feeling you are going to faint at anytime is frightening and difficult to accept.

    I also would like to know how to deal with this.

    I am glad I found this website. I have been suffering with health anxiety and panic attacks for 4 years now. They have got worse since I had my daughter two years ago. The slightest pain, ache or bump and I think the worst. It is difficult to not react to the thoughts but even harder to not react the physical symptoms of chest pain, lump in the throat, dizziness etc (for me at the moment hope this will get better with time).

    But from reading the posted on this blog it is helping me to understand the symptoms a little more.

    The post on acceptance or ignoring has been a really big help as this is where I think I have been going wrong.

    Thank you to all of you for being so supportive to each other x

  83. marcb 9th January 2012 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Helen, just one more thing, hope u dont mind. Are u saying that I should pack up the visits to the drs and the pleading for them to send me to a urologist? And that I can beat anxiety EXACTLY as I am now? Thank you so much …Marc x

  84. MLK 9th January 2012 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    The other night when I was reading my textbook for class, I noticed that I had a hard time focusing my vision on the words as I was reading them. I had blurred vision. Now today I am worried about it too. I am having a hard time just letting the blurred vision be there without thinking it is something more severe. Any suggestions? Is this normal with anxiety? Thank you!

  85. Helen 9th January 2012 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Marc,

    Please see a quote from your post below:

    ‘This may sound strange but my penis wouldn’t bother in the slightest if only I didn’t get these continous negative thoughts streaming thru my head.’

    So the answer is yes, you can beat anxiety exactly as you are now. Two doctors have told you there isn’t a problem it is only anxiety that is making your life so difficult, nothing else. Accept anxiety and it is equally important that you accept who you are. No one is perfect and who would want to be. It is the best feeling to face difficult times in life and get through them but more importantly to learn from them. If someone asked me if i could erase the times I suffered so terribly from anxiety I would most definately say no, it has taught me so much. It was extremely difficult (to say the least!) to do what I am telling you now, that is to accept everything you are thinking and feeling but it just works. When you allow yourself to let the thoughts be there without fighting anymore it is like a weight being lifted.

    Stick with it Marc just get on with being you.

    All the best

  86. Matt 9th January 2012 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    hey carlie….good to see you on here again. I am still on the road to recovery myself and getting there, slowly. I don’t know if you can snap out of DP completely, I believe it is a gradual process, just like anxiety. After all, it is the anxiety that is causing the DP in the first place, you get rid of that and the DP falls away. I go out every day and do things to stay away from the house and it helps a lot. because you are staying at home you are making it worse by not being active in your life. You need to get out and do things, even if it is small at first. Before long your body will desensitize and you’ll gain confidence in yourself.

    If you allow DP to take over your life, then it will. It isn’t a lifelong condition that you will always have, but you have to take the steps to get out of it by integrating back into normal living. You are allowing the fear to run your life for you, and it’s the fear that will keep you in your current state. all the weirdness and thoughts will subside over time, but it won’t happen while you’re constantly obsessing and worrying. Like paul says, you have to do the opposite of how you feel in order to get better. Hope everyone is having a great day!

  87. Christian 9th January 2012 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    Is anyone on this blog totally recovered?

  88. Helen 9th January 2012 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Hi Christian,
    I am fully recovered and have been for a long time.

  89. Christian 10th January 2012 at 12:45 am - Reply


    That’s great to hear congrats. do you mind reading this? I posted it a week ago but it might be annoying to scrub through and find it. Before you read, I might at I have had my “recoveries” most lasting for 3 weeks or a month. But when I fall down I fall hard. Please read this and let me know what you think. And there is a lot more but I couldnt really write everything down but you will get the point:

    Hey Paul,
    Anxiety started to effect my life in freshman year of college, where I forced myself into a relationship because I never had a serious girlfriend before. It is a very long and dreadful story but to make it as simple as possible, I was slowly changing who I was for this girl, completely used and took advantage of my for 6 months (without me even realizing it. When my mom brought to my attention that I was slowly sinking myself into a deep deep hole, I saw it from a different perspective and called her to break up with her. She then threatened to kill herself. That summer, I was scared every time I thought about her because I truly believed there was no girl out there for me and lost my identity. I also dreaded going back to the small college because I would see her. That year, I clung to another girl at school thinking this would fill the void. She happened to be very independent, and this made me completely insecure and self conscious.. Half a year passed and I was severely depressed and made up all these negative irrational thought like she was cheating on me, she’s glad I left her dorm room, she is going to break up with me etc. That same time, a girl in my dorm hung herself. I obsessed about how someone can drive themselves to do that and was very frightened of myself. I ended up breaking up with her and leaving the school and had my first full blown panic attack and thought of suicide. Since then I had struggled with obsessive disturbing thoughts, depersonalization, and panic. I left a job because I thought life wasn’t real, I called my mom everyday even thought I was home. This was the best information I found back in the summer and I have gone a loooong way. I have many setbacks but I know its ok.
    I went from house bound to transferring to school and living in the city.
    The one thing is, I kept in contact with my last girlfriend who I liked and who I explained the reason why I left her. She came to visit me this week and it went very well until the end. I found out she received an STD from my friend/roommate from school after I left. It was back in May, and she explained how she was very very drunk and not comfortable with herself at the time. But, what bothered the hell out of me was the “ex-friend” .This hurt when I heard it, and made me kind of depressed, but I just let it happen. My mind is occupied, but it is not stopping me from doing what I do. I believe eventually the hurt will pass if I let it be. Am I right?

    Thank you, please post back.

  90. Christian 10th January 2012 at 12:49 am - Reply


    and that i posted a week ago. after that post, my week was dreadful and i was full blown obsessive thoughts about my own anxiety, depressed, scared, and crying. I am back in the city where I go to school and I a little better

  91. Vick 10th January 2012 at 3:06 am - Reply

    i have always been a bit of a worrier and have suffered two major bouts anxiety during my adult life, the most recent being mid 2011. in moving forward with recovery and with my life, i am hoping that my experiences may help some of you that are continuing to suffer. the two most important aspects of recovery for me were definitely understanding and acceptance. before i knew what anxiety actually was, i was gripped with fear from the symptoms i suffered and was convinced that i was going mad, losing my mind and suffering from something far more serious. like many of you my worst symptoms were irrational thoughts about anything and everything and to a lesser extent, DP. through my experience i have found that once you develop an understanding of anxiety and truely accept this, it really doesnt matter what the symptoms are as you now have a solid and rational explanation. the next step is acceptance which can be difficult (this was the hardest part for me) as through habit, our bodies and minds have been conditioned to think we have something far more serious. to this day, i still get the odd moment where i am fooled by old habits however, when i step back and look at things objectively, i can quickly dismiss these uncomfortable thoughts and feelings as anxiety, tick them off and get on with my day. for months i was like many of those who suffer, questioning every thought, every feeling, convincing myself i had this or that, researching symptoms and treatment options. all of this is a total waste of time as all you really need to get started on the road to recovery is an understanding of anxiety followed by acceptance. once this is achieved, the rest will quickly fall into place 🙂

  92. Helen 10th January 2012 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Hi Christian,
    You have to be happy with who you are and the life you lead. Firstly, you can’t be concerned about there not being a girl for you out there as this leads to making bad choices and trying to make people fit to serve a purpose. Generally, I believe that you meet the right person when you aren’t even looking.
    You must concentrate on being you at the moment, people threatening to commit suicide is a way of contolling someone else and that is not your problem, it’s theirs, it may sound harsh but it is true. You aren’t responsible for other people, only for yourself.
    It is awful for anyone to hear that someone has commited suicide but for someone with anxiety to hear it, it is much worse as you start to think things like ‘will I do that?’. You start obsessing about it and it starts to take over everything, this leads to depersonalization, you don’t sleep and you are in a vicious circle. I know I am probably telling you things you already know……..
    The hurt will pass so long as you allow yourself to think any thoughts that come to you without fighting. Keep everything in perspective, times have been tough for you and still will be for a while but it will pass.
    Get on with your life whilst acknowledging and learning from the things that have happened and with having anxiety. And when I say get on with your life I mean YOURS. Carry yourself well and treat others how you would like to be treated but don’t be overly concerned by other people and their actions, not when it has a negative effect on you.
    Enjoy life, do the things you like and surround yourself with people you truly like and connect with.
    Embrace anxiety, let all the thoughts and feelings come to you but carry on doing the things you want and need to every day. No exceptions.
    You sound like you know what to do anyway and the hurt you are experiencing will most definately pass.

    All the best

  93. Christian 10th January 2012 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Thank you Helen. Although it has been a year since I left the last school, I have stilled struggled with all the symptoms daily. That’s not to say that I havent had my extended periods of content and peace. But setbacks have hurt me. I guess it is when I start to lose perspective on what exactly it is that I am worrying about. I start to think it will last forever even though I’ve been through it soooo many times ha. I guess its never too late to start over. Thanks because this was a great reassurance for me.


  94. Christian 10th January 2012 at 10:19 am - Reply

    and one more question because I sometimes get confused. If I let the thoughts come (most I can’t even put in words its just like jumbled into a really dark dark wave over me), do I acknowledge it? because I feel like I’m sometimes acknowledging it like every minute and I’m sure that is more work then I am even supposed to put in it.

  95. marcb 10th January 2012 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Thank Helen for another great reply! x

  96. jackie 10th January 2012 at 11:09 am - Reply

    I would just like to say thanks to Helen for your great posts 🙂 xx

  97. Helen 10th January 2012 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Hi Christian,
    You don’t need to work too hard to acknowledge your thoughts. Recognise and accept a thought as anxiety and then carry on, just allow it to be there without fighting with it. It isn’t easy but it gets easier and easier.

    All the best

  98. Bill 10th January 2012 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    ShellH thanks for your comments,it is so hard to accept that our symptoms are down to anxiety,but we must.We both got Pauls book about the same time so lets move in the right direction,regards,Bill.

  99. conqueranxietyj 10th January 2012 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    How can I buy Paul Book in India ? I am desperate to read it now

  100. Christian 10th January 2012 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Helen thanks. I needed the reassurance.

  101. Teresa 10th January 2012 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Great posts Helen – you seem to have ‘accepted’ everything eventually and now seem to be on the other side of it. Did you have it a long time – i seem to remember reading that you had.I have had it quite a long time but I am recovering, well I prefer to call it improving now as i think looking for recovery can be self defeating – recovery will come, it is a slow recovery, but as long as i can maintain a level head in the meantime and progress that will keep me going. I get breaks where i think i’m through it, or that I have reduced it to a level where i no longer care about it and then it comes back and re frightens me – i wondered if when you were recovering you felt the need to seek reassurance when you lost the ‘confidence’ sometimes, or did you just make yourself ‘get on’ with it. I find if I have had a bad episode and i don’t look for some reassurance it tends to spiral and stick. last weekend i tried to leave it burn itself out but it just went really bad so i ended up coming back on the blog to seek reassurance. I seem to have learnt so much – everything seems to be adding up and especially when i am ‘thinking’ right – but then i lose it. i’m wondering if i am weak willed. It’s almost as if one day i’m able to swim , and i swim with the right attitude not caring about feelings and physical things, and when i don’t care they reduce right down and then I lose it and end up being really aware of physical symptoms again and then I seem to lose my ‘so what’ attitude . think i’m getting there but I’m confused. I think that when you know a lot of the answers and have felt the respite it somehow gets difficult to let go and let them all come together – this probably does not make much sense but i would love to hear from people either recovered or like me are making progress and then feel confused by the fear again.

  102. Matt 11th January 2012 at 12:35 am - Reply

    I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but for the past two months I got on with my life from DP and it’s been up and down, but today I actually felt like a living human being again. My thinking is a whole lot clearer and everything seems real again. My emotions are coming back as well. I can’t believe it, it’s like life has meaning again. I’ve posted these kind of posts before, but today seems….different. It really works by not obsessing about it and worrying and just moving on. I registered in school full-time and am looking forward to it, I know I have nothing to be scared of. It took getting out in the real world to find that out and reminding myself that there really isn’t anything to be afraid of it’s just your body protecting you, so allow it to stop doing it by doing everything you did before you got DP. Some days had been kinda bad, but I still had that I don’t care attitude towards it and it became fun after awhile, like what are you going to do to me? things look unreal? so what, I feel odd? so what, etc. Eventually I hardly noticed it at all and today was the first real day of complete peace and normalcy. I just wanted to post, that if people are struggling, keep struggling, but live life normally, and little by little you regain yourself. I was thinking about not posting on here so much, but I enjoy talking about my progress to give others hope and will continue to do so because I understand what you guys are going through.

    oh, and christian, read some of the old blogs on this site, you will see a ton of people that are recovered. Most don’t come back on here because they are living their life. When I recovered for a short period of time over a year ago, I stopped coming on here until I struggled again. Anyways, hope everyone is doing great!

  103. Paul David (Admin) 11th January 2012 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Christian loads have recovered in the past , go to the main site and read them . Tarmo’s story is on there and he was one of the nicest, most giving people ever to come on here, it really is a pity he does not post anymore as he totally got it and gave out some brilliant advice. But he emailed me one day and said he wanted to now catch up with the life he lost and that he would no longer be posting.

    Also when we felt fine, we would never dream we would feel like this, the opposite side of the coin is when we feel bad, we never imagine feeling good again. I was the same, it just felt so far away, totally out of reach, but I got there and now my life such a complete and happy one and trust me I was as bad if not worse than anyone I have helped. The biggest factor for me was not listening to that constant chatter that kept trying to put obstacles in my way, all the insecurites, the anxious thoughts had to be just taken with a pinch of salt.

    I just dropped it all and tried to learn to live again, whilst also feeling distant, lost and anxious, the whole shabang. But more than anything, I dropped the need to work it all out. It is like a jigsaw that does not need solving, you are better just leaving the pieces on the floor and mving on with your life. Just don’t waste time going over and over it, making it your daily aim to get better, trying to work it all out, constantly trying to find a solution, trust me it is a waste of time.

    Here is the link to the success stories



  104. Nikki 11th January 2012 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Ok the last few days I have had a stupid cold. I am finding myself anxious about having a cold. The thoughts flying around my head are ‘I feel so ill, what’s wrong with me? I’m never going to get better’. God I cannot believe my anxiety is affected by a cold. I feel really tearful as I have felt unwell for a year and a half now – mostly anxiety related with clusters of migraines that are hormone related and now a flippin cold – will I ever get well? My body feels so run down and has done for a while.

    Then I remind myself that the whole point of recovering this way is not to focus on getting well but to get on with my day. So I am up have had a shower and trying to get on with it – gosh its not easy tho. Yesterday I did make it out whilst panicking and did what I needed to do – so somewhere inside me I have hope this way will work. X

  105. Helen 11th January 2012 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Hi Theresa,
    I had anxiety for most of my life, even as a child I was a severe worrier, so thats probably about 34 years. I had some very, very severe episodes though but that was in adulthood.
    When I was recovering, I did seek reassurance a lot at first, not from this site but from my family but it got to the point where I knew that I had to stop looking for it and just carry on. So I did, it was very frightening at times but at the same time it is empowering. When you get through a tough time on your own and you can look back and say ‘wow, i got through it all be myself!’ it feels great and can only reinforce the fact that recovery really can happen with no crutches, just you, holding your own. It’s fab (I know it doesn’t feel like it at the time!).
    When you are having a bad episode, accept it for what it is and don’t be hard on yourself. Accept it and carry on as normal. You aren’t weak willed you are recovering and re-educating yourself and it can be tiring. Just remember no matter how you feel just carry on with your day as normal and you will be fine.

    All the best

  106. Carlie 11th January 2012 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Matt, thanks for always responding! Your posts are so reassuring. I’m working hard on the “just letting it be there” thing, especially when it comes to all the thoughts that run through my head. I get so worried about how it’s hard for me to remember things sometimes and I lose my train of thought so quickly, but I’ve been focusing on this for so long that it’s become an obsession. Like, I’ll lose my train of thought, even if it wasn’t about anything particularly important, but then I’ll drive myself crazy trying to figure out what it was. It’s a horrible cycle. But I’m trying to just let the thoughts be there so my head will clear a little. It’s funny, because I feel like if I would just get out regularly and slowly start to forget about this whole DP thing, it probably wouldn’t take that long to get over it. And after posting the other night, I read the chapter on DP in Paul’s book, but mostly just the last part where he addresses a guy who said he had been struggling for 15 years. It was easy to see what he was doing wrong, and Paul explained everything so well, so it gave me a lot of confidence and reassured me. I am still seeing a therapist who’s been working with me mainly on other things that I’ve been struggling with for awhile, like low self esteem and social anxiety, but really just the topic of anxiety in general. I see him tomorrow, so I’m gonna try to sleep now. Hopefully tomorrow will be decent like today was!

    Oh and I just saw your last post, I’m so happy for you! I hope you continue to have more good days. I keep worrying that when I do recover, I’ll be a different person or something, but so many people have said that’s not true, so I just have to keep believing.

  107. Teresa 11th January 2012 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Thank you Helen for your in depth reply – It is a help to hear from ‘long term’ sufferers. I have been a worrier although tending to get better about it –
    My attempts to ignore symptoms go well for a while and i will stay away from the blog for a quite a while somethimes knowing i don’t need to feed the symptoms and they do go away to a big point, about 70/80%, they no longer matter. i have had a several long bad times since the autumn – i come through them but normally I start with the right attitude and as each day the situation keeps going and the symptoms seem to grow, inspite of ‘getting on with life’ watching them come and go and in the end I can see no way out but to seek ‘help’ to put my mind straight – as what seems to be happening is my stress and worry over the symptoms is growing and i get further and further away from recovery/improvement.

    It seems a catch 22 situation – if you carry on trying to face it on your own you actually are increasing your stress – but if you seek reassurance you are giving into the anxiety. I expect it is like Paul’s 2 roads. And to be honest I feel really frightened at the prospect of not having somewhere to come if I feel so bad.

    Sorry Helen, i know I asked you for an answer and you have given it – and now i am coming up with more ‘reasons’/problems’.

    and thanks Paul too.

  108. Helen 11th January 2012 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Hi Theresa,
    You have to do what you are comfortable with. If this blog helps you when you are feeling bad, if it reinforces to you what you need to do then carry on doing it. So long as you don’t use the blog as a crutch and so long as coming on the blog doesn’t interfere with your everyday life then it is fine. It is only when people see the use of something as some kind of medicine that it can have a negative effect.
    I can hear in your last post that you are waiting to be better, looking for the day when it all clicks into place, it will come but not when you are looking for it.
    You know, deep down that you do not need to stress and worry over the symptoms as you know what they are; anxiety but when you feel so bad you feel like you are on a precipice and that you will fall at any moment if someone doesn’t help or give you some kind of answer/reassurance. I can promise you Theresa, you won’t fall into what you are fearing or feeling but you have to stand strong and really believe that what you are experiencing is down to anxiety, you aren’t ill, you aren’t going mad, you aren’t going to hurt someone etc etc.
    As your recovery continues you will naturally not feel the need for reassurance so much but carry on using it if it helps but like I said use it in the right way, not as a crutch, not as a medicine.

    I hope this helps, you really will be OK Theresa, I know as I am speaking from very very painful experience!!

    All the best

  109. Teresa 11th January 2012 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Just want to add a couple of things – Helen, I expect I have to be prepared to ‘feel’ all these physical feelings and view them as exposing me and no matter how loud they shout I need to pay them the same response so it is therefore hardening me to them which in turn makes me stronger.

    Thank you again Helen, the fact that there are people here like yourself who had anxiety a long time and are prepared to come here and discuss their recovery is a massive encouragement to the likes of myself. I feel I know all there is to know but yet I’m not completely letting go. I’m not even looking for complete recovery, I realise i have to accept I am an anxious person and will feel anxious but it is dominating my life again – so i have obviously lost acceptance.
    Thanks for your support.
    Paul, read Maria’s story and I do realise and understand this – I am not apologising and trying not to feel guilty for being on here AGAIN but maybe I have to accept that this is all part of the journey. Thanks for your continued help to us all.

  110. Teresa 11th January 2012 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Helen – our posts crossed. Thank you so much for your help today. I am sure it will take me an extra step. I think it will reinforce the time when i need reassurance and tell me you can do this, you don’t need to worry about how bad it will get, because it won’t be any worse. I think i needed to get to this emotional place to rise back up somehow – however long it takes. You speak so calmly and with so much sense. I will follow your advice, knowing that it comes from someone who’s been there!

  111. Paul David (Admin) 11th January 2012 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Teresa don’t feel guilty about coming here or punish yourself for not always getting it. It can take a whole bunch of time to lose old destructive habits, sometimes worrying is just part and parcel of our personality. I always found the best way to change the habit of worry was to just let it all go, you will never stop worrying whilst trying to reason with it.

    I was not so much of a worrier, with me it was what people thought of me and how I was coming across. I was so touchy and paranoid, but it was the anxiety at work, as I was not like this before. So what I did is try and act my way through the day, please people, bend this way and that way. Go home and try to work out what he or she meant when he said this or that or did they notice my oddness, then make sure I made up with them tomorrow.

    Oh looking back what a battle that was and then one day I thought ‘I no longer care how I come across’ at first the same feelings of insecurity washed over me, but this time I just said ‘I no longer care’ and just let it go. The day was no longer a battle field, I stopped going over things, I stopped trying to please and felt a sense of relief. Over time I just trained myself to no longer care, as soon as I was about to go over something, I would just let it go and carry on with what I was doing.

    By the way Teresa I have that picture for you now at last, looks really nice, will email it you later 🙂


  112. ShellH 11th January 2012 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I am new to this blog but wanted to say that reading Helens posts has really helped me. I got Pauls book about 3 weeks ago and i am trying to put the acceptance into practice

    I do have a quick question though and hope nobody minds me asking – did anyone get chest pain as a result of anxiety? I don’t wish to intrude and understand completely if you prefer not to say. I suffer with health anxiety. I get chest pain regularly and have had all the checks many times which have come back normal but as soon as i get the sharp pains my mind thinks the worst and I find it hard to igore them because of the physical symptom.

    Any advice on this will be really appreciated.



  113. Teresa 11th January 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks Paul – I have stopped worrying about outside worries, they no longer bother me most of the time, I address what i have to and then leave it go. All of what i get caught up with now is anxiety symptoms – physical symptoms which sometimes i can leave go of and other times I cannot and when i cannot i find the pain escalates, its only muscle spasms but very uncomfortable when they get their teeth in – hence the reason i end up seeking a way out. I have watched these pains disappear as i get involved in other things but for some reason all of a sudden i get caught up with them again and fear takes over from reason. I am sure that something has to burst at some point in order for me to let go – i know so much, have felt so many eureka moments that its a case of having to let go of the rails, or like riding a bike without stabilisers – I know that that braveness has to come from within. Thank you for your patience with me. I look foward to seeing the painting.
    And I must say that Helen’s points have hit home today and as i mentioned to her I am very grateful as i do need to get past this point somehow – I feel like I’m on a bungee jump, lol!
    Welcome – I hope the blog helps you – it has helped me move foward and I have had those pains too, it is anxiety just keep following the book and the others here, you will lose your focus on them .

  114. Jerry 11th January 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply


    I also get chest pains due to anxiety. Alot of it has to do with how tense we get when we’re anxious and it manifest itself in SO many ways. For me, chest and shooting neck pains were the most common. I’ve had Xrays, EKG’s, and all sorts of blood work done. Doctor just looked at me and said “you’re having anxiety.” I’ve gotten dizzy from it, sharp headaches where I thought I was having a stroke or something insane like that and my buddy Aaron even gets constant bowel movements and cramps from his anxiety. One thing that has helped is that when I feel these symptoms, I just tell myself, “you’ve felt this exact same thing before, you know what it is. Stay calm.” Tends to fade within 30 minutes. Remember, just as Paul said, its just adrenaline. In fact there is a great National Geographic documentary on Stress and the scientist in that documentary states how we have the same response to stress as a gazelle has when being chased by lions in the wild. If you aren’t expelling the adrenaline in the way its meant *fleeing for your life or excitment* it can make you feel some of the weirdest sensations ever. BUT, its just a hormone, not the grim reaper.


  115. Christian 11th January 2012 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    I tend to space out during conversation and during other things due to disturbing thoughts and anxiety. do I let this happen? because when I try to listen the anxiety makes me nervous.

  116. Jennifer 11th January 2012 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Helen, Matt and Paul (obviously) you patience and support is so good, thank you.
    Teresa, I can so relate at the moment especially the bit about
    “as what seems to be happening is my stress and worry over the symptoms is growing and i get further and further away from recovery/improvement”.
    I too seem to have better days then once the physical symptoms kick in, it all goes down on a spiral and I know this anxiety info inside out. To the extend I maybe obsessed about it and recovering. Understandable when you feel so bad I guess and I can’t find a cause for feeling this bad.
    I am exhausted even though im practicing letting go as always. Al lthe headaches and the constant current that seems to run through my body and the not feeling with it gets on top of me. It would anyone I think

    But I love my life too much than to give in, I will battle on with not battling on…..if that makes sense

  117. Paul David (Admin) 11th January 2012 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Therese my point is that it does not matter if it is an outside worry or an internal worry, they need to be treated the same. Forgive me if I go off track as I have not read all of your recent posts.

    I used to have terrible ringing ears that drove me crazy, it was in the worst of my anxiety and I used to try and fix it, boy did I worry and focus on it and it got worse, more stress, more heightening of symptoms. I again just let my ears ring as they wished and just got on with what i was doing, it was terribly annoying, but I just left it. In time this symptom left me, I had stopped adding stress to stress symptom. It was very hard for me to believe that it was more serious than a symptom of stress, but I just left it be and the time that was v hard as every instinct told me to worry about it or try and fix it. You just have to sometimes take that leap of faith and trust you will be fine long term, even if you don’t always believe it, I have yet to meet anyone who has worried away a symptom or problem.

    So as hard as it is just try and get on with your day and work along side the pain. I have said it before, but a lady I helped many years ago sent me an email after letting her anxiety rule her life for many years, she said ‘Paul I have anxiety today, but for the first time ever, it is o.k’ her symptoms were the same, her attitude is what changed and she took all the fear/stress/worry out of it, which is where she found the relief. This lady is fully recovered now.


  118. Ben 11th January 2012 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for recommending your blog to me through email, your posts have already clear up some of the confusions I’ve had about what has been in your book. Here in this blog, you stated,

    “I used to have all sorts of odd, obsessive thoughts and I just gave them their space and let them be. NEVER as stated above try not to think them.”

    So instead of not trying to think of the worry thoughts that come into my mind. Should I try to think about them?… but that would be doing something about the obsessive thoughts, so should I just passively look at them through an observer’s standpoint?

    You also mentioned that there first step is to “The first step is to view anxiety in a different way and to change your attitude towards it.” How do you change the attitude toward anxiety, by doing nothing and desensitizing the nerves?

    Thank you :),

  119. Teresa 11th January 2012 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Thanks Paul – I think the mind is recognising this now, as it does go away when I’m fully engaged by something – i have to now also accept I cannot just distract myself out of it, if you see what i mean. i have to be able to accept the quiet moments – thank you for your support.

  120. miranda 12th January 2012 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    hey paul. i would just like to say i am soo glad i came over your book and this site in 2008 ive suffered anxiety on and off for 12 year but i would reallly say in 2008 is when the poo hit the fan as people wld say lol.
    I wrote on this blog a few times as after i had my son in 2008 i suffered every symptom off anxeity possible ie dp, intrusive thoughts, feelings off going mad, etc then i feel pregnant 8 month after my first son was born and wasnt great as i was staring to find my feet with the help off your book and meds but then all the wat ifs thoughts, depression started up again as i came off meds and thought here we go a again. after my second son came along i wasnt as bad as i was but still tryin to recover. any way went back on med for about 6 month and kept puttin what i learned from your book into practice and came on leaps and bounds came off my meds by maself as i didnt need them they where more like a safety net… anyway was having my little moments again but felt like i was back too my oldself then me and my husband split afer 10n year and was still doing great considering but there wasnt any issues with anxiety untill a few month ago….i met this guy7 month ago and he is wonderful may i add he nos all about my anxiety even bought me the book again as i lost the one i bought in 2008, then something funny has started, when i first meet him was over the moon excited wanted to see him all the time, then started noticing the dreed feeling coming back with oh dont no if i want to be with him then i would be in buckets off tears thinking to myself but i really love this guy, he is everything i could possible want in a person but feel like am questioning myself constantly and its dreed , dreed , dreed BUT when i speak to him about it it seems to go away then i get up set. we have talked about kids and was so excited to start with thinking about planing a family and moving intogether but it seems like all theses happy thoughts have truned into dreed and worry then i start to question myself and say maybe i should end it.. its funny to me as when i was with my husband i never had this but it sort of remembers me when i had my kids thinking, god i cant do this i cant be a mum wanted to run away dreed , dreed.. so what i am asking for is this an off shot off anxiety as it confusses me when you are going through this as your emotions and thoughts seem numb to everything. oh and its silly as when everything is clear and the thoughts are gone its not there, think i just maybe need reasurance. thank you

  121. miranda 12th January 2012 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    oh and one more thing …. ave been putting this off for days as i was going to go to my docters but feel they will refer me to a pyshcologist which i have seen many but i feel they can never fully understand unless there going through it so that was the last resort and really want to get through this with out meds as ive been off them for 2 year coming up , thanks xxx

  122. Lucy 12th January 2012 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Miranda

    Just wanted to say that the thoughts and feelings of dread surrounding your partner/relationship are caused by your anxiety. I suffer in the exact same way as you and I have never been happier in a relationship before! People often say that anxiety surrounds what matters most to you, as that is the only way it is going to get to you and I definitely think that’s true! I have struggled for months with trying to accept that the thoughts/fear are caused by anxiety and not because the relationship isn’t right, and I must admit even now I struggle sometimes. But when I’m feeling good and I’m able to accept it is just anxiety, the fear seems to go away a little and I am able to feel “normal” again for a bit. I still would say I am a numb and I’m not able to “feel” emotions/feelings of love towards my boyfriend, but I am hoping this is something that will come with time. Not sure if you are experiencing the same thing?
    This blog has worked wonders for me as it can be such a relief to know that you aren’t alone, so I just wanted to share my experiences with you and hopefully offer some reassurance. From what you’ve said, anxiety is the only cause behind how you are feeling and I don’t think seeing your doctor will be much help. Lucy x

  123. sophia 12th January 2012 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    I am been taunted by constant mind chatter or obtrusive thoughts.. i have no clue where to start with my life…always feels hopeless for no particular reason..by default it feels like that…i would have done all that i should be doing, i have no dp or spaced out feeling but often i interpret people and situation in a different way..may be because i am hyper aware of my sense of being..

    i get easily hurt, i dont know what i should stand for? i sometimes doubt why do i always have a constant need for acceptance and care..its like as though i am programmed for that…i keep doing my duties but inside what i feel is i should be doing this now that later always keeping me busy but never happy..what is keeping me away from feeling content…?

    is the mind chatter the culprit? or is something else wrong with me? OCD? its like i always feel i should be behaving or talking well with others? if i dont take special care i sound very rude..infact i dont like to interact because i feel sad always..! i feel its for real..

    where do i have to begin changing my ways?

    Pls help…!!!

  124. Sally 12th January 2012 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Shell Hi
    I have suffered for many years and just to let you know I always used to get chest pains I think it is something to do with muscle tension due to our condition,so when the docs tell you that there is nothing wrong believe them.X

  125. Camilla 12th January 2012 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Hi just wondered how anyone copes with hospital tests I have to have a berium enema on Monday and I am freaked out so much so that I feel like cancelling it, I am trying to be adult about it but my head is full of what if’s please help me see sense

  126. Jennifer 12th January 2012 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Hi again everyone and Paul,

    I am used to and can handle the racing heart, electric current feeling etc even though they are unpleasant, but once the constant mind chatter gets worse and panic which makes the DP worse this is what I so struggle with. The fact that I find it hard to concentrate, can’t think clearly and interact with people the way I uses to is SO horrible. I, just on another planet it feels.
    Its like I have no level to work from or nothin to work with if anyone can relate?? I hope someone can??Does anyone else have constant anxiety?

    To me communicating is everything and I am usually a confident communicator with everyone and im sure no one notices, but I am feeling constant anxiety. Not socially, just inside myself.

    I think I use this blog as medicine when im having worse days, in response to a previous post

    I don’t like having to post how I really feel but would love some reassurance/words of wisdom/support.
    x x

  127. Diane 12th January 2012 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    I really get what Paul says about recovery being an up and down journey. Today the anxiety has been here on and of, and I must admit I find it difficult to just accept and carry on but I am trying distraction and aceeptance. I feel I am on the right track though as I am having more better days than not so good and remind myself of that, what I am now capable of doing, work, shopping etc compared to a few months ago. Just one question for the women in this site, i feel my anxiety and restlessness get worse a few day before and into my menstral cycle anyone else get this? I have started to take vitamin b6 and magnesium to see if it helps, any other suggestions? hope you are all doing ok, take care

  128. Diane 12th January 2012 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Teresia, I just read your post and know exactly what you are saying about one day you feel your swimming in the right direction and the physical symtoms kick in an the what if’s and fear returns. I think its like Paul says its bumpy road and I suppose the importan thing is acceptance, although not always easy and not adding fear into the cycle. I do hope I get to the stage that the woman Paul speaks of ‘ today I have anxiety and no longer care’.I must try not to let it spiral and try more acceptance, this blog is really supportive and reading your post made me feel not so alone on this bumpy road and reasured that other people are going through similar to myself, strength in numbers and all that, I also have thought OCD patterns and am orking on that with cognitive behavioural therapy to, take care and thanks for your honesty

  129. miranda 12th January 2012 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    hi lucy. thank you for replying to my post it has gave me some reasurance.
    how long have you felt that way about your partner? and was things fine before?
    its like when i have the dreed and feelings off doom my head says cant do this , this is too much. then when am ok i feel a have to tell my partner how much i love him and its quite an overwhelming feeling that i have but feels good. I sort off feel like im on a roller coaster up and down with emotions and then theres this numb feeling and dont no where i stand if that makes sence.


  130. sinead 12th January 2012 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    hey everyone.
    just a little post because i know at my worst the one thing that got me through was hope-
    i was in a very bad place 6 months ago and never thought i would ever get any better i thought my life was over at age 22 stupid isnt it!i cant tell the future!
    and i dont ever think i say ill be 100% recovered which i dont care about but i posted a while ago saying things were getting better, i was waking up and forgetting about “anxiety” for 5 minutes, and at that time i couldnt imagine not thinking about “it” and having peace from mind chatter for five minutes.

    well the periods of no mind chatter and no obsessing on my anxiety and how i “feel” are getting longer, ive been very busy recently revising for exams and doing study sessions with friends and ill be sitting there for a couple of hours and then suddenly remember- hang on ANXIETY.and im so happy because 1/ i never thought this would ever happen that i would get to this place where i wasnt obsessing about how i felt for hours at a time and 2/ when i do remember i dont get the sinking feeling i used to i just get a wee twinge of sadness sometimes but its fleeting because i just carry on as i was and then… i suppose i get busy and then forget to think about me again!

    so to everyone suffering from mind chatter, constant focus on self and feeling low, chin up, i was hopeless and thought it wouldnt get any better.you dont know the future and even if you dont think it can get any better it doesnt matter you will, trust me, trust paul, trust all who have recovered.dont search for it, just relax rest and i promise recovery will find you when you stop trying to find it.

  131. Victor 13th January 2012 at 4:18 am - Reply


    Honestly you have taken the first big step, which is finding this website and getting an understanding of how you are feeling.

    The next step is to stop trying to figure it all out and not to get too consumed with what you read on here. “‘Acceptance” just means letting your thoughts flow without over analyzing them. The way I see it, “acceptance” takes no energy and no thought. If you find yourself talking to yourself about how to accept when you get a thought then you are not accepting. You are able to do this by shifting your attitude. You cannot care whether you get odd thoughts of feelings. Pretend you do not know that recovery is even possible, as Paul has mentioned he did not even know “recovery’ was possible, it just so happened he became so mentally strong over time that he recovered.

  132. DEBBIE 13th January 2012 at 10:23 am - Reply

    hiya everyone, i find it hard when you have a few ok-ish days then out the blue you get up and realise those thoughts are racing and you have jelly legs, i tend to start thinking oh no its going to be a bad day and here we go again! i know i shouldnt but i do its so hard not to, has anybody any suggestions?

  133. Carlie 13th January 2012 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Hey everyone, just thought I would mention that I have a job interview tomorrow. I’m pretty excited, but nervous too. Mostly excited though, because if I get the job, that will give me something to do!

  134. Jennifer 13th January 2012 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Diane, yep mensual cycle has a definate effect on me, lots of hormones racing around. I take a strong vitamin pyridoxine B6 prescibed by the doctor. Not sure if it has helped me, but worth a shot.

    Can anyone relate to my post above? im really struggling at the moment….

  135. DEBBIE 13th January 2012 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    talking about menstrual cycle, ive got to the big MENOPAUSE! it has made a big differance on my anxiety, but one good thing is that the symptoms of the menopause are roughly the same as for anxiety, so in my head i can blame the menopause rather than the anxiety which is probably right anyway, my mind just wants to blame everything on anxiety so i think its confused it.
    Now i know why ive been struggling over the last 5 months after a good 3 years, it is hard suffering with anxiety and the menopause tho and i get really low days when i feel overwhelmed with it, hopefully things will look up soon, dont they say life begins at 50 or is it 40?

  136. Paul David (Admin) 13th January 2012 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Good Luck on that Carlie 🙂

    Just a flying visit this morning. A lot of new posters recently so I just wanted to be a pain and point out the best way to post.

    Please refrain from using text talk, a lot of people can’t read it and google can penalise your site for it.

    Just rememeber there are far more people asking questions than answering them, so don’t be offended if no one reply’s, I only get to see 25% of post normally and if I see one out of these that will help the majority, I tend to pick these. Also a well constructed answer can take 20 mins to write, so if 20 are aksing and only 3 answering, the maths don’t add up. Always remember it is a blog and not a forum and it is just the helpful and supportive people on here that make it what it is.

    Secondly I have hardly ever barred anyone from the blog, but in nearly every case it has been through constant multi posting. This is someone who does not let anyone else ask anything and takes over the blog, posting multiple times a day asking different or the same questions. I have also caught people more than once setting up multiple accounts in different names so as to post 2/3 times more often. Everyone needs help so it is just a case of letting everyone be heard.

    Lastly always be polite in your questions and to others, posting in CAPS or constant begging for answers will probably have the opposite effect in getting a reply.

    Thanks for listening, it just saves me more moderating if these are taken on board.


  137. Steveo 13th January 2012 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Top post Paul 🙂

  138. Vee 13th January 2012 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Thank you Paul for the very encouraging post, This is my first post, but I have been viewing this site for the past 3 months. I have to say that after I saw this site I had a huge revelation about anxiety, I still do have some seatbacks and all but it’s nothing compared to what I was before, I resigned my job due to anxiety,lost some friend and all. I have eccepted that it is part of me now and now I am finding myself doing the things I was scared of doing, I got some of my friends back and I recently got another job. I am taking one step at the time and keeping my anxiety next besides me, walking with it and doing everything I want to do with it by my side.

  139. Jennifer 13th January 2012 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Good post Paul, wow I never knew people sometimes give different names etc. I do provide support for others and have written some very positive encouraging posts and yes these do take ages to write I agree.

    I wish I didn’t seek reassuance by coming on here it definately doesn’t help my self esteem. Anxiety and panic just makes you feel desperate and alone. I don’t usually double post, so I apologise. Everybody does need to be heard. As people recover, like I did a last year, I didn’t even come on here as I was living my life and Im guessing thats why there are less supporting and more struggling.

  140. JEN 13th January 2012 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Hi everybody,

    Anxiety started with me last year in May 2011. i can safely say it was the most terrifying experice i have ever had. i thought i was crazy and the horrible thoughts were truly frightening. but let me tell you, with practise and A LOT of time, it gets easier. trust me. every time i had a setback i emailed a friend straight away thrown back into despair and questioning EVERYTHING. i did this about twice a month every month. breaking down in tears. and then i just thought ‘i refuse to live me life like this ANYMORE’. it was a choice i made and i believe i am on my way to recovery. i stopped feeling guilty for the intrusive thoughts that popped into my head, theyre still around now and i just remind yourself that its just a memory of past suffering. in time your new attitude becomes you and you just think haha okay mind chatter you carry on. trust me ppl, dont be scared. there is nothing to fear. hope this helps anybody even just a little bit 🙂 xxx

  141. Matt 13th January 2012 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Hey carlie, i’m really happy you got an interview. i’m sure you’ll nail it and when you get back out into society you’ll start to forget about the anxiety/dp. I start school full-time on monday, and I am excited to start. Most of the dp symptoms are gone, and I have been able to think clearer the past week or so, so I feel i’m almost there. It’s funny how when you start to practice the techniques paul talks about how easy it becomes after awhile to deal with the dp. Now, I can go most of the day without paying mind to it and when it does enter my head, I just let it be there and allow the attention to be on myself. That really gives me relief because when I don’t add the worry or obsessions with it, I can feel my head to start to clear up and feel like myself again.

    I believe you will see that change as well once you begin to socialize and live life normally again, it will go away. I also am going to start working again soon, so i’ll have a full plate with school, work, friends, and my kids. Anyways, hope everyone is having a good day!

  142. mm16 13th January 2012 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    thank you jen for the encouraging post xx

  143. Steveo 13th January 2012 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    @Vee… Great news, keep up the great progress!

  144. Ben 13th January 2012 at 9:59 pm - Reply


    Thank you very much for clearing up my confusion, I know I am on the right track now 🙂 How did you shift your attitude to where you didn’t care about whether you had anxiety thoughts and feelings or not?

