//How do I find relief from my Anxiety?

How do I find relief from my Anxiety?

Updated 12/08/2018

I was at my local bookstore recently and saw plenty of titles about relaxation, which got me thinking about certain websites that promote relaxation when feeling anxious.

Not that I think there is anything wrong with promoting relaxation, I swim, walk and run because I not only enjoy it but also believe that exercise and the outdoors is a great stress buster.

But…..

I was your typical searcher when I suffered from anxiety.

I was always searching for ways to find relief, make it go away, sort it out, fix it.

My thought process at the time was always ‘I have to get rid of what feels uncomfortable’ I read many books, searched around the internet and looked through the yellow pages for someone or something who could make this thing that was dominating my life go away.

My whole life was consumed with finding the answer to being free of my anxiety. I have no idea why I carried on this way for so long as it was obviously not working. I think deep down I felt the answer was still out there and so the search continued until I had nowhere else to go.

It was at this point I started asking some deeper questions like;

‘Why do I always feel worse when I react negatively to my anxious feelings?’, ‘why does trying to find a way out always make things worse?’.

Well, the answer was because I was trapped in a never-ending cycle.

I would feel an uncomfortable emotion or a rush of anxiety and then fight like hell to feel right, instead of allowing myself to experience it and letting myself come out of it naturally.

This reaction is what is non-accepting is; it is the opposite of allowing. When I first came across the concept of allowing, I tried to turn it into another technique.

Right so to no longer feel these feelings I have to allow them, right ill try that. Damn, they are still there, this isn’t working !! I had missed the point entirely and was trying to use the concept of allowing as another way of not feeling these uncomfortable emotions.

Allowing yourself to feel different emotions

Different emotions

I eventually realised that all techniques were utterly pointless and that you can’t be free of emotions without being willing to experience them.

By struggling with your feelings or mental state, you are trying to force or manipulate a different state, one that needs to be present at that particular time. Try manipulating a happy state when you feel down or try to force yourself not to be tired when you have had very little sleep, and you will see my point.

Do you see how we have little to no control over how we are feeling? The only thing we can do is to let go, relax and allow ourselves to feel how we do at any particular time. This is not about your mind or emotions being calm, this about you being calm.

We only feel worse when we struggle with or resist our current state. It is the resistance to your emotions that cause the majority of your suffering, not the feelings themselves.

Coping with anxiety

coping with anxiety

I came across a website last week that said ’10 ways to cope with anxiety’ and then went on to list ways to keep it at bay. I am so against this approach; I only freed myself from anxiety when I allowed every aspect of anxiety to enter my life.

I hid from none of it and no longer tried to keep it at bay or talk my way out of it. To be free of any negative or painful emotion, then we have to be willing to experience them. Trying to deny or suppress them will just keep them within us and the reason so many never become free of them.

Recovery is never about managing or coping, and it certainly wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I would rather spend a period of time allowing myself to feel these emotions and be free than spend the rest of my life trying not to.

To recover from anxiety you don’t need anything, no ten ways to cope, no mantras, no safety behaviours and no techniques. You just need to be more accepting with anxiety in your life and be open to it.

The only thing that changed with me was my attitude; there was no magic tablet or formula. I just stopped fighting with myself and quit trying to escape my current state. I went out and started to live again, taking how I felt with.

When freedom eventually came to me, then there was nothing left to manage to or find relief from, and that was always where I wanted to be.

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 |2019-01-10T22:12:14+00:00August 12th, 2018|Anxiety|1,523 Comments

1,523 Comments

  1. Doreen 10th January 2014 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Many thanks Paul. A great ‘read’ for the start of the year.

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  2. Ann 10th January 2014 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    HI I am new to this site. I first starting suffering from anxiety after the birth of my daughter. She almost died 20 days after her birth and from that point on I have never been the same. I suffered from deep postpartum depression and started getting intrusive thoughts daily. I was on antidepressants for 18 months but they did not help very much. Since coming off the meds I starting suffering from obsessive thinking anywhere from if I am being a good mom, to trying to be perfect and questioning everything I did. Everything I do the thought that if is a normal behavior or if I am normal is what always runs through my mind. I am basically afraid of going crazy and this cripples all that I say and do. Living like this is not a good quality of life for me and my family. How do you just shut off the constant questioning and checking in if I am “normal”. I have seen several therapists and all have told me its just anxiety and nothing more. There is nothing wrong with me but how do I start to believe this with the constant doubt and extreme lack of confidence.I would greatly appreciate some feedback.Thank you.

  3. Marcus 10th January 2014 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    What an awesome post and so true! Thank you so much Paul!

    I’ve had a recent sudden enlightment that relates to the current post which i think I should share since I gather from other posts that a lot of us suffer from similar fears/symptoms.

    I’ll start by saying my main fears were of developping severe mental illness(schizo etc) which then lead to the fear of hurting my loved ones or fear of snapping whenever πŸ˜› I even feared my own anger as I did not want to get irritated or angry for fear of what I might do. Isolated myself.. stopped watching violent/horror movies etc..

    At one point here I was sitting down watching TV and felt the anxiety creep back and the intrusive thoughts beggining.. Oh my what if I start hearing voices? What if im going mad and listen to the voices that might come? Like on TV ill hear stuff to hurt people omg omg omg.. Then panic would take over and dwell on the thoughts for hours….

    Another night similar thing happens but this time i was so fed up of feeling the anxiety creep back told myself.. YOU KNOW WHAT SCREW ALL THIS … BRING IT … And i stayed there and welcomed even encouraged some of the worst thoughts i could ever imagine. Didnt try and fight them or reason them out(why am i thinking this) I just accepted them even brought more on purposes… And you know what? Absolutely nothing happened lol didnt go crazy.. didnt snap.. didnt start hearing things like so many of us fear πŸ˜›

    I even felt so relieved that i started realizing im creating all these fears by reacting to them with avoidance. Not cured by all means but just so fed up with all these fears that decided ive had it with them and let them be whenever they want to show up. Time will heal. Feeling so much better already!!

  4. platty 11th January 2014 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Thanks paul excellent post . and you to marcus alot of my fears are like yours and that has cleared a few things in my mind thanks

    val
    thanks for your comments . i have two fantastic kids and it tears me apart being like this at the moment when i am blessed with a fantastic family
    being new to the blog i am still reading all the great advice people have posted on this blog so thank you all

  5. Rich 11th January 2014 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone,

    Paul, Thanks for putting the post up here. When I feel anxious, I feel I have to ‘switch on’ my anxiety training to allow the thoughts and feelings to happen – to stop myself from reacting to them as I used to do. I guess this subsides over time as it becomes a natural reaction through repetition.

    Kate, Taking a break from Anxiety is a great way to let your mind heal. I’ll miss you on here, but wish you all the best.

    Platty, Val’s comments to your other post about your life is great advice. If you feel you need to talk about this I strongly urge you to, but only know know if you need to put any demons to rest. I wish you peace on that front.

    People have very kindly asked how my evening went last night (thank you!). It went well thanks – a success. I did have a few minor moments which have made me feel a little anxious however. Last night I felt a little anxious when driving over, however we got food (good old English Fish n Chips!) and I the lot (perhaps too much!) then felt fine all night apart from some stomach sounds which put me on ‘alert’ for possible IBS stuff (all ‘what if’!) then towards the end of the night I felt a little bloated which made me a little unsettled, but I felt hungry which was a comfort. All actual anxiety was avoided however. I stayed all night, chatted, relaxed and felt good. I felt good just for going, and was happy I ate, felt ok and got out!

    Today I woke with morning anxiety, but got up, went to the local shop, out in the car to another shop, hoovered the house, tidied up some stuff, fixed a lamp and washed the car. This is the first time in weeks I’ve felt some ‘get up and go’ and to be active and do things feels good. Not to ‘avoid’ anxiety, but just to be out in the real world.

    Tonight I’m round my parents for a takeaway (my favourite) and a 3hr version of The Hobbit. I feel a little anxious about this, which is weird. I still doubt myself and resist to dare to be confident.

    I’m moving forwards, if only slowly πŸ™‚ Just hope I can keep the momentum.

    I hope you are all doing ok and wish you all the best.

  6. Charlotte 11th January 2014 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Hello Ann

    And welcome, you will find loads of support on here, and it’s a great place to find help. I had post natal anxiety initially as well so I understand how it feels.

    How are you today ?

    X

  7. Gongchan 11th January 2014 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Im in a slump again. I have a weird symptom now where I just have no emotions. Things I used to get excited over just dont feel the same. I want to be excited over them again like I was yesterday but I can’t. I just dont feel any emotions at all. It’s not depersonalization or anything but its almost like I have to force myself to feel happy and excited over stuff again. Yeah and my libido is out the window too. Im really upset about that. Ugh.I just feel empty and sad and hopeless and feel like I will never feel again. I cant even smile. Smiling just hurts. And Im pretty sure I have severe depression because ive been trying to accept and recover from anxiety for a year now and feel like I havent really gotten anywhere. I solve one problem and another one just floods back in and the cycle just goes over and over again.

    Anyway, Like I got my first car today so I should be really excited but I only feel “Meh”.

    And Im going to get a CD in the mail from my favorite group and I was excited about that a few days ago but now I just feel nothing.

    Why cant I just feel like I did a few days ago? Why did this have to happen to me?

    How do you accept anxiety when it just takes away every aspect of your life and leaves you with nothing left to look forward to?

  8. Kyara 11th January 2014 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Gongchan,

    I too felt the same way a week or two ago and was really scared. It passed though as soon as I left it alone and understood this happens. I think when we fall into the cycle we have all the symptoms the dp, loss of emotions, lack of confidence and feeling hopeless because we didn’t understand what was going on but it was covered by the constant worry. I think once we lower our anxiety level we start to feel all of these things and begin to fight again as it’s something new that has knocked us a bit. I too feel I haven’t made any sort of progress in the past couple of months and I know I truly have I just feel like I haven’t. I feel everyday that this will never pass and feel really anxious some days and not so anxious other days. I still feel like my emotions aren’t all there and feel like I’ve been defeated. Some days I get frustrated and cry but I allow it all and don’t give it second thought. I still feel like I don’t understand it all because I would have thought I’d be recovered by now but I’ve thrown the towel in. One day when we least expect it we will be happier than we’ve ever been. Just remember it’s not just accepting anxiety it’s accepting recovery just as much. Recovery isn’t by any means comfortable. We feel we loose everything about ourselves but the gift lies within seeing ourselves pull out on our own. I hope this helps you. You’re not alone. I feel incredibly defeated today but who knows what tomorrow holds. Keep on floating. Keep yourself calm even when you feel like falling apart. This is all anxiety.

  9. Rachh 12th January 2014 at 12:28 am - Reply

    Has anyone got to the point where you have no confidence and cant hold a conversation with anyone? I know that it is all part and parcel of it all but i feel so so low cry most days and can hardly speak to anyone. It would be noce just to hear that someone is going through or has been through the same thing..

  10. Tiara 12th January 2014 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Rachh,

    I have. I think most of us have. I got to a point where I can’t look at anyone straight in the eye, and if I did have a little bit of conversation, I will replay it over and over in my head thinking if I said something wrong or if they thought I was being weird, etc. Don’t let it bring you down. I used to let it as well. Only because I got so sensitive from the whole anxiety ordeal. As soon as some of the layers of anxiety peeled off, I started getting my confidence back more and more again. Don’t ever let yourself fall into a self-pity circle. A little is healthy, but a whole lot of it will get you in a hole. I thought at some time then that people didn’t like me because I act different and all. Looking back, I realize and understand it was just me overanalyzing everything.

  11. Ryan C 12th January 2014 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Hey guys, I am in recovery, and I have already made some big improvements, I have had loads of really bad days but I keep letting them come at me because the way I see it, is that for every day I experience this is one day less I ever have to. However, I feel that although I am getting better sometimes it feels even more overwhelming than ever, like almost so extreme it’s unbearable. Of course, I still don’t run, fight or question I just stay exactly where I am but it is so intense. I have yet to experience good days but I understand that they will only come when I have moved past these times first, as they all have their purpose, they are all steps in my way I must overcome to get to where I want to be. Dp for me is my biggest challenge. Do good times start to come? Is it this hard only at the start and then when good times start to come things begin to get easier? I have honestly wholeheartedly faced this head on and it seems it is just getting more and more testing the more my mind clears. Can anyone tell me how recovery happens? Do you just gradually get better? Does the mind clear as a priority and then the physical feelings start to progress? I just need a bit motivation of someone who has surpassed this stage as although I feel I will not fight or run, I am getting a bit disheartened that I still can feel this bad! Thanks, Ryan.

  12. Rachh 12th January 2014 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks tiara i know im seeking reassurance i just feel so low at the moment. I hope everyone else is feeling better its nice to see some positive posts again:)

  13. Rich 12th January 2014 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone, Last night I had a chinese and watched The Hobbit. Had a really bloated stomach and some bubbling, but this didn’t materialise into anything. Woke up with stomach ache which I still have – I attribute this to eating far too much chinese food for my now tiny stomach.

    I could’ve gone for a long walk today, but decided not too – not because I feared going (although this would have been on my mind with my stomach hurting), but because I just wanted some me-time at home chilling out. Although I want to recover as fast as possible, I don’t want to try and force things and need the process to be gradual and permanent.

    Another standard week at work looms, with me out again next Friday. I will be trying my best to think of the positives and dismiss the negative thoughts when they come. All good practice until they leave me alone forever.

    PS feeling not interested in anything, a lack of energy or enthusiasm – I’ve had that too. It does wane in time and things come back. It’s all just anxiety and your mind dismissing all but ‘vital’ danger information while it’s in its anxious state. Relax your mind and it will all come back.

  14. Christine 12th January 2014 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Rich, it sounds like you’re doing really well and making so much great progress…I’m pleased for you! I has a reasonable day Friday and yesterday although I had a horrible morning today up to now hasn’t been too bad! The fear and anxiety are still there as well as lots of ‘what ifs’ but just trying to accept and move on! I’m not feeling interested and no enthusiasm too but just trying to go with it! To be honest I just can’t be bothered today but I have to remind myself that I might feel like this anyway with or without anxiety! xxx

    Rachh – I’ve had the low feeling a lot this week and sometimes it makes my stomach drop and the fear starts and I’ve cried a lot but again it’s anxiety playing it’s tricks! Last week, in work I’ve been finding it difficult to look at people and talk to them because I’m convinced that they can tell that I’m anxious and then they may ask me if I’m ok and that I may breakdown, so honestly you’re not alone! xxx

    RyanC – recovery is definitely a gradual thing, just keep going! I know it’s so hard when some of the days seem unbearable but it will lift, it just takes time! I’m very impatient too and just want it to be gone but I also know that’s not the way it works and it takes time! xxx

    I have a bit of fear of getting up again for work again tomorrow – probably because most days in work last week were horrible but hey ho!

    Enjoy your evening everyone! xxx

  15. Lucy 12th January 2014 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Hey everyone, haven’t checked in for a little while…
    I have been going out more, seeing people I haven’t in some time and meeting new ones too. I’ve also got myself a job which starts Wednesday πŸ™‚ does all of this make me feel anxious? Hell yes! But slowly but surely I am learning it doesn’t matter. Sitting at home isn’t the solution to making it all go away so I may as well live through it at the same time. I have started seeing a psychologist, who lovely as she is, I don’t think will provide much help seeing as it’s most distraction based techniques. That said, it is nice to just talk things through with someone without being judged, and also makes me realise how ridiculous some of my thoughts/worries/obsessions are when I say them aloud instead of just having them on loop in my head. It is 100% true that we just need to leave this alone in order for it to fade and for us to reach the other side. In the beginning the thought of the long road to recovery just made me even more anxious, thinking I would never make it, but we all can, it can be frustrating but it just takes time, patience, and acceptance that it will take as long as it takes!

    Ryan C although I have said all this, I still get some really horrible days that feel like a big struggle, but it’s knowing that it’ll pass and won’t last forever. Keep up the attitude of facing it all and sooner or later you will get there. I’m not fully recovered by definitely believe that it is possible which is more than I used to believe!

    Hope everyone else is doing okay x

  16. platty 12th January 2014 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Played for my football team today. As usual didn’t want to go but did as I love it and usually look forward to it. I constantly was thinging all sorts of negative thoughts and not in the moment of the game as I would be. This has gone on for the last couple of weeks. Is this norma? Lay awake all night last night as well. Sleep is becoming a major problem and dread going to work at the moment. No confidence in myself to complete my work and I will lose my job and how would I pay my mortgage? Also went to pub to watch a game as I would so, I’m not letting it stop me going to things I like doing

  17. Doreen 12th January 2014 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Could I just ask that people check their punctuation and spelling before posting otherwise I am spending time making it possible for posts to be understood.

  18. Mark R 12th January 2014 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Good article on the Guardian website today regarding anxiety and mindfulness therapy, if anyone was looking for an alternative way I couldn’t recommend this more. It’s in the health and wellbeing section.

  19. Rich 12th January 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Platty, doing normal things and not avoiding them is the way to show your brain that everything is indeed normal and you’re in no danger. The lack of interest and immersion is just because your brain is cutting out these feelings so you aren’t overloaded in your anxious state. This is a good thing – trust your brain. It will all come back once it heals itself. For the moment, just go with the flow and keep convincing it all is ok by not reacting to these seemingly ‘weird’ feelings it’s causing. It’s very important you relax and let your mind calm whenever possible, but especially before going to bed in order to drop off to sleep. A good nights sleep is really important.

    Christine, I didn’t feel as good today as yesterday, but tonight ate a madras curry and a load of christmas chocolate – perhaps not ideal, but I’m just grateful for an appetite. I need to work on the healthy eating thing. I hope you feel better. Just remember that although you’re bobbing up and down on a rough sea right now, you’re floating on the top and not drowning at the bottom, so just ride it out and you’ll naturally heal πŸ™‚

  20. Doreen 13th January 2014 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Mark R – this was the part in the Guardian article that really stood out for me. I am not sure you even have to do mindfulness to achieve this as many who have ‘recovered’ on the blog would testify
    “Most importantly, I seemed to be developing a whole new relationship with my thoughts. It wasn’t that they’d really changed; they were still the same old wolf- and fire- and death-fearing thoughts, but I could see that they were simply that: thoughts. I did not have to judge them, act on them or indeed do anything very much about them. Sometimes they were interesting, sometimes less so, but they were no more than “events” that arose in the mind and then dispersed again. They did not, as I’d previously imagined, have the power to undo me. Only someone who has suffered from chronic, debilitating anxiety will understand quite how exhilarating this realisation felt. I had made peace with the workings of my mind. I was no longer afraid of myself.”

  21. Gongchan 13th January 2014 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Thank you very much Kyara, I do feel a little bit better but not too much just yet.

    I was wondering if you or anybody could give me some advice about developing that “I don’t care” attitude towards new symptoms and the like. Because everytime A new symptom comes I’m totally flattened. And I dont think I have been doing this whole thing like I should be.

    I just want to feel normal again and not have my surroundings feel terrifying and have my heart beating fast.

  22. Bryan 13th January 2014 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    Nice find Mark and good points Doreen.

  23. Casey 13th January 2014 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    This is great Paul. Question for anyone reading this who is a Christian..does anxiety and your relationship with God complicate this process? What I mean is, a lot of my “thoughts” seem to center on my beliefs. I’ve always believed in God and been Christian. But when anxiety came along, I started thinking maybe I’m not…but I don’t know if that’s just a “thought” or not. (My anxious thoughts started as thinking I might hurt someone, then the fear of suicide, and now center on whether God and Christianity are real/true). But I do not want to stop Bible studies, praying, etc…but I’m concerned it’s only making my intrusive thoughts/cycle worse. Like, are my thoughts truly something I need to work on (deepening my relationship with God) or are they a product of anxiety and “not real or irrational”? Does anyone have advice or a similar experience?

  24. Josie 13th January 2014 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Julie,

    Ditto Marcus.

    I have been where you have been and truly believed that there was no way out. I was mad. I would get sectioned. I would harm myself.

    There was a way out. I am not mad. I did not get sectioned and I did not harm myself.

    Did I go through hell? Yes. it was awful. There are no quick fixes. Try to let time pass. I know that it hard but I PROMISE you that you will get better. For me, it took a long time (months and months and months) I would now say I am recovered. But that does not mean I am anxiety free. But I can accept the bad moments/days. I had so many setbacks but it is true that the repeated setbacks gave me confidence when I entered the next one. To use Claire Weekes’ wise words: I knew the way out so well I did not fear the way in.

    Don’t ‘wait’ for CBT. Don’t believe that you have to ‘cope’ until then. Take gentle gentle steps to live the life of somebody without anxiety. Expect little and a lot will come. The scary thoughts will come less often. If you were ‘mad’, you would not know it. You would not be questionning your level of madness!

    I give so much credit to this site, the blog and Claire Weekes for my recovery. But, ultimately, I credit myself. I did this. I got better by accepting that I could live the life of not being better. And then the anxiety and panic started to lift, in layers. Back and forth. Up and down.

    So you know, I tried CBT, pyschotherapy, anti-d’s, tranqs, reflexology, hypnotherapy, acupunture and all manner of other stuff. I was trying to fix myself. I was trying to get somebody else to fix me. I couldn’t and nor could anyone else.

    Julie – try to have confidence in yourself and your strength to get through from morning to night. To have horrible horrible horrible days. But know that they will pass. Use this blog as much as you need to. And, when you are having good hours/days, move away from the site. Return when you need to (and never feel bad about doing so).

    I am back today after not visiting for a couple of months. Just one final word of advice/shared experience. The premise of the ‘acceptance method’ is to carry on with your day regardless. Do not let anxiety change your routine/plans. In my experience, my body was so over-sensitised that I did not feel able to do everything from day dot. Gradually, my oversensitised system began to get better. It did not hum permanently, I did not feel so dizzy/sick etc etc. Anyway, that worked for me.

    I’ll drop back in over the next couple of days so please feel free to ask questions.
    x

  25. Bryan 13th January 2014 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Josie,

    Very inspiring. I’m about 3/4th through recovery (I’d guess) and hearing that people can close the deal on this (so to speak) is uplifting. Thanks for taking the time.

  26. Maria 13th January 2014 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Hi guys!!! Im new here… Loving the post and pauls advice. I have suffered from anxiety for many years now , close to ten and i was not until now i found a little hope here. Ive seen that intrusive horrific thoughts are common but my thoughts are more about a physical illnes. I have been three time to a cardiologist for the past two years , i cant stop feling and thinking there is something wrong with my heart, but doctors dont agree with me. I feel most of the tome dizzy, tired , blured vision and doctors just tell me is product of anxiety, im scare of dying and leaving my kid alone … I cant stop thinking about it… Anyone like me out there? Please i need some help here

  27. Lucy 13th January 2014 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Josie, great post! I am sure you appreciate how it feels for someone to come back and share their story of success. I second you that ultimately, people can try every method but that really, the power is already within us all to make improvements. Also it’s very true that “recovery” doesn’t mean being 100% happy for every day for the rest of our lives. Anxiety or not we will still experience tougher and easier times, as does everybody.
    Thankyou πŸ™‚

  28. Josie 13th January 2014 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Reading success stories on here during my recovery was so important. They helped massively.

    I am recovered, I have recovered – as I said before. But let me put that in context a bit. At 10am this morning I had a meeting with my boss to give an update on some work stuff from last week. For the first 10 mins I felt a bit breathless, dizzy. My boss is lovely and I had no reason to feel anxious. Would this have happened at a routine meeting two years ago? No.

    But I am still recovered. Does that make sense? It’s changed for me. And I’m ok with that actually. I have come from a very dark and scary place. So I am really ok with that!

    I was 3/4 recovered for months and months but couldn’t seem to get across the line. For me (and I think it’s different for many), it was leaving the subject alone. Immersing myself in family life (2 kids, lovely husband, busy job in the City). Basically, I got out of the habit of thinking about anxiety.

    But this TAKES TIME. Lots of time. No miracles. Just patience.

    One of my greatest discoveries was the sheer amount of sufferers out there. Who knew? Many looking fully functional (!) but suffering so much.

    One thing I did (as per Paul David’s advice) was to get active. Get fit. So, for me, I joined the gym but I also joined a netball team. Bit random for me cos I hadn’t played since junior school (I’m 40). [to be honest I’ve given it up because it got too cold and wet…!]. Anyway, one evening I was playing (quite badly) against a very fit and experienced Goal Shooter. We were into the second half and she seemed a bit breathless. I asked if she was ok and she told me she suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. We really do come in all shapes and sizes! I asked what her symptoms were, that very moment. And she gave me the long list (we all know what they are). I quickly shared my understanding and asked if she was really going to let some symptoms affect her game. Make her run away? Symptoms that will not kill her and really have no meaning whatsoever (that sounds quite patronising now as I write it so I hope it didn’t come across that way!). She carried on and afterwards said that just that little reminder really helped.

    Hope that helps. x

  29. Kyara 13th January 2014 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Gongchan,

    For me I just reminded myself daily that I’m the only one to help myself. I had to work on acceptance and understanding. Understanding that these feelings no matter how bad are absolutely temporary and when I would feel myself fight I reminded myself the sooner I let go the sooner I start to heal. I would have days where my mind wants to focus on self pitty and I would remind myself all of this is NORMAL in an anxious person and I didn’t need to give into this. I find through practice of this has made it easier to accept that my mind wants to worry endlessly and it will with or without my approval so just let it. I know that I’m going to still be anxious some days and I don’t freak out about it. I don’t put a percentage on my recovery because I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. I feel a tiny bit better and tiny bit more confident every day. I acknowledge that every day is different and I will be able to accept differently everyday. What doesn’t bother me today may bother me tomorrow and I’m OK with that. Really for me reminding myself that all of this is anxiety helps me not fight. Accept that no matter what fear will always be a fear the thoughts of harming ourselves or our loved ones or what ever we may be obsessing about it will forever remain a fear so let the thought be and know that no matter what your brain tells you you would never do such a thing. No matter how loud it screams. The main thing is not fearing anxiety and it’s symptoms.

  30. Charlotte 13th January 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Val,

    Sending big hugs ! A bad day is always horrible but always to be expected, and as claire weeks says it gives you a chance to practice again tomorrow ! You have been doing so well and your blogs are lovely to read, especially as we know you are in sunny oz while a lot of us are in rainy, or windy Uk!

    Hope u ok,

    X

  31. Rich 13th January 2014 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Val, When you’re home alone do you busy yourself? Put some music on, read an immersive book etc? I enjoy peace and quiet and my own company more so than socialising so this isn’t a problem for me, but if you don’t like your thoughts it’s sometimes hard to be alone with them. Just maintain perspective and do normal things.

    Josie, Thank you for posting your experiences on here. Its posts from those who have recovered which really help me. I don’t like the thought of setbacks, but knowing there is hope really helps me find strength inside me to carry on.

  32. Val 13th January 2014 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Charlotte…..thank you so much…go girl! It’s 41 here today…about 105f…….watching the Aus open tennis on TV.. Feel those hugs…warm fuzzies to you.x
    Rich….I do continue with my life and take the dog to park,mind grandchildren.etc etc …we are different aren’t we……think mine is more depression than anxiety tho I know they are first cousins…LOL it’s so hot here that there won’t be much action….Aus open on TV if you are into tennis.warm fuzzies to you rich..you give me hope. In fact….warm,or should I say. HOT fuzzies to everyone.x

  33. Charlotte 13th January 2014 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Val

    Wow that is so hot we can only dream here…..! Sounds like u have a pretty full life Val, if you have grand kids then I’m guessing you have family nearby ? My uncle and aunt moved to oz about 50 years ago, they had 5 kids who then all married and have another 10 or 11 kids between them – we lose count lol !!!! It’s odd knowing we have such a large family over there and yet we,ve never been.

    Well I have caught my daughters cold and have a full on day at work tomorrow , ah well onwards and upwards!

  34. Charlotte 13th January 2014 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Lucy

    Meant to say I’m so pleased for you, you are doing fab, and a new job aswell, well done you ! If you start on Wednesday then remember it is normal for anyone to feel anxious about it !!

    Are you working part time, and is anything lovely and exciting ??

    X

  35. Val 13th January 2014 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Charlotte …come on down!! Lol

  36. Val 14th January 2014 at 12:11 am - Reply

    After quite a few good weeks I am struggling a bit…like many of you….I have good friends,family and grandchildren……have to accept that this is how it is at present…..when you have those good days it,s hard when you slip back. There’s an ad for shampoo here and the girl says…”It won’t happen overnight,but it WILL HAPPEN ,!!Lol……wishes to you all….accepting and floating………:-)

  37. Rich 14th January 2014 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Morning everyone, I woke up this morning tired (which never helps) with negative anxious thoughts – dwelling on the past and worrying about future events. I just told myself that these are negative thoughts, and then started thinking about the positive things about these events I was worrying over. Just trying to balance things in my mind and inject some positive thinking (this is quite new to me as I’ve only ever worried about everything for so long).

    Then I focused on the present – the birds singing outside, the people outside scraping the ice off their cars (hard for you imagine Val I guess!) and the sun rising in the sky.

  38. Val 14th January 2014 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Now rich…we do have winters and windscreens do ice up but frosts pretty rare…I remember fairly icy ones when I was a kid living in the country…….that is so good to be able to think in the present and re focus.you must have been proud of your efforts. Have put a wet towel on the dog and the air con is blasting away!!!40 + here all week? My mood has lifted….hope everyone is doing well. The responses on here are so genuine and caring….:-)

  39. Lui 14th January 2014 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone! I think I finally accepted anxiety a bit! I had a nervous breakdown yesterday and I realized that I put too much pressure on myself. Today I woke up and was really, really calm. Anxious too but that was alright. In school I let anxiety flood into my head and I dind’t push it away. I was more quiet, but I felt more relaxed an more outside my head. Does that sound like accepting?? I think it was..

  40. Rich 14th January 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Lui, Every step is a step forward so long as you don’t give in or give up, even if it doesn’t feel like it is at the time. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to bounce back up. Sometimes emotions just get too much and you have to let them out. Think of this as releasing the negativity that anxiety creates, cleaning your mind of toxic thoughts. This sounds like it has given you some clarity and helped you rationalise your thoughts. I think that this is a good thing, and something you can now build upon. Just let your mind do what it feels, but don’t react negatively – just go with it.

  41. Lucy 14th January 2014 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks Charlotte πŸ™‚
    It’s “only” reception work at a gym, 16-18hrs a week.. Free membership too so no more excuses! Haha. I start tomorrow and although I’m anxious it’s quite nice to have a “normal” level of anxiety about it and not too much catastrophising which I’m very good at!

    Hope you are doing well xx

  42. Rich 14th January 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone, Today has been another standard day, until 30 minutes ago! All of a sudden whilst sat at my desk I get a sudden feeling of anxiety in my body, which slowly builds up into my stomach and my head. I feel hot, unsettled and the fear then takes a hold and creeps in. My stomach now feels ‘weird’ and my cheeks feel hot. I feel tired (yawning) and can’t focus.

    Really strange, and completely out of the blue. Maybe it’s because today’s been relatively stressful but it’s caught me by surprise and I’ve no idea why. Immediate negative thoughts of appetite loss again and future events (where I do actually have something to worry about) spring into mind. Very strange.

  43. Bryan 14th January 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Rich,

    As strange as it feels, it’s real quite common for some of us. Some people experience a much more random set of symptoms than others. I personally get waves like you describe almost daily. But they go away much more quickly now because I’m not worried about them. And of course some days I don’t get any significant symptoms.

    My condition has always been super random. It’s not situational at all and it’s rarely any obvious cause and effect. My entire condition had been “out of the blue.” That’s just how some of us experience the disorder. But regardless, this is just a byproduct of a stress hyper stimulated body with the primary stressor being anxiety/worry. The “cure” for you and I is the same for someone with a more situational condition.

    Keep up the good work. It will pay off.

  44. Rich 14th January 2014 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks Bryan, I think my blip has been caused either by:

    1) Stress at work today (with me having a sensitised state and no stress threshold), or…

    2) A yoghurt I ate after lunch that has been at room temperature all day.

    3) Just a blip

    It’s hard to know when I’m genuinely ill or it’s anxiety’s tricks!

    The positive to get out of this is that although it knocked me for six initially (see my post above for the freak out!), I am just sitting through it and rationalising it, letting it do its thing. If it is anxiety, it obviously thinks there’s some reason to ‘switch on the alarm’, so I just have to show myself that there is in fact nothing to worry about, by not reacting to it.

  45. Joe P 14th January 2014 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    (reposted this on the new blog, as it none would one see it on the older one now) Hello, thanks Val, Anthony and Rich for your advice, from now on I will defintly let myself go with the feeling, even though when it happens it feels like the worst thing in the world, it won’t kill me, just make me feel truly terrified for a few seconds or so until it eases. I think after a few times of doing this and seeing that by letting myself feel the horrible feeling 100% and nothing bad happened except the feeling itself, then hopefully I should lose a bit of my fear of feeling and things will easier from there. I went out to liverpool on the weekend for a friends bday and drank a little too much, and the next day due to the alcohol, the feeling was horrific, but I am proud myself for staying calm and getting through it! I think from now on until this feeling subsides slightly I will only drink a very small amount when I’m out.

    Thanks again for your advice I will post on here in the next month or two with my progress, hopefully I should be alot better then!

    Joe P X

  46. Mark R 14th January 2014 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    Not posted for a while as I’ve just been cracking on really. I had a bad time over Christmas for 2/3 days but since then seem to have gone from strength to strength. Been pretty positive overall except yesterday ate a little too much chocolate, had an anxious thought about whether it would affect my anxiety. It started off a mini panic and I’ve felt bad these last 2 days since. Amazing how it can turn on its head so quickly!

    I’ve noticed though as I’ve had pretty much 2 weeks straight of good days that I can’t be arsed with anxiety when I feel okay, the subject bores me and life is important. I have plans to clear my debts, I’ve applied for new jobs, have some potential dates and taken on some extra private work. All this is important to me and anxiety kind of just sits in the background. However I’ve noticed when my anxiety is high I care little for these things and my awareness is taken up by how bad I feel. I’m sure others have noticed this in themselves?

    Although the last 2 days I’ve felt pretty dreadful, I am hugely encouraged that I’ve had a stretch of almost 2 weeks of okayness and almost normality at times.

    Bryan, how you doing?

    Hope everyone else is plodding along.

    Mark. x

  47. Charles 15th January 2014 at 12:47 am - Reply

    Hi all,

    I haven’t been here for a while because I feel very…normal…I don’t really like the word “recovered” because I understand now that there is not anything to recover from.
    So in the past 2 months or so, my whole attitude has moved to a simple: “it’s ok to have anxiety”. Before that I always had to remind myself with some facts such as “it’s only adrenaline”, “don’t worry about it, it will just make it worse” etc. Now it’s changed to a natural way of thinking.
    I don’t want to call myself “recovered” because if I really want to feel anxiety and fight my thoughts, I still can, and I will probably end up in the same place as before, but I’d rather leave it alone do something I enjoy.

  48. Sam 15th January 2014 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Bit unrelated but it’s my 18th today! Woohoo! Trying to let the anxiety do what it wants on my birthday πŸ™‚

  49. Val 15th January 2014 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Happy B,day Sam…..did Anx attend the party? Hope you had a good time….with or without Anx !!!

  50. Rich 15th January 2014 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Mark R, I can totally relate to the ability to focus on work, hobbies, interests and goals when the going is good, then to move the focus onto yourself and all else going out of the window as soon as anxiety strikes again. I don’t force myself to do things when I feel rubbish – maybe I should do, but I just do what I feel like at the time. I think in time normality will take over and stay the focus of my attention.

    I fear having children because of my anxiety disorder. What if I limit their lives because I am not outgoing or active? What if they copy my thoughts and behaviour and develop anxiety disorders themselves? What if I let them down or have a meltdown? I am sure these are all natural fears for people like me, and I’m sure many who have kids manage perfectly fine, but to me this is all added fear that ‘normal’ people don’t have to worry about – on top of the usual stuff.

    I guess the trick is to overcome the fear permanently so everything above isn’t even an issue.

  51. Christine 15th January 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Hi All,

    I had a few okayish (not great but tolerable) days but the anxiety has been back with a bang since last night…lots of scary thoughts and fear!

    Mark R – you’re doing so well! πŸ™‚ It’s funny how it can be ok for a bit and then come back with a vengeance, but it probably feels worse because we have had some ok days. I feel like it’s easier to accept some days more than others and don’t know why?! Quite tired today so maybe that’s got something to do with it! Sat in work feeling rubbish but when I think back to last week, it’s probably not as rubbish as then! I’m with Rich – when I was feeling ok, I was much more enthusiastic about things but today I can’t be bothered and have no motivation! xx

    Rich – like Bryan I get those rushes all of the time, particularly when I’m lying in bed in the morning…another off shoot of anxiety. I also know what you mean about children, I don’t have any of my own and the clocks ticking for me but I often think the same things as you in relation to anxiety. But there are so many comments on here about those who suffer with anxiety and have children. I’m sure you’d make a great Dad! xx

    Josie – thanks for sharing your story – I love to hear about those who have overcome this. It reminds me that I’ve done it before and I can do it again! xx

    Happy Birthday, Sam! πŸ™‚ xx

  52. Rich 15th January 2014 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Christine, Thank you for your very kind comments – they really help! I felt rubbish yesterday afternoon, but then ate tea and some chocolate and had a nice relaxing evening on the sofa. I think my mind is in a better place to handle anxiety than it once was, and this helped dispel my anxious ‘what if’ thoughts. I surprised myself in that respect.