    And Paul,

    I did post the same question I asked here on a different wall post without any people, before I posted here so sorry about that. I’ll be sure to ask questions in one spot. 🙂

  145. Lucy 14th January 2012 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Hi Miranda

    Thanks for your post. I would say that i have felt this way since last summer, so around 6 months now. I feel better than I did at beginning, probably bacause knowing it is anxiety has taken a lot of the fear away, but I feel like it has become almost a habit to feel like this now and i’m not really sure how to stop it! Before this happened, everything was great!
    How long have you have been having the horrible thoughs for? I feel numb most of the time towards my partner and it is one of the worst things, as I know deep down that i do love him! Has anyone else experienced this and if so, what is the best way to overcome it? Is it just through the ‘not caring’ attitude? We have to have hope that one day this will pass, and I think we are on the right track! x

  146. Teresa 14th January 2012 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Diane – i am glad my ‘honesty’ helped – it does help to know others know what we mean. Re the menopause, I understand this as I have had a few years of this too – BUT, as with all ‘symptoms’ I find that if it disappears or is alleviated by ‘talking’ or ‘reassurance’ then it is anxiety. The way the menopause/hormones could have an affect on anxiety is that your mood could be affected by your hormones and your hormones do affect your anxiety. But to be honest I think that if your ‘attitude’ is in the right place the whole thing is ‘livable’. I think that we (unfortunately) are in fear of certain things, and this is a moveable feast. When we find an acceptable answer which is not anxiety we stop trying to sort it – it no longer matters and do you know what, we no longer care – and what happens then, it goes. The words and explanation are there – I know not caring is very difficult, especially when you do – but we forget there are times when we don’t too.

  147. Jodie 15th January 2012 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Hi, this website has helped me soo much thank you! I feel like I am really getting somewhere and feeling a lot like my old self again:) although ther are a couple of lingering symptoms on of which is quite new and I haven’t seem anything on here re it so shock horror I’m thinking I have some other problem! So my sleep is the one thing that has still not managed to get back to normal since my anxiety began in 2010, I get to sleep ok but seem to dream all night and then the next day everyday things will take me back to a dream. It’s not nice at all as I’m then trying to remember every bit of this dream which I can’t. I’m guessing I’m over analysing again but could use some reasurance with this?

  148. Ben 15th January 2012 at 3:20 am - Reply


    We have something in common, my anxiety, not really started, but became a problem last summer too so its been about 6 tough months. It it’s the “not caring attitude” itself because it the action of ” doing nothing to get rid of your anxiety” that desensitizes your nerves, relaxes your tired mind, helps you developing the “not caring attitude” etc. From what I’ve read here in this blog, and in Paul’s book, it is a gradual process as recovery is not instant. You basically just need to leave the anxiety alone and as Paul puts it “stop trying to get better.” I’ve been doing this for only a week, and I’ve already noticed improvements!


  149. conqueranxietyj 15th January 2012 at 6:07 am - Reply

    As Paul and others continuously says [read all his blog posts] that develop a not caring attitude towards anxiety and that and that only will help in coming out of anxiety. I will also say that stop thinking that you have anxiety etc and in time we all should be all right. I have started doing it and slowly and gradually feeling allright

  150. Jodie 15th January 2012 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Hi again after reading my earlier post and after a long sleepless night I think I now release my dream problem maybe part of this obsesive thought process and like every other symptom I have had. I need to let it be ther and let it go? Thank you Paul this site is now the only one I look at regarding my anxiety as I feel a lot of the others out there can actually make you feel worse. Thanks again 🙂

  151. Paul David (Admin) 15th January 2012 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Jennifer says: Good post Paul, wow I never knew people sometimes give different names etc. I do provide support for others and have written some very positive encouraging posts and yes these do take ages to write I agree.

    Happened only the other week, someone was multi posting, by this I don’t mean 3/4 questions a day, it was 15 times and in caps or if not, demanding answers and it was just over taking the blog. I then found someone doing the same and the writing style was similar, they were even answering each other, it turned out to be the same person. You can use a different email address, but you can’t use a different i.p address.

    Ben Says: And Paul,

    I did post the same question I asked here on a different wall post without any people, before I posted here so sorry about that. I’ll be sure to ask questions in one spot.

    Ben don’t worry about that, that’s fine, others have done it as they realise later old posts don’t get answered. Please don’t take what I said as laying the law down. I want people to find help and support here, the cases I talk about are to the extreme, constantly demanding answers, whilst posting 15 times a day, not someone asking something 2/3 times a day, ask away, just don’t take offence if you don’t recieve a reply.

    I hate rules, but there has to be some otherwise it just ruins it for everyone.

    Vee great that things are progressing.

  152. Ben 15th January 2012 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    conqueranxietyj mentioned,

    “I will also say that stop thinking that you have anxiety etc.”

    Just so everyone understands, I don’t believe this consists of trying not to think that you have anxiety. As letting the anxiety exist –> voluntarily feel anxiety –> changes attitude –> etc. Paul says in his book that we may find our attention reverting back to ourselves through habit, and to “allow this also” of course without trying to go against this habit, and letting the reversal of the habit/recovery come to you.

  153. Diane 15th January 2012 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    hi all, having a bit of an up and time, I have been doing much better, but last few days I have been feeling a bit unease and anxiety, I find myself reverting back to letting the habit of taking my thoughts seriously eg if I dont do this something will happen to someone and then i find myself trying to neutralise the thoughts, and so the cycle continues, I know this is a form of OCD, and am about to start working on this via cognitive behavioural therapy, I also am aware that this keeps me on edge and in the cycle of anxiety, and that my mind is not getting the rest it needs to recover, I do try not to or just accept but I am finding it a bit difficult, does anyone else have this issue and do you have any tips. I agree Ben it is a habit, one which I have had for most of my life, ups and downs, I will try to just let it be, I so appreciate this blog and the support , hope all well with everyone

  154. miranda 15th January 2012 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    hey lucy.

    over the past couple off days i have just been putting pauls advice into practice and for the past two days everything seems to have dissapeared and my head is clear. i was having a little think to myself and thinking well when me and my husband seperated i had no anxiety and i knew that my relationship was over but didnt dwell and look to much into it as it is what it was and excepted it , this being as i didnt care anymore.
    ive now come to realise the reason i have been on this rollercoaster is because ive been given my thoughts too much attention and showing it sooo much respect that HELLO anxiety has come back for all the attention i have been given it as i have been caring about how i feel if that makes sence.
    so just be giving your thoughts i dont give a beep beep they will eventually dissapear as your not giving them the attention they soo love and crave. xxx

  155. Ben 15th January 2012 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Diane,

    You mentioned that you “do try not to or just accept but I am finding it a bit difficult.” As Victor clarified with me,

    “‘Acceptance” just means letting your thoughts flow without over analyzing them. The way I see it, “acceptance” takes no energy and no thought. If you find yourself talking to yourself about how to accept when you get a thought then you are not accepting.”

    Is your difficulty to accept rooted in your confusion of what “acceptance” means with regards to anxiety? I know it was with me so I hope that helps. I consider acceptance to be the voluntary and self-discipline driven choice to absolutely never try to fix the anxiety. 🙂

  156. Christian 15th January 2012 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    It’s been a week. Total turn 🙂

  157. mm16 15th January 2012 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    good for you christian, keep it up

  158. Joe 16th January 2012 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Hello All, I posted on here about a week and half ago with a really positive post because i felt i had just come out of a bad setback. However, the symptoms i was feeling which set me back still lingered. I thought in a couple of days by paying them no attention they would pass and i would feel totally no fear towards the wierd obession. But they lingered and i got sucked straight back in.

    Basically what has happened is, mid november I had a few self doubt thoughts about an uni essay I was writing. Things like ” does that make sense” etc normal thoughts, i think somehow not too sure though i scared myself into believeing that i didn’t understand the meaning of words! I think what triggered it exactly was something like i forgot the meaning of the word “as” becuase of my tired mind or irrational thoughts made me question if i knew what it meant and i then must of scared myself with a what if like what if im going crazy and losing my understanding of simple words such as, as, to, for, of and somehow i believed it. I dont know how else this horrible fear cycle would have started.

    But this has went on since mid novemeber and it has ruined my life, whenever i watch tv and read my anxiety is constantly focused on words making me think i dont know what they mean, my heart is constantly racing, and im scared that because its lasted for a month its will become a constant habit and it will never go. For e.g. it feels like i have forgotten what the meaning of these simple words are such as “to and of so” whenever they are mentioned which is all the time i get the flight or fight response which is nearly every couple of seconds. I mean this is beyond non-sensical the its the worst thing i have ever experienced in my life. Ive been unable to do my work and thought seriously about have to either section myself or quit uni. And i dont know want to do this, i love my life, i love uni, and im soooo angry at myself for putting myself through this and letting this wierd, but devasting obession become a problem in the first place.

    I know you will think ive gone crazy because if i didn’t understand the meaning of words then i wouldn”t be able to write this. But as i write this now i am having loads of thoughts like what does “of” mean or “to”, i know what they mean but my mind keeps constantly doubting it and i can stop fearing it. i havent posted about it on the here in the past month, because i thought it would go and to be honest i was too embrassed to open up about it.

    Ive have a very simliar fear cyle like this before but last time it lasted for about a week and but when i finally understood that fear of me not understanding words was irrational it went almost instantly! I don’t know why its lasted so long this time. I was doing really welll aswel before i mean there were still bad days or maybe bad weeks but this fear cyle has made me have a bad two months and i feel soo weak for letting anxiety get the better of me again. I realise ive dont everythink wrong by trying to understand what tiggered it off and fearing it, but i dont know how to stop fearing it!

    Can anyone give me advice it would be appreicated so much!
    Im so sorry to burden the blog with this, but i dont know where else to turn i dont want to feel like this for another sec let alone another day.

  159. Ben 16th January 2012 at 4:20 am - Reply

    Hi Joe,

    You said, “im soooo angry at myself for putting myself through this.” You must not blame yourself, who you are, for this, because your emotions and those absurd irrational thoughts are only there and seem so scary because of, as Paul puts it, tried nerves and an “overflow” of adrenalin, as if you’re short term worries leading up to this have accumulated too much adrenalin and these irrational thoughts are the release for your adrenalin.

    Since those words cause you fight or flight, heart pounding etc., I would recommend maybe, a couple times of a day, saying outloud, alone, “to and of so” and whatever other words you have trouble with the speed up your desensitization. But this may be considered as “doing something” about your anxiety which may not be the correct thing to do.

    You also said, “I don’t know why its lasted so long this time.” It’s because, recognizing the familiar and scary anxiety, you started to fight, worry, obsess, and/or trying to control the thoughts and emotions that began to ruin your life. And that’s understandable as it is our instinct.

    What you need to start with, is, when a ridiculous irrational thought and/or anxiety comes into your consciousness, don’t do anything, allow everything you think and feel and don’t try to solve the anxiety or get rid of it.

    You also said, “i feel soo weak for letting anxiety get the better of me again.” Acknowledge that you aren’t weak, you just have too much adrenalin, tired mind/sensitized nerves is all 🙂 . At the end of your post you mentioned that you did not want to “feel like this for another second let alone another day.” I’m afraid that, in order to overcome this anxiety and irrational thought problem, you’re going to have to feel these emotions a lot first, you must allow yourself to experience the anxiety, and continue on with your day as if the anxiety is not even there. You must live normal before you can feel normal again.

  160. Ben 16th January 2012 at 4:22 am - Reply

    Christian, what have you been doing in this past week to create your total turn towards recovery? 🙂

  161. Sara 16th January 2012 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Hi everyone,

    I don’t post on here very often but I’m in need of some help again. Kat and Helen and a few others (Sara H., Lucy, etc) have been especially helpful since I struggle with relationship anxiety. It’s been a couple months since I posted last, but I’m hoping one of you will be able to help and might remember me from before.

    The thing that is bothering me now is that I honestly don’t know anymore if what I am feeling is anxiety or if it really is my relationship struggling and falling apart. I’ve sort of gotten to the point that I don’t even think about all of this being anxiety anymore – I just worry that my relationship is just going bad. I can’t seem to focus on anything but the negative and the fact that I don’t feel that attraction/love toward my husband anymore. This has gone on for so long now that I worry that this is just how it is now and that my relationship is now permanently damaged because of it. My husband tells me that all I do is focus on the negative and I just feel like that’s because all I can see is the negative. I worry that this is not just anxiety, but that it’s actually how I feel and that we just aren’t right for each other. I’m to the point that I think we need couple’s counseling because of it. I worry that because this has gone on so long that it must be really bad and that it might not be able to get better. All the thoughts I get about what’s wrong with our relationship feel so real and I just don’t even know what’s anxiety and what’s real. It is really taking it’s toll on my relationship and I just don’t know how to tell if it’s anxiety or not. I guess I’m just wondering if Helen or Kat or anyone else felt this way with their relationship anxiety? I don’t know how to figure this out and it’s really taking it’s toll. I feel so upset that it’s gotten to this point and I’m so frustrated and sad. I just feel very stuck. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the negativity.


  162. Carlie 16th January 2012 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Thank you everyone! The interview went well, and I should hopefully know something by Tuesday.

    Diane, I have a lot of trouble around that time of the month too, especially since this anxiety stuff got worse. I have more trouble sleeping, I sometimes feel a little panicky, and it’s just not fun in general.

    Matt, good luck with school! I know you’ll do great and I’m so glad you’ve been feeling better. I know exactly what you mean about feeling your head clearing up a little, I’ve had that happen a few times. Still working on just letting the thoughts be there, but right now I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping, which is really affecting me. I’ve always had problems falling asleep, but it gets worse in the winter, plus throw anxiety on top of it and it’s a little overwhelming. Plus I’m having problems staying asleep, which I’m not used to. Still having really vivid dreams too, so when I wake up, I feel a little out of it. It stopped for a few weeks, but has started back up again. I’m trying not to worry about it though! I’m gonna try to get some sleep and hopefully that will help.

  163. Diane 16th January 2012 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Hi there I apoligise before I start as feel like I am moaning. The last few days have not been the best, this morning I woke up really spaced out and dizzy and feeling really aware of my breathing, my anxiety is there and I am trying to be rational but finding it difficult as a lot of fears are entering my head. What ifs etc. I ahve been doing reasonably well over past couple of months back at work etc, and now am worried that its back and going to take control. I know I am buying into the cycle but have real diffuculty at the moment of just accepting and letting the thoughts float buy, if anyone can advise me I would really appreciate it, thank you

  164. Vanessa 16th January 2012 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Hi all,
    I haven’t posted much on here, but always find everyones comments very helpful and supportive. I’d firstly like to mention that I am sooo much better than back in April of 2011 when this all first started for me. Initially it completely knocked me sideways and the physical symptoms were so bad I struggled everywhere I went. Now I have a new and very social job which helps a lot as gets you out of concentrating only on yourself so much. Plus I am getting back into dance and picking up my French lessons again so generally just being active and engaged in things going on is helping. My main problem is DP, which seems to be lingering a lot. I have the odd moment possibly every other day when I notice or feel a sense of reality again but then I fall back into a hazy and things appear strange and flat and I lose the sense of connection. I just wondered if anyone can offer some advice on how to push though this symptom. I find it very uncomfortable and the main thing that stops me from feeling normal again. If anyone has some tips on how to manage this sensation I would greatly appreciate it. Also if anyone wants to share their stories on how they experience DP it would be really interesting to read as I personally find it the most bizarre of all the physical sensations from anxiety!! Thank you all and stay well, enjoy the lovely weather outside, i personally am recovering from my belated staff christmas party last night 🙂 Vanessa x

  165. angela 16th January 2012 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    i have suffered with anxiety for a long time. (i think) 🙂 once i got onto pauls site last summer i realised that i might have had anxiety a lot longer than i thought. i lost my mom very suddenly to a heart attack.. things started to change for me slowly.. i always was the one to help eveyone out but now i need the help and my brothers was not there.. one day i had a massive panick attack and completley lost control of myself!! i walked out the house about midnight and got intouch with my older brother i told him to take me to a&e to get me sectioned.. i just coudlnt deal with what was in my head.. which were thoughts of harming my youngest child.. i was taken to hospital they wouldnt section me because of course i wasnt mad!! i tried again the following day only to be drugged up and sent back home.. i was gonig down hill rapidly and then i found pauls site… i read the book and read posts on here and i have to say how amazed o was that i was quite normal lol..today i have had a couple of major setbacks which wasnt nice but i undestand a lot more about anxiety and myself eveytime i have one… i have started to improve massivly.. i dont care abotu anxiety anymore, i really dont… i work voluntary and i have also been roped into doing a 26 mile walk for charity.. my life has changed for hte better since i have had anxiety.. dont ask my why or how but the fact that i had to switch off and not care abot other people because my anxiety and dp took over is a blessing in disguise for me.. my immediate family is whats important to me and i am important to myself again… i am slowy recovering and i just dont care at what rate anymore.. i am waking up inside again but to a whole new angela and its amazing.. yes i have down days but were as before i would analize it now i just think oh well whatever it is it will go eventually.. i have been through hell and back from the age of 5 years old i coudlnt write a book myself people just dont beleive me when i tell them … but im still here and not fighting anymore because it gets you absolutey knowere let me tell you… im fully aware that my anxiety can come back at any time but fthe more setbacks i have the stronger i become.. i hope i have made sense to eveyrone lol good luck everyone i am living my life how i want to now all because of anxiety 🙂 paul your a saint for setting this up xxx

  166. Shell 16th January 2012 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Angela,

    So good to hear you story, it is encouraging to hear that there is a way out of this and that this method works!!.

    Can I just ask – how did you adopt the “ don’t care” attitude? I have read the posts and keep trying to put what has been said into practice but I find myself having to constantly say “come on now this is just anxiety you have had this before” which I am not sure is the correct thing to do and then reverting back to irrational thoughts.
    For example at the moment I have the symptom of not being able to take enough air into my lungs. I am not shallow breathing but feel like I can’t take a deep breath. I am trying not to react to this but find I can’t stop trying to take a deep satisfying breath. Then check my pulse, then keep swallowing then back to a deep breath and so on.

    How do you overcome this need to keep checking and not reacting to the thoughts?

    Thanks again

    Shell x

  167. Jerry 16th January 2012 at 3:39 pm - Reply


    I think its important to remember that we will have bad days. Rejoice in the experience of having a couple of months of doing reasonably well. Thats HUGE. You’re heading in the right direction. Give yourse’f credit for that. I’ve found that remembering the fact that anxiety will probably always be there to some extent, helps me deal with the set backs. Its not “Oh no, here it is, I’m going to lose it this time.” but more like “hello old friend, thanks for the visit, but you can’t stay forever.” The thoughts are magnified by our reaction to it, so I find that watching a comedy helps. It takes my mind off of how serious I make things. The key, “how serious I MAKE things.” The thoughts are scary, but only to the level that we allow them to. No one likes being spooked, especially not by their own, concious thoughts.

    Remember, millions of people are facing exactly what you are facing. Think of how many times you’ve felt this way, and how you’re able to breathe another day, even if its facing anxiety again. You’ve made it through and can make it through again. One day at a time is the pace that we need to go in. As Paul said, many search for the magic pill and just get frustrated and this is how set backs really take over. The mind is a powerful thing, but its only as strong as the thinker allows it to be.


  168. marcb 16th January 2012 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Brilliant post Angela!

  169. Diane 16th January 2012 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Carlie, thanks for your response and Jerry thankyou for your words of wisdom, it has helped me think more realistically:) The fact that we are not alone and many others are going through , and to accept we have bad days but have been through it before and can again. your post has really helped thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

    Angela I agree with marcb what a great story.

  170. Rebecca 16th January 2012 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post angela 🙂
    My anxiety is the worst it has ever been at the moment and i am trying so hard with all of Paul’s tips, it just feels so lonely at times. I am working night shifts currently and i am not sleeping well, i feel like i just can’t face work right now but I am a very strong person and I am telling myself to ” get a grip” it is just so tiring. I have started having panic attacks aswell which you have described above, they sometimes come on out of nowhere, usually when I have alot on my mind or i am just really tired, it almost feels like my body is trying to get rid of all the irrational thinking and build up of adrenaline in my body. Does anyone else have panic attacks?
    Thanks Becca

  171. Joe 16th January 2012 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much Ben, I will just let myself feel like they don’t make sense to me because i know they do and all it was, was my worrying reaction to one silly irrational thought which triggered this off, it’s so hard though it feels so real as if don’t undertand what they mean! Its very strange and scary but i know if i laugh at them and leave them they will subside eventually, I am taking my life back!

    Thanks Again Ben

  172. Raphael 16th January 2012 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    A finger puzzle is a braided straw tube about 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) long, and about a half-inch (2 cm) in diameter. You put one finger into each end, and when you pull your fingers apart to remove them, the tube stretches, tightening its grip. Try as you might, you can’t break free.

    To free yourself, you have to do something counterintuitive — you push your fingers together, shortening the tube, and increasing its diameter. Then, holding the tube with your thumbs, you can easily extract your fingers.

    Life is full of Finger Puzzles — situations that call for action that’s almost exactly the opposite of what our “common sense” tells us to do.

  173. Ben 16th January 2012 at 8:12 pm - Reply


    No problem, and I’m sure it did feel really real. That’s anxiety playing one of its tricks. And you don’t have to understand what they mean/try to figure out what they mean, just remember to let it all be.

  174. Ben 16th January 2012 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Diane,

    You mentioned, “worried that its back and going to take control.” If it is back, and it may take control, let it. And in time this action of not fighting will become your habit.

  175. angela 16th January 2012 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    the important thing is to have time for yourself.. people think it doesnt matter but it really does, also what helps me is trying new things. all the things used to say no to i think stuff it just say yes.. and when these thoughts or feelings come into my head im not bothered if they stay or go.. i just carry on DONT EVER LET ANXIETY DICTATE YOUR LIFE just let it be there as part of you, if that makes sense.. i only ever had 2 panick attacks.. i then new what they was and never had another one i dont no why.. i want to have a life of my own again and not be trapped anymore.. locked into a world i hated and didnt understand.. i have irrational thoughts mainly to do with sharp knives, hurting my 9 year old, amongst other things but they are not real they are not the true me!! so i just let the thought come in and out.. paul is right they will eventually get more and more dull.. and then before you no it your living your life… i am under no illusion that my anxiety can come back at any time the difference now is i no what to do with it NOTHING!! LET IT BE AND GET ON WITH IT 🙂 🙂 🙂

  176. Alex 16th January 2012 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    dear Paul, I only recently found out about your book. Since 25 years my life is dominated by anxiety and fear and I do not know how to start to find trust that I still can change my life. It feels like you received a life long punishment and things got worse over the years. I tried many things and nothing worked and I am almost afraid to beleave that this might work! Has 25 years not been too long to still make a change? But I will try to do it because I feel I really have no other choice. I will keep you posted.

    Best regards, Alex

  177. sophia 17th January 2012 at 6:15 am - Reply

    can anyone suggest me how i could ”convince” myself that the negative thoughts i have about other people is pure anxiety?

    everyone has thoughts about others living with them..which is natural infact u get a picture about the outside world where u live in whereas myself when i am thinking its all about what they have done to me…making me look like a victim and unable to get a fresh perspective
    infact none of them should be affecting me as i havent hurt anyone..but i get stuck with this feeling when i’m around them making me vulnerable and not able to be myself which i have lost …and i look very uncomfortable and struggling to come up with something..thoughts are zoomed…it comes so forceful that i cannot deny them..i had bad experience but taht doesnt mean i should be living the rest of my life like that..!

    how do i get rid of that ”feeling” ? where each of my actions are not predetermined?
    how do i stay uneffected by others actions and words?how do i start afresh?

  178. Samuel 17th January 2012 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Hello again everyone, it’s great to see some really positive people on here helping so many others suffering this Anxiety problem we share. I’m in the same situation I guess as many in having a big set-back. All my anxiety seems to be caused by terrible worry about what happens to us in the end and health problems. It seemed I was working with Paul’s method and starting to understand how to live alongside my fears but recently my good friend from work has been diagnosed with a work related disease that has me terrified that I will also develop this disease. Yesterday I attended a course about this specific material and how it causes terrible disease and now my mind is racing thinking I will also get it myself. I know there is no proof I will definitely get it but now I’m stuck in the cycle of thinking about all the possible times I’ve been exposed to this stuff and am unable to sleep,racing heart etc etc. If anyone can guide me to another way of thinking I would be very grateful

  179. Diane 17th January 2012 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Ben, I think I am finding it hard due to fear that it will come back, I was of for 5 weeks last year, and have been doing well on a step up programme back into work.

  180. Diane 17th January 2012 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Ben, I think I am finding it hard due to fear that it will come back, I was of for 5 weeks last year, and have been doing well on a step up programme back into work. I think what is worrying me is it will come back and I cant cope with work and I lose my job. I can see these thoughts are not helping and making me anxious, sorry for moaning once again, I do appreciate your help

  181. Nikki 17th January 2012 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Well I have started my journey down the road to recovery – you know the one that involves getting on with life despite anxiety – well its not easy. The last two days I have been getting on with things and boy have I been overwhelmed with anxiety at times. I have been trying to soothe myself by saying its ‘only adrenalin’, ‘it can’t hurt you’ ‘it will pass’ however I guess I am not liking having to go through it. Today I feel quite tearful, but I guess that is exhaustion – putting yourself out there does take its toll. I think I feel glad that I am getting on with my days but really I don’t know if I have the stamina to be flooded so much with anxiety. I guess there is really no other choice as the other way of living has not had much success either – you know the staying at home till i get better one! Gosh I really hope the anxiety doesn’t stay this high for long.

    On a positive note the things I have achieved the last two days are incredible, did half a days voluntary work yesterday, met a friend for lunch, had to drive home by myself (huge anxiety!), had to make the same trip again to drop my daughter off at work (much less anxiety), went for a jog. Woke up today shattered, but went and played a game of squash with my daughter – it was hard forcing myself to go, Did a small trip in car by myself (huge anxiety) – so despite lots of anxiety my days seem to be fairly full. Can someone enlighten me if i am doing this wrong or if this is how it is meant to be. x

  182. Jeff 17th January 2012 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    I know that many people here are long-term sufferers and my heart goes out to you. I had a significant event in November and have struggled daily since. Only recently has the anxiety subsided. I believe the early intervention of Paul’s book, another (similarly themed) book by Pema Chodron called “When Things Fall Apart”, an intense running regiment, yoga, and dietary changes (veg) have all contributed to the lessening of symptoms. I owe this blog a debt as it helped me get through some scary times. This place is an oasis. I still have some questions for those who have experienced recovery. My primary question is about the coexistence of depression with anxiety. While the adrenaline has subsided, I still experience an intense degree of depression. SSRI’s have by and large made me sick. I can’t just ignore the symptoms of depression. It’s like the weather: it comes and goes and shifts and changes daily. What have some of you done to remedy this issue? I know this place is about anxiety, but once the anxiety cleared I was left with this other thing and I’m unsure how to proceed. Again, my heart goes out to all of you who deal with this. Surrender is truly the key.

  183. Steveo 17th January 2012 at 8:44 pm - Reply


    It sounds like you are doing it perfectly to me. Good on you!!

    Keep it up’ you’re doing really well 🙂

  184. Steveo 17th January 2012 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Jeff

    From my experience, I also felt like I had depression once the anxiety had lessened. I think from here it is down to time and patience.

    If you are already exercising lots, ,this will continue to help and make sure you are also doing things you enjoy.

    In time it will improve. It has for me. I’m not 100% recovered but I am a million times better than I was 18 months ago.

  185. Heidi 17th January 2012 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Hi guys!

    I posted a few times on here a little over a year ago, and I found this page again while looking through my bookmarks. I’m glad this site is still up and running and glad to see Paul is still helping people, you’re an angel!

    I was looking over a few of my comments back in Aug 09′ and boy was I a wreck. I just wanted to let you guys know that you will recover like I did. I used to search the internet for people who recovered because it would give me hope, so I hope my post helps. The less you do, the more you do. Let your mind rest, let the anxiety go through you. You’ll be OK!

    Nikki – I feel like you’re doing this totally right, when I was recovering I would try to go on about the day as normal as possible feeling horrible inside, eventually it subsides. It’s just a painfully slow process. Living with anxiety by your side eventually dis empowers it, you get used to it and eventually tired and annoyed with it. Hope this helps.

  186. ShellH 18th January 2012 at 11:34 am - Reply

    I posted this a few days ago but think I made a mistake when doing it and as a result it never showed on the blog. I know that it relates to a post from a few days ago but hope that there is anyone who could reasure me.

    Hi Angela,

    So good to hear you story, it is encouraging to hear that there is a way out of this and that this method works!!.

    Can I just ask – how did you adopt the “ don’t care” attitude? I have read the posts and keep trying to put what has been said into practice but I find myself having to constantly say “come on now this is just anxiety you have had this before” which I am not sure is the correct thing to do and then reverting back to irrational thoughts.
    For example at the moment I have the symptom of not being able to take enough air into my lungs. I am not shallow breathing but feel like I can’t take a deep breath. I am trying not to react to this but find I can’t stop trying to take a deep satisfying breath. Then check my pulse, then keep swallowing then back to a deep breath and so on.

    How do you overcome this need to keep checking and not reacting to the thoughts?

    Thanks again

    Shell x

  187. angela 18th January 2012 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    hi shell, i can only speak for myself the dont care attitude i adopted was because i had just had enough! the onlu way i can describe it is when something is niggling you but you bottle it up, and then you get to the point were you say i HAVE HAD ENOUGH whether its to a person who needs to be told something, a disagreement or something..to stop somone in there tracks.. i dont no if im making any sense lol but with my anxiety i had set back after set back and got totall fed up with it all.. kind of bored with giving it attention if you like and said you no what i have had enough do what you like i no what you are now and i dont care and im getting on with my life ( i might add not anxiety free but with it) i have been a prisoner in my own head for ages and i have just had enough.. i still have bad thoughts sometimes and get fed up.. my grandmother has just passed away 2 weeks ago now i have lost my mom and my gran 🙁 but anxiety will not dictate my feelings yes it here a bit again but it will pass when it realises it has no place in my life.. i hope this helps shell.. just stop fighting and analyzing as your giving it what it wants… good luck 🙂

  188. ShellH 18th January 2012 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Hi Angela,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. Sorry to hear about your gran and hope things settle for you soon.

    I am still having the deep breath sensation but am trying to suppress the need to keep deep breathing.

    Thank you and hope all goes well for you xx

  189. Jeff 18th January 2012 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Hey Steveo, thanks for the kind words. I’m in a holding pattern right now, so I guess I’m following your advice. Time and patience has been my best ally through this, and I can see that it will continue to be an asset as I progress. Like Paul says, there really is no “magic bullet” for any of this.

    ShellH: Google “pranayama” and engage some of the techniques used there. Pranayama is the part of yoga practice concentrating on breath (you don’t have to be a pro and you don’t have to get all twisted up like a pretzel to attempt it). It has helped me with similar shallow breathing symptoms. All best to you.

  190. Debbie 18th January 2012 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Its so sad when you read on here and realise how many people are suffering with anxiety, its a help when people write in that they are on the road to recovery, unfortunatley im not there yet and are finding it a struggle so pop on here to read something positive which gives me hope.
    I have just got back from the gym and just feel everythings a fight, i made myself go cos i think it will help, i feel awful when im there so i dont enjoy it, everything i do is a battle, making myself do things so i dont sit on the settee ruminating which, obviously is the worst thing to do (and is all i feel like doing) but i feel so tired of this constant battle, i dont know how to stop this battle, how do you “accept” anxiety is a part of you? I dont want to accept something that makes me feel awful so have this constant fight. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

  191. Rachel A 18th January 2012 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Hi all.

    I have never posted on here before, although I’ve been visiting the blog for a couple of months now to help with my recovery.

    I first starting experiencing panic and anxiety in 2008 – I had no idea what it was or why it was happening to me and it was so scary! I had to quit my job, I couldn’t eat, sleep or function properly and just wanted the doctor to tell me what I needed to do to get better and give me some pills to make it all go away. I later recognised that stress had been slowly building up about my job, and that fact that I smoked weed every day was certainly a factor in my anxiety.

    I recovered eventually and got a new job and everything was fine until September this year when the anxiety returned. I don’t want to scare people into thinking that they will recover then go back to square one – the reason I relapsed so badly was due to a particular life event and the fact that I had never really accpeted my anxiety when I had it last time, and therefore when I felt myself panicking again I became so fearful of it that the anxiety came back with full force.

    Anyway, I had to call in sick to work when it returned as I couldn’t function properly. The worst part of it was that I was due to fly to New York to get married later that month and I convinced myself I wouldn’t be able to go and that everyone would hate me! But I went, everything was fine, and the anxiety subsided becuase I didn’t let it rule my day. I went back to work after the wedding and was fine until a couple of weeks later. I had a heavy night on the booze and just felt so low the next day that the anxiety came back and I couldn’t go back to work. That was in November.

    Then, while browsing the net one day looking for answers (as we do!) I found this site and ordered Paul’s book. It made so much sense to me and really explained why the anxiety had come back and what was prolonging it. It was such a great help, I also got Claire Weekes book ‘Self Help for Your Nerves’ which is like a bible to me now! It helps to explain the physical symptoms of anxiety and why we feel so awful.
    Now, when I have an anxious thought or get a horrible feeling in my tummy I just think ‘Oh there goes that pesky adrenaline again!’

    I never thought I’d be able to get back to work but I am sitting typing this at my desk, in my office and although I still have the anxiety with me, it is not taking over my life anymore. I still have pangs of anxiety that rise up and feel like they will turn into a full blown panic attack but I can now accept this and recognise that its simply excess adrenaline and it will pass.
    I know I have a while to go before I’m fully recovered – mornings are awful for me and I really have to drag myself out of bed – but I know that its so much better to drag yourself out of bed and get on with your day than to hide under the covers and hope the anxiety will just go.

    To anyone who is currently off work with anxiety, my advice to you is to go back to work and learn to live with the anxiety. The thought of going back to work absolutely terrified me, but I can assure you that you will feel SO much better for going out and seeing people, interacting, having a routine. Even if you do feel uncomfortable and anxious at times (which I still do but its okay!) then at least you can tell yourself that you are on the right path to recovery and you are not letting anxiety dominate your life. I am currently doing a phased return to work, so just working part time and building it up gradually to build my confidence. Your doctor can recommend this to your employer and it really helps!

    Anyway, sorry for the massive post – I hope that someone can read and relate to it and take something positive from it.

    And Paul – thank you for writing such a wonderful book. I carry it with me at all times, which will probably sound a bit crazy but its so reassuring just to know its there and to read a few pages now and then when I’m feeling a bit low.

    Peace and love to you all, you are not alone and you will get through this!
    Rachel xxxx

  192. Steveo 18th January 2012 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Debbie

    Sorry to hear you are struggling. If you read the posts quite a bit above yours, there is some very very good input from Helen and others of exactly how to do this and accept.

    Keep it up, it does get easier!

  193. Debbie 18th January 2012 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Thank you Steveo for bothering to answer, i have read Helens posts they are very good i understand the whole accepting a bit more now. thanks again!

  194. Carlie 19th January 2012 at 8:06 am - Reply

    I guess I’m struggling right now because I don’t really feel anxious at all, but there’s still such a disconnect from myself… I just don’t feel like the same person. It’s almost like I don’t exist at all. Like everything that’s happened to me lately didn’t even really happen. I don’t know. 🙁 And I’ve felt more detached the last few days than I have in awhile… at least I think I have. Kinda like when you walk out of a movie after a few hours and everything seems a little weird at first? That’s how I feel a lot… just kinda lost. I know I’m not the only one dealing with this, but sometimes the reality of the situation hits me and I’m like “I can’t believe this has even happened to me!” And I feel like if I could just snap out of it, everything would be fine. I’m not having any new symptoms, it’s just that sometimes I feel more detached and other times I feel like I can’t think clearly. Right now it’s both.

  195. Josh 19th January 2012 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Paul & Matt

    In our road to get better, is it facing the fears/thoughts/ feelings daily which may help us to get better or as time elapses, we will start getting better automatically.

  196. Jennifer 19th January 2012 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Woke up today and my head just feels constantly full up of racing thoughts and can’t think clearly, like every day really, but feels worse. I am going out and about filling my day with activities, talking to people but it doesn’t seem to be easing off as well as it should be.

    Its like a merry go round. I have constant anxiety and then at times through the day it gets higher and i am always tired and headachey.

    Beacuse I feel like im really not with it with DP, its like I go back to checking my thoughts, checking im not going mad and im with it. For example double checking that I have heard people correctly and that I haven’t imagined hearing or seeing something. Its exhausting my mind and its upsetting to feel so disconnected to my family and friends.

    I an wondering if maybe its like Ben above said “It’s because, recognizing the familiar and scary anxiety, you started to fight, worry, obsess, and/or trying to control the thoughts and emotions that began to ruin your life. And that’s understandable as it is our instinct.

    can anyone else relate? x

  197. Vamanan 19th January 2012 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Josh,

    It seemed to me the heightened fear of those thoughts/feelings/things are also symptoms of elevated anxiety level. Which means you won’t fear them as you do today after your nerves get better. So you don’t need to get rid of all your fears to get better. This is true from my experience (I am not fully recovered yet).

    Also It is not a good idea to constantly strive for recovery. Why? Because you are just adding stress to your nerves. Just have faith at the bottom of your heart that you will be recovered. That’s it. The fact is you will recover fully one day and even before that you will see that it gets much better than what it is today.

    Finally to answer your question, should you face your fears (regardless if they are thoughts, feelings etc.). I would say yes but only as they come on your way (Don’t try too hard to recreate them). For example, If you drive to work and one spot on your way scares the hell out of you, Just don’t change your route. The key is to slowly change the habit of avoidance as you get better. If something scary pops up, tell yourself it gives you a chance to change your habit of running away (avoidance).

    Best of luck,


  198. Diane 19th January 2012 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Jennifer, I understand, have had a bit of a difficult week of it too, my heads been racing, I ahve felt a bit disconnected and thoughts going back to me and my mind of how i feel physically and mentally, e.g feel like this, what if it this/that , oh no its back!!!!!!!! and i agree when you feel like this it is exhausting and we slip so quikly into old mind set and and questioning and anxiety feel present and hard to be think realistic and rational. I remember what Paul says in his book, you can have weeks or months of feeling ok and then suddenly you can have a bad week, where you feel like its back to square 1. I keep saying it only temparary and will pass trying not to return to old habits and castatrophic thinking.I do agree with you its hard and exhausting, I think what Ben says is right it is normal to to start ti fight and obsess, the crazy thing is this feel like instinct but makes us worse and our tired mind more tired. You are not alone, we will get through this I supose just saying, as Ben said to me earlier@hello old friend’ and try to accept and not enter the cycle, although I agree easier said than done when the adrenaline kicks in, I hope you feel better soon,
    lets keep taking it step by step and part of recovery is accepting we will feel like this on our path to recovery x take care

  199. Spartanqueen 19th January 2012 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    hie everyone!

    Im definitely on the path to recovery, its not all so overwhelming or scary!At least now i understand why i feel and think this way, the depersonalisation and derealization is not so thick…..I even admired the clouds in the sky on my way to uni the other day, something i have not done in a long time…..my dominating dear at the moment is fear of death….it leaves me with a sense of hopelessness will this go away? unlike all the other scary thoughts, i know i will die someday and that still scares me!!!

  200. Matt 20th January 2012 at 1:57 am - Reply

    Josh, For me I had to understand that those fears were entirely false, no matter how real they felt. I got rid of the irrational one’s first, then the more ingrained one’s took some time. It isn’t about manually getting rid of them, because you can’t with the anxiety, it’s about allowing your mind and nerves to heal. It means accepting and understanding what you are going through, that gave me enough relief to start getting better. I stopped the questioning it all and being afraid, which both are choices. What I don’t have a choice over is the tired nerves, intrusive thoughts, and the anxiety that comes for no reason. Those things I had to just go through it and have hope in myself. I mean, that’s all you can do until one day normality comes to you instead of you trying to go to it. You have to accept that you can’t just force normality, you have to allow it to come to you, through time and patience. That’s what’s been working for me, and really well so far. So face whatever you’re going through with a “so what” attitude, because if you give it attention and fight it, it will continue to linger.

    Carlie…I, of course, went through that too. I got through the feeling detached feeling, and you will too. Again, being impressed by what you are going through is what is making it worse. If I had days where I felt like I couldn’t even function, so be it. If I had days where everything in the world scared the hell out of me for no reason, so be it. I understood it was DP and just soldiered on. I promise you, if you begin to develop that “so what” attitude and not get so scared of it, it slowly passes. I promise. You will recover from this and when you do, instead of saying, “what the hell happened to me?”, it will be more like, “what the hell was I ever worried about in the first place?”

  201. ginger797 20th January 2012 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Hi Everyone
    I was just wondering if anyone has read claire weekes books as im interested in buying one but not sure if its just a waste of money? as there are loads of books dedicated to panic and anxiety…..has anyone found her book worth a read???

  202. Christian 20th January 2012 at 5:42 am - Reply

    @ Ben

    Hey Ben. It started when I was with my family and I was battling in my head whether I need to force myself to listen and partake in conversation or to let my wander off. The fact was, I was trying to avoid something (i have no idea what it even was) that I was thinking about that seemed very important and I was fearing it. I said, “fuck it”, and let myself daydream and every time it seemed scary, I would give it my awareness. Only thing was, I didn’t give it and fear. Slowly you start to see it from a different perspective, in what you think will be the rest of your life, really is only like 10 min most before your distracted by something else. It really was not a lot of work haha. Its been two weeks. (not to mention I have had some recovery before) but this was me saying “literally no more of this no matter what. I have a right to be the way I am currently”. I have been busy but also taking it easy. I live in the city and go to film school and I don’t put pressure on myself. things get done a lot quicker and easier 🙂

  203. Christian 20th January 2012 at 5:49 am - Reply

    here’s a nice quote:

    Charles Spurgeon

  204. ShellH 20th January 2012 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Hi Ginger797

    I got Claire weekes book last week the one called self help for you nerves. Only part way through but have found it be very much along the same lines as Pauls so far. For me it has helped to reinforce the dont care attitude which is the most difficult thing I have had to face.

    I am glad I have got it as think the two books together will realy help me. But I am only part way through so not sure what the rest of the book will hold.

    Hope this helps


  205. Steff 20th January 2012 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Having a bit of a setback! 9 weeks to go in pregnancy and last night I didn’t feel very well, ended up vomiting and having iffy tummy which resulted in massive downward spiral, started shaking and all the what ifs crept back in, say if I feel like this in labour, what if I can’t do it, what will they think of me, say if I lose it completely! This is my 2nd pregnancy and I was perfectly calm in my first labour! Arghhhh frustrated! Positive thoughts to you all! I have been doing pretty well so understand this is a setback but it still tends to take over my mind and scare the hell out of me x

  206. natalie 20th January 2012 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    hi guys just thought i would pop in and see if anyone else can shed some light on whats going on wih my head just lately 🙂 xxx i have been doing well and suppose still am as i don’t let any of this stop me doing what i want and have to do but the thing i really seem to struggle with is my thoughts sometimes, its like i have stated to say to myself i am not a nice person and people can tell and i know i imagine that people avoid me or i have this thing that i always upset people ?? yet i have done nothing, i tell myself its just the anxiety and i know that none of htis is true but some days it is really exhausting and i get so tired and ratty with my kids, i just would like a break .. llol am sure we all do, but why can’t i just like myself these days ?? don’t know how to get past this .. just kinda get on with mhy day look forward to getting home an dchilling at the end of the day and tyr not to let it get me down to much, but if anyone has some handy advise to offer i am definetely all ears on this one xx hope you are all doing ok, a lot of your posts i can see that you are doing what you should and tht is brilliant xx keep going xxx

  207. Tommy 20th January 2012 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone,
    I am writing to you from New York and i recently purchased the E-book. I am 23 years old and have just began attending graduate school. I understand you are very busy but my question is crucial because my whole graduate school is at stake, due to this sensation. I have been a sufferer of unreality for 5 years now. I know everything about this unreality sensation and i have read and read everything on it. I know its significance and why it occurs. I also understand and comprehend your method which you explain in the book to deal with this sensation. But when i try to implement your method i fear the fact that “how will i cope with this sensation for hours, days, weeks, months at a time by being completely at peace with it?” . I cant understand how i can just change my view on this whole thing… because in my mind it is simply such an ANNOYANCE. You said you didnt notice when your recovery started, but how do i go about just changing my viewpoint completely in a matter of minutes after reading your book? It seems i am always still checking and still fearing and hoping it goes away fast so i can cope with grad school. Paul, i understand you are busy but i beg you to shed some light on these questions for me.
    Thank You for your time,

  208. Carlie 21st January 2012 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Matt – Again, thank you. Sometimes it’s just hard to believe that someone has felt EXACTLY like me, but I know I’m not alone. Your last sentence cheered me up a lot. 🙂

  209. Tommy 21st January 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    If anyone can help me with my question besides paul… i would really appreciate it. I think there is some piece of this that i am not grasping.

  210. angela 21st January 2012 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    i was exactly the same when i started looking on this website. i felt such relief once i realised other people thought like me and that it was called anxiety!! because i really thought i was going mad!! it was horrible.. but as i have said in a previous post.. if i wouldnt have had anxiety then i wouldnt have changed if that makes any sense..i was stuck in a shit world and was sinking deeper and deeper into someone who wouldnt listen to all the signs.. my family kept telling me to take it easy. stop doing things for everyone else and think about yourself. but did i listen? no i never and this went on for over 10 years. i was sexually abused as a child which doesnt bother me talking about it.. i had a lot of abnormal stuff to deal with from a very early age straight into my teens .. then the aftermath.. leading to today.. i have always been the same. but recently if have started to change. anxiety locked me into this disciplined world of my own for years. but anxiety is the only thing i ever listened to and was forced to change the way i think and the way i do things. it felt that powerfull!! but now i think i get it all. as i said before i have had many setbacks and everytime i do seriously get stronger. i have shared some of my life story as i feel it is very important to keep the faith and to show people that you can recover and you can go on to have a better life than you did before you had anxiety 🙂 i feel like i have just been freed. i am 42 on the 27th jan so i might just go out and raise a glass to my dearly missed mom and granny. and just get drunk because i can now because i dont stress about every little thought anymore. yes it might come back but im not going to wait around for it 🙂 i dont think anxiety is an illness its a state of mind. very powerful if you fear it and very weak if you dont..

  211. dave 22nd January 2012 at 2:46 am - Reply

    Hello All:

    Just thought I provide any update on how things are going on the road to recovery. Things have improved greatly… DP has decrease by at least 80%, symptoms have almost all but disappeared, (expect for burping) this includes forcing it and after eating food.

    I returned to the gym and it was going well, but haven’t gone recently, the main reason for this is that I just don’t have the energy that I once use to have. Paul in his book states that this is because of the all the energy our body is using on the anxiety…….I am hoping my energy levels will return (Any thoughts on this would be great???).

    I feel I am close to recovery, but certain things confuse me. My body and mind have a hard time I notice telling the difference between true excitement (going out with friends), sleeping in (on the weekend), or looking forward to something, these types of events will trigger DP and I become tried and have low energy. Any one again have any thoughts on this? My confidence is being greatly effected by this, in social setting, I just can’t get the energy level up.

    I also avoid day to day stress of everyday life, like I am playing it safe, is it okay to have day to day stress like at work etc? I use to be able to handle it before, but now I am playing it safe.

    Besides the above, I stress(see what i did there lol) I am A LOT better for using Paul approach and feel very close to full recovery.

    You are all in my thoughts


  212. Matt 22nd January 2012 at 4:53 am - Reply

    Dave….I had the energy levels drop off too. I was doing better, but felt so rundown ALL the time. It was like I didn’t even want to socialize and do things I normally did, not because of anxiety but because my energy was so low. I would like to recommend something that really helped me with my energy levels, I know you’re not supposed to recommend vitamins or meds on here, but b12, the sublingual form really gave me a tremendous boost to my energy levels. I took it for a few months and really noticed a big difference. Also, running helped me too, haven’t gotten back into to it because it’s been too cold out. For me, the physical symptoms of anxiety/dp wore my body out to where I was sleeping 10-12 hours a night. I then changed my sleeping schedule to going to bed at a certain time each night and waking up at a certain time, because when I would wake late in the morning, or afternoon, I felt depressed for sleeping so long. Also, drink plenty of water and stay away from caffeine. By giving up caffeine, I had loads of energy, but have recently started back drinking it again. Anyways, those were some things that helped me out going through the process. I’m glad you’re recovering, just remember it’s a process and when you start to see yourself getting better, it makes it a lot easier to stay on track. Good luck!

  213. Teresa 22nd January 2012 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Hi All –
    Angela , well done you have used the problem to become the solution – i am trying to adopt this attitude as I find it hard to put myself first, that is not to say i am a selfless person and anxiety makes me feel quite selfish in that it has a way of making you behave in a way you wouldn’t if you did not have it. but what you say is true – anxiety makes you listen to it. You should be very proud of your whole open attitude to it, you have been courageous. Happy Birthday for the 27th – yes go out and have a good time and enjoy your new perspective on life.

    I have so much knowledge and for some reason instinctively I am not absorbing it at them moment. Moments when i understand it all and feel yes i am going to move forward and do so much – then within a day I’m back to crying, absorbed by the latest ‘problem’ which is back pain which i know is a symptom of my anxiety, this has stuck with me since September back and fore and only because it bothers me so much. I ignore it, get on with my life – I have eureka moments when i see if fizzle – and then the understanding is gone and it is back to wearing me down. You would think that after so many ‘awakenings’ with so many symptoms I would be able to get on alongside this but something is stopping me, I only wish I knew what. I even know that anxiety is trying to move to a new area and develop new sypmtoms but my mind tells me – this is anxiety, take no notice, eventually that symptom passes and we are back with the back pain – i wonder if this is the last symptom and once i learn to accept this i will have become hardier in my response to anxiety. It is throwing everything at me at the moment, then moments of enlightenment and whoosh back to on the base line. i am quite worn out with it.

    I do not want to be a moaner on here, I really want to absorb and understand the situation. I fully accept what it is and have in the past come so far foward with Paul’s way – it seems ridiculous that I cannot move on. I have been lucky enough to witness the recession of symptoms and know that it is anxiety.

    all who mention claire weeks book it is very in tune with Paul, if you need reinforcement it does not contradict Paul’s way . Personally i find that now all the answers are here, lol – although I am not ‘living’ them at the moment. To put it succinctly – its reprogramming our response to fear not an illne.ss – the less attention we pay to fear, the better we get at dimissing it

  214. JAN TURNER 22nd January 2012 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Helen, and anyone else that can help me. I have had a breakdownand depressionlast august due to a breakup. Depression/anxiety still bad, problem is with having to be alone alot in the house, I get really anxious and depressed. I have no problem with being outside. How do I cope with this, I am utterly exhausted with it.,

  215. Jennifer 22nd January 2012 at 4:24 pm - Reply


    Thank you very much for taking the time to respond,its so healing to know that people are feeling similar to you, although I wouldn’t wish feeling like this on anyone.

    Jan, try to make plans to go out for a walk or some sort of exercise first thing in the morning, then come home spend a bit of time there alone, then make a plan for the afternoon as well. Not to run away from your anxiety so that your out all day, but have short intervals at home. Do jobs at home and put the radio on, call a friend. Its tough, I know, wondering what to do for the best.

    your posts are always so helpful an you explain it so well. To know how you experienced it all and came through. I should take comfort from my own recovery a couple of years back as it did happen and felt amazing. Its so frustrating that im experiencing it again.

    Can I ask did you have constant levels of high anxiety/racing thoughts and have trouble chatting to people at times? as although it comes automatically, you feel like you get all your words jumbled up and your wacthing yourself to make sure you respond ok? then worry about what you said? I guess because my concentration is not so hot at the moment too.
    I am confident usually and this is upsetting me and making my anxiety worse I think as communicating is everything to me and will help me recover. Is this what you call DP mainly.


  216. Matt 22nd January 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Jennifer….Yes, the social aspect was the hardest for me. To explain my DP, it was like just sitting in my head, not necessarily thinking of anything in particular but just watching and self-awareness. That made it very difficult to concentrate on any conversation at all. I had a lot of racing thoughts and high anxiety, and usually didn’t have the racing thoughts until I had the high anxiety, once I made that correlation it was easier to get through. When I wasn’t anxious, I was fine for the most part, though I would worry about myself and DP. I just accepted that if I look weird to others and my words get all jumbled up then so be it. By doing that I was giving my mind a break and not having to overanalyze everything to death. And for me it was automatic because as soon as I would get out and socialize at first then the DP took over again. I learned to not care so much, and knew my mind was worn out and tired, so I carried myself around feeling however I felt until eventually the anxiety/dp became milder and not so noticable, though it was always in the back of my mind, I let it be there.

    I mean, I went from not being able to hardly speak to anyone, even my own family, to speaking in a room full of thirty strangers, so I would say that I progressed pretty nicely. I don’t know if you have DP, it sounds like you just have high anxiety. I believe you would know if you had DP. Hope that helped!

  217. Matt 22nd January 2012 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    teresa….I too had those eureka moments when everything made sense and I could go a day or two with a better perspective, then for whatever reason I was back in a hole again. For me, the anxiety ingrained itself onto my personality without me realizing it, meaning i would get anxiety about certain thoughts or actions and would try to figure it out. What helped me was to think back to when anxiety started to happen and how it progressed into the thoughts, feelings, etc. Then the new perspective came from understanding how anxiety works and living alongside it no matter what.

    i also had trouble absorbing what was written on here, like I was somehow unique and my brain just couldn’t process it in a way to where I would automatically feel better and have the confidence to move on. Part of me understood and still moved on, and then another part of me had a lot of self-doubt. Like, “I know what this is and how to get through it, but this doubt just won’t go away”.

    The main thing you have to do right now is be patient with yourself and have faith that it will pass. The ups and downs are expected, but you have to be patient because I wanted instant gratification and when I had great days I would think, “it’s finally gone!”. but when it came back, I was devastated. Instead of realizing I had great days from this, I focused back in on the negative. It’s those bad days that brought about true relief for me, because I knew there would be better days and to just keep on trucking through them. Anyways, seems like your on the right track, keep it up!

  218. Josh 23rd January 2012 at 4:21 am - Reply

    Paul/ Matt

    I have recovered from most of my symptoms and the confidence is back. One thing that keeps nagging me is a sudden rush of depressive thoughts. Though it has not occurred to constrain me but sometimes i refrian from doing things or going out because i think i will suddenly get a rush of depressive thoughts and may not be able to function outside.

    Please advice,

  219. lorryt 23rd January 2012 at 8:09 am - Reply

    hi all

    found myself back here again after a bit> i had had such a great year last year , i even did a parachute jump ( i had never even been in a plane before) i felt i had truly conquered my anxiety i lived my life without fear, coz what i felt was transient, i know feelings come adn go but recently thingshaventbeen so good , and i canfeel myself slipping back into the cycle of overthinking everything. I have had a problem withmy back and was put on particularly strong painkillers for a week or so, and i have had to stop taking them as i feel so ill and anxious and sick. my head has gone into panic mode and now thinks something else is wrong and i am trying to let the thoughts float in and out, but i am so tired and am feeling myself struggling to get up in the mornings and get ready for the day, but i have today against the odds!!. i am sat here ready for work and kids. cant say i am looking forward to it, but it gets my head away from anxiety and helps me refocus.i truly thought i had just let this be and it had faded away, but currently it all seems to snowballing. i havent had a decent night sleep for a week or so , which really doesnt help. it seems i am ranting but i am so frustrated with it all. And it goes – i am tired – i need to sleep- but this needsdoing – andthat needs doing – then a big guilt trip about all sorts and thern all over again!!!!! grrrrrrr , i read the post by paul and i did choose the path of living again, but the bumps keep appearing and my tyres need some air in ’em !!!!!. where to go and what to do eh !

  220. Teresa 23rd January 2012 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Thank you Matt – I agree with you its the constant ‘yes’ I know that is anxiety and then oh no why can i not understand it now.
    I will try and accept what comes – last night pulled my back out so have got something else to ‘worry about’ now. Really appreciate your help – thank you.
    Lorry – I know it feels all or nothing, really have been there – but you sound like your reovery last year was exactly through thinking the right way – it will come back, try to let it come on its own. Hope you feel better soon.

  221. lorryt 23rd January 2012 at 11:14 am - Reply

    SAYING WHAT I HAVE ABOVE, i do realise that i am not to be too hard on myself and to allow me some space and not put too much pressure on , as it makes it all worse. so i guess what i have learnt has to a certain extent sunk in !!

  222. lorryt 23rd January 2012 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Hi theresa
    Thank you for your support. Its odd when things are going well you dont give it a second thought, but when things are crap you tend to dwell and search and anlayze. i know its still there, but its frustrating and upsetting me. i guess i wasnt as well recovered as i thought!…..

  223. Teresa 23rd January 2012 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    you were – its just memory has reminded you and the habit has started again, but only for now. Just think how bad you were before you were bungee jumping! You did not believe then that you would feel well again – whaen we are locke din our own mind it is difficult to see what others can see about us – but I can see you did recover, that was not an illusion it was real. You do not have to banish anxiety from your life to be recovered – you just have to feel that things were/are can be better. What happens to some of us is that we cannot ‘feel’ those good days when we start to feel it again. I have been having a ‘not clever’ time for a while and some days when I accept its great, I can conquer the world and then its back down the shoot again to being overwhelmed by whatever is the most frightenign sypmtom it grabs at – I’m not the most patient person with anxiety, sometime I understand what acceptance is and other days I don’t but it’s a gradual affair and I think the enlightenment you have had so far looks really encouraging. You are well on the road Lorry to recovery, it’s just a little dark corner that you are frightened of. Things will improve.

  224. Jennifer 23rd January 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Hi Matt

    Thanks for replying, its really nice to be listened to by someone who understands what this feels like. It sure can feel a lonely place even though I have got lovely family and friends.

    Your response was very encouraging. I believe I am experiencing DP as I experienced it before 2 years ago. I think I have worked by way through the more physical symptoms and now the DP is the last bit, but somehow the hardest. The fact that it seems to affect my concentration and conversations is I think making me highly anxious as it the thing I most dread, I can be ok with all the other symptoms, but its like, don’t take away my personality, and that what it feels like its doing. Funny how I have come so far with it all, but the DP feels the worst.

    Like you said, I am remembering having to ‘leave it in the back of my mind’ and still go out an socialise from my first period of anxiety and how somehow it does get easier.

    thanks again Matt

  225. Jerry 23rd January 2012 at 6:11 pm - Reply


    I am in the same boat as you. Great few months now, but this past week I decided to indulge in my nemesis, coffee. It was actually decaf, but still enough to throw me off, completely. Now I am over analyzing things, hating the feeling (vs acknowledging), and my teeth grinding at night has intensified to the point of constant jaw pain throughout the day. BUT, days like these are allowed and must be expected, but man do they suck.

    I also over analyze any symptom I have. For instance if my jaw starts to hurt *although I know its from tension*, I go through steps checking myself making sure its not a stroke. If I have a sharp chest pain, I think “Is this what a heart attack feels like?!?” And on and on, reality is… I am fine. Doctor said I am as healthy as he would hope for me, but somehow in these moments anxiety says the opposite. Its almost as if I’ve convinced myself that my anxiety has a much more qualified Medical Doctor than my actual doctor. Its frustrating… I’m with you Lorry, but again, this too shall pass.


  226. Jennifer 23rd January 2012 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Matt –

    Sorry, your response was v.helpful, but one question if your there,
    just wondered how/ if you managed to explain to your family that you found it difficult to be yourself and communicate with them?

    Its so hard to explain and I can also why people might probably think, ‘just pull yourself together’.

    Thanks in advance if you get a mo to respond

    Best wishes


  227. Matt 23rd January 2012 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Jennifer….When I first told them about what was going on with me, I gave them paul’s book and info on it. They then had no idea how to react to me after reading it because they still didn’t know how it could affect someone like that. For the most part, I acted normal on the outside, but on the inside was totally confused and lost and they didn’t know if I was better or not. But yes, it was hard for me to be myself around them because my DP made it to where I was scared to be around them and even my own kids, and I couldn’t figure out why. Again, because it is such a deeply confusing condition I had a hard time communicating with them and anyone for that matter. But once I started to truly absorb the information about DP and applied it, it got easier to talk with them and be myself, but it happened slowly.

    Also, I know what it’s like to feel like your losing yourself, that terrified me to death. It was like my personality was dissolving before my own eyes. I mean I went through every symptom, memory loss, couldn’t think clearly about things, unreality, etc. But, I slowly developed that attitude of “who care’s?” I just “feel” this way, doesn’t mean that it is the truth. So I forced myself to think of other things in my life, which was terribly difficult at first, I then went out to socialize again, went to school, did everything and anything no matter how I felt. After awhile, I started to get me back, and I held onto those moments, because I realized it is just a feeling and a defensive mechanism. The fact is that you aren’t losing yourself, it just feels that way and it feels real when you’re going through it. You can get out of it, if you stay focused on other things and after awhile you begin to forget, that’s when a lot of the clarity of what I was going through came to me. So, if you feel like you can’t communicate with others, force yourself to no matter how hard it is. Keep doing it and it will get easier after time.

  228. Matt 23rd January 2012 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Josh….Well, I can’t say that the depression has totally went away for me. It is still there and lingers. Some days I feel great, and other days I feel like crap again. The depressive thoughts I get sometimes are, “will this come back again?” and so on. Depression works on your brain like anxiety does. But I am learning to change my perspective to it, like the anxiety, it’s just depression and that’s all it is and will go away, it doesn’t mean i’m developing some other disorder or anything. When we wear our brains out so much we can be left in a depressive state because of everything we’ve been through. That’s where i’m at, but again, some days are good, some aren’t so good. It’s just the way it is for right now, but I believe it will pass.

  229. Dan 23rd January 2012 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Hello All,

    Just a question I had for some of you and that relates to how you accept everything as anxiety. As we all work to live through it and all it to just be, there are many times where I am questioning things, specifically about a relationship(major cause of anxiety and worry for me), and I am thinking is this real or anxiety, I try to just attribute all to anxiety but then I so badly want to just feel in control of my thoughts, etc, that I am unable to just let it be, and just continue to question myself silly. Not sure if this makes any bit of sense, but in short how are you able to just tell yourself that it just anxiety and not allow yourself to continue to ask yourself the “what if?” questions that are so easy and seemingly reflexive. Keep up the good work everybody. I can tell you in certain aspects of my life I have made incredible strides and can easily look back and smile, the bondage does go away with time.

  230. ginger797 24th January 2012 at 6:22 am - Reply

    so any advice is great…today i had to meet up with a girl and buy ipod covers from her at 11am i wasnt worryed at all but as i was driving down to there my head “voice” started telling me i should be scared by now and i couldnt get the voice out of my head and my sholders started to tense up and the butterflys were there and my hands started to shake so i started to fight with the thorghts in my head saying to it things like” im not scared,i dont really care about meeting this girl and things like that then i started to talk to my friend who was with me it was hard and the voice kept wanting me to get scared so my question is…how do you “float ” through that feeling and the voice that keeps trying to get you to feel scared even tho your not??????????

  231. Hollie 24th January 2012 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Hey everyone.

    I have been recovering from anxiety for a while now, i am a million times better than i ever was before! the only thing i cant seen to shake is the constant tiredness/feeling lightheaded or faint. I know i should be grateful that this is all i am feeling compared to how i used to, but its really getting me down. I find im struggling at work ( i work full time in a job i love!) does anyone else have this problem? i feel absolutely EXHAUSTED!?

    Id really appreciate a reply.

    Thanks, Hollie

  232. Paul David (Admin) 24th January 2012 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Sorry I have not been around for a while, again just busy with other things at the moment which should be finished soon, but I just want to say thanks to all that are keeping the blog ticking over.

    One thing is that I try and look on here each day, but sometimes find it is impossible So if anyone sees a post that needs my attention then please email me through my main site using the contact form.

    We had a case last year where I was not on for 3 days and someone was trolling all over the blog with offending comments to everyone, no need to go into what was said. This is rare on forums and blogs, but it does happen and it is just done for their own means or enjoyment, it can be anything from ‘just for a laugh’ or they made have posted something and not received an answer or felt hurt by a comment and then to get their own back or take out their frustrations they take it out on the place they are posting on.

    The only other thing is someone using the blog to promote their products or spam someone they are affiliated with, this is a total no no and usually gets stopped before it appears on the blog. I have no problem with someone mentioning something they have read and found helpful, Claire weekes gets mentioned a lot and as I respect her work, I have no problem at all with this. It is blatant pushing of a product I don’t allow.

    It just helps me a little, as I just about moderate this place alone and the bigger it gets, the harder it is so an extra set of eyes really helps.

    Thanks Paul

  233. Jeff 24th January 2012 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    There’s something I’ve learned about recovery and setbacks. I just had my first setback. I was so elated by my recovery that I not only went back to doing things normally… I overdid them. Got smashed Saturday night and Sunday morning sent me right back to where I was over a month ago. I’m still seriously shaky from that day. This may seem obvious to everyone but me, but I should have respected my recovery a bit more and given myself more time to rest before pushing it. If you’re recovering, be kind to yourself and have faith that you will get better. It’s really just like it says in the book.

  234. natalie 24th January 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    it sounds like you come through the worst of it now and the part about feeling depressed really hit home, i think i am at the same stage as you as since christmas have felt quite emotional and negative, its like my thoughs work against me, i think people don’t like me, and me and my husband keep arguing because i take things he says the wrong way, i put it down to like you say tired mind, and as such cannot deal with negative chatter that we probably all have. But what frustrates me is that it is effectig my relationships with my hubby and friends as i am so needy at the moment. I think best way is to keep telling yourself this is not forever that they just thoughts not true and ignore it as best you can.. but boy do some of them hurt .. i would not say the stuff to my friends /family the things i seem to say to myself. keep me posted matt i can truely relate and hopefully ..no, we will !!!! move through this stage.
    wonderful that you are helping others on here to, shows how much of a caring person you are xx

  235. Nikki 24th January 2012 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Phew – reassurance needed in abundance please. Been trying to get on with my days with my anxiety but boy it is not easy. I am so aware of my anxiety just now and it feels awful – shaking, sweating, feeling like I am dying, going mad etc… Most of my anxiety is around going out on my own or at times being in the house on my own! Am trying to push myself to go out and I do, but its sooo hard. Yesterday I met a friend for lunch – the first 15 mins were hell – nearly ran out the restuarant but i never and the anxiety passed. Did a 15 min drive on my own in the evening – legs were shaking and my thoughts were racing – but i did it. Today went a walk with a friend and i could barely take in what she was saying at first as i was so anxious but it settled. My daughter wanted me to give her a lift to work this afternoon but it felt too difficult so i drove her to the bus stop! Then i forced myself to take my neighbours dog a walk by myself – gosh it was hard – shaking legs – trembly – racing thoughts but i kept saying its just adrenalin it will pass. I ended up being out for half an hour – was scared to let dog off lead in case i never got her back but eventually when my anxiety settled a bit i let her off – the dog and i were chasing each other round the park – i was sooo aware of my anxiety though.

    Is this how it is meant to be? I honestly feel I am getting worse but i guess the reality is i am getting on with it even in a small way. Feel bad about not taking my daughter – should i have pushed myself? I don’t really know how to pace things just now either. Feeling tearful too but i think it is because the anxiety is high and i am pushing myself – a gentle evening i think. Any reassurance welcome – feeling very needy just now!. xx

  236. Teresa 24th January 2012 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Paul, the site has been so much help to so many people it is bound to have grown and become hard for one person to handle and havea life as well. i am sure everyone of us feel that we have derived so much help from this blog and you that anything we can do to help we will – so I am sure all our eyes will help you moderate the blog, thank you for your continued support by running the blog.

    Nikki – it really is difficult not believing ‘anxiety’ – you are doing really well and try not to feel guilty about your daughter. We can’t always be the ‘perfect’ person. Just do your best, like you did and that is fine – you are doing really well Nikki, honestly, anxiety knocks your self confidence and tells you things that are not true – don’t listen, you are doing so well. Things will get better, things are getting better – you just can’t see it at the moment.

  237. Nikki 24th January 2012 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you teresa your kind words brought tears to my eyes. Just what I needed to hear. Xx

  238. Matt 25th January 2012 at 3:14 am - Reply

    natalie, I am EXACTLY where you are at the moment. I went from homebound, to out socializing again and feel this needy crap that i’ve never had to put up with before, I mean I was always an independent person, but now it seems that I feel needy all the time and after hanging with friends sometimes I worry that they think i’m boring or that I should have said this instead of that, it is frustrating because when I see them again I begin to think about that and need some kind of reassurance that they like me or something, I don’t know, it’s kinda confusing. At least I got through the major hurdles with this, but this seems to be the last thing to go for me. It sucks because I had social anxiety before DP, and now it’s like that I recovered from a lot of dp and anxiety, the social anxiety is back and hard to be myself sometimes. I guess we have to just be grateful for how far we’ve come, and soon we’ll be out of it completely. Good to hear from you and know that someone is in the same place as me at the moment.

  239. Matt 25th January 2012 at 3:24 am - Reply

    ginger…i’ve had the scary voice thing, still do at times. It died down completely once I knew that it was just a thought and it isn’t me, it’s anxiety trying to play it’s tricks. If i’m scared of having thoughts of blue bears, i’m gonna have thoughts about blue bears, if i’m scared of having irrational thoughts about whatever, then i’m gonna have those same thoughts. For me, there is always a beginning of how that bad pattern of negative thoughts happened and my continued worrying and observing just made the thoughts stick and worse. You just have to allow them and see them for what they are, excess adrenalin and anxiety. Eventually, they’ll go away on their own and you’ll laugh at yourself, that’s what I do when a stupid, silly thought enters my head, and i’ve had a lot of them. So don’t worry, they will pass, just get rid of the fear and obsessing and before you know it, they go away.

  240. ginger797 25th January 2012 at 6:41 am - Reply

    @MATT, Thank you so much it makes so much more sence to me when you explain it like that:) i will put your advice into practice…thanks again

  241. lorryt 25th January 2012 at 9:30 am - Reply


    Its nice to hear that others understand, guess thats what this blog is for really !. I found myself going to the doctors monday just to see if i was ok. I have never in my life done that before, even when i was ay my worst a few years back now. i think it may be because recently we have had spate of people who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and it totally scares me to think that, and i guess i turn it in on me and think ohh my god my headache is really bad, could i have a tumour??,etc etc, and as i’m typing it it sounds so silly and selfish. then off i go with the guilt trip, and then it snowballs. i did have one good day and i realised that things are not as bad as i thought , but , Jerry you are so right , it sucks.
    it doesnt seem the same as last time, but at least i recognise that its the symptoms all starting up again. seems to be all thoughts this time rather than physical stuff, mind you thats what i struggled with before, must be memory and habit like you guys say.im am going on a bit and need to try and get on with my work and give myself a break and not be so hard on me, after all i am only human xx thanks again guys, you dont realise how much support you are for me xx

  242. EDSI 25th January 2012 at 10:06 am - Reply

    I just want to thank Paul for this woderfull blogsite.. Help me a lot with my anxiety. God Bless us all.

  243. marcb 25th January 2012 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Hi all, Does anyone have dreams/nightmares about their anxiety? I had a horrible dream last night where my anxiety was 10 times worse than it is and there was no way out of it. Thanks…. Marc

  244. mm16 25th January 2012 at 12:48 pm - Reply


  245. natalie 25th January 2012 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    i second that mm16, he certainly is 🙂 x lorry i remember your posts before i you have coome really far but like i said earlier i can relate to the thoughts stuff, its like you have concered the physical stuff but your mind still reacts to anxiety, but if i remember righly paul said this was the last to go, he had to learn to be ok with it to let his mind play tricks and not fight until it found its level and then when the thoughts came he could see them for what they are and just dismiss them. i know its hard but yo have to just believe as its only the fear that keeps t alive without fear it will fade and eventually stop. just take each day as they come and live as best you can with the thoughts. i struggle with this to lorry even today i went for an interview and had so many negative thoughts sayiing i cannot do this i will get bad again etc but i went all the same and did a good jjob unfortuantely the hours don’t suit but i am proud that i managed to go despite the anxiety xx keep strong lorry and matt keep me posted on any eureka moments .. i will to .. as today has been a hard day and i feel so exhausted but proud at the same time xxx

  246. Joshua 25th January 2012 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone
    I used to visit this site quite often about a year and half ago. I’ve done pretty well, still have anxiety here and ther but for the most part I do okay. For the past few months though its been a little rough and I was wondering if anyone can relate. Since about mid november I’ve been feeling dizzy all the time which of course gave me great anxiety. Heart palps racing thoughts, the works. Even when I am calm and not anxing out (my term of enderment for anxiety 🙂 ) I still feel dizzy all the time ESP. if I’m walking or in a car or if things are moving all around me. It feels like I’m drunk or on a boat 24/7. Can anyone else relate?

  247. Will 25th January 2012 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Hey everyone,
    I’ve had anxiety for about 8 years now. I used to suffer from panic attacks, but that’s pretty much sorted now and I know what to do should I ever feel panicky. But nowadays, my anxiety takes the form of obsessive thoughts. I’ve always been an over-thinker, but they’re over the most ridiculously stupid things that any normal person can easily forget about. When a small, fleeting thought comes into my mind, I don’t forget it and my anxiety turns it into a huge deal. And my mind never takes a break. It’s as if when I’ve just managed to stop stressing about one thing, my mind finds another thing for me to obsess over. And no matter how illogical, meaningless or just plain stupid it is, it’s there in my head and I can’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to know if others have been like this.

    – Will

  248. Matt 26th January 2012 at 12:41 am - Reply

    Today I haven’t even thought about any of this nonsense, until coming on here to post, lol! It’s been the first day in a long time since I haven’t, I was so busy today with school, friends, etc. that I didn’t have time to myself at all. And even when the stupid DP thoughts came before they became more and more dull, to now today finally they don’t even seem to exist anymore. It doesn’t mean they won’t be back, but it’s so pointless and when I was in class today I even participated in discussions and got into it, I laughed and had a good time. I don’t know, I was just happy today and things felt good for me. I know I post on here a lot about my progress, but the reason I do it is…#1 a whole lot of people that have recovered don’t post anymore, and #2 because I like to try to give others hope and give them my progress on a regular basis.

    To put it simply, I started to understand it by not trying to understand it, if that makes any sense. Once I started to say ok, this is so confusing I might as well just get on with my life, my brain started to recover and I started to regain myself back layer by layer, without even realizing it. It’s hard to figure things out with a tired mind, because, well, it’s tired and wants me to just leave it the hell alone, like paul says. Once I did, I had all kinds of eureka moments and felt kinda embarrassed by some of the thoughts I was scared of.

    Natalie, your first post really helped me because I didn’t realize how clingy I was until I read it and realized what I was doing. Since then, I haven’t really been clingy at all because I understand that I made that a bad habit when I was in the midst of really bad DP/anxiety, so now that i’m coming on the other side of it certain habits continue, and that is one of them. I was clingy because I became scared of myself, and tried to stay around people to somehow try to feel real again, and when I got by myself, I felt so alone and scared because it did feel like I didn’t know myself. Now that things feel real again, and I feel like I’m me again, for the most part, that habit was formed from prior fears. I realized that yesterday, I was hanging with friends, family, etc. but as soon as I got in the car that feeling of loneliness set in, and I realized it was a habit I created for myself, and once I “believed it”, I haven’t felt lonely today, even when I was by myself. So, the neediness, loneliness, etc. was really from a bad habit, and now I realize there is no reason to feel that way anymore, and I haven’t today. i guess repersonalization is truly setting in for me, at least let’s hope so. Anyways, hope everyone is doing well!

  249. Samuel 26th January 2012 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Matt, it’s been great to follow your posts as it gives me and I’m sure many people on here real hope that they can get through anxiety and become themselves again at some point.
    Your advice has I’m sure helped me out and it’s great to have someone who comes across as being so positive.
    The blog does help to identify things we sometimes don’t always see- when you mentioned feeling clingy i realised I’ve been doing the same and as my anxiety has continued I’ve started to text and call my girlfriend more and more when I’m at work etc- looking for reassurance and comfort that I’m ok and not actually in any danger.
    All my anxiety centres around a terrible fear that one day I won’t be around and so every situation im in i think could be my last and I find this so impossible to deal with, it’s as if no matter what method I use it’s won’t make any difference to the inevitable. I know my fear is irrational as its just nature taking its course but is it only anxiety that makes me fear it and other people just live life as an adventure without the fear?
    Anyway thanks again Matt for your inspiring posts

  250. lorryt 26th January 2012 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Well even on a bad day you can still find it within you to give out support for others and that takes something.
    Thing is I have no reason to be like this again I have the tools in my head to cope with it but my thoughts just get in the way so much. I am tired of it all today. It seems that no matter what I look at today I just cant seem to absorb it in my head. My retention of information is horrendous, guess its the anxiety trying to get back in and throw me off. but i dont give in just try and carry on with it all as hard as it is. its not a battle but just very trying. not a great day xx

  251. Diane 26th January 2012 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Joshau,
    have you been to the doctor? Perhaps it is a ear infection and tha anxiety is kicking in to. I am not an expert but have heard of people with ear infections feeling similar. Hope you feel better soon

  252. Joshua 26th January 2012 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the reply Diane, no I haven’t been to the doctor, I’ve been kind of afraid to not because of anxiety but because I don’t want them to tell me it anxiety and that nothing is wrong I just need to take these pills and everything will be okay. I have been thinking it might be an ear infection tho, sometimes my ears pop but I’ve hadother strange symptoms that don’t add up either but those could anxiety (heart palps, mind chatter). I feel that the dizziness gets so physical sometimes its really hard to believe it’s anxiety. I always feel like im sinking or gonna faint.Sigh…. It’s a never ending cycle sometimes, isn’t it? Thanks again for the reply, how are u doing today Diane?

  253. marcb 26th January 2012 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul, I hope you can help me. I sent you a tweet on 12th Jan asking “Is it normal for anxiety to attatch itself to a physical part uf u that isnt perfect, meaning constant negative thoughts about it?” You kindly replied “yes, very common”. My question is do I apply the same “rule” as I do to the other anxious thoughts, in other words do I simply accept and accknowledge? and that its the anxiety latching on to something? Many many thanks…. Marcb

  254. Rebecca 26th January 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    hey everyone,
    can anyone relate to this?
    Living your life as normal as possible but when the thoughts come with such strength it feels just terrible, for me i have realised it is the scary thoughts that keep me in this anxiety cycle. I know accepting them as just a scary thought and not giving them energy is the answer but it is so hard for me not to analyse them. Some of the time i am able to do it but other times it’s a real struggle. If anyone can relate to this what do you do that helps. I have recently started CBT, well it is completely different to psychodynamic therapy, a very different approach. I am finding that it is helping a little but doing breathing exercises once a day is sometimes unrealistic with my busy life. I have cut down on caffeine which seems to be helping. Even though i come on here and talk to my therapist i still sometimes feel so alone, i wish i didn’t. I know lots of people suffer with anxiety but it feels like it is just me at times. Does anyone else feel like this? Thanks

  255. Will 26th January 2012 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Hey Rebecca, yes I’m exactly the same. I posted yesterday about this problem, that the slightest thought just seems to stick in my head and my anxiety magnifies it, no matter how meaningless or illogical it is. Just something for my mind to obsess over.
    This is my main form of anxiety these days, and what Paul has said about it really helped me. The more you try NOT to think about these things, the more you DO think about them and the worse they seem to be. But by generally accepting them, not fearing them and taking on a “whatever” sort of attitude, they won’t bother you as much, and in time you’ll barely notice them.
    And yes, I sometimes have trouble with it too. Sometimes it’s much easier for me to accept certain strange thoughts than others. But I suppose the key is to just continue living your life. I found that if I stayed at home and did nothing, I would find myself pondering over the thoughts again. To me, the fact that I can go out and socialise etc. without the thoughts even once crossing my mind until I got back home is proof that it is just an obsessive habit your mind has gotten into.

  256. Jeff 26th January 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Rebecca, I always feels like it’s just me. I know lots of people with anxiety issues but it’s hard for me to believe that it’s the same for them as it is me (especially the dp and the feeling like I’m going crazy). I know it’s individualized and all, but I’m sure some of it is similar. I think we all tend to think ours is the the only case of its kind, it’s just so subjective. The knowledge that it probably isn’t the only case of its kind doesn’t help when you’re experiencing it as it’s too overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like a good analogy is the teenage break-up experience: kids quit their romance and tell their parents they can’t possibly understand how much it hurts (when of course they do). You just have to trust that the advice you’re getting is from people who have suffered and come through the other end. Trust that what they’re telling you is good and useful. When you feel lonely it can certainly help to dial a friend or family member. As challenging as that seems, it can be helpful. Just going out to a cafe or pub or something to be around others helps me. I’ve told all my close friends and family about it, so they are helpful and understanding. You could try that, though it’s probably not for everyone. I read ALOT. It helps immensely. In fact I read “The Feeling Good Handbook” recently, which is a self-starter kit in CBT, and it seemed to help alot… Just ride out those times when you feel most lonely and trust that there will be times in the future when you won’t feel that way.

  257. Jennifer 26th January 2012 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Wow, you are proving to be a real support and hit with everyone on here. Its great. Its funny because your post explain v.much how so many of us are feeling. Although everyone’s symptoms seem to be individual to them, there are so many commonalities.
    I did tell my family about the website and one did have a look, but I also think they don’t and can’t possibly ‘get’ how much of a lifelife/support it has been and is for me. They haven’t really read enough about it I feel, but do support me lots.

    Your reply was so good and its such a relief to have people properly understand how anxiety can affect you (at the risk of sounding over the top). The not thinking clearly and unreality/DP- that’s where I am at the mo, but slowly improving mainly because I am doing what I know will help me and is exactly what you suggested:

    “You can get out of it, if you stay focused on other things and after awhile you begin to forget, that’s when a lot of the clarity of what I was going through came to me. So, if you feel like you can’t communicate with others, force yourself to no matter how hard it is. Keep doing it and it will get easier after time”

    also this is such a confusing condition and that is the main thing has made my brain so messy, fussy and worn out. I do try to analyse everything, but with good intentions….It got me a good degree in Psychology being that way but for this condition, this is when it turns ugly. and thens when your post earlier about ‘starting to understand it by not trying to understand it’ is the only way forward. It goes against every instinct/bone in my body, especially because im trying to work out a way to never experience it again. But this excessive worry that has consumed me these last few months will not heal if I continue to analyse it. It can’t be ‘fixed’ so to speak. But it feels like it needs to be.

    Sorry to ramble
    Thank you so much for taking time to respond to me, its much appreciated.
    Sound a bit wierd quoting you though….its like we have all joined a religion for a bit on here and your one of the disciples.

    Hope your still doing well

  258. Jennifer 26th January 2012 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    and just to a couple of the others on here….

    HOLLIE – I am too have a full time job that I love but am so exhausted at the moment so can definately relate. Continuely yawning and can’t wait to get into bed and see the day away, which is not v.positive.

    If you look around you at work though I bet you will too find that lots of your colleagues are knackered a lot for different reasons. Think its this dark and gloomy weather too having and affect. I wish I was just really tired, but unfortunately at the moment it is also accompanied by an electric current running through my chest/head continuiously…its just great. I am just setting my expectations low and pleased that I just just get myself into work..as depressing as it sounds.

    Joshua –
    like your dizzy symptom, I have a constant electric current and feeling like I am in a haze. It is a real symptom, but it is stress/anxiety related..so therefore will fade, it just feels kinda cruel that it has to make you feel so bad. Like Paul always says, don’t be impressed by it no matter how loud it shouts, just go alongside it. Thats what I am trying to do

    and to PAUL’s post, yes I think there is enough sensible, caring people on here to keep eyes peeled for any mischief/nastiness and will let you know.