    Julie, Don’t worry about your mental health team not saying that you have anxiety. You definitely have by the sounds of things, but ironically, this is actually a good thing. Your mind is working exactly as it should be. This is a good thing. You freaking out about your thoughts and them upsetting you is a good thing.

    What do you mean you don’t believe me?!

    First of all, if you were crazy or a horrible person, you wouldn’t be upset about it.

    Secondly, you only have these thoughts because you’re scared of them. You fear them so you have them and you fear them even more, so you have them and then you fear them even more. They you have them and you fear them even more. You need to break this cycle. The only one keeping you in this cycle is you. Accepting this is the hardest and the first barrier to break through.

    I would strongly urge you to seek referral to talking therapy like a clinical psychologist to talk about your family issues. I think you need to put these demons to rest in order for you to find peace.

    Then I would look at reading about anxiety (Paul’s book, Claire Weekes’ book, ‘A Letter To Myself’ online) and then look at starting the process of ignoring these thoughts. At the moment the thoughts are a raging inferno in your mind, and you’re fighting them by pouring petrol on them.

    I wish you all the very best however. Posting on here is already the beginning of your recovery.

  53. Dominick 15th January 2014 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Does anyone here find their fears changing/morphing?

    It’s hard to make sense of (though, I’m not going to try to make sense of it) but it seems like one fear will subside alittle and then a new one will emerge.

    All of mine center around sleeping.
    But the nature and object of the fear seem to change and jump around from one thing to another.

    I know what to do…. allow it, don’t fight it. I’m just curious if anyone else has experienced this.

  54. Dominick 15th January 2014 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    I’m a Catholic….
    and I came across a pretty cool quote by Thomas Kempis which says, “Until God ordains otherwise, a man ought to bear patiently whatever he cannot correct in himself and in others.”

    I like that quote because it echoes the ideas of acceptance well before even Claire Weekes was writing. It’s nice to know that there is such wisdom in ‘patience’ and ‘acceptance’.

    Maybe that’s why patience is a virtue.

  55. Will 15th January 2014 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Maria –

    I agree, finding this blog was a godsend for me a couple of years ago when I was going through a bad bout of scary thoughts.

    You say you felt dizzy and tired, well I’ve been feeling the same for nearly a week now. I too have had anxiety for close to 10 years recently for me it’s taken the form of dizziness and the occasional palpitation. I feel generally off-balance and disconnected and it’s made me think about whether or not I have a physical problem (diabetes is going through my head at the moment). I’m only 22 and scared of dying young. But I know that it’s nothing, and the only thing we can do to get past it is get on with your day and not let the symptoms bog you down too much. Given time, they WILL ease.

  56. Rich 15th January 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Anxiety is a real bitch because it uses your worst fears against you. If you fear it the most, then that it what it is going to use against you. I fear stomach upset and loss of appetite (which to others would seem like no big deal). Others fear harm, or health issues (which to me seem like no big deal). However, our underlying condition is the same, and the way to recover from the disorder is the same for us all.

    The reason why anxiety is such a b*tch and terrifies us, is because we are sending information to our brain that tells it that we need it to take action to help protect us. It gets our attention therefore because it knows we will react to it – which is what it wants. It wants to stop us living, socialising, eating, thinking, feeling, loving, tasting and anything else that is non-essential to survival.

    All we have to do is rationally and repeatedly tell our brains that in actual fact, we’re not in need of protecting and are in actual fact fine. It will then tone down the anxiety and let us live our lives.

    All we have to do is rationally and repeatedly tell our brains that in actual fact, we’re not in need of protecting and are in actual fact fine. The trick is to be able to do this with total belief and honesty. We can fake it at first, but to truly beat this, we have to believe it, and only we can convince ourselves – by changing our thought processes and reprogramming our minds.

  57. michelle m 15th January 2014 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Rich

    you are completely right. Your thoughts bother you as much as ours. Just cos they are different in nature it doesn’t mean that either is easier to deal with. My boyfriend is off out soon leaving me at home with my little one and her friend. For a minute I had an uneasy feeling and a what if….ridiculous that insanity would arrive as soon as he closed the door!!! I have to laugh really…

    michelle x

  58. Rich 15th January 2014 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    One of the techniques taught in CBT is to write down your negative thoughts and fears, so that you can look back after the event and see them as being irrational. Reading your own thoughts with a calmer, more rational mind helps you disassociate your ‘true you’ from the ‘anxiety you’ – which confirms that the thoughts you have are not your normal thoughts, and are just anxiety tricking you.

    The problem with writing down your worries and fears, is that you’re giving them time and attention. So long as you do not worry about and keep rational about them this is ok, but others prefer not to dwell on them and to just do other ‘normal’ things instead with their time. “People who don’t have an anxiety disorder don’t think about their thoughts, so neither should you.”

  59. michelle m 15th January 2014 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Hi ya lucy

    nice of you to say so…thanks!!! You sound like you are doing really well too. Just as you said, as one thought goes another comes in. Bloody nuisance really. This anxiety definately isnt for the faint hearted!!!

    Michelle ?

  60. michelle m 15th January 2014 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Should be an x at the end!! Ha ha x

  61. Lucy 15th January 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Yep even these physical symptoms I dislike so much are fuelled by the thoughts and obsessing that comes with them, like stuff that could be possibly wrong with me etc! I am going to allow myself one trip to the drs as have never been (although clearly it’s anxiety as I’ve had this a year now so if I was on deaths door I think I would’ve gone through it by now… Lol) and then accepting that as all the reassurance I need while carrying on. Definitely isn’t for the faint hearted, all of us are much stronger than we realise/give ourself credit for! X

  62. Lui 15th January 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Hi everybody!
    I hope somebody can help me with my questions about social anxiety..I know that acception, floating through anxiety and facing my fears is of importance. It’s not easy. I have a huge problem with the accepting part. I’m always wondering, if I’m doing it the right way, the right way of accepting. That sounds weird I know.
    For example when I’m in a situation in which I’m with a person and I have absolutly nothing to say.. should I accept that, or should I force myself to say something and start a conversation? When being in a conversation, should I push my anxiety aside or feel it all the way long? Should I accept who I am at this moment? When quiet and withdrawn should I accept that or chage that?
    The list goes on…The thing is, that I’m so worn out everyday. I have nothing to say, I feel nothing and I’m not interested in anything. I haven’t laughed about a joke in ages. It’s more like an obesseive state I am in. I want to solve this thing, and I know that I can’t. I posted a lot recently cause I really want to get on the right path now. So I’d appreciate any advice on this..

  63. Dominick 15th January 2014 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Bumping so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle:

    Does anyone here find their fears changing/morphing?

    It’s hard to make sense of (though, I’m not going to try to make sense of it) but it seems like one fear will subside alittle and then a new one will emerge.

    All of mine center around sleeping.
    But the nature and object of the fear seem to change and jump around from one thing to another.

    I know what to do…. allow it, don’t fight it. I’m just curious if anyone else has experienced this.

  64. Rich 15th January 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Lui, Stop worrying about everything and chillax! If you don’t wanna talk, don’t talk, if you don’t wanna laugh, don’t sweat it. If you’re with someone and you have nothing to say, do what us Brits do and just talk about the weather, or make an excuse up and leave, or say “I’m bored of you and can’t be bothered with this – so I’m off”. πŸ™‚ It really doesn’t matter.

    You have to put your self first and stop worrying about anyone else.

    You have an anxiety disorder, so until you start putting yourself first, you won’t give your mind chance to stop worrying and making all this worse.

  65. Lui 15th January 2014 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Hey Rich! Thanks, you’ve been helping me a lot the last days!
    Ok that really puts some weight off my shoulders! I just don’t get the fact, how I am supposed to face my fears and retrain my brain when I am not forcing myself to speak to people. Is it more important to let the nerves heal? Because I really don’t feel like it most of the time haha!

  66. Rich 15th January 2014 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone, I’m not going to comment on the intrusive thoughts and fear with children as I can’t relate to it, and I think you have this covered, but my thoughts are with you all.

    Lui, You need to take the pressure off yourself. If you ‘try’ and try harder and harder etc, and worry about each social situation, you may well do ok, but you’ll be working so hard you won’t relax.

    Take the pressure off yourself and go back a few steps – realise that if you let yourself relax and heal, and approach things in bitesize chunks little by little, you will be able to work up to normality gradually, rather than trying to sustain a level of social confidence that your mind perhaps can’t handle right now (hence the worry and anxiety).

    Just don’t put pressure on yourself to recover – this will only slow you down. It’s a gradual process.

  67. Val 16th January 2014 at 12:09 am - Reply

    Rich ,,,,your words are so calming….as in not to put pressure on yourself,slow down etc…..thank you…..they eliminate my fears when I read them

  68. Lui 16th January 2014 at 5:11 am - Reply

    Same goes for me Rich! Thank you! πŸ™‚

  69. Charlotte 16th January 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Hi Julie

    I’ve had a similar experience to you and I know others have , I couldn’t be on my own, I couldn’t eat or sleep. I’m getting the kids ready for school and nursery and off to work so ill reply a bit later.

    Yes it’s a habit but the good thing about habits is they can be br

  70. Charlotte 16th January 2014 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Broken. Read back over a my old posts and Lucy’s, we both mention not wanting to be on our own, my mum had to come and stay for a not and I think Lucy said she would have to go to her mums also.

    Your are coping really well

    X

  71. Doreen 16th January 2014 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Julie – it can often be very helpful to acknowledge the circumstances which have contributed to someone becoming an overly anxious person and that is where counselling can be of value. However, no matter what the triggers are for the initial anxiety at some point we have to free ourselves of their ongoing impact and be ready to get on with life in the here and now. That is where the route described by Paul in his book and advocated by so many on this blog starts to make sense. You are projecting your historic anxieties onto your world now and generating all the various fears that you list in your previous posts. That is ‘all they are’ Julie – fears generated by your thinking and not really true or ever likely to happen. Hard as it might be for you to believe their content is not the relevant thing – it is the power you are giving these thoughts that matters. So yes, it is anxiety that is making you feel so dreadful but you can and I am sure you will be able to move on albeit it slowly but little by little you will feel yourself being in control of your feelings rather than them seeming to be in control of you

  72. Rich 16th January 2014 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Val & Lui, thank you for your kind comments – it’s really good to know that we’re helping each other (to ultimately help ourselves).

    Julie, It’s good to get your thoughts and fears out of your head and onto paper or on here, so that you can then distance yourself from them. No matter what images your imagine or fears you have, they will always stem from a thought – even if you don’t consciously realise you’re having them. When you wake up you have probably conditioned yourself into worrying out of habit, then once on alert and in this state of mind you just spiral – as you’re firmly stuck in the fear-anxiety-fear loop.

    You have to break this loop.

    I’d highly suggest you look into relaxation techniques and meditation, as these teach you how to calm your mind. You’re not going to get very far until you calm your over-active imagination.

    Secondly I’d learn about mindfulness and living in the present. Then I’d learn about rationalising your thoughts and alternative thinking.

    All of this can be found in Paul’s book and Claire’s book, and CBT will help with practicing the thinking.

    No matter what you write on here, however horrible to you it may seem, the answer is always going to be the same from all of us – yes, it is only anxiety.

    Everything you experience can be overcome. You had the power to get yourself into this state, and you have the power to get yourself out of it.

    Accept. Face. Float. Let Time Pass.

  73. Rich 16th January 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

    PS Stay off anxiety websites and anxiety forums – all they do is instil more fear into your already stressed-out mind. Just stick to the recommended books on here and check back here for support. The ‘cure’ lies within you.

  74. Val 16th January 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Hey Rich…40+ here…..no scraping ice off windows!!

  75. Rich 16th January 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Hi Julie,

    I advocate 3 resources to read to help you gain understanding – Claire Weekes’ ‘Self Help For Your Nerves’, Paul’s book ‘At Last A Life’ and ‘A Letter To Myself (Nothing Works)’.

    When I read these I realised that there is nothing else to read. You get to a point where you know all you need to know. I kept reading it to ‘drill’ it into my head, but I then threw out all of my old CBT material, stopped visiting websites (there’s some bad advice out there) and knew that I you need time away from anxiety and to focus on living like you want to live in the end – like someone who doesn’t have anxiety. You have to act first for the thoughts to change. This is a paradox and counter-intuitive – backwards almost, but it’s the only way.

    If you’re in the UK did you see the Derren Brown programme a while ago about a new pill which he gave to smokers, agorophobes, someone with a huge fear of bridges? the pill was a placebo and the name was an anagram of ‘YOUR MIND’. It showed that this is all in the mind, and your mind has the power to heal itself and re-learn.

    PS the chap with the fear of bridges took the placebo and shortly walked straight over it.

  76. Charley 16th January 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie,

    I check on this site from time to time as I’ve suffered with anxiety on and off since the birth of my first child nearly 9 years ago. It has come and gone and changed from one thing to the other over the years ;had a looong time with health anxiety which focused on my eldest child then I had my daughter and it went away, then came back as health anxiety which focused on her health. That went as she grew and stopped getting poorly but I was literally knocked for six last year when my anxiety focused in on intrusive thoughts regarding my children. Thoughts that made me think I was loosing the plot and going mad! I literally had a breakdown, couldnt eat, sleep, enjoy anything, socialise. I lost a stone in 4 weeks and was literally afraid of my own shadow. It was honestly the hardest thing I’ve been through. The thoughts centre around your children as they are the absolute world to you. It’s funny how anxiety picks the things that will freak you out he most… It knows where to hit you alright. It’s been a long journey for me, I’ve done lots of self help (Paul’s book and claire weekes have been the best). I’ve read so much on anxiety I feel I know it inside out and to be honest I think knowledge is power. Once you know what’s happening to you, you can slowly rationalise and understand things.

    As well as self help I’ve also seen a private therapist which has been invaluable. It’s wonderful to talk to someone who’s heard it all before, can empathise, put your mind at ease and reassure you that it’s JUST anxiety. I’ve had EMDR with her too which was wonderful for intrusive thoughts. Unlike cbt you don’t have to talk about them you just visualise in your head while holding buzzers in your hand and my therapist talks me through it and processing fears. I know I’m not explaining it very well but google it. My body now does not physically respond to any intrusive thoughts that I’ve processed with EMDR.

    Like you, both my kids are at school and I’m a housewife. The days can be long with your own thoughts and at my worst I’d get home from the school run and get back in bed with my ipad and self help books and generally feel sorry or myself. This wasn’t helping me and getting back into having structure in my day and slowly doing things I used to really helps the anxiety. We also got a dog, well a puppy and she’s been the most wonderful therapy for me too. I so enjoy our long walks, clearing my head.

    Well done for gettin out! Keep it up and realise thoughts can’t hurt you, it’s not real, laugh at them if you like( not as easy as it sounds I know, some of my thoughts took my breath away) but slowly you’ll get there. I still occasionally have a bad day but I just get on with it… And low and behold the feelings of dread fade away…

    I hope I haven’t bored you.. There’s so many of us out there I wanted you to know you’re not alone.

    Good luck

    X

  77. Julie 16th January 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you Lucy.

    Oh how awful πŸ™

    I think from what i have read here that if I do stop attaching emotion to the thoughts they will get easier, I am feeling a little more confident about that.

    I am just now worrying about the agitation. It is the other thing I am struggling with. I seem to get it every few days and everytime I do I panic inside because I focus on the feeling and worry. I worry because I feel so on edge and agitated and worry will I lash out or something, does it mean I am angry.

    Thank you for your reply. It is good to know this is all anxiety x

  78. Rebecca 16th January 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Julie I get the agitation, and my chest gose tight and heavy. And my head and brain gose fuzzy it’s so hard to explain the feeling. Also it’s like a chattering mind but not actual words its just feels all muddled up. They have got to be symptoms of anxiety. Some days I feel like screaming and running but there’s no where to hide. The only way forward is allowing anxiety in fighting want ever beat it. I no it’s so so so hard but it’s the only way forward. Sometimes I wish I could take my own advice. Well on a postive note I’m 30 today so out for a meal later with friends, and anxiety is more than welcome to come along to lol.

  79. Rich 16th January 2014 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Happy 30th Birthday Rebecca!

  80. Lucy 16th January 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Julie I was and still am the same regarding agitation, among other emotions.. I find they seem much more magnified when you are anxious! I have met someone new and am at that point where you kind of don’t know where it’s heading, the overthinking and questioning frustrates me so much! I used to have a “what will be will be” attitude and now I keep thinking, if it ends up with me sad then I may as well knock it on the head because I can’t be sad AND anxious, because it seems so much worse. My daughter would do something annoying and I would feel myself becoming annoyed then I’d get anxious wondering if it meant I was angry, and if maybe I really would harm her. I also didn’t want to tell anyone because it all just felt so wrong and I seriously thought I had something wrong with me. I have read what you’re saying over and over though, and feel the same myself, so it’s 100% anxiety. I also get the tight chest, feels a bit like my windpipe is turning to stone! Once you’ve read the book you will gain a much greater understand of this and it’s tricks x

  81. Jess h 16th January 2014 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Julie you are not alone and certainly not mad!! IV suffered from the same thoughts if not worse!! Those intrusive thoughts surely are a pain and the most annoying part of anxiety!!

    I’m slowly starting to understand anxiety but by no means has it fully gone!! IV had it on and off for 3 years mostly now with months of being anxiety free however I do suffer from set backs, these hit just as bad if not worse as u are so aware of how it feels to not be anxious!!

    I am however still struggling to allow thoughts without looking into them, my most recent is worrying I am depressed I find I’m very influenced by reading stories, this one came from reading a man who was depressed but still went out and laughed so know I worry I am the same!! Did any one see worry they had depression, I also sometimes can’t see what life will be like in the future still worrying this will be here or come and go ??

    I try to remain positive I just struggle with knowing they are still thoughts made by my anxious mind still 3 years on when I am ok for months??

    Can anyone shed some light?

    Thanks and happy new year to you all

    Jess xx

  82. Charley 16th January 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Mindfulness is really practising not thinking about anything, focusing on your breathing, letting thoughts come and go and not reacting to them, recognising them as thoughts. I’m a real beginner but I keep practising!

  83. Sam 16th January 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Hi there,

    Was wondering whether anyone else ever feels like they have to create their personality. Like when I’m out I put on this fake act to try come across as if I’m not empty and anxious. Like for a example be like someone I look up. I know it’s ridiculous but it helps me get a feeling of self. Then it’ll just disappear. I feel like my brain is fixed into its way of thinking by years over of having the problem and incorrect in assumptions I made from when I’m younger. Plus people say the best way to overcome anxiety is through CBT
    But that changing the way you think and fighting. Just confused about everything?

  84. Rich 16th January 2014 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Julie, Read the material and gain understanding, but do remember that you cannot ‘cure’ yourself by reading the magic sentence or taking a pill etc. You have to allow change to happen gratually in your mind, and just be conscious not to stand in your own way or slow the process down through fear, anxiety, stress, pressure, believing the negative thoughts or avoiding.

    Lucy, It’s hard to make decisions when you can’t trust your thoughts, just follow your heart but if you need to be sure, just take your time and don’t rush things.

    Sam, I think a lot of people pretend to be someone else (look at how teenage boys and men act differently in crowds or groups). Ultimately though, you have to be yourself and be true to yourself. If you put on an act to show anxiety you’re not bothered by it, this is fine and will be needed less over time, but don’t be someone you’re not for the sake of other people. It’s just not worth the stress and pressure this brings.

    CBT helps you apply new ways of thinking to experiences in order to remove fear and anxiety from them, but I’ve found that without the underpinning knowledge of what anxiety is and how it works, it doesn’t offer a long-term cure on its own. Get reading πŸ™‚

  85. Rebecca 16th January 2014 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Thank you rich and Julie for my birthdays wishes. X

  86. Dominick 16th January 2014 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    don’t mean to be a broken record…. but:

    Does anyone here find their fears changing/morphing?

    It’s hard to make sense of (though, I’m not going to try to make sense of it) but it seems like one fear will subside alittle and then a new one will emerge.

    All of mine center around sleeping.
    But the nature and object of the fear seem to change and jump around from one thing to another.

    I know what to do…. allow it, don’t fight it. I’m just curious if anyone else has experienced this.

  87. Val 16th January 2014 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    I just pop back to the top of this blog each morning…..paul saying…I stopped fighting,I let it go,I didn’t care how I felt I would live my life,I would give it time etc…calming words….good vibes everyone.x

  88. DCYL 16th January 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Hi All,

    Haven’t been on since early December 2013 and wanted to drop back in. This current post has a few new names that I don’t recognize so welcome to everyone. You’re in a great place to get help and support. I don’t want to repeat my story entirely right now as I’ve written about it here many times over the years (I can do it at another time).

    I will say that I first got into my situation around May of 2011 and went through a lot of what people are posting here. I can say that today (in January 2014) that I am feeling great. I’ve been reluctant to say I am “recovered” but let me say that things are much better now than three years ago.

    As the holidays just passed, here’s what I wanted to share. When I was in the midst of my anxiety, the holidays were the worst. Even though I hang out with friends and family throughout, there was this anxiety of “missing out on fun” because I’m not out partying / etc. I’m not usually a party guy though I love to hang out like most people.

    In any case, fast forward to 2014. I was talking to a friend of mine. She’s been great in seeing me through my anxiety. This holiday season, she seemed tired and a bit down (she suffered an injury a few months early and couldn’t go out much). So we were chatting right up to Christmas and it just occurred to me that I had ZERO anxiety about the holidays this year.

    So my point is that if you still have these odd / weird worries, it’s ok. It’s par for the course for anxiety. The way though it is just to leave it there. Experience it and let it go. It’s tough initially but will get better with time. Paul’s recovered as well as others. I’m doing pretty well too. So keep your head up!

    I don’t claim to have all the answers but if anyone has any questions, just ask here and me (or others) will do our best to help you out.

  89. Rich 17th January 2014 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Julie, You don’t seem to be digesting what we’re saying, and instead posting the same thing over and over in great detail. Read the material I have recommended and digest it. Trust it.

    Before posting a fear or a worry on here, say to yourself “this is just anxiety” and then you’ll find you’ve answered your own questions and no longer need to seek reassurance from us (you know what the answer will be from yesterday’s replies on here).

    If you’ve been seeing a private councellor since last Spring and are still like this now, I highly, highly recommend you stop seeing them and seek out someone better! I saw a clinical hypnotherapist for 6 sessions over 6 weeks which radically helped me change my thinking, thoughts and attitude.

    Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome is the definition of sillyness. Stop doing the same things – it’s not working. Change your approach.

    Please go and read what we’ve recommended. The cure isn’t on this blog (only the tools to recover which we’ve already given you). Put the iPad down, switch it off even, read the books and go for a long walk. The cure is inside you. It always has been.

  90. Christine 17th January 2014 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Julie – we all feel for you, I know it’s so frightening but Doreen and Rich are right, you need to digest some of the information first! Believe us, we have all had incredibly scary thoughts, that’s still part of my problem, but it doesn’t matter what they are as they are all a result of anxiety! xx

    Rich – how are you? You seem to be doing really well! I love your advice! xx

    I’ve not been too bad for a few days, actually thought I may be coming out of this thing but don’t want to sound too confident because it can all change in an instant…but I’m feeling so much more positive! Had a panic last night and this morning because I’ve got a bit of a pain in my arm and it’s brought back all the memories of how this all started a couple of years ago! I get this quite a lot (probably because I always carry a big bag) but it’s made me quite anxious again! However, just trying to carry on and not get sucked in by the fear! It’s amazing though how for now that this fear/thought has taken over from the others!

    Doreen – there was a great poem put on here a couple of years ago by someone who has recovered! I’m not sure if everyone on the blog has read it and was wondering if it could be put back on? It really was inspirational! xx

    Great advice, Val and thanks DCYL for sharing! πŸ™‚ xx

  91. Rich 17th January 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Julie, You need to change your thought process and begin to think positively. Look for the positives in everything – the day, the evening. When you have negative thoughts of fears, first of all accept that it’s just habituation and your anxious state. Do this immediately to yourself. Then, replace that thought with a more rational one. To this immediately. Then, do something else. At the moment you are preparing to worry all night – is it any surprise that you then worry all night? Why not prepare to have a great night instead? You decide what mood you’re in and what you do. Take back control.

    Christine, I love your posts too. I feel some relation to you because we’re ‘in this together’ at the same time. I see the size of bags these days women carry around – containing heaven knows what! It’s like you’re all packing for a weekend break just to go into work or into town. No wonder your arm aches!

    I continue to do ‘ok’. I am not really going out and doing things, but my appetite is holding firm (I’m eating a lot of chocolate, but I’ve lost 1.5st so I have room to put some back on!) and I no longer fear eating with my GF and family – thank goodness. The next hurdle will be eating out and restaurants (where I am trapped and in public and… etc :))

    I’m out tonight to watch a movie with a friend (round their house). I feel more anxious today as I am worrying about being anxious (the stomach churns and the other joys it brings), but this is all ‘what if’. I’m trying instead to rationalise this (worst-case it’s no big deal, and it ‘just’ anxiety), but it’s still there on my mind, so I’ve still some improvement to make.

    Scared to push myself in case of a fall, scared to be too positive about things, but in actual fact this is the best I’ve been in mind and body since October 2013, so am grateful for that. Things I’ve put off and avoided thinking and doing, interests and hobbies, are all coming back slowly. I think the sunshine and less rain here is helping. I hope this acts as hope to others. Hang in there! It does get better!

  92. Rich 17th January 2014 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    No matter what the feeling, no matter what the symptom, before all of them comes a thought. Change your reaction to the thought and the symptoms will not come. You break the fear-anxiety-fear loop.

    Julie, This will be my last reply for a while as you need to help yourself before I feel I can help you further. At the moment you’re just going around and around in circles, stuck in the loop explained above.

    You ‘hope’ it is all anxiety? IT IS. No matter what you want to label it as, no matter what you want to be told it is, no matter who you want to see and listen to, the label may vary, but all of them are routed in the overall disorder – that of anxiety. Because of this, the path to recovery is the same as discussed over and over on this blog post. You have all you need to go ahead and begin to recover, but the only person who can do this for you, is yourself.

  93. Christine 17th January 2014 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich – I know what you mean about being in this together, albeit different fears and anxieties! πŸ™‚

    The fact that your appetite is holding and you can eat with your partner and family is great news and such a massive step forward! It was only a few weeks ago that you were struggling with it, you must be so proud of yourself! I’m eating a lot of chocolate too! Ha! But I’m grateful to have my appetite!

    I’m worried about being too positive about things too, worry that I’m tempting fate but I guess this is another fear/worry that I need to let go of!

    Have fun this evening! πŸ™‚ xx

  94. michelle m 17th January 2014 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Julie

    you will get better. Most of us have all been where you. I know that you are questioning if yours is anxiety…it really does sound like it. I always used to think “but maybe im different” but after reading this blog with so many other sufferers, I know I too have anxiety.

    You really do have to get on with living and get out of your head. Dont stop showing your children love. They need you. I told my eldest daughter my scary thoughts and she just laughed and said that she knows there is nothing wrong with me. She has scary thoughts herself!

    You WILL be fine. Try and enjoy the weekend. You only have one life…you need to live it and not just exist. Life is short Julie…dont be sad.

    Michelle xx

  95. Kyara 17th January 2014 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Julie,

    I think the key words in all of your posts are ‘I’m afraid/ I’m scared’ I’m afraid I’ll snap like my brother, I’m scared I’ll begin to believe my thoughts. The fact that you’re scared and afraid is your answer… It’s anxiety. You have to come to terms with the past, with your mother and with your thoughts and move forward and live your life to be the best possible person you can be. Fear is exactly that, fear. It will forever remain fear and it will always be scary. I will always fear losing my mind and hurting someone but I don’t need to dwell on that. If I was losing my mind I wouldn’t know any better and I wouldn’t have any remorse for my actions. Yes it’s a scary thought to think of harming our loved ones but no matter how much we worry about it and how much it runs through our minds the likely hood of it happening isn’t going to change. Accept your current state accept your current thoughts as anxiety and fear and trust your brain to heal it’s self because it has been protecting you this far. You slowly will begin to regain your confidence and see anxiety for what it truly is. You will face your fears at your own time. Remember once you lose interest in one fear others will pop up. You have to keep on going.

  96. Tim 17th January 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Hi All,

    I’ve never posted on here before but i’ve read a lot of the posts and Pauls book and I have to firstly thank everyone who contributes here as some other sites really do not help at all and leave you feeling that the only hope is medication.

    I’ve suffered with anxiety and OCD most of my life but it was always manageable until A-Level where the stress just got out of hand and the palpitations I was suffering and lack of sleep really caught me out. The Doctor was no help and eventually put me on anti-depressants without telling me what he was really thinking. It was on these that I had my first panic attack and became intensely afraid of my parents dying and being left alone. Thankfully I met my wife around this time and went cold turkey off the AD’s and somehow I got through the anxiety and was fine apart from the occassional blip for years. Suddenly this year after a number of traumas and stress and the knowledge my job was finishing it all got too much and in October I started having panic attacks about a fear of hearing voices (after something I had read), although i’d been through this before in a way this really freaked me out and it took ages before I found the right information that I wasn’t going crazy. I refused Anti Depressants from the Doctor because of the experience I had at A-Level and decided to see it through myself.

    Pauls advice really has been a godsend and I don’t know where I would be without it, i’m so much better than I was in October it’s not true.

    What i’m struggling with currently is my mind feels so fuzzy and gaining confidence that my thoughts are not real, I am getting there but when you hit a setback it’s like all that confidence you build goes. I had an amazing breakthrough yesterday where my fear of going mad came back out of the blue so I just carried on as normal and suddenly this total serenity decended on me and I became totally relaxed. It left me feeling really fuzzy upstairs – not sure if that’s DP? – but generally okay. Now I feel however that my mind is looking for anything to latch on to to freak me out but can’t.

    Has anyone else been through this and if so is it a normal part of recovery?

  97. Doreen 17th January 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Christine – a number of blog posts went ‘missing’ between Dec 2012 and Sep 2013 and I suspect that the poem was amongst them

  98. Charlotte 17th January 2014 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Julie

    I understand your need to seek reassurance, when you are in a highly anxious state about your thoughts then it is natural. I did it myself all the time, I would tell anyone who would listen what my next thought wAs, I felt I had to do it to somehow make the thoughts go away. After I had sought reassurance they would go away and I would feel good again until the next time, and then the cycle starts again.
    You clearly have a fear of mental illness, as I do! I really agree with rich and would change councillors, look at anxiety uk website they can recommend anxiety specialists. Also, having PTSD or OCD or normal anxiety doesn’t really matter, they are all treated in a similar way and they can be thought of as just labels. Just because someone has OCD it doesn’t matter, it’s no worse or better than normal anxiety. There is a lot of discussion in the psychiatric field about classifying so many mental health issues, I was diagnosed with OCD, but I don’t have it – a bit of me wishes I did and then maybe I would like cleaning lol !!!!

    Let’s know if I can help further

  99. Kyara 17th January 2014 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Julie you’re definitely not bothering me! I think it’s great to communicate with people who have been in the same situation as you especially when you’re feeling alone and have to wait forever to see a therapist!

    Doreen,
    If you could be so kind and give her my email I don’t mind her emailing me privately.

  100. Julie 17th January 2014 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you all. I appreciate it’s not a therapy blog and I do apologise for posting so many times. It’s just my counsellor hasn’t helped so I no longer see her. I’m on a waiting list for cbt as of Monday which I’ve been told will be a 12-18 month wait. In the mean time I’m left worrying, plus I’ve my assessment Monday so my anxiety is higher than usual. I do apologise.

    Kyara that’s kind of you, I’d love to keep intouch.

    Michelle thank you, you’ve been really kind. I’ve started re reading At Last a Life today which was a big help to me last year. I think once I’ve had my assessment Monday I will feel better knowing what is causing me to feel so bad. Just thinking today I realised me smacking my child once last year has really made me worry I’m like my brother. I’m sure I’m not the inky parent that has smacked their child but since my brother has had anger issues I’ve always feared being like him. I am sorry I posted about it though.

    Thanks again

    Julie xx

  101. Shirley A. D. 17th January 2014 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Julie, In my opinion Anxiety does the most horrible things to our minds. Reading your posts I can feel that rapidity of your thoughts and that’s anxiety running away with you. It’s like running for a bus – you can’t keep doing it forever or else you will pass out. After having caught that bus and sitting in the seat and feeling you heart rate slow down, that is what you should be aiming for and how you feel knowing that you caught that bus and can now relax. Which is the better feeling – the running at full pelt or the sitting relaxing?. somehow you have to grab your runaway thoughts and rein them in. You are your own person and must not compare yourself to others – reading your posts it seems that you have a very understanding partner and that is worth a lot – he is giving you lots of support and advice and answers. The fact that you are trying to answer too many questions too – that is giving you no rest whatsoever. cut things off in little slices to deal with them – don’t overwhelm yourself. I agree with Doreen that some of the issues you talk about are too complex for us to answer – all we can do is support you through the anxiety issues of which there are many. When you have anxiety it manifests itself ten fold. I will give you an example. When I lost my job i ended up with debts – because I was with a certain Bank and their adverts were on the television nearly every night it just compunded that fear of my debt. I could not listen to that tune that was playing on the television – it made my stomach go in knots and my Anxiety levels rise so much – when I look back now I wonder how on earth I got into such a state over music.

  102. Julie 17th January 2014 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your reply Shirley. I think everything’s running away with me since my intrusive thoughts. They’ve left me very scared and frightened I’m some nasty person. I just want to feel relaxed around my children again like I was before these scary thoughts hit and made me question myself.

    Hopefully after my assessment on Monday things will be a bit clearer for me.

  103. Pia 17th January 2014 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Julie,

    I also have had all the same fears as you. I was scared of hurting my cat, myself, losing control and being violent etc. Any place or situation I was in I found a way that I could hurt myself or someone else. Any object I viewed as a weapon also scared me. I had a pair of Tinkerbell pajamas that scared me, and I’m not sure why, lol.

    It also took me awhile for the information to seep in. Do not put it on yourself to understand and except the information immediately. I would read and re-read the info and would feel better for awhile then back in the whole again. I too was scared to drive to in case something came over me in the car, like what if you dont go home… not sure where I would go, but I was still scared of the thought. I would think it the whole way home, but made it home every time.

    I went to 4 therapists. The 1st didn’t care anything about was I was saying to her about my thoughts. She kinda brushed it off and said to imagine the thoughts float down the river. Eat healthy, and do relaxation techniques. I thought she was insane for just kinda brushing off my “dire, violent thoughts.”

    The last guy I went to was when it finally started to sink in and I understood why the lady brushed the thoughts off. He said the content doesn’t matter, its only a thought! Thoughts cant hurt you. I went to him 4 weeks and each week I would tell him my same fearful, harm thoughts until he told me that I keep asking him the same thing every week, and the only way I’m gonna believe it is when I learn to trust myself again. I called the next week and canceled future appointments, knowing I was the only one who change the situation.

    It took quite a few months until I realized that it wasn’t luck or avoidance that was keeping me safe, but in reality, there was never anything to fear!!!

    Keep posting, this is the place to come for support. The people are great. But also remember that every fearful thought you’re having is anxiety, nothing more!!

    I feel so much better know than I did a year ago. It took me about 7months for the info to click with me. I dont care if I feel anxious. The thoughts still scare me and they always will because they are my fears and fears are supposed to be scary. I do sometimes get sucked into the fear loop and just remind myself that I’ve made it this far and I am still sane, and safe.

  104. Christine 17th January 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Julie, I agree with all of the above too…you’re not alone, we are all here for you as well as each other, having the support here is a Godsend! I’m in a setback at the moment but got through this before and had a lot of similar thoughts to you so if I can help in anyway too I will! You will get through this, it just takes time and a lot of patience! xx

  105. Christine 17th January 2014 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Tim, I think your post got lost in the thread, but it’s funny I had the exact same feeling/thought today. I felt like no thought could frighten me but then felt like my mind started to look for something to latch on to freak me out! I’m sure it’s just part of recovery! πŸ™‚ xxx

  106. michelle m 17th January 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Pia

    you sound like a new person…well done. Youve got it sorted by the sounds of it. Thats great. .

    xx

  107. Pia 17th January 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    No Michelle, I’ve been around for quite a few months. Don’t post that often, though.

    My issues started almost exactly a year ago. Im 34yo, I was always very high strung and loved it! Got tons of things done, always prepared for disaster etc. A few different battles with anxiety starting when I was 20 yo but passed without a second thought. The usual stuff, scared of highways, then scared of fainting in stores. Last year I went to the cardio for a checkup thinking I was having a heart attack. Everything was fine, but the next day woke up with the terrible harm, thoughts. Dont ask me how one day I’m at the doctors scared of dieing of a heart attack and the next thinking I’d hurt myself. But thats anxiety for you.