  259. Hollie 26th January 2012 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Hey Jennifer
    Thanks so much for your reply, as much as I hate other people to be feeling this way, it’s a slight relief that I’m not alone!
    I used to get that feeling, the scariest feeling I had from my anxiety was the electric current, I felt like I was going to have a fit or something! But I PROMISE you it is just anxiety Playing its nasty tricks. Just ignore it and it will go away. Don’t give it any thought! I was in such a state a while ago wig my anciety, the thought I leaving the house scared me and I used to get all these horrible feelings that would eventually pass! U just can’t seem to get passed this last hurdle. Sooo tired (especially in work) and lightheaded / heavy head. It’s so frustrating and makes everything so much harder!
    You are right though, the weather definitely doesn’t help and I do have my good days, alcohol seems to be a demon for my anxiety!
    Ignore the electric current Jennifer, it’s a horrible feeling but it won’t hurt you! All the best with our recovery! Write back if you get a min 🙂 xx

  260. Rebecca 27th January 2012 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Thanks Jeff 🙂
    I really can relate to you feeling alone in it at times. I have spoke to a couple of people i.e my mum who is fantastic but lives a few hours away and my therapist. I don’t think the girls that i am currently living with will understand, they are not mature enough and havn’t known them for very long. I split up with my partner 6mnths ago because i wasn’t very happy and i now live with 4 other girls, it is nice at times but my anxiety is not a area i can talk to them about. I had a really bad panic attack for my first time a few weeks ago, just stayed in my room until it subsided, i have never been so frightened in my life, i think it happened because i had negative thoughts for a few days and didn’t talk to anyone then i wen’t rock climbing with a few friends. well that was like shaking a bottle of coke and opening it, all the horrible stuff just had to be released. some days are good and i don’t feel depressed just really really fed up, it is just so tiring!! How do i know when i am on the road to recovery? i feel like i am doing all the right things with regards to support, it’s just so difficult right now. I’m actually finding going to work is one of the best things for me as my mind is focused but at the moment on my days off my anxiety has been a real nightmare 🙁
    Jeff i do go out and socialise regularly and then all of a sudden from nowhere i have negative unpleasant thoughts, i guess i need to just give them no importance, harder said than done though!
    Samual and Matt, I have definately noticed in myself that i have been more clingy recently, it’s almost like i need reassurance, as though part of me needs to know that someone is always there. When i have felt really bad i have called a few people (close friends/family) just to talk so i feel safe. Afterwards i have thought, i didn’t really need to do that but i feel better now, this is something i am trying to do less of because i want to be more in control…

  261. Matt 27th January 2012 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Jennifer…..I’m a disciple?? LOL!!! That’s the funniest thing I think i’ve ever heard. No, I’m just a sufferer like you and many others, that’s all I am. I am pursuing my degree in social work and hope to help others in my town who I have seen struggle with this, when I was a counselor, with no real help other then meds and pointless breathing techniques that just put a band-aid on it rather then treat the condition. I remember a particular patient, and this was way prior to me having any anxiety problems, his diagnosis was depersonalization disorder and I remember thinking, but this guy seems more normal then anyone else here! I truly understand how it’s all about how we’re feeling in the inside. I guess I am kinda following in paul’s footsteps, because I want to dedicate myself to helping people with this. I had no idea how upsetting and frightening anxiety was until going through it. Anyways, enough rambling.

    It is a deeply confusing condition, that’s why it takes people awhile to get out of it. We begin to focus so deeply on this and what not that we feel like we are losing ourselves and our thinking becomes fuzzy and everything. For me, it’s about keeping that perspective of what’s going on and pushing forward, that’s what has worked and also completely paying attention to other things in my life. Truly, it has been taking an outside perspective of myself and believing in what paul says and the other people that recovered said. I will tell you that I am learning a lot about myself going through this whole process, and I believe that’s what DP really is, a disconnect from ourself. It teaches us to reconnect with who we are and what we want out of life, it has taught me a lot about perseverance. Hell, I can do things now that I was scared to do before I even had anxiety issues. Anyways, hope everyone is doing well.

  262. Teresa 27th January 2012 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Hi – could do with a bit of advice from someone today. I had a back pull last weekend and it has been a painful week, I have managed until mid week acceptiong that its a sprain, have been seen and confirmed by a doctor. However, yesterday I feel anxiety has taken over, the pain has accelerated and painkillers not covering it – I have had this in the past with a tooth extraction. It’s as if anxiety has the ability to turn the volume up and even create the pain in the area where I am ‘worried’ about. Has anyone else experienced this I could do with some back up to reassure me. I’m hoping it turns out to be a learningcurve and when I come out of it it will reveal even more about it and will be a notch up to my improved understanding and recovery.

  263. Paul David (Admin) 27th January 2012 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Matt your right going through it is a massive learning curve, there is no better education. I also remember when my DP was at it’s worst that I thought I stood out like a sore thumb, that everyone would notice, that they would see the strangeness that I felt. But after talking with people when I had recovered, they just said you could be quiet and sometimes distant, but I never knew a thing.

    Being so aware of myself and so paranoid about others noticing and the need to hold it together when in company had me struggling for years, as I never accepted it as me, I would more try to ward it off or keep a grip on myself, just trying to get through whatever situation I was in, it was more something to cover up, this led to a certain social anxiety, where I dreaded talking with people and being in company.

    Then one day I said ‘I am going out to enjoy myself from now and not try to just get through it, I know it wont always go perfect and from now on that is fine, no more trying to just act my way through, hoping I can get by without anyone noticing’. It was the best piece of advice I gave myself and helped me integrate socially again without being so aware of myself, whilst trying to stop others noticing. It was the very act of trying to act my way through and keep a grip on things that had me struggling socially for so long.

  264. Paul David (Admin) 27th January 2012 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Again sorry for anyone new who has posted it has been 3 days since I have been on here and I have just got round to moderating them all. Thanks for the extra eyes by the way it really helps me out.

    One other thing I am doing if people want it is to start a post that is totally off topic, a sort of lounge where people can just come and chat about what they have been up to, where they are going, family, new hobbies, good films they have seen, anything, but no anxiety talk at all. I will join in regular also and it will give people a break from the subject and let people really get to know each other and more about them.

    If anyone is interested then I will create one, only one rule no anxety talk, just chit chat.


  265. jackie 27th January 2012 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Hi paul, that sounds a great idea and yes i would like that a lot.

    Things with me are getting so much better, this truely was the worst 8 or so months ever but now after the wonderful posts on this site, pauls main site and claire weekes books and a lot more belief in myself I am well on the road to recovery 🙂 x

  266. Paul David (Admin) 27th January 2012 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Right I will set the lounge up later tonight, I will pop the kettle on, someone else bring the biscuits 🙂

  267. Diane 27th January 2012 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Hi all, hope your all doing well, had a bit of a shaky morning at work, felt spaced out and dizzy and a bit out of balance, as one of my fears is fainting or losing control my anxiety has been there too!!!!!!!!! I seem to at the moment have a week of feeling ok then a day of not, does anyone else relate to this. I am so thankful for the good days but need to try to find away not to enter the anxiety cycle everytime I dont feel great, find at these times its hard to just accept as keep going back to myself even when at work, I know this is all normal but do appreciate any tips or support on how to deal with better, thanks again

  268. marcb 27th January 2012 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Hi all, I have well and truly found myself back in the anxiety cycle again. My problem is my anxiety has centered on a physical part of me that isn’t “perfect”. I did get a fantastic reply from Helen(on jan 9th) who told me why an anxious mind grabs hold of an “imperfect” physical part of you and told me that again its just the case of accepting the thought, but I am finding it so difficult to accept as I can see this “imperfection”. I have been in tears all day today and my stomachs been churning as its all got a bit much for me, and the realisation that I’ve been steadily getting worse over the last few months. This “imperfection” first cropped up 20 years ago.Last summer I was improving so well as i understood/got it, that all the scary thoughts thoughts etc were caused by anxiety and I DID manage to accept, but with this physical thing I’m thinking I’m anxious because of the “imperfection”, although Helen and Paul have both told me its common and normal for anxiety to grab hold of a physical imperfection i am struggling so much to accept this. Has anyone any advice for me please? Has anyone had the obsessive thoughts of a physical imperfection? Any replies would be extremely appreciated. Many many thanks… Marcb x

  269. Joshua 27th January 2012 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Diane, I definitely know the feeling. One week youre okay and the next it feels like doomsday. Today is a bad day for me as well, but thats okay. My mind is fuzzier than usual and I am constantly feeling off balance and like I am going to faint. I am at work as well and I just try to roll with the punches so to speak. Sometimes I actually get mad and think to myself, “If youre going to fall or faint just go ahead and do it. Quit wasting my time!” LOL. Of course I dont and there is a brief moment where everything is okay for a second as if anxiety says “okay youve called my bluff”. For me I try (try being the key word:) ) to think of it as a headache, an annoyance but not life threatening. I hope that helps.

    Hi Marcb, I can understand the imperfection anxiety as well. I’ve had a crooked nose for ages and it used to bother me severely. I thought everyone would notice or think I look strange. I couldnt stop rubbing my finger over the bump because it annoyed me so much. Turns out most people didnt notice and the very few that did didnt care. When my anxiety decreased my care for my “imperfection” did too. You are not alone as anxiety definately clings to things like that.

  270. Paul David (Admin) 27th January 2012 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    The coffee lounge for all off topic chat is open, it maybe quiet at first, but should pick up if enough people post there. I have started things off.


  271. DCYL 28th January 2012 at 8:05 am - Reply

    HI All,

    It’s been a while since I’ve been here and I decided to drop by to share some of my happenings recently. Hopefully some of this will prove useful for some folks.

    While I had felt pretty good from late November to mid December, as the holidays neared, I think my anxiety jumped a bit. A part of it was me worrying about what I would do with my “downtime” (days off from work, etc, etc). However, I was fortunate. I decided to keep busy as much as I could with friends, having some family dinners and doing some other things.

    Moving forward, my next challenge was after the new year. I was scheduled to fly out of town for work purposes for a few days. I was admittedly “worried” about flying, being out of my comfort zone, etc, etc. I don’t know if I was actually anxious but I just wondering how I would handle it even though I have no problems flying and I had visited the location I was going to before.

    So on the day Paul put this post up, I was at the airport. I read the blog a bit but was otherwise hanging out with the co-workers who were on my flight. Overall, the flight was fine. In fact, the trip was a big benefit to me. Because it was work related, I was super busy for the 4 days I was away. My attention was quite focused on what I doing and not as much on my anxiety. I would slip occasionally but otherwise was good.

    After getting back home, I felt good. In fact I felt I had passed some hurdles as Paul’s teaching of staying busy really does help you move past anxiety. In fact, I had a few VERY clear days where I felt like I had finally recovered. I am reluctant to say I am fully recovered though yet. I don’t feel as anxious as I did a few months ago.

    However, I still feel like I am checking up on myself a bit. Innocent feelings like being sleepy and tired cause me to analyze why I feel that way. In fact, the last few days, I got into my own head a bit and I started noticing weird thoughts again.

    The good news is that I am working out and exercising quite a bit. Paul is quite right that exercising helps burn off the adrenaline which helps minimize the weird thoughts.

    All in all, I think I’m doing alright though as I mentioned in older postings, I think I have a tendency to worry. The worry isn’t extensive as it used to be but it does get some adrenaline flowing a bit.

    For those who feel they are doing better but maybe not there 100% yet, I am curious if it’s because we worry a bit when thoughts / feelings come by. It may not affect you as strongly as it once did but it can still be bothersome.

    Sorry for the long post but wanted to check in and share a bit of my experience. I hope some of this is helpful.

  272. conqueranxiety 28th January 2012 at 10:14 am - Reply


    Today I had appointment with my doctor. I talked about your website to her that how it is helping me and surprisingly she mentioned that she knows about your website. Your website is getting famous here in India as well 🙂 felt so happy

  273. Rachel A 28th January 2012 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Hi DCYL

    Thanks for your post, it was very interesting as it sounds like we,re in just about the same stage of recovery!

    I tend to have little blips and its always beause I think myself into an anxious state with silly thoughts! It’s annoying because I know it’s the adrenaline related thoughts that are doing it but I still worry.

    I think the best thing to do is to just keep reminding yourself that it’s just the anxiety/adrenaline playing its tricks again and it’s really nothing to worry about.

    I’ve just been focusing on how far I’ve come in the past few weeks – I’ve gone from being virtually housebound by fear to going out and doing ‘nomal’ things again – going back to work a couple of weeks ago was a big challennge for me but I’m doing well and feeling a little bit stronger every day.

    I realised that my biggest problem was feeling as though I could have a panic/anxiety attack at any time and it would scare me to think of how I might react, with the help of Paul’s book I’m slowly coming to the realisation that even if I do have an anxiety attack nothing terrible is going to happen, I might feel awful for a bit but it’ll pass!


  274. Matt 28th January 2012 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    dcyl….For me, I feel almost there, it’s just when I wake up that I feel out of it for a good hour or so then i’m fine. If I could just wake up and without that feeling I think I could consider myself fully recovered. The days that were great for me was when i woke up positive and just moved on with my day, It’s just harder because I am always irritable when I first wake up, so I guess it’s just a process. But i’ll take that compared to the 24/7 hell I was living in any day of the week.

    I think in your case it’s the habit of worrying that keeps you from fully recovering. If you made a more positive habit of thinking, I believe it would disappear. I, too, am a constant worrier. But now my worries on are normal everyday things like school, work, etc. Not anxiety related things. I realized that I had a choice to obsess and worry, once I understood that the worrying thoughts died down and the obsessions went away. I also would get up in my head and have weird, irrational thoughts that made no sense. So I stopped doing it, that was one of the hardest things for me to let go of because I had made a habit of doing it for so long. Also the constant checking in was hard to shake to, I still have those times where I question myself, “is it still there?”. Like I am looking for signs of it, I had to stop that too. I understood that I was making a choice to do all these things, so I could make the choice to not do it. the one thing I don’t have control over is the feelings. Sometimes the adrenalin rushes and weird feelings still hit, but it’s how I react to them that makes the difference. anyways, hope everyone is doing great!

  275. Lisa 28th January 2012 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Hey guys, I posted back in Nov and I felt recovered even though some of my symptoms were lingering, well I had a nice Christmas and a great new years. I still small moments of oddness. I had a rough patch this past week and felt really low and a bit of fear returned, I had a bit of stress due to something that happened to my grandma. But I got through, it wasn’t easy especially after feeling good for a long time and living with anxiety without much of an issue. What a journey this has been! I’ve been following the blog this past week and it’s pretty awesome to see several people so close to recovery. This blog is truly a second home, as we have all been supporting each other and giving advice .I am feeling fine again after my mini setback and am looking forward to better days 🙂 as I know they always follow! This is the way home no doubt about it . I feel like I am near full recovery. Will be a year today that I had my first anxiety attack and when all the magic started lol

  276. DCYL 29th January 2012 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Rachel – Congrats on making progress. I don’t know how long you’ve been having your anxiety, but for me, it’s about 9 months now. Fortunately for me, while I had the rushes of adrenaline / fear in my early stages, I never was “house bound”. I didn’t understand why I felt weird and perhaps sometimes avoided doing some things but I still managed to get out. Had my share of pretty tough days but working out and doing things for myself has slowly gotten me back to where I am now.

    Matt – Yes, the worries, the checking in and getting into my head definitely gets to me. I think the adrenaline rushes are “normal” in the sense that we get anxious over things (like the things you mentioned). However, because of the anxiety we’ve felt, we start obsessing over these rushes (been there, done that, still occasionally worry about it).

    As far as you waking up, can’t offer any advice but perhaps you just have to let it ride and it will go away in time. I sometimes struggle going to sleep because my anxiety reared itself months ago as I was going to bed. We just have to let things go instead of thinking about it too much.

    Lisa – Totally understand what you are going through. 🙂 Little things get to you. I get nagged on by my mom every now and then and that gets to me a lot. That triggers a few feelings and I start worrying about why I am feeling that way. We just have to ride it out and it will get better.

    Hope everyone is well…..and appreciate the support as well. Talk to you all soon.

  277. Teresa 29th January 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

    I would like to add something for those who are struggling – I have had a rough time recently and currently coming through with another layer of the onion peeled away. Pain is my fear and anxiety is capable of being very sneaky and creating it where there is nothing wrong – or increasing it on a minor problem – therefore kicking the fear button. I have watched as painkillers have not worked on an injury, feared and become upset by this – however, it has shown me that it went down to very tolerable levels when the fear dropped. A bit of a catch 22 situation BUT it did teach me and still is teaching me not to take notice of some of these things, not easy but it can be done. At the very beginning of Paul’s blogs there is a post from Kashwan it says :

    Anxiety is a fire that needs to burn, its our job not to add fuel to it by worrying about how we feel. The only way to stop the fire is to live with the feelings and not pay them attention as Paul says.

  278. Paul David (Admin) 29th January 2012 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    That is interesting Conquer, I get a lot of doctors recommending my site to patients, always nice when people talk about it.

    Just want to tell people about the off topis lounge, 22 posts already with people introducing themselves, feel free to pop in


  279. Claire 29th January 2012 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul and everyone..I’m Claire I’m nearly 26 and had anxiety most of my life,my earliest memory is of a panic attack aged 3..growing up I thought being in a scary dream on and off was just something weird about me and kept it to myself.
    until I reached 24 and was awake for 4 nights thinking I was going crazy I went to the doc’s who said it was GAD and he gave me anti’ds and referred me for CBT with a great guy also named Paul.It has been a difficult couple of years though I have great family,friends and boyfriend it wasn’t until 2 weeks ago when I found your site and book did I feel anyone else actually understood what my problems are about.
    You have made me see with a shift in attitude it can come to an end,which is a great relief!
    It still throws me but I will be able to be less afraid as time goes on..this is my first post I am a lurker as you say but just reading what you and others have gone through and how you have dealt/deal with it has been the best information I have ever had so thanks a lot! C

  280. Nikki 29th January 2012 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Oh dear I am afraid I am in need of TLC tonight. Had a really bad day and feel like I failed with my anxiety. I have not been physically well for two days – am on antibiotics but I pushed myself to go to the supermarket with my hubby. Well it was awful – I felt all the usual symptoms, hot, faint, weak, dizzy however I said it doesn’t matter its just anxiety – it won’t hurt you – no luck (I think I was expecting it to settle like it has been but it didn’t) so then I started adding more anxiety to it. By the time I got to the till I thought I was going to either run out or die – I did neither and have no idea how I coped it was just a blur. I ended up with a bursting headache and had to come home and sleep. I woke up feeling shaky and tearful and feeling like I am back at square one. I guess this is the road to recovery but today has really given me a knock. However I was probably pushing myself too much when my body is working hard to get better physically. I don’t know if I am ever going to get used to living with the anxiety and not paying it attention. 🙁

  281. Will 29th January 2012 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    I hope it’s alright with Paul, but I wanted to repost my comment from earlier because being my first post it was moderated albeit a bit late, and as a result it was most likely missed.

    Hey everyone,
    I’ve had anxiety for about 8 years now. I used to suffer from panic attacks, but that’s pretty much sorted now and I know what to do should I ever feel panicky. But nowadays, my anxiety takes the form of obsessive thoughts. I’ve always been an over-thinker, but they’re over the most ridiculously stupid things that any normal person can easily forget about. When a small, fleeting thought comes into my mind, I don’t forget it and my anxiety turns it into a huge deal. And my mind never takes a break. It’s as if when I’ve just managed to stop stressing about one thing, my mind finds another thing for me to obsess over. And no matter how illogical, meaningless or just plain stupid it is, it’s there in my head and I can’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to know if others have been like this.

  282. Teresa 29th January 2012 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Nikki I’m sorry you have had a bad day, can really sympathise with you – physical problems can be hard work with anxiety too – i sprained my back last week – the first few days I took the pills and got on with it then all of a sudden my anxiety kicked in and now finding it very hard to settle down and had an afternoon like you – and ended wanting to run home . When I was in the ‘spin’ I felt so bad and could not see how i could go foward even with today – let alone further than that. However, it did settle, I took some painkillers and the pain settled down and i have calmed.
    You will get used to it – I know it sounds strange me telling you this – i cannot even believe it myself at the moment, but somewhere inside me i know, because I have experienced it and it will suprise us us both. You will improve, you are not well and it just makes things so much harder. Once you are off the antibiotics things will pick up.

  283. Teresa 29th January 2012 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Just wrote a long post and it has disappeared.

  284. Teresa 29th January 2012 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Sorry to hear you have had a bad day – you have been unwell and it is making the anxiety worse – i have a similar problem at the moment and have had a distressing day with a similar situation to you.
    You will get used to the anxiety, strange me saying this when I’m in the midst of a vortex of it all at the moment but although it’s very difficult to believe – it does die down and things will improve for you.
    It’s difficult and tiring but as time goes on little by little we will both walk away from today and things will improve.
    At the moment you are exhausted – try not to try to hard at the moment.
    Good luck x

  285. lorrryt 30th January 2012 at 7:58 am - Reply


    Things can be realy hard when you aren’t well. I too had the same problem so can appreciate your pain. I stopped taking my pain killers as I was feeling extremely low which I hadnt done for a while, and attributed it to the strength of them. It seesm now my head has jumped to other thoughts and I am pretty much in teh same sitaution as you. I admit i havebeen rushing a round a lot as i now work full time, kids , house , usual stuff> i thought when i was well last year that i could do anything i wanted. My anxiety is telling me otherwise. I just cant seem to see a way through this. my head is cloudy and constantly on the go, I am saying to myself slow down , take some time out and no need to rush find some balance. i know from experience that I can get through it but its reinvented itself as totally cented on my health and i am so tuned into my body that my headaches become in my mind something far more serious and i totally believe it. i try and rationalise it but I cant seem to let things float. i wanto to recover, and whne i thought i had it was sooooooo free, i could totally live in the moment, life was great albeit for a while. i know it works as i have had so much support on here and so many people recover, but i find it all so frustrating. guess todays thoughts are slow down, dont be so hard on myself and acceptance !! sorry to go on, but unless i type it all seems to be bottled up and escalates. xx

  286. lorryt 30th January 2012 at 9:57 am - Reply


    i did write earlier but i guess its being edited!!. i am sorry for ranting earlier, just needed to get off my chest how i am, thats really what you guys are nt here for !. I have to try and remain positive and not dwell on the negative and use what skills I have found on here to try an dhelp me out.

  287. Teresa 30th January 2012 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Hi Lorry – i had a problem with posting last night, don’t think it was edited out just disappeared. Sorry to hear things not good – I’m in the same place.

  288. Nikki 30th January 2012 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Hey Teresa thanks for your supportive comments. I am not good today – ab’s upsetting my tummy but the infection has floored me. The good thing is that I have surrendered and am firmly on the sofa. I am not even thinking about anxiety today and am not pushing myself to get on with my life despite anxiety. First I need to get well! I was sorry to hear that you are struggling too – thank you for taking time out to support and encourage me when you are struggling too. Hopefully this phase will pass quickly for both of us. Xxx

  289. Sara 30th January 2012 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Hi everyone,

    I was just hoping someone could give some advice on how to sleep at night. I really struggle with falling asleep at night and sometimes it’s so bad that I literally don’t sleep the entire night. I just can’t relax or get tired and the anxiety gets so much worse at night. I know I am supposed to just accept this but the problem is that because of how bad it is I have a really hard time functioning during the day sometimes. I am so tired during the day but bedtime comes and I am wide awake and can’t sleep. I get so frustrated and upset with this sometimes. I have been dealing with this for awhile. I really don’t want to have to resort to taking sleeping pills but I also really need to sleep so I just don’t know what to do. Trying to accept it just isn’t really working for me. Does anyone have any tips or advice for me? I really need help in this area. Thanks.

  290. Rebecca 30th January 2012 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Hey Sara just read you post, Just recently i have had some problems with sleeping so i completely empathise with what your describing. I too need my sleep as i work long shifts at the hospital and it is therefore vital to me to get some shut eye. I find that reading for quite a while can make my eyes feel heavy and therefore helps me sleep or putting some relaxation music on in the background can help too. Even having a hot bath before bed seems to help. Try not to get into any heavy conversations a few hours before bed as this will keep your mind active. For example the other night my new female housemates were chatting about all sorts of heavy stuff just before I wen’t to bed and my mind could then not relax. I do have a few sleeping pills just in case but i will only use them if i have tried all the above, it’s just being cautious with them really, don’t beat yourself up about having to take some if you really need to, your sleep is very important, just see them as the last resort, that is my advice 🙂 I do hope you start to get some sleep.

  291. lorryt 30th January 2012 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    HI Sara

    I use the herbal ones, and they are fine, not addictive, and i manage to get at least 4 or 5 hours sleep, which is better than nothing . it can be really hard i know. i tend to try and go for a walk in the evening to try and burn some adrenelin off. i know at some poinf if im that tired my body will catch up and it will all drop back into place again. your body has a balance but you will get there xx

  292. Teresa 30th January 2012 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Nikki – you’re half way there – you’ve given up! Just hoping I can too – I need to accept I have to recover from the injury and then move on, at present can see where everyone else is and give sound advice, lol – while ‘floored’ myself. Even rang the doctors this morning as i feel i have lost the ability to live with myself and this pain. But somewhere deep down – there will be a turning point, just because we cannot see it does not mean it does not exist, it does, its just anxiety telling nasty stories.
    Hope you continue to completely give in and eventually you’ll start floating up from the bottom.

  293. Sydney Carton 30th January 2012 at 3:59 pm - Reply


    Just to say I am experiencing the same obsessive trait as you. Some days are worse than others according to the structure of my day i.e. the busier the better. I try and let the disturbing/frightening thought come and try not to overeact to it. It can still be very tiring as well as tiresome. I realise it is a thought that a ‘normal’ fresh mind would dismiss as nonesense but with the magnification which a tired mind brings, constantly caught in the pointless cycle of anxiety, it latches on and tends to become a chronic problem. The tendency then is to fight and get back to as you were before. I think the answer is to keep as moderately busy as possible and (as Paul suggests) exercise is beneficial, even a regular twenty minute brisk walk has helped me.

  294. Jeff 30th January 2012 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Sara: safe and natural sleep aids include kava kava, melatonin, and valerian, all of which work for me. They help me get into REM sleep and dream, which is like an unconscious therapy session.

  295. Clara 30th January 2012 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Will
    That’s the same issue I am facing too. I have a fleeting thought and it magnifies and it stays until I sort it out. I am not able to forget or simply consider them as anxious thoughts as they seem to look as real as any normal person can have.

    I would like to know if anyone after going through the bad stages of anxiety got to a level where u don’t have any anxiety symptoms but thoughts after thoughts that would stick and takes away all the energy u have because it seems like any normal thought. and after a while it feels like we are living in the midst of it. Infact weaving scenarios as the mind wishes.

    How to actually detach ourselves from the thoughts? Any suggestions? To not believe them at all? Is it possible?

  296. jackie 30th January 2012 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Clara,

    When my physical symptoms of anxiety eased I still had really fast racing thoughts, always negative ones like “you can’t do this, what if this, what if that, blah blah blah” they all came thick and fast when I first started to try and get my life back on track. I remember my husband taking me for a drive out in the car one day and all the thoughts just started to come in so quickly. I remember thinking Oh my god i’m never going to be normal and think clearly ever again, it was such a sad feeling.

    But then, I just thought right, what the hell, think everything it doesn’t matter let the thoughts come in, im not gonna even care about it anymore, think what you like Jackie!!! So I just let it happen without caring. If I thought “you can’t do this you know” I would kind of acknowledge that I’d had the thought, kind of like thinking “oh right, OK there you are again” but then carry on with what I was doing or if like that day I was in the car, look around and notice whatever was going on around at the time. I find it quite hard to explain so sorry if this is a bit jumbled.

    Eventually, after time I noticed that I went for longer and longer periods of time without the racing thoughts and then if they did come in I would just let them be there. I can now think so much more clearly.

    So, when you have thought after thought, never try and push them away, by thinking oh no, I can’t/don’t want to think that, just acknowledge you are having a period of racing/negative thoughts and continue with what you are doing or do something if you are not 🙂 xx

  297. Steveo 30th January 2012 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara

    I suffered exactly the same and because I made an issue out of it, it became worse. I was anxious about getting to sleep.

    In the end, I had sme very very weak sleeping plls from the doctors for a few days just to get some sleep!!once you then get used to sleeping it become natural and gets a bit longer.

    Can you listen to some relaxing music in headphones, have you tried this.

    I asked this question when I was in the same position and I can now sleep for aaaaaaages. If I didn’t have to get up for work or our young daughter 😉

    Don’t be afraid to try some sleeping pills for a couple of days to get the habit back and to reduce your anxiety about getting to sleep.

    Before this, you could try chamomile tea etc

  298. Will 30th January 2012 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Sydney –
    Thanks for replying. You’re right, whenever I’m out socialising or at university I’m fine. But when I get back home the attention shifts back to those thoughts. I do try to go with the flow and usually a thought only hangs around for a few days. With my thoughts, I used to make the fatal mistake of thinking I was going mad. I was thinking “Why am I having these thoughts that come out of nowhere? There can’t be any other explanation.” Well to be honest, the thought of going mad is an obsessive thought in itself.

    Clara –
    Thanks for replying. Usually my anxious thoughts are accompanied by a frequent churn or jolt in my chest, but sometimes I’m the same where I’m not anxious whatsoever but the thoughts are still there and by the end of the day I feel drained and heavy-headed. I suppose I can eventually let go of many thoughts I have, but the problem really is stopping my anxiety from latching onto every piece of negativity I encounter, resulting in another few days of unnecessary stress. This is why I don’t watch horror movies, they disturb me too easily. 😛

  299. Kate 31st January 2012 at 3:22 am - Reply

    Hi, everyone! Just wish to share my experience of getting back a good deal of energy while suffering from anxiety.

    I was feeling tired all day long. One day I spotted a book called “15 minutes gentle yoga” with exercises I could follow at home. I got it as i did not want to go out to yoga centres. I felt that I would not be able to follow the pace there and would feel pressurized.

    I could only do 3 poses at first (which means just lying down, curl up and stretch your feet)! I was tight all over and these few poses were hard enough. However I felt some peace when doing them so I continued. I did the exercise everyday, and after three weeks, my energy level went up a lot. This helped me and I hope this post could also help someone out there.

    My experience told me that:

    1. There is no need to rush. I take all the time I need to feel comfortable in a pose before moving on to the next.

    2. Just do a downsized version of the pose if I cannot stretch that much. I found that in time I could do the correct version.

    3. My body and mind received a break when I have to concentrate on achieving a pose. That somehow revives them. My new found flexibility also gave me joy and confidence.

  300. Diane 31st January 2012 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Jackie thanks for talking to Carla and about the busy thoughts/ head, I too have been doing a lot better than I was but the thoughts are there a lot, its almost like habitual, I am a worrier even for example yesterday I had a good day but started to worry what if@s etc by night time. I will try to just let them be but like Carla it is hard. Also when feeling you are getting better did anyone still feel aware of the anxiety and body scan to check etc? Does this make sense> Thanks again Jackie and Carla and will, it made my smile a sense of relief that I am not alone with these thoughts and feelings!!!!!!!!!!! stay strong and take care

  301. jackie 31st January 2012 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Hi Diane, yes, I did check on myself every morning or at any time I was doing something I hadnt done for a while, but I just had to know that it was a habit to do this. If I became aware of my heartbeat or that knot in the chest I would think oh no and become more panicy. But once it is instilled in you that this is just a habit and you don’t give a hoot about it anymore, over time in does get easier and eventually goes away.

    Its like biting your nails I suppose. I always have done for as long as I can remember, but at Christmas time my daughter painted my nails (she’s only 6 lol so you can imagine the mess 🙂 ) Anyway, I would go to bite them and then realise they were painted, think UGH and stop. Now, a month later, for the first time in ever I have lovely long nails and don’t even put my fingers up to my mouth anymore. I broke the habit.

    I suppose in a way it is the same as checking in on yourself, scanning yourself, seeing how you are feeling. Maybe next time you become aware that you are doing it, say to yourself AHAA scanning again, OK and then move onto do something else or continue watching telly or whatever you are doing at the time 🙂 but don’t get angry or sad or mad at yourself that you are checking, just realise you are doing it and carry on.

    Hope I help a little xxx

  302. jackie 31st January 2012 at 11:57 am - Reply

    While I am here I thought maybe I could share some of the words I wrote down which really helped me through, these are things from Paul’s advice, Claire Weekes books and also from an Anxiety workshop I went on…

    Go with however you feel at the time, take it with you, let come what will and be prepared to think and feel anything.

    Thoughts are thoughts, they are not facts, welcome them all. They can’t hurt you and panic can’t harm you, go with it, feel it, say bring it on to the feelings and see that they have nowhere to go except to fall again.

    Any thoughts, scary, worrying, let yourself have them, no thought is forbidden, its just the way your are thinking at the moment because you are anxious. If you weren’t anxious you wouldn’t be having anxious thoughts. This is the way you are thinking for now, so that is that, its OK.

    You can go days without having worrying, scary thoughts and think ahhh great, its gone, im better, but then they will come back again. You can’t feel despair about this. It is in those times that you are thinking clearly again that you see that you can recover from this. Even if it all comes back ten times worse, thats OK, let it but you will know deep down that in time they will go again and you can recover from this.

    I suffered with terrible panic attacks whereever I went, which was so scary, I usually just stayed at home. The feeling of doom and dread were horrific, but I slowly started going out again and those places that I feared so much were the places I needed to go to recover from the panic attacks. My daughters school (collecting and taking) was one of these places. Now after going every day for the last month, I don’t feel any panic at all. But yes the first few times I was shaking like a leaf!!! but so what, I shook I actually didn’t care anymore. I used to be so worried about what other people thought of me, or were they looking at me, could they see me shake. Now I just don’t care.

    You have to have trust and faith in yourself. Even if you think you are driving yourself mad lol which I did many many times. Eventually all the anxious feelings will subside.

    One of Pauls tweets on Twitter was the one which suddenly it all made sense to me. He wrote .. Your aim is to be no longer bothered or alarmed at the way you feel or think…!! This helped me on my last step forward so much.

    And Finally, be good to yourself, be kind to yourself, don’t get mad at yourself, you will be OK 🙂 xxxxxx

  303. Sara 31st January 2012 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all the tips and advice everyone. I’ve really been struggling with the sleep issue. I’ll have to try some of the ideas you all have given me. Hope something works. 🙂

  304. Jodie 31st January 2012 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Hello Everyone,

    It’s nice to come here and learn of everyone’s experiences with anxiety. I was going through a stressful time and anxiety crept up on me. I was so scared as I didnt know why i was so tired and why my mind was constantly racing. After reading Paul’s book I have truly learned to relax and not let these thoughts get to me. I have to say that I am not “recovered” but am doing SO much better then before I came to this site. Its been a slow process and I still encounter setbacks from time to time but they do become less frequent and I have longer moments of clarity and of my old self that peaks through so i know this method is working for me.

    It will work for all of you as well, just give yourself the time your body needs to heal. I have learrned as paul says in his book to not make a timeline foy myself to get better by a certain date. Now i just take things one day at a time and I know one day this will all be behind me. But I am finally living again alongside the anxiety as Paul teaches–and it really is working for me…sometimes i still feel very odd, or tired or get strange thoughts, but I no longer let that worry me, and I just get on with whatever I am doing to the best of my ability.

    Best Wishes to you all

  305. Jennifer 31st January 2012 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone,
    I am doing better than a few weeks ago just quite strong depersonalisation and tiredness

    HOLLIE – Hope your still doing well. It was so nice to relate/talk to you last week, as really this is my support group. Funny how people don’t have a clue what a mess you feel your head is in. The electric current feeling is slowly quietning down now I think about it from last week, which shows it does fade when you just let it exist, its just hard to be ok with feeling crap. I am still constantly tired and spaced out though and like you feel light and heavy headed throughout the day. Like I can’t quite fully engage or have freedom of thought if you know what I mean? I guess I should be v.pleased that I am so much better in other ways, like able to eat and laugh now. Thanks for your post x x

    Glad my disciple comment made you laugh. We need more laughter on here for when we start to recover and our sense of humour returns. Interesting that you are a counsellor. I first ever experienced anxiety/panic during intense training to become a Psychotherapist 2 years ago. Had to make a decision to come out of it. Apparently if you have a panic attack and subsquent anxiety, analysing the hell out of it in therapy and supervision was not the best idea!!
    My family kind of blame that training on what triggered me having periods of anxiety. You never know though maybe I can engage more with that career when im older and use my experience to help others. As I understand ‘pain’ now so much more. I have proper empathy with what its like to feel crap. Just like you have said. I am so pleased that you have all this knowledge and now experience to share with other, it really makes me pleased. The amount of counsellors that say to try relaxation/breathing techniques and it must be soo frustrating for us and others to hear that when that’s not what we need. By the way I am hoping to get to your level at the moment of just an hour as that ‘not with it’ feeling is around all day for me at the mo. Like im on another planet and I don;t feel real or something, did you feel like that? I too have always been irritable in the mornings Matt. Its funny, I can always so relate to your posts. Hope your still ploughing through.

    Anyway, I am going to join the social site that Paul has set up now. v.good idea methinks.

  306. Jennifer 31st January 2012 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    wow thats a long post..it like an essay, didn’t realise……forgive me for post hogging 🙂

  307. Nikki 31st January 2012 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Kate thanks for the info on the yoga. Can you buy the DVD on amazon?

  308. Matt 31st January 2012 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Jennifer…yeah, I had the spaced out feeling, like feeling like I don’t know who I am and in a dream state, that consists mainly of what DP is for most people. The hardest aspect of it for me was trouble talking with people because I seemed to be just sitting in my mind and my concentration was so horrible. What made it eventually go away for me was not being scared of it and allowing it to be there. It was a slow process but, like i’ve said before I had to develop that attitude of “so what?”. Once I developed that attitude it didn’t bother me at all anymore until I realized it wasn’t there one day. Sometimes those questions still go through my mind like, “Am I back to normal?”. I believe if I stop with that crap then I’ll be home free. I do check in occasionally, but that’s how it lingered for so long to start with so haven’t been doing it too much. It’s really, really hard to do in the beginning but once you practice it for awhile, it becomes almost too easy. It’s hard to explain, but you just regain yourself. Like i’ve said before, I started getting better by not caring and getting out of the house and surrounding myself with normal things that I used to do. That’s the only way I know how to get out of it, and carry the understanding of what your going through with you, like I had to remind myself of what I was going through and that helped me because it gave me something to hold onto when I felt like I couldn’t hold onto anything. Anyways, i’m still doing well just getting on with life and enjoying it for the most part at the moment. Hope everyone is doing well!

  309. DCYL 1st February 2012 at 4:57 am - Reply

    Hi All,

    After popping back in a few days ago, I had a tough few days. However, I think I realized what happened. I went to a Flower Conservatory over the weekend with my parents. I had slept late and was probably a little fatigued heading to the Conservatory. I spent a good hour+ at the conservatory taking photos and then went home. Alas, I was sweating a bit. My tired mind kept wondering why I was doing this and that caused some anxious that lasted until yesterday. Alas, when talking to my friend, she mentioned that a flu bug or something was going around. It was then that I realized that the Conservatory probably had gotten me slightly sick due to the hot / cold temperatures in some of the areas.

    After feeling well for a little bit, hitting this tough patch wasn’t easy but I realized I was just mentally tired and I will focus on getting better sleep. Of course, that’s the other thing to talk about.

    I noticed a few of you tried pills and other things to help with sleep. If it allows you to get back into a good routing that is good. However, a book I read suggested dropping the pills and basically settling into good sleep habits. That will naturally lead you to sleeping better.

    The book I read was called “The Effortless Sleep System” by Sasha Stephens (who I believe is in the UK as well). It’s quite interesting…..this book is very much like Paul’s (advocating self help) but focusing on sleep. The book is interesting and I think it helped me get back on track a bit. Check it out online or the author’s website to see if it may be good for you.

  310. Kate 1st February 2012 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Hi Nikki,

    I believe you can get the book on Amazon. The DVD comes with the book.

  311. ShellH 1st February 2012 at 8:46 am - Reply

    In need a bit of reassurance …. My anxiety and panic attacks were all triggered from a bad asthma attack I had a work a few years back. This then resulted in heath anxiety. Over time I have began to accept that my asthma is well controlled and had learnt to just live with it taking my inhalers and knowing my triggers. Until this morning – on my local radio news bulletin Asthma UK were on having an awareness day. Within the bulletin they said that 3 people die each day from asthma and that the condition is very limiting and can cause great problems for people who suffer.

    Well.. My mind is now off on one thinking the absolute worse. I have a lump in my throat, churning stomach, my feeling of I can’t take a deep breath has come back, headache .. All the symptoms that I had really begun to accept are here with force.

    I feel really upset at the fact I have gone back so much. I can’t get these thoughts out of my head, the what if’s and how will my husband and daughter cope. So silly I know that these are just thoughts and carry no weight but I can’t seem to control them.

    Is this normal to be thinking such drastic things? What should I be telling myself – sorry to ramble on but I feel so down and frustrated at the same time. Could just sit here and cry but I know that won’t help
    Any advice on how I should be handling this would really be appreciated as I am working myself up into a frenzy
    Thank you

    Shell x

  312. Steveo 1st February 2012 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Hi Shell

    Ignore it. Think how may more people die in car crashes etc etc. You do not worry about that.

    Your anxiety is catching on to it’s next fear. Think how many millions of people in the UK who have asthma.

    You do everything right with your Asthma and take your inhalers, so you have nothing to fear.

    In time, your fear will pass if you pay it no attention 🙂

  313. lorryt 1st February 2012 at 11:10 am - Reply

    hi all

    after having a reasonably good day yesterday and not being too bothered about anything, i awoke this morning and was ok, but am feeling incresingly sick and with it inside my heart is racing. my head is going emtal about teh fact thats its not anxiety but something more. I have nothing to really be anxious about, but lately everytime it happens I go off ‘on one’ as it were in my head. Its totally horrid, and totally believeable, why is it doing it again. I am sat here typing,heart racing, head spinning, feeling totally sick, worrying that i am ill. i am gettign caught upi n it all gain arent i… i have just realised it. need to calm down and stop being so silly really. judt another thing to deal with. its very frustrating that i am believing my thoughts again. xx sorry guys xx

  314. lorryt 1st February 2012 at 11:24 am - Reply

    sorry me again, in need of a lot of reassurance. Is anyone else having problems with memory, and sight at all??. it seems my sight is playing tricks on me, and i feel like im living in a glass house and nothing seems real, keep spelling stuff wrong and cant remember simple conversations that i have just had with people. its totally alien to me.

  315. ShellH 1st February 2012 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Steveo

    Thank you for replying, I really needed to hear that.

    Trying my best to just carryon with the thoughts in my head but not reacting to them.

    Thank you

    Shell x

  316. Helen 1st February 2012 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Lorryt,
    If you were ill what would happen? You would get medical advice and help and you would deal with it. It is that simple, there is nothing to add to it. It would be an inevitabilty that you couldn’t do anything about.
    You KNOW that it is your fear of ‘what if’ that is making you how you are, nothing more. You have got yourself in a vicious circle, it is obvious as you posted straight after your 1st one asking questions about memory etc.
    Without anxiety, being ill is just that, you are sick, you feel like crap and then you get better. It is anxiety piling pressure on you and you are reacting to it when you know you shouldn’t be.
    Stop trying to answer ‘what if’ questions because each time you answer one another comes along.