    It took me a few months for me to start believing in myself again. I have slowly began trusting myself again, which is the most important. I’d say around Oct-Nov was when I finally said I dont care how I feel or think. Whatever happens, happens. No amount of worrying is going to stop it if it does happen. I dont like it, but I dont care. I still am anxious sometimes, have the scary thoughts. But I can honestly say The “events” pass so much quicker when you just leave them alone. As my mom says “Just put it in Gods’ hands”. Im not extremely religious, but it does help.

    Mind you, when we are in a highly anxious state, none of this is going to makes sense. You just have to sit it out. Then after awhile you start to realize that when it happens you dont respond, “omg its happening again.” You can respond “it’s happening again, but I know it will pass because it always does and everyone is still safe and alive afterwards.”

  108. Julie 17th January 2014 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Pia, your journey sounds so similar to mine. Would love to chat to you if we can exchange email addresses?

    Well done it sounds like you’ve worked hard and learnt so much. You should be very proud xx

    Thank you for asking after me Charlotte. I’m ok. Had a better night. Took my children out to get a takeout pizza. Now sat in bed with a chamomile tea. Rock and roll Friday πŸ˜‰ xx

  109. Julie 17th January 2014 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Hello Val. Aww thank you so much xxx You’ve been so kind. Xx

  110. Charlotte 17th January 2014 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Fab Julie ! Great you got out – go girl !

    I’m in my pjs drinking tea and eating coffee cake and pretending it won’t affect my diet ! My 6 year old is making us watch James Bond again, probably very irresponsible parenting but it keeps him interested for more than 5 nanoseconds….

  111. Tim 17th January 2014 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks Christine, it feels like i’ve turned a corner but my body hasn’t realised it yet or at least that part of my mind hasn’t! I feel a sort of hyper calm inside, really weird….

    I have to say it really is amazing that there is such a great and supportive community on here. Some of the things i’ve read on other sites would make anyone anxious. Best i’ve found is here, Will Beswicks site and book (though it’s quite an in depth topic and not the best to begin with) and A letter to myself – nothing works. Best advice on the internet for sure.

    One thing I would like to add is that starting on this path is hard, I inadvertantly carried on as normal before finding Pauls work as I didn’t want to jeapordise my job / family so by the time i’d read At last a life I had forced myself to carry on as normal and could see that it worked. So for anyone out there struggling at the beginning, just try it for one day, then try two e.t.c and one step at a time. Before you know it you’ll find yourself coping just a little bit better and be a little bit stronger.

  112. Pia 17th January 2014 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Tim you are absolutely correct. I really thought to myself at the beginning that everything was horrible and how it really stopped my life. That was just another lie my mind created. During the whole time, I never missed a day of work. Started going out way more, joined a gym, started juicing, lost weight. Spent tons of time with my b.f. and family because I was scared to be alone. But guess what, it didn’t change my life or ruin it at all. I still carried on, everyday doing what I had too. I can look back now and be so glad that my life didn’t stop because of anxiety. I took the fear, thoughts, feelings and all with me everyday.

  113. Pia 17th January 2014 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Oh and Tim yep, my sister called me one day and asked how I was. I said I feel eerily calm. She laughed and said calm is good. That’s us in our normal state but we’re just sensitive and question all of our feelings and thoughts until they seem odd to us!

  114. Julie 17th January 2014 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Thank you Charlotte. Enjoy your evening xx

    I’m read At Last a Life to see if it helps me as it did last year. Claire Weekes was also a great read.

    I feel so much better for reading everyone’s replies. Monday if they say it’s GAD then I will be happy as I don’t want any other labels. It’s all just anxiety. I’m not behaving as my brother does so it’s about time I stopped fearing mental illness.

    Hopefully I will be able to use Paul’s method this time and it’ll work for me πŸ™‚

    Thank you for your great reply x

  115. DCYL 17th January 2014 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Julie,

    I read through some of your comments but not the other’s responses. When I had my situation 2011 and discovered this site / blog, I came on frequently looking for reassurance. We all make the mistake of trying to figure out each of our “worries” one by one. It took some time before I realized that it was just anxiety.

    My advice is to keep busy. Whether you go out to exercise, socialize or shop, it will take your mind off of things. The main thing is try to live a normal life and over time, things will settle down and you will be better. It takes some time.

    Good luck!

  116. Charlotte 18th January 2014 at 12:36 am - Reply

    All to lighten the mood : Google “26 things only anxious people will understand”, and look at the buzzfeed website.

    I’ve cried laughing.

    Lucy, Julie, Kate, Michelle, Kyara and any other anxious thinking ladies , look at number 6 – I am so printing this out and sticking it everywhere !!!

  117. Julie 18th January 2014 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Thank you DCYL.

    I think once Monday is over this will give me some respite. Then I can just relax, read and start my recovery journey.

  118. Kate 18th January 2014 at 7:03 am - Reply

    CHARLOTTE
    Ha ha ha I’ve just been sat here laughing like a loon! That’s my life in 26 points lol x

  119. Michelle 18th January 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Morning everyone, dont know if anyone knows but there is 2 claire weekes audio apps that i bought yesterday Β£6.95 each and they are brilliant. Ive also unliked all the anxiety groups on facebook apart from claire weekes (admin post only a couple times a day which are great quotes from the great lady herself) and davids group. I feel ive had anxiety information overload and now im gonna stick to the two. Hope everyone has a great day πŸ™‚ xxx

  120. Rebecca 18th January 2014 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Julie,

    I was the seem at the start it was so unbareable. I was like, this can’t be just anxiety how can anxiety be making me think these thoughts, also 24:7 adrenalin, fuzzy brain, pysical symtoms ect. I just wanted reassurance at the beginning because I was in totally dispair. Trust me Julie the intense levels will drop slowly just allow everything you feel and think there, don’t question them. Just say its ok. I’m here anyway, I rember that first bit and I needed so much reassurance so I know how you feel. X

  121. Rebecca 18th January 2014 at 11:09 am - Reply

    #same this phone just automatically finishes my words. Lool

  122. Doreen 18th January 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Just thought I would re-post something that was in the Guardian last week written by someone who had profound anxiety over many years. With help (mindfulness in her case) she reached this position. I think it sums up the end of the journey for many who have posted on here.
    “Most importantly, I seemed to be developing a whole new relationship with my thoughts. It wasn’t that they’d really changed; they were still the same old wolf- and fire- and death-fearing thoughts, but I could see that they were simply that: thoughts. I did not have to judge them, act on them or indeed do anything very much about them. Sometimes they were interesting, sometimes less so, but they were no more than β€œevents” that arose in the mind and then dispersed again. They did not, as I’d previously imagined, have the power to undo me. Only someone who has suffered from chronic, debilitating anxiety will understand quite how exhilarating this realisation felt. I had made peace with the workings of my mind. I was no longer afraid of myself.”

  123. michelle m 18th January 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    On that checklist no. 8 is definitely me!! Ha ha.

    the list is so right though.

    have a good day all and dont let the news get you down. I have had a lot of “what ifs” since hearing it. Started reading online newspapers to see if there is any similarity in me and her. But im not going to do this. I feel nearly recovered and am not going to read the news today again. Its not that I cant bear to but this is like my compulsion – to read into things and dig for info which really doesn’t affect me in any way!!

    Do others do this?

    Michelle m xx

  124. michelle m 18th January 2014 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Pia

    I meant you sound like a new person mentally, not that you are new to the blog ha ha!! You sound like you are doing so well.

    michelle

  125. Kyara 18th January 2014 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Hello all,

    I’m finding that I’m not anxious like before and the thoughts don’t scare me I’m just so into myself. How I’m feeling, am I anxious, am I tired etc and this seems to start a little bit of anxiety. How did you guys deal with the hyperawareness?

  126. Lucy 18th January 2014 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Julie I used to be the same when it came to the news but I’ve actually been okay this time which shows it is passing.. Because not only can I recognise in myself that I’m not like that, I have trust/faith in myself again too! This all takes a good while to gain.

    Kyara I still get stuck in hyper awareness but that’s also another thing to just “leave be” if you catch yourself doing it don’t tell yourself that shouldn’t be, rather than this is how you are for now. I went to work the other day and had been left on my 2nd day to open up first thing… Usually I’d be really edgy or panicky. But nothing showed up, and I felt slightly anxious that I WASN’T anxious, haha. Checking in is just something I live with at the moment, sometimes it bothers me and sometimes it doesn’t.. But what does it matter anyway? It’s all temporary x

  127. Rich 18th January 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone, I had a good night last night despite a lock of self-checking. I only had a small meal for tea, but it was a meal nonetheless, and my body didn’t react to my self-checking and my thoughts looking for the anxiety monster – thankfully.

    When I has in the deep dark hole of anxiety and the setback into it I recently found myself in, I found it difficult to watch current affairs. The news (especially the news channels) were constantly negative and depressing, so I simply stopped watching them. I stayed off Facebook and Twitter because the sight of everyone I knew living their lives and having a great time made me feel worse for not doing the same, and not wanting to at that time. My GF was also enjoying a video game which was quite dark and disturbing – I just didn’t watch it.

    As I came out of this hole, these images no longer provoked such depressive, negative fear and thinking. I looked at the world and live more positively purely because I was feeling better. “With our thoughts we make the world”. I now am not bothered about the news, the bad weather, social pressure or anything else. I put this into perspective and keep my thoughts balanced and rational (even if I have to ‘correct’ the automatic negative ones my mind puts in there first of all).

    GAD is usually diagnosed when you have had over 6 months of sustained anxiety. I have this. Julie, my money is on you having this too.

    The only way you can lower your thoughts and symptoms is to lower the amount of time you spend thinking about them. There is no other way. Excercise to burn off excess adrenalin, but release your mind to do normal things by letting go of the constant fear of anxiety – and it will do just that. Hyperawareness and irrational thoughts will naturally diminish.

    I hope you all have a good weekend. Now get off anxiety blogs and do and do something!

  128. Kate 18th January 2014 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    KYARA
    Thats so me at the minute. I’m actually doing quite good but then I’m obsessed with being hyper aware of the fact that I feel ‘weird’ all the time and am constantly checking in all the time. I’m sure this will pass with time too though x

  129. Bryan 18th January 2014 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I liked Joe’s posts. Was he banned? I did see where he got upset about the spelling issues.

    Doreen has a tough job. Some may not appreciate it but this blog would be a mess without a moderator. I’ve seen other blogs without moderation and they are almost unreadable.

  130. Marcus 18th January 2014 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Heya everyone just tought id check in. Wow this blog has become really ultra active past couple of days which is great πŸ™‚ I’ve had several good days lately but the past few have been kinda ”moo” πŸ˜› . I find myself constantly self-checking for every symptom. I find the morning is worse due to the fact recently I’ve been dreaming a lot at night(nightmares finally diminished) so whenever I wake up and feeling kinda lost I start doubting if im losing touch or going mad…

    Not giving up on acceptance! I tell myself just accept your thoughts don’t fear them and eventually goes away. Just wondering if anyone has similar issues to relate ?

  131. Tim 18th January 2014 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I think I can see where so many get stuck with this as once the fear has attached to something the adrenaline response can become almost automatic and bypasses your ability to rationalise it. With practice “carrying on as normal” you gain confidence that it’s just anxiety and start to trust yourself more and then rinse and repeat. Slowly your body rests more and more and eventually your body realises it can chill out and things return to normal. All easier said than done of course and takes time and bucket loads of patience , plus you have to learn that really it’s your body trying to protect you.

  132. Val 18th January 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Hi Marcus ….early mornings not good for me but once up and doing things improve….that awful feeling of where’s my personality gone etc seems to go once I start socialising,going for walk etc . Good wishes

  133. Karen 19th January 2014 at 8:47 am - Reply

    I have been doing so well lately, having some almost anxiety free days, getting out and living life again has really helped. Unfortunately my sleep has gone again and that is making me feel panicky that it will all start again. I had less than two hours last night. I am starting to dread going to bed again. Any tips ? I know worrying about it will make it worse but I can’t seem to help it.

  134. Val 19th January 2014 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Karen, have you tried meditation…you can download apps….spray lavender on pillow, warm milk n honey ……I have ear phone for my I pad and would often drift off listening to meditation or relaxation….are you doing enough during the day to feel tired.. Best wishes…Val x

  135. Dominic 19th January 2014 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Hi guys
    I don’t come on these blogs much nowadays but I like to come back and give a few words of encouragement every now and again.
    I’m pretty much fully recovered. What does that mean? Well I still get anxiety, I still find it hard to sleep sometimes, I still have silly thoughts now and again. What the difference is now is that it doesn’t bother me anymore. Setback? I’ll be out of it in a week or so. Who cares?
    This attitude was what got me through. Not asking questions, searching sites,etc.
    I got on with my life, my kids, my work.
    At first it was hard. Just words, but little by little you feel better.Like Paul said, setbacks are needed because after each one you come out stronger and knowing you can get through it. This time last year I was seeing a therapist because of the crazy thoughts going through my mind. I used to check to see how I feel each day, I would wake up at 4am shaking and sweating.
    Like I said, accepting it all and getting on with things is key here. Your fear will slowly go and you won’t care. You will laugh at the crazy thoughts.
    Let me promise you this, follow Paul’s advise and you will get better, not straight away but in the end you will think ” what was all that about “.
    If you think about it like a relationship you need to get out of. If you are constantly contacting the ex,how can you forget about them and move forward. It’s so hard but you realise it’s what you need to do to move forward with your life. It’s exactly the same with this.
    One thing that held me back for a long time was waiting for that day that I would be ‘cured’. I would put things off until I was cured. Little did I know that just doing these things without caring about how I felt was the way forward.
    Your recovery will have ups and downs but keep going. Stop all your questions and searching, promise yourself to stay away from blogs and sites and get on with life, with your bad thoughts and feelings. They will go I promise and soon you will be enjoying life again.
    Sorry if it was a bit long winded but that’s just my opinion and like everyone else who have recovered, it really is the only way.
    Hope this helps
    Dominic

  136. Dominic 19th January 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Karen
    Sleep issues were a big thing for me. Again, whatever attitude!
    If I sleep great. If I don’t then ill just relax in my bed. Don’t try to sleep just let your mind wander and do what it wants. You will soon drift away.

  137. michelle m 19th January 2014 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Thanks dominic and rachh. Your posts are helpful. Well done to both of you.

    Michelle x

  138. michelle m 19th January 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Am at work….managers eyes on me!! Can’t use my phone!!

  139. Julie 19th January 2014 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Dominic- thank you very much. I’m applying Pauls method and I’m slowly starting to understand it. I’m hoping it’ll work and make more sense after my assessment tomorrow.

    It’s at 11am tomorrow, I’m hoping I don’t panic but if I do I guess it’ll pass. I have to get through it to get diagnosed. Running out won’t get me anywhere.

  140. Karen 19th January 2014 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks dominic and val. Yes, I do meditation, exercise, lavendar and relaxation. I do all the stuff to help myself. I think because I know my anxiety is worse with littgle sleep I worry when I can’t sleep. Vicious circle I am afraid. I just don’t want my progress to go bazckwards. I hada taste.of being anxiety free and liked it. I have been off work for four months and know I have to go back soon. The thought of teaching a class of children in this state is petrifying! I am living home life normaly though no matter how I feel, even though I obsess as out how I feel. Aaah…. anxiety!

  141. Karen 19th January 2014 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Sorry about the touch screen spellings!

  142. Rich 19th January 2014 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone – hope you’re managing to enjoy the weekend. I’ve been looking at potential wedding venues – something I thought would give me anxiety doing, for the trips to unknown places and to think about the stress of my own wedding, but in the end it was fine. Anxiety once again bluffing me and wanting me to stay in and put it off – but I didn’t, called its bluff and got through it.

    , I like how your attitude towards the anxiety seems to be changing. Just starting to think like that – even if you don’t yet believe it – is progress. You should identify this and be proud, and congratulate yourself. The process is a long one, with lots of small steps.

    You are obviously worried about tomorrow – understandably due to fear and previous experiences. If you worry about tomorrow and run through ‘worst case’ and catastrophise about it being horrible, you are already in an anxious state and looking for the worst around every corner. Try your hardest to see this coming, and counter these thoughts with positive ones. Realise that to get out is good, to see the GP is good, to take another step is good.

    Even if you feel awful, want to scream and run, the mere act of going, or trying is an achievement. To stay is another. To come out and then take steps to recover is another – and before you know it you have momentum and are on your way.

    However you feel tomorrow, you will survive, you’re in no danger and you are safe. Any feelings to the contrary is your mind tricking you as you’re anxiety tells it you need to ‘escape danger’. In actual fact, there is none, so don’t react, and your mind will get the message. Another small step.

    Be positive. Enjoy the fresh air, the sky, the world around you, and the hugely positive fact that you’re moving forward in the right direction.

  143. Christine 19th January 2014 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    That’s great Rich, going out looking at Wedding Venue’s is a great step forward! xx

    Julie, Rich is right, I can notice a shift in your attitude on your posts! You may not see it yourself, but it’s definitely there! You will be fine tomorrow! xx

    Thanks for sharing Dominic! I’m so glad you’re doing well! I’m in a setback at the moment and just hoping that it will make me stronger! xx

    Karen, I’m the same about sleeping but as Dominic says, we have to try and take the attitude that if we sleep great and if we don’t then so what?! Try not to worry about going back to work too, I’m sure it will be ok once you get there! You’re doing so well! xx

    My day is not so great to be honest, been ok since Monday and thought that I’d turned a corner and was on my way out of the setback, but it seems to have got a grip of me again today! Hopefully it will pass soon…xx

  144. Charley 19th January 2014 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone,

    Some great posts over the last few days.

    I got married last year Rich and although stressful (I’m not gonna lie) it was so worth it and on the day itself felt no anxiety at all and had the most perfect day. Good luck with the planning.

    Good luck tomorrow Julie, all will be fine.

    Off out for dinner tonight with the family and an old friend who’s over rom the states, not seen him in 4 years so feel a bit anxious, but am sure that’ll go once I get there.

    X

  145. Rich 19th January 2014 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks Charley, You’ll have a great night – I’m sure they’ll be enough catching up and celebration to keep your mind off yourself.

    Christine, Thanks again for the support. Sometimes I expect anxiety to be there (old habits die hard) but my sunconscious doesn’t deliver the symptoms despite my internalising and self-checking. I feel like I am letting myself down by ‘looking’ for the monster even if it’s not there, like I’m in danger of setting myself back through bad habits, but this is just down to self confidence and the fear of setback. I hope this wanes in time.

    Christine you will be fine because your understanding of anxiety and the process you’ve undertaken means you will never fall as far back as before – even if it feels like you have (anxiety’s tricks!) Just think of the anxiety tricks as its last-ditch attempt to keep you in the setback and in ‘alert mode’. Just keep telling yourself that there is no danger, you’re not scared and that you are actually quite alright doing normal things, and your brain will slowly realise. The old grey matter seems set in its ways due to our years of habitualising – so we can’t be too angry with it. Just let it catch up in its own time.

  146. Bryan 19th January 2014 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Doreen,

    Can you roughly fill us in on what happened to Joe?

    Karen,

    Congrats on your progress. What do you think helped you the most?

    Dominic,

    I’ve read and even saved some of your old posts. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you do more often. Recovered posters is what makes this blog effective in my opinion.

    Mark,

    How are you doing? I’m on a better baseline. About 3-4 months of better average days. Not without challenge of course. The morning anxiety still strikes and stays some days. It can still be brutal. But my acceptance level is steadily improving. Hope you are well.

  147. Val 19th January 2014 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Good luck getting back to teaching Karen….I had a long teaching career…about 40 yrs ..time out having 2 kids….. Teaching these days is quite stressful in itself isn’t it. So different to when I started. Good luck in all your efforts…do you do shared teaching in UK….I did it at the end of my career…I had the class for 3 days and another teacher had them for 2…. It worked really well and would be a way of easing back in!!!! X from Australia.Ps did some teaching in Essex in 71

  148. Karen 19th January 2014 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Thanks val, I was only teaching three days as I have two young children. One of which has issues bless him. I hope I do make it back but as you say it has changed sooooo much in the last 18 years. I want to go back even if its just to regain some confidence before moving on to new pastures. The job share does work well.
    Bryan I have to say, I am by no means recovered and still have bad days, panicking that I am slipping. I have changed meds which helps a lot if I am honest. I decided I had to go out and live my normal life no matter how I felt …. other than work. There are still days I struggle with the children as my sleep is bad, but generally I am better than I was. I used to expect my counsellors, doctors to make me better but soon realised I just kept saying the same things and that I have to do it. Acupuncture helps me, distraction and being in the fresh air. Good luck to all.

  149. Lui 19th January 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone!
    So I am in a little conflict right now…There is a guy who wants to go on a date with me. He’s nice. But I don’t feel like going on a date. I have strong anxiety most of the day and I think it’s not the right time for a relationship..What do you think? Would suggest going on a date with tons of anxiety?

  150. Mark R 19th January 2014 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Bryan,

    I seem to be in a strange pattern at the moment of bad weeks, then great weeks and that cycle seems to continue. I will say though that when I have bad weeks it seems to prefix a run of very good weeks where I have little or no anxiety. As I have said before in those times I barely have any interest in anxiety at all, I get excited about life and want to live it fully.

    There seems to be a process where I have a mini panic or very anxious thought and it will send me in a spin for a week or so and set off feeling really crap. This week has been like that to be honest, it is where I lose interest in life as I feel bad and the DP is high. I keep busy in those times so as not to dwell.

    At present I’m not overly concerned if I have a bad time as to how long it will last, I just have to sit it out so I am proud of myself for dealing with them in a better manner than before.

  151. Kelli 19th January 2014 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone,

    Just popping by to say a quick hello. I used to be on this site a while ago and recovered completely and forgot to say a big thank you to everyone who had helped at the time. If it wasn’t for the support on here and Paul’s book i wouldn’t be where i am today.

    I found this poem I wrote about anxiety when i was suffering with it and thought it might be something you could all relate to. Will post it below. Good luck to you all in fighting this thing, you can do it and will come out the other side. I am proof of this. All the best. Kelli

    Each day of fighting is a battle in itself,
    Lost inside this empty fragile shell.
    The body that aches and the mind that races,
    Anxiety is what leaves these traces.

    Each day is a battle with this condition,
    You can’t help but think about the life you are missing.
    A dark place in which you see no end,
    You have to make anxiety your friend.

    Each day you wonder how long this will last,
    But one day this will be a ghost of your past.
    You can’t see the light but you know that it’s there,
    You can’t help but see the fear everywhere.

    Each day you wake with that dreaded feeling,
    is a day closer to your sensitised nerves healing.
    A bully that robs you of your personality,
    One day you will regain your mental clarity.

    Each day you fight to find a way out,
    your often filled with mounds of self doubt.
    You wonder if you will ever recover,
    You spend each day giving much needed support to each other.

    Each day you wonder if your going crazy,
    your mind is incredibly hazy.
    You look at how happy other people are,
    and wonder why you feel so bizzare.

    Each day is a step closer when you accept,
    To the recovery of this chapter you’ll never forget.
    Shaky nerves will be a thing of the past,
    and you will soon have your life back at last.

  152. Kelli 19th January 2014 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone,

    Just popping by to say a quick hello. I used to be on this site a while ago and recovered completely and forgot to say a big thank you to everyone who had helped at the time. If it wasn’t for the support on here and Paul’s book i wouldn’t be where i am today.

    I found this poem I wrote about anxiety when i was suffering with it and thought it might be something you could all relate to. Will post it below. Good luck to you all in fighting this thing, you can do it and will come out the other side. I am proof of this. All the best. Kelli

    Each day of fighting is a battle in itself,
    Lost inside this empty fragile shell.
    The body that aches and the mind that races,
    Anxiety is what leaves these traces.

    Each day is a battle with this condition,
    You can’t help but think about the life you are missing.
    A dark place in which you see no end,
    You have to make anxiety your friend.

    Each day you wonder how long this will last,
    But one day this will be a ghost of your past.
    You can’t see the light but you know that it’s there,
    You can’t help but see the fear everywhere.

    Each day you wake with that dreaded feeling,
    is a day closer to your sensitised nerves healing.
    A bully that robs you of your personality,
    One day you will regain your mental clarity.

    Each day you fight to find a way out,
    your often filled with mounds of self doubt.
    You wonder if you will ever recover,
    You spend each day giving much needed support to each other.

    Each day you wonder if your going crazy,
    your mind is incredibly hazy.
    You look at how happy other people are,
    and wonder why you feel so bizzare.

    Each day is a step closer when you accept,
    To the recovery of this chapter you’ll never forget.
    Shaky nerves will be a thing of the past,
    and you will soon have your life back at last.

  153. Erika 20th January 2014 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Been doing very well the last year…with the normal ups and downs. Been in a bit of a funk lately. I did great through Christmas, but I think it’s all kind of hit now. Work is stressful and busy, I’m in a strange situation with a friend, and I get hormonal and barometric migraines. Of course, I live in the Midwest (in the US) and our weather is horrific…warm one day, -10 below the next! My head can’t keep up! So, the other day at work my eyes got kind of fuzzy and I felt dizzy a little. I decided to go home since I had been dealing with migraines all week. When I got home and laid down, the dizziness was worse for a few minutes. I don’t really get that very often, but through my anxiety, dizziness has always been that one thing that really freaks me out! I’ve been ok this weekend, with a couple of times feeling off. Back to work tomorrow and I’m already feeling a little panicked. Like what if this happens again or if it’s worse?? I’ve gotten so much better at just kind of going with it and just letting the feeling go. But I struggle because I still can’t always let go of the idea that something is physically wrong with me (something else causing the headaches, etc). I’ve been through a million tests. I’m fine. It gets frustrating to have these setbacks. My plan is to go to work…if I feel a little dizzy or off, just let it come and go. Just be. Anyone else feel like this?

  154. Josh 20th January 2014 at 5:35 am - Reply

    I am almost on the verge of exiting this journey which gave me immense patience. There are 2 things which i would want to share. These are the ones which i kept with myself as a part of compulsory discipline. a) Let today not ruin your tomorrow. This is something that everyone of us can do. How so ever worst today could be ; dont think about it for tomorrow. b) Breathe through the problem. It does require a courage but those critical painful moments are eventually the ones that can make or break. Whenever and wherever it strikes ..just think of the worst it is trying to bring…breathe through it and courageuosly pass the moment..believe me..it will do you no harm and will make your days better.

  155. Christine 20th January 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Well, haven’t I come back down to Earth with a bang! Last week from Monday to Friday was ok (not great but ok) but this weekend has been horrible, absolutely horrible! It’s like when I’ve had a few okayish days that the bad days feel even worse! I really thought that I had turned a corner and was on my way out of this setback! I cried a lot and now I’m worried that I’m depressed, especially as the Hubby suggested that maybe I should consider going back on the AD’s. Just don’t know what to do for the best?! Should I just carry on with my day as normal even though I feel really rubbish with high anxiety? In work now and I have a big meeting this afternoon which I’m not looking forward to!

    Mark R – you’re doing so well, I do think the fact that you have good days makes the bad ones feel worse. xx

    Erika – I think that you’re doing the right thing just carrying on, I’m sure it will pass. xx

    Thanks Josh for sharing. xx

  156. Charlotte 20th January 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Hi Karen

    You sound like you’ve had a similar experience to a lot of us on here. I took time off work last summer as I had an acute time with anxiety and slowly getting better from there, I also changed meds which I found helped my sleep.

    Hope u ok today

  157. Rich 20th January 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Morning everybody, I woke without anxiety this morning but kept thinking about future events – why? It’s like worrying is all I know, and the GAD in me needs feeding and to ruminate instead of allowing me to live in the moment. Despite this, anxiety symptoms did not come. My mind still needs to catch up and stop trying to make me fall backwards.

    Last night I ate a large meal very quickly and had stomach ache. In the past I’d be resigned to a night of pain and discomfort due to anxiety. I had a hot flush, feelings of dread (“here we go…”), but then rationalised it and it naturally ebbed away. This has given me confidence even with unpredictable anxiety.

    I went out at the weekend without anxiety – but I still have no confidence (I think due to years of anxiety and slowly retreating into my ever-decreasing ‘safe zone’ of my home.

    I realise I am still in fear of anxiety – I fear setbacks and anxiety attacks, and the feelings I get from the symptoms. I’ll be re-reading the books again, but at the moment I’m engrossed in a fiction book which I can’t put down, so anxiety can wait. I’m still on the road to recovery.

  158. Rich 20th January 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Here’s a quick roundup of my opinions:

    Christine, Stay at work, go to the meeting. The setback feels horrible only because of the good days – it makes it feel worse as it’s so frustrating. Try to keep focused on work and the meeting and not yourself. If you put off being ‘normal’ you may make it harder when you attempt it again. Bounce back! The meeting may not be as bad as you think. Having said that, do what you feel like – you know the symptoms are all anxiety, you know you can overcome them again, but you know it isn’t like turning off a lightbulb, so just do whatever feels best for yourself. Your mind may be telling you to (in its own fun way).

    Lui, If you’re not fussed about this date, go on it – as you’ve nothing to lose. You will gain experience and it’s a chance to ‘fake it’ with social anxiety and show anxiety you’re not fussed about it (even though you may be really!) Then, when you do have a date that ‘really’ matters, you have this experience to draw upon and learn from (good or bad).

    Erika, Hi! Your symptoms are all anxiety – no need to worry any further about them as you’ve had this checked out. Put them aside as best you can and deal with the underlying symptom – the anxiety monster. However do this at a pace your comfortable with and listen to what your body needs – don’t push yourself by going to work if you really need a day or two.

  159. Mark r 20th January 2014 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Christine,

    Thats exactly what you should do. Setbacks are cunning little buggers, I had two back to back, one day you’re fine the next worse than ever. It will pass though, mine did when I stopped looking for it to.

    Suppose I am doing well although sometkmes think I must be doing something wrong as 2 years into recovery I’m usually there or almost there in previous episodes.

  160. Ryan C 20th January 2014 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Hey guys, I don’t post that often and when I do it’s just about me so apologies for not supporting but I don’t really know what to say as I am just going through my own recovery and taking it as it comes. I have started having extreme changes, from basically feeling dreadful all the time, I now at times feel better than I have so far, by miles, I can still feel symptoms but then suddenly I get really sad and the hopeless and depression comes back, the things feel more normal then I go feeling more fatigued and spaced out than ever, then it clears and I feel much better again, then I have bad days, then it goes back to this and all the while with this I feel my mind getting clearer and at times I feel very strange and lost. Sometimes angry and frustrated. It’s so up and down. Can anyone relate to this? My mind mostly is clearer than ever aside from when I have a bad day, and it keeps getting clearer, but the symptoms can feel worse and deeper than ever with this clarity but still very up and down. Am I well on my way to recovery? Thanks everyone any help would be great if anyone has been or is going through this current stage.

  161. Julie 20th January 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    I’m leaving soon. Feel terrified and so scared I’m going to panic and run out. I suffer with panic at appointments:(((( I need to stay and have my fears addressed and get a diagnosis to move forward. I hope my lovely Nan is watching over me and gives me strength to get through this today x

  162. Paul David (admin) 20th January 2014 at 11:27 am - Reply

    That’s an awesome poem Kerri thanks for sharing, I have put it on my Facebook page today for others to see.

    The main reason for me posting is to clear up a couple of things.

    Firstly Joe will not be posting anymore, he is not here to defend himself so I will keep this short. Doreen moderates this blog in my absence and has a tough job and does it for no gain. Without moderation the blog would be a mess, trust me I have moderated it and the stuff that needs deleting never ends. Also there are certain guidelines, posts that may scare others, abuse of other members, multiple posts that stop others having their say etc etc. People may not agree with Doreen or myself, but the blog would not be what it is without certain rules. I have not been around whilst Joe and Doreen have clashed, but have been passed on a few of Joe’s communications with her. Threatening legal action for free speech, abusing her and how she goes about things and trying to get other members to rise up against her. This is totally not acceptable and he may have helped a few but he will no longer be able to post.

    Secondly on swapping emails, firstly please don’t post emails on here, you could not only be swamped with spam but also have anyone emailing you. I also don’t promote talking about your anxiety for more than you have to, I would rather see people take a break from the subject. If it’s for friendship then if both parties email me I will swap emails, I cannot do it with one as the other may not agree.

    Anyway that’s me, hopefully everyone can now get on again.

    Paul

  163. Rachh 20th January 2014 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Well said paul. This is a helpful place and i wouldnt know where to turn if it wasnt for the helpful comments and support from other users on here. It makes me angry when people try and ruin good things for other people.
    Thankyou to doreen too! Xx

  164. Rachh 20th January 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Julie regardless of the reason for anxiety a lot of us have or have had the same issues as you are experiencing.. You have to take baby steps to start living your life again. Dont be too hard on yourself and try as hard as it may be to fill yourself with self pity.

  165. Rachh 20th January 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    **try not to fill yourself with self pity i meant!!! Lol sorry!!

  166. Julie 20th January 2014 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rach. Exactly, the man I saw today said we have worked out the cause, your family so no need to go to the counsellor I see privately, he said that just causes more rumminations and stirring my emotions. He is right and she wasn’t helping with this at all, she just wanted her money and my husband said each week all she did was go over and over what Jon did, my childhood etc… she never moved forward with CBT or helped me overcome the anxiety in any way. She suggested we do guided imagery from the next session, that was when i decided to give up.

    Like he said today we move on and deal with the present and the future, not what happened in the past and caused this πŸ™‚

  167. Rich 20th January 2014 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Julie, Congratulations! There are SO MANY positive things in your post you now need to focus on. Treat this day as a turning point in your life. The first day of your recovery.

    You went to the appointment – facing your fears. You stayed at the appointment even though you at times felt like leaving. This took strength of character and determination. You got a diagnosis, and what sounds like excellent understanding and advice. I would wholeheartedly listen to this and adopt it as your new goal.

    Everything said on this blog hold true – how to accept and recover, how to understand anxiety’s power and its limitation of its power (and therefore how to overcome it). Take this in hand and hold onto it – read, understand and digest it, then live your life by it religiously. Don’t hold out for ‘just’ the CBT, or ‘just’ what your GP tells you – the power to overcome this is inside you and you have this power right now.

    Stay positive, resist all habits to look back. Your future is now in front of you. Go get it!

  168. Paul David (admin) 20th January 2014 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Julie I have deleted your post and many before, you are not in trouble, but saying you have intrusive thoughts is fine, but describing them in detail can scare others as thousands of people read this blog each week and these and other personal issues you have, really need to be discussed elsewhere than on here, as you did this morning. You are ok to still post, but they will go in moderation from now before being public.

  169. Julie 20th January 2014 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    This blog will be of great support to me over the coming weeks and months, as well as your book. I hope I am still able to post. I apologise for the content of my posts I’ve just been so overwhelmed with my anxiety and fear of what was wrong with me. Now I have my diagnosis I want to move forward and hope the lovely people on here will be able to keep intouch with me. I apologise if I’ve upset anyone it wasn’t my intention.

  170. Doreen 20th January 2014 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    All the best to you Julie. Well done for making the appointment.

  171. Kate 20th January 2014 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    RYAN

    I can so relate to that!!! I feel as my mind gets clearer (I still have mind chatter but it doesnt race like it used to) that my symptons feel worse. MY DP has gotten so much better I dont have many many of the symptons I used to have but I feel lost and like I dont know who I am anymore etc, this has been the worst sympton to me. I think its definately part and parcel of recovery as we were so thick in the anxiety cycle at the beginning certain thingsbwould probably not have gotten to us where as now our minds become clearer were suddenly more aware x

  172. Rebecca 20th January 2014 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Well I feel okish I’m not on high alert, I’m like flat it’s the only way I can describe it. I’m also thinking at times gosh I’m not thinking of anxiety and then I start panicking I suppose I’m self watching myself but I just don’t no how to stop self checking. The thing I have 24 7 is dp but I sure I read that was the last symptom to leave, even though I don’t fear dp. I’m just trying to look at this as a postive because a few months ago I was a total wreck. Baby steps before I can run I suppose.

  173. Mark r 20th January 2014 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Ryan,

    Just thought I’d respond a your post really resonated with where I am at the moment. It sounds like you are well on your way if your mind is trying to clear.

    I’m in the same boat where I can have days and weeks of feeling really good, feel more happy, my personality and humour returns along with my interest in life. Something slight seems to spark off the anxious and depressed feelings again though and I feel lost again for a few days, a week etc. I notice they seem to fade though if I stick to my life regardless, no hiding away even if I feel ultra crap. Like yourself when I pull myself through these bad days my mind seems clearer, it’s as if they give me a bunk up.

    I know what you mean about the symptoms feeling worse but I think this is due to the contrast of peace you feel on good days. When you feel crap all the time it’s hard to see any improvement.

    I’ve tried to see it in a positive light that I have the strength to get myself through these crappy time and when I do and my mind is clear it’s a sign that I’m getting better and back towards myself.