    All the best

  317. Jeff 1st February 2012 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Shell, I have a hard time with latching onto thoughts like that, too. For me, it’s an over-sensitivity to things in my environment that point to my fear. My big fear from my panic is that I am going crazy. All it takes is for someone to mention the word schizophrenia and my mind begins to rapidly check itself. This is the biggest lingering symptom I have. I totally get that a commercial could set you off, it happens to me, too. I just have to remind myself that whatever power has gotten me through this ordeal without losing my mind up to this point will continue to support me and keep my mind intact. I am doing my best to pay those thoughts no attention. It can be difficult at times. I try to practice showing patience and kindness to myself when I am unable to ignore it, rather than feeling guilty about it. Remember, each day carries you on its shoulders toward rest and peace. Have faith in that.

  318. Will 1st February 2012 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone, me again. Something happened to me last night while I was sleeping, and because this has happened before i wanted to find out what’s going on. I sometimes have bouts of insomnia, but apart from that and what I’m about to describe I don’t really have any other sleep issues.

    I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night, accompanied by a bizarre thought which seemed to fill my mind completely, and I started shivering violently. I felt confused, as if I was overwhelmed by this strange thought which was probably from a dream I don’t remember, and I couldn’t stop shivering. After about 10 minutes I relaxed and it went away.

    This rarely happens (this has been the fourth or fifth time in my life it’s happened) but it only seems to happen when I go to sleep under stress. I always thought it was a night terror, but I’m not sure. Has anybody else ever had something like this before, or at least know what it is? Thank you.

  319. L 1st February 2012 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Has anyone suffered from fear of going places by themselves?

    I had horrible anxiety and all its physical symptoms but these have got a lot better recently, especially following Paul’s advice. However I am really struggling to go out or do anything without someone with me.

    Thanks, L

  320. Will 1st February 2012 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Oh and Jeff, I’m the same. I too have a fear of going mad, and I’ve been feeling like it quite a bit with the thoughts I have. I keep thinking that if I have these obsessive thoughts long enough, I’ll believe them, they’ll never go away and I’ll become mad. I know this isn’t the way to go about it, but I can’t help myself thinking this way. It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, but it’s still a regular thought I have.

  321. Mark 1st February 2012 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Hello, this is my first time blogging and I have been dealing with a fear I dont know if anybody could shed some light on. I have been remembering some weird or disturbing thoughts I had in my life before my anxiety kicked in let me say I have always been somewhat anxious but any way. But I guess I was able to pass them of as “whatever” or “as if” then but now they are freaking me out like why did I think that or what type of person am I. Its making me feel like there really is something to worry about.

  322. lorryt 1st February 2012 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Helen

    i am sorry, i know i have been down this path before and recovered. but this bump in the road has totally thrown me. i try and justify it by saying i am tired and working more than i have ever done. i have got in to this cycle of thinking without even knwoing it, guess the anxiety has tricked me, well its done a blooming good job.i need to take time out and stop dwelling, maybe need to get Pauls book out again and recap. i havent used it for so long!!. i am internalising everything at the moment, . sorry again.xx

  323. Teresa 1st February 2012 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    don’t apologise – it’s unfortunate but not your fault. i am back there too – have been to gp’s twice this week – I won’t go into the state I am in but have completely fallen down through a back injury and it has brought so much anxiety in with it.
    I don’t expect it is very positive to say this – but perhaps it will make you less lonely.

  324. Teresa 1st February 2012 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Shell – understand where you are too. Helen has posted a good post for all of us.

  325. Christian 2nd February 2012 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Hey I’m back and need some advice. I started to see this girl about 3 weeks ago. There came a point where I really liked her . But then I slowly began to find that she was a very very sexual person (in the past i’m guessing) and that she likes sex shops. We went to one and I felt uncomfortable. I tried to be nonchalant, and I asked if she had a vibrator and she said yes. I don’t know why this made me feel very uncomfortable and I got quick thoughts and blah blah. Mainly because I felt like we had a connection the last time we were together because we kissed a lot and I slept over. But, I feel like I have found out that she is “naughty” I guess you could say and I don’t know why its bothering me. Maybe I am not that kind of person. I am finding it hard to know if I should keep this going or trust my feelings and realize she just isn’t compatible with me. I’d love advice if someone could give it to me. I’d like to point out that what I like about her is she is very attractive, she likes good music, she is kinda kinda affectionate sometimes, sense of humor. What I don’t like how open she is about sex and it seems not as passionate and intimate as maybe I like it. she tells me she really likes me but I am very confused with what I am feeling and what to do.

  326. Nikki 2nd February 2012 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Aw Teresa hang in there – it sounds like you are having a tough time. You will get beyond this stage again but it’s rubbish being in the middle of it. Don’t beat yourself up for going to the gp – sometimes we just need reassuring. Coping with pain is exhausting. When we are exhausted our nerves get frayed – they just need space to recover. It’s not easy had a migraine for two days this week and anxiety went nuts – as soon as the pain starts to lift something settles with the anxiety. You are not alone. X

  327. Helen 2nd February 2012 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Hi Lorryt,
    Please don’t feel like you have to apologise, you don’t. If my post came across as a bit hard it is because you have to take a hardline against anxiety sometimes but if it seemed harsh please understand that it wasn’t against you.
    I used to have massive anxiety about being ill, to the point where it ran my life. When you don’t have anxiety, you can see the difference so clearly. Without anxiety, you understand that if you were to become ill, you would deal with it and that’s it, there aren’t all the additional ‘what if’ questions and you certainly don’t catastrophize the situation. You just don’t overthink it.
    Lorry, next time you get the thoughts running through your head just leave them be and carry on with your day. All anyone has is now, worrying about tomorrow today is such a waste of what you have now.
    Be kind to yourself and don’t ever think you need to apologize as I have been where you are now and understand completely.

    All the best

  328. Nikki 2nd February 2012 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Hi L – i have just noticed your post – I too am struggling going places on my own. I am hoping to change that and know that it won’t be easy. I think it is going to be really hard work and my anxiety will prob get worse before it gets better. Right now I am not sure I have the strength to face it. You are not alone. xx

  329. Jennifer 2nd February 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Your right is it soo hard to have the ‘so what’ attitude, especially because I feel so exhausted all the time and hazy. I do know that to just let it be and continue is the other way through this and feel some peace, it just seems so unfair and cruel, as I think I have said before. Its like I don’t want my body to protect itself my feeling constant DP and I would like for my brain to refresh now and stop being tired. I don;t think im doing the patience part of this process so well, even though I have come so far. I think I worry that the longer I feel this, it will never go away and just be a part of me. I feel like I am part way up the ‘freedom’ mountain so to speak. Its hard to keep positive.

    And yes the difficulties concentrating and chatting to even family and friends was the absolute worst!!! I was/am so devestated by that part of it Matt, even though it made sense why I feel or felt that way, it was just awful. I am v.fortunately better with that within last 1 or 2 weeks (thanks to your supportive post saying to just keep talking to people and going out no matter what). My mind still feels so foggy and not clear though. I am like you, trying to remember that I am an anxiety sufferer so have to remember that this is kinda normal and I have come throught this so well before and had a better life after it. v/pleased that I am just about managing to function at work however with my messy mind.

    Apologies for my posts aimed at you Matt, I just think you understand v.well. Wondered actually what your personal thoughts are about therapy as treatment for this condition because of your background training?

  330. Jerry 2nd February 2012 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Hey guys,

    Past few months have been great, but last night threw me for a good one. I guess it relates well with what LorryL was saying, namely fear of dying. I say its the anxiety, but since having kids, I’ve always feared of dying at a young age and leaving them fatherless. Now, I am able to handle that well and walk through it, but lately my 5 year old son has been telling my wife that he is afraid of me dying and leaving him alone. This takes a total spin for me… The fact that he feels that way and I feel that way, almost seems to confirm my anxiety and feeds into it. Have any of you ever experienced this with your children or family member?

    I am 29, doctors say I am VERY healthy and have nothing to worry about, but a sharp headache or heart palpitation tells me different. Last night I woke up shaken up by this, but this morning, even more so. I know its probably just anxiety, but this is hard to shake at the moment.


  331. Christian 2nd February 2012 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Hey I’m back and need some advice. I started to see this girl about 3 weeks ago. There came a point where I really liked her . But then I slowly began to find that she was a very very sexual person (in the past i’m guessing) and that she likes sex shops. We went to one and I felt uncomfortable. I tried to be nonchalant, and I asked if she had a vibrator and she said yes. I don’t know why this made me feel very uncomfortable and I got quick thoughts and blah blah. Mainly because I felt like we had a connection the last time we were together because we kissed a lot and I slept over. But, I feel like I have found out that she is “naughty” I guess you could say and I don’t know why its bothering me. Maybe I am not that kind of person. I am finding it hard to know if I should keep this going or trust my feelings and realize she just isn’t compatible with me. I’d love advice if someone could give it to me. I’d like to point out that what I like about her is she is very attractive, she likes good music, she is kinda kinda affectionate sometimes, sense of humor. What I don’t like how open she is about sex and it seems not as passionate and intimate as maybe I like it. she tells me she really likes me but I am very confused with what I am feeling and what to do.

  332. Claire 2nd February 2012 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Christian,first off..don’t stress sounds like your in a big worry loop
    if this girl likes you which it sounds like then she most likely wont be put off that your more of a romantic,In fact I bet she’s a bit worried about scaring you off if she’s quite open with her sexuality and your more private, but still can only be herself..Oh the freedom non anxiety sufferers treat their minds to!
    I don’t know if you two have gone that far yet but if and when you do it will be about what the both of you like together,I am sure you’l find a great balance of naughty and nice If the relationship goes further.
    Continue getting to know each other and try and give your mind a break and have fun, and if a year down the line your together, she’l hardly be blabbing about your exploits as she’l know where your lines are.
    I find mutual attraction, respect etc only strengthens the more you get to know each other.
    Hope this helps.C

  333. Matt 2nd February 2012 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Jennifer…For me I had to get over that last hump, which it sounds like you are doing, which is stop the worrying about it lasting forever and not care about whatever your feeling or dp thoughts you have. My mind is still clearing up little by little, some days it isn’t too clear and other days it is.

    As far as therapy goes, it’s hard to say if it will help. Some people it helps and others it doesn’t. It didn’t help me because noone in my area has a clue as to what DP is. The therapist I went to see before, I emailed and he said he had experience dealing with patients that had DP. When I talked to him in person it was like he had no idea what I was talking about. That made me feel even more alone and defeated. I even called a therapist I found online that suffered from DP and sells a program that I bought. Well when I talked to her over the phone and her talking about what she went through, it didn’t sound like DP at all. So, it’s hard to find people that are trained to deal with it, but I believe if you can find a good therapist that can just listen to you and be supportive then that could be beneficial.

  334. Christian 2nd February 2012 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks Claire. But, I don’t want to make the same mistake that I have with my last two girlfriends. Not listening to what I didn’t like about them and just going with other things. They both ended badly for me and are actually the reasons I have what Paul talks about. It is hard for me to tell if I don’t like something or it is just anxious thought trying to stop me. My mother told me that if I do not like something then I shouldnt stick with it because it will grow and grow and break me down. I try to take her words with a grain of salt but its hard cuz shes really the only one I turn to and I feel that she seems slightly close minded. My thoughts are back and I feel tired and depressed. I would also like to say that I have been weening off anti depressants.
    Anyway I’m confused whether I really like her or I am filling a void.

  335. Christian 2nd February 2012 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    btw we’ve only been seeing each other for like 3 or 4 weeks. Kissing is as far as we’ve gone.

  336. Christian 2nd February 2012 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    one more thing hah. shes coming over tonight. should I tell her how I feel?

  337. Mark 2nd February 2012 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Has, anyone ever worried about turning yourself into the thing your worrying about.

  338. Matt 2nd February 2012 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Jennifer…I also wanted to ask you how long have you had dp?

  339. Eric B. 2nd February 2012 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Mark, yes. That is one of my main struggles. We are in such a sensitized state that our whole belief system about ourself and confidence is being masked by this anxiety. In this state we will believe just about any lie. My fear is overcoming anxiety and remembering what terrible things I have told myself and carrying them out later. There is a little voice telling me how irrational this is, yet I continue to hold on to this idea.

    I know the fix is to live with it for now and give it some space even though if feels like it is making lasting damage. Also another thing that I question is, do I learn to live with it or learn to forget it? I have been going through this extreme doubt and DP for about a year now, and all I know is there is no way I am going to go back to the old timid me. A small part of me believes that this is necessary to grow and move on to a less fearful life.

  340. Will 2nd February 2012 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Eric, that sounds very similar to something I’m going through at the moment. In my case however it’s thinking about the mistakes I made in the past. These are things that never used to bother me at the time, but now I’ve thought about them again my anxiety’s found another thing to latch onto and obsess over. And now those mistakes are troubling me again.
    Is it because of anxiety that I’m worrying about them? Or is it that now I’m no longer a teenager (and turned 20) I’ve become wiser and suddenly realised those mistakes were bad things? In any case, they’ve been lingering around my mind for about a week now and I seem to be having trouble putting them behind me. I know it’s what I must do (learn from them and move on) but it’s difficult now they’ve resurfaced.

  341. Eric B. 2nd February 2012 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Oh another thing is to learn to not analyze any thoughts. Our minds and thoughts can be a useful tool when needed, but we should be able to use them at will and not let them control our lives and future. The content of our thoughts should make no difference. Everybody has a crazy thought here and there, learn to choose that they do not reflect who we really are. That’s what I am working on anyway, hope this helps.

  342. Mark 2nd February 2012 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks Eric how long have you been doing Pauls method of therapy?

  343. Eric B. 2nd February 2012 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Will, I would be the first to bow down and worship you if you didn’t make mistakes. We all have plenty of mistakes, terrible things that we have done or said, etc… I used to dwell on the past a lot more but learned to let this go when I realized that the past is over, the only person really thinking about your past is you. That past is only kept alive by your thoughts and this habit can be changed. You make a mistake, learn from it, then move on without further analyzation. You may make the same mistake or you may not. It happens to each and every person.

  344. claire 2nd February 2012 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Christian..I’d say how you feel no one can argue with honesty..I have been off anti d’s 4 weeks so I can understand its very up and down plus my doc has prescribed others now that I don’t want to take since finding Paul’s site..
    It sounds like your mum know’s what you have been through with other girls so maybe her cautious advice is the best..our minds get toooo cloudy and noisy, right now the most important thing is to focus on stress free attitude whatever makes it easiest to apply Pauls techniques of letting go and if this new relationship is to much of a stressor right now then I’d just be mates and see what happens in the future.x

  345. Josie 2nd February 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone 🙂 This is my first post on here and i have to say this website is amazing! Its my one year anniversary with anxiety and have been looking at this site for a couple of months now. I used to look at all different websites but most of them made me feel terrible! So if i need a bit of reassurance i only visit this site. Everyone is so open and helpful, i love it.

    I have two main things that i worry about and have been there since the beginning of all this and it seems like they are common thoughts. My main one is i found out my partners cousins boyfriend had bipolar and went to the hospital and i completely felt bad for him and then started wondering ‘what if i get it?’ (silly i know!). Then i found out one of my uncles has schizophrenia and then my mind went into overdrive! ‘Well if my uncle has it then i must have it…why else would i be feeling and thinking like i do!’ anyways i was told by my doc and a psychologist i saw at the beginning of this that it was just anxiety and depression and that was it. Anyways to cut a story short my main symptom is this racing mind which has freaked me out a little because someone told me it could be the onset of schizo or another mental problem….i know Paul has said this is normal with anxiety….But my thoughts are so weird sometimes like they are not what if’s or worrying thoughts, just thoughts about anything and evrything 24/7 most days! Even before i talk to someone sometimes, the full question im about to ask them pops into my head and i say it to myself and then question it to myself and dont end up asking the question…if that makes sense lol And i deal with alot of people for my job and sometimes when im in conversation with them my mind is just racing about random stuff i dont even take in what they are saying. I guess maybe i am worrying WAYY too much about this racing mind thats its sticking?? and my biggest fear is losing my mind one day so i think this fear is what the anxiety is holding onto.

    Anyways just needed to vent 🙂 this acceptance sure is hard! but i KNOW it is achievable eventually when i learn to let it all be….just frustrating sometimes. Thanks again xx

  346. Will 2nd February 2012 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    Eric –
    Thanks, your reply was very helpful.
    Because I wasn’t originally a very open person about my anxiety, I guess I felt quite alone about it, that I was the only one who had this specific issue. As I said, I don’t know why but I just suddenly felt really bad about certain mistakes from the past, some more so than others. But you’re right: they’ve happened, I’ve learned from them, they’re not important anymore, I certainly won’t be making them again now I know better, I need to let them go. I suppose I’m trying to decide whether or not to deal with it like a regular anxious thought (to give it space and it’ll lose its significance) or to just try to forget it altogether.

  347. Lisa 3rd February 2012 at 2:46 am - Reply

    I wanted to add to Matts comment regarding therapy for dp. I think it may be beneficial for those that have dp due to trauma to get that person to release some of that pain and work towards resolving the negative emotions surrounding the event that occured, however most people experience dp as symptoms secondary to anxiety. Being in an anxious state already I think therapy might even make the person more anxious because it becomes the center of attention and something we aim to be rid of. And the therapist might dig into the persons past and then of course more information for the anxious mind to dwell on. I have had some very difficult months with dp but my symptoms have diminished greatly. The fogginess is gone and has been for a long time and I guess I was lucky that my ability to communicate with others was never really an issue in fact me talking with others and living a normal social life helped me greatly. I get times stil where I am tested and I don’t feel myself and it’s really annoying but I just do my best and focus on other things, it’s hard soo hard but it’s harder now that I am almost
    fully recovered. My mind is still tired and things still stick at times but as time passes I am condident it will be back to normal once a anxiety and insecurities vanish.

  348. ginger797 3rd February 2012 at 4:11 am - Reply

    i just wanted to share a little breakthrough ive been having…ive been willing myself to get anxious or have a panic attack when in certain situations when i would have gotten paniky/anxious im not doing those things but trying to get myself anxious so i can use my knowledge to bring the anxiety panic attack down but hey it wont happen for me now?????? i guess ive really been paying the anxiety no attention ive just been feeling it and not caring at all but when i will it to come it just doesnt leaving me thinking”hey i should have been anxious by now”………thats changed but in the last 3days ive been obbsessing about my money things like having to look around and make sure i didnt drop any when getting it out the purse and keep checking on how much ive spent over and over to see if ive lost any…hhhmmm weird ive now got to stop this obsession then id be ok…

  349. Jennifer 3rd February 2012 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Matt – Hope you don’t mind me summarising – It started in October after my wisdom tooth extraction under general anesthetic, felt physically unwell and snowballed into vomitting, not eating, panic, etc etc. Two years ago when I started that therapy training and had my first panic attack, I had my first period of strong anxiety and read Pauls’s book, so knew what to do, but it didn’t seem be working like last time and it just got worse and im now making my way through all the symptoms bit by bit, beacuse I felt I hit rock bottom and the only way is up from there. I love my life too much. DP has been with me properly now for around 1 to 2 months, but the other anxiety symptoms aren’t so much there. The dp feels very strong at the mo and I still get racing thoughts. I had DP two years ago for around 3 or 4 months, but it did definately fade over that time. My fear is and always has been anxiety about anxiety and how its making me feel and act like I have a more severe mental health problem, like developing schizophrenia (my uncle was diagnosed years ago with it), nothing in my actual real life life makes me anxious that much. I do check my thoughts and overthink things, but I always have I guess it just never made me like this.
    Sorry for going on – actually very theraputic to summarise my story so thanks. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to respond.

    Lisa – Thanks great post, I found two years ago that psychotherpay was not helping and was just feeding into anxiety consuming my life. This was and is still very hard for me to get my head around, as I don’t like the idea of bottling things back up and not expressing yourself, especially as my goal was to train to become a therapist at the time. It just seems to be that as ‘we’ tent to overdo it in our minds anyway, further introspection is perhaps not of much benefit and can make things worse? Im considering that maybe when and if I come out of this strange land, therapy might be benefitical when I can think more clearly and with greater perspective. But then again, I would be going to therapy, in order to try to ensure I understand it so that I don’t have to experience it again. so confusing.

  350. Christian 3rd February 2012 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    So I brought it up to her and it just so happens I had a very wrong impression of her. She told me she has been to sex shops as jokes and that she actually views sex as something two people who really very connected do with each other and nothing else. She was glad we talked about it because she was taken back by the whole thing. That made me feel good. But in this whole little worry loop ive been in, I did setback and I’m having obsessive irrational thoughts and depression. I guess I should just let them come and go and move on with the day and remember how I felt when I was with her which was very comfortable.

  351. ShellH 3rd February 2012 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone. Can i ask is it normal to get the physical pains of anxiety when you arnt actualy feeling anxious? I was talking to my boss today then from no where i had this terrible sharp pain in my chest. This is one on the symphos for me but it was the strongets it had ever been. I was feeling anxious at the time and becasuse of this my mind is now thinking the worst. I had a mini panic attack but was able to just ignore thst. The worry i have now is that i didnt feel anxious yet i got this terrible pain. So i am thinking the etoms out of thworst. Does anyone else get these symptoms out of the blue? Is this normal ? Need to try and stop thinkin about it now

  352. ShellH 3rd February 2012 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Sorry i have just sent this from my phone and realise how badly it reads. I wasnt anxious at the time so made an error in the first part. Will send from my computer next time x

  353. Jerry 3rd February 2012 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    ShellH I get them at times and just like you, I go back and dwell on it a bit too long, which then brings on anxiety. I’ve realized that many things play into how we feel physically throughout the day. Whether its lack of sleep, nutrition or just plain old enviornment. For instance, whenever I’d get panic attacks, I tend to shiver. The other day I was shivering and feared that it was a panic attack, turns out the thermostat in my office was kind of low. So I was actually COLD! It felt very silly. Anyway, physical aches aren’t always anxiety related, though the dwelling on them brings on anxiety… I guess like Paul says, “don’t over analyze”, but know that many factors may cause a physical symptom.

  354. claire 4th February 2012 at 3:15 am - Reply

    That’s great to hear Christian, sounds like your free to just enjoy time with your new girl..let anxiety and panic murp on all it wants we are ALL far more than a condition..it’s my birthday today and I intend to carry on letting go of the fear and have a great day and even better night..peace and lurve to everyone x

  355. christina 4th February 2012 at 4:19 am - Reply

    @Patrick I just read your post from last month and boy did it resonate. I, too, have not checked in for a long time, feeling pretty much recovered, with some bumps along the way. I really had felt full acceptance at many points. Then I just kind of, as some would say, lost the plot. It has been a little rough these last few days, and it surprised me that I could let myself work up this level of fear.

    I know this whole “condition” is fear triggered and fear sustained. We may not start the fire all by ourselves-stressful situations can play a big role, but we do provide the fuel that keeps the fire lit. The goal is, go a little easier on the fuel, then you gain some logical perspective. Adrenaline is completely illogical in this context.

    I hope you are feeling calmer now. If you do read my post, I would love to hear from you. Hi also to Lorry T and anyone else that is recently back for support. Thanks to Paul for this awesome blog.

  356. Jennifer 4th February 2012 at 9:53 am - Reply

    Josie – Just seen your blog from a couple of days ago and that is almost exactly how I felt/still feel. Your mind has resulted in watching your thoughts beacuse your looking for something to be wrong with them, but like mine, they are just random thoughts that you would probably normally have, they just wouldn’t have been so fast before anxiety. When you worry you are retrospecting about thoughts that have already happened, so just practice letting all of the thoughts, no matter what they are, flow in and out and then your mind will see that there is nothing to fear. You can have any thought, it is how you react to them and it is unnecessary to panic. Well, thats what Paul and Will Beswick’s ‘do you panic’ website’ say to practice and it does work with time and make total sense I promise.

  357. Samuel 4th February 2012 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Hi again everyone, nice to see some really positive replies on here as they help people so much including myself.
    I posted a few weeks back about my anxiety flooding back because of some news a work college had an industrial related illness with no cure. A week later I attended a day course on the dangers of this disease which was very depressing and hard to deal with. Gradually since then my palpitations have increased and I now feel I’m showing the signs of this disease- mainly trouble breathing or shallow breathing as it affects the lungs. My question is can anxiety bring on these symptoms through fear? My parents and girlfriend say my breathing seems fine to them but I’m so frightened it could really be for real. Am going to see my dr next week

  358. Vanessa 4th February 2012 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Hi all,
    Josie – just read your post and can relate 100%!!!! i recall the most random of things, create the most random scenario’s in head that i have no control over, however, what i am learning is that when i’m truly engaged in something, a conversation or an activity those thoughts are not even there. it’s when i have nothing to do or some time to myself and all the checking in begins. obviously being alone and taking some relax time is essential so what jennifer says to just let it all be is so true even if really hard at times.
    i wanted to ask some advice, i have a symptom which comes every now and then, most usually when i’m tired, but my mind slows down so much so that everything around me becomes really fuzzy and my eyes can’t follow as fast as my head turns, and it hurts to concentrate at all, then usually i get a great big headache. i’m not sure why this occurs but it makes working very hard. has anyone else had that? also i wanted to know if anyone else has a massive up and down affair in recovery? i can go for a week or 2 feeling almost totally recovered then totally back to the start the next. for example, just had a lovely trip to italy with my family so much fun, felt weird at times but didnt matter in the slightest, but yesterday, back to work my heads pounding, my minds slowing down and i’m exhausted when i felt so refreshed the day before, i never know why that is and if this is a normal process in recovery? i can get a bit upsetting at times feeling so unstable from one day to the next!
    thanks for any stories shared, they’re so helpful!!!!
    vanessa x

  359. Rebecca 4th February 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Jerry & ShellH, Like i explained in previous posts I have only recently started having panic attacks, they are so so frightening and can come from nowhere. ShellH if you look at all the physical symptoms that you can have with anxiety, chest pain is very common. If it is something you get regularly though I would suggest getting it checked out but it does sound like anxiety. I get Tachycardic (fast heart rate), sweaty palms and feel very dizzy as my beathing increases when iv’e had a panic attack. You just have to try and slow your breathing down and if the attack is really bad find a safe place and wait for it to subside. I have had chest pain before aswell, but i have just slowed my breathing down and nothing happened, it was just my anxiety!!
    Jerry, i have done the whole cold room thing aswell, yes it does feel silly but i just laughed and carried on with my day 🙂
    I can see that a few people are talking about therapy and how helpful it can/cannot be. I personally think it is a very individualised approach, some people find it very beneficial and others not so much. I am an analyser so I find it really helpful with regards to my anxiety, it helps me understand it alot better and some of my therapists concepts make alot of sense. I do however think it all depends on the Therapist, it can take a while to find the right one.:)

  360. Christian 4th February 2012 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    I’ve been close to recovery several times over the past half year. When I setback, I seem to lose my way and forget exactly how to start again. I let them feelings an thought come but I seem to be so focused on them I can’t concentrate or remember what I’m supposed to do for the day. To someone who has recovered: it seems that there has to be at least some mental work going into this. I don’t know I forget and I’m kind of in a setback now and I keep reading what Paul says but it appears very vague to me now.

  361. Sinead 5th February 2012 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Hey everyone!
    I was going to post earlier this evening to say I passed all my finals I’ve started dating someone an I’m 90% recovered.which is still true BUT…
    Got into bed tonight and after an amazing day where I read a book!!!from start to finish and was thinkn wow I am so much better wow there’s nothing I can’t do wow do u remember how I used to be…and then wham!I was wide awake full of panic and didn’t know what to do-and that made me panic more and then I just forgot everything and was like how do I stop this I’m going to go back to where I was all my feelings came flooding back I was panicking and was trying to stop it.half hour ago I wanted nothing more than just to stop this and go back a couple of hours-what have I done wrong how do I pit this right-think Sinead think!(sorry for the dramatics but this was how desperate I was to stop the panic because I was so afraid of where it would lead back to)…
    And then I just got up went in and woke up my parents and was like I know we thought I was over this but now I’m wide awake panicking and nauseous.and we’ve worked it out-which I should know anyway from this website!I’ve been so under pressure with finals recently and have been living life and having a new man has distracted me without me realizing -now I’m finished exams I have a load of excess adrenaline and nothing to worry about so now im worrying about nothing again!and recovering from this takes
    A long time and it’s ok not to be over it yet,I thought I was just recovering differently to most people and was immune to setbacks but HELLO setback!I guess I just didn’t realize it to come on me like this(triggered by a crime novel!) and am annoyed it has but I’m just gonna have to deal with it by not dealing with it 🙂 by not trying to fight it and waking up tomorrow and doing exactly what I was gonna do had this not happened!I’m filled with panic and dread at the thought of starting this all over again but I know I can live side by side with these feelings (even pass finals with them!) so just wanted to check in with Paul-an Matt Lisa etc who have recovered or in process and any similar experiences or just support cos I know nearly there despite this!sorry for long post!night

  362. Matt 5th February 2012 at 3:06 am - Reply

    sinead….I went through really bad panic attacks last year around this time for two weeks and was recovered from them for about a year at that point. The thing with panic attacks is that it is hard to keep calm in the midst of one. I completely forgot what a panic attack felt like and genuinely thought I was going mad, my dad had to transport me everywhere and I constantly asked him, “Am I going crazy?” I remember him crying one night when I asked him because I was so scared of nothing but going crazy. The thing with panic attacks is that it, for me, was a wave of complete fear and then complete calm as if my body was overloading me with serotonin and then complete fear and so on. The funny thing is that when I got back on here and realized, “oh yeah, these are panic attacks just like I had a year ago.” I didn’t have anymore of them, in fact I was filled with joy because I knew what they were and how to get through it. It wasn’t but a couple of days and I was back to normal. I just totally focused on life again and didn’t worry about them coming back, and if they did, so what? it’s just excess adrenalin. It’s funny how when you live your life and recover from them and they come back how easy it is to forget what they felt like. I also would get intense anxiety and panic from watching movies about crazy people and that sort of thing sometimes, so while in the midst of those panic attacks and anxiety I didn’t watch any. But can watch them now and enjoy them.

    Jennifer…don’t say “if” when recovering from DP, that should not be a word used in your vocabulary. The thing is, during DP our brains are so sensitive that anything can set us off, when it really shouldn’t at all. I remember going out on my porch to smoke and always felt weird and strange when I did and couldn’t figure out why, well I developed an irrational fear of it because most of my bad DP moments happened on the porch, so everytime I went out there I felt intense fear and panic. I realized there is nothing to be scared of, it was a bad “habit” I created for myself. I believe what keeps us in the DP cycle longer then we need to be isn’t the actual DP but our perspective of it. I began to perceive that I was truly going crazy and was afraid of having crazy thoughts, well guess what happened? I had crazy thoughts! I was afraid to talk to people because I couldn’t hold a conversation and my brain felt so fried, so what did I do? Avoid people! And the list goes on. What truly helped me was recognizing these bad habits and changing my reaction to the thoughts or fear of them, and also thinking back to before I got DP and realizing that I was never scared of any of this irrational b.s. it’s just a feeling and will leave as soon as I allow it to turn off the switch. So, I went places feeling like absolute garbage and could barely talk to people at first, but now, I have new friends that I talk to on a regular basis and we do stuff together and there is no fear, I showed my body that there isn’t anything to be scared of. It’s a process of desensitizing your mind and body and moving towards it, not away from it, and that goes for any type of anxiety. I remember having panic attacks that I wouldn’t go to this particular restaurant because I had a panic attack in the bathroom there, so I went back to that restaurant every day for a week, boy did they love me!

    The point is, with DP it lingered for me because of my habits and reaction to DP. I had to re-establish positive actions and thoughts to counter the negative. Like, as soon as I got a, “oh no, I feel out of it again!!” I had to say, “well, it’s the DP again, stick around for awhile if you like, let’s have a chat.” It didn’t like that, so eventually it happened less frequently. If I can’t think clearly, then I read or do something to grab my attention for awhile. It sucks, and is extremely difficult to do at first, but be patient with yourself and give yourself a break. before long, it’ll get better and then you will have some real hope to hang onto. It’ll be ok, I promise. Anyways, hope everyone is doing great!

  363. Carlie 5th February 2012 at 3:34 am - Reply

    Not having a good time right now, and hormone issues aren’t helping.

    I just feel like… what’s the point of trying? I don’t feel like the same person anymore. And even if I get back to where I was before this DP stuff happened, I’ll still be depressed and anxious a lot. 🙁

  364. Matt 5th February 2012 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Carlie, just read your post. Don’t lose faith in yourself carlie, TRUST ME, you can get through this. I wasn’t depressed before DP, and I know how to deal with the anxiety. The point of trying is that this is your life and people have recovered, that’s the point in trying. You can and will recover, but you must get on with your life, no matter how hard that is right now. Don’t give up on yourself, there were times I wanted to give up on myself and just give in to the misery of this condition, but then I had to change my perspective. I have kids that need me, and I started to develop a new attitude towards it, slowly. now, I am so much better for taking the hard road that paul talks about, rather then laying in bed and not leaving the house being worried and scared all the time.

    It’s hard, I know, but you have to get your confidence up and move on with life and it will fade. I’m here for you as well as everyone else, and just remember you’re not alone, I as well as countless others have gone through the same thing and gotten through. I hope to hear from you again soon.

  365. Josie 5th February 2012 at 7:08 am - Reply

    hi jennifer and all 🙂 just read your post not long after mine and wow i realised how completely normal we all actually are! Sounds like we have similar worries. I think coming on here and writing how we are thinking and feeling goes to show how normal we actually are even if we dont feel it lol but i think you are right….i realise now i am watching my thoughts, perhaps waiting for the next irrational thought to come through and scare me and make me quiver! i find myself also always tensing my head whilst tuning into my thoughts….but all this is habit now and it can be reversed like anything. We have all just formed habits since our initial panic/anxiety attack and have since worried about it constantly. Just need to break the cycle and let it all be no matter how hard it is 🙂 much love xx

  366. Carlie 5th February 2012 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Matt, thanks as always for replying. I’m just not having a good night. I don’t feel out of it all the time, it’s just that overwhelming feeling of suddenly being a different person or something… I did feel out of it last night, oddly enough after having a really fun day. But there was some anxiety involved (nervousness), so maybe that triggered it. I had a lot of depression/anxiety problems before the DP, especially over the past year. I kept saying that I felt like something bad was going to happen and I barely got through school, so I guess I kinda predicted it in a way. It all just kept building up. Now, I lock myself away so much, and I know that it’s not helping, but the problem is that I just don’t have much to do. I’m still waiting to see whether they want to hire me for the job I applied for, and I haven’t gone back to school yet. I feel like I threw my life away because of this, even though I’m only 21… so I know that sounds ridiculous. I put so much pressure on myself to just get out of this, but I also know that that’s not the right way to do it. I know what’s right, but most of the time I’m not doing it! I don’t think my anxiety is bad anymore (I still have anxiety problems, but it’s not like it was during the summer), it’s just the DP… it’s such a weird feeling and it still doesn’t make any sense to me. But I’m gonna try to get some sleep. Thanks for replying! Your posts really help to reassure me.

  367. Sinead 5th February 2012 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Matt thanks for the reply that’s exactly what it felt like and I’m glad to hear u went through the same thing and came out the other side-it’s actually funny u hit the nail on the head-in my book the girl got sectioned under the mental health act and then it brought back bad memories of past fears a f I just subconsciously tried to fight them cos I didn’t want reminded and then having slept in yesterday goin to bed last night I had so much extra adrenaline so just panicked!it makes such a difference to understand exactly why it happened 🙂 I know next I read or watch something like that it’s ok to panic and remember and soon that will subside thanks so much,feeling better this morn still a bit jittery but that will go 🙂

  368. Jennifer 5th February 2012 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Matt – thanks so so much, needed that. Bad day yesterday. brilliant post. You really are a great support and seem have this confusing condition cracked. You totally get it and its really good to hear your experience. Although im sure you didn’t recover perfectly, as none of us are perfect and neither is life. It sure can suck sometimes. I think we just have to keep looking forward, having hope and remembering that EVERYONE can recover and I remember how amazing it felt when i recovered last time, its more than well worth it. Peace in the future will come.

    Wishing everyone well and on the path to peace on this glorious snowy day


  369. Nikki 5th February 2012 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Well had a tough morning. Went a walk with hubby and felt panicky the while time. Wanted to come home so much but I never. Normally my anxiety is not too bad when I am out with people – usually its going out on my own that’s the problem. This has scared me this morning – I feel so demoralised and low. U know I should not be trying to get better but is this it? Is this my life? Will I ever recover? I did not get to the stage my my anxiety dropped on the walk it just stayed high the whole time – puts me off wanting to go out again! Any words of wisdom welcome. Xx

  370. elaine 5th February 2012 at 4:10 pm - Reply


  371. sinead 5th February 2012 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    setbacks are really yucky!this is my first one 🙁 cant believe i actually thought i was recovered but i know ill be ok cos i can remember feeling good and being on here and just willing and hoping for other people to have hope and certainity that they can and will get better and im using that to help me through this.feeling a bit nauseous and very sad and complete fear of oh god im going to slip back to exactly where i was before and it feels like how good i felt last week is a lifetime away.but i hope no i KNOW this will pass.x

  372. Matt 6th February 2012 at 12:50 am - Reply

    nikki…ya know what helped me recover from the panic? You are totally making a bad habit already by having to be with others all the time which tells your mind that you can’t be alone. You have to take a “realistic” approach to what you are going through. Your mind is throwing out false signals and thoughts that aren’t based in what is true. Ask yourself, what is the worst that is gonna happen if you go somewhere by yourself? You feel panicky, fear of having a panic attack? Passing out? I had all those thoughts, and when I started to do things by myself I did feel panicky and sometimes have panic attacks. But ya know what? It didn’t kill me and it’s just adrenalin. you’re gonna have to accept that there are going to be bad days with this and the anxiety and panic might be high for no particular reason whatsoever.

    I would suggest forcing yourself to go places by yourself, do it little by little. First, go to the grocery store or coffee shop by yourself. And when you feel panicky and anxious ask yourself, “what is the worst that is gonna happen?” and also remind yourself it’s excess adrenalin and you’ve developed a phobia that is based in fear, nothing else. ask what that fear is, chances are it’s about panicking again, losing it, etc. Go out somewhere by yourself every single day, even if it’s for a few minutes at first, then gradually stay longer and go to more places, before you know it, the panic will subside and the anxiety will subside and you will feel in control and elated like I was when I got through it. Do these things and you will become recovered, if you continue to hide away and only go places with others then you are telling your mind and body that there is something truly wrong with being by yourself, you just have to reverse it, that’s all. Hope everyone is doing well.

  373. Jerry 6th February 2012 at 4:14 am - Reply

    Matt, you nailed it… SO true, SO SO true.

  374. DCYL 6th February 2012 at 6:01 am - Reply


    I remember early on in my cycle I was very much like you. I had quite a few fears including being alone. Fortunately, as the months have past, I’ve gotten a lot better. Being alone doesn’t bother me anymore though my “memory” (as Paul mentions in his books a lot) of the suffering still pops up a lot. That stirs up me every now and then and that can be frustrating.

    If you asked me how I got better, I couldn’t give you one direct answer. I did start taking walks around my work place by myself a lot. I started working out at the office gym (which sometimes was empty). I had to drive to some places which were 20 to 30 minutes away by myself.

    If there is one thing I’ve learned is that addressing this “loneliness” issue may not completely resolve your “anxiety”. I initially that by resolving some of these fears, my symptoms would go away. In reality, the anxiety was driving these fears. Anxiety may just pick up on something else.

    THe real solution is to just take life as it comes and try not to overanalyze. If at all possible, getting some exercise will really help burn off the adrenaline. Good luck!

  375. Lucy 6th February 2012 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone

    I need some help with my relationship anxiety and the thoughts I’ve been having. My relationship focuses solely around my relationship and my boyfriend and nothing else. It is horrible to have these strange, anxious, scary thoughts about someone you love but I have made a lot of progress just by knowing the thoughts are anxiety and not letting them get to me. I can usually recognise an anxiety thought and brush it off pretty easily most of the time but recently I am finding that the thoughts are just coming from nowhere and are about so many things! I have a such a strong awareness of them. I’ve gone from having more general anxiety-thoughts such as what if I don’t love him anymore, to thoughts about anything and everything to do with him such as I don’t find him attractive because of his glasses or coat or hair cut!! Ridiculous I know but I can’t stop it! We have just the weekend together and I have been at breaking point with my irratibility! Every time he opened his mouth it just annoyed me so much and for no good reason. I can’t remember the last time I felt any feelings of love or attraction towards, and this is something I am very conscious of. It is so upsetting, especially as I know I do love him!! Can anyone help? I just feel like there are so many thoughts and they are coming so often that I can’t dismiss them, even though I know they are caused by anxiety. Thank you, Lucy x

  376. Jeff 6th February 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Just checking in and have read some very helpful things here. Matt and Sinead, I experience the same thing with all types of media dealing with madness. I watched an episode of this show called “Fringe” and it totally set me off again. In it one of the main characters has a debilitating mental illness. It seems like ANYTIME there is a mention of insanity in a show or book or even in conversation, my mind gets carried away checking and searching for any signs of irrationality. It’s so weird. When I don’t find any trace of madness there, I become frightened that I’m creating it by checking, and thus the cycle begins. There is a bit of a discussion about therapy in this thread, I see a psychoanalyst weekly and I receive some comfort from him on this front (and many other fronts, as well). He reassures me that I’m not cracking up. Just typing these words gives me that crawling feeling like something is lurking and waiting to pounce, which I know is just adrenaline but it can be really hard to GET that. I think I know that I’m not losing it, but sometimes I wonder how much I truly believe it. Most of the time these days I feel great, but the anxiety sits there causing a general discomfort underlying everything I do. It’s like it’s just waiting for an opportunity. Perhaps it’s my expectation that it will return that is creating this sense? It’s so hard to know sometimes. At any rate, it is nice to be able to come here and read some kind words from time to time. They are always welcome and helpful.

  377. ross 6th February 2012 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    right getting really frustrated with DP!!

    I accept accept accept, get on with my life as best as i can . I excercise , eat healthy, socialise etc but still I have strong dp most of the day 🙁

    Im starting to wonder if its a chemical imbalance and that i need 2 get an antidepressant or meds 2 overcome it.

    I just dont know what to do anymore getting frustrated just now as its well into my 3rd year of this . Ive learnt so much on anxiety and feel ive overcome a lot , this dp just wont change. Stuck in a bad dream :(.

    Please can i get some feedback

  378. Steveo 6th February 2012 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Ross

    Unfortunately I can’t help but i’m keen to see any replies that do.

    I feel pretty much the same. The majority of my anxiety seems to have gone but the DP still looms at certain times…

    I think i’ve been say 90% recovered for a long time now and seem to be moving forward very slowly.