    If you read Paul’s recovery you will note that he had the same frustrations initially, thought he was doing something wrong but in the end changed his attitude to it’s a sign of improvement.

    My advice I to keep going, don’t let those crap time get you down and trick you, as Claire Weekes said “you can make as much progress in a bad period as you can in a good one”.

    Mark

  174. Kate 20th January 2014 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Rebecca
    I went from self checking to now being constantly aware that I dont feel right I just let it be I allow myself to self check etc it will go the less we bother about it πŸ™‚

  175. Rebecca 20th January 2014 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Julie,

    Well done for today, just remember accept, and float through your days. Also remember patience because it’s a very slow process. Now you have a diagnosis you can start to recover and can stop questioning it. Good luck. X

  176. Mark r 20th January 2014 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Kate,

    Yes you are right, it taken me almost two years to get a clear mind, aside from a period last year where I was ‘okayish’ it’s been pretty full of thoughts and body full of dp and symptoms.
    For the first time in a couple of years I have started to forget about anxiety and make future plans. It’s all progress!!

    Mark

  177. Rebecca 20th January 2014 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Kate,

    It’s like I felt the doom, anxious, high alert feeling 24/7 to just a few times a day. It seems weird not been there all the time. You’re right we just need to leave it alone. X

  178. Julie 20th January 2014 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to let those of you that have supported me know that I was I am diagnosed with GAD and OCD today. He gave me a lot of advice and said my self esteem and confidence is in my boots because of my family’s ill treatment of me and from withdrawing from the world. I lost friends, family, my independence, my confidence, freedom etc….. Lots of changes to be made. First start is going out alone, beating the agoraphobia, not letting anything keep me indoors. Not engaging with my intrusive thoughts. I’m a good mum and not like my brother. He’s referred me for cbt and support groups.

    Thanks again xx

  179. Julie 20th January 2014 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you Doreen and Rebecca x

  180. Christine 20th January 2014 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    Firstly want to say thanks to Doreen for moderating the blog…it must be a hard thing to do and as Paul said it would be in a right mess without her. It’s a shame that things got a bit heated with Joe Pro because he did give good advice, but I hope you don’t feel that we don’t appreciate what you do Doreen because we really do! xx

    Mark R & Rich, you were both right…I went to the meeting and it was fine, actually hasn’t been a bad day…feeling some anxiety now but ok! Such an up and down process! xx

    Rich, I love the way that you said that you’re engrossed in a fiction book so the anxiety ones can wait…that just shows how well you are doing…you’re not letting it dictate to you! πŸ™‚ xx

    Ryan C & Mark, I completely understand, yesterday was horrible for me and I felt so depressed which scares me but then today hasn’t been too bad and things seem so much clearer! I really do think the bad days make us stronger although it doesn’t feel like it at the time! And they also feel worse because we’ve had some ok ones! xx

    Julie – well done on going to your appointment…you already seem more positive and just think that this is the start of your recovery! xx

  181. Karen 20th January 2014 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Julie that’s all so positive, well done you beat some demons today. I was pleased to read kates post about checking to see how I feel constantly. I will just allow myself to do this now and accept it as another symptom. Having a bit of a set back after such a good week, sleep has gone completely. I guess its the fact that I made myself go into work to discuss return plans…. I should expect to not be feeling so good but its so disappointing. I wish I was not always so hard expecting so much of myself. I am told this is my biggest problem!

  182. Kate 20th January 2014 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Mark
    I’ve been terrified by new symptoms lately but speaking to the lovely ladies on here Im getting over them. We will all get there its just patience.
    Rebecca
    Im the exact same πŸ™‚

  183. Charlotte 20th January 2014 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Julie

    Well done you on going to your appointment that took a lot of bravery, I am so pleased for you, I was thinking of you today.

    Look forward to hearing about your progress as we all work together though the maze of anxiety !

    All the best Julie, really pleased for you

  184. Ryan C 20th January 2014 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Hey guys, Kate, Mark and Christine πŸ™‚ nice to meet you, and everyone else of course. This is definitely how progress happens. I can definately say to you guys that these bad days and bad moments are where you progress. The way I like to see it is rather than ‘oh it’s back’ as if its something that’s come to me, I see it as something that is still in there in my mind, and when it surfaces, it’s my body and mind emptying more anxiety like Paul’s says we have to go through it to overcome it, each time I experience an extended period of this even though it is absolutely awful I still allow it as much as I don’t like I and I know that in return, I have been set just another small part free. It’s like the good times are finally breaking through. My mind and body literally feels like there’s 2 parralel lines, one is my personality emerging and the other is the symptoms I feel, as I become clearer, I become more aware of all of this so it does seem very different. And Kate this is exactly what I feel, like I’m coming back to life, but I don’t recognise who I am anymore like I don’t know who I am? What my routine is or who I’ve been? But I know this is because this stage you have to remember we still have dp and or anxiety so I think everything will fall totally I to place as we just glide past each stage to come you will gain all these tiny little parts of yourself like confidence, inner peace, things will slowly make you smile, you will have moments of great feelings you have not felt in years. That’s what I believe. Another thing I noticed if I go to the gym and do a run or something it really clears things up and makes me feel as though I know who I am more. Well it seems to with me! Hope that helps anyone. X

  185. Karen 20th January 2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Ryan that’s a great way of looking at it. Thanks

  186. Rachh 20th January 2014 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Hi guys. Today i have had a really good day- i feel i have not expected too much of myself which has allowed me to be at times (dare i say it) quite cheerful! Bit worried about tomoz as my job is relocating me to another area (redditch) if anyone has heard of it. So it will be new faces new area. Looking forward to the change but worried about the social aspect as i have very little confidence. And my ocd plays up and says if your confident it means u dont want to be with your partner as confidence has always been taught to me as being on your own independent woman.
    However i will suck it and see how i get on and try and enjoy it.
    Glad to be seeing lots of positive posts recently. Xxx

  187. Will 20th January 2014 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone. Earlier on I happened upon a magazine article about Long QT Syndrome which could lead to heart disease in the young, symptoms being dizziness and palpitations, which I’ve been having myself recently, which could lead to fainting. Just what I needed to hear, eh? Anyway I thought nothing of it, so I got on with my day… until I was having a shower when all of a sudden I felt really wobbly, as if I was in a lift. Of course this made me panicky and my heart began racing. I still feel like this now and I don’t know what to make of it thanks to what I’ve been reading… πŸ™

  188. Will 20th January 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    To add to what I said, I wanted to ask: Is wobbliness, feeling as though you’re in a moving lift, a normal symptom of anxiety? Does anybody else feel this way? Because I’m in two minds about what to do with myself right now.

  189. Ryan C 20th January 2014 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    That’s ok Kate, I just read your post and I spend literally all day checking in on how I feel I am constantly aware if every thing I feel and think but I just sit back and don’t see it as a problem. Then when it feels it is a problem because I am always aware everything I allow myself to think its a problem then that loses power and so on! Regardless of this my mind continues to clear so it definitely does not halt your progress. I guess another way I like to think is, would any of this cause anxiety in a normal persons life? I don’t think it would, I think only stressing about how you feel with worry and fear would do this. So as long as I am not doing what got me in this position in the first place, the. Being self aware of my feelings does not create a problem. I think once your anxiety lowers your attention would automatically be more distracted with what’s in front of you in your life because the feelings would be that strong and there won’t be any big ups and downs! Sorry for the sudden posts but these are just my positive beliefs that I gave experienced so far πŸ™‚ so if tomorrow the depression and hopelessness comes and I feel a million miles away from my good times it’s ok because it’s all justified, the power of my symptoms is a reflection of my level of anxiety that’s all, and by going past this time, it’s another big load of anxiety being dropped out and I know I will be rewarded with better times and more clarity in mind πŸ™‚

  190. Ryan C 20th January 2014 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    your feelings *wouldnt* be that’s strong. Apologies for the spelling mistakes my phone is not the greatest on the internet

  191. Lucy 20th January 2014 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Will, although it’s important not to avoid because of anxiety, also it doesn’t need to be fed either. I have read one hundred things and thought I had this, or that… Diagnosed myself with the worst possible outcome! In fact during the harder times I’d want to google this Long QT syndrome thing myself to know what it is! Ha. My heart/chest is a big worry for me too, with the palpitations and racing, missed beats etc. I think it’s a natural thing that most think about from time to time! The best advice is to get any physical symptom you are not happy with checked by your doctor, which there’s nothing wrong with, but to then accept when they have told you everything is okay without adding extra fear/worry. Anxiety causes hundreds of symptoms and sensations so I would like to say it’s behind the feeling you described, I’ve experienced light headedness, dizziness and it’s all pretty similar. When it happens I reason that nothing bad ever happened all the previous times so why should it now? It always passes πŸ™‚

  192. Will 20th January 2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    Thanks Lucy πŸ™‚ I’ve felt dizzy before, but this symptom was new to me, hence why it probably scared me so much. I still feel wobbly now as I’m sitting down, as if the room itself is moving, but I do feel pretty silly now that the panic has subsided, whereas in the heat of the panic it’s the worst thing ever. I’ve been feeling slight dizzy/unbalanced for a week now, but just as it subsided I HAD to glimpse that Long QT article and I HAD to feel wobbly all of a sudden! It can’t be a coincidence, but I suppose nothing bad HAS happened, so yeah! πŸ™‚

  193. Julie 21st January 2014 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Thank you Christine, Karen and Charlotte. Xx

  194. Karen 21st January 2014 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Thanks Ryan, you are right, on my better days the checking thing is less.

  195. Christine 21st January 2014 at 9:13 am - Reply

    I have a couple of questions for Rich or anyone who can help if that’s ok?! I know that I have got through this before but I just feel a bit unsure on a couple of things. At the moment I am constantly thinking about anxiety and the scary thoughts that this brings, I’m carrying on with my day (work etc) but should I just allow my mind to chatter and carry on thinking about anxiety/scary thoughts or try to redirect it to something more positive? Also because of the self checking sometimes I notice for a minute that I may be thinking of something else but it’s as if I realise this and my mind brings my thoughts back to anxiety – again should I just let it do this or try and guide my mind back to what I was thinking? xx

    Rachh – glad you has a good day, I’m sure you will be fine in relocating – let us know how you get on?! xx

    Ryan C – thanks for sharing – your posts are very positive! xx

    Will – I agree with Lucy, I have issues with my hearts and chest sometimes – again anxiety can cause all kinds of physical symptoms. xx

  196. Rich 21st January 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Will, If you’re worried about feeling feint or dizzy and it continues, see your doctor about it. However to me (I’m not medically trained!) the fact you read about something scary, then looked for and attached the symptoms in yourself, has anxiety written all over it. Reading medical articles for an anxiety sufferer is the first mistake – and then not dismissing them is the other. Stop feeding the monster.

    If anyone with anxiety asks “is this anxiety?”? The answer is 99% Yes! Don’t look at the individual symptoms and try firefighting them – go after the underlying problem – anxiety – and all the little things will fade away.

    Christine, I’m so glad you stuck with your bad day. Today is a new day, and you’re stronger for getting through the bad one. Give yourself a pat on the back!

    Julie, I’m glad Paul has edited your post because this forces you to stop repeating negative things – negative thoughts are processed by your anxious mind and keep the negative thought pathways in your brain cemented in there. Thinking positively makes you think down new, positive pathways that you’ve always had but have stopped using. This causes the negative pathways to shrivel up. This is not a metaphor – this is how your brain works. This is all covered in ‘A Letter To Myself (Nothing Works)’. Stop yourself thinking about negative things – anything negative – past, present or future. Re-train your brain.

  197. Doreen 21st January 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Christine – I had to smile at your post above as you have described so well what many if not all people with anxiety ‘do’. It is a b….. isn’t it? however, I don’t think we can force our minds back to what we were thinking, just let it happen naturally. The important thing is to recognise as you seem to have done that the mind chatter is of no consequence.

  198. Rich 21st January 2014 at 9:42 am - Reply

    I have a couple of things coming up on my calendar (which is always empty due to me avoiding potential anxiety-inducing things) which I am wondering how I will react to. Both things have in the past gone well, and other times not so well. I’m rationalising my thoughts in the hope my GAD will keep things in balance and not send me into setback. I’ll keep you posted! The first thing is this Saturday, the next is a week Friday.

    Last night I didn’t come on here once. Instead I tidied my kitchen and read my fiction book (‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn if anyone likes a good Thriller – it’s actually funny to read other people’s anxieties who don’t have an anxiety disorder, and how they handle it in high crisis without blowing out of proportion, even if they’re fictional). When I have spare time, I choose to read this book rather than read about anxiety or even do my relaxation CD. Although I want to check in on you guys, It felt good to do non-anxiety things (there is a message in here!).

    Christine, In reply to your post above to me, I constantly think about anxiety and am still constantly self-checking (do I feel ok, am I anxious, will I eat well tonight, have I got stomach ache etc etc). I let myself do this (I work at a desk and its easy to drift off into thought all the time), but I take each thought and balance it with another, positive one (I feel fine, I’m not anxious and I have nothing to be anxious about right now, I will eat fine tonight – why wouldn’t I, I don’t have stomach ache right now, but even if I did I am in a safe place and can handle it). All balanced, rational, but most importantly positive thoughts. I don’t worry about negative ones – these will subside in time hopefully. I don’t fight them. I like catching myself thinking negatively – it’s like I score a point against my anxious brain (“ha! caught you!”). I take back control.

    Balance, don’t fight, don’t react and don’t fuel it. Accept they’re there, balance, dismiss, repeat (as often as necessary). Think positive – even if you don’t feel positive.

    The other night I had bad physical symptoms. I can apply the same principals to these too – balance them, don’t react to them negatively with fear or worry. Accept they’re there, but don’t assume the worst. Stay calm, remember it’s ‘just anxiety’ and rationalise (I’m in no danger, there is nothing to worry about, if I’m ill I’ll just deal with it).

    What helps me do this is the fact that I (for some reason) am calm and relaxed. My mind is free to let me control it and think alternative, positive thoughts. I achieved this though hypnotherapy and NLP over 6 sessions, teaching me how to relax, how to think positively. This gives me perspective and balance. regular relaxation, rational, positive thinking. I am re-training my brain to be like it was – how we’re all born, before we teach it all these bad habits.

    One step at a time.

  199. Rachel 21st January 2014 at 10:02 am - Reply

    All this advice is a great help x
    Rachel

  200. Mark r 21st January 2014 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Christine,

    The golden rule is if it is a ‘doing’ then you are trying to fix yourself and this will never work. As Doreen said it is what almost everyone does, but we just need to let it come to us. I’ll give an example…..

    Yesterday was a pretty crap day, I was tense all day, felt sick and at a few points in the day felt like crying. On top of this in the evening I was going to watch my beloved Everton which was the last thing I wanted to do. My anxiety tried talked me out of it all day but I still went. So there I was true to form sitting with 30,000 people feeling really dp’d out. I thought to myself I could sit here the whole game and try and change it or I could let myself enjoy it. I chose the latter and my mind drifted off me after a short while and I got really into it. I was also really chilled out on the train and bus back too.

    So just let it all happen, trying to change how you feel by thinking is like trying to control the weather

    Mark

  201. Mark r 21st January 2014 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Rachh,

    Redditch is near me, im in Moseley, South Birmingham.

    Ryan,

    If you want a scientific answer to bad times/setbacks Google ‘Pink hog setbacks’. I know you’re not in a setback but you can apply this when you have a bad time.

    Mark

  202. Nikki 21st January 2014 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Sigh I am so tired with all this anxiety and supposed recovery. Needing some words of encouragement as am feeling pretty despondent. It all started three years ago when I was under a huge amount of stress in my life and at work – my body also started going through the menopause. I started getting horrendous migraines, night sweats and anxiety beyond belief. For the first year I continued at work trying out all the medications from the GP – these ranged from hrt, AD’s, anti migraine tablets, to strong pain killers. Suffice to say nothing worked and infact I felt worse on the meds. Stopped everything and have been trying to manage on my own since. I also gave up work which I now think has caused its own problems. After giving up work I very quickly became agoraphobic. Through Paul’s book and Claire Weeke’s help I have managed to get out and about again with people but still not found the courage to try go out alone. I have been abroad a few times in the last few years and even made it down to London for Wimbledon – so I have made huge progress. Don’t ask me to go to my local shop for a pint of milk on my own though. I know that I just have to accept the state my body is in when I am out but sometimes the symptoms just seem overwhelming even with I am with people that I cannot imagine trying to cope with them alone. I have learned that the symptoms eventually settle – I do try not to fight or put up with the symptoms but I don’t find it easy.

    My life now seems to be filled with lots of empty space and nowhere to go – I need structure to my day. I would like to get back to some kind of work or volunteering. I don’t feel able to make journeys on my own so don’t feel able to volunteer yet but this feels like a priority for me as sitting at home is not getting me any better. Today however I am on day five of a migraine. I am so fed up with my symptoms. Every month I go round in a circle of hormonal hell – night sweats, migraines and tearfulness. Then when I finally bleed I feel normal for a bit and before you know it the hell starts all over again. It is very difficult to accept that I have a headache and to just give into it or to find the energy when I have been up half the night soaking with sweat. Today because of my headache i feel very fed up – grr. Feeling very lost about my life just now. Can I really overcome this? can I really get back into the community of life and be volunteering/working again. Feeling very hopeless today – been working hard on my recovery for what feels like forever but still don’t feel much different. Words of wisdom very welcome!

  203. Rich 21st January 2014 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Nikki, As a 32 year old male, I can’t help with the menopause, but thanks for the detail! πŸ™‚ With the agorophobia however, I can suggest some ideas. It’s up to you ultimately however if you choose to try it, based on your migranes and other feelings of ill health.

    Agorophobia is a secondary condition to anxiety – it is the anxiety (fear of panic attack, symptoms etc) that stop us going out to places. We associate fear of places with places, or times, or situations, but ultimately anxiety isn’t time or place or person specific – this is all in our mind. When you look at a place is it actually dangerous? The walk to the shop, the milk, the checkout, the shop assistant, the walk home. It’s not scary when you look at it. They’re not out to hurt you or to scare you. You have to rationalise it.

    The next step would be to face your fears. As you mention, this isn’t London, or Wimbledon or a TV Appearance or Speech, so get it into perspective.

    CBT teaches graded exposure. If you were to try this, you could perhaps first of all stand outside your house. Second, take a walk. Third, walk to the shop (you don’t have to go in), the Third step would be to go in and browse (busy or quiet depending on your preference), the third step would be to go and buy the milk!

    I would say ‘go out and buy it’ without thinking, so you don’t have time to worry or get worked up. Just ‘DO IT’. However this is easy for me to say. However, you may just surprise yourself. It’s all in your mind. You control your feet however, so go out and try it. You’ll see through the bluff of anxiety and realise that shops aren’t dangerous at all and you will survive!

    Unfortunately I can’t help with the other stuff you mention in your post πŸ™‚

  204. Matt 21st January 2014 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Hi, I first had what I could call a Panic attack about 6 weeks ago. It was the day after my girlfriend had a mis carriage and we were out for something to eat with family, (to try and cheer us up) although i thought this was something my girlfriend was more upset about, the stress levels must of hit a high and over spilled into anxiety for me at that particular moment, the first 2 weeks I was so frightened as I wasn’t aware of what was happening to me, i went to the doctors they gave me a small dose of propanol to help with racing heart and nervous feeling in my body, I found that this made me really tired and at times had that feeling of de- personalistion which Paul talks about on this site. At first i fought the feelings off telling myself ‘im fine’ until i looked on the internet and came across some information about accepting anxiety which helped me a great deal and I did start to feel some what better by trying to understand it. I left it about a week or so but started to wind myself up again by thinking about anxiety and ‘why am I not better yet’ searching on the internet for symptom’s and also alot of feeling sorry for myself. Ive always said i don’t want to go down the medication route. Luckily about a week ago I came across Paul’s web site and dowloaded the app, I have just finished reading the book also, this seem’s to have got me back on track as it explain’s so well what is happening with my body and that it ‘takes time’ to recover. The reason i’m now writing on here is just for reassurance I guess that i’m doing things the right way as I am more or less leading a normal life but have symptoms of nervousness, tingling and soreness through my body and trying to tell myself to get on with my life, when reading Paul’s book etc i can’t help but notice many of the people that post on here and the examples he gives in his book including himself have suffered with anxiety for many years, I almost feel as if im not deserving of putting a post on here! as it seem’s people are alot worse off than me and have experienced it alot longer but maybe that’s through not finding the correct help, I’m not sure whether im just very lucky to have found this web site so soon? how ever it makes me feel very impatient as to when im going to recover because I have not suffered as long, although I am trying to accept it will take as long as it takes. Any advice would be much appreciated. Apologies for the large post and any bad grammar.

    Many Thanks

    Matt

  205. Julie 21st January 2014 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Nikki,

    I have always had anxiety which has peaked at times of trauma or high stress. In September 2012 something happened to me that led me to be too frightened to go out alone. I became so clingy to my husband. I realised something was wrong when I started going out and having panic attacks in shops, cafes or even my car when alone. I stopped going out alone, I would only go out at the weekend with my husband but soon enough I would drive to the shops or park and let him go with the children and I would sit in the car sobbing. I realised then I had agoraphobia. I made a HUGE mistake and gave into it for 6 months. I then got out again with the help of Claire Weekes book and Pauls also. I realised that the fear was just of panicking and making a scene infront of people. I then realised I had to stop caring what others thought. I had a great summer with my children and life was good again.

    In September last year it all hit again and for a month I didn’t go out. This time round I spotted the mistake and started getting out with the children after school and at the weekend with my husband. I can now go anywhere with him, I even walk around the large Asda and Tesco with my husband and children now BUT I am still struggling to get out alone. I was hiding away all day 9-3. I have changed that this last week, I have been going out for a drive, going into Costa for a take away hot chocolate.. and I am hoping to build this up each day. I want to attempt a little shop, then a slightly bigger shop, walk my dogs again. I won’t ever let myself hide away at home again, it just causes a much bigger problem. Avoidance is not the answer.

    I want to volunteer like you do too, but I realise that I have to build this up slowly, gain confidence going out alone and in time I know I will be able to do it. You will too. Just do things slowly, do something each day to build momentum and prove to yourself that you can do it. Agoraphobia is awful, I feel for you. It changed my life for the worse but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck xx

  206. Will 21st January 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Rich – I know I shouldn’t feed the anxiety, but I came across the article by accident — I wasn’t looking for it. It caught my eye and, like an idiot, I kept reading it. It wasn’t in my head when I suddenly felt wobbly a few hours later, but it can’t be a coincidence that it happened afterwards. I’m still feeling wobbly today from time to time, as if the weight distribution in my body is all over the place and is actively moving about. Not dizzy in the head, just unbalanced in general. I know it can’t be anything more than adrenaline (since I haven’t been myself since New Year).

    Christine – Yeah it seems to be a common area of focus for anxiety. I often feel muscular twinges and wind pains in the left side of my chest (not just my heart area but other left-side chest spots) which I always think is my heart. I also have them in my lower-right abdomen sometimes, which when particularly bad I fear to be appendicitis!

  207. Rich 21st January 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Matt, You are indeed lucky to have found this site so soon, but unlucky in your circumstances in having to do so in the first place. Medication and Internet Research are things most of us do before we get here, but I think all of us here will advocate this approach as the best route to recovery.

    I think your panic attack was your body’s way of slowing you down, making you slow down our mind as it was simply overloaded with thoughts and emotion due to what you’ve been through. Obviously at the time you don’t know what the heck’s going on and it feels horrendous. Understanding why your body did this and how your mind works is key to accepting anxiety and overcoming the fear of it.

    Read the reading material advocated on here and give your mind time and patience to heal itself. This will take time, but you will come out of this as quickly as you fell in if you let yourself. I’ve suffered with anxiety fear all my adult life, but only after finding this site and the material covered on this blog have I truly started to get a grip on it.

    Time, Patience, Accept, Float, Let Time Pass.

  208. Rich 21st January 2014 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Julie, Your post for some reason just made me feel really emotional – wow, what a transformation and change in attitude. With anxiety disorders (of any type) we are our worst enemies. We have to become our own best friends – to help ourselves, be strict, strong, positive and brave. We all have this inside ourselves.

  209. Christine 21st January 2014 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all of the responses everyone! πŸ™‚ Just needed a reminder although I think I know what to do – just need to practice again…and patience which is half my problem I know! xx

    Mark R – My Hubby is a staunch Evertonian! πŸ™‚ He absolutely loves them but was a bit annoyed at a draw last night when they could have gone fourth! Glad you felt better for going! xx

    Rich – agree the change in Julie’s attitude, the difference in the post is amazing! Don’t want to sound condescending but well done Julie! xx

  210. Rich 21st January 2014 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Julie, Try to keep up the positive attitude as much as possible – even if you feel like you can’t and you’re anxious etc – ‘fake it until you make it’ and you will slowly, slowly convince your brain that this is reality (it is reality!).

  211. Nikki 21st January 2014 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Julie and rich thanks so much for your encouragement. My day changed. I ended up going out with a friend but instead of going in their car I took mine and followed them. We went a walk and my legs were shaking but I just allowed them to shake. The shaking didn’t last too long. We then jumped in our cars and drove through our town to get a coffee. By the time I got out the car after dealing with the traffic I was shaky again but I kept going and had a coffee. Came home and felt quite proud of myself. I know its not going out on my own but it feels like a start. Oh and by the way my head still hurts but I still managed to do it. Xx

  212. Julie 21st January 2014 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much Rich.

    It’s nice to help someone else. I hope I helped Nikki.

    I’m really putting the method in the book and advice from here into practice with my agoraphobia which is great as I really need to make the changes and can see me moving forward with that. It’s the intrusive thoughts I’m struggling with and so far they are still scaring me very much. My daughter is off school unwell so my anxiety has been high today around her.

    Thank you for your nice comment πŸ™‚

    Nikki, wow! Well done, you should be very very proud of yourself.

    You sound so like me. I did Costa and 2 shops today. Then. Went to the post office and the doctors to pick up my prescription. My hubby was really happy for me and I said ‘but I wasn’t on my own’ my daughter was with me πŸ˜‰ xx

  213. michelle m 21st January 2014 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Julie.

    I too have ocd….just stay on this site though!! My compulsion is or was googling sites….I don’t do that any more….you can get better. And they do say that that people with ocd that have our thoughts are the safest to be around!!! Hi everyone else. Hope you are a doing ok.

    Michelle xxx

  214. Rebecca 21st January 2014 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Juile,
    It’s so nice to see your postive post, I agree to fake it till you make it.

  215. Rachel 21st January 2014 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    I have gad and get on with my life I go to work go out clean the house etc but yet my worse symptom is always their (dizziness/unbalance/ feel like I am moving or rocking) so why is it even when I’m getting in with life I still have it 24/7 and it’s hard not to think about it when you feel like your about to pass out any advice please xx
    Rachel

  216. Marcus 21st January 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Michelle M & Julie,

    I too have ocd. At least i gather as I was diagnosed with anxiety/panic. Michelle i am so in the same boat i used to google every little thing possible which sent me into further panic reading about severe mental illnesses. Dont do that anymore either yay! My thing is i get recurring intrusive scary(harm) thoughts. Im keeping my hopes up those disappear once anxiety is gone….

    Having good days lately the thoughts are much less intense ! And when they do I try and accept their presence as best as possible without fear.

  217. Julie 21st January 2014 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Michelle and Rebecca, thank you. I’m slowly coming to terms with the diagnosis yesterday. I believe knowledge is power so I’m glad I now know what’s wrong with me and I do feel a bit better today x

    I used a lot of OCD sites which scared me so I only use this blog really now. It’s been very informative and I’ve met some lovely people. I wouldn’t make the same mistake reading boards like in the past scaring myself.

    I hope things keep continuing to get better for you Marcus. Sounds like you’re doing well πŸ™‚

  218. Doreen 21st January 2014 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Julie – I do check the site as often as I can so hopefully your posts won’t wait too long. You will see that your last 2 are now up.

  219. Doreen 22nd January 2014 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Julie – in response to your question, Paul will make that decision.

  220. Rich 22nd January 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Morning everyone,

    Rachel, I have GAD – still do (I worry about going anywhere out of habit. Often all for nothing. Anxiety is all my own doing). The thoughts are there because you still fear them. You have to accept them and float past them – then your mind will realise they aren’t needed and will release you from them. It’s the fear that feeds the anxiety monster.

    Julie, Intrusive thoughts will always be scary – they’re designed to be – to get your attention and spark you into immediate action. This is normal. Scary thoughts will always be scary – you aren’t going to be ‘fearless’ – what you will achieve is that you will see these thoughts, be scared, but then see that “actually no, brain, you’re over-reacting. There is no danger and I’m perfectly ok, so I’ll ignore your thoughts – thanks for the concern though” and then carry on. Your brain will watch this behaviour and realise that you are right, it is wrong, and then tone-down the thoughts as they aren’t needed. You’re re-programming your brain and thought process for given situations. This is all covered in ‘A Letter To Myself’… πŸ™‚

    One other comment others may find helpful is that on caffine – people going out for coffee is a modern culture, but remember that tea and coffee (coffee in particular) contains a large amount of caffine, which is a stimulant. Stimulants increase brain activity. If your brain is of an anxious disposition, giving it a turbo boost may not be a good idea! I limit myself to no more than 2-3 cups of tea a day, often instead having squash or water instead. I only have coffee when I’m on a really good day.

    With anxiety I advocate calm and relaxation – relaxing your tired mind and letting it slow down and heal – not turbo-charging it into more anxious thoughts and tricks!

  221. Julie 22nd January 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Thank you Rich. I’ve almost finished Paul’s book, I then shall read the article and then Claire Weekes.

    Today I woke up with no dread, for the first time in about 2 months. No anxiety when hubby left for work. My daughter is still home all day too.

    I read an article last night that Pia sent me. Wanted thoughts can be act upon where as unwanted thoughts cannot. This has really struck home with me.

    Thank you Doreen πŸ™‚

  222. michelle m 22nd January 2014 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Marcus

    its ridiculous really isnt it!!! Ha ha…the amount of times I have done “are you this test and are you that” test. All of them come back no! They are the same web sites too. Thats madness!!!ha ha.

    enjoy your week all

    michelle m

  223. Shirley A. D. 22nd January 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Dear All, At whatever stages you may be at. I am a recovered Anxiety sufferer and can confirm that you can go through hell and still come out the other side with a smile. I can never explain to anybody how I recovered – it just happened. After giving so much attention to every symptom and thought and putting my whole concentration on what was happening to me it was a shift of attitude that did the trick. We can question and search for answers till we are at exploding level with why’s and wherefores – this just feeds the fire. Acceptance is the key and I think one of my turning points was when someone said some very cruel words to me – i could have taken it one of two ways – wallowed in self pity or fight against it – i did fight against it and slowly but surely I would think – I am better than that – so many other things fell into place after that which took me up that little ladder a bit further until in the end my life was no longer looking over my shoulder for Anxiety to prod me. However small the winning goal – i.e.seeing the leaves on the trees, it’s one point closer to the final achievement. Don’t concentrate on the negative – always concentrate on the positive. Negative does you no good.

  224. Julie 22nd January 2014 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Well done Shirley, what ever was said to you helped you on your way to recovery so well done you for turning your life around.

    My glass has always been half empty, I need to change that because I have my beautiful children and an amazing husband in my life.

    Great post x

  225. Rachel 22nd January 2014 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Rich thank you for that can be hard though when you feel it all the time going to do my very best xx

  226. eliza 22nd January 2014 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Has anyone here ever had a problem with high blood pressure due to their anxiety?

  227. Rich 22nd January 2014 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel, Everything that makes anxiety better is so hard to ‘do’ because it is always the exact opposite thing you actually feel like doing (because anxiety controls your feelings). I am guilty of not dragging myself out and doing everything people without anxiety disorders do (maybe I’m slowing down my recovery as a result) but so long as you aren’t working against your recovery, then I wouldn’t worry about it. There is no time limit on recovery, and there are many ups and downs (unfortunately) but just stick with it and hang in there.

    When you feel symptoms, it’s natural to worry about them, to retreat to a safe place etc – this is what the symptoms are there to do – make you take notice and to protect you, but the trick is to float on and not react to them. They will always be the things you fear the most. You just have to remind yourself it’s ‘just anxiety’ and then carry on.

    When you feel like you’re about to pass out, how many times have you actually passed out…? It’s all a bluff caused by heightened sensitivity. Don’t feel the monster and it will calm back down. In time.

  228. Rich 22nd January 2014 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Shirley, Thank you so much for taking the time to revisit this blog and post comments. I think that comments from people who have come through this are the most beneficial of all comments on here, and give us all the belief to follow the path to recovery ourselves.

  229. Yolande 22nd January 2014 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Hi all, I was on this blog 3 yrs ago due to anxiety. Now stress at work has brought some symptoms back. Fear, negative tholights. Of course I know what to do now but it’s still hard. The other day I cried myself silly but it releases a lot if stress.I know . Can get over this

  230. Shirley A. D. 22nd January 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    All,
    As soon as I started reading Paul’s book it all started to click into place. I used to feel so like a Paul ‘Groupie’ whenever I used to praise it’s contents but it is the only answer you need – because the help to recovery is explained in such simple terms. You can gather no end of information and be sent in the direction of medication and whilst this will probably help out in the interim – you will still need to help yourself when you stand on your own two feet. As soon as I found this blog (back in 2006/7) it was my saviour. The relief of finding it was just unbeleivable as suddenly i was introduced to other people with the same symptoms – before I was just floundering on my own. I was on it nearly every hour of every day reading avidly – but as I started to take baby steps back to recovery I needed that support less and less and at one point after pretty much full recovery I found I turned my back on the blog/site because I didn’t need it any more and didn’t want to be reminded of my very painful past. It’s hard to convince someone in the depths that full recovery is possible but it is! You have to beleive in yourself and your capabilities. I used to liken Anxiety to the devil sat on my shoulder! Once he got bored at goading me and I no longer took any notice he slunk off! Give anxiety thoughts attention and they will stay and goad you. Turn your attention to other things and it’s surprising how the intensity diminishes (not saying that it will all dissapear overnight) but that is the sart on the road to recovery.

  231. Rachel 22nd January 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Rich thank you again you are so correct and touch wood I have never passed out I need to get it in my thick head it is just anxiety xx

  232. Tim 23rd January 2014 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Hi All,

    Just a quick question to those who have recovered or are at the same point in their recovery as me.

    I am about 80% – 90% of the way there now, what I am still struggling with is one particular fear, which is the one that started it all off. I have been accepting, carrying on as normal and this has worked wonders but when this one fear is triggered it’s like an automatic response. I know that the fear isn’t real and there is no need to get worked up as it’s all anxiety but it’s like I can’t quite get my subconcious to believe it, even when I step back.

    If anyone has been in this situation do you have any tips? Is it a case of just keep going and eventually the fear goes?

  233. Anthony 23rd January 2014 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Hi All …

    Just wanted to return to the blog and share my experience in the hope it may help and encourage some who may have doubts with Paul’s advice and if it can actually work.

    I had been suffering for with anxiety for around 7mths when i first picked up Paul’s book as I said previously was more in desperation than hope. well I was immediately struck with the simplicity of it and how basically only ourselves can control the condition. Since that day I followed the advice and would even say I went as far as embracing the feelings and those horrible uncontrollable adrenaline rushes which lead to panic and fear as the alternative of this would be a never ending feeling of the unknown which had been with me constantly for the months before.

    Since I last wrote I am pleased to say the condition has in my view gone and I have recovered. I feel that three things helped , firstly I lost the fear, I just didn’t care because as Paul says it never has and never will hurt you , its only your minds “What If” that makes it scary, secondly I didn’t think of when recovery would happen just that it really would some day and that date was irrelevant, thirdly i stopped all contact with anything about trying to get the quick fix of recovery, as much as I want everyone with this condition to recover I didn’t want to blog and look at others as that may only cast doubt in my own mind and if my way in dealing with it was correct, hope that doesn’t seem selfish but my view is just go and live your life let your anxiety live with you not against you , if you feel the rush just let it flow i find smiling helps( i know a little weird but was my way of saying you cant hurt me)

    I do think I am so fortunate in finding Paul relatively early after I began to suffer and think maybe that’s why I could adjust so quickly but I did feel before that this was me and nothing I would ever do would help. Please if you still suffer do not doubt the minds ability to adjust and heal , when it understands there is nothing to fear it will no longer fear !!!

    Wishing you all a speedy recovery and Paul thank you for giving me back my life … Anthony x

  234. Yolande 23rd January 2014 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Tim, i know what you mean. i had anxiety before and i mentioned. recovered and now the symptoms are back due to stress.

    yes fear is hard to ignore isnt it cos it’s a nasty feeling. altho we know it’s NOT real, the thoughts are NOT real, you still feel horrible. to answer your question, yes we really just have to roll with it – not to panick and just ACCEPT AND FLOAT. i know sometimes it’snot easy. no one ever said it was.