    I would have given anything to feel like I do now 18 months ago, but that is never enough is it. I want to feel ‘normal’.

    This morning I was thinking “Mayve i’ve always been like it, maybe this is the real me…” I know I have had moments of high anxiety in the past, but I used to overcome them easily.

    Anyway, that’s my little moan over 🙂

  379. Jerry 6th February 2012 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    Ross and Steveo, I get DP pretty bad as well. I will say though that the times that I am not asking myself “Do I feel it today? Will it happen again?” or “Here we go again.” those are the days when I don’t feel it at all. I guess it comes down to how much space we give it… do we give it too much to crowd us and suffocate us, or do we give it just enough space to be a bi-stander in our day. I hate the feeling, but I now get what Paul means when he says “get on with life and stop analyzing how you feel.” Easier said than done, but once you do it, you can see the difference.

    You WILL feel like yourself again. Remember recovering isn’t an overnight thing, it will take hard work. You are basically reporgraming your mind, breaking habits and directing your responses away from your normal process. Allow yourself to feel DP, its you minds way of telling you that you are stressed. See DP as a messenger that lets you know your mind is tired. This way you can give it rest by not googling your symptoms all the time, or wishing that you were different. Just live with it and you’ll see it slowly losing its effect on you, until you no longer walk with it.

  380. Eric B. 6th February 2012 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Does anybody have any advice on this? My main fear is that my mind is telling me that I going to harm myself in the FUTURE sometime, almost like a confirmation, like the more you think it, the more it will come true. This has put me in a loop. I know that it is so irrational, but it feels so real and it’s crazy that I would even give this thought so much attention. A year ago, this thought was not in my head, but now it has pretty much become an obsession. I even have a hard time reading news stories or watching crime shows because of it. This one thought has brought on DP for me and keeping me from enjoying things in life. I know that it is the fear of having the thought that is keeping it alive and would like to lose the fear. Am I taking this thought too seriously?

  381. Matt 7th February 2012 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Eric….I know exactly how you feel. Last year, during the worse bouts with DP I had the thought that I would drive myself insane with crazy thoughts, starting having them and then watching for them until my whole days were consumed with anxiously watching the thoughts, I became scared of everything until I realized “I” created this false illusion. Once I realized that and didn’t get scared of it, the thoughts slowly diminished. Sometimes the thoughts were fleeting images, sometimes they were my own voice saying something stupid and pointless, like, “there goes the tv again”. And I would be terrified because of that thought. It’s really silly if you think about it, I knew these thoughts were false and originally came from one scary thought I had and it had manifested itself into something that consumed me because I became scared of it. It wasn’t me thinking this, it was the anxiety of the actual thought that made it stick. Remember that, it is the anxiety that caused it, the thought of becoming insane is a fear and it’s not the actual contents of the thought that matter, it’s the anxiety that continues to fuel it. If you see it for what it is, a thought that is sticking around because of anxiety, then you will overcome it and laugh about it eventually. If you’re scared of a thought coming true, then it isn’t going to come true, the fact that you are scared shows it won’t happen and the fear is keeping it alive.

    Ross…listen, DP is a false illusion. I doubt it’s a chemical imbalance, because if it was anxiety that caused it then you know the reason for it being there. I thought the same thing when I first got it, but realized it was the anxiety and constant worry over me that was the reason I got it in the first place. The way I got through, other then consuming myself into doing normal things, is not trying to get rid of it. Just learn to accept and not care and move on with life and it slowly fades over time to where it doesn’t become a problem anymore. You aren’t unique, so don’t start thinking that you are. It was one of the hardest things for me to do at first but once paul’s advice started to truly sink in, it became easier and easier to deal with until it became more annoying then scary. You’ll get through, just be patient with yourself and don’t try to figure it out or get rid of it, allow it to be there. Once you actually allow it to be there, then you’re half-way there to recovering.

  382. Sinead 7th February 2012 at 8:16 am - Reply

    The hardest thing about this setback is having had normality for a couple of months.that coupled with the usual thoughts-I can’t pick myself up and move on from this again-it was exhausting enough the first time and oh so slow!I realise that my minds just telling me this,it’s almost as if anxiety wants me to fail!i know why this has come on-I was so busy and then I took some time out-what I’m trying to do I re-engage with my activities at the minute-without trying to force the normality if that makes sense?I know that once I’m busy again I’ll forget to focus about me all te time however I’m somehow adopting that as a mantra at the minute-once you get into a routine you’ll be bettee again and watching myself to see if I do-I know this is the wrong attitude at the minute I think I’m fighting again and forcing myself to have normal thoughts etc.I just need to let myself be I think and let my mind race but carry on regardless but I’ve completely forgotten how to
    Do that again so it’s about re learning the habit I guess.hard not to feel like a failure but everyone suffers setbacks?keep telling myself im gonna struggle with this for the rest of my life 🙁 which doesn’t help!lost my appetite and major nausea at the moment after putting all my weight bk on!typical!

  383. Jennifer 7th February 2012 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Hi All

    I hope everyone is still on that rocky road to recovery and managing to have hope. Going off on a tangent perhaps but relevant to everyones recovery, I do believe in Maslow’s the theory of ‘self actualisation’ which, in my words, is the innate goal to live a fufilling life. In other words, this really is a crap, confusing and painful condition, but one that when push come to shove, I won’t let ruin my life! We will recover, but such is this uncertain life that we just can’t know when.

    Jeff, Sinead and Matt
    The ‘losing your mind’ thoughts and checking is really what my anxiety comes down to I think, as I have mentioned previously. Thing is, because you do feel like you have lost your personality, feel irrational, not with it and get all the bodily symptoms, its kinda hard to just take comfort that your not becoming more unwell than justy anxiety, because the symptoms can be powerful. But I didn’t lose control the last time I had all this pain/anxiety so I guess its no different now. Its like My mind just somewhere along the line just got obsessed with it all again, out of habit/panic.
    Does anyone else feel like life and the days goes so fast that you feel you can’t keep up with it or keep track of it? It sure is difficult trying to sit with colleagues at lunch to chat when your thoughts are racing and your adrenalyn is pumping round…for no good reason, other than because it wants to!grrr
    Can anyone relate?

    On a lighter note, Thought I would share that I did actually manage to have 20 mintues of fun at the weekend in the snow going down a hill on a snowboard!

  384. Nikki 7th February 2012 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Matt. Thanks so much for your reply. Gosh it was hard to read but so true. I have defo developed a habit of not going out by myself and I think this has subtly been part of my life for a long time but it has come to a head the last few months since I collapsed in a heap of exhaustion. I am being very hard on myself just now and my expectations are too high. I like how you describe the way to do it – start small. I think I thought I had to get out there guns blazing tackling everything all at once. I have to acknowledge my achievements and keep pushing forward. I don’t want to be dependant on others for the rest of my life so my aim is to keep striving to understand and face this anxiety. on the plus side I don’t experience dp – I am very social able and despite anxiety when going out I still achieve lots. My aim for the next few months is to tackle this fear of going out alone. Thanks again for your support. X

  385. Eric B. 7th February 2012 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Good job Jennifer. See, those 20 minutes of fun are proof that anxiety is only temporary!

  386. Jeff 7th February 2012 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    I second Eric B.’s sentiment, Jennifer. I can relate to the days seeming to outrun me! It is really difficult to be with co-workers when the adrenaline is there (especially in a meeting). I always think they can see what’s going on in my eyes. For whatever reason it seems as if the quality of my eyes is different when I’m anxious. I might just be projecting that assumption onto an already crappy situation, and I hope I’m wrong, but it’s worse when I think people can tell. I definitely get it… you’re not alone.

  387. Anthony 7th February 2012 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Just thought I’d write down a few other suggestions which have helped me along the way. I can relate to everything that everyone has wrote, it just goes to show that we’re not alone and that anxiety/panic/dp follows a common path.

    Don’t treat situations as a “test”. Look at it as more of “practice”. This will reduce the negative self-talk and the tracking of progress.

    In anxious or panicky situations, I found it helpful to slow down my breathing. Slow breath in, slow breath out (5+ seconds each). What commonly happens is that people tend to breath too quick and they blow off too much carbon dioxide and hyperventilate.

    Jennifer – I can relate to what you are talking about. When my anxiety/panic was bad, I found it difficult to stay engaged and focused with everything racing around and my heart pounding. What helped me, over time, was acceptance and going back to my belly breathing. Facing the fear takes the power away from fear.

    Sorry, this is my first post so hopefully I didn’t go too out of bounds with my suggestions.

  388. Matthew 7th February 2012 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Hey everyone,
    I’ve had this anxiety crap for about three years, and I can relate to a lot of stuff on here. In the past week, I’ve been through many intense anxiety attacks, yet here I am finally able to relax (albeit home from school.)

    I am in between a rock and a hard place. I am desperate to return to normal and meet the expectations of a teenager (go to school, do homework, go to college.) At the same time I feel like if I’m ever going to get over this, I need to stop blindly subjecting myself to the daily things that cause anxiety.

    The added worry of my parent’s expectation of me to perform like a normal teenager and “snap out of it” makes it unbearable.

  389. natalie 7th February 2012 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    hi guys

    just popping in as i do from time to time, hope everyone is coping remember can only do the best you can do and that is good enough, it is a slow progress but it does improve without you noticing sometimes and you start to live again, maybe still in a cloud some days but others its so clear and it just feels wonderful !! its these days that make you push through the bad and onto the future.
    Matt loving your words of encouragement am sure you know how much people will cling to your words who are maybe new to this condition and looking for answers. like you said there are none .. as with any emotional issue.. it takes time patience and a lot of acceptance !! but nothing stays the same and things do and will improve !!!
    i still struggle with my thoughts .. and like you say its an irritation and seems to me to be the last hurdle in this .. for me its about caring what people think, and believing that they can tell i am different, some days i just ignore them and carry on being friendly .. i kinda think its a confidence thing because i am not so carefree as i once was.. ijust wish i knew how to float past the thoughts but its my very trying to do this that seems to make them cling.. advice from anyone that has or is dealing with this last lingering matter.. i know it is due to that last few years just pondering about myself and again about acceptingn that i am maybe more quiet than once before.. that maybe this was me all along who knows !! but how to stop the record eh ??!! its hard work some days for us all .. but oh what a life is waiting for us to take up if only we would just let all the crap go and do and be who we really want to be !!!!! love to you all i so can relate to all the posts i read on here xx

  390. Debbie 7th February 2012 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Sometimes anxiety and depression makes you feel so overwhelmed, all i seem to do is to survive the day i cant enjoy anything, i dont have any emotions apart from feeling unhappy, i find it hard to accept how i feel. When i take my dog out and have terrible blurred vision and jelly legs its hard to feel normal, or enjoy anything, i cant remember what normal is!
    Also does anybody have probs with needing the loo when out and feeling anxious? its ruling my life at the moment!

  391. Josh 8th February 2012 at 3:28 am - Reply

    Paul, Matt & Other

    Have been regularly following the blog. I have seldom found people advising other to just go out there and do it come what may… . Is there a word of caution which people are not revealing or it isn’t just so easy… If it’s just a matter of ignoring everything and doing it , why cant we do it? question may sound funny but the answer could give me a way out?

  392. Debbie 8th February 2012 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    another bad day, i too would like to know how u live with anxiety and depression? Ive read peoples blogs and hear what they say but i cant seem to do it! Its funny cos i pick up Pauls book just open it anywhere and it always seems as though the book knows what im thinking! Like my thoughts am i always going to struggle through the day? Perhaps ive got something else wrong with me cos anxiety cant make you feel this bad surely? Am i going crazy? then i read that its common to think these things, and it even lists exactly what im thinking so it makes me smile.
    It would be nice to have just one day off from these feelings then it would give me some hope, today i visited my daughter for a cuppa and ive taken the dog out even though i feel awful, so im thinking i do these things however i feel and i still feel just as bad, another thing it says in the book its easier to stay home (but obviously the wrong thing to do) im still struggling with going out cos i feel so bad, why do when u know what your doing isnt helping u still do it? i get frustrated with myself!
    Perhaps i expect too much i have been out today i have just hoovered and tidied up so i should pat myself on the back, but no all i do is beat myself up that i dont feel better!
    Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  393. Sophia 8th February 2012 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Natalie & Matt,

    I relate to almost everything that u r saying..I have the continuous mind chatter which I don’t even realise and the worst part is that all my actions are dictated by these thoughts . As Natalie said its mostly about what people think and unknowingly we make a lot of compromises, contain a lot, unable to express if we don’t like something. And finally to be more needy.
    Initially I never knew why I always felt empty and anxious and hence unhappy
    Now at least I have an answer. It is anxiety and we all do have similar experiences .

    But how on earth can I check on my every thought every moment? It is all about me if I consciously watch every thought of mine.. I have no anxiety symptoms but the wrong thoughts are taking me to a different direction where I am making my life a hell making a lot of compromises not knowing what i should stand for and having a lot of relationship issues due to unnecessary thoughts about other people it’s so random that I don’t realise that my actions are determined by them.
    But when other people respond to me differently then I think I may have done something wrong.
    Here I am at a dilemma as I Intensionally am not doing anything but my words and actions seems to be telling something different. Hence I have to be careful before speaking. Check my thoughts. I cannot be free. If I let it be it rants bringing unfavourable consequences.
    I guess each time the mind tells u that u have said something wrong it must be the “habit” that Matt said which we believe with any doubt. Hence consider them as pure anxiety. Am I right?
    Any word of advice Matt and Natalie ?
    I am always unhappy as I am not able to have a right perspective of mind!

  394. Mark M 9th February 2012 at 5:39 am - Reply

    Hey Sophia,

    I know the feeling(s), especially the checking in after saying something ‘wrong.’ Really I’ve had to reach a point where whatever I’ve said or chosen to say at the time is completely fine, and I just have to accept that I’m doing the best with what I’ve got and what I feel. No matter whatever results happen, I will live. Like recently I was very honest with a friend of mine by saying that I’m not happy in the friendship and I want to take an indefinite break after talking it over with him, and that was really hard to go through with. At first I didn’t know whether it was just my anxiety or whether I really felt that that was what I wanted to do, but since I had been having those feelings telling me that for awhile I just said screw it, I’m just going to be honest in a compassionate way and state my preferences, so I did.

    With anxiety it is so confusing because of all the different feelings, but that’s where you have to have complete faith in yourself that you will do the ‘right’ thing for you, it really is a crash course in self-trust, and I think you’ll be much better off for it if you just speak your mind (in a nice way! lol) and ask directly for what you want in the relationship/friendship/whatever you are dealing with, and ask for what you want without expecting that they will want the same thing as you. Then just accept their answer, and do whatever next step comes natural.

    One thing that has been helping me a ton with my anxiety is really taking responsibility for 100% of what goes on in my life and what I’m experiencing. Like with that friend, if I’m not happy in the friendship or don’t feel listened to, it’s MY responsibility to make that clear and improve the situation, or it is my responsibility to leave it, I can’t just sit there and blame him that he doesn’t notice or read my mind or see that I want something different. If I want something, I am the one who has to state my preference, noone else can do it for me. On top of that too, anxiety can NEVER ‘make’ you do anything, never, ever let it convince you of that. What I’ve found is that I actually have COMPLETE control over what I do and my behaviors, but somewhere along the line I started believing that anxiety can MAKE me a victim and make me feel like I am powerless against it when in reality I have complete control over my actions and what I decide to believe. I’ve just been going along with the belief that anxiety can control me, and I’ve believed it, but recently I have just like, stopped for a second and really focused on my beliefs, and I’m realizing that my beliefs are reinforcing the anxiety constantly, from beliefs that I ‘have’ low self-esteem, that I ‘have’ an ‘anxiety disorder, to that I ‘will’ become anxious when I (speak in front of people, apply for a job, talk to girls, etc.). By really believing that to be the truth, how the heck else would I feel all the time, if I’m constantly believing all of those things about myself? Your mind just goes and finds things around you that confirm it that belief.

    So just as a trial, I dropped those crappy beliefs, assumed the opposite, and I seriously felt great! Just try dropping it, I’m sure by now you believe you ‘have’ an anxiety disorder, or that you will get anxious when you do X Y or Z, so why not just try acting, being, and believing that those things are completely not true and confidently making the decision to do X Y or Z no matter what happens, just to see what it’s all about. What you said about your mind telling you you said something ‘wrong’ is just silly too, we are always doing the best we can with what we’ve got, you couldn’t have said anything else, you were you at that particular time in that particular state of mind talking to that specific person, so why not try believing with faith, without a shred of a doubt that you made the ‘perfect’ choice and that it couldn’t have been any different? Those kinds of ideas have been helping me a lot in the past month, just yeah, putting those beliefs under a microscope and choosing to act as if they are not true at all, and with multiple experiences they just start to disappear because they don’t hold any power if I don’t believe them

  395. Matt 9th February 2012 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Sophia…you seemed to answer your own questions. YOU consciously watch your own thoughts, which dictate your actions. That means that you make the effort to do so, therefore, you have to make the effort to stop. You have to take a realistic approach to what you are doing, and you are the one doing it. I can relate, because when I talked to others I would constantly question, “is this me? or how would the “old” me respond?” It was “me” that created that habit, so I could recover from it once recognizing it, which it seems you have already done. If your thoughts are out of whack or they dictate how you live, understand that it isn’t you creating this, it is your anxiety. Obviously, if it were you with these thoughts then you wouldn’t be so worried about them, which is why they stick around in the first place. I had all kinds of insane, irrational thoughts, and once I recognized that it wasn’t me, but the anxiety/dp, then they slowly faded.

    Every symptom I have had has been a result of something I was scared of. Like, if I felt out of it or weird thoughts, I would constantly check to see if they were there and confuse my brain even further. I believe in your case, there was an initial thought that brought on this form of anxiety, and it continues to persist because you are worried about it. Recognize when you started to feel like this and realize that this isn’t you thinking this, it is anxiety producing false beliefs that are irrational and untrue. Once you understand that, go out and force yourself to talk to people, even if whatever your thinking exists, but do it with an understanding of what you are going through. I went through the self-awareness that paul talks about, and realized that I wasn’t unique in my situation. It dies down the less I feed it, the more I feed it with worry and introspection, the bigger the “illusional” monster becomes, because that is what it is, an illusion that feeds off of your fear and worry.

    Remember, you are the one that is consciously checking in, so it can stop over time when you give it less attention. But, it’s more of a don’t try to stop then try to stop, because you created a habit in your brain right now that is feeding off of your fear and worry. It will and does pass.

  396. Matt 9th February 2012 at 6:09 am - Reply

    I also wanted to add that I talked to a friend today whose wife is going through something that sounds like anxiety/panic. I shared my experience with him and told him that if they both felt comfortable, I would talk to her and share my experience with her and how I am recovering. That’s one of the beautiful gifts of having anxiety, is that many, many people suffer with it and you can offer invaluable experience and help to others that are as confused as we are. When you come through it, you have a gift that can help others that are in our situation. It made me feel good to know that I have something to offer to someone else that is beginning to suffer in the way that I did, and they don’t have to take med’s to cure themselves. So when we get through this, we have something to offer, which is something that noone else can. Thought I would share that.

  397. mm16 9th February 2012 at 7:13 am - Reply

    hi matt, so true only people who have been through it can truly help . hope you know how valued your posts are, they are realy helping me and giving me an inner strength…. three cheers for matt !!!!!!!!

  398. Nikki 9th February 2012 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Hi Debbie I so understand how you feel. It seems so difficult to get on with life with anxiety. However I am very aware that my other approaches have not worked – ie trying to get rid of it! I do believe that pauls approach which is the same as Claire weekes is the way forward but it just feels so hard to get started. I honestly don’t know if I have the courage or the strength to face my fears – which mainly consist of going out alone and shopping alone. However I posted here recently about my struggle and was encouraged to start small. So I have changed my approach and taken the pressure off myself. I have since noticed some small achievements. Still not how I want to be living my life but defo heading in the right direction. I wonder if what is missing from people’s posts is how hard it is at the beginning. I guess when you have some success it is easy to build on but it sure is hard to get going. Anyway Debbie you are not alone – I feel the same – onwards we go tho heading towards recovery!

  399. Sinead 9th February 2012 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Nikki and debbie-It’s very hard to get going and very frustrating,just because I’ve made great progress in the last few months does not mean I didn’t spend days in tears,days in bed feeling utterly hopeless I genuinely thought what was the point!just to let you know that you can feel all those things feel depressed feel hopeless and still make progress as long as you just follow pauls advice-as you’ve said Nikki start small if it’s all overwhelming.I’ve thought how can I possibly do anything when I’m this anxious everyone will notice I’ll fall apart etc etc but I just lived life as if I didn’t have anxiety-I went out and I sat in a shopping centre and cried one day cos I was so anxious but u know what?I’m glad I did that rather than sit at home and never have made it out shopping-and the people who seen me so what they’ll have forgotten about that strange crying girl by now 🙂 by just making myself do stuff I slowly found myself enjoying doing them-I never thought I could have enjoyed anything!my anxiety tries to trick me and remind me it’s still there and tries to depress me but once you make a little bit of progress the determination to live life alongside anxiety shines through.I’m going through a setback at the min and feel horrible but I am going about my life as normal and to everyone it seems like I’m fine-however busy and dark and mind chattery my mind may be -but I’m glad it’s that way-my progress
    Is in the background to this and because I’m Just getting on with my life I know I’ll come out of this setback not because it’s happened before but because those who’ve recovered have assured me it’s part of the process.so same way I’m trusting them you’s should trust paul Matt and lots of other people on here who know what they’re talking about.live your life as you would without anxiety-it feels horrible at first and you won’t feel great straight away but it just gets easier over time,until there comes a time when you just forget what a struggle certain things were in the first place.hope I make sense.

  400. Sophia 9th February 2012 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Thanks Mark & Matt

    Your words really gave me a lot of reassurances. It’s actually the mind playing tricks on me. Sometime it’s gives me an endless picture of what’s happening around which is so coloured by my own imagination. Its so hard to not believe them at all in one take and start afresh. It was easy when i had DP.

    As Mark said it’s to believe and stand for what we “actually” want and standing by that decision without any self-doubt.I had been doing that and felt really good about myself but somewhere down the line like the pendulum, mind swings either ways. It started picturising events and situations with no end without even me realising what I was struggling for and being submissive for? In fact nothing!

    It’s a matter of retraining the mind and not taking anything personal, instead constantly aiming at self improvement and stability and ultimately regaining peace.

    Thanks to both of you once again. Its helping me regain my perspective..might pop in if I am lost.. 🙂

  401. Diane 9th February 2012 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Hi all, just having one of those days. Felt a bit anxious at work a bit out of balance if that makes sense, then got a suprise visitor in the afteroon an foun myself self watching, also had a friend for dinner an felt on an of anxiety.When i have a day like this I always start thinking ‘oh no what if it comes back’, can anyone else relate to this ? and does anyone have any advice? I am going to visit my parents for a few days who live abroad and I always seem to get a bit anxious when I am out of my routine, it would be good to just enjoy things without the underlying anxiety and what if thoughts. I know I am so much better than i was and am so thankful for all the advice in Pauls book as I know I am on the right track, I am also thankful to all the support and advice from this blog, I just get frustrated that when I have a not so good day I get anxious and the fear of it all spiraling comes into my mind, how do others cope with this, hope you are all ok, take care

  402. elaine 10th February 2012 at 3:22 pm - Reply


  403. H 10th February 2012 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Elaine, personally I experienced a lot of aches and pains, all over on occassions, but more commonly head, neck and back. It was nothing more than muscle tension brought on by anxiety. When we are not relaxed our muscles can be under constant tension, resulting in aches and pains. Clench your fist for as long as you can then release, feels weak and aching yes? This is what is happening to other musles without you realising – it is very common, I even experienced aching legs and arms at times. Try some gentle stretching, gentle excercise, a soak in the bath or heat pads. Personally I found yoga very helpfull.
    Just understand it is the anxious state you are in which causes your attention to magnify every ache, pain and symptom. I know it is easier said than done, but try not to worry about it, it will pass.

  404. J 10th February 2012 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Hey question. I’ve gotten better with the anxiety stuff over the last two years. But can anyone relate to this. I’m planing on quiting smoking soon but I’ve been so worried about my throat and lungs. That I’m waking up now with a very tight throat. And can’t take in a huge breath for abut till it seems my throat warms up. Also im getting really sore throats. And numbness in my throat through our the day usually after I smoke too

    Anyone else. Thoughts ?

  405. ShellH 11th February 2012 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Hi elaine. This is exactly what i get. I really struggle with the physical symptoms of anxiety. For me it is chest pains, head and neck pain. Aches in legs and arms. I did not beleive that this was anxiety and the week before xmas i made myself so ill with the worry of this being somthing more that i paid for a full medical at bupa. I am 100% fit and everyting i feel is nothing more than anxiety. I am learning slowly to try and live along side these pains. To keep in the forefront of my mind that i am well. And you no what – they gradualy ease. They only come back when i check in and think does my arm still ache. From how bad i was two months ago to now you would think i was a different person. Beleive me ehen i say it is nothing more than anxiety honestly. Try to live alongside it and just accept it is all part of the recovery process. Pauls method does work. If i had just accepted them as a sympom i could have save myself a lot of worry and not shed out money for a health check i didnt need.

    Good luck with how you are feeling. Try to relax and carry on with you day without giving them to much attention. X

  406. Crystal 11th February 2012 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    I cannot be more grateful for stumbling across this site. I experienced my first real panic attack this past Sept 2011. Since then I have been bombarded with crazy, fearful thoughts that just wouldn’t let up, I thought I was loosing it. I even visited my Dr, who was not much help, and just wanted to push medication on me. I finally bought the book and have started reading it again for the 2nd time to let the info sink in. It has been such a relief for me because I felt like I was so alone. I have always been an upbeat person with no care in the world and then everything crashed down in an instant. I’m slowly learning to apply the principles in the book to my anxiety and I have noticed a difference. I no longer worry about fighting this but letting go and just living my life with or without it (preferably without it). I still have mind chatter but I think if I really apply myself to the “I don’t care” attitude and let it just be instead of fighting it, I will receive more breakthrough 🙂

  407. Diane 11th February 2012 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Hi all, hope you are all doing ok, I am on holiday visiting my parents, after flying here I always feel my anxiety back and the what if I lose my mind, I feel strange thoughts surface, I am trying to just let them be but am finding it hard as keep coming back to thoughts, also i feel a bit dizzy and out of balance even when sitting does anyone else have this?and any tips on how to handle this? sorry for moaning on I know it is probarbly the anxiety.

    Elaine I get the sore muscles to it isnt pleasant but i agree it is the muscle tension, everyone has given such good advice I hope you feel better soon,

    takecare allx

  408. Bill 11th February 2012 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Hi all,Diane your dizziness is exactly like i get,the more i think about things the worse it gets,even when sitting,sometimes it is with me most of the day along with distorted vision.ShellH you are so right regarding symptoms,if i had accepted 6 months ago i would not be anywhere near as bad as i am now.Trying to keep them out of your head is another thing though.I have one surge of dizziness that lasts 2 or 3 seconds,i am assuming this is an adrenaline surge,it does not happen very often but i do find i still worry about it happening,i guess if its not anxiety i cannot stop it happening anyway so i need to try and dismiss it from my mind,anyone have anything similar to this i would very much appreciate your comments.

  409. angela 11th February 2012 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    hi all i have just checked recent posts i have done and i find it amazing how much you can change in such a short space of time!! i am hopefully not in any major setback but i am in a setback, im starting to get very angry very quickly and i hate it.. but i cant seem to shake it and it gets worse then ok worse then ok… it is really annoying as it has started to make me think if there is actually something wrong with me now.. as i just take something little and just make a mountain out of amole hill basically!! and its starting to get me down as it affects everyone elses mood to… which causes arguments for no reason!! does anyone else have this kind of experience and do you think its related to anxiety or something else.. oh my god how annoying this all is i was doing so well now its the if buts and maybe stage lol but seriously is anyone else similar :0

  410. Evelyn 12th February 2012 at 1:35 am - Reply

    Hello all
    I had a question for scarlet. I have not been here in a long time I’ve been doing we’ll and just trying go get on with live beside my anxiety and d.p. well my concerned right now is I went to the doc today because I have the flu ad my blood pressure was high. Its was 140. The doc said she’s never seen a b.p so high at my age so she’s scheduling lab it freaked me out.. the doc really scared me!!! I feel fine but im really concerned .. I know scarlet went through this. Has anyone else said that can advice me? Im so scared. Cus the doc said im ti young 29and years. So im hoping its just anxiety from being at the doc and not permittly..

  411. Evelyn 12th February 2012 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Sorry I didn’t get to say thank you all:) p.s. this site is by far amazing! and has helped me in my worst days!

  412. Diane 12th February 2012 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Hi all, just guess I am needing a bit reasurrance, I have a small pain in one ear and my face feel tense and am aware of talking,which i am but feels a bit strange ofcourse I am adding anxiety into the mix and fear, does anyone else get this, I know my muscles in my head and kneck are tense, so sorry to moan and ask for reasurance but I am visiting my parents and dont want to say anything, i would appreciate any feed back

  413. Diane 12th February 2012 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    ps thank you for listening if you know what I mean

  414. Mark 12th February 2012 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    ANYBODY!! so when you have a intrusive or scary thought and you dont pay it any respect and don’t investigate or obsess over it. Is that like ignoring it because not giving it respect or obsessing over it is like not thinking about it. I don’t stop them but I don’t continue to think about them after it came that’s how I don’t show them respect but still sense there floating in there and the do burn out but some still creep back up other days. I guess my question is if you dont obsess about it then your not thinking about it is this right.

  415. natalie 12th February 2012 at 9:31 pm - Reply


    hope you are all doing ok xx and managing to get your life back on track with patience, acceptance and TRUST!!! i have just read an amazing article on trusting oneself. I think that most of the problem when you have anxiety is that you loose yourself or at least you think you do, you then stop trusting yourself and doubt any decision you make, which seems to aggrivate the condition. But what if you tried to just trust .. there are no right or wrong answers .. the outcome is not really in your hands, you can only do the best with the tools you have at the time.. (some wise person once told me that 😉 ) and as time goes on and you get on with your life with the trust in your heart no matter what you will be ok.. this instills a confidence and calmness to your tired mind .. and so you will rest and recover ! i think matt i just had what you call a ureka moment, and this is something that i really believe and hope to gradually instill into myself, this makes sense to me and hope it does you anyone who might be reading and suffering, TRUST !!!!!!!!!!!!1

  416. Debbie 12th February 2012 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Sinead and Nikki
    Thankyou so much for your comments it makes me realise im not alone and its not easy for anyone in the beginning. I think im having probs grasping what Paul says to do as an example, when i woke up feeling awful i thought right if i take the dog out with my ear phones in it will help, so i rushed around the pond thinking this will help, this will help, this afterwards i realised was the wrong thing to do expecting it to help, i didnt even notice all the ducks sliding around on the frozen pond and the sun shining etc etc, which i only noticed when we went past it today in the car! Im doing it wrong arnt i? Trouble is where you feel so awful you go into this head spinning fight with your mind chatter your so desperate its like im trying to run away from the feelings but you cant cos theyre always with you, you cant escape. So a positive i suppose is that ive realised what im doing wrong and try to do things cos i want to and accept the anxiety, easier said than done i find it sooooo hard to do, i get frustrated with myself cos i “dont get how to do it”!

  417. Matt 13th February 2012 at 1:40 am - Reply

    mark..sounds as if you are dealing with the obsessions correctly, except you are questioning you’re own thinking or wondering if it is still there or will come back? I, too went through the same exact thing. My main obsession was that I was going to make myself mad with this condition, so I obsessed on that thought and had all kinds of weird scary thoughts that were irrational and scary to me. But it was the initial thought and fear of it that brought it on and kept it around. It’s tough when you’ve had a particular obsession for awhile and then you learn how to let it be there and be in the solution, you’re mind isn’t used to that, it’s used to you obsessing, therefore it will continue popping up from time to time. Once you give your obsessions, mind, more space your mind will get used to you not fearing it, that’s when it truly recovers. You can’t expect to just let it be there for a few days and completely forget about it, or stop thinking about it, when your mind is so used to you thinking a certain way for a period of time. If I thought about pink flamingoes, which I hate the plastic ones that are on people’s lawns, for a few months straight and then decided to let that thought be there to recover, it’s gonna take a little time for that thought to subside and completely pass because I programmed my brain to think about it or fear whatever was floating around in my head, which is nonsense anyways. Hope that helped.

  418. Matt 13th February 2012 at 1:51 am - Reply

    debbie….You’re still scared and worried, that’s why you’re making it difficult on yourself. If you weren’t scared or worried the feelings and thoughts will leave, period. Like in my last post, you are “training” your brain to be scared of a particular feeling or thought, so you have to retrain it to be ok with it, because you know what reality actually is. Reality is that it’s just anxiety and your mind and body is overworked, so take a different approach. You are trying to get rid of, instead of allow. If you allow, through understanding, it will go away. If you try to rid, it will stick around. It’s pretty simple, hard to do. Anxiety is nothing but a trick of the mind, the release of adrenalin brings on all kinds of crap that circulate through our minds, so we then worry about it coming back or the thoughts because “we” would never normally think about things like that. Accept and allow the feeling, and it will pass quicker then you think.

  419. Sophia 13th February 2012 at 7:32 am - Reply

    Hi Angela,

    I have been facing something similar…always feeling that I should be proving so and so, if not I will be taken wrongly. In fact I need to defend myself all the time even when it wasn’t required. (Actually that is one of my wrong ” belief” but to break that belief i have to change my thought pattern.)
    so naturally it started rows as any comments on me would make me react negatively. I felt many a times people without anxiety would have been able to speak normally and defend their part. For me after doing all what i should be doing, since I struggle to get my point straight I prepare myself for answers just in case I am questioned. How pathetic!

    This brings a lot of resentment as u said might comeback as anger towards others. And we may not be able to pinpoint the exact reason for it. So what I feel for an anxious person it is very important to gain self trust as Natalie said . This condition actually drains u all of it.

    When I am flooded with all kinds of thoughts not knowing which direction to go. I ask myself why am I worried? Why should I feel bad? There is no Reason other than “habit of worrying” so reframe it by saying its ok to feel bad about me as I know it’s the habit , don’t question it, let those feelings be there, carry on with the day.I am actually happy. I respect myself which is more important. I have been hurting myself a lot. It’s time I take of myself. Beneath all these thoughts lies “me” who has to move ahead in life. Wherever I feel I can’t , they are just “habits” . We have to go ahead and do it. Now each time I feel I can’t, I simply do it with the thoughts “I will do it however I feel”

    I can move on with my days. But days where I get these thoughts they creeps in and become obsessive. So I have to feed in the right matter. I feel it’s more of retraining and reframing the mind to change the way we see things and gradually moving on with life. 🙂

  420. SI 13th February 2012 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    I’ve not actually posted on here for some time, although I do visit very regular. But although I have come along way over the last few years, over the last couple of days I feel just as low as I did when I first felt anxiety/depression. It got to the point where I actually went back to see another GP because my sleeping had been horrendous over the last 3 years. I don’t usually have any trouble dropping to sleep at night, but I wake way way too early 3am 4am every day and then just lay waiting for the rest of my family to wake anytime between 7 and 9. I’ve tried getting up and doing something but I don’t want to disturb anyone in the house.

    I’m in tears writing this because like Claire Weekes writes “I used not be like this”, I try so hard to do everything I would normally do, but still find that I have to really push myself, often talking myself in and out of doing things. I don’t enjoy life as I used too, yet I have everything in my life I could want. Loving wife, 3 children, nice house, good job, nice car….. but none of this seems to help.

    I am constantly questioning myself even though I let the thoughts come and go, usually come but very seldom go.

    My GP gave me some mild antidepressants last week to help me sleep, they have done little in the way to help me sleep, and actually I am not sure if they are adding to my depressive mood and lowering my already low energy levels.

    How do I accept all these feelings of emptiness, all the thoughts of not another day of dread and torment.

    Sorry It’s such a very negative post, and I do think that Paul’s method is still the method to use, so everyone reading this I hope not to make you feel low, especially when you maybe feeling upbeat, although I feel for me personally that I will have to learn to live with this for the rest of my life. It’s not so much anxiety, it’s the dread of every single day of dragging myself here and there and getting little if no enjoyment from life. The realy angry sad thing about this is that after 3 years it is paying it’s toll on my wife, I can see it’s getting her down more and more, but I know it is ALL MY FAULT!!!!!!

  421. marcb 13th February 2012 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Hi all, Oh where do I start. It was exactly 1 week ago I was going to come on here and tell you all how much better things are, how I think I may have “got it” etc etc, then on friday I latched on to the “physical imperfections” thoughts, and now here I am, feeling dreadful having sobbed my heart out almost uncontrollably. It’s been a long while since I’ve cried like this, and added is that feeling of being back to square one. I feel pretty shocked as to how I have “gone backwards” like this. Would love a reply…. Thank you…. Marcb

  422. Matt 13th February 2012 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    marc….look at the progress you made with it. You said you were doing better a week ago with it, and then the “thought” arose again and now you’re obsessed with it again. Let the thoughts ride in your mind and don’t ruminate, the key to removing obsessions isn’t to not actually obsess, but don’t ruminate. The obsessions will come and stick, but rumination is what keeps it around. If you get rid of the analyzing and questioning the thought or obsession, it will leave.

  423. marcb 13th February 2012 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your reply Matt, I get what ur saying, it honestly feels like this is the hurdle, but it is so hard to accept the thoughts about my particular “physical imperfection”. I’m being “told” (u know what i.mean!) That I can’t be anxiety free as I have this “imperfection”, I’m being “told” that this isn’t anxiety, I’m being “told” the imperfection needs fixing. On jan 9th Helen gave me a great reply to which I am doing my best to follow. It’s a struggle tho…. Thanks…. Marcb

  424. Steveo 13th February 2012 at 9:31 pm - Reply


    Sorry to hear you are not dong too well at the moment.

    What did the doctor suggest to you?

    Have you been to see a counsellor or had CBT etc?

    Do you still feel normal daily anxiety or is it mainly the sleep issue getting you down?

    I only ask as I have seen a lot of your posts that have been similar to mine in the past and we’ve suffered a similar time.

    I thought you had recovered as I’d not seen any posts.

    Keep it up, you will get there. Paul recovered and so have others… Why can’t everyone else! You included 🙂

  425. Bill 13th February 2012 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Hi all,need some help please,following Pauls book as best i can.I am facing my fears both on foot and in the car and not doing too badly.My problem seems to be that i am almost permanently dizzy/light headed when i am stood up or sat at the computer,this makes it extremely difficult to put these thoughts to the back of my mind when i feel as if i am about to pass out all the time,also i am extremely sensitised to any noises and jump or react sharply to them.Matt,Helen or any other good person,any advice would be greatly appreciated.Best wishes to all,Bill.

  426. Debbie 13th February 2012 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Matt thanks for your advice, today i went for a swim because i wanted to not cos i thought it would help`and i made a couple of cakes, it was really nice because i wasnt pressurising myself so hopefully its starting to sink in!

  427. Matt 14th February 2012 at 1:25 am - Reply

    bill….I went through the dizziness stages last year when I recovered from panic attacks and anxiety for a short while, I had the lightheadedness too. If I bent down or sat down for too long, when I got up I would feel light-headed and dizzy. It’s because of how worn out are body is from all the nerves. My nerves were so shot that I would be easily startled by nothing. Once my nerves healed, the dizziness and light-headedness went away. Remember, anxiety is mental and physical, so expect to feel the physical symptoms for a little bit. They went away after about three weeks for me.

  428. Teresa 14th February 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Hi All
    I have been going through a back injury (sprain) and this has sent me into a spiral of running round looking for help and fear (seen Doctor 3 times) spoken to all the correct people. It’s three weeks now, and i know i am progressing – but very slowly. I can feel the fear building about not recovering , worrying about having to take pain killers over a long period of time (which is my biggest worry) and it is really difficult. I have joined a group which is like art therapy and i am getting out and about – but sometimes the fact that this is going on so long and i am having to take the tablets has become a ‘unrealistic’ worry. i could do with some advice of someone – i know i am improving and i know most of the pain is real. Any advice would be very welcome. Especially some reassurance over it.

  429. Bill 14th February 2012 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Matt,many thanks for your rapid reply,you are an absolute star.I think i have 90 per cent accepted,but this dizziness and adrenalin surges which make me feel like i am going to pass out seems to frighten me and stop me going the extra 10 per cent,also any tips for keeping the checking in thoughts away.Best wishes to all,and thanks,again Matt.

  430. Vanessa 14th February 2012 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to compare some notes with anyone on the route to recovery 🙂 I feel like the physical symptoms of anxiety have all but disappeared, those being the dizziness, the beating heart, the uncontrollable fear etc, my body actually feels quite relaxed. However my dp is still relatively strong, accompanied by scary thoughts and occasionally blurred vision. I seem to have managed to remove a lot of the emotional attachment I held with these feelings so they are increasingly simply that strange feelings…. but I’m wondering if usually the dp is last elements to disappear. I still feel very lost at times and a stranger to myself with a lot of numbness, but a small voice inside always tells me all of this is an illusion and these people and places are things you know well and hold dear, and I can rationalise this ‘irrational’ much better that before. I was hoping someone might offer their story on recovery and if they reached a similar stage, and where or how they progressed onto the next stage?? any stories are appreciated!!
    I wish you all well, and once we recover this will be one of those laughable stories that has added to the adventure life is!!
    Vanessa x

  431. faye 14th February 2012 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    hiya paul
    anyone who suffers from the symptom ringing in the ears and feelings of dread
    i feel like im just been the same for ages i have got a lot better but i have hit a brick wall i have a good month really bad month and so on i have been in this cycle for at least six months i kno this is anxoety but its not sinking in and i feel like this is me forver i also read that once u understand recovery comes in a few month and i have been suffering for years and using this method . i kno this is the correct way and i dont doubt paul but what if i am one of the unlucky ones that just suffers with dread andGAD AND RINGING IN THE EARS AND all the bloody other symptoms im really frustrated
    can anyone help ?

  432. Matt 14th February 2012 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    vanessa…It’s about that “so what” attitude that paul keeps talking about that brings us to freedom. You understand how you got it, but if you keep obsessing and questioning, it won’t have a chance to leave. It sounds like you are doing the right things, but for me I had to get out and stay busy with friends, school, hobbies, etc. until DP was in the back of my head instead of the forefront. that’s when I knew recovery was right around the corner. My head became less dull and I became more and more focused on reality rather then the irrational, pointless thoughts popping in my head because I knew they were false. Essentially, that’s what DP is, feeling like a stranger to yourself. Like you are losing your identity, but it never really leaves. your body will stop protecting you when you show it that there is nothing to protect you from. And yes, Dp is the last thing to go, at least for me anyways.

    The solution for me was to force myself to reconnect with family, friends, etc. even though I had fear. After time, it worked when I continued to do it. You just have to carry the advice on here with you and understand that it is a process and you will come on the other side of it, which it sounds like you are.

  433. louise tague 14th February 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    hi everyone, im after a favour……i used to blog on here all the time, i found paul and his book invaluable, its what got me well on the way to recovery and freedom.I am a student of fitness health and exercise and have been asked to put together a powerpoint on mental health and the effect exercise has on it. I took up running many years ago, it helped me with stress and gave me something other than anxiety to think about, there is no doubt in my mind that exercise keeps me mentally well. i would really appreciate if as many people as possable could give me some input and their personal experiance of exercise, it would all go towrads my presenrtion, any coments would be appreciated. louise xx

  434. Sinead 14th February 2012 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Debbie have been following your posts glad my post helped great to hear you enjoyed the swim and cake making I remember the first time I enjoyed something in the depths of my worst anxiety and depression-it was a girly DVD night with wine and enjoying something and not trying to enjoy something is such a refreshing change isn’t it!I think for me recognizing like you have when you’re ‘trying’ etc is a big positive and recognizing what I was doing wrong helped me realise to things the ‘right way’ I just had to relax and do nothing!but it’s a habit that you train yourself into-it’s hard to stop caring about the things anxiety are telln u are important and you must think about!I hope your getting on ok this week it just takes time-which is frustrating but it instead of progressing fast and then slowly I find my progress was sooo slow and then sped up-something to look forward to 🙂
    I’m gettn through this setback in a way I never thought I would I’m delighted because I feel good these past few days.can u ask a question though-does anyone feel there anxiety doubles or they get triggered into a setback by friends constantly asking how they are or saying your not yourself??I have this one friend(whos very anxious herself!) and she constantly is askin am I ok an telling me I’m not acting normal-and I just feel like she triggers my anxiety!!!it’s very frustrating!I’ve told her repeatedly I need positivity she just doesn’t listen.I know that with this anxiety I shouldn’t avoid things that bring it on and I’ll truly be recovered when I don’t get anxious when she’s quizzing me but I really think she’s detrimental to my recovery-so should I take a break from the friendship until I feel stronger or should I stick with it even though I feel she pushes me into setbacks.thanks 🙂

  435. Steveo 14th February 2012 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Great post Matt.

    Really explains it well and oh so true 🙂

  436. Jennifer 14th February 2012 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Hi All

    Hope you are all keeping the faith (in the words of Bon Jovi)
    I have had a nice weekend as I got away for a change of scenery, did a long drive and haven’t visited this site for a while now, not because I have felt better, which is what usually happens, but because I knew it was adding to my already anxiety-thought packed mind. I don’t even know where to start now as I feel v.strong DP at the moment that seems like its been with me forever. But actually from reading the posts from the last 4 days or so, It has helped me to gain a more rational and positive perpective again which I needed.

    On a painful note, Matt, Vanessa and others have spoken about DP and thats where I am at. The physical symptoms have faded and no longer hold power after 4 months of experiencing a wonderful array of them. It is the constant, and I mean 22/7 barrarge of second thoughts, i.e questionning lots of random everyday things I see and think, basically not trusting my own general everyday thoughts and my memory. I can’t think clearly and freely and it isn’t a passing thing, its all the time at the moment.

    The constant general anxiety is tiring and eventually makes me want to cry to have some release and to make me feel real. And like Matt and others I too avoid my own company so that I can stay away from contstant thinking and to help me feel more real. I am understandably concerned about acting different in front of my family & friends as I have trouble keeping up, concentrating and being myself with them, which is the most upsetting thing of all. It feels like your losing control, disappearing into a hazy dream and like your sitting or locked in your mind, just like Matt has said previously.

    On the plus side I do feel more relaxed for 2 or 3 hours before bed time so I almost desperately look forward to that everyday.

    Now I write this I realise I do have some faith that I will find myself again and get my anxiety back to normal like others on here, but its just soooo hard it makes everyday a big heartwrenching struggle.

    Would really like support though this hopefully last, but very very difficult feelings and symptoms

  437. Jennifer 14th February 2012 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    p.s Matt’s last post is really helpful and applies a lot to my post, so thanks, will try to absorb it into my poor knackered mind.

  438. Fleur 14th February 2012 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone

    I havent posted before but I come to this blog alot as I get lots of support from reading your posts. In the middle of a setback at the minute and its so disheartening when you feel you have been doing so well. Im reading Paul’s book and on here and I know what I need to do but I seem to be unable to let go of the thoughts, the fear. Im knackered tonight from the being in my head all day and feeling the dread. I know I have to accept ‘its not you its your anxiety’ but I think I am not trying hard enough to accept, I feel like Im at a brick wall. Appreciate any advice. Thanks X

  439. Nikki 14th February 2012 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Teresa just wanted to say you are not alone and I totally understand how you feel. 18 months ago I started getting clusters of migraine which are related to hormonal changes I am experiencing. I have spent the last 18 months trying drug after drug and worrying about ‘getting better’. Feel like I have never been away from the gp always looking for reassurance or a cure. My anxiety throughout this time has completely overwhelmed me resulting in me giving up my job and almost becoming housebound. My anxiety has become the biggest bug bear of my life. I am making slow progress in accepting my anxiety and getting out and about however today I woke up with a migraine and instantly my anxiety took off again. I fear never getting well again etc. … Anyway I have no words of wisdom to offer you just comfort to let you know you are not alone! I do believe deep down that I will get through this horrible stage in my life but it’s not easy right now. Take care. Xx

  440. Teresa 14th February 2012 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Hi can anyone pass on any advice if they have handled non anxeity illness/injury whilst having anxiety – i would be interested in knowing what approach they took towards it.

  441. Mark 14th February 2012 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Hello has anyone experience different type of feeling or adrenalin with different types of thoughts or fears the adrenalin feeling isn’t always the same it depends on what it is if its a thought or a fear.

  442. Matt 15th February 2012 at 3:11 am - Reply

    Jennifer….the not thinking clearly for me was the absolute most upsetting for me and scariest. My head felt so blank all of the time. And when I was thinking of something, other then DP, I would again think about that blankness again and feel lost and confused again. In my most desperate states I never left the house, had a miserable routine I went through everyday, wake up, feel scared all day, smoke cigarettes, avoid family, kids, etc. because of the fear. I couldn’t read anything or concentrate for crap. I felt as if I didn’t exist anymore and lived in another world. It was gut-wrenching, horrifying, and probably the worst, lonely. I couldn’t talk to anyone, because noone understood. I then realized I would have to deal with this on my own. It literally felt as if I was sitting in my head watching the world go by and I didn’t know how to be a part of it again. Listen, it is a painful process to begin to reconnect and really does take an active effort. But I had two choices, a) live in fear of this for however long, or b) get on with life, and not expect anything, nor put any kind of time limit on when this hell would pass. Little by little, things slowly got better. And that is something that I had to accept, it is going to be slow. But like I said before, and paul stated, I wasn’t looking to be cured, just progress and to feel better. I had to learn to have faith that it would get better and learn to trust in myself, which was extremely difficult to do. It will and does get better, just don’t expect it to happen as soon as you like, and see those second thoughts, which I had alot of, for what they are. take care.

  443. mm16 15th February 2012 at 9:53 am - Reply

    hi matt, thank you for your last post….. you did have it as bad as me then ?? we can think when people get on with recovery like you have, they must not of had it that bad eh ? once again matt a truly reassuring post from you that will put a spring in my step today, maybe only a little one , but it will get bigger as the little seed of confidence grows. thank you so much matt.

  444. Sophia 15th February 2012 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Hi mark
    What exactly did u mean? I have experienced different kinds of thoughts at different times on the same topic or happening ..and these thoughts brought different perspectives..so I couldn’t decide which one of them is true and what should I stand for? It actually questioned my identity, who I am? What do I want? Most of the times I was not able to think rational or take it easy.

    Today I may plan for something but tomorrow my thoughts on that might have altered. So I don’t stick to that. I am confused. I guess if i have a picture about someone, i see whatever they do in that light..
    Is it the same that u experienced?

  445. dave 15th February 2012 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Hello All,

    I just thought I would provide an update on “journey” with my anxiety. I have been able to return to doing most accepts of my life. The thick DP I was experiencing has almost disappeared on most days. My “journey” began in Sept 2011.

    I still have some issues in the morning with the tightness on top of the head, but it fades as the days goes on.

    I was very much a gym rat before my “journey began, I have returned, but the next day after lifting weights/running, I notice that my body and DP are thicker. Anyone have any ideas why this is?

    I have read studies that show meditation increases the grey matter in the brain (grey matter=happy area brain), I have take up the practice, however I noticed in the mornings after doing meditation/yoga the symtoms (DP/tightness/burping) are heighten, again anyone have any ideas why this could be?

  446. Anthony 15th February 2012 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Dave,

    Your journey through your anxiety has been quite similar to mine, including the start time. For me, it was panic attacks that led to more anxiety. I had a period of time in Oct/Nov where I had little DP but that grew as I began to understand anxiety/panic more (hence the “thinking” part of it as I became aware of what was happening). It wasn’t long before I was stuck in the worry cycle and the heightened state with my panic.

    Exercise and sports for me has been getting better. Before, the increased heart-rate, lactic acid, etc would generate anxiety/panic like symptoms. I would feel my nervous system would be more sensitized. But now, I realize (and showing my mind/body that is was okay) that those types of “symptoms” are from the exercise and it does not bother me. It does take time and patience. I am the same with you with DP after excerise. Initially, I did some reading on hyperventilation/O2/CO2/etc on blood Ph levels. But you know what, I stopped. I do practice proper breathing, slowing down the breathing, but all the research, etc, it just made me worse. Like Paul said, just need to get out of the way and trust and let the body do its thing.

    I’ve also been practicing mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. I’ve now been able to incorporated it into my life as a form stress reduction, but not as a way to rid myself of anxiety/panic (though initially, that’s how I came across the topic). During your meditation or yoga, if you notice the symptoms, just accept them as that is what you are feeling at the moment. Bring your focus back to your breath and let the thoughts go. You are not your thoughts. You’ll find that thoughts can impact your mood. And if that’s true, why not go with the positive/good thoughts? 🙂 This is still a work in progress for me. As an example, this morning, I woke up and was feeling a bit off/grumpy. I thought, I have a choice in this, I don’t have to feel like this. I have my health, my family, a roof over my head. Soon enough, I was feeling better, rather than ruminating all morning wondering why I woke up feeling bad, was it my anxiety, why wasn’t it getting better, etc, etc. I have a choice and I am in control. In fact, I always have been. I’m pulling myself away from feeling like a victim. I don’t need to wait to “get better” to do this, I’m going ahead and doing this regardless, I’ll take my anxiety with me.

    Your previous post on stress and avoidance. From my experience, when I was in a highly sensitized state, my stress tolerance was very low. It didn’t take much for me to get that tight feeling in the chest or lump in the throat. But as I continue on my journey, to take a quote from John Kabat-Zinn, “It’s not the potential stressor itself, but how you perceive it and then how you handle it that will determine whether or not it will lead to stress”.

    This journey for me, as funny as it may sound, has almost been a good thing for me. I’ve learned (am still am learning) alot about myself, my life, my beliefs and values. I’ve come to accept that the anxiety and panic occured in my life for a reason (think of it as a detection/alarm system from your body) and to make the best of the situation and to make positive changes in my life. However, as with all of us, getting to this point has been quite a journey for me. I’ve faced many fears along the way with my panic and have been able to come through them. There were days where it would have been so much easier to take the easy route (as Paul talks about in his last blog post), but I picked myself up off the ground and got on with life. Sure there may be times now where the old memories may “stir the embers” (similar to what Claire Weekes mentions). But it doesn’t bother me as much, and each time it happens, I welcome it. It’s another opportunity to practice. I know the more I can practice the easier it gets. Setbacks do not bother me as much as they used to.

    Every forward progress you make is progress. All those little steps forward, over time, add up. Don’t be too hard on yourself and maybe think of anxiety hours as flight hours for pilots training. Try not to resist, as what resists will persist. Over time, this will become easier. Maybe today you’ve just couldn’t shake the anxiety/fear filled thoughts from your head. But hey, tomorrow is another day, another opportunity. Chin up and smile. Smile inwardly as well.

    I hope this post will help of some of you, some re-assurance of hope and inspiration.


  447. Teresa 15th February 2012 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Great post Anthony – i am and have been for the last few weeks mediating, and as you said it is being done to reduce stress rather than rid myself of anxiety. Mindfullness takes some training but i keep trying. I have bounced about had my ups and downs and to be honest – now is probably the hardest time i have found to accept, as i have a back sprain and the anxiety is kicking into it. Yet, it still makes sense to restrict the ‘what ifs’ – I am trying to see that if my body is healing and the anxiety is making me feel like it isn’t , it doesn’t matter – it all takes time and patience and me getting frightened is not going to heal either problem.
    Would love to hear more about your mediatation practice.

  448. Sophia 15th February 2012 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Great post Antony..

  449. Anthony 15th February 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply


    With the continued practice, perhaps you will be able to see your pain in another way. Instead of, “my back hurts” it may move toward “I am having feelings of pain in my back”. You do not become your pain and can create a separation. Being mindful does not necessarily mean pushing away the pain, but acknowledging that it is there and that is how you are feeling at the moment. You are feeling how you are feeling at the moment. Like anxiety, it is a feeling, it is temporary and it will pass. It always does. Don’t worry too much about the future and the healing. Think of it this way, if you fear/worry about the future, but yet it has not happened yet, then aren’t you fearing/worrying about something that does not exist?

    If you have not tried, perhaps you should try the body scan meditation. There are guided ones you could probably find on YouTube. I personally bought the CD’s from John Kabat-Zinn. I find this is a very good body relaxation meditation. I actually am enrolled in a MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) class right now. Previous to that, I did a 8 week program as outlined in John Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living, on my own. I generally do a sitting meditation in the morning, after I shower. Usually from 20min to 40min. Some days, I’ll have thought after thought – whether it’s worry, planning, anticipating, etc. But I’ll notice the thought, let it go, and bring my attention back to my breath. Relentlessly some days. Your goal is not to stop your thinking. You can’t, you’re human. It’s about your relationship to your thoughts. I see my meditation time as a time for myself, something for me.

    My breath has been an anchor for me during my very tough times of anxiety and panic. When possible or when-ever I notice through-out the day, I breath from the belly. Nice, slow breathes in and out. I’ve read, described one way, in that similar to a storm in a sea, the surface is always choppy, but below is calm. I use that analogy with my belly breathing during times of choppiness. With that said though, something that I’m now practicing is to drop that. Zero safety crutches with my panic or anxious times. Open up the welcome mat and take it on. Attitude and belief system is what is going to get you over the finish line.

    For the “what ifs”. Next time you get “what ifs”. Add a “SO”. If I ever that some days my DP was so strong and thick, I would say, “So what if it is”. I will think as much as my tired mind can think. I will continue to live my day to the best of my ability as this is the only time I truly live, in the present. I will not let this DP dictate how I will live my life, where I can or cannot go. If DP wants to come along with me, then come with me because I have things to do, family and friends to see and love.

    Some days, sure, you might get a minute of confidence, then an hour. Then you might setback. But you will never lose what you have gained, if anything, you will be able to step forward with even more confidence. Over time, you will see it will only have as much power and hold over you as you give it.


  450. Anthony 15th February 2012 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Oh one other thing that has helped me along the way.

    The ability to accept uncertainty.

    This generally goes along with my “what ifs”. What if I start to feel panicky on the train, what if I feel panicky when I’m driving, what if I feel panicky in the meeting at work. You can never ever re-assure yourself enough. You will never be able to satisfy it. This goes along with acceptance, but you need to accept the fact that there is a possibility that it may occur or you may feel anxious. But you know what, IT’S OKAY to feel anxious. It is a feeling and it will pass. This will then help you drop your guard. And when you drop your guard, you become less hyper-vigilant. You aren’t constantly monitoring for your symptoms.

    And then, if you hit a set-back. You may think, “oh my goodness, it’s back again”. My answer now to myself, “So?”. I would think, the last time I had one, I was sensitized for a few days. This time, you know, maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe more. But you know, it’ll come when it comes. I can live my life just fine until then. You read everywhere that setbacks occur in all types of recovery and healing. Why would I think that I’d be special and have no setbacks? Setbacks are essential. Learn from it, grow from it, embrace it. Step towards your fear. Develop your own confidence and courage within yourself. And once you do that, you can take that with you where-ever you go. It will always be with you.

  451. Teresa 15th February 2012 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Anthony – thank you so much for your full and really helpful reply. I am at present working with a cd which has been put together by someone who has practised for 25 years and i find i do get a ‘stilling’ of my body whilst following the practice – i do it twice a day. I also agree with you that attitude to whatever it is will make a difference and i know I have been guilty of telling myself scary stories re the back – or getting alarmed when other people tell me things – i do realise that i need to accept that these stories are ‘stories’ we cannot predict the future so therefore it does not make any sense to predict the worst outcome all the time – I am making everything that much worse. Your help tonight has been very welcome and I had followed a link from Jan 2008, I think that may have been the man you speak of i will go back and look.
    I will certainly work on the mediatation as a way of approaching life from a differing angle – I have a ‘wrong’ way of thinking which tends to find the percentage of whats wrong and try and fix it so that everything is right – therefore I am making the worst part of my life the biggest.
    I will take it step by step and hopefully I will learn as I go. Thanks again, i’m sure your reply will help others too.

  452. Evelyn 16th February 2012 at 2:24 am - Reply

    Hello Paul
    I wrote a post up above can u help thanks 😉

  453. Nick 16th February 2012 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Hi guys, hope you are all well.

    I haven’t posted on here in a while and don’t really want to as I know the answer already… But I’m having trouble with the thoughts!

    I am a 25 year old guy who has been in a loving relationship for over 3 years with the girl of my dreams. However, the past month or so has been a growing torment as I have been getting the “what if” thoughts about being gay. As you can expect, and the reason I’m here, it’s terrifying, I hate it. Now don’t get me wrong please, I have never been homophobic at all! Up until a month ago, if a gay guy thought i was attractive, then it was fine, I’d appreciate it as it gave me a confidence boost in how I look, but I would never find them attractive or anything like that. But this now takes the form of “you used to appreciate gay guys finding you attractive, does that make you gay!?”. It is ridiculous I know. I have never ever been attracted to guys, just girls, for as long as I can remember! But the adrenaline is really pushing me into thinking otherwise! I now fear looking at men, but then I look at men to test myself also! I know how much I love my girlfriend, it makes me want to cry because I love her so much and that I want my thoughts back to normal (which then of course makes me think “you want to cry about a girl…you’re gay”). I think it is more the “what if i turn gay in the future?”. My thoughts tend to focus around my relationship. I want to be with my girlfriend for the rest of my life but anxiety seems like it doesn’t want that, I know i never want to lose her. Does that make sense? Can anybody reassure me that I am being absolutely absurd and to just be a bit more patient? I have had a good week or so but this past day or two has got me back wondering again… Hope you can help.


  454. Steveo 16th February 2012 at 10:15 am - Reply


    I think many men have had this thought and it is the anxiety clutching on to something. There has been posts on here in the past about it and this is all it is.

    If you find women attractive and don’t find men attractive, for me that is enough proof you need.

    If you found the men attractive it would be different.

    Ignore the anxiety and it will eventually go away.

  455. Nick 16th February 2012 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Thanks Steveo. I have actually read those posts from a while back but as always anxiety puts you in doubt that this is actually the situation I am in. The problem now is that I think I have let the thoughts have so much hold that I actually struggle to say “YES, of course I am attracted to women!!”, even though it is obvious sexually that I am. Again, is this the anxiety doing its thing?


  456. Bill 16th February 2012 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Hi all, I have just been to the supermarket and as usual faced up okay,but the dizziness/lightheadedness came big style,i carried on and started the breathing exercises but after 25 minutes i was feeling no better,ie still extremely tense and still extremely light headed and treading very carefully.What am i doing wrong,please any advice as usual would be greatly appreciated,best wishes to all,Bill.

  457. Steveo 16th February 2012 at 1:09 pm - Reply


    I would say so yes. I think your post answers your own question “obvious sexually that I am”.

    If you were also attracted to men it may be different but if you are not, I think you have already given yourself the answer.

    You just have to believe it and carry on and the anxiety may move on to something else, or dissapear altogether 🙂

  458. mm16 16th February 2012 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    a big thank you to matt and anthony for the encouraging posts , wow you both are fantastic at explaing it all

  459. Evelyn 16th February 2012 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Hell all. Helen or scarlet:)
    Don’t know if ur still around these days!i needed a lil advice with some issues I have with my blood pressure being a bit elevated at the moment.. I have been under alot of stress. What concerns me is it permenit or due to the current stress .. the doctor says shall never seen a 29b year old with blood pressure that high. Which totally freaked me out!:(

  460. Anthony 16th February 2012 at 2:42 pm - Reply


    Thought I’d comment on your situation, but also just to share to everyone in general about various ideas or things from my own experience.

    Don’t think of each scenario as a test. This will make you compare to previous, think of what you did “wrong”. It will just make things worse. All you will constantly do is “what did i I do wrong? what isn’t it going away? what if it comes back?” And there you go, you’re back into worrying and thinking about it 24/7. You’ll find, over time, you do it to yourself.

    Come to think of it as a practice perhaps. You can re-adjust your target if need be, you can be a little easier on yourself. You may think to yourself, “you know what, I didn’t feel the best today at the supermarket, but you know what, that’s okay. I was able to go there, able to do what I needed to do and carried on. Over time this will be come easier. Given the circumstance I’m under, it’s okay to feel anxious at the supermarket, and I did the best to my ability.”

    Don’t expect perfectionism, give it time, give it space. Learn to build the confidence and courage within yourself. As once it begins to develop within yourself, it will grow stronger. You’ll be able to work with your self-sabatoging thoughts and trust in yourself. By bringing your anxiety to places and situations, it’s hold over you diminishes. The fear lessens. Don’t avoid it or struggle with it as this will only make it grow. Lay out the welcome mat, embrace it. Don’t “white-knuckle” your way through the situation. Don’t tense, relax. Focus on the task at hand. Be immersed in your surroundings, take in the experience, enjoy the present moment. Live your life.

    When you enter situations, see if you can notice yourself and any anticipatory anxiety. I used to be like that all the time. Hours before an event, I would think “oh boy, I’m going to have to be with people, what if I feel anxious, what if I want to just leave, what if, what if, what if.” Soon enough, I found myself worked up and I hadn’t even gone yet. And you know what, as soon as the event came, there I was, fulfilling my own thoughts. I am learning to start to break free of that. My own self sabotage. I am practicing on accepting the uncertainty. Go in with no expectations. Anxiety – yes, anxiety – no. It doesn’t matter. Just step out of the way.

    I always find myself typing “as Paul says” but I end up deleting it because I don’t think I or anyone else could say it enough. Trust in it, but also, importantly, trust in yourself.


  461. Anthony 16th February 2012 at 2:58 pm - Reply


    I’m not a doctor and so am only speaking from my own knowledge and experience. So what I share is only my thoughts.

    A blood pressure of 140 (and I am assuming you mean systolic) is not necessarily a reason to immediately panic. There are so many factors that can affect blood pressure. Blood pressure varies through-out the day from day to night. Your anxiety and stress levels can affect your blood pressure readings. But like you said yourself, you’re stressed out, you’re anxious and your blood pressure is a bit elevated at the moment.

    In fact, I used to monitor my blood pressure too much a couple of months ago. Every time I was at the grocery store or at the pharmacy, I would check my blood pressure. “OH MY GOD IT’S ABC systolic today and DEF diastolic today”. Well, you can guess how that made me feel and where it took me with my anxiety/panic and worrying.

    Now, I’m not trying to make fun of your situation, I understand because I’ve been there, done that. I just wanted to inject a little humour into all our lives. Easier said that done of course? Yes. But over time, this all gets easier. Baby steps, no over-night miracles. Trust me, I’ve had it just as bad as everyone else has. While we all have our own strong symptoms or re-occuring thoughts, but you can see that it all follows common denominators and patterns. So what does that say? There is nothing inherently wrong with you. Your old-self exists. This is a temporary state and will pass. Just move out of the way.


  462. Bill 16th February 2012 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    Anthony,many thanks for your in depth reply.At 56 years old you would think the penny might have dropped by now but no.Many times i have been to the supermarket with few problems,but i still basically challenge myself every time i go,its the same when i do my 1 mile daily walk.Which is why i am light headed every day.Accept the uncertainty as you say.Stop the daily challenges,you have made me feel a bit better with your reply,i hope you are feeling good also,thanks again,Bill.

  463. Joshua 16th February 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Evelyn
    I used to venture this website a few years ago myself and have recently come back to it again due to anxiety. I don’t know if you remember me (I we nt by Josh instead of joshua then, to many joshs!) but I do remember you. I havent seen candy or scarlet anymore but I have come back recently myself due to anxiety although I don’t interact very much. I have been having the exact same problem as you ( and Bill as well). I have been feeling dizzy for several months and a few weeks ago I decided to finally go to the doctor. Of course I was INCREADIBlY anxious and having all kinds of heart palls and dizzinesss, and I have been through the blood pressure fear before. Well of course wouldn’t you know they bring out the blood pressure tester and I immediately start anxing out. My blood pressure was something ridiculous like 185/95! So of course I panic and heart palp more, the doctor who was absolutely useless didn’t seemed concerned and told my to go to my GP. I still feel dizzy, heart palps, and get incradibly anxious and do worry about my health but a do know the anxiety certainly intensifies what ever I feel and I can atleast recognize that it is definitely playing a role. I know I’m not scarlet but I want you to know that I’m in the same boat as you and that I’m here whenever you feel you need to vent your hatred towards those damned blood pressure machines LOL! Another thing to look into is something called white coat syndrome. I have a suspicion that plays a big role in our problem:) I hope that helps to let you know you are not alone

  464. Joshua 16th February 2012 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Oh and by the way I am also 29 years old. I don’t think the doctor was quite aware of his subject matter;)

  465. Evelyn 16th February 2012 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Anthony :
    thanks u so much for ur comment was very soothing:) do u still experience high blood pressure? Or is it gone? I know im in a dreadful situation so mtoy big concerned iswill it go back to norma? I know ur not a docu so sorry if im bunbarding with questions. Im just sooo scared right now! Cus im young and my pressure is 145/84. Are u on mess

  466. Evelyn 16th February 2012 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Thanks josh:)

  467. Evelyn 16th February 2012 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Sorry anthony im typing from my cell phone so alot of words are misspelled lol

  468. Bill 16th February 2012 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Joshua,my doc had me checking blood pressure 3 times daily with the result that it got higher and higher with the anxiety,mine went higher than yours but i am a lot older than you.I am on beta blockers which stop my heart racing.I still have high bp now but i basically check it monthly and try not to worry about it.It is a bit lower as a result.best wishes,Bill.

  469. Anthony 16th February 2012 at 6:42 pm - Reply


    I’ve seen mine fluctuate from 110/75 (ish) to 140/85 (ish). It depends on stress and anxiety level, moods, physical state. I’m only a few years older than you. Overall, if I averaged out the blood pressure, I think it would be just fine. If it really bothers you that much, check your blood pressure at various times through-out the day. Note your levels of stress and anxiety. Take the average reading over a few days. See how it is. If it is fine, move on. Don’t get hung up on your blood pressure or turn into a hypochrondriac.

    Here is an example from my experience. Prior my really really big panic attack (and I’m talking like going to ER, blood tests, brain/chest scans, EKG, everything), I thought I had low blood sugar and that was what was making me dizzy, etc. That incident just burned a big fear into my memory. Any time I had anxiety symptoms, I was a wreck thinking that I had low blood sugar, etc. Now, I knew deep down that I was okay (gone through medical test, checked my own blood sugar levels), but it still took time to work with myself to not be afraid of my anxiety symptoms.

    One of the things with anxiety/panic is that we get focused too much on the symptoms and not looking more towards what can we do to support and help ourselves in the moment. I’ll use another example to help drive the point across. The “old” me. If I am on the train, commuting to/from work, I may feel some symptom of anxiety. Usually DP, weak jelly legs, maybe naseau. I would then add fear to that initial fear (as Claire Weekes describes) and then heart palpitations, then increased heart rate. My mind begins to race like crazy. I have doubts of being able to cope. I want it to go away. I try to push it away. I use my crutches (ie. look at my phone, put on my head-phones, read my book). Now, all I was doing was giving it the power it needed – I threw gasoline on the fire. What I have been learning to do is to support myself in those types of situations. Acknowledge I am feeling what I am feeling. Invite it in, even a little. Feel it, embrace it. Understand it. It is just adrenaline rushing through my body. In fact, my body is reacting exactly as my mind told it to. It is preparing me for fight or flight. I can loosen up a little, I can ensure I don’t hyperventilate. By doing this, I am showing it that there really is nothing to be on guard for. I am supporting myself.


  470. Joshua 16th February 2012 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Anytime Evelyn, I’m happy to help and it nice to know when you’re not the only one strggling this way:) I’m willing to bet if you were relaxed and took your blood pressure (without being anxious about taking it I intentionally did not buy a bp tester for that reason because it scares the crap outta me) you would find it dropping. If you think about it though of course when you’re anxious your blood pressure is going to be high. It’s like your body is screaming”Alert! Sometings wrong” when of course nothing is. Blood pressure also changes throughout the day and also according to task so a marathon runners bp will be high after a run. Given the fact we anxiety suffers put ourselves through mental marathons on a continous basis, it’s no wonder our bp is high when we are worried. I try to chalk it up to anther one of those harmless things we constantly put ourselves through. Now if I could only learn to take my own advice I would be great lol!

  471. Joshua 16th February 2012 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Anthony it sounds like your experience is very similar to my recent anxiety. I still am in the learning stage (again)and have been for a few weeks but I am getting there. As I say a little setback never hurt anybody. I am glad to hear you have gotten yours down Bill. I don’t test mine regularly and im not sure what it would say but I try not to give it any respect either and add an unnecessary worry

  472. Teresa 16th February 2012 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with what anthony and Joshua are saying re the blood pressure. Blood pressure goes up with nervous people when it is taken – it is called white coat syndrome, that is why they say that some people are better off having their own machine to test it – a HOWEVER I agree with joshua and i have deliberatley stayed away from one. It would never be right and would be a constant worry – i get mine tested occasionally when I am in the doctors and leave it at that. Evelyn – I am sure your BP is fine, docs can be so irresponsible with language and we pick up on the slightest ‘worry’. If there was a problem she would not have left you leave the surgery – try not to worry yourself over it it is your anxiety.

  473. Evelyn 16th February 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Ohhh how ur words make me feel a whole lot better:) I understand that it can be just my anxiety because even if I go in for a visit for my childrean n I still get nervous. Lol. Thanks anthony and josh really sooths my nerves. I guess this is what a set back is about. Lol. I was fine for about almost a year and now im a nervous rec. Im even afraid to get on freeways again. I must admit I wasfeeling so good I stopped exercising eating right. Meditating etc.. my d.p is gone and crazy thoghys but now the panic is back.. and yea josh we are the best councilers but when its comes to us we just don’t wanna hear it .. geeshhhhh

    Thankssss sssooo much 😉

  474. angela 16th February 2012 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    i have been in another recovery period. and checked my old post.i am amazed that i come across so confident!! i am actually annoyed at myself right now. because i cant beleive that it is coming back i feel like its a slow process but am scared that it will hit me full force again and criple me ( even though deep down i no it wont) because i get on with my day and life and it tags along with me or leaves me its anxietys choice either way i dont care about it anymore.. but im just amazed how it follows me 🙁 im gettting on with my life but the thoughts of harming my 9 year old creap in and out of my head.. and i hate it, and the feelings of whats the point in tryhing and “doom and gloom” i would just like some reasurance if anyone else is like this as i feel a disappointment to myself right now as i was sooo happy a few weeks back putting my finger on it i would say when i lost my grandmother sudenly a few weeks ago.. which is fair enough but i feel like i am free as i looked after her for 9 years visiting regular shopping etc.. now i no she would have wanted me to have my life as i am 42 now.. but it hits again… does anyone else get feelings of hopelessness and whats the point etc would be a great help some reasurance right now thankyou all 🙂

  475. Teresa 16th February 2012 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Angela – firstly you have recently had a very big emotional upset in your life and if you are like most other anxiety sufferers I know you will have handled it all very well and have been great support to everyone. Now you have had a chance to settle down the anxiety has hit you – with all the progress and welness you have stored up in you you will soon bounce back. What you are suffering is perfectly natural for anyone, let alone anyone who has had anxiety.
    I am in a bit of a hole at the moment – and i know the ‘doom and gloom’ and ‘what’s the point’ voice – but try and accept that too – try and realise this is natural for what you have been through. Stephen Fry gave an interview recently and he sort of said about his health problem – sometimes I get black days, I treat them like the weather – if it’s raining you can’t deny its raining,but the weather changes and so does your mood – you cannot make the rain go away (immediately) but if you do nothing the rain will pass on its own accord.
    It makes sense – so don’t worry about that thought, it’s a thought – I know to you it is frightening, but if you look at all of us on here we have frightening thoughts that are all unfounded – mine at present is over taking tablets for a strained back, it’s not logical – it’s a fear along with I will have to take them forever, how ludicrous is that!
    Don’t try to hard to be happy – it will come Angela, your post is full of emotion and that is normal at the moment – you will be fine and very soon, I can see this for the temporary thing it will be and then you will be back helping others and being strong again. don’t be so hard on yourself. Take care.

  476. Junaid Ahsan 17th February 2012 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Paul may GOD give you 100 times more then what u desire….i thank GOD & U from the bottom of heart i cant tell u how much relaxed & happy am feeling now…you are a GOD gift my friend…and please continue the good…

  477. lorryt 17th February 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply


    just a bit lost and confused at the moment.After recently getting over a back issue , i have since had a really nasty bout of teh flu, which doesnt want to leave me. I have had blood tests and they were normal, but i still feel so horrendous. I seem to have had a real anxiety free year in 2011 and really opened up my eyes to how i can be and how i can live my life, for it all to come back in on me. I am worried that there is more wrong with me, and my anxiety builds from there. i am the first to tell people that their bodies arent machines and the need to slow downn is vital. i have taken time off work this week , which i have never ever done before, andhave kept myself busy but my thoughts seem so to be overtaking everything i do. i want to accept them and let them pass but i guess where i am tired and feel low i grab at them. i am hoping this i just a bump in the road and that given time i will recover to my 2011 levels !!!. My head feels heavy and tired and my limbs just drag on behind. one minute ican cope the next i have written myself off. i am due to start a new job on Monday and am concerned that I am not going to be bale to cope with it all xxx

  478. Teresa 17th February 2012 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Hi Lorry
    So sorry you are feeling low at the moment – I can really empathise. I have had my ‘back’ issue for 4 weeks now and it is doing my anxiety no good at all.
    However – from reading your post I can see that the pressure of having the flu and facing a new job could be enough to make anyone anxious, so your anxiety has come back to scare you. If you were nearly anxiety free for a year, that is wonderful, I know you want to get back to where you were, and believe me I reallly do know and understand. It will pass – it may take you starting the new job for the anxiety to realise that there is nothing to worry about. Perhaps if you can look at it like that it may help – your mind is thinking it has something to worry about so it is making adrenalin and making you feel all over the shop – once you have started the new job as you settle it will settle and the confidence you feel from that will make you strong again. hope it all works out for you.

  479. E 17th February 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Hi everyone,
    have been reading the posts on here for a few years, and following the advice.For the past few months have had the dizziness and headaches. However the tension in my head, shoulders and back has been increasing day by day. I am trying to continue with my daily activities, but finding it difficult with the heacache etc.

    Went to see the doctor last week about the increasing tension, and she basically didnt have anything to offer. She said she didnt have the magic solution, and that i should carry on as usual.
    Have been doing yoga stretches for some time, and try to walk the dog to clear my head a bit.
    Usually this tension eases a bit after a while, but not so at the moment. Just wanted a little reassurance again, as no one else, including the doctor appreciates what I am talking about!
    Took Pauls book with me to show the doctor and she wrote down the details. Advised her that the book gives good advice on what anxiety entails and how to live with it.Hope she passes the info on to others who may visit her with the same issues!
    Hope everyone is doing ok. Good to have this site to visit and discuss things with?
    Best wishes E

  480. marcb 17th February 2012 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Hi all, I am affraid this post will be long but please bare with me. I am 43 years of age and have had anxiety all my life. I have tried the “lot” all to no avail. 20 years ago I was seeing a psychotherapist/hypnotherapist who told me that he could get me better, what happened was I believed him and, almost by accident I was doing what paul tells us to do, I was accepting the thoughts, sure enough I ended up feeling great, the best ive felt in my 43 years. What happened next was I got a thought, from my no doubt STILL anxious mind, “ok, if im fine mentally, ill find something wrong physically”, and sure enough It did, the thought centered around my penis, because it wasnt “perfect” its thin around base and with a slight bend. At the time I was a virgin, so it worried me massively and as I was thinking about 24/7, not surprisingly I spirraled into a living hell. At the start of 1998 I met a girl, we had sex and all my worries about my penis vanished, I still had anxiety of course but it wasnt centered around my penis. my anxiety continued and a couple of years ago I tried “the linden method” it was a complete waste of money, I was getting worse until in may 2011 I decided to see my gp, who in turn sent my to see a psychiatrist. It was the end of may when I stumbled upon pauls site, and then I promptly bought the book. I started following pauls advice about accepting and within a week I was feeling amazing, I couldnt believe how I could go from being so low to feeling so good. I carried on pauls method then about a month into it, the same thing happened again, the thought about my penis popped up after all these years. I had no problem accepting anxious thoughts about harming people, harming myself etc as I KNEW these were caused by anxiety, but when the thoughts about my penis popped up I found myself following them, I couldnt accept as I could “see the fault”, I was being “told” by my mind that these thoughts about my penis were not anxiety thoughts, they were something diffrent, i was being “told” I couldnt be anxiety free as i am not “perfect”, I was being told by my mind I “must follow” these thoughts. That was around late August, since then I am still having massive trouble accepting these thoughts and hence I am feeling awful. The most crazy thing about this is I have a girlfriend, a wonderful girlfriend, who knows I have suffered from anxiety all my life, who I have spoken to about my imperfection and who has looked me in the eye and told me our sex life is GREAT! and there isnt a problem with my penis, yet still I CANNOT seem to accept this particular thought. Could someone PLEASE tell if this particular thought I get is an anxious thought caused by me having anxiety? If the strength of the “physical” thoughts will lessen if I CAN accept? If this is normal/common with anxiety? if we as people can be axiety free even if were not perfect? Also when the thoughts about my penis enter my head can I just say to myself “hey marc this is anxiety playing its tricks its normal and common……no worries!”.Any replies will be so gratefully appriciated, even if u have replied in the past please reply again. Thank you so much for reading, yours sincerely Marcb … x

  481. Evelyn 17th February 2012 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Hi E

    I have had long periods of headaches too! They are very common with anxiety suffers! Please don’t worry yourself into thinking something is really wrong with u.. mine was so bad I even went to a chiropractor. I felt muchs better along with a massage .. walking also helps alight.. and of course as claire weeks mention in her book just let it be.. don’t pay it any mind .. the more u focus the more u and fuel to the fire.. I still have those alot but when I exercise it seems to help alot. Along with ignoring them… hope this hslps

  482. Anthony 17th February 2012 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    From my experience with tension:

    Everyone carries tension in different ways. I was a jaw clencher, tension in the shoulders and upper back. Mine was predominately from stress. What has helped for me has been meditation and yoga. Now, when I notice that I am tensing up, I relax that region (or stop the jaw clenching). You may want to try things such as epsom salt bath or progressive muscle relaxation, or as Evelyn mentioned, a massage. I think of tension now as a signal from my body, that there is something that I need to address in my life that is causing my tension.

  483. Graeme 19th February 2012 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post, but I have read quite alot on the blogs and bought pauls book last month. I think he touches on things that other anxiety websites don’t come close to mentioning. I’ve had anxiety/depression on off for 8 months now after a panic attack on my honeymoon last year, normally 2 weeks of feeling awful then a week of feeling ok (like myself). I’ve had everything from horrific intrusive thoughts to intense feelings of total despair. I did have over the phone cbt and it did help but found it hard to put the methods into place when i was feeling down with my anxiety. I recently had the longest period of feeling good (about three weeks) then it crept back up on me. I am now having really scary thoughts and feelings, I am constantly questioning my exsistance, and weather i really matter in the world and if what im seeing is actually real. I know…sounds crazy doesn’t it, but these thoughts and feelings are utterly depressing and I cant really see the point in anything at the moment. I hope im not the only one who has these feelings and thoughts. Great blog by the way paul 🙂

  484. Sinead 19th February 2012 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Hey great posts Anthony you explain anxiety very well and they’re very helpful.I’m doing well this past while 🙂 my ‘journey’ started sept 2011 too.I think one of the hardest things for me is not to expect too much from myself and not to rush myself-like I read your posts and immediately thought-I should be as well as this person now my anxiety started the same time why aren’t I?!but I know that’s just my anxiety taking a sneaky other form to worry me or knock me off balance -it doesn’t matter how long it takes me it’s jut great I’m making progress 🙂 during the supposed ‘worst time of my life’ I have passed all my finals,passed a difficult job interview and got a distinction in my degree so it just proves you can literally do anything in the worst of anxiety and dp,I guess that’s my words of contribution-no one suffering from anxiety should ever be to hard on themselves and should never let anxiety stop them doing anything-it was hard as hell don’t get me wrong-but just don’t let it stop anyone it has already taken up space in my head it’s not going to take years from my life

  485. Sinead 19th February 2012 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Marcb these thoughts are definitely just anxiety taking another form honestly.I always think anxiety throws random thoughts at u until one scares or worries you to make it stick.this thought about your imperfection is just a thought that you’ve allowed to stick-try not to dwell on it,think of it as anxiety and therefore is as untrue as any of the anxious thoughts that you’re able to brush off easily and the more u accept it as anxiety the easier it will get to live with the thought.