  235. Tim 23rd January 2014 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks Yolande, it’s the realness despite knowing it’s all lies that I struggle with. I thought I had this particular symptom licked and then out of the blue it came back and felt like it was really happening (even though I know it’s just anxiety).

    Guess I need to allow it more, perhaps I’ve been holding it back without realising. That or it’s just my brain rewiring and i’ve exposed another layer thats being released

  236. Lui 23rd January 2014 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    The last days I have been feeling better! I unfortunately have no confidence in conversations! I am really good at being open, making jokes and so on, but whenit’s just about taling I’ll let the the person talk and talk and I am too scared to share my opinion or to tell a story. I am always wondering, if it’s ok to tell that story? Maybe it’s not interesting, maybe it’s weird? Maybe I seem weird? This is a huge problem for me and I don’t know what to do about it…

  237. Rachh 23rd January 2014 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Im very much in the same position everyone in my office seems to have a laugh and share jokey stories. I dont know whether to be serious/jokey/nice/blunt i just dont know who i am and whether i should tailor myself to the situation or be myself lol. Very confusing and its funny even questionning it but i dont know how to be around people. Especially starting a new job.

  238. Lui 24th January 2014 at 5:29 am - Reply

    Oh yes, know what you mean! How are you dealng with it?

  239. Rachh 24th January 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    At the moment im not dealing with it i tend to keep myself to myself until i feel a bit of confidence to contribute to a conversation. Its horrible. Feeling really awful today.. Just woke up and feel like i am fighting back tears.

  240. Julie 24th January 2014 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Hi

    I’ve started having Skype sessions with a well known OCD doctor in the states. He’s giving me cbt to help me through the OCD intrusive thoughts I’m suffering from. It’s basically ERP CBT so you’re exposing yourself to the triggers and working through a fear hierarchy.

    I’m still applying Paul’s method whilst having the cbt. Paul’s book is helping me to carry on living life alongside the anxiety disorder but my intrusive thoughts are so obsessive I need extra help. The mental health team are referring me for cbt but it’ll be a year for one to one so I’ve decided to try and get the help sooner. I’m doing it for myself but mainly my children. They deserve a well mummy.

    Can I ask when any of you have a rush of anxiety/panic does it make you feel agitated or like you may lash out or lose control? I feel horrible when I get these sudden surges of adrenaline, my stomach flips and I panic at the feeling I get of losing control. The therapist last night said that’s just adrenaline and fight or flight. It’s a horrible feeling. But I’m seeing it through and not running away from my children when it happens, I’m trying to believe it’s just anxiety and stay in the moment. Usually I’d run to my room crying and scared I’m feeling angry or something.

    Hope everyone is doing well and enjoys their Friday xx

  241. Anthony 24th January 2014 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Hi Julie ….

    In my case the adrenaline just took over my whole body and mind it was as if an electric current was pulsing through my body … this rush is in my view the thing that causes the panic to set in as its all so uncontrollable and then the mind says what is this and it must be something serious and therefore you should have something to fear. Then follows the what ifs and intrusive thoughts. I had the lot in my mind , family cancer you name it i felt it was going to happen to me and me alone.

    Following Paul’s guidance its at this point when you can tell yourself this cannot hurt me , i realize that this is the hardest thing to accept as your mind is not accustomed to this , do not try and run away from the feeling as that’s what we all have tried to do and it doesn’t work or the feelings would not come back .. tell yourself you have had enough of fighting the feelings and rushes , if they happen so be it , each time you say that and truly mean it I guarantee they will pass and then just smile say told you you cant hurt me and as hard as it may be carry on with your day. Each day will get better and if the feelings are worse on some days so what your better than you was and one day whenever that day is you will recover. Do not set a timescale as that adds pressure just know it will happen.

    I am saying this from experience , I recovered using this method , honestly the rushes i felt had me physically shaking and hiding in the toilet at work thinking I was going insane and it was the end, I felt helpless and that only me was suffering, self pity set in. You will beat this by accepting it and letting the feelings flow until they become of no significance.

    Keep strong and positive , you can do this x

  242. Julie 24th January 2014 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Hi Anthony,

    Thank you for your reply. I think I am panicking at the sensation as I have become obsessed that the rushes mean I am going to lash out, but my intrusive thoughts are obviously why I think that as they scare me alot, now these rushes just make me think and fear my intrusive thoughts more. I don’t get the 2 at the same time really. I just seem to get these rushes and feel fearful that they mean I am angry so I get really anxious around my children or people. My husband really tells me off and says I am not an angry person at all so he has no idea why this is my new worry.

    I guess I was just wondering if adrenaline and panic can make you feel like you are going to lash out or lose control? I feel quite agitated inside when the feeling rushes through me. Scary.

    I shall try to apply that today and just see the day through without adding more panic to it, just accept the feeling and carry on. It is really hard when you have the doubt about what the feeling is.

    Thanks Anthony for replying to me. Much appreciated. Glad to hear you’re doing so well. xx

  243. Rich 24th January 2014 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Lui / Rachh, I am confident talking to people but sometimes am talking away and think “oh wow, I’m boring” or “what on earth are you talking about?!”. Sometimes I don’t know how to end a conversation and there’s a weird silence and looking around for a while. I feel I have to fill silences.

    But, I’ve also come across people who tell really boring stories, which I’m really not interested in. I think that all of this is perfectly normal human behaviour. Some people I ‘click’ with and can talk for ages and the conversation runs all over the place. Others, it’s more awkward and needs more work.

    I don’t worry about any of this. It’s no big deal to me at all.

    Julie, All your feelings and symptoms are 100% perfectly normal and to be expected. Remember that running and hiding fuels the fire and teaches your brain that you are in danger. You have to do the opposite. CBT will teach you how to do this. It sounds like you’re really making progress. Just remember it’s one small step at a time, and to be patient with yourself. Be positive and be kind to yourself.

  244. Rich 24th January 2014 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Julie, It’s been said many, many times on here – It’s just anxiety. You are in control. Anxiety cannot force you to do anything. You are always in control and you always choose what you do, and do not do. Always remember this. You’ve never acted on the adrenaline – and you never will.

    I had a problem whereby any form of adrenalin rush or hot flush would send my anxiety into over-drive, make my stomach churn and me ‘freeze’ in panic and become incredibly self-aware. I had to re-learn that adrenalin is also a good feeling – like thrill-seekers see it. Don’t be scared of adrenalin – it cannot harm you.

    In regards to acting on your adrenalin, you’re not the Incredible Hulk – where you lose control and start smashing things up, so always remember there’s always someone worse-off than you πŸ™‚ But look at the Hulk – even with his anger and rage, he is able to control it by remaining calm and relaxing. If he can do this, so can you!

    I’d only worry if you turn bright green, tear off your clothes and start smashing up your living room. Unless this happens, just rationalise the thoughts and float on.

  245. Charlotte 24th January 2014 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Julie

    In my worst times last year I certainly had similar feelings to what you have described and I also ran off at times crying and generally being hysterical ! Now I can see how I was fueling the anxiety further but adding fire to fire, even the idea and saying accept float and carry on are peaceful sayings that will help your mind calm down.

    Well done on being so proactive and tackling your anxiety !

  246. Shirley A. D. 24th January 2014 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Julie – you are suffering the ‘flight’ trauma. I can see myself when I did that. crying for it to stop. You need to grab that control back. When you got for a walk – stand and study the trees, the hedgerows, the birdsong. The worst thing you can do is stand (on your walk) and concentrate on your heart racing etc – this just feeds the feelings.

  247. Shirley A. D. 24th January 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Charlotte – tip top post. I have posted so many times on trying the hand clenching thing and then unclenching – making a comparisson between the feeling of the clench and then what it feels like for that calming release. Which is the best? The release – this is how we have to retrain our bodies to feel. Our inside and head are knotted up – you have to release that knot to start on the path to recovery.

  248. Lulu 24th January 2014 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    I don’t post often but when I do the advice I get is great! I’m happy to report my physical symptoms are so much better. My mood and motivation is up and I’ve been doing so much! I feel like the last thing to go for me is the constant thinking on myself, that anxiety has happened, which makes it really hard to focus on tasks. I get really annoyed and frustrated. I feel like if this would leave I could take on the world! I know the answer is acceptance. But if my motivation, mood, and decrease of symptoms are here, why is this still happening? Any advice or suggestions would be great πŸ™‚ Also does anyone on here do CBT at times or practice relaxation techniques?

  249. Christine 24th January 2014 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    This anxiety frustrates me so much! Have been okayish most of the week with some positive improvement, but last night and today it’s there again – feeling anxious, agitated and with a low mood! It’s so up and down! I must admit that I don’t feel as bad as a couple of weeks ago but it annoys me how it just creeps up on you again. Does anyone else worry that the low mood means that your depressed? I’m in work and just carrying on but it’s constantly on my mind!

    Thanks for the good advice again Anthony and Shirley! xx

    Julie – it’s definitely fear/panic making you feel like that. It starts all of the racing thoughts – I’m the same sometimes but I now recognise that they are caused by the panic and adrenaline. Like Rich, Anthony, Charlotte and Shirley said you just have to go with it. A while ago I would have tried to hide from it and now if it happens I just carry on with I’m doing and let it pass. xx

    Rich and Charlotte – how are you both doing? Love the positive advice! xx

  250. Anthony 24th January 2014 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie

    I totally understand your emotions , and that is exactly what they are you’re minds emotive response to the adrenaline that is rushing through your body, try and remember adrenaline is not infinite, it will pass as it is released to protect and put us on alert when we feel we are in danger.

    The intrusive thoughts are again just thoughts, you have never acted on them before so why will that change, its just another avenue your mind is taking you on. I felt as if i could kill honestly i did but it was nothing only my total frustration at being stuck in a cycle of worry and fearwith no clue why it was happening, once your mind accepts this that fear goes as your body has no reason to release the adrenaline. Do not worry if you are going to get rushes because you will worry which in turn will create the adrenaline, thats the cycle we on here have all been in, it honestly does not matter, so what if you feel tense or sick its the adrenaline its not you its your body doing its job only over and above the call of duty because again the adrenaline is at its top level so overflows easily causing the shakes etc.

    It isn’t easy to reboot the brain after all its the most complex thing known to man but you will do it, just accept it may take time and that you will come to no harm. Keep living your life no matter how much you may feel it better to hide away, the anger is just a frustration that will pass when you lose the fear.

    This may sound perverse but in a way I am glad i experienced this though only for 7 months as it has made me a much stronger and happier person and have far more respect for myself and those around me

    Keep smiling – Anthony

  251. Lui 24th January 2014 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Hey Rach!
    I know tast feeling! I’m afraid of being judged and to contribute to a conversation. I get all tense and adrenaline is making me a bad time! It’s really impotant for us to keep our heads up and try to cross the mental borders though it’s not easy of course!

  252. Clare 24th January 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone, I am very new to this and have never written on a blog, but some of the advise I see written is so helpful to the way I feel. I have suffered with panic attacks for about 15 years and then 6 months ago I got so upset about a health problem I ended up getting bad anxiety and depression. This has got me terribly and led me to do all the things I shouldn’t like hunting the Internet for anything that would fix me, but that said, I would not have found Paul’s book if I hadn’t lol, I find the book so true to the way I feel and I now have spurts of a couple of good days but I still get the bad. My problem is I feel I go right back to square one on my bad days and it’s not till it gets really bad again that I manage to take back on board the acceptance Paul talks about does any one else get this? Is it normal lol ? I know I lack masses of self confidence and just writing that sentence has reduced me to tears or some my say self pity and at times the guilt is unbearable as my daughter is only 4 and I just want to be the mum she deserves. Also a year ago I was put on a contaceptive pill for health reasons and my doctor has taken me off them about a week and a half ago as we both agree they are contributing to the anxiety and depression due to hormone problems, I know that feeling this way at times can feel like the most lonely place on earth but I am having some good days now and I hold on to them as long as I can, the worrying is something I know will get better and I know it takes time ( and I can be very impatient at times ) but we have to accept it, I have spent 15 years avoiding everything I could and feel that it has eventually come to bite me on the bum and now it’s my chance to change and make things right and get my life back thanks Paul for the wonderful book as it fills me with hope, understanding and acceptance x

  253. Shirley A. D. 24th January 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Anthony. I agree with what you say ‘is perverse’. i have always said that everyone who suffers anxiety is of a very caring group of people. We get anxious because we worry about our consequences and others around us. When you come out on the other side of Anxiety you do realise that you are part of an elite group of people and it does make you more understanding – a better quality than some people who exist on this planet. It’s like you are tested to the limits to see if you will break and it does indeed make you so much stronger – it is hard to explain. I look back now and can’t even remember the numerous diverse things that happened to me with Anxiety. I do retain one thing and that is a sick cough (occasionally) first thing in the morning. it does not bother me one iota because I know it’s just a legacy of worry – it soon passes.

  254. Julie 24th January 2014 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Brilliant. Thank you all so much. I feel much better about the feeling now and I’ve coped well all day just letting it be there and not adding fear to it.

    I’ve been shopping and coped great around the children. This method is really helping with the anxiety and even with the OCD it’s helping me not fear the thoughts as much.

    Thanks all for your help x

  255. Rich 24th January 2014 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Julie, Great news. Look back when you’ve done well and identify the positives from each day. Dismiss any negatives as ‘just anxiety’ and don’t let them get you down. The positives though help breed positivity, and give you momentum – so focus on them and be happy. This is a long process – and you may still find yourself tested or having a bad day, but just maintain the belief you’re moving forwards, and you will continue to do so. Not fuelling the fire means it will slowly die out.

    Lulu, I strongly advocate the use of relaxation techniques, mindfulness and meditation. I tried CBT and found it useless, but applying CBT myself with the understanding from the books recommended here definitely does help. Read this blog, the website and the books and you’ll be all set.

    Clare, You sound a lot like me – years of avoidance and anxiety, slowly narrowing down your view of the world until there isn’t much left and you hit a stage you have to do something. This is me. I was that person. I am not any more. I am on the way up now, and you will be one day too.

  256. Rich 24th January 2014 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Christine, I am good thanks. Tomorrow I have a meeting with a bride and groom about their wedding I’m photographing at the end of next month. The last time I had one of these meetings I had an upset stomach, felt I had to take immodium tablets, was shaking, had a diazapam and generally dreaded it for days in advance.

    The way my anxiety works would suggest that due to that experience (and one other similar one before it), I’d be the same this time too. I worry about things before they happen on one giant ‘what if’. the ‘What If’ is ‘What if I worry and get an upset stomach’ – the anxiety loop perfectly demonstrated.

    Honestly, I’m not sure what I’m going to be like tomorrow, but I’m trying to accept and float along whatever it’s like.

    PS what happened after my days of worrying and morning of winding myself up about the last venue visit? I felt fine the entire time…!

  257. Julie 24th January 2014 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your support Rich.

    With regards to my OCD. It’s all so new to me. I’ve never suffered intrusive thoughts until recently and I’ve been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and OCD. I’m having the cbt now for the OCD thoughts which I think is needed as the thoughts are obsessive and worrying. I’m coming to terms with them though from reading this blog. Will the method Paul uses also help my OCD (my OCD is just intrusive thoughts and fear of them happening, I won’t repeat what they are on here)as well as the general anxiety disorder? I hope it’s not wrong of me to get cbt, I’m accepting things and getting on with day to day life better and I think I’m slowly making progress so Paul’s book is really helping me.

    Julie

  258. Rich 24th January 2014 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Julie, I think you will really benefit from reading ‘A Letter To Myself (Nothing Works) right about now with your understanding. I found it really helps you get your head around it.

    Regarding CBT, it aims to help you think differently. See things more relatively and realistically, and to prove this to yourself though gradual exposure to fears, disproving them as you go. This helps for Anxiety of any kind.

    Don’t get hung up on the ‘I have Anxiety Type A’ and ‘Anxiety Type B’ – they are all an ‘Anxiety Disorder’. The label you give it is unimportant – it’s all the same. Please don’t micro-manage the individual things specifically – look at it as a whole. It is just that.

    I had 1 30min CBT appointment once a month for 6 months, with me completely bewildered about what I was going through and how it was supposed to help – it was pointless. I wasn’t being listened to or being educated at all. Please the books to LEARN and DISGEST the techniques needed to heal. Don’t ignore them because we’re not DRs. We speak the voice of wisdom through first-hand experience.

    To help intrusive thoughts, you need to calm and relax your mind. Meditation, Relaxation and Mindfulness. Don’t focus just on one thing (like CBT’ and discount all other avenues – my way out of this was through a combination of many things; Reading, Understanding, Exposure and Relaxation Therapy.

    The key to all of this is to change your thought process and overcome your fear of fear. You’re going in the right direction!

  259. Lucy 24th January 2014 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Clare,

    I had my contraceptive implant removed and there is a considerable difference. Anxiety is still very much there but I feel slightly more balanced now… Could just be a coincidence and that every day I am a tiny bit closer to recover but it’s worth thinking about for those of us who use it! You sound like you’re ready to start the process now so good luck, I think we all feel that sense of guilt when it comes to our family and friends… It makes me sad to think of my daughter missing out on stuff during the time that I have been consumed by anxiety. But this is a decision you can choose to take πŸ™‚ anxiety does not have to be permanent for any of us.

    I have had the all clear from my doctor to go back to the gym, ECG showed everything was all normal. Funnily enough when I’m exercising the racing heart doesn’t bother me nearly as much, it’s when I’m sat doing nothing, watching telly and off it goes! Does anyone else have experience with this? I feel like it’s the one thing I’m struggling with at the moment because it’s so physical! I know I need to take the reassurance from my doctor and seek no further, and I also know it’s my hate/fear of it that keeps it around. I just don’t know how to react when it happens, it’s much harder for me to dismiss that all of the other symptoms.

    Glad to see lots of positive posts, Rich looks like you are doing so well! Bet you didn’t think you’d be advising others so quickly πŸ™‚

    Hope everyone else is doing well x

  260. Rebecca 24th January 2014 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    I get so frustrated with myself as every day I feel thick dp, adrenalin rushs, fuzzy head, anxious and I still can’t seem to lose the fear. I think I’m my own worst enemy at the moment by been inpatient. Just a bad day but hay one more day of accepting and one less for anxiety. I’ve also learnt that people who suffer from anxiety are the most caring, loving and safest people to be around, so I think we all should give ourselfs more credit than we do. For me I’m learning so much more about myself than I ever did, so I do no when me and anxiety become friends I’m going to be a much better person. So hopefully one day I may be glad to have experienced anxiety. But as for now I’m just not there yet.

    Hope u guys are having a better day. Xx

  261. Clare 24th January 2014 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Lucy
    Thank you so much for your reply, I do feel slightly better than I did since coming of the pill so I’m hoping to feel some more improvement as time goes on.
    Glad you have returned to the gym and that you have been given the all clear from the doctor
    I have decided to try some new things and have signed up to do a computer course in hope I can improve my self confidence and perhaps make some friends, Here’s to some more good days x
    Thank you Rich for kind words also.

  262. Rebecca 24th January 2014 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    But on a more postive note I have applied to volunteer to work with single family’s, who are in need of support. Hopefully getting out of house and helping others will keep my mind busy instead of been on myself 24/7. I’m a mum of 3 so I am relatively busy but, doing something for me may help with the confidence and motivation to move forward.

  263. Julie 24th January 2014 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich

    I hope the cbt will help me come to accepting the thoughts and not fearing them as much but I do think all the reading I’m doing, the help I’ve had groom here and exposing myself to my thoughts is helping. Tonight we went to sainsburys. I could have run out once or twice but I thought what will that achieve. I walked all the way round and paid at the till. It’s so strange that in the last two weeks I’m going out round huge supermarkets, talking to people I know when out…. Today, dare I say it I felt feelings come back, even happiness about my life again. Sssshhhh, I’m so scared to jinx it so always fear saying anything positive πŸ˜‰

    I so want to do the meditation and mindfulness, can you recommend a good site to use?

    I shall read that tonight, thanks πŸ™‚

  264. Charlotte 24th January 2014 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Christine,

    I’m doing ok at times, then struggle again at others, but I do have some clear head time ! I can relate to your worry of low mood, I do exactly the same, and worry if I have depression if I feel low. Truth is I just feel low! Then my anxiety can pick up on it and it goes something like: I don’t want to tidy my house, oh my god that means I’ve got depression, I don’t feel like going food shopping, oh my god I’ve got depression …….

    Before we had anxiety we would have just accepted variation in mood as normal – but we are still on alert for that thing/feeling that proves we are mad/depressed etc.

    I can see this but at times it’s hard to accept !

    I also have a lot of work stress at the moment and am trying to manage it more calmly than I have before!

    Hope you had a good night ?

  265. Clare 24th January 2014 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie
    I can recommend a good minfullness book it’s called Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world, it’s very good also comes with meditation cd, and offers an 8 week course I am in the first couple of weeks and I find it very helpfull it came recommended to me by my doctor, I think you can download it on amazon x

  266. Julie 25th January 2014 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Thank you Clare. I shall download it. X

  267. Christine 25th January 2014 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Hi Charlotte, I’m glad that you’re doing ok at times! πŸ™‚ You’re right it’s so hard to accept sometimes! Last night wasn’t too bad in the end to be honest but this morning isn’t so great! Had a bit of a lie in (which is something that I would normally do on a Saturday) but I have weird adrenaline rushes when I’m semi-asleep which make me feel rubbish and then I started to think does it mean that I’m depressed because I’ve stayed in bed for a bit when it’s something I would do normally! Grrrrr!

    I have stress at work too but I like the routine of work! What do you do? Do you have anything nice planned for the weekend? xx

    Clare/Julie – that’s so strange…I’ve just bought that book…going to try and start it today! xx

    Rebecca – well done on the volunteer work! πŸ™‚ xx

    I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! xx

  268. Rachh 25th January 2014 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Christine although its not funny i had to laugh – i had the exact same thought this morning about lie ins and being depressed. Thoughts eh! My mind doesnt stop.

  269. Nikki 25th January 2014 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Today hubby and I were needing to buy light bulbs! We headed for our nearest store. By the time we got there I felt really emotional. I thought I was going to cry. In the shop I felt weak and faint. At one point I had to say to my hubby that I didn’t think I could ride out the anxiety. It felt utterly overwhelming. We got what we needed and left. I thought that I was going to burst into tears in the car. Hubby suggested I had done enough and we head home but I didn’t want to leave whilst my anxiety was so high. I suggested we went to another shop as he wanted to look at shoes. We did this and I could feel my anxiety settle
    We ended up being out for about 3 hours and I got a new hand bag lol. What I find really difficult is riding out the most horrendous physical symptoms when I am first out. What do other people do that helps? Xx

  270. Rebecca 25th January 2014 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Nikki,

    Well done for not running, you stood your ground. That’s exactly the thing you should be doing rember we are the ones in control. Even though yor anxiety told you to run you didn’t and pushed yourself on a 3 hour shop so well done. Look at it as a postive and hay you even got urself a bag. Xx

  271. Rich 25th January 2014 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone, The blog is full of positivity today – it’s funny how we go up and down on the waves together sometimes – bobbing along!

    Today I had my wedding venue visit. I felt a little anxious last night, but slept well. Woke up very early and couldn’t get back to sleep. Being cold didn’t help – sometimes I think I’ve adrenalin and shakes when I’m simply cold! Anyway, felt anxious but got up and about and felt ok. I respect anxiety – it’s my body trying to help me, so I’m not angry with it or frustrated any more – I just let it be, but tell it who’s in charge here πŸ™‚

    When I left I actually felt hungry. Meeting went well, popped in to visit a friend on the way home and got lunch out – a million times better than the last time, and a success.

    Julie, I’ve seen that Mindfulness book on Amazon (in fact I was reading about it only yesterday hmming and ahhing about buying it myself!! – weird hey!). People say it’s worth it for the CDs themselves. I’d highly recommend the CD approach – bear in mind you won’t get the CD if you ‘download’ the book to your Kindle!! Buy the hard copy. Mindfulness takes a while to do, so don’t worry you’re ‘not doing it right’ – it comes with practice.

    Congratulations massively on your recent outings – to persevere even when anxious is vital to recondition your brain – anxiety only learns when it’s switched on. Its hard, but so rewarding ultimately.

    Lucy, I can’t believe how well I’m doing – I love advising others. Sometimes I feel a little hypocritical as I still am not fearless in my attitude, but it’s coming back – slowly. I may go out next week for a meal with work, and I’m out for a meal next Friday for a birthday. These are/were huge alarm bells for me and anxiety.

    I don’t want to get carried away with my progress – progress makes setbacks so horrible, but I have to push forwards and not look backwards. Hopefully my good news can inspire and motivate others.

  272. Charlotte 25th January 2014 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Hi Christine

    You sound like u r doing well to me ! I work for a multinational company and there is a lot of work, pressure and politics! I love my job but it is stressful and I am always debating if I am doing the right thing working and I have two young children.

    We having a quiet ish weekend at home, with swimming today and possibly a trip to ikea tomorrow if we are brave enough !

    How has your day been. ?

  273. Yolande 26th January 2014 at 2:57 am - Reply

    work up today feeling apprehensive – the fear was there. not sure if anyone has experienced this but claire weekes referred it to as ‘morning shocks’ – i will just have to roll with it. i breathe deeply and FLOAT as advsied.

    it does lessen the fear and apprehension somwhat. i always have to tell myself that IT’S NOT REAL FEAR, IT’S ALL CAUSED BY ANXIETY

  274. Julie 26th January 2014 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Hi,

    Oh no I downloaded the Kindle version thinking I would get the cd’s kind of built in. How rubbish is that? shouldn’t you get the audio too?

    I had a good day yesterday. I went shopping with my husband and children. I was able to park around the corner in a multi storey car park and walk into town, I usually have to park across the road. I went into Primark and to the top floor. I was really proud of myself. Ok it wasn’t on my own and I nkow I couldn’t have done it alone but I am pushing my boundaries every week now.

    Last night a new intrusive thought about my daughter tried to hit, I just let it be there, offered it head space and just carried on cleaning and cooking and the thought slowly faded out. I didn’t attach fear, guilt, anxiety or panic to it like i normally would which would cause it to stick and panic me for days on end. Maybe I am slowly getting the jist of this.

    I have even felt happiness and less dread, I am hoping this is going in the right direction.

    Hope you all have a happy Sunday. I am off to badminton this morning with my husband and children, then after lunch a trip to Asda and home to cook a big fat roast. Oh and bake some cupcakes with my daughter. I won’t ltet the fact it’s Monday tomorrow get me anxious and feel dread, I have to learn to love my weeks again and not wake up daily feeling that fear based around my intrusive thoughts. I am in control. A wanted thought can happen, an unwanted thought cannot. πŸ™‚

    Julie x

  275. Val 26th January 2014 at 9:52 am - Reply

    To Julie……GO GIRL………X. VAL

  276. Christine 26th January 2014 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Thanks Charlotte! I’ve got to be honest, although I feel terrible a lot and get upset and low quite often I know I’m coping a lot better in this setback than when this all started a couple of years ago! Probably because of all of the knowledge…I still get freaked sometimes though that I’ll always be like this but you just have to go with it and carry on!
    I must admit the adrenaline rush/body shocks of a morning when I wake up are unsettling and make me feel rubbish, but I presume that it’s just memory from last time and now a habit! Are you in a setback? Do you find that thoughts that you were frightened of originally which you got over and could take with a pinch of salt scare you again?
    It sounds like you have your hands full! πŸ™‚ You should be so proud of yourself, living with your anxiety alongside having children and a high powered job…I only have the job! Although I have a wonderful Hubby helping me through!
    Weather is horrendous here…how was swimming? xx

    Rachh – it is funny isn’t! πŸ™‚ My mind doesn’t stop either! xx

    Well done Nikki – you did exactly the right thing by riding it out…it does pass eventually! xx

    Rich- you are doing so well, your good news does inspire us! πŸ™‚ Keep us posted on your progress! How funny that you’ve looked at that book too! xx

    Yolande – that’s exactly what I experience – ‘morning shocks’. When I’m semi awake/asleep I get rushes of adrenaline through my body and my arms go tingly and then it makes me more anxious! Is that what you experience? Mornings are the worst for most of us! By the way where are you from? xx

    Julie – it’s fantastic the change in your posts in such a short time! You are doing brilliantly! Well done! Happy Sunday to you too! xx

    Hope everyone has a good Sunday! xx

  277. Val 26th January 2014 at 11:02 am - Reply

    My Sunday is finishing….just watching men’s tennis final. I organised 3 friends to go out for brekky today and then suggested a movie tomorrow ….feeling pretty pleased…also it,s Australia Day……bewdy mate,!! If you all were here we,d have a barbie and celebrate !! Good vibes to all….and to you Chris my lovely new FB friend.x

  278. Rich 26th January 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Hi Julie, Should you wish, you can contact Amazon customer support and get a refund on the Kindle book, and then buy the hard copy. I know someone who did this exact same thing last week. I’d recommend the CDs as it teaches you how to relax yourself – once you can ‘switch off’ and relax with the CDs and practice, you can then do this when you need to without them. To quieten down your mind and its unwanted thoughts really helps, but even if you have thoughts, your attitude towards them is enough – but they will subside in time.

    Great news on shopping – anyone going to Primark at the weekend is courageous! Your attitude to anxiety and the thoughts it brings is perfect – you’re on the right track.

    My GF wanted to visit her family today but fears driving, even more so in the rain. I noticed the ‘what ifs’, the negative thoughts and the anxiety bluffing her. I tell her all about how it works, even though I’m the one who suffers with it! Practicing this, writing about it all helps to reinforce the thought processes we need and the methods to adopt to beat this thing to ourselves.

    Julie, Beating this is a long, gradual journey. Remember to reward yourself and look back positively when you achieve something, and don’t try to force it or rush it – it will come to you in time. Smile, be proud!

  279. Yolande 26th January 2014 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Christine, thanks.
    yes i do get morning shocks exactly as you described. i dontget tingly arms tho mine is more a sense of foreboding kinda like a feeling of dread. i just woke up feeling apprehensive for some reason – yes it’s all adrenalin playing tricks on our bodies. probably cos my job is quite stressful and i cant cope πŸ™ thinking of getting a less stressful job. so what with the anxiety and the stressful job – it’s sometimes tough going but i fell myself to go easy.

    Take care

  280. Lui 26th January 2014 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Does anyone else feel really angry at times? Frustated and hating on everything? I’m even angry that I’m angry…

  281. platty 26th January 2014 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Hi all

    kept away for a little while to get on with things as normal as possible . Have to say i am doing so much better and feel that i am on the road to recovery. I am sleeping better and most of my intrusive thoughts are gone or the ones that remain are not as strong , the problem that remains the most is self checking then becoming overly concious of what im thinking , been doing everything i want or would normally do , Even taking my son to his first man city game yesterday was a little worried about it as he is only 4 , what a fantastic day we had , glad to see all the positive posts , good to see you doing well Rich, thanks for all your help . keep it up guys you are all amazing people and we will all one day be well again.

  282. Julie 26th January 2014 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks Val, Christine and Rich.

    I’ve felt the anxiety swoop over me a little this afternoon. I’ve done my best to avoid the self pity but ended up charting to hubby about the feeling I struggle to describe that worries me but I can’t put it into words. It’s like I feel anxiety and dread about life. Like I’ve no feeling for life at times, which as you can imagine sets me into a panic because of the intrusive thoughts I’d had but also because it’s quite worrying to feel like that for a reason I won’t mention. My hubby said surely anxiety can make you feel nothing for life but dread and fear, but I’m wondering could it be the Mirtazapine I’m on. Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree but hubby said maybe they’ve made me a bit numb. I’m emotional still, feel love for my children, can cry etc but I’m just fearful daily and feel no zest for life. That does worry me because I’ve never felt that about life through all my anxiety. I won’t say what it makes me worry about but it does concern me.

    Can anyone relate to this feeling at all? I’m hoping it’s not the meds as I’d hate to withdraw at the moment when I’m just getting my head around everything.

  283. Val 26th January 2014 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    7am…. Morning anxiety….so different to last night’s upbeat comments….. πŸ™

  284. Bryan 26th January 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Hey all, hope everyone has been well… and you are all managing the ups and downs towards recovery.

    Mark, how have you been? Still feeling better overall?

    Rich, it’s been good to read your posts. You’re showing a great understanding for being somewhat new to all of this and I expect you’ll be able to help people greatly once recovered. We need all of the advocates for natural healing out there we can get.

    I’ve finally fallen into a bit of setback after probably 2 of the most stable months I’ve had in 3 years. (It wasn’t without bumps but overall, much better.)

    I talk to a therapist once every couple of weeks and I break my days down into two categories.
    1. Symptom days
    2. Suffering days

    Symptom days are pretty much always. But, a symptom day is just that… it’s having symptoms but carrying on and it doesn’t turn to suffering.

    Suffering days are when the condition presents itself in such a way where it’s somewhat of a battle to keep my mind from going to the catastrophe ideas, worrying that “it” is back… dealing with heavy symptoms and mental suffering.

    So, I’ve finally gotten back to a few days of real suffering and realize how good I had it as of late! (Isn’t that always how it works?)

    I go through cycles… and my anxiety is totally random. It’s physical and mental, but it comes out of nowhere and rises to panic, brain fog and random symptoms. It’s almost never related to an event and not a phobic response to anything. I suppose at this point it’s a product of long-term overstimulation of the nervous system and this is part of the recalibration back to normal. All I can do is wait it out.

    This setback is heavy with brain fog. Thick, disorienting brain fog that almost reminds me of being extremely tired, if that makes sense. (Yet, my body is amped with nervous energy.) This seems to be a cycle or phase in my recovery that I go in and out of every few months. It almost feels like exhaustion at first… then ramps into this weird state. I wonder if anyone else goes through this kind of thing?
    Then again, I know it’s under the umbrella of anxiety so it really doesn’t matter.

    I have a feeling another even better spell will begin after this setback. But, following Candie’s advice… I’m trying not to look too hard for it. It’s time to get busy with normal life until this setback goes.

    Be well all!

    B

  285. Val 26th January 2014 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Same Bryan ….but must say my yuk times don’t last all day which is a bonus…usually early morning….have been going really well…as you say no apparent reason …just anxiety..LOL . All the best to everyone..val

  286. Bryan 26th January 2014 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Val, same here… even on my VERY worst days, I usually get a reprieve later in the day. (Thank goodness.) And on my average bad days, I can feel fairly decent by dinner-time.

    Still, I know how you feel. Mornings and the sleep/wake cycle thing have been my bugaboo. In fact, it’s that physical cycle that I think is my last frontier and I’ll be done with this thing.

    Hope your day gets better and congrats and having some good times as of late, despite it all.

  287. Val 26th January 2014 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you Bryan …. I will take the dog to the park before the heat…another week of high temps here in Melbourne ,Australia …..then to a movie . My grandson slept over sat night and when he is here I feel better as my mind is not on me. But….I have lived on my own for a long time and was fine ….my aim is to get back to that peaceful space..accept n float…LOL. X hugs to all

  288. Mark R 26th January 2014 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Hi Bryan,

    I’m on the up overall but had two toughish days. I like how you’ve broken it down into symptom days and suffering days. Symptom days for me are having the irritating symptoms and just carrying on and they don’t bother you too much, a bit like having cold. Those days are easy to cope with for me. Suffering days are when you are really tested and you can’t think of anything else but how crap you feel – these last two days have been a little like that, I’ve still done stuff but felt utterly miserable doing it.

    I am curious though what you call brain fog, if it is similar to what I suffer as DP. It’s kind of a spaced out detached feeling, like I’m not present. I described it to non sufferers as that feeling you get when you are really hungover.

    I also seem to get random days/weeks out of the blue where it just seems bad for no reason, these are always followed by good days. I’m trying not to monitor too much but had some pretty good days Wed to Fri so Sat morning I had plans, got out of bed a bit spiritedly, put my headphones on and then bam was presented with anxiety as soon as I walked out the door.

    Candie is right though, as I said to Ryan in a previous post that every time I have bad days its like I am pushed a little further forward. Try not to get too down, 2 months of your best time ever is really encouraging, and the ‘suffering days’ seem further apart.

    Platty, well done on the City game, I went to my first Everton game for a while on Monday. I was dreading it at first but when I was there my mind was on the match more than anything, I was super chilled on the way home too. It’s amazing that I can feel more relaxed in a stadium of 30,000 people than my living room!!

  289. Lulu 26th January 2014 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    I am currently so happy and feeling good, but mind just keeps reverting back to anxiety and checking in constantly, I finally have the motivation and zest for life but I get so frustrated with the constant checking in, I have the hardest time focusing, is this the last symptom to leave? I’m safe and I have learned so much and am so ready to move forward with the constant thoughts, I can’t even say they are bad, it’s more just checking in/being aware of myself. I am due in 8 weeks and hoping things will calm down before then..

  290. Charlotte 26th January 2014 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Christine

    Ah thanks for your kind words!

    I don’t feel like I manage everything at all well to be honest, I think it’s one of the reasons I get anxiety. I felt guilty a lot of the time, when I drop my kids at nursery I feel guilty for leaving them, when i get to work late I feel guilty, when I’m one of the first to leave I feel guilty, and then I’m often one of the last mums to pick up ! I take my laptop home every night and tell myself I will work from home but am so tired I don’t and then more guilt!

    Gosh by just writing this it’s made me realise it’s no wonder I feel anxious !

    I don’t know if I’m in a setback, I am ok a lot of the time but I am still scared of anxiety and it’s symptoms and I think until I overcome my fear I will still experience anxiety.

    Hope this helps ?

    X

  291. Rachh 26th January 2014 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Hi guys,
    Lots of posts to digest tonight! I have had a somewhat better weekend. Week days are hard right now as my new job is causing me stress as i am struggling with the social aspect of things.
    I suffered with night shocks when anxiety first started it felt like electroc shocks going through my body and waking up as though just out of a nightmare so i know what you’re going through. When i do have these (on very rare occasions) i am ashamed to say i use a benzo before i go to bed just to get me back to normal.
    Julie i know that whole scenario of having no zest for life very well! Infact it scared me because all those thoughts go through your mind (i know which ones you mean) about is this what it feels like to be…
    Fuzzy head and dp are new ones to me and they have accompanied social anxiety as i cant concentrate on what people are saying which makes me feel like i look odd and not with it.. And to be completely honest when i feel like that i dont feel like i am lol.

    I dont know whether anyones noticed (girls inparticular lol) have you noticed hair growth. I am very pleased with the rate of growth of my head hair since anxiety set in as ive been trying to grow my hair since year 7 (im 23 now lol) but not so pleased about the fine light hair on my chin!! Attractive i know sorry! Thank god for wax! Ive also developed wrinkles under my eyes and on my forehead which i didnt have before. I think im going to have to invest in some theatrical make up!
    Does anxiety speed up the ageing/hair growth process or something? Anyone in a similar position i would be glad to hear for you lol.
    Heres to a ‘letting go’ week for all!

  292. Rachh 27th January 2014 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Ps.. I like that saying.. Unwanted thoughts are something you dont act upon wanted thoughts are!!! Love it!

  293. Bryan 27th January 2014 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Good to hear, mostly Mark. Keep at it, man.

    Oh, and my brain fog is probably a bit less like DP than just a thick headed, slow brained feelings. My eyes even feel a little slow or puffy. This may sound strange but when it’s bad, I can actually see wrinkles between my eyebrows which I assume is muscle tension tensing my forehead. It almost feels like my head froze… and won’t unfreeze. I think more slowly, and it almost feels like I’ve been drugged.

    But, I don’t feel so much “outside myself” and the things you and others have described, thank god. Not that it doesn’t suck… but it does still feel like me, just a much slower, thicker-headed version. It can get pretty intense. But thankfully, it’s rare for me.

  294. Julie 27th January 2014 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Thanks Rachh

    It’s a very strange feeling but yes it worries me a lot as I worry it must mean I’m not bothered about life. I hope that is the anxiety causing it.

    It is a great saying πŸ™‚

    Hope you’re ok Val x

  295. Val 27th January 2014 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Hi Julie…thank you for thoughts……I am on the drug you mentioned…no side effects..enjoyed the movie.” Saving Mr Banks”….????smiles to you all.

  296. Val 27th January 2014 at 7:34 am - Reply

    ????? Meant to be πŸ™‚

  297. Rich 27th January 2014 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Morning everyone, I can totally relate to two of the symptoms described above:

    Val, Morning anxiety is what I used to struggle with. I would sleep well, but then wake up and not be able to get to sleep again, lying in bed thinking unhelpful stuff and ruminating. Once I got up and out of bed, brushed my teeth (I think the fresh mint helps!) and was up and about, I would feel better, but often I’d get up, ready for work, drive to work and sit at work before I would feel better.

    But, this does fade over time – I don’t feel like this any more in the mornings. I can lie in and be relaxed, then get up and think about other things than anxiety. I dismiss the anxious thoughts and then before I know it, I’m thinking about something else.

    Julie, I too had the feeling of numbness and of having no interest in life – work, socialising, my appearance, going anywhere or doing anything. This is all classic stuff. It’s your brain filtering out non-essential feelings and emotions so it doesn’t overload yourself – as you’re filling it up with anxious thoughts and fear. It cuts out all ‘nice things’ so it can focus on what you’re feeding it.

    There’s a section in ‘A Letter To Myself’ about this and Depersonalisation – something loads of people suffer with. It talks about baking and smelling a cake, but not smelling it, or tasting it. All classic Anxiety. There’s a reason behind this, and nothing to worry about. It fades over time and all of those lovely feelings come back. This has happened to me. Just ride it out.

  298. Val 27th January 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Thank you Rich…..as I am retired I do have a little routine…which I do every day no matter how I’m feeling…..I go to local cafe and have my one cappuccino for the day. while there I do the cryptic crossword and a few other brain teasers in the paper. Then I take Chloe to the off lead dog park. Walk for about 20 mins….Honestly by the time I get home I feel pretty good.structure seems to work…have read “A letter to myself” …….what a sense of humour!!!good vibes everyone……val

  299. emmae 27th January 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Kyara – I noticed that you offered for Julie to email you privately and was wondering if I could do the same? I always read your comments and can relate. I feel pretty stuck at the moment and don’t seem to be making any progress. I always feel that you put things across really well and would like a bit of advice from you, if that’s ok?
    Doreen – If Kyara agrees would it be possible for you to send me her email address please. Thank you very much. xx

  300. Julie 27th January 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Thanks Rich – So is it what they call depersonalisation?

    I know I am frightening myself when I feel it, linking it to the intrusive thoughts I had in Nov/Dec which I won’t mention but they were of a horrible nature so when I started feeling numb about life I thought my intrusive thoughts were maybe not intrusive if you get me.

    I shall re read A Letter to Myself now. Thank you πŸ™‚

  301. Julie 27th January 2014 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Doreen was my email address passed on to the ladies that wanted to keep intouch with me? I think it was Kyara, Charlotte, Michelle…… I can’t quite remember.

    Thank you.

  302. Chris 27th January 2014 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Hi there everyone, and big thanks to paul for the book and the continued work he does on his blog to help guide us through anxiety and onto recovery.

    I have just suffered my first bad setback, 3 months ago I woke to a panic attack on the way and since the old mental habits and sense of hopelessness have kicked in.

    I feel I am slowly getting to a point where I can accept I feel bad and get on with my day and not obsess as much. I do still struggle with the existential questioning as the feeling of detachment and the questioning habit that came from the now gone heavy DP seem to give proof to the “what of I am not real?”

    I am also struggling with a general sense of confusion, I will look at something and not understand what it is straight away, or be confused by an action that I know should not be confusing at all. Is this just a symptom of a tired mind? as this is not usually mentioned as a symptom of anxiety.

  303. Rich 27th January 2014 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie, Depersonalisation is a big topic, and one many people struggle with. I don’t really suffer with it as others describe it to be (looking at yourself from outside, not feeling ‘in the moment’ and distant, disconnected etc) but I have had feelings of numbness, lack of interest, energy, ‘get up and go’ etc.

    The other feeling I think that is linked to it is depression – but I think that depression caused by anxiety – the feelings of hopelessness, self-pity etc – is not the same as ‘standard’ depression – although the cure for both is essentially the same (exercise, activity and mindfulness).

    What is important to remember is that this is another symptom brought on by anxiety – just like all the others – a hot flush, shaky hands, feeling tired, depersonalisation or depression, having an obsessive fear of sponge cake or kittens – they’re all ‘just’ symptoms of anxiety, so are all cured in the same way. There is no need to look at them seperately and try to worry or cure each one in turn. Go for the cause of them all, and they will all disappear. Don’t get hung up on the syptoms you experience.

    PS Stop mentioning the thing you’re not going to mention – for your own benefit! πŸ™‚

    PPS If you’re unfamiliar with ‘depersonalisation’, don’t google it, don’t read up on it, don’t worry about it, don’t assign this new symptom to yourself – it’s completely unimportant. It’s just another symptom.

  304. Charlotte 27th January 2014 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Doreen

    Please could you pass my email to Julie !

    Thank you!

  305. Julie 27th January 2014 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich.

    Great info and it has really helped me, thank you.

    I do fear feeling depressed, because of the nature of my intrusive thoughts so I do spend alot of time fearing I might be.

    I am on anti depressants which I hate, I am not a lover of medication at all. I only went on it because I felt desperate to feel better. I’m not in the right place to withdraw yet as I can’t afford to rock the boat at the moment but I hope one day I can. I have been on Mirtazapine since May last year, but I was on a teeny dose of 7,5mg, I have been on 15mg since December.

    I won’t go googling πŸ˜‰ I also don’t feel like I am living outside of my body looking in, it is more that I feel numb and don’t feel anything for life. I feel as though life is just passing me by and I am not enjoying it, I am just going through the motions I guess. Feeling like that does scare me but only because of the nature of my intrusive thoughts. I think if i can tell myself it is just another anxiety symptom I will be able to stop fearing it.

    Thanks again.

    Julie

  306. Lulu 27th January 2014 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Any advice from my previous post?

  307. Rich 27th January 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie, I am anto-depressants and have been since 2010, lowering the dose with a view to coming off, then having a setback and upping it again. I don’t mind them (they do make me emotionally numb in regards to good and bad emotions, but I am willing to accept this). I wish I wasn’t on them though and doing this 100% naturally, but I don’t mind. I tried to come off over Xmas but was not ready and stuck on them. I don’t mind if I stay on them apart from the monthly cost.

    To feel depressed and down is horrible, and it is hard to ‘pick yourself up’, but this is the exact-correct way to beat it. Pull yourself up, drag yourself out and do what you don’t feel like doing (this makes no sense but it’s the only way!) Get out, get some fresh air, go for a walk, breathe in the fresh air, get your blood pumping and burning off all that negativity. If you don’t feel like going out, do housework.

    These feelings are just anxiety keeping your mind at a stable level – not over-whelming you with so many nice, happy feelings while you’re filling it up with bad ones. As the bad ones go, the happy ones will return. Just remind yourself that it’s all ‘not really you’ and reassure yourself that it is just a fog clouding over the ‘real you’.

    One other thing, what really helped me grasp what was anxiety and how it works was to tell other people. By telling my GF, Advising people on here, and telling my parents what I need to do to ‘recover’ helped keep this focused in my mind – something positive. A goal. Think positive, don’t think negative. Use what you’re read to tell your husband and yourself what you need to do. Be assertive, be determined. You are in control.

  308. Doreen 27th January 2014 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Back further up this page Paul said
    “Secondly on swapping emails, firstly please don’t post emails on here, you could not only be swamped with spam but also have anyone emailing you. I also don’t promote talking about your anxiety for more than you have to, I would rather see people take a break from the subject. If it’s for friendship then if both parties email me I will swap emails, I cannot do it with one as the other may not agree.”

    So could anyone who wants to swap email addresses do as he asks and let him know.

    But please take note of Paul’s suggestions about why folks might like to email each other and don’t make them into further anxiety focussed interactions.
    Thanks – Doreen

  309. Lui 27th January 2014 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Tried not being a people pleaser today and to share my opinion and to not care what other people think! I failed! It’s so hard! I really want people to like me and I’m good at it but I rather want to be a happy person that some people pleaser! So I’ll try again and again til I’ll have some kind of succes!

  310. Rich 27th January 2014 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Lui, Do you think that the people you talked to today are sat thinking about what you said and judging your worth based on the conversations you had? I doubt it. Even if they are (they’re not), you will never know – so who cares.

    You’re not the president giving a speech on tv, or in court being judged by a sceptical jury – you’re with people who choose to be with you and choose to listen to you. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    You need to adopt a ‘so what’ attitude and lose the ‘what if’. When you find yourself ruminating about a social event or a conversation that’s in the past, stop yourself, tell yourself off for even entertaining it, and move on. There’s only one person who is bothered about this – and luckily for you this person will always listen to what you CHOOSE to tell yourself πŸ™‚

    Confidence comes naturally in time. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

  311. Rachel 27th January 2014 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    If only I could convince myself that my symptoms are anxiety and stop thinking that 1% is it an illness that the doctors have missed I’m sure I would cope with it a lot better x

  312. Lui 27th January 2014 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich! You’re right! I’m worrying too much. I finally have to stop to hold it all together, to keep it under control! My anxiety is build on the thought that I’ll come across as not normal, weird and I’ll end up as a bullying victim. I never was a bullying victim beofre but I think that society is really judgemental and is excluding people that are different. So is my fear really that unfounded?
    That is what I was told from my parents at an early age, it’s a build in belief and I don’t know if it’s true or not…

  313. Lucy 27th January 2014 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Rachel I am exactly the same! But I think you have to go with your doctors advice and just trust in what you have been told.. If you have been checked out and they agree that it’s anxiety then that’s what you have to accept. The anxiety is more than likely increasing your symptoms even more, so we will never relax about it while we are in the cycle of it! It’s a tough one to break but needs to be treated just how we treat all other symptoms of anxiety. X

  314. Rachel 27th January 2014 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Cheers Lucy just sooooo hard to do trying not to think about it when you feel like your spinning and falling over xx

  315. Lui 27th January 2014 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Rachel I had the same problem few months ago! As soon as I started trusting the doctors my symptoms got a lot better because it was taking so much pressure and worry of me. Trust them! I know it’s hard but as soon as you do, you’ll feel a lot better!

  316. Lulu 27th January 2014 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    So with this “so what” attidue, do you guys talk back to the constant thinking of anxiety with positivity or at least I’m not where I was, etc. I have a very hard time not engaging with it, is it ok to engage with it positively or does that just continue the cycle. Again,my want and drive is there but the focus to so tasks like reading or watching tv is still such an issue.

  317. Lucy 27th January 2014 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    I feel like my chest is closing in and I can’t breathe.. That along with the racing heart, but I also remind myself the amount of times I’ve felt this way and nothing bad has ever come of it, which proves once again it’s a symptom of anxiety! The more we fear the symptom, the more important/intense it becomes to you. It varies in the way it presents itself to all of us but it’s essentially all the same. Keep going x

  318. Julie 27th January 2014 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Great thanks Rich.

    My gp doesn’t think I’m actually depressed but it’s mild depression caused by this anxiety, nothing like actual depression and I scored low on the depression test he did. So I guess this is anxiety causing the lack of emotion for life. I had my cbt session tonight and my therapist said it’s not just my intrusive thoughts that are the problem but my agoraphobia. She said it’s no wonder I’m struggling being happy when I’ve had the hurt by my family. The year of isolation with the agoraphobia. She said taking the children to school then just sitting at home, seeing no friends anymore and only going out for drives. I guess she’s right, after a year of battling to go out alone I’m bound to feel a little sad. I lost friends too so my days are long and lonely. She wants to help with that too which is good but I’m already doing much better at getting out. With my husband I can get out everywhere now, it’s just alone I struggle to go even into a small shop or see a friend but I’m determined to change that.

    Thanks Doreen. I’m happy for Charlotte and Kyara too have my email address if they would like to chat; and not seeking reassurance πŸ˜‰

  319. Nikki 27th January 2014 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie you are not alone. I too have a fear of going out places on my own. I have managed to cope with my symptoms when I am with family and friends but feel a bit overwhelmed a the thought of trying to ride out the waves of panic on my own. I too have a lot of long lonely days with no structure. This year I really hope to change that. I too get a bit flat at times but I think it is exhaustion from coping with the anxiety. We will get there – and maybe we can do it together! Xx

  320. Julie 27th January 2014 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Nikki I’m sorry you struggle with going out. As if anxiety isn’t bad enough, having agoraphobia issues just makes changing our lives harder.

    It would be great to keep intouch with you. X

  321. Kyara 27th January 2014 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Please give Julie my email so that I may offer support!

  322. Julie 28th January 2014 at 7:07 am - Reply

    Thanks Kyara πŸ™‚

  323. emmae 28th January 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Hi Josie, I just read your blog entry … I am so pleased for you. I bet you are so proud of yourself. Welldone you. We exchanged quite a few comments a good while ago and encouraged each other to move on. Unfortunately I am still really struggling and was wondering if you are still checking the site so that I could ask you a few questions? xx

  324. Rich 28th January 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Julie, Agorophobia is a secondary condition caused by Anxiety – don’t see it as an additional condition you ‘also’ have – as it’s all the same stuff underneath the label.

    I have suffered with anxiety for years, and it does wear you down over time, but recovery is not relative – if you’ve suffered for a year, it will not take a year to undo all of this – your body is great at healing itself and wants to heal – It’s just over-protective of you because you fuel the fire to keep it so.

    If you’re doing DBT they will cover the behavioural aspect of graded exposure, to get you back out there and address your fear – all I would recommend is that you wholeheartedly embrace the process to get the most from it. You have to ‘let go’ and trust the process for it to work. The books we recommend and the material you’re reading will help with the ‘Cognitive’ thought processes and positive thinking, and relaxation CDs and meditation will help with the Theraputic aspects of lessening the thoughts and letting your mind heal – the C B T of CBT. You have to do all three aspects for it to work effectively. One without the other won’t provide long-term results in my opinion πŸ™‚

    Lui, Yes you’re over thinking all of this. Being ‘normal’ or ‘weird’ is all relative. If you come across as weird to your friends, you need new friends unless they accept you for who you are. Society is judgemental and it is sometimes a cruel world (I’m not going to lie) but the key to happiness is to only care about the opinions of those who matter to you. I’d sooner have 1 great friend than 1000 rubbish ones. If I needed them, I know who would be there for me. You can’t please all the people all the time – so don’t bother trying. Try looking at yourself in the mirror each morning and telling yourself some positive truths. The first person you need to like you is yourself by the sounds of it. Love yourself.

  325. Kyara 28th January 2014 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Julie,
    I had a rough time with feeling depressed. Worrying about it kept me in the loop. You don’t need to worry about how you feel. The sooner you show your mind nothing is wrong the sooner the feeling lifts and the thoughts go with it. I probably kept myself feeling so rubbish for about 3 weeks because I worried so much about it. We cannot control what feelings the limbic system gives us but we can help them pass a little faster.

  326. Kyara 28th January 2014 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Can you please pass my email to Emmae as well? Sorry haven’t been on the blog lately.

  327. Christine 28th January 2014 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Kyara – I’ve read quite a lot of your posts and you seem to be doing really well and give great advice! Would you consider yourself more or less recovered now? I’m going through a setback at the moment and although I’m having days where I think ‘so what I can do this’ I then seem to fall in to horrible days again (like today) where I’m afraid of losing it/depression/feeling low. I know I’ve been through this all before but some days just seem so much harder than others! Did you find that? xx

    Rich – great advice again – you’re doing so well! xx

  328. emmae 28th January 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Thanks Kyara, I look forward to talking to you more over email. You seem to be doing well. x

  329. Nikki 28th January 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Today I woke with a banging headache. I have been allocated support workers to help me get out on my own. Today is their day for coming. I wanted to cancel but didn’t. We are tackling getting me out in the car. So today we drove through the town with them following me. I then branched off twice and did a loop in the car on my own. That was the scary bit. I allowed myself to feel the surge and didn’t add second fear to it. Even got stuck behind a bucket lorry that was crawling along. Home now and feeling very proud of myself. Feels I am making it start. Weirdly my anxiety is only bad in relation to going out
    At other times of the day i dont have obtrusive thoughts, DP or any kind of ocd. Which in some ways kind of makes my anxiety more frustrating.

    Hang in there christine these low days do pass. Try not to add second fear to how you are feeling. Xx

  330. D-Ren 28th January 2014 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Going to try a diet next week. I am exercising alot nowadays, and feel like my body needs more fuel. Maybe it would improve my moods abit πŸ™‚ gonna add some vitamin supplement aswell.

    Is anyone else here a friend of hard exercising? πŸ˜‰

  331. Rich 28th January 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Christine, I’m still doing well, but I am not putting myself into anxiety situations as much as I’d like (is ‘like the right word?!). I am going for a drink after work with colleagues tomorrow, then am out for a meal on Friday night. I don’t worry about talking to people, or driving, but ask me to go out for a meal and I get really wound up about potential anxiety attacks. Ironic really because on Saturday I had McDonalds in my car and eat at my parents now and again too. It’s all in my mind I know. Weird how it works. I’m not anxious about it (yet) and sometimes I catch myself actually looking forward to it (which is weird). Other big milestones will be eating our with friends, colleagues and going on holiday (where I have to eat out all the time). My major anxiety fall last year was leading up to going on holiday).

    So I’m doing well, but not yet recovered, but I feel the change in my attitude is positive in itself – just the full on ‘so what’ approach to conquer for me I think.

  332. Rich 28th January 2014 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    D-Ren, I know a healthy diet and exercise really helps, but I do little exercise and have a pretty bad diet, so I’ll leave that for you to enjoy. I think it can only be a positive thing to do. πŸ™‚

  333. Kyara 28th January 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Christine,

    I know how you’re feeling. That’s one reason I never predicted my recovery and never got my hopes up about recovery because I was disappointed so many times. Remember that being afraid is what fuels your anxiety. Accept your in a setback and that your emotions are balancing out. Let the feelings pass because that’s all it is is passing feelings that want to be left alone. I know it’s hard because we’re giving up the control (the worry) but it’s the key to recovery. It won’t feel like recovery while you’re going through it so accept that. Am I recovered? I don’t know. Do I feel better? Absolutely. II know I will never suffer the way I did and I know if I fall into a setback the way out is to keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing. I still get moments where it seems like my brain is lagging and needs to catch up but I let it be. I’m much calmer and relaxed. I sometimes get anxious but it passes and I feel great after. I don’t worry about the cycle or being caught in it. It’s absolutely all about your attitude and patience.

  334. Francine 28th January 2014 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    This is the first time I am writing on any blog about my anxiety. I have read Paul’s book as well as the works of Dr. Claire Weekes. I am really struggling . I retired May of 2011 and woke up July 6 nervous. Came and went for a while. Then stayed. To make a long story short. The doctor put me on antidepressant s and anti- anxiety medicine which I am in the process of weaning off . I am wondering if the meds, the weaning and the withdrawal can be holding me back. Has anyone had experience with this. Let me mention that I am 66 years old and have never had anything like this. All of a sudden I became very fearful that I was going to die. I practice what Paul recommends. I never let my anxiety keep me from doing anything anymore. I have a part time job and help my young neighbor with her infant twins. But yet I can’t shake this horrible anxiety. Maybe I only think I have accepted it and really haven’t. Any suggestion would be deeply appreciated. Thanks

  335. Christine 28th January 2014 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Thanks Nikki – well done, you should be so proud of yourself! πŸ™‚ That is a massive achievement and will give you so much confidence I’m sure! xx

    Thanks Kyara – I really appreciate your response. It’s so strange isn’t it?! I’m sat her now in work and feel ok and calm but all of a sudden sometimes I’ll have the ‘doom’ feeling and peaks of fear/mini panic! I can recognise it for what it is now but some of the thoughts still manage to freak me out although they’re nothing that I haven’t had before when I first went through this and was no longer afraid of! I think patience is my problem…xx

    D-Ren – I need to get back into exercising – starting boxercise on Friday and Yoga next week. A lot of people on here say that exercise helps a lot – if it helps you then carry on! I’m also taking HTP 5 supplements at the moment and I’ve heard of one called Holy Basil which I’m thinking of getting! Have you heard of it? xx

  336. Doreen 28th January 2014 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Please don’t keep asking on this blog to be put in touch with other blog users. If you are wanting your email addresses to be exchanged you need to go onto the home page, click on ‘contact’ and then put the request to Paul via the contact form you will find there. As he said, both parties need to make the request.

  337. emmae 28th January 2014 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Ok Doreen. I will do that.
    Kyara – will you do the same so that Paul is aware you have consented to this. Thank you. x

  338. Kyara 28th January 2014 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Absolutely Emmae I asked him to let you, Julie and Christine have it.

  339. Dominick 28th January 2014 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Could someone help me out a bit?

    I’m trying to “go toward the fear” but it only seems to generate more and more fear, confusion, and doubt for me.

    For example: I have sleep anxiety.
    I’ll get these waves of fear when the thought “how will I fall to sleep tonight” surfaces.
    I try to face that fear but it starts to shake me to my core.

    I’d think just ignoring it would be the best advice because there’s no answer to that question since you don’t actively make yourself fall to sleep.

    But when the thought surfaces I’ll get a very strong wave of fear and doubt that sweeps over me. Then I try to face it and I’ll get the thought that I’m just going to make it all worse now because I’m giving this fear too much respect.

    Thanks for any help.

  340. Lulu 28th January 2014 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I’m still waiting for some advice!

  341. Julie 29th January 2014 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Thank you Rich.

    I will totally give the cbt my all and I’m really working hard reading my books and doing my best to learn to accept and float, I admit I still find it hard not to panic at my lack of feel for life, the dread I feel each morning, plus the fear to be alone or alone with my children because of my intrusive thoughts. I feel anxious and scared most of the day so I am struggling to not fear the thoights, I know it’s the intrusive thoughts that are still causing me great anxiety. If they lessened and I had confidence they’d never happen I know I’d feel much better.

    Kyara, I will message Paul and ask for our emails to be passed on. As well as anyone else who wanted to keep intouch with me?

    Can I ask, I’ve been told I’ve got GAD and OCD (intrusive thoughts) is GAD a more difficult type of anxiety to overcome? I was told it’s a more severe form. I’m feeling constant anxiety compared to the anxiety I used to have it is moe difficult to live with but I still go out and do things now which is a huge change for me. I do think I’m putting a lot of what I’m learning into practice I’m just struggling to not panic and worry about the thoughts and how they make me feel.

  342. Rachh 29th January 2014 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Julie type in google nothingworks weebly and all your questions will be explained. GAD OCD panic disorder is all ‘anxiety’ and it feels as severe to you as it does for everyone. Try not to worry yourself with labels. You are doing really well and i see a lot of how i used to be in your posts questionning what could have caused it what kind of anxiety i have etc. have the faith you can come through this. Let the thoughts go . Xx

  343. Doreen 29th January 2014 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Just to clarify the email confusion
    It is ok for someone to ask someone else if they would be interested in exchanging email addresses but they then both need to pass that expression of dual interest onto Paul in order for the email addresses to then be exchanged.
    He doesn’t check the blog often enough to pick up these requests and act on them, hence you needing to make them directly to him by using the contact form on the home page.
    I am not willing to help this happen as I used to, as I would be using my personal email address to communicate with both parties but through bitter experience am now no longer willing to do that.
    I did used to tell people why their posts had been deleted (which in fact is fairly rare once their original post has been approved) but was then on the receiving end of some very nasty abuse so no longer do so.The majority of inappropriate posts never reach the blog as they are screened out before hand. Sometimes posts are amended but the most of their content remains on the blog. In so doing I am following the guidelines that Paul would wish me to follow.
    Paul is concerned about people putting their email addresses directly onto the blog for the reasons he states some posts above. As I have just stated, I have been the recipient of some abusive stuff and that could happen to anyone who goes public with their email address.
    I also reiterate that advice and support shared privately may help far more people if shared publicly and that was the intention of setting up the blog in the first place.
    I am now going to delete the recent posts on the topic of emails, mine and other peoples as they could be off putting for new people who are posting.

  344. Doreen 29th January 2014 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Julie – as GAD is not really an illness as such it doesn’t fall into being able to be categorised as more (or less) serious than other experiences of anxiety. Not like pneumonia would be more serious than a cold and need different treatment. However you are experiencing it and of course some people are more distressed in their daily lives than others might be, it is the core anxiety that is needs addressing in the ways that have been advised to you.

  345. Rich 29th January 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Hi Everyone, I completely agree with Doreen about this post being a community to help and support each other – and long may it continue to do so. I agree that posts have to be moderated so that they remain focused and everyone has the same chance to post and get that much needed support we can all offer.

    Doreen, I would like to volunteer to help moderate the blog if you needed someone else to assist – even to edit spelling and grammar only. Please let me know if this would be helpful to you and Paul in the day-to-day admin of the blog.

    Julie, I have been diagnosed with GAD – this is done when you have continuous anxiety for over 6 weeks I believe. As Doreen mentions, and I have mentioned before, this is just another label and is just another type of ‘anxiety’, therefore the ‘cure’ is the same for this as all the other types. Don’t get hung up on labels!

    GAD is slightly different to anxiety because it doesn’t necesessarily just bring on panic attacks in a given situation. GAD means we worry about anything and everything in advance – we fear the worst, ‘what if’, catastrophise, make mountains out of molehills, and think the worst. Why this is an Anxiety Disorder is because the fear is always irrational and misplaced – we worry about things that don’t need to be worried about, are not dangerous and are not important. We habitualise our minds to worry, to always fear the ‘worst case scenario’, to filter out the good and concentrate on the bad.

    Guess what the cure is to this: it’s the same as any other type of anxiety. Relax and calm your anxious mind, think positively, rationalise your thoughts and re-train your brain to be positive and dismiss the negative for the bluff it is. It takes time (we we’re so used to doing this!) but it is possible – it’s all about re-training your brain.

    Please don’t worry about the labels you’ve been given. Cure the fear of anxiety and you cure everything. You’re on the right path – just keep on going and have faith in your own ability to heal. You are no worse than anyone else – even ‘normal people’. You are as strong as they are, and are more than capable of recovery. It is in all of us.

  346. Paul David (Admin) 29th January 2014 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Emails have been passed on now, I asked if both parties would email me personally as I can’t do it if one person asks as the other may not want to.

    Regarding posts been deleted, there has been a lot of cleaning up being done and some posts may have been deleted that may not have been intended to. A lot of Julies posts were deleted as the things she said can scare others, there was way too much detail in the thoughts she was having. I know this personally as people emailed me about it saying it was a bit too much for them. So any posts after that communicating with Julie made no sense as her posts had gone and these were deleted also. Julie was not attacked in anyway and was told politely that she was fine to post but not go into so much detail. Another reason for posts disappearing can be someone putting a link or email into their post, these go automatically into spam.

    People have to remember that this is a blog and not a forum. I really don’t like forums, as don’t many others I know. They just seem to be dark places where people never really help, rather just tell each other how they are feeling day in day out. That is not the place I wanted to create. On here and on my Facebook and twitter page all my posts are positive, I try and create a positive, helpful environment, some place where people feel better for reading the info I supply. The Facebook and blog have been a huge success and many people comment it’s not like other places and they enjoy visiting and feel better for it. This is what I always wanted and try to protect. People may not always agree, in fact that is impossible, but it’s proved to be the right way long term.

    No posts will be deleted for no reason and very few are at all, there has just been a big clean up recently. Here are a brief guideline and if you don’t break these then you will be fine.

    No personally attacking other members. Having a difference of opinion is fine as long as it does not get personal.

    No talk of suicide (This can scare others)

    No going into detail that may scare others. This could be detailed talk of going crazy, developing Schizophrenia, thoughts of self harming, thoughts of harming others etc.

    No multiple posting, this can be someone posting multiple times a day which gives no chance for anyone else to get advice. This has to be quite severe and I have only ever banned one user for it, she had 2 accounts and was posting 20 times a day from both.

    No links or email address, all links go into moderation and some will be let through if it does not break any guidelines.

    Spelling and grammar is not really an issue, no one including me is perfect, but Doreen may amend if it is unreadable, the only post that will get deleted is if it is full of text talk.

    That is pretty much it, no other posts will be deleted or amended, this is for the good of those reading and posting here. Otherwise you would have a blog full of ads, spam, abuse, unreadable posts, posts that people find uncomfortable to read etc.

    Hope that clears things up

    Paul

  347. Lucy 29th January 2014 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Julie I agree, if I labelled myself it would be GAD and panic but there’s not really any need for them. I think doctors like to have a name so they can put you in some sort of category but really it’s all the same. The subject of your anxiety doesn’t change the fact it’s still just anxiety… And however it presents itself to us it all needs to be treated and overcome in the same way. The piece that others have recommended (a letter to myself, nothing works) addresses this too πŸ™‚

  348. Julie 29th January 2014 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Great. Thank you for replying πŸ™‚ I was just feeling a tad overwhelmed earlier wondering whether GAD was a trickier anxiety to overcome. I feel a bit better about that now.

    Paul, and to those I upset with my posts in here a couple of weeks ago. I’d just found the blog, was in a very frightening place. I had no idea what all my thoughts and feelings were about. I’m sorry my posts were graphic. I really didn’t mean to upset anyone. I was just explaining how my intrusive thoughts had affected me and was desperate for some support. I do apologise though that the content upset members of the community here. I hope it’s ok that I still post and people aren’t afraid of me or my posts. I’m really a nice person, promise ????

    No problem that my posts were deleted. Thank you for email addresses being forwarded to those who asked.

  349. Christine 29th January 2014 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Thanks so much Kyara for asking Paul to let me have your email too…I really appreciate it! I’ve just sent him a request too! xx

    I’m not doing too good today, in fact I’m struggling! Had a couple of drinks last night which probably hasn’t helped and woke up this morning with a racing heart (which I haven’t had before) and now I’m highly anxious! Keep having mini panics and feel like I’m on the verge of having a full blown panic! Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated! πŸ™‚

    It upsets me so much because I feel reasonably ok for a couple of days (not brilliant but ok enough to know that I’ll get through this setback) and then bang I feel worse than ever and get myself stuck in the anxiety loop again!

    Julie – I agree with Rich, Lucy & Doreen – no matter what it’s labelled as, it’s all anxiety! xx

    Hope everyone else is having a better day than me! πŸ™‚

  350. Charlotte 29th January 2014 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Julie and Christine I will ask Paul to give my email address to you both

  351. Rachh 29th January 2014 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Julie you havent upset anyone. I know what you are going through completely because i go through it myself. Another thing which helped me was reading through some of the past blogs as you can read some posts by other people who have been having the same thoughts.

    Im having a bad day again today because i keep questioning if im doing the right thing to recover. I wish i could say im not scared of anxiety because i am and every time i feel that slight bit better reminders of my past suffering start me in the loop again. Wish i could switch my mind off and get on with life again sometimes.

  352. Christine 29th January 2014 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Thanks Charlotte – I will ask him too! πŸ™‚ xx

  353. Paul David (Admin) 29th January 2014 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Julie it is not a problem, we have all been there, don’t be afraid to say how you feel in the future, it’s just the detail was a bit too much and it was a bit uncomfortable to read at times for some.

    That’s a great post Rich, you really have got the message and talk a lot of sense. If you want to help moderate then email me, it takes the pressure of Doreen a little and helps me as I don’t get much time to be on here.

    Paul

  354. Rich 29th January 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Hi Paul, Thanks for the message. Helping others helps me reinforce the message to myself, so it is a pleasure to help other people out. I’ll message you through the website with my details.

    All, After being on the blog for a few months now it becomes apparent that although people come and go, the symptoms, thoughts and feelings are the same for us all (although we each suffer differently, the underlying theme is the same). When I fist found the blog I did the following, in this order:

    1) I read this AnxietyNoMore Website – every page.

    2) Bought and read Pauls’s book on Kindle and read it at home and also at work in my lunch breaks. I read it 3 times in all. I found it to be a comfort through the hardest times.

    3) Started reading the blog, and read old posts and comments all the way back to 2007. You can quickly skim through the comments and pick up on the helpful ones. I would seek out the positive comments from those who have recovered for hope and inspiration.

    Claire Weekes wrote about anxiety disorders in the 1960’s. The disorder remains the same today, but perhaps worse due to the modern era we live in. However, great knowledge can be learned from the old posts and comments on this blog.

  355. Rich 29th January 2014 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    As a continuation to my post above:

    Most fears and concerns on this blog have been mentioned and responded to in the past by other people. Sometimes they are mentioned over and over by those suffering – to want to reach out for support is only natural – however, the answer to your questions and advice that you should take is the same today as it was in 2007 and the same as it was 1960s (apart from the shock-therapy!).

    Knowledge is empowering and confidence boosting. It has given me the foundation I needed to stand up to anxiety and look it in the eye.

    All the knowledge you need is in the resources mentioned on this blog.

    Read, Absorb, Learn, Apply.

    Face, Accept, Float, Let Time Pass.

  356. Julie 29th January 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you Paul. I am sorry it was uncomfortable reading. It took alot for me to type out how I felt, I really didn’t meant upset readers so again I do apologise.

    Christine, alcohol always used to make me feel terrible the following day, even if I had just 1 glass of wine. I used to have a couple of glasses on a friday and saturday night. I stopped doing that a year ago and I am so glad I did, alcohol really isn’t good if you suffer anxiety. Just treat today as a blip because of the alcohol, and I’m sure tomorrow will be a better day.

    Charlotte, that’s great. Thank you.

    Rachh, it is so difficult at times isn’t it. I suffer with intrusive thoughts daily and they are the cause of this high anxiety. I am hoping in time they get easier and my anxiety will lessen but I am having trouble applying the advice in the book to my intrusive thoughts. If you would like to keep intouch off the blog feel free to ask Paul to pass your email onto me. I hope you are ok x

    Can anyone help with regards to applying the advice in the book to my thoughts. I suffer from intrusive thoughts which are frightening. I am trying to apply what I have read in the book, and I am behaving as normal yet the anxiety about the thoughts doesn’t lessen. I always feel so uncomfortable still when in the situations I fear. I am trying to not say what my thoughts are here but I am struggling to be around my children and being alone. Any advice about this would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.