  486. marcb 19th February 2012 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you sinead. Anxiety is frickin amazing, Friday I was… Well, let’s say awful, then yesterday it was like someone had pulled a dirty visor from my eyes and I started to see things and feel better…….. Simply because….. Guess what?….. I was accepting my thoughts and feelings!! Marcb x

  487. Will 19th February 2012 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Hi again,
    I posted a week or so ago about obsessing over mistakes I made in the past just like with obsessive thoughts. Of course everyone makes mistakes (I’m referring to ones from my mid-teens) and I know I should leave them behind, but over the past few months a few have been creeping into my mind that never used to bother me before. The anxiety has been holding onto them and making me feel what I often think to be guilt, but I can’t tell. What I think happened is that when I turned 20, it was a milestone age for me and it made me think back to my teenage years… a little too deeply. It’s as if it suddenly opened my eyes to all the mistakes and wrongdoings I did as a teenager. Maybe it’s that I’ve become wiser and suddenly realised right and wrong in what I did, but I don’t know. I haven’t shared these feelings with anyone really except for on here, so I feel kind of alone about it. It feels like that intensifies the anxiety/thoughts too.
    There’s one in particular that’s been in my mind for about a month now (nothing I really want to share). However I think I have proof that it’s just something for anxiety to cling onto: Whenever I’m out and about, the thought doesn’t even enter my mind. And rarely when it does, I can easily shrug it off. It’s usually always when I’m at home when my mind is unoccupied – especially the weekends when usually I have nothing to do – and my anxiety has my attention once again and brings the memory back. It’s as if I’ve forgotten what it’s like to live my life without obsessively worrying about my ethics and past mistakes and they just had to jump back into my mind.
    Right now it’s more of a vague, generic feeling of anxiety and panic than it is the actual memory. The memory doesn’t usually evoke a huge anxious reaction anymore, but it does come back at least once a day. It’s like every day I automatically think, “Hey, I just realised I haven’t been thinking about that thing today”, and then… yep.
    I don’t really know how to deal with memories like these. Try to forget them and leave them in the past? Or keep thinking them and learn to be ok with them, just like anxious thoughts? A couple of them I shared with a close trusted friend and I easily forgot about them since, but this one is too sensitive and I’d rather keep it to myself.

    Sorry for the long post, and I’m really not sure what to ask of anyone from this. It’s more or less just something I needed to get off my chest really.

  488. Jennifer 19th February 2012 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Evene though our thoughts seems to be individual to us, the experiences, feeling and symptoms are so similar, its such a life saver/comfort. The not thinking clearly is more for me because of too many thoughts rather than going blank, but its gets there in the end too from tiredness. Its like from the time I wake til lunch I have had so many racing thoughts, sometimes random, sometimes worrying thoughts that am so tired and my nerves are shot. My body and mind just does this every morning no matter what. I am doing better talking to people but I do get strong surges of panic in my throat and chest as well as DP or maybe because of the DP. I like you sometimes have fears that this anxiety will turn into something more severe like, Bi Polar, but I do know this is unlikely, its just coz im living inside my head at the moment. Did you have these thoughts too.

    Your last post was v.helpful. You really know just how painful this is to sit with and it feels like there is nothing we can do about it. Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and share experiences, they really are powerful for me and having faith that I will come back again. Your so right when you say you feel like a stranger to yourself. I know it is different for everyone, as I learnt from this a year ago, but did you struggle with chatting to friends/family for long or was that part fairly short lived?

    Are you still riding the waves well?

  489. Jennifer 19th February 2012 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I thought it might be nice each time I come on here in the coming weeks if I posted some encouraging words for everyone to consider from a book that was mentioned on this blog a good while ago ‘Letting Go- a little bit at a time’ by Guy Finley.
    It is really helpful and very wise I have found.
    Hope that is ok and not too cheesy?

    “To be consciously afraid means that you know you are
    frightened, but at the same time you know that these very fears,
    as real as they seem, are not you”

  490. Matt 19th February 2012 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Jennifer…well My Dp stemmed from looking inside my own head in the beginning, I remember working and all of a sudden from constant thinking and worrying that I was going to lose my mind. That’s when DP started, I stayed up in my head for a long time, and it wasn’t that it was necessarily blank, I just made a bad habit of constantly fearing and being stuck in my head, when I wouldn’t do this I could think more clearly and focus on other things. I did go through the whole is this going to turn into MPD, depressive disorder, etc. And scared the life out of myself with those thoughts and obsessions. I’ve worked around bi-polar people enough to know that, that is a chemical imbalance so noone that has anxiety/dp will develop that, it is something you are born with, same with schizophrenia. When our minds are tired and vulnerable we come up with all kinds of disorders that we can sometimes self-diagnose ourselves with. It was extremely painful to go through, probably the worse thing i’ve ever experienced in my life. Because DP robs you of yourself, but when coming on the other side you gain a confidence that almost seems to be like it isn’t your own.

    For me, lately i’ve still been doing well, I go through periods of anxiety and DP, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. Oh, and the talking to your parents/family thing, that was a long process for me to reconnect because I had made a habit of avoidance. So, I instead went towards it and started talking to them, and didn’t care what I felt. Developing that “so what” attitude is so important because it gave me so much relief from worrying and bombarding myself. Because I knew this was DP and had hope I would recover, that’s when I developed that attitude and it really works. I remember you said you’ve had this 4 months now, well if you can practice all these things you will be on your way in no time to recovering, just replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Like if you start to think, “is this something worse?”, replace that thought with something positive, like that you know you aren’t going to develop this. Wanna know why you won’t? because if you didn’t have it before dp, then you aren’t going to develop it now, that’s why. DP doesn’t turn into anything worse, period. anyways, hope you’re doing better.

  491. alex 20th February 2012 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Whenever I experience anxiety, I find my mind wondering off trying to find a new solution. My body tenses up against the feeling, resisting it as well as possible. It is only normal for the following to happen. You enter a general state of resistance, of tension. irritability, paranoia, fear, invades you in a heart beat.

    All I can observe is the fool I have been, and that whatever I am doing is wrong!

    Now, with the help of Paul David and Will Beswick (who’s books I have both read), I have managed to understand this illness quite well. although I do sometimes wonder how well I actually understand it, for it has now been 2 long years since I feel the “freedom”, confidence and inner peace I once cherished.

    According to Paul, the key is acceptance. Will claims recovery lies in relying on our natural thinking abilities.

    When I take as step back and look at the last 2 years filled with pain and suffering, I should be proud to observe that in this moment I am probably doing the best I have ever been since the breakdown.

    I have come a long way since not being able to go anywhere without thinking oh god everyones looking at you you look like such an idiot etc etc…

    What has helped me was allowing myself to think these thoughts.

    I am reading the power of now. Very good book which basically explains that the one key to enlightenment, simply lies in disidentifying yourself from your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are not your mind. Your mind is a tool to be used, it should not be the one using you. We are fooled into believing that we NEED to think. I think

    So now, with a whole bunch of trial and error, I have basically understood that you do not need to USE your mind to get better.

    Anyhow just wanted to write down some of my thoughts.

    Keep your chins up guys


    Habit. The habit of constantly needing to fix everything, to get it all right. Perfectionist. The need to look cool, fun, appealing, charming, etc… is it all really worth it. Why not just accept not getting it all right, to feel a little less stressed or overwhelmed!

    Anyways, things are getting better. Although it is quite a bumpy road.
    Lets see how it goes.

    My goal is to enjoy whatever I can, the way things are. Be however I am. Let myself feel shit when I do, and not fall into the trap of fighting this thing, and giving it a life source.

    Paul or Will? Or both. They both have the same understanding of this illness. However, their path to recovery is explained very differently. Paul gives a general outline on how to accept what you are going through, mainly by understanding exactly what it is you are undergoing.

    Will argues panic, or secondary thinking is unnecessary. We function fine, without it. Sorry, we function better, at optimun level without secondary thoughts. We have the power not to enter secondary thinking, by relying on our natural cut offs.

    Sometimes I feel Will’s strategy helps a lot. Especially when you find yourself constantly thinking. Analyzing each though and why you are having them. At other times I feel it can be a little confusing.

  492. alex 20th February 2012 at 12:04 am - Reply

    disregard the first message i entered by accident.

  493. alex 20th February 2012 at 12:06 am - Reply

    Whenever I experience anxiety, I find my mind wondering off trying to find a new solution. My body tenses up against the feeling, resisting it as well as possible. It is only normal for the following to happen. You enter a general state of resistance, of tension. irritability, paranoia, fear, invades you in a heart beat.
    All I can observe is the fool I have been, and that whatever I am doing is wrong!
    Now, with the help of Paul David and Will Beswick (who’s books I have both read), I have managed to understand this illness quite well. although I do sometimes wonder how well I actually understand it, for it has now been 2 long years since I feel the “freedom”, confidence and inner peace I once cherished.
    According to Paul, the key is acceptance. Will claims recovery lies in relying on our natural thinking abilities.
    When I take as step back and look at the last 2 years filled with pain and suffering, I should be proud to observe that in this moment I am probably doing the best I have ever been since the breakdown.
    I have come a long way since not being able to go anywhere without thinking oh god everyones looking at you you look like such an idiot etc etc…
    What has helped me was allowing myself to think these thoughts.
    I am reading the power of now. Very good book which basically explains that the one key to enlightenment, simply lies in disidentifying yourself from your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are not your mind. Your mind is a tool to be used, it should not be the one using you. We are fooled into believing that we NEED to think. I think
    So now, with a whole bunch of trial and error, I have basically understood that you do not need to USE your mind to get better.

    This a d definition I found useful to clarify some things. Habit. The habit of constantly needing to fix everything, to get it all right. Perfectionist. The need to look cool, fun, appealing, charming, etc… is it all really worth it. Why not just accept not getting it all right, to feel a little less stressed or overwhelmed!

    Anyways, things are getting better. Although it is quite a bumpy road.
    Lets see how it goes.
    My goal is to enjoy whatever I can, the way things are. Be however I am. Let myself feel shit when I do, and not fall into the trap of fighting this thing, and giving it a life source.
    Paul or Will? Or both. They both have the same understanding of this illness. However, their path to recovery is explained very differently. Paul gives a general outline on how to accept what you are going through, mainly by understanding exactly what it is you are undergoing.
    Will argues panic, or secondary thinking is unnecessary. We function fine, without it. Sorry, we function better, at optimun level without secondary thoughts. We have the power not to enter secondary thinking, by relying on our natural cut offs.
    Sometimes I feel Will’s strategy helps a lot. Especially when you find yourself constantly thinking. Analyzing each though and why you are having them. At other times I feel it can be a little confusing.

    Anyhow just wanted to write down some of my thoughts.
    Keep your chins up guys

  494. lorryt 20th February 2012 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Hi Theresa

    thanks for you support, i guess it has all come in again. But i am worried that this jobmay be too much, i have been working betyween this and another job for 8 months and have really enjoyed it. my mind has been mulling over have i made the right decision, havent slept properly and i know my stomach has been churning all night because i have lost count of the amoutn of times i wne to the loo !!!. . i felt better for sooo long it doesnt seem possible to feel this awful again. but i am battling through and trying to remember that i shouldnt be too hard on myself or expect too much from me. Theresa i appreciate your struggle with your back it was very hard for me too. i passed out several times with the pain, but my mind keeps telling me there is something else wrong, as i have recently lost aq good friend and another is just been diagnosed. i cant seem to step away from their suffering and internalising it. it all sounds so selfish and i then feel guilty, its like a cycle that i cantbreak. will invest in pauls book again as it bought me so much relief before but i leant it to thers to try and help them. sorry to go on but need to get it off my chest in hope that it will go away xxx

  495. Graeme 20th February 2012 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Did anyone get to read my post, its just that im really struggling today and could do with some reassurance. Thanks guys 🙂

  496. Nikki 20th February 2012 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Hi Graeme I am just catching up on reading posts this morning and noticed yours had not been answered – I don’t know why that happens here but it does. I am afraid I am just at the beginning of the recovery process using pauls methods and not finding it easy – I too did a telephone cbt course and had the same problems as you. I defo think this way of accepting and getting on with anxiety is the way forward however it feels scary and exhausting putting yourself out there. I am sure someone will be along soon who can encourage you more – but I just wanted to let you know that I saw your post and you are not alone – don’t know if that helps or not tho. X

  497. elaine 20th February 2012 at 10:27 am - Reply


  498. Ann 20th February 2012 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone,
    What a relief to find people like me!
    i started to suffer from anxiety about 6 years ago but i just didnt realise thats what it was until last year when i started to suffer from panic attacks, so did the usual went to doc`s and he told me it was anxiety but was no help what so ever so i really felt like i was going mad and that nobody understood what i was going through until one day i came across Pauls site and i can not tell you what a relief it was to have a understanding of what i was going through and to realise i was not the only one as it certainly feels like that somtimes, so i brought Pauls book and am finding it helpful although i do struggle somedays.
    i just had a couple of questions that i wondered if anyone could answer for me i can have a really good day and go to bed feeling great then wake up the next day feeling so anxious and dont really understand why?
    Also does anyone else get hot flushes and sudden dizziness which is one of the worst symptons of anxiety for me i hate the dizziness as it kicks me into a complete panic as i then convince myself i am going to pass out, I dont know how to get out of it when my mind is racing in total panic,I am new to this so any advice would be much appreciated. 🙂

  499. Graeme 20th February 2012 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the responses nikki and elaine they really mean alot, I just find it hard to believe that two weeks ago these thoughts and feelings would just pass through my day pretty much unoticed but when I feel like this they are at the front of my mind all the time. I have felt like this in the past and come out at the end but its hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment. Im sure we will all get there eventually. I was thinking of trying medication along with pauls book to get me through it, I know paul says it didn’t particually help him,but has anyone tried the medication and pauls method? If so was it a help or a hindrance? cheers guys 🙂

  500. Jeff 20th February 2012 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Graeme, like you, I too feel as if I’m going mad when I’m in the throes of deep anxiety. I’ve been told by several people that this experience just isn’t true and that psychotic breaks occur without the person knowing, so that just the thought that you might be going crazy is somehow not compatible with actually going crazy. I do not know the truth of this, but I know that you have to give yourself time to rest. I cannot claim to know what a year of this must be like, I have been suffering since November 2011 and it feels like an eternity. My cycles mirror what you were describing: one week of good, two of bad (though the good is coming more and more). I can say that many things have helped me lessen the severity of my symptoms: I run almost every day, I practice yoga 2x a week, I read this site, I read Paul’s book, I see a therapist, I take supplements, etc. The anxiety is still there, but to a much lesser extent. One thing that helps me with those scary thoughts is reading. I find it turns my attention ever so slightly away from my own thoughts; it allows me to focus outward just enough to accept how I’m feeling, even though it’s still uncomfortable. Once I get some ground there I trust my mind to do the rest and it usually does, I just need to get that intitial shift in my awareness off myself. You know what is causing it, it can be hard to recognize, but evryone here is right: it’s just adrenaline and cortisol and the like mucking up your head, it IS NOT who you are. You need to do whatever you can to move your awareness away from the big show in your head and to accept the moment. All that we have is what is in front of us right now. Reality is right there, your senses are working correctly, but the chemicals are just interfering with the message. The fact that those good weeks exist for you tells you that they will return. Have faith in that, and rest. Whatever power got you this far in your life without going mad will carry you through. Besides, your post seems written by someone who is very intact and not at all mad. Better days will return, you know they will.

  501. Evelyn 20th February 2012 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone and Paul. I can’t believe I’m here again after a year of doing so good! I had a huge anxiety attack today while driving to work :-\. I know its due to the whole b.p. thing. I tried to calm myself by using Paul’s method of acceptance but then I thought what if I am having a heart attack cause I do have b.p. I’m terrified as I google it. Some things say you can control it and some really scare me. They say that b.p. of 140 is dangerous. I have 2 kids that need me. I’m just confused because I’m slim and eat right.

    Paul is Scarlet around as I know she had b.p. for a while.

    Thanks all for ur time 😉 please help…

  502. Graeme 20th February 2012 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Great reply Jeff, cheers! if i could split myself in two, one side is anxious me, the other is just plain old Graeme, then plain old Graeme will be saying “come on mate you’ve been like this before, you’ll come out at the other end, just give it time.” but anxious Graeme will be saying that this time is different and it has developed into a more serious problem. Thats probably the best way of describing my anxiety. I do have one goal after this is over and that is to give support to people who are going through the anxiety problems and to give them the encouragement to carry on. Like people on here have helped me today. One day it will happen, I know it will.

  503. Fleur 20th February 2012 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Matt & all

    I read your post there and you said you know enough from working around people with bi polar to know that isnt the case when you are self diagnosing, I always figured I had some kind of chemical imbalance diagnosing myself with primarily OCD. I find my intrusive thoughts so tough to deal with at the minute, the whole ‘what if’ carry on, I am a mother to two small children and I have myself in a state worrying what if I lost control and hurt them, its makes me sick to even type it but it torments me and I always just thought there was something wrong with me to think such things, now my thought is what if its not anxiety but maybe the thoughts are voices in my head like someone with schizophrenia and I just cant seem to let this go, constantly scanning or listening in to see if I can ‘hear’ something, as I write this I feel silly but as anyone who suffers with these thoughts knows its so crippling and you just cant think rationally with it. Its taken alot for me to write this down as it is for anyone on this blog because we are baring our soul to strangers but you feel right now you have more in common with people you dont know then with those closest to you, I would really appreciate your advice and knowledge, thanks alot.
    Ps Thank you to everyone who writes on this blog, what relief I get after a very long day in my head to come on here and not feel so alone.

  504. Nikki 20th February 2012 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Today has been tough – nearly fainted in the shower this morning and this event has knocked me for six. Had a good five days in a row but today has been tough. It could have been that my bp or blood sugar was low and that is why I nearly fainted but all day I have been checking myself convinced something serious is wrong. Somehow got through the day but I felt a bit low at times. Then tonight I went a walk with a friend – when I was walking to meet her I felt faint again – however I kept going – ended up walking for 40 mins. I came home and I feel I should be chuffed but it was so hard. Lots of people here talk about thoughts but my anxiety feels more physical and then the thoughts come – do others feel like this. Trying really hard here to hang on to hope that I can and will recover – I need to remember the last five days and not just be obsessed about today. It is great to see that people have come through the other side tho. Xxx

  505. mm16 20th February 2012 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    hi nikki , i get the physical symptoms bad, and often get the rush feeling through me like i am about to faint , how your not supposed to be frightened by that , but like you i carry on , i had this in the supermarket yesterday and yes i stayed and continued my shopping, but felt no achievment that i did, because it was so hard to do and exhausted me . i do no that i have to eat little and often with this else the physical feelings are worse . it takes some strength to carry on with the faint feelings there , but we should be proud that we do . hoping you have a better day tommorow, and thanks to all the lovely people on this site that help so much.

  506. Matt 21st February 2012 at 2:35 am - Reply

    fleur….I have went through those same thoughts as you, and because I feared them and gave into them, they kept coming. I had thoughts of hurting my kids that scared the crap out of me, and at times almost convinced myself that I would and had to reassure myself time and time again that I wouldn’t. It is truly painful to have those thoughts about your own children, I know, but remember that if you weren’t scared then you wouldn’t be so worried about them. Mix that in with a tired, vulnerable mind that is susceptible to taking any scary, pointless thought that you may have and scaring yourself to death, and what you have is anxiety…which is purely adrenalin and an exhausted mind. I did what you did for two months because I had a silly “what if” thought like “what if I drive myself mad?” well, that’s all anxiety needed for these ridiculous thoughts and I mean ridiculous!!! thoughts to come across my mind, they became so constant and horrible that I couldn’t tell if it was me thinking them or anxiety creating it. That was when I was in my most dreadful state of anxiety/dp. I couldn’t get my mind off of those crazy thoughts, so I kept thinking them, scanning for signs, etc. “I” was the one doing this!!! When I finally wised up and realized what I was doing, I understood this was a bad habit I created for myself and that I needed to:

    a) stop scanning and obsessing, which didn’t happen overnight, but because I understood, they lessened more and more.

    b) occupy myself with stuff outside of me, which in turn gave me clarity of what I was actually going through realistically.

    When you’re constantly worried, thinking, obsessing, and don’t have time for anything else, then what do you expect is going to happen? It’s going to keep happening. Like an overweight person trying to train themselves into shedding those pounds, we have to train ourselves out of bad habits that we created for ourselves.

    Anxiety is for us is basically like someone sitting on the fear switch, so when a scary thought comes across, “the what ifs” begin. When that switch is on, and you have the “am i developing schizophrenia, bipolar, gonna hurt someone, etc.” the anxiety turns that fear into a false reality that keeps us on the vicious cycle of worry, obsess, fear, etc. because “we” were the ones thinking it then there must be something wrong with us because of that thought. Which is the complete opposite, there is nothing wrong with us, and that is the paradox. When we can step outside the box for a moment, and see that this is just anxiety and we aren’t losing it, and we created a bad habit, then that is when, for me, I began to slowly get better.

    Confront this big monster head on and see what happens? Move towards these silly thoughts and worries, and you know what will happen? Nothing, just like you will never act out on these thoughts and you will not go crazy. Anyways, sorry you’re going through a rough time, you will be ok.

  507. Mark M 21st February 2012 at 2:41 am - Reply

    Hey nikki,

    I’ve had the same thing, I got some really bad back pain (and tons of other types of pain before) and 2 days ago I got up and I was so dizzy I couldn’t see anything and everything sounded watery, like I couldn’t hear. I think it was mostly because I just got out of bed too fast and the blood rushed to my head and I panicked, but since that kind of back pain had happened before, I remembered reading about this thing called TMS, tension myoneural syndrome, and went back to check it out again since I’m sick of this crap. It’s really interesting because he (Dr. Sarno, his book is Healing Back Pain) links anxiety and stress to physical symptoms like back pain, migraines, leg pains, and all kinds of aches, and says they are just bodily distractions that your mind creates to get you focused off of scary thoughts or feelings, which all of us undoubtedly have and you’ve probably read in Paul’s book. And just like we talk about here, if you just accept them and don’t worry about them then the pain goes away eventually (if it’s not something structural). It’s worth reading into though if you think understanding it would help, I’ve found it is a great explanation for the physical side of things with anxiety.

  508. DaveM 21st February 2012 at 3:38 am - Reply

    @ Evelyn,

    Hi, I’m guessing when you say your b.p is 140 then your talking about your upper number. 130 is considered normal/high normal so 140 is just above the normal readings and just borderline mild stage 1 hypertension (the very low end of the high blood pressure scale), if you consider the chart goes up to stage 4 severe with a upper number of around 230 i would say your 140 reading is far from the critical stage, but its also important to know your lower number too. Keep in mind that you also must average out several readings over days or weeks because anxiety and stress can temporarily raise your blood pressure, so it doesn’t mean you have high blood pressure and if it does there are many things you can do to lower it, like adding extra walks into you week, lowering your salt intake etc. . . Ah, I see in one of your earlier posts that your lower number is 84, that’s in the normal range. So don’t let it get you scared, Its just your anxiety talking in your ear again.

  509. Sophia 21st February 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Hi Alex
    Started reading ‘the power of now’ . It’s really good. Gives u an insight on how our mind can be fooled into beliving whatever it says..Thanks for sharing.

  510. Nikki 21st February 2012 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Hey everyone thanks for your support I really appreciate it and need it! Had a wobble this morning in the shower but defo better than yesterday! Feeling a bit jittery this morning and a bit low but I have a few things planned for today so am going to go ahead with them anyway – wish me luck. I will check out TMS as I have never heard of it – I do get migraines and neck tension tho and then get anxious about them – gosh what a state to get myself into. Mind you the last few years have been crazy and I defo understand that my nervous system is trying to repair itself – I need to back off and let it. Hope everyone is having a good day. Xx

  511. Michelle m 21st February 2012 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Hi fleur

    i know exactly how you feel with these crippling thoughts. i have had them for the past 5 years. some weeks are better than others thank god. i have cbt which helps as my therapist has heard this a thousand times and more and she doesn’t judge me. i know that i would never act on my thoughts. that is not the way we are made . people who harm their children generally don’t feel bad or worried like we do. i have had every thought in the book and never carried out one of them. they still do scare me but its only that i have got myself into a terrible habit of thinking them. you are not alone. i love my family so much and put so much pressure on myself to be a good parent. My fear is losing them. that’s why i have my thoughts. it does get better some days. they are just thoughts

  512. ShellH 21st February 2012 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone

    I’m in need of a bit of reassurance… I have a tingling tongue! I struggle with the physical symptoms of anxiety and really find it very difficult not to read into these symptoms. But this tongue tingle is a new one on me and I am panicking like mad. My heart is going and I have the shakes. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this a common symptom?

    I try to ignore these symptoms and thoughts but can’t seem to get past the dread of me being seriously ill.

    Matt – you say to confront the thoughts head on – how do you mean? Do I ignore them or really stop and think about them and see where it takes me? My thoughts are always health based as I get so many physical symptoms. So for me now I have a tingling tongue I am thinking the absolute worst – stroke, MS. It is like I am always looking for something to be wrong with me, or to see if there are early signs of a health issue so I can get treatment straight away.
    Such a simple sensation has set me right back. If anyone struggles with health anxiety and has had these sensations I would love to hear how you cope and get through it all. If you have experience a tingling tongue please let me know so to put my racing mind at rest.

    Thank you

    Shell x

  513. Paul David (Admin) 21st February 2012 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Shell there is only one person who can put your mind at rest and that is yourself. People can reassure you and then you will be back next week with another symptom.

    You have already gone against all the advice here by saying this sensation has got you panicking like mad. Why? Because you are homing in on it and then trying to disect it, figure it out, question it’s existence etc etc. This is the reason your mind is so tired and your nerves so frayed, it no longer wants this battle.

    The single biggest reason people continue to suffer is because they go over and over how they feel, be it working it out or trying to make themselves feel better.

    Just leave your mind and body to do as it wishes, even if this means it is dragged back to yourself and how you are feeling, it may do through habit. I was very hyper aware for a while as I recovered, but I just saw it as part of me for the time being, I did not try NOT to think of me.

    Tingling toungues, racing minds, odd thoughts, whatever it is, just let it be and stop getting involved and give your mind and body the rest it so craves, this will get you through, not figuring out every symptom and trying to fight your way to the finishing line.


  514. Anthony 21st February 2012 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    I thought I would write something for those who are having some tough days – something about perspective.

    Say you’ve had a tough day. Anxiety, thoughts, symptoms. The whole day just was terrible. If you broke it down into segments though, maybe it wasn’t as bad as you made it out to be. Maybe you woke up at a 8/10 (10 being the worst), but after your shower you felt like a 5/10. You had an alright morning at work, there were moments where you were able to focus on a task, so that was about a 6/10. You had lunch out with co-workers in a busy restaurant, it was a 9/10. But by the time you came home, saw your family, had dinner, it was a 4/10.

    I know this contradicts with judging, tracking progress, etc – but I just wanted to illustrate that perhaps the day wasn’t as bad as you made it out to be. It’s just that at the moment, all you could see or focus on was the negative or discomfort. And that’s understandable, given the circumstance you are currently under. It’s temporary and will pass. But hey, a move down the scale in certain parts of your day is a step forward. Three steps forward, two backwards is what I like to say to myself sometimes (two forward and one back means you never left the starting point :)).

    For inspiration, yesterday, I found out that Jon Knight from New Kids on the Block (from the 80’s) had quit the band because of anxiety and panic attacks. He had a very tough time during the mid-late 90’s. He appeared on Oprah in early 2000 and has since then been able to over-come his challenges. He is out again, touring with the band (they revived a few years ago I think).

  515. mm16 21st February 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    great post anthony yesterday was a bad day for me , but yes as you said when i look back it was up and down . funny you should mention jon knight i saw the interview with him on oprah… what a state that poor lad was in , brilliant news he is getting his life back . thanks again for your inspiring posts, keep posting your a great help , michelle.

  516. Ann 21st February 2012 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Hello Everyone just wondered if anyone had read my post and had any advice for me as any hellp/advice would be so much appreciated. 🙂

  517. ShellH 21st February 2012 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you – you are so right. I needed that kick up the bum. I have been dwelling on symptoms and not accepting that they are nothing more that anxiety.

    I really do need to stop reading into things and googling symptoms. It is like a light bulb moment for me. I am just going to sit back and let it all come and go as it pleases.
    I have a first aid class tonight and feel anxious about it but I am not going to worry – just going to go and let whatever happens happen.

    Thank you again and to all on this blog it is truly an amazing network of support

    Thank you

    Shell x

  518. Joshua 21st February 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Hi Ann
    You are not alone. I most definitely get hot flashes and dizziness. And when you feel the dizzyiness amplify with the anxiety it very hard not to overreact and overwhelm yourself with all kinds of fears and thoughts. My best advice is to keep going regardless of how you feel. I have good example that I would like to share that is about myself. For the past few months I have been feeling quite dizzy been very anxious and I am In the throws of a setback. A few weeks ago I started to have heart palpitations which gave me a fear of heart problems. I wouldnt even had the heart palpitations if a friend of mine didn’t make some off the wall comment that somehow got stuck in my head.

    Anyway, I am at work today (writing from my iPod) and I am still feeling the same hot flashes and dizziness. I ended up having to carry and lift about 500 or so boxes up and down 2 flights of stairs and carry them outside . I kept thinking a few things; what if I faint; what if I had a heart attck or stroke, I feel this symptom I feel that symptom ect. My anxiety initially was worse for the first 45 minutes

  519. Joshua 21st February 2012 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Ann
    You are not alone. I most definitely get hot flashes and dizziness. And when you feel the dizzyiness amplify with the anxiety it very hard not to overreact and overwhelm yourself with all kinds of fears and thoughts. My best advice is to keep going regardless of how you feel. I have good example that I would like to share that is about myself. For the past few months I have been feeling quite dizzy been very anxious and I am In the throws of a setback. A few weeks ago I started to have heart palpitations which gave me a fear of heart problems. I wouldnt even had the heart palpitations if a friend of mine didn’t make some off the wall comment that somehow got stuck in my head.

    Anyway, I am at work today (writing from my iPod) and I am still feeling the same hot flashes and dizziness. I ended up having to carry and lift about 500 or so boxes up and down 2 flights of stairs and carry them outside . I kept thinking a few things; what if I faint; what if I had a heart attck or stroke, I feel this symptom I feel that symptom ect. My anxiety initially was worse for the first 45 minutes and then tapers off. I am still@ 5 but I went down from a 10. And I did that for a few hours without stopping. I never fainted or had a stroke or heart attack. I still feel like crap but I proved to myself that I dint faint and that the symptoms (no matter how long they last) are temporary. I hope that helps 🙂

  520. Joshua 21st February 2012 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Sorry oops I hit finish before I was done

  521. Anthony 21st February 2012 at 6:02 pm - Reply


    Take a read through my posts around Feb. 16. But to summarize, don’t fight the panic. Fighting it only gives it the power it needs to continue in your life. The way through is a paradox – you must go towards your fear. In doing that, you take away the power. Be-friend your fears, welcome it in. Don’t expect yourself to immediately change over-night, it does not work that way. Do not fear your symptoms as that is what will continue to drive your anxiety and panic. Over time, you will realize the impacts of your thoughts (so in this instance, the fear of your dizziness) on your anxiety and panic.

    Some suggestions to help cope with a panic attack. Accept that you are having one. Feel it, learn from it. Ask yourself, what can I do right now to support myself. Know that a panic itself cannot not hurt you. Know that your body is responding exactly as it is told to (the fight or flight). Adrenaline is pumping through your body and it needs to run its course. Step out of the way. Do not fight it. Relax as best you can, no clenching, tensing. And most importantly, check your breathing. Slow it down on the inhale and exhale. If you exhale too fast, you blow off too much carbon dioxide. People tend to hyperventilate and that will trigger even more symptoms from hyperventilation.

    Your waking up with anxiety and other symptoms are all very common. You are not alone. If you wake up with anxiety, get up. Do not lay in bed and ruminate, trying to think your way out of it. Get up, take a shower, make some breakfast. Live in the moment/present. Breath in the scent of the soap/shampoo, feel the water, hear the sounds. Take care of yourself, feel good, feel good about yourself.

    Attitude and your beliefs will trumph technique. Over time, things will get easier. You just need to plant that little seed inside of you and let it grow. It will grow and you will be able to take it where-ever you go. Instead of anxiety/panic making your life smaller and smaller, that seed will expand your life. You will be able to step into the realm of panic and anxiety. You can learn from it, what does it have to teach you?

    I was going to mention before, we’re always talking about accepting the negative, but you know what, accept the positives too. Don’t be afraid to give yourself that pat on the back, celebrate those mini-successes. And with some of those under your belt if you ever feel down, remember you will always be able to pick yourself back up. Turn that negative energy into something positive.


  522. Anthony 21st February 2012 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Josh (or I guess to everyone),

    That’s great that you were able to go through that and come out on the other end. Feel good for that and know it, believe it. If I may make one suggestion as this is something that has helped me along the way. In the future, think of those as practice and not a test (or to prove to yourself). This will help prevent you from judging against previous times. Because what you don’t want happening is the next time you do that same task and you do back off you may think “what happened, why did I feel 10/10 this time, what did I do wrong, maybe something else is wrong with me”. And then the next thing you know, you’re setback again, starting the loop all over.

    And I believe (my opinion only) what goes with the acceptance is that the next time you “practice” you may feel worse or you may not. There is that possibility. You can never prepare or reassure yourself enough to satisfy that. Accept the uncertainty. Once you can bring that uncertainty in and live with it, you are truly one more step towards acceptance.


  523. Fleur 21st February 2012 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Matt

    Thanks for your response I really appreciate it. I have been dealing with these thoughts a long time and its only recently that I understood it all to be anxiety and only from finding this website and Paul’s book did I realise that I think this way due to Anxiety.

    I was reading through the Obsessive Thoughts category and I came across a post from a lady called Gery and she was thinking scary thoughts about her mother, son etc.. and Paul posted a video link called ocdonline and it was a lecturer from a Dr on Pure O or primarily OCD, Im just curious to know is obessive thinking due to Anxiety or is it Primarly OCD which involves Anxiety. The video was very good and its basically the same concept for overcoming intrusive thoughts and thats just to give them their space and say come on in!!

    Thanks again Matt & Michelle, your support means so much, the whole blog is inspirational.


  524. Evelyn 22nd February 2012 at 3:42 am - Reply


    Are you rcovered? As I find ur words very soothing… I had a question do u or anyone ever monitor you breath?(breathings )is ughhh as if that’s what I do all day.. making sure i’m breathing right.and all it does is gives me shortness of breath :(.

    Please advice

  525. DaveM 22nd February 2012 at 5:38 am - Reply


    Shortness of breath used to be one of my scariest symptoms, I’d wake up in the morning and my first thought would go right to my anxiety and I would be instantly short of breath. One morning when the phone rang and jolted me out of my “scare loop” I suddenly realized I wasn’t short of breath at all, it was my mind telling me I was. Your brain has a reflex mechanism and it will force you to breathe if your not getting enough air also there is no need to monitor your breathing all day because, as Claire Weekes described, we have a breathing center in our brain that regulates our breathing for us and takes care of all that, which is why your able to breathe when your asleep. Your body is working with you not against you and even though adrenaline fills awful its actually doing what is supposed to do, prepare your body for a threat, it doesn’t know its been tricked into action by your anxieties. So when you start focusing to much on your breathing just let the thoughts be, don’t struggle or push them away and remember that your body can handle all that by itself.

  526. Evelyn 22nd February 2012 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Thanks dave:) makes total sense! I find when I overcome one symptom or not fear it anymore another pops on. But yes ur right I will just step aside and let it be:)

    Thanks 🙂

  527. Sandeep 22nd February 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Had been doing very well with my anxiety but my anxiety came back. I know this sound very vain but my anxiety is being propogated by the fact that I feel its making my hair fall. I’m v self conscious about not going bald. I know people have much bigger fears than I do but any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  528. Ann 22nd February 2012 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Thank -you so much to joshua and anthony for taking the time to reply to me, and for giving me some great advice,All i can say is it like a weight has been lifted i feel as tho at last some-one actually understands where i am coming from and going through simiar things to me, I don`t feel alone any-more.x

  529. Anthony 22nd February 2012 at 3:07 pm - Reply


    Dave explained it well. As for breathing, throughout the day, I do bring awareness (and I won’t use the term monitoring here) to my breath when I can or remember. Myself, personally, I believe I do generally breath shallower (chest breathing) and in certain situations more than others. But in your situation, perhaps your anxiety has just temporarily clung onto your breath. Like Dave said, let it be. It will pass in time.

    As for moving from one symptom to another. This is a common trait or cycle I find. It is almost to be expected – the mind wants a cure and an immediate fix right now. If it can’t find it one way, it may try another way. But just by being aware of that is already a step in the direction to breaking that cycle. The next time it happens to you, let it be. Avoid asking for re-assurance and let that courage build from within you. Once that courage builds within you, you can bring it with you everywhere and you did it all by yourself. You have the capacity and the ability to do it. Everyone of us does. Give yourself patience and don’t be too hard on yourself.

    As for my own journey (a word I like to use rather than recovery), my panic has subsided. Claire Weekes talks about memories/etc “stirring the embers” and that does occasionally happen, but that flash feeling passes through me quickly. And I don’t add secondary fear to it. Sometimes during that moment of flash, I even ask it to come back, but it never does. I still have on/off DP but it does not bother me like it used to. When I do have moments of really thick DP, I stop what I am doing and I just feel it and experience it to the fullest and then move on with my day.

    As the weeks and months have passed, for me, it feels like the DP is peeling off in layers (but almost sometimes a layer comes back on) and as it does, my old self re-surfaces. This has given me the opportunity to learn alot of myself and to really re-evaluate things. I truly was on auto-pilot in the past few years and totally oblivous to the path I was headed down, not taking care of myself and not listening to what my body was telling me. As a layer peels off, I also can appreciate that DP really is the body protecting itself. It is like the mind is reducing the amount of stimuli at the moment because it needs to. It can stay as long as it needs to stay. You don’t need to treat yourself as “sick” or fragile. Your mind is just fine, it’s temporarily going through a phase. As an example, on Sunday, I had a handful of recyclables I was taking to the garage. My daugther was sitting on the bar stool and trying to get off to pick up her pillow she dropped. As I was walking by, she happened to fall off. At that moment, time slowed down for me. I was as calm as ever and knew exactly what I had to do. The things I were holding were let go, my arms came out and I caught her perfectly before she hit the ground. After that, I thought about it and said to myself, well, obviously there’s nothing you can’t do even with DP. Even with DP (and for me, DP is primarily a spatial awareness/distance thing, like looking through a bubble or thick lens) I was able to do that.

    My anxiety has also been peeling off in layers. I do get odd times where I feel a lump in my throat or feel keyed up. I used that opportunity to reflect to see if there is anything my life that may be causing it (or I find alot of my own internal dialogue causes it now). And then I just be. I continue on my life and live my life.

    Each of us, along our ways, will find things that will work for us and things that won’t work for us. Allow your own creativity and trust to build within yourself. You don’t need to necessarily search for it, just bring up your awareness and be in tune with your mind, soul, and body. You will find your way, your hope, your inspiration. My goal now, it isn’t about “curing” my anxiety and panic. I don’t need to put my life on hold. I am being, I am living, I am enjoying my life as best I can, experiencing it for it’s fullness and richness. Sure I have times when I’m down but you know what, it is human to experience the broad range of emotions, it’s normal, you need to. Place no expectations on how you should be feeling at the moment because however you’re feeling at the moment is how you’re feeling at the moment so why not just be in the moment. The past has already happened and your memories are not always the most accurate. The future hasn’t happened. The only time you live is in the present. Why would I remuniate about past anxiety and project that feeling forward into the present?

    When I used to be a master “Googler” on my symptoms, I would often read posts like mine on progress/recovery/etc. I would see that this person hasn’t gotten rid of their anxiety/DP/etc I would just jump to something else. There HAD to be something out there that is my CURE. You know what, the harder I searched, the further away it became. The more I let go and accepted and got on with my life, the more it didn’t matter.

    So there you go, don’t judge your own journey against mine (and I mean either time or progress). You are not me and I am not you. You are you and that’s what makes you special and unique in every way. You can do it, we all can. Take comfort in that you are not alone. Take this as opportunity.


  530. Anthony 22nd February 2012 at 3:28 pm - Reply


    With anxiety or perhaps in life in general – if you are already doing something as best you can or control, you have to leave the rest up to uncertainty and fate and accept that. It is what it is. I’ll use Paul’s two roads as an analogy. Now, I merely offer up my thoughts/comments/advice, so I don’t mean to offend you. You can disgard this entirely if this is not for you.

    Road 1 – you can sit there, worry, worry, worry (and trigger your anxiety) about your hair falling off. In the end, it may stay (and then you’ll wonder to yourself, “why did I just put myself through that hell”) or it may fall off (and then you’ll be like, SEE I told you so, and then have gone through all that hell that you made for yourself and in a sense turned into a self fulfilling prophecy).

    Road 2 – you can accept that fact that you have no control on whether or not your hair falls off (naturally, left to it’s own accord). You live your hair years broken free of your own internal (self created) struggle and can find some peace within from that. In the end, it may stay or it may fall off (and in this case, you won’t care other wise). You will accept you for you, regardless of how you look. You will cope and you will adapt to change. The world constantly changes, life always throws us for a loop. You will never avoid it. It is how you respond and surf that wave. You will find that people who are in your life, those who love you, they don’t care. Sandeep with hair is exactly the same as Sandeep without hair, just maybe half a pound lighter 🙂

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself to have this worry/thought and learn to work with it and move on with life. You’re allowed to have this concern because it is a concern for you, don’t deny yourself of that or beat yourself up over it. It’s what you do with it that will determine what path you go. You always have choice.


  531. Joshua 22nd February 2012 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    No problem Ann 😉 I’ve experienced anxiety 3 seperate periods in my life (overcame it twice!) and just the past couple of years have began to figure out what I had done wrong thanks to places and people like this website. You’ve come to the right place. In fact I don’t think of or know of any symptom of anxiety I haven’t had before so if you ever feel the need to “compare notes” ( lol) I’m sure I’ll be on here sometime or another and Anthony always gives great advice.

  532. Evelyn 22nd February 2012 at 6:40 pm - Reply