  357. Charlotte 29th January 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Julie

    I know what your thoughts are because I have had them. My psychiatrist has had them ! You are only scared by them because you are currently in an anxious state, your body is flooded with adrenalin and so is on the look out for danger. Your body and mind view your intrusive thoughts as danger due to this.

    There are many techniques for managing intrusive thoughts but the overall message is not to pay them attention , however horrible they are.

    One technique given to me was is to write them down and then rate your belief in how true it is. I found that when I did this I was rating the thoughts about my children as 0percent belief as I knew they were not true.

    You can give intrusive thoughts funny names, as this can also disarm the fear of them.

    There is a lot of literature on thoughts and I am sure your therapist will have his own method, the above are some ways I managed to deal with them – and still do as I can still get them.

  358. Julie 29th January 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you Charlotte, they really are horrible aren’t they. I am learning to not attach emotion to them and when I have my ‘spikes’ as my psychologist refers to them as, I have found many of them have lessened in severity. There is just one that still really causes me distress and no matter how much exposure I give it I still feel just as anxious in the situation.

    Good to hear you are doing so well πŸ™‚

  359. Charlotte 29th January 2014 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Julie

    I still get 2 particular thoughts that scare me!

  360. Julie 29th January 2014 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Hopefully Paul will pass on our emails and we can offer eachother support x

  361. emmae 29th January 2014 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Kyara, I have read that Paul has now passed on email addresses. I haven’t received yours as yet…have you been sent mine? xx

  362. Lui 29th January 2014 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Ok, had a moment of clarity this day! So I was sitting there during band practice and everybody around me was chatting happily. Just I was sitting in my corner, tense and full of adrenaline and couldn’t say anything. I had that much fear of being judged. So I started thinking and I realized that I was really doing that to myself! That’s it’s not worth my young life to be quiet to please some people around me. Then I was thinking about all my symptoms and how unhappy I am and I realized it’s not worth my youth to be careful around people. I only live once and when I have to say something I should really say it. I think this was an important step towards accepting. I hope this clarity moment thingy won’t dissappear by tomorrow. It probably will but I’m gonna force myself to speak that. I am fed up with feeling horrioble every day? How can it possibly get worse when I start accepting. I dont even care, if I lose all my friends. As long as I’m confindent in myselfm nothing can harm me.

  363. Rachel 29th January 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Rich please if you can explain this to me people say get rid of your anxeity and your symptoms will fade but what happens if it’s your symptoms that is keeping your anxeity going xx

  364. Bryan 29th January 2014 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Paul,

    Just wanted to say thanks to you for keeping the spirit of this blog in tact. There is nothing like it online for just the reasons you spoke of.

    We all appreciate this atmosphere you’ve created!

  365. Rich 29th January 2014 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Julie, You mentioned above “I suffer with intrusive thoughts daily and they are the cause of this high anxiety”. I would say the opposite – that it is your high anxiety which are causing your thoughts. Always question your thoughts and beliefs – as many of them are an anxiety trick you have got used to over repetition. Turn them on their head. Question why you think this, what would happen if you thought differently? Is there another way of thinking about this? You can apply this technique to many things. It’s a CBT approach – to challenge your thoughts. The idea being to change them permanently overtime so you don’t have to manually do it.

    Lui, Sounds like you’ve had a lightbulb moment, and I think you’re absolutely right in your eureka moment. By the way, the friend I have now – my long-term friends are not the same friends I had at college – friends come and go. The good ones tend to stick and the lesser ones fade away. That’s just life.

    Rachel, I can’t recall exactly which of my posts you quote from, but I need to re-phrase it whichever it was to “get rid of your FEAR and your symptoms will fade”. What you mention is the infamous anxiety-fear-anxiety loop which you are so many other people are stuck in.

    You have to break this loop. You can’t remove the anxiety from the loop, as this is your subconscious controlling it (you can’t control this), but you can remove the fear. Fear will always be scary (it’s supposed to make you run, scream, hide etc), but you can change your reaction to it. It is this which is the key to breaking the loop.

    When you remove your fear of anxiety, your anxiety backs off and fades away. You tell your mind there is no danger, you’re not scared, that everything is ok and normal. You do this by behaviour, and your mind listens to your behaviour and re-learns what is real danger and what isnt, thus removing the anxiety disorder.

    How can you remove the fear when the fear is so overwhelming? You either reach a time when you literally give up and let go – resign yourself to it and adopt an ‘i don’t care’ attitude and let it sweep over you, or you fake it. Often people have to reach rock bottom to fully give in to anxiety – it’s often at this moment the eureka moment strikes and you know that to win the fight, you have to stop fighting. Let go. Don’t fight. Don’t react to anxiety’s provokations and taunts. Easier said than done.

  366. Dominick 29th January 2014 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    I sincerely don’t mean to sound cross…. when I’m able to help someone on this board I do truly try to offer some advice.
    But I’ve been asking questions for awhile and no one is responding.

    I feel so selfish say that…. I don’t want to sound like a child not getting his way. It’s just that, I’m in a bad way.

    I have sleep anxiety. I had a few moments where I would say I almost felt complete liberation…. but now I’m down in a deep hole of fear, doubt, and other unmentionable things.

    Paul says,
    “Let these thoughts go. Don’t react to them and see them for what they are – thoughts that carry no weight whatsoever, no matter how loud they shout.”

    That’s great advice. But my thoughts are along the lines of “you won’t be able to fall back to sleep”, “your mind will never be peaceful again to allow you to not sweat with panic at the thought of not being able to sleep”… sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep.

    These thoughts, for me, do carry weight. The make it very hard to fall asleep or to fall back to sleep.

    What is frustrating though is that I’ve been sleeping every night for months now. I have not had one night of no sleep since probably June. My worst nights now are maybe 4 hours.

    But I have those ‘worst nights’ because of those thoughts.

    So I’m confused as what to do. I truly want to follow Paul’s advice but I’m so scared.
    I’m sitting here at my desk at work with my eyes slowly filling with tears hoping someone doesn’t walk past it and notice my state.

    Thanks for your patience with me.

  367. Christine 29th January 2014 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Hi All,

    having a really rubbish day today, lots of high anxiety and panic thoughts!

    I think I’ve mentioned this before but I was wondering if anyone has every tried the supplement holy basil? I’ve read a couple of things recently recommending it for stress and anxiety.

    Emma – how are you feeling? I haven’t received Kyara’s or Charlotte’s emails as yet either…Paul probably hasn’t had a chance to look at our requests yet. xx

    Love your posts Rich! Just wish I felt more confident to apply them at the moment! πŸ™‚ xx

  368. Christine 29th January 2014 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Dominick…don’t despair! So sorry to have missed your posts, I’m not really doing great myself at the moment to be honest! But I think the trick is just to let the thoughts be there and not fear them! If you sleep then you sleep, if you don’t then you don’t. For me I drink camomile tea before bed, I also sometimes take Nytol, which are a herbal sleep aid! Have you tried these? Also I don’t force myself to sleep, I tend to keep the tv on until I feel sleepy or even fall asleep with it on! If you’re partner is next to you then maybe you could use headphones! xx

  369. Dominick 29th January 2014 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, Christine!

    For what it’s worth and maybe it will give you some hope too:
    I have had glimpses of 100% freedom from all of this. They were fleeting, but they were there. It’s just that when the setback comes it feels so powerful.

    I’ll be praying that you come out of your rough moment.

  370. Bryan 29th January 2014 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Dominick,

    You want to sleep too badly. And we all can relate to this, he of all been through something similar. But, the problem is in your intentions and you can see it in the way your frustration comes out in your writing. You fear the notion of not sleeping, so you have set what now becomes an unreasonable goal of sleeping “or else.”

    I know this sounds like it will be impossible to do, but what you need to do is to work tirelessly, no pun intended, on convincing yourself that you just need to lay down and rest. Forget this notion that you have to sleep or something bad will happen. The only bad thing that will happen is that we will be tired and have some symptoms.

    Resting is the key, we can all rest and if you convince yourself that the only thing you need to do is lay down at night enclosure ice and rest you will do it. You can use different things like guided meditations and things of that nature to help you get into a rest state, but you have to try to avoid the desire to sleep or the pressure being put on yourself to go into a sleep state. Sleeping absolutely cannot be forced and in fact it is when you completely let go of the notion that you need to do so that you usually will.

    So when you lay down tonight, look forward to your opportunity to rest, don’t tread your battle to try to get to sleep. Lose the battle and convince yourself it’s okay if you stay up all night, so I miss you are resting. As long as you’re committing yourself to putting your mind and a resting state of being.
    What I’m talking about sounds subtle but there is a massive distinction between laying down and trying to go to sleep, and simply laying down and allowing yourself to rest. You absolutely have to forget the notion that you “need “to sleep tonight.

    Also, with regards to people answering questions on this blog. I suggest you go back through the old blogs and look for ones that have a lot of comments. Then, use your browsers search function and search within that page using keywords. You could use the keyword sleep, insomnia, etc. You will find hundreds of post involving sleep and sleep issues, so it doesn’t matter when they were posted because the information is going to be the same as if someone answered you right now.

    I completely relate to your frustration, but this is one of the very few areas I’ve made almost total recovery and that was my battle with sleep. I finally just said enough is enough, if I don’t sleep I don’t sleep. And naturally, I sleep every night now.

  371. Bryan 29th January 2014 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    And forgive my couple of typos. I use dictation on my phone at times.

  372. Lui 29th January 2014 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Well, Rich you have been an awesome help! I am now ready to let myself heal. I think I am on the right path to end this senseless suffering! Thank you so much!

  373. Dominick 29th January 2014 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Bryan thank you so much.

    Taking the time to write up that reply means so much to me.
    I’m really going to follow the advice.

    I do have a sense of calm over me now. But now I need to put this into practice and just be fine with whatever happens.

    Sometimes it’s just scary when I wake up early and I can feel my mind or brain already starting to churn.
    But oh well…. churn away.

    God bless

  374. Val 29th January 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Dominick ….a few suggestions…..lavender spray around room and on pillow,meditation apps that you can download,also relaxation techniques are also on apps……..I take medication at present but I still do these things. Good luck

  375. Julie 29th January 2014 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Rich, thanks for your advice. I’m feeling much better about things tonight. Had a great night. Went shopping to buy my son some school shoes and had a good walk around Asda, got a few treats for Big Brother final. Is that excitement I feel? πŸ˜‰

    Christine, I’m sorry you’ve had a bad day. Big hugs to you xx I recommend chamomile tea, it’s just very calming. I drink 4/5 cups a day, it really does make me feel relaxed.

    Dominick, I used to not be able to sleep due to anxiety. I’d lie awake counting the hours sleep I’d have if I fell asleep then… My anxiety is sky high if I don’t sleep so that put me under more pressure to sleep so of course I couldn’t. If I wake in the night now I still worry what if I can’t get back to sleep. What has helped me is to unwind early. I go to my room about 8pm, I read or watch tv. I find having a chamomile tea before 9pm helps me relax too. I’m on Mirtazapine which is sedating but it’s what I needed as I didn’t sleep for about 9 months and I felt dreadful. Now I have no trouble, I couldn’t stay awake if I wanted to. It’s really helped me get the rest I needed. Not that I’m suggesting medication to you, it’s just what I ended up trying after such a long spell of no sleep.

    I feel for you, lack of sleep and the anxiety around it is awful.

  376. Lulu 29th January 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Anyone, how do you get your focus back on other things?!? I literally am thinking or talking in my head to myself all day, using CBT and positive thinking.

  377. Val 29th January 2014 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie???I am on mirtazipine too….most doctors feel that you really need good sleep when you are recovering as it’s so important….glad it helps you too. Of course exercise and all the other things are important . I am finding it hard to step back from the problems of my 37 yr old daughter ….I have to ,for my own health as I tend to take on her problems and it does me no good whatsoever……so am working through that too. Off to the park now….all you guys are….hopefully…..SLEEPING…on the other side of the world ! lol x

  378. Lynn 29th January 2014 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Hi, I think Paul and his blog are awesome and so helpful. Just curious if anyone else has been free of anxiety for an entire year or more. Just want to hear it’s possible (although if someone has been anxiety free for that long, they probably won’t be reading this blog anymore!). Think I might be in a setback. Was anxiety free for at least 3 months, which might not sound like a long time to some, but it was great! Thanks for any replies.

  379. Charles 30th January 2014 at 4:13 am - Reply

    Dominick, read your post about sleep anxiety, been there done that.
    I want to say that you are right, of course your thoughts carry weight, especially if you believe them. These thoughts, quoting your post: β€œyou won’t be able to fall back to sleep”, β€œyour mind will never be peaceful again to allow you to not sweat with panic at the thought of not being able to sleep”, are scary! My palms are sweating a little bit just thinking how terrible it would be if these things happened to me. Scary thoughts scare people, not just you, accept that.

    Now that we’ve established the fact that your thoughts scare all human beings equally, why you get anxiety over it and I don’t? It’s because I don’t grab onto these thoughts and analyze them. I don’t question why I get those thoughts, I will never never never try to make myself immune to these thoughts. I accept the fact that these thoughts scare the crap out of me and I move on. That is the art of “do nothing”.

    Honestly, drinking all kinds of tea, exercise, meditate …etc did nothing for me. What helped me is to admit to myself that, at the moment, I am a bit jumpy, easily scared, and there is nothing wrong with that, it’s not a disease to be terrified of something.

  380. Val 30th January 2014 at 5:21 am - Reply

    Well said Charles

  381. D-Ren 30th January 2014 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Charles good post. I sleep decent enough too.
    I do take melatonin every night, it “motivates” me to go sleep early enough, and too lazy to try sleep without them..but Im cool with that πŸ˜€

  382. Julie 30th January 2014 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Val, sorry to hear you’ve some stressed going on. Glad Mirtazapine is helping you too. I’m only on 15mg, it’s helping me sleep which helps my anxiety so it’s worth being on it for that.

  383. Rich 30th January 2014 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Morning everyone. I feel a little awkward to post this as it seems many of you are on a downward slope at the moment, but I had a really good day yesterday! Work went quickly and although I was stressed and I felt anxiety levels rise, I identified this and just carried on – not rising to the symptoms, which kept them minimal thankfully.

    I knew I was going out after work, which usually results in the whole day beforehand being spent worrying about it and ‘what if’ and physical symptoms of fear. This didn’t happen.

    I went out and stayed for a lovely meal with 7 colleagues, ate well and relaxed. I got home then ate some cake for a later dessert. I felt on a high from not avoiding this situation (I was going to, but wanted to face it as I know I needed to confront my fear).

    I did wake up in the night feeling like I was going to be sick – a really nausious feeling, but I attributed this to too much cake too late in the evening, so didn’t get anxious about it.

    I am seeing signs of 100% normality. I’m still not there (I feel I’ve still a fear of anxiety and a very low stress threshold, but I remain on the right track. Recovery is possible for us all – we all have the inbuilt ability to heal our minds.

  384. Rich 30th January 2014 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Lui, Congratulations on your progress. Just keep a calm and rational mind and you will be ok. Don’t let bad times set you back. How you react is up to you.

    Christine, I’m so sorry to read you’re going through a bad spell at the moment. You say you can’t apply what I write just yet – why not? What is really stopping you apart from yourself? Why put it off? Fake it until you make it – it’s the only way to break the loop. There’s some tough love πŸ™‚

    Dominick, I think I posted a while ago about sleep anxiety, and my advice today remains the same. Exercise, read before bed, wind down instead of wind yourself up, relax, relaxation and meditation. Clear your mind. You can’t make yourself fall asleep. Stop stopping your mind from doing what it needs to do. Read Charles and Bryans posts on this – they’re all you need.

    Julie, Repeating ‘good practice’ to others really helps me, and I hope your constructive comments to others is helping you too. Be positive, allow yourself to rejoin the world and it will all come back to you. You will get glimpses, sensations of normality and positive emotions you once may have thought were lost. These will grow as you allow them room – by ignoring the negative thoughts and emotions. You are allowing your mind to heal. Enjoy the process. You are becoming stronger every day.

    PS Apologies if my post seems a little self-righteous, but I want everyone to make progress and recover.

  385. Shirley A. D. 30th January 2014 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Lynn, I have been anxiety free since 2008. I still come on here from time to time to encourage others that freedom from Anxiety does eventually happen. Don’t concentrate on the set back – it’s like quicksand – it will drag you back down. You have been shown better times and that’s the way you want to continue. Normality has shown it’s prescence and just see the set back for what it is – a setback – but move the other side of it. Think positive thoughts and you have shown yourself the better side – that is a definite positive.

  386. Christine 30th January 2014 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Thanks Rich – I’m glad you’re doing well…so happy for you! Thanks for the tough love too! πŸ™‚ I am really struggling at the moment, pretty awful, but I know what you say is right! It’s the physical symptoms this week that are bothering me…I’m constantly on edge, edgy, sickly stomach and peaks of panic. Nothing new there and I know must of us experience this, but it just seems particularly tough at the moment. However, I’m still getting on with my day though…carrying on in work, telling myself that I can do this and that I’ve done it all before! Trying to accept, so strange how I had an okayish week last week but this week has been awful again! xx

    Thanks Julie – you’re doing so well too! I drink camomile tea too! xx

  387. Julie 30th January 2014 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Well today hasn’t been all great so far. I drove to town and managed to get a parking space right outside and was going to attempt to do Costa alone just for a take away hot chocolate. I managed it last week fine. Well before i went in my heart was racing, legs went like lead and I was all light headed. I went in and I just couldn’t stay. I stayed to a point and even stood at the front of the que but the girls were busy refilling machines and kept me waiting. I ended up leaving as I felt so light headed and scared I would faint. I have horrible light headedness with my anxiety attacks in shops. As you all know I suffered agoraphobia all of last year with periods of doing very well again, getting out alone shopping to small shops and cafes, which was great it was enough for me to be happy and hope in the future more of my life would come back. Prior to the agoraphobia I was rarely at home, always out and about, seeing friends and shopping so to be housebound and struggle to go into a small shop was hard to accept. Last summer I was out with my children going anywhere but then I had the bad panic attack in Boots when I had a virus last October and then slipped back into agoraphobia mode and then I had this massive set back where the intrusive thoughts hit and severe anxiety like I had never had before.

    Anyway I had this major set back November and December, and slowly I am coming through it. My husband doesn’t come home to work half day now, he just comes at 2 and does his last 3 hours at home from his office. I am getting out for a drive again in my car. So things have got much better for me, and i put that down to finding this blog and having support. I have also started to understand my condition and why I had intrusive thoughts terrifying me. Things have been improving and I feel much better until today, I went into Costa and as I said I left. I then sat in my car feeling so disheartened. I rung my husband and he said I was worrying over nothing and we all have bad days. I then felt so sad and worried, maybe my anxiety went off on one and my head was racing with, what if I slip back to being as bad as I was last year? what if I can’t go out again alone? What if I become depressed……..? so my horrible intrusive thought that hit. I got home and walked my dogs, I usually walk them just around my cul d sac and can’t go much further but I went across the road and walked the block away from my house which I would never do without my husband. I was proud of myself for doing that.

    I am so afraid of being as ill as I was before Christmas, ok that wasn’t the agoraphobia but what triggered my anxiety to return was a panic in Boots which then led to 3 weeks being housebound again and then intrusive thoughts and high anxiety hit so I fear any knock backs incase I am ever thrown back into that dark place I was in before Christmas, it was the worst time of my life πŸ™ So I left town today worrying what if I can’t ever go back out again and live my life. Last year I never got my life fully back but from May – September things were much better, I still struggled to visit friends and big shops alone but I could do a heck of alot more than I could.

    The sad thing is now I am able to go anywhere with my husband, I can go around HUGE Asda and Tesco, visit family, friends etc… I can go to shops alone with my children. So recently things are better than they have been in regards to me getting out. I used to just drive to Asda then sit in the car whilst my husband went in with the children, that’s how bad my agoraphobia was, so to now be able to go anywhere with him and the children is great. I just feel so sad today that I am struggling again to get out alone and it worries me sick that this will cause a huge set back again if I do have a bad panic in Costa or a small shop that i try. I am determined to go back tomorrow and try again but deep down I do fear a knock back throwing me back into the high anxiety I have just found my way out from, I am still not 100% but I am much better than I was and I fear slipping. I also don’t want to go back to being the girl I was this time last year, I couldn’t go anywhere πŸ™

    Sorry to offload on here, I am just a little sad after this morning, it’s been a long time since I felt anxiety like that when going out alone. It makes me fear my future, and it triggered my intrusive thoughts again:-(

  388. Julie 30th January 2014 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Thank you Rich. I was feeling much more positive until this morning but I am sure I will pick myself up again x

  389. Rich 30th January 2014 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Christine, It’s really easy for me to write what to do and how to act, as I am currently not in the anxiety hole. However, even if I was, the advice would have to be the same as it is the only advice that works.

    Are you on any medication at the moment? How are you sleeping? Do you do any relaxation out of work? You’ve got to calm that anxious mind.

    While at work (and do keep going to work if you can ride out the days), try putting a song into your head. Today I seem to have Adele – Someone Like You stuck in my head (no idea where it came from but there you go!). A song helps keep your mind thinking about lyrics and melody rather than anxiety and worry. I’d say try this to actively switch your mind ‘off’ anxiety mode. You will have to consciously tell your mind off everytime you notice you’re worrying, and switch to something else – the present moment, music, meditation – anything other than anxiety. Just be patient and repeat this, and it will begin to work.

    Also, when you feel yourself anxious, say to yourself “what am I anxious about”? Is it a real present danger or is it an irrational thought? Stop and think “is this a genuine worry”? and am I actually worrying about? really? Then stop yourself from shaking (you can), then carry on with your day. Every time the thought appears, stop it, question it, rationalise it, then dismiss it. repeat repeat repeat. Start to tell your mind how you actually want to think. Happy. Music. Laughter. Fake it until you make it, and before long you’ll notice yourself singing a song in your head all on its own (like me and Adele :))

  390. Rich 30th January 2014 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie, Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience, but this is all part of the process. What is important is that you move forward from it in a positive way.

    First of all lets identify the positives. Have you done this yet yourself? Why not? You need to take a positive attitude and become a ‘glass half full’ person – even if you have to forcibly do this. Positives I got from your story: 1) You went. 2) You went on your own (do not underestimate this achievement! 3) You felt the anxiety and you went through it.

    Now you had to leave, but are you superwoman? are you immune to fear? No! So don’t be disheartened and lose faith in yourself. Recovery is a long process of small steps. You cannot rush this. One step at a time. I count many positive steps in the fact you’re even trying to face the fear!

    The important thing is to realise that although you may feel rubbish, you are not where you once were. You have the knowledge and understanding of WHY you feel like this, what your body is doing and why. Therefore, it’s not as scary as it was when you were in the dark about it all.

    You have to see this experience as a good thing. Your mind will have noticed you going, driving, going in – and thought “wait a minute, I’m in full alert mode but she’s doing it anyway – maybe it isn’t as dangerous as I thought?” – it is this seed you have planted which is how we recover. This will grow and grow.

    Now the bad news πŸ™‚ You didn’t stop yourself worrying and ruminating – you fuelled your worry by feeding your anxious mind ‘what ifs’ and spiralling down the rabbit hole into a dark place. You should have stopped yourself from doing this, or at least identified that this is just a reaction to the anxious experience.

    The good news is that it’s not too late to do this, so do it now. Realise all those thoughts, all those feelings, is just your anxious mind trying to protect you. They’re not real, they won’t ever be. You have to learn to let go and lose the fear of these thoughts – they’re just THOUGHTS – you can’t even hold them. They don’t exist.

    Trust me – going into that shop was a massive achievement.

    PS Your husband is your comfort blanket. When you take a comfort blanket from a child it panics, but in time it learns to cope on its own, and realises that in reality, whether it is there or not makes no difference to the situation or place. You too will realise this so long as you don’t fuel the fear, and get back in the saddle.

    Be positive. Dismiss the negative. Today was an achievement. Don’t let yourself tell you anything else.

  391. Julie 30th January 2014 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich for taking the time to reply.

    So do you think the horrible intrusive thoughts hit just because of anxiety? I can’t say what they are and I won’t incase I frighten people but my intrusive thoughts are a fear of depression and what can happen when depressed. I fear ever slipping back into the anxiety I was in before Christmas. So as soon as I left Costa I noticed my intrusive thoughts hit and I felt highly anxious. I then feared ‘oh no I can’t have any knock backs incase what my intrusive thoughts are saying, happen’. Just a horrible way to feel. I did go home and walk my dogs which was an achievement and I felt good for it, I have never done that lap alone that far from my house.

    I just find it hard to accept that after a year I still can’t get out alone. I can’t see my friends, meet a friend for a costa or go to the gym. All the things I did before what happened with my brother and it saddens me. I sat in the car looking at people living, with friends, going into Costa laughing and happy…. I then felt sad that my life is so restricted since having agoraphobia. I have been so lonely and isolated since having agoraphobia, and I struggle to change it. I can do things when with my husband and children, why can’t I when alone? it is like i have lost all confidence in myself:-(

    Sorry to be so miserable lol! I just really don’t want another year of agoraphobia and feeling lonely. There is only so much housework and dog walking one can do. I wish I could work, see friends….. I just have no confidence in myself at all.

  392. Christine 30th January 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich – I really appreciate – just perked up for a little while, not great but ok so hopefully it lasts! Just feeling quite fragile at the moment. When this all started 2 years ago I was on beta blockers, sleeping tablets and AD’s, weaned off them all when I was good but not gone back on any this time…yet! I really wanted to try and do this without (taking htp5 supplements) but don’t know whether I need to go and see my Dr again! They’re quite ignorant to it and I know they will basically ask me what I would like to do and probably put me on the AD’s again! My sleep had been ok, but not so good last night, got about 5/6 hours but woke up a few times in between. I’m starting yoga on Monday so hopefully that will help me relax.

    I really am trying to fake it until I make it – just carrying on with my day, having conversations with people, singing in my head (sometimes out loud…oh dear! πŸ™‚ ) but sometimes the anxiety just seems to drag me down again! I’m trying to look at the fact that the first time round I was on loads of medication, took 7 weeks off work, walked the streets like a zombie and hated to be alone. xx

    Julie – Rich is right – you should be proud of yourself for what you achieved! Rich’s advice is great! xx

  393. Charlotte 30th January 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Hey Christine

    You sound like me and a few of the others ! I had to take 6 weeks off work last summer and couldn’t be on my own etc. i did go on meds and am still on them. I think a load of life events that happened all at once just got to much and then I start to panic over panic and got myself in a right old loop !

    How did you recover last time ! Just by letting time pass and trying to carry on as best u can I guess which is what I also did !

    Did u ask Paul for my email address ? I’ve not had anything through yet

  394. Rich 30th January 2014 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Christine, I’d say stay off the meds if you’re not on them, as going on and coming off is not a great experience if you’re already having a bad time. See how the yoga goes and try to apply the muscle relaxation and breathing while at work. Just don’t put pressure on yourself to recover – this will only delay it.

    Hi Julie, Stop mentioning your intrusive thoughts – we all know what they are and most importantly so do you – so stop giving them air time – they don’t deserve it. Show them no respect. This is what they crave and you’re feeding it constantly. Stop it. No, really, stop it ok πŸ™‚

    Yes these thoughts hit JUST because of anxiety. This is the ONLY reason. The ONLY reason is because you’re stressing YOURSELF out. You’re feeding the disorder so it’s getting bigger, stronger, louder and scarier. It knows what you’re scared of so plays on this as it knows this is what gets the biggest response.

    Stop feeding it and guess what happens…?

    The disorder gets smaller, weaker, quieter and less scary. Doesn’t this sound like a good thing? To get this to work you need to pull yourself out of the fear-anxiety-fear loop (again and again and again). You’re on your way, but you seem to be listening to the thoughts. Stop it! It’s just anxiety trying to keep you safe indoors away from the world – because you’re telling it that it is doing the right thing – by believing it and listening to its barking.

    It’s all bark and no bite.

  395. Christine 30th January 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich – I really do want to try and do it without meds if I can but sometimes I just feel a bit more wobbly and I’m not completely against them as they did help me the first time around I think! I do think I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to patience! xx

    Hi Charlotte – that’s exactly me! I would love to email you, I did send Paul a request yesterday but I haven’t had anything yet. Do you think I should request again? Don’t want to harass him as he mightn’t have had a chance to check. xx

  396. Julie 30th January 2014 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich,

    You’re right, I’m trying to apply that to all my thoughts and fears right now and I’m hoping it will work. You’re right they are just thoughts, it doesn’t mean they are me.

    My husband came home at 2.15 today so another achievement for me. He made me drive to Costa, he sat outside and I went in and got my hot chocolate πŸ™‚

    Thank you Christine. I hope things get better for you soon. X

    Charlotte I’ve not had any emails through yet either, maybe Pauls just not had chance to look at our requests yet. X

  397. Rich 30th January 2014 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Christine, You’re right – you are your own worst enemy! Ironic really, because this is why we’re all here – we’re all our own worst enemy. The thing is, anxiety is our best friend – it is only trying to protect us. It’s just a pain how it chooses to do so, but it only does this so that we take notice and listen. We have to stop listening to it while it’s out of sorts temporarily.

    Julie, Congratulations. The thoughts are not the true you. Always, always remember this. Small steps remember! Your husbands seems to understand this so well. You need to think more like he does, but for yourself. This will come in time – just stick with it. Good things happen when you face anxiety – you see through it and you feel a sense of achievement, and in your case, a nice hot chocolate too πŸ˜‰

  398. D-Ren 30th January 2014 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Hah. Got strongly anxious today, but realized I was just over reacting to a very normal thing.
    How old are you folks here? I am 20
    Cheers!

  399. Lesley 30th January 2014 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Love your posts rich, there spot on! X

  400. Julie 30th January 2014 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich, your posts always make me feel better about things. Thank you for that πŸ™‚

    My husband is a fab support. He is the most chilled out man I’ve ever met, so he is good for me, lol! At first when my anxiety flared up 9 years ago he had no idea how to cope with it so he would work all hours to avoid being home which was horrible for me. I got better through CBT and I hoped it wouldn’t happen again. This flare up he has really been there for me and has apologised no end for not being there for me 9 years ago, he says he really understands it now and has read lots of Pauls book and articles online. He always says if he could take this away from me he would. Bless him.

    I don’t feel so great tonight, the anxiety today has worn me out and I feel quite anxious so I am going to try and relax for an hour then tonight have a night watching a movie with my husband and get an early night, I didn’t sleep well last night.

    I really hope one day I will be able to get to the stage where none of these feelings bother me. It is so different to how i used to feel with anxiety, that just felt like a constant worry about my health. Now it is always worrying about how I feel, do I feel agitated, angry, anxious, panicky, intrusive thoughts….. horrible, which I guess is general anxiety now and I have to learn to accept it all as one thing, anxiety. It is just so different to what I am used to and all these feelings that hit me scare me I guess. One day I just have the thoughts worrying me, the next I feel agitated, the day after that i feel panicky…. always something and it feels like just when I think I am getting better at not worrying about a certain feeling, like say the agitation, then a few days later it hits me again and I fear it so the cycle of worry continues. I really hope one day none of these feelings concern me and I can break free from anxiety.

    D-Ren, I am 34.

  401. Christine 30th January 2014 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    D-Ren I’m 35 πŸ™‚ xx

  402. Dominick 30th January 2014 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Charles, that is great advice.

    Thank you for taking the time to offer it.

    I know the answer lies there. It’s odd, sometimes I can allow those thoughts to be there and they don’t scare me…. other times I can feel the panic swelling up in me.

  403. Dominick 30th January 2014 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    This morning I woke up early….
    around 5am (don’t need to be up until 6:30).

    I closed my eyes and started thinking “what do I need to think about?” “why do I need to actively think of something to fall asleep? I used to be able to just close my eyes and let my mind peacefully drift”….

    I could feel the panic starting to grow.

    But then I said to myself, “if I sleep I sleep, if I don’t…oh well. But i”m going to lie here with my eye closed and letting my mind go where ever it wants to. If it wants to go to scary thoughts…. so be it”.

    I fell asleep and woke up again at 6:30 to my wife’s alarm.

    I feel such joy in that…. but then the doubt comes back “oh, that was just a fluke. Tonight will be different”.

    Oh well…. learning to accept, learning to float.

  404. Dominick 30th January 2014 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    D-Ren, I’m 36.
    Started with this when i was 35.

    My ‘anxiety anniversary’ is 02/13/2014.

    Yeeeaaaaahhhh.. I guess

  405. Julie 30th January 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Sorry I don’t mean to seek reassurance but I’ve just had a horrible feeling and I’m worried. Through this latest set back I’ve been suffering with periods of what I call agitation. It always hits when I’m feeling anxious or worried about something, usually one of my intrusive thoughts. I was just sat with my daughter, I had the agitated feeling inside but decided to just let it be there and not run away crying about it. After 45 minutes I had a rush of adrenaline like electric up my body, my tummy felt like it dropped and throat felt tight. I then panicked even more that the agitation means I will lash out or lose control.

    When I get the periods of agitation, it’s like a feeling of my throat feels tight, and my chest and stomach feels tight and I feel it in my stomach like I’m restless inside and restless in arms and legs. I describe it as agitation as it feels like I’m about to lash out? Or lose control? It scares me and it’s the one symptom I’m really still struggling with and can’t seem to not worry about it. I guess because I’m a mum and I fear being around my children when I fear the feelings mean I’m agitated πŸ™ I don’t mean to reassurance seen but can anxiety really cause these feelings? I rarely get bad rushes like tonight but the agitation symptoms I described I get often and I ahead worry about them when I’m at home with my children:( I was doing so well, I wish I could get past this big worry about this feeling I get x

  406. Charlotte 30th January 2014 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Julie

    It’s ok it is anxiety. Your arms and legs will feel like that because you have so much adrenalin in your system. Because your body is in flight or fight mode it thinks there is a threat and so had produced adrenalin. Adrenalin is needed to allow your body to run away from the threat, therefor what you feel is completely consistent with anxiety and intact shows you everything is working as is should do ! Except there is no threat Julie, and you need to help retrain your mind.

    The feelings you describe r why people recommend going for a walk or run etc as that is the only way of getting rid of excess adrenalin quickly .

    Hope u feeling a bit better, sounds like your have great support from your husband .

    I’m off for a meal with work, a pizza which is not helping my diet lol !

  407. Charlotte 30th January 2014 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Julie

    Also meant to say my arms and legs felt exactly like you described, I can remember shaking them almost – but it’s just adrenalin doing it’s job !

  408. Julie 30th January 2014 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Thank you for replying Charlotte.

    My husband says I fear the feeling because I’m scared of the lashing out/losing control feeling around my children. I know he’s right and I probably wouldn’t feel this scared if I was alone with thei feeling.

    Can you get this feeling if you’re not panicking or shaking with anxiety? I’ve no fast heart, shaky legs etc… It’s just the lump in throat, a restless agitated feeling in my arms and legs, and then my stomach and chest feels like it’s twisted and I fear I’m about to lash out or something. I don’t usually get the rushes of adrenaline with it, that’s very rare like I’ve had to it, usually it’s just the agitated /restless feeling, yet no panic symptoms. I guess that’s why I worry about it meaning I’m going to lash out and it’d not anxiety related. Can anxiety really make you feel like that? Scary. I’ve had anxiety many years but not had this feeling.

    I just took my dogs for a walk with hubby and the children, he said we needed to get out and burn my adrenaline off. I’m now going to treat the kids to a chippy tea πŸ˜‰ Enjoy your pizza and thank you for replying to me xxx

  409. Lui 30th January 2014 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Today was the first time in years I felt a bit calmer. I see that a lot of my fears are just total bullshit. It’s gonna take some time to get rid of it but I have another attitude now. There’s still the fear of losing my humor or may popularity during recovery but I think I have to take the risk in order to get healthy and happy!

  410. Rich 30th January 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Evening everyone, I don’t usually come on here at night these days (I think I post enough in the daytime!) But am just checking in. I had a chippy tea tonight as I was on my own. A few months ago I declined a chippy tea with my GF and her parents as I couldn’t eat. I went upstairs and slept for 3hours instead. Tonight, I went and bought them (in the cold and rain), ate them all, then relaxed for an hour in front of the TV. I have been bloated since 4pm (I’ve been diagnosed with IBS) and it feels like I’ve a football in my stomach! But I’m not reacting to the feeling – I used to think it was an impending anxiety attack and it’s the start of hell, but tonight, I know it will pass, so I’m not bothered by it.

    Julie, You’re a worrier like me, but your worries are irrational. This is because your mind is just tired out with all this. If it could talk it would say “please stop”. It’s good you check in here, but sometimes I think your tired mind would appreciate a walk or some tv instead of writing and reading about anxiety all day and all evening. Too much can be a bad thing.

    If you ever wonder “can this just be anxiety”, you know the answer! Nothing you describe here will bring a different answer, unless you have a cold, or your leg falls off – in which case you really should see a Dr.

    You have thought about things so much, for so long that you’ve got all these little things in your mind – you think you’ve got it all figured out. I too did this. The problem is you’ve worried so much trying to worry yourself better, you’ve made a lot of wrong assumptions…

    ‘Agitation’ is not the feeling of impending violence and uncontrollable aggression – you’re not the Incredible Hulk (unless there’s some secret you’re not telling us?) Agitation as you describe is exactly as Charlotte describes above. It’s your mind assuming that because you’re so wound up, you need filling with adrenalin in order to run away. You don’t run away and burn this off, so you shake and your muscles tighten up and you become tense and hyper aware. As mentioned, this is all 100% naural and working as it should. You told yourself to do this! The problem you have is you’ve assume this means an Incredible Hulk moment is about to happen, when all that your mind is trying to do, is make you run away.

    So, now you know what’s going on, what should you do? Well, adrenalin is a ‘surge’ of energy, and can only last 20-30 minutes maximum. Usually after you feel tired and hungry, so its a bit of a comedown, but all you need to do is ride it out – this is called ‘floating’ and is one of the hardest things to learn to do.

    PS when you feel the anxiety attack and the adrenalin rush, so you tear off your shirt and rip your pants? No? Thought not! Maybe there is nothing to worry about after all…

  411. Rich 30th January 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Lui, If you’re worried about losing your humour don’t be – look at my post above. Today I’ve mentioned Adele, the Incredible Hulk and bursting your pants. Humour will never desert you, and in times of anxiety will be a great friend.

    When you learn to accept and love yourself, you can turn this feeling around and project it out onto the world, and this will lift others and inspire them to do the same.

  412. Rachel 30th January 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Omg I have really bad motion sickness is this really part of anxeity can’t even open the door without going dizzy x

  413. Rachel 30th January 2014 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Have really bad motion sickness had it for two days now all day is this really apart of anxeity can’t even open a door without going dizzy off balance x

  414. Lui 30th January 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Thank you Rich! Humor is just the only thing that helped me to get through the lat few anxiety loaded years and I am really, really glad that you just told me that it won’t desert because I love making people laugh. Just a scary thought that crossed my mind because I felt reall different today.

  415. Julie 30th January 2014 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Lol! Thanks Rich.

    That’s it, I do fear I’m about to lash out as the tight feelings inside my stomach and chest and all the restlessness inside makes me feel like I’m about to lose control. If I’m not actually in the midst of an anxiety attack can the symptoms I describe still be caused by fight or flight? I worry because I am not shaking, no fast heart of fast breathing. At most I’ve a lump in my throat but the rest is just the restless limbs inside and the tightness in my stomach. I then fear in my head I’m about to lash out.

    I know I probably am linking it all wrinkly as I suffer intrusive thoughts that worry me. But I did start with these agitation spells in November and I remember fearing lashing out then.

    I know if I could stop fearing this feeling I’d relax but silly me I do every time. I get these spells a couple of times a week and they can last a few hours:/

    Thanks for replying Rich. I promise I’ve not turned green yet but I’m going to start weight lifting soon so you never know πŸ˜‰

  416. Julie 30th January 2014 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    Rachel- anxiety can make you feel off balance which can make you feel sick. Also inner ear infections can cause a similar feeling. Doctors often diagnose an inner ear infection before anxiety. If you feel well otherwise it’s probably anxiety. Last year I had a terrible bout of dizziness that honestly made me feel like I was walking on a moving bus or boat, I felt so off balance. It was anxiety.

  417. Rachel 30th January 2014 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Julie I have been to ent three times no and had all clear I just can’t get my head around anxeity can cause dizziness off balance and all that’s related to it like you I don’t have shakes or fast heart rate just this motion thing how did you get rid of yours I don’t even get horrid thoughts like you do but you are doing really well with that x

  418. Lynn 30th January 2014 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Shirley, thanks so much for your reply and encouraging words. I appreciate it! I will put it out there in case anyone has any advice on what my anxiety problem is. If I feel anything in my chest area (tightness, pains, heaviness, which I know is caused by anxiety!), I can’t help but dwell on that it could be heart trouble and should I go to the doctor. I have been to a cardiologist 6 months ago and was told all is well. But when I feel these sensations/pains, I start to worry. Thanks for any advice with this!!!

  419. Lynn 30th January 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Also, these sensations, pains, etc in the chest area came during/after an emotionally sad time for me where I had been crying.

  420. Lynn 30th January 2014 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Last thing I forgot! The anxiety about these pains in the chest mainly started after I happened to read an article about the different signs of heart attacks in men and women: while men get the crushing chest pain, women often just experience these symptoms: discomfort in the chest, fatigue, and anxiety! That’s what bothers me, reading that anxiety and chest discomfort can be a sign of heart attack in women b/c our anxiety can cause chest sensations/pain, right? So how to know the difference? That’s what gets my mind/anxiety going.

    Thanks to anyone for advice!

  421. Charlotte 30th January 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Julie

    I have never got breathless and never had a racing heart etc I’ve never had a typical panic attack where I bought I couldn’t breathe etc, but I have definately had severe agitation and horrible thoughts etc. most of my anxiety is a tense stomach and a tightness in my throat – hope u can see what I describe is very similar to what you are describing !

    Hope u ok

  422. Rachel 30th January 2014 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Lynn you would have other signs if you were having a heart attack plus if you were having one it defo wouldn’t last this long and you would defo no the difference seriously don’t worry xx

  423. Val 31st January 2014 at 12:15 am - Reply

    What is a chippy tea please???? Not something I am familiar with!!!! Do you know that STRESSED backwards spells DESSERTS…….so I am going to have a big piece of chocolate cake?? And I think everybody else should too but you.re all asleep. ……zzzzzzz xxxx

  424. Julie 31st January 2014 at 4:54 am - Reply

    Thanks Charlotte

    I guess I’m just very worried about the agitated feeling as I don’t have typical anxiety at the time so I do wonder of it could cause this agitation:( Its the one symptom I’ve struggled with these last two months snd really feared since November as it’s very new to me.

    I’m always worried what I’ve it’s not anxiety and it’s the Mirtazapine making me feel like this.

    Sorry about my typos, my phone is on auto correct so I makes sons daft mistakes.

    Rachel- yes. I had the dizziness constantly, not necessarily when panicking x

  425. Bryan 31st January 2014 at 7:46 am - Reply

    Nice job Dominick!

    Just keep it up. Tell yourself it’s fine not to sleep. Because it is. Rest. No one can stop you from resting. Lay down, close your eyes and just enjoy. No goals. If you don’t sleep a wink, it’s fine.

  426. Doreen 31st January 2014 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Rich – you have given lots of very sound advice on how folks should disregard the varied and many manifestations of anxiety such as agitation, intrusive thoughts and so on. All of which makes perfect sense and is, in my opinion the way forward.
    I was thinking about your symptoms of IBS and wondering if you could apply the same ‘technique’ to them, as they are the physical feelings that you dread getting and cause you to avoid certain things such as going out with people socially.
    As you will know IBS is not dangerous or serious, annoying yes, embarrassing at times yes, but not life endangering so in reality, nothing to dread. There are many people with IBS who lead normal lives and refuse to let it interfere in just the way that you are advising people with anxiety symptoms to lead normal lives. Just a thought – regards Doreen

  427. Rich 31st January 2014 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Hi Doreen, Thanks for the reply. I’ve always wondered which came first – the IBS or the Anxiety. I think the IBS is as you mention, largely caused by anxiety (and the stomach being your ‘second brain’).

    My attitude towards IBS symtpoms has changed of late. I do have peppermint tablets when bloated (I don’t like peppermint tea) which really helps, but I just ride out the spells and don’t react to them. Luckily, I’ve not had any major IBS episodes apart from bloating since Xmas, which I do believe is helped by being calmer and more relaxed towards it – floating.

    I usually reply to people above me when I check into the blog individually, but I think today I can reply to everyone in one go. However, what I say is just what’s in all the literature and this website, so is just repetition.

    When you have physical symptoms, you amplify them because you’re anxious. You are not floating.

    Worrying about your symptoms feeds your anxiety disorder. You are not Accepting that this is ‘just anxiety’.

    Worrying about individual symptoms is the wrong approach. Anxiety’s aim is to induce fear so that you avoid dangerous situations. Of course it is going to scare you. The key to it all is to realise this, Accept that it is all in your mind, and Float past the symptoms until over Time, they subside.

    You do not have some previously unknown anxiety symptom, you are not the exception and you are not unique. Everyone’s symptoms are different and are of no consequence. If this is news to you, you need to re-read Paul’s book and digest what is inside it, and believe it.

    ‘But I really feel like…’ or ‘it seems so real’ or ‘can it really all be in my mind?’ – how many times have your fears actually come true? My guess – never. My fears are of my symptoms and they do come true – stomach upset, loss of appetite, but at no time am I in danger or subject to harm. Remove the fear and the symptoms disappear – because they no longer give you the reaction your anxiety wants them too. It’s no more complicated than that.

    Let go.

  428. Nikki 31st January 2014 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Hi Julie just wanted to let you know you are not alone in how you are feeling. I have built up to be able to go out with people but struggle on my own. The physical symptoms can feel overwhelming at times. This is my year tho I am determined to get over this. I know its going to be hard but I am up for it. I am learning to acknowledge what I do do. I also have a phrase that I say at the end of the day ‘despite my anxiety today I have. …’ then I list all that I have achieved. Even if I have felt overwhelmed and left somewhere at least I tried. We can do this together. You are a strong woman I can tell.

    For what it’s worth I can’t take any form of medication as they make me worse and give me really weird feelings in my body – agitation being one of them. Night terrors another. I want to get through this by understanding and trusting my body. Xx

  429. Julie 31st January 2014 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Hi Nikki,

    Thanks for your message. Sorry to hear you are struggling too. Anxiety really does rob us of our lives doesn’t it. I am too ready for the challenge, I gave into agoraphobia for most of last year and it has taken away Julie and I want to find me again.

    I do worry if it is the medication causing this feeling, the agitation, as I don’t ever recall suffering from it before. I have asked my GP about it and he said that if it was the Mirtazapine it would be almost constant, I guess he is right. I don’t have this feeling constantly. I really wish I hadn’t gone up to the 15mg though, I know it is low dose but I was happy at 7.5mg, it helped me sleep. I hate relying on meds, I believe I can heal myself through understanding but by November things were so bad I had to give in and agree to increase to the standard dose. I know that anger and agitation is a side effect of the drug so I do worry about being on it especially with having intrusive thoughts too.

    Good luck to you, I hope things get better for you xx

  430. Rich 31st January 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I tried to come down on my meds over Xmas, but after the experience I will be on them until the Spring at least. I think that sunshine is a massive influence on anxiety and the moods it puts us in. My meds have stabilised so I’m happy on them and don’t want to rock the boat until my mind is in the right place.

    Recovery is a process that you accomplish by doing nothing.

    1) Understanding of why you feel the way you do, have your symptoms, feelings and thoughts, is the first part of the recovery process. Face the fact that you have an anxiety disorder – but nothing more.

    2) Accept that you have an anxiety disorder – but nothing more – do not look for a cure or deeper meaning. Stop searching and stressing. Relax.

    3) Floating past the symptoms, feelings and thoughts. Do not react to them negatively. Let go of the fear of them all. Fake it until you make it.

    4) Let time pass and allow your mind to heal and restore a normal balance and reaction to anxiety for the future. Float on.

    5) Control your reaction to anxiety so that you no longer fear it or any of the symptoms should they reoccur. This to me is my goal and ‘recovery’.

    We’re all somewhere in the above process. I am somewhere between 3 and 4 right now.

    Where abouts are you? Why not aim for the next level. The only person who is going to get you there is you.

  431. Shirley A. D. 31st January 2014 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Lynn, Anxiety can manifest itself in many forms. Panic attacks went to my stomach and went like a wave from my head down my body. Anxiety came in a different form everyday – it certainly does the rounds! I used to have a dark band shadow feeling across my forehead – anxiety. Racing heart, fear of everything, lack of sleep – you name it, it popped up in a form of anxiety. get rid of one another one would appear. At the time it all overwhelms you so much that you fear the intensity is something serious. But, it’s all anxiety. Just point the finger and say ‘that’s Anxiety’ – get lost. My worst was urticaria – my body was a blotch of red – blamed it on a couple of cats because it made me itch and it was hot to the touch. It went eventually – have never had it again – it was all linked with Anxiety.

  432. Rachh 31st January 2014 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Rich you are such a help right now. I guess your seeing things a lot more clearly now! So pleased for you. Im havin a down day im really tired at the moment because i keep investigating and i really need to start letting thoughts go and seeing them for what they are. Im goin for a meal later which i am lookin forward to but feel so tired and the anxiety is playing into my future a bit. Im supposed to be going clubbin to birmingham on sat night but im really scared of drinking as my anxiety hit me hard when i woke up on new years day which started me off in the anxiety worry loop. Goin to go though and not let it beat me.

  433. Rich 31st January 2014 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachh, Thanks for your comments. I too am going out for a meal tonight. I am feeling a little anxious about it, because I’ve been worrying about it ever since the last time I went out with the same people. Since then though I’ve been for other meals and have been fine through them all. The last one was only Wednesday, but for some reason this one carries more gravity. It’s all in my mind.

    However, I’m really tired. A late night last night and reading a lot last night and today at work have mad me even more so, and I’ve a headache as a result. When I get anxious, a new symptom for me is fatigue and tiredness. I’d take tiredness over an upset stomach any day of the week. Symptoms do come and go that’s for sure.

    Rachh you seem to be in a better place than you were before Xmas. When you go out you don’t have to drink, or go one on, one off etc to pace yourself. Drink loads of water before you go to bed and stay off the caffine drinks. In the morning if you feel rubbish, you know this is due to alcohol and dehydration and not anxiety – just keep a rational head on and you’ll be ok. I used to fear anxiety at the end of a night out and the next day, but lately this hasn’t materialised. Try not to worry about ‘what if’s and they may just amount to nothing.

  434. Lucy 31st January 2014 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Lynn, that sounds just like me! It’s like all of my anxiety is “held” in my chest, but of course the more worry you add to the symptoms, the more intense they become. I visited a doctor too as was told all is well, it can be hard to think/believe this in the moment that the sensations come but that’s all they are, sensations. Unlike thoughts etc, sensations are hard to dismiss on the fact that they are very physically real, but they are not harmful. Lots of people experience tension in different areas of their body with anxiety and that’s what I put it down to. Infact mine is doing it right now, I get palpitations too, raving when I’m laying in bed doing nothing, but just trust in what you’ve been told, that there’s nothing wrong, and go forward. Eventually, like every other stage of anxiety I’ve come through, it will pass.

  435. Lucy 31st January 2014 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Racing not raving, although it feels like that sometimes! Haha

  436. Julie 31st January 2014 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    I hope you enjoy your night out Rich.

    Happy Friday everyone. Tomorrow I have to go to watch my son play football, now as much as I love watching him I am praying that they cancel it due to the weather. Evil mother that I am lol!! It is just sooo wet and cold out there πŸ˜‰

  437. Dominick 31st January 2014 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    First off I really want to thank Charles for his advice.

    I think part of the mistake I was making is that I would allow the scary sleep thoughts to be there….
    but almost reflexively I was believing them. And it’s that that scared me: actually believing that maybe these thoughts are true.

    So, I let those thoughts come but I was both impressed by them (not in a good way) and believing the content of them.

    Now I know we’re not supposed to pay all of these symptoms much respect, but in following Charles advice (and Paul David’s as well (after I re-read a portion of his book)), i’ve been challenging those thoughts a bit. How true are these scary thoughts? Sure, they can be there…. but they’re simply a bogey.
    And it has helped.

    I’m not interested in going full on CBT with this. I’m not going to write them down or dialog with them any more than simply to remind myself “it’s just anxiety, and these thoughts are a bluff”.

    I’m also starting to realize that while these thoughts do impact my sleep at times…. that’s mainly because of the respect I’ve been paying these thoughts. I’ve been too impressed by the content and nature of these thoughts.

    It seems like so many people with anxiety have a corresponding impact on their sleep. The difference is…. they haven’t built up the narrative regarding sleep that I have. They just accept the fact that “hey, it’s impacting my sleep…. big whoop”…. but their fears are directed at other things that don’t bother me as much.

  438. Rich 31st January 2014 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks Julie, I hope I enjoy tonight too, but anxiety fear has hit me and I’m going through the mill this afternoon. I am tired and have a headache, and am in the office on my own all day with nothing but my thoughts for company. I’ve also had a really stressful day (covering for a colleague who is off). I think my stress threshold is so low that tired+work+tonight has made my anxiety levels rise, and here I am.

    The symptoms don’t matter, but true to form my stomach is in knots and feels horrible. I’ve got 2hours left here, then 1hour at home before I go out. Trying to ‘remember my training’ and to stop thinking the worst, but for me the worst is here already (the stomach thing), so just need to float on and try to keep calm and relaxed.

    I am anxious about going out for a meal with my family. I went out for a meal Wednesday night with work and felt fine and had a great time. Why the adrenaline today and not on Wednesday? It’s all in my mind.

  439. Julie 31st January 2014 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Stress and lack of sleep always makes my anxiety worse Rich. I bet once you are out you will enjoy it. Good on you for going! Let us know how you get on πŸ™‚

    I did send you a HUGE message above but it’s in moderation so it may not be posted, I’m not sure yet. Just me rambling a tad about realising that my isolation and social anxiety plays a big part in how I feel now. You may get to read it if it appears on here;-)

    I am reading Pauls book for the third time, I am up to chapter 5. Whilst reading it he says that the reason the fear cycle continues is due to the lack of understanding about the condition and fear of the symptoms. Once you no longer fear the symptoms the fear lessens. That is so true. I am losing my fear of alot of feelings and thoughts but the agitation is one I struggle to not fear, as I don’t think it’s anxiety causing the feelings because when agitation hits I am not high in anxiety or shaking, fast heart etc… I just feel the restless feeling racing around my body and a feeling I will lash out or lose control. I know once I can lose my fear of that agitation symptom then things will get easier, that is still one of the symptoms holding me back. Other than that the others are getting easier now I fear them alot less than I did a few weeks back.

    Good luck tonight. I am off out to brave the cold now to get my children, I could quite easily just snuggle down with my kindle and keep reading πŸ˜‰

  440. Rich 31st January 2014 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    My fears are of going out and especially eating out. My symptoms are an unsettled stomach, lack of appetite, but also things that don’t bother me at all, like chattering teeth and restlessness. I’ve always thought that my fears do deserve listening to – if I lose my appetite I won’t eat, and if we’re eating out I will be embarassed and it will cost me money. If my stomach is off, it will be embarassing and possibly awkward if I am in a tight spot or driving etc. This has all happened before.

    But, this is an example of the fear-anxiety-fear loop. I fear these symptoms (based on past experience and ‘what if’ thinking), so by mind thinks there is something to worry about, so it triggers the Flight response. This then triggers the very things I fear, so the loop is put into place. See how your mind uses your worst fear to get your attention?

    All I have to do is lose the fear of these symptoms – then they won’t even appear.

    As they’ve already appeared today, the ‘loop’ tells me to respond with fear. If I do, the ‘loop’ tells me that it will bring yet more anxiety, and yet more fear. So, I must not respond to the anxiety symptoms with more fear. I must float and let them happen, without reacting to them negatively – either with fear, or avoidance.

    Right now I just want to go home curl up in a ball and wish it all away. But, this is my anxious mind telling me that this is what it thinks I should do (to avoid the ‘danger’ of embarassment or being ill). What I therefore must do is ‘nothing’ – I must not go home, I must not curl up in a ball and I must not ruminate about it – fuelling the fire further. I need to retrain my brain – show it that there is no danger, that I am ok. I have to go, sit, eat, drink, go through it and come out the other end.

    PS the last time this exact-same thing happened last August, i felt awful but then enjoyed the meal and had a nice evening. Ha!

  441. Julie 31st January 2014 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Catastrophising is my middle name;) Honeslty I do it like a pro. When my mum got married Christmas Eve I was in a huge state, I’d worried all year about it. Would I be able to go, walk up the aisle, what would people say if if got anxious and had to leave, my agoraphobia may not let me go etc…. On the day I was so ill, I actually had a stomach bug and my anxiety was through the roof, but hey I got through it and then enjoyed my Christmas, after a year of dread.

    You will cope much better when you are there, it’s just all the worrying beforehand and dwelling on past experiences that causes the anxiety. I almost didn’t go to my mums wedding, not due to the bug, the anxiety was so severe, but I just had to feel the fear and do it anyway.

    Go Rich! You’re a tough cookie. Enjoy your meal out and I hope you feel ok, I know you will πŸ™‚

  442. Dominick 31st January 2014 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Rich, you pretty much just explained what happens with my sleep anxiety.

    The focus of that anxiety “sleep, health, stomach, headaches..” is all a bluff.

    “I fear these symptoms (based on past experience and β€˜what if’ thinking), so by mind thinks there is something to worry about, so it triggers the Flight response. This then triggers the very things I fear, so the loop is put into place. See how your mind uses your worst fear to get your attention?”

    I could have said exactly the same thing about my sleep anxiety.

    You’re all good!! The nature and content of those thoughts are BS.

  443. Aaron 31st January 2014 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Wow thanks, reading these post have helped me with my anxiety a lot, and although I’m a far ways off of feeling better I have come to accept my anxiety and understand that it’s ok to feel the way I do. For me finally accepting what I had and not trying to distract myself from it let me understand the real problem. I still have the anxiety in the morning, it’s still hard for me to eat, and I still am the biggest worrier over my health, but I understand that it isn’t me and I won’t allow it to take over my life. Hope things go good for you guys πŸ™‚

  444. Rachel 31st January 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Julie how did you get rid of your dizziness x

  445. Julie 31st January 2014 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    Rachel, it went on for a few weeks. In the end once the anxiety got better so did the dizziness. I was focusing on it, scared to walk round…. I lay on my bed all day some days as I feared fainting. This was a year ago when my anxiety first hit full force. Rest, and not focusing on it helped but then making myself still walk around, not wrapping myself up in cotton wool… It all took time but within a few weeks it had gone. It was all due to stress and high anxiety. I was obsessing over it which was feeding it.

  446. Rachel 31st January 2014 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    Julie sorry to mither you but this is my biggest fear if you were in a car and it had stopped did you still feel like you were moving and sometimes if you looked at something did it seem like it was moving this is the only symptom I get but maybe that’s because it’s my worse fear x

  447. Julie 31st January 2014 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    You are not mithering me at all.

    Do you feel dizzy when walking? do you feel it when lying down, I mean is the room spinning? I seemed to only have it on walking around. My head often still felt very woozy and light headed even when sat down, I often felt like cars next to me were moving when parked up. It was horrible x

  448. Rachel 31st January 2014 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    No the room isn’t spinning it isn’t like vertigo just wozzy off balance and sometimes when I go to reach something feel like I am going to fall my head goes really strange for a fee seconds but the weird thing is is that I don’t feel anxious but yet I feel dizzy wozzy all the time more so when walking but I have been told I have gad by my cbt lady x

  449. Julie 31st January 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    It sounds very similar to how i felt. The room didn’t spin I just generally felt off balance and found it hard to walk around and not fear it x

  450. Rachel 31st January 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Julie thank you will try not to fear and think about it just so hard when you can feel it all day every day xx

  451. Dominick 31st January 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    To anyone who recovered or recovering….

    Early on did you ever need to ‘talk yourself away from the ledge” so to speak with your anxious, scary thoughts?

    I have been allowing them to be there. But I would find myself starting to believe them…. and that would generate more anxiety in me. Which made me more confused “is this acceptance stuff even working????”

    But it seems like Paul and others have said that it’s okay to reassure yourself with thoughts like “these are just irrational thoughts produced by anxiety”.

    I guess I get worried that if I’m doing that am I paying the thoughts too much respect by reassuring myself?

    But, if I just let them be there sometimes I can feel the anxiety build and build and I find myself being impressed and convinced by these scary thoughts.

  452. Lynn 31st January 2014 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Lucy, thank you for your reply! So helpful! It’s so great to hear from someone else who feels the anxiety in the chest, seems like most feel it in their stomachs or heads. I agree, it is harder to dismiss sensations than thoughts because you do physically feel them, they are real. I also sometimes feel palpitations, in fact, I think that’s when most of my anxiety started, after getting those. I really appreciate your response to me, thanks again.

  453. Tiara 31st January 2014 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Dominick,

    I’m going to tell you my personal experience. When I first came across “acceptance” as well, when I tried it, it felt fake or forced. I actually didn’t quite understood what I was supposed to do. BUT, the more I sit through them, the more I managed to cope with them. Then, the coping turned into slowly forgetting about the anxiety and physical symptoms I feel. Finally, I now understand what it means to accept. To accept means, you live that moment. You feel anxious, oh well. You feel like you’re going to pass out, so be it. Your heart is racing, allow it. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of courage since you are facing your fears. However, it gets so much easier and eventually, you won’t even need to try to accept it, your mind just automatically accepts it. It’s also your attitude. A lot of the acceptance comes from your attitude. Don’t see it as a quick fix or a temporary relief. You have to do the hard work for the bigger prize. Nothing worth is comes easy. Be brave. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I’ve sat through numerous panic attacks. Some with crutches, some I distracted myself, and some I felt like just giving in. At first, I approached it in maybe a less effective way. You don’t want to depend on crutches – what I mean by crutches are distracting yourself with let’s say, “googling” or “watching something to forget your feelings.” They will help for a moment but not good in a long run. They are certainly baby steps, but know that you’re going to have to let those coping mechanisms go eventually and just learn to find your peace in the midst of your storm. One thing that did help me was to do things everyday that I enjoy. Not only are you enjoying something so it lowers stress, it rewires your brain connection, and they do make a difference later on. TREMENDOUS difference. I promise.

    point of it all is, acceptance comes with time. Attitude also affects a lot of your understand to acceptance. Patience. Courage, and trust. Be the master of your brain. Don’t let it enslave you.

    Hope that helps.

  454. Lynn 1st February 2014 at 2:31 am - Reply

    Lucy (or anyone) : ), do you ever feel your chest pains/sensations when you’re not feeling anxious? I do, and then I get anxious b/c I’m wondering why I’m having pains if I’m not anxious! I think, “these pains must mean something really is wrong this time.”

    You wrote, “Just trust in what you’ve been told, that there’s nothing wrong and go forward.” I really like that, it’s a good reminder. I do have much trouble sometimes with that b/c I will think that nothing was wrong when I saw the doctor, but now 6 months later, maybe something is wrong now. How do you keep from thinking like this?

    Thank you so much for any replies!

  455. Lynn 1st February 2014 at 2:33 am - Reply

    Tiara, that was very helpful what you wrote. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

  456. Tiara 1st February 2014 at 3:14 am - Reply

    Lynn,

    Yep! I feel them often. Just because you don’t feel anxious does not mean that your nerves aren’t tensed. Sometimes I get them from acid reflux (tends to make your chest muscles feel tight) or my muscles are just tensed from being overly worked and stressed. Healing isn’t smooth sailing. Even in your good days, your nerves are still suffering from prolong stress. So if your doctors said you’re okay, trust them. I had to learn to say enough is enough. I keep worrying about things I don’t have and make myself sick. It gets better. Try not to Google things as well. Half of those things do not apply to you. Just try to relax as much as you can. Your body will eventually release all the tension.

    I still think that sometimes something is wrong with me but I just let it be until that thought flies away. Acknowledge your thoughts but don’t judge them or analyze them. Know that its there but just like any thought, they will go away. Thoughts and feelings are nothing more than just thoughts and feelings. You give it however power you want it to have.

  457. Lucy 1st February 2014 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Yes Lynn, I do get them when I’m not anxious which starts off the worry cycle! But your body makes 100s of small changes a day, and we are so finely in tune with ourselves that we notice any small sensation and immediately think “what is this?” Once you start to worry more, the sensations heighten making you think, “there must be something wrong!” However, I trust that it’s anxiety because of things like it’s always worse when I’m on my own, at night, I’ve lost count of the number of nights I’ve wondered if I will wake up the next day… Yet I always have. Funny how when there’s someone else in the house with me, it’s not as intense, don’t you think?! Or when I’m working or distracted, it’s not there as much either. A serious problem would not be able to be avoided, and you would know about it! As uncomfortable as it feels, or no matter how much it’s panicked me, I’ve never been hospitalised/passed out etc. I’ve had tests done and the doctor is happy with them. So this is kind of the evidence I need to stop thinking there is some undiagnosed problem I don’t know about, put the symptoms under the anxiety umbrella and accept them. Accepting doesn’t mean that I don’t get the symptoms, I still do, a LOT, but I know time is the only solution πŸ™‚ I’ve come through other stages of anxiety, obsessive thoughts were enough to bring on panic attacks, but I realised none of it could hurt me and they hardly bother me anymore. I have every faith that this stage of anxiety will also be the same, I’ll come out of the otherside when I truly let go of the worry and I’m ready!

  458. Doreen 1st February 2014 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Julie – thought it best not to post your very long piece. I think it was one of those that may have made you feel better for having ‘got it off your chest’ but not sure what anyone could have said in response. Bit like writing the letter you always wanted to write but then throwing it away cos just getting the words written was the helpful thing. You are doing well – it shows in your supportive posts.

  459. Julie 1st February 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

    No problem Doreen.

  460. Doreen 1st February 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Julie – I am sorry but will be taking your last post off too. A number of people have already responded to you about the variety of feelings that anxiety can bring and helped you as best they can. You are getting back into telling the same story over again and there is nothing anyone else can add. It would be particularly irresponsible for any of us to advise over the role medication is playing in all of this as we are not qualified to do so. You have to trust your doctor.

  461. Julie 1st February 2014 at 11:44 am - Reply

    No problem Doreen. I’m just struggling to apply Paul’s method when the agitation feeling arises and so I can’t lose my fear of that particular symptom. Therefore I am stuck in the fear loop and am struggling to keep moving forward because of this one symptom still scaring me. Sorry I mentioned my medication.

    I’m doing well applying Paul’s method but this one symptom I can’t and it’s fueling the anxiety still at times.

  462. Doreen 1st February 2014 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    That’s fine Julie. We do understand but telling us the same thing over again with extra details doesn’t give us any extra understanding which is there is bucket loads anyway. No problem mentioning medication, just that you then seem to want some sort of reassurance that it either is/isn’t causing your agitation and this we cannot give. But most responses to you seem to suggest that your agitation may well be another anxiety symptom and nothing special or different. And you have in fact not acted in any way whilst being agitated so why the fear that you will?

  463. D-Ren 1st February 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Does anyone here play any instrument?
    I play the trumpet πŸ˜€

  464. Julie 1st February 2014 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    It’s just when I feel the agitation and anxiety it’s a feeling I get inside like I’m about to lose control or flip out. No idea why. Maybe it’s the fear I attach to it as I do have a fear of violence and being like my brother.

  465. Bryan 1st February 2014 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    D-Ren,

    Drums and a little guitar.

  466. Rob 1st February 2014 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Hey guys. I’m new to this blog and just need a little bit of help and advice. Well to start I’ve had bad anxiety a couple months ago, and thanks to Paul I’ve been feeling 100% better and haven’t had any symptoms. Which I thank him for. But lately I’m having a hard time getting back to normal? I guess. Like I accepted that yes I’ve had it, and yes I’m over it. But I cant get back to how things use to be. What I go through now is still talking to myself in my head about it, then getting stressed that I am because its something that’s over with. That and old thoughts of like, “I’m never going to get out of this.” and “Why do I need to go through this, I just want my life back.” Thoughts get to me, then I’d have to tell myself that I am over this, I do have my life back. And it just gets to me that this is something I’ve been dealing with for a couple months. That and old memories of what I’ve went through, and a lot of the things I do or look at, relates to anxiety. Like a picture of me would be like, Oh. Look how happier I was back then! And looking at other people I look at seems to be more open, and clear minded than I am. I just feel like I’m in a rut and don’t feel 100% “free” and clear. And was wondering if anyone else went through this, and how they helped their thoughts and improved their focus on other things except themselves.

  467. Christine 1st February 2014 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Charlotte & Kyara I was wondering if you received my email address? I haven’t received yours yet? xx

    Doreen, do you know if Paul has had a chance to look at our requests yet? xx

    Rich – how did your night go? Hope it went well! xx

    D-Ren – I don’t I’m afraid – wish I did though, wish I was more musical! πŸ™‚ xx

    Bryan – how are you doing? I think I remember you saying that you struggled with the physical symptoms?! I have times where I think they don’t bother me but then they rise up again and I end up in the loop again…do/did you feel like that? Mainly when I’m sitting/resting – when like this do you just let them be there and stay sitting/resting or get up and do something? xx

  468. Doreen 1st February 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    You will need to remind Paul yourselves about email addresses.

  469. Julie 1st February 2014 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    I asked Paul to pass on mine to a couple of you. I’ve not had any addresses through. I shall email him again but can those of you who want my email let me know and I shall ask him again. I asked him to give my address to Kyara and Charlotte I think. I’d forgotten who else wanted to keep intouch.

  470. Rich 1st February 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Good evening everyone, Just checking in to read how everyone is doing and to let you know that I survived last night!

    I had an anxious afternoon – stuck at work until 5pm with nothing but my anxious thoughts, ‘what if’ and my stomach keeping my ‘entertained’. I left work and felt fine going home, then when home read my book for 30mins whilst my stomach rumbled through hunger and I relaxed, thinking about food and how I wanted some. I then went for the meal, ordered and enjoyed it. I self-checked sometimes, with always positive feedback. I was one of only 2 people to order dessert – which I don’t even usually do!

    Today I enjoyed a lie in (no anxiety), went out to do some errands, tidied the house, went out for the afternoon and then for a carvery for dinner. I had a moment when I thought my symptoms may rise up, but I dismissed this, ignored it and then realised I’ve gone about 10 minutes without even thinking about it.

    All the ‘what ifs’ were a bluff, anxiety was controlled by not reacting to it, and then it went alltogether when it realised I was relaxing and enjoying myself. Hopefully there is a lesson in here for us all – especially those who just won’t let their anxiety drop. Try it – the results are worth it πŸ™‚

  471. Rich 1st February 2014 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    D-Ren, I’ve tried to learn the guitar, keyboard and drums. I can DJ on turntables however – one hobby I’ve seen through to actually doing with any sort of ability. Only lately have I thought about returning to the drums – I think once the anxiety cloud lifts, creativity comes back – even if it’s just banging things and making a loud noise πŸ™‚

    Julie, I completely agree with Doreen’s comments about your posts – please, please give your mind a rest by stopping running anxious, scary thoughts through it. Your brain listens to what you do – and writing about your worst fears only compounds them into your mind further – this is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. No excuses – stop it ok! πŸ™‚

    Small steps – don’t expect to remove fear of everything all in one go. Start making small steps and the symptoms will leave you one by one, bit by bit. Some will take longer than others – be patient.

    Rachel, Don’t dwell on the symptoms – you are not unique or the only one. Your symptoms are not important – it’s the recovering from the anxiety disorder that is. No matter what our symptoms are, recovery will remove them all. You have to understand this and let go.

    Dominick, in regards to anxious thoughts and respecting them, I don’t. I don’t respect them. I notice them, I acknowledge them, then I tell myself that they’re a load of rubbish. I do this rationally with a counter-thought or a more realistic representation of the real world. I’ve noticed that I have to do this less and less now, but at the start, this really helped me train myself to think less anxiously, and more positively. Don’t worry about doing this – just don’t ‘fight’ the thoughts and worry bout them. Let them pop into your head, then show them you’ve listened but you choose to ignore – them, believing another thought instead. It’s all part of retraining your brain – like learning a new skill.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend!

  472. Julie 1st February 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Rich – So glad you enjoyed your evening, well done you πŸ™‚

    I know, I just really do worry agitation can’t be anxiety related, it is horrible when it hits. I do notice it arises on a Friday night just as the weekend arrives, and some evenings during the week. So I can see why it is happening when I have to be around my children more, which usually I would love but the intrusive thoughts and anxiety have changed that at the moment.

    Today though I had a good day, anxiety all day racing around me, worries, what if’s, intrusive thoughts but I thought oh s*d it, and I had a lazy morning, then we went around the shops, home for a late lunch, then realised my back tyre was completely punctured and flat. I had to drive to the local tyre place and I needed 2 new tyres πŸ™ A nail through both, what are the chances. I just dropped my son off at his friends for a birthday sleepover, went to the shop for some goodies and I am now going to settle down with hubby to catch up on this weeks HoneyBooBoo, I LOVE this show. Sad I know, lol!

    Enjoy your Saturday evening all x

  473. Rachh 1st February 2014 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    Ive had an awakening today. Ive started to get it. Acceptance is being willing to feel all emotions. Not rushing through life doing exciting happy things or trying to overly control. Just being willing to accept life and its experiences good and bad because thats what life is. Haha! Brilliant. I hope im on the right path here but it does feel right. I feel my attitude changing.

  474. saverina 2nd February 2014 at 12:32 am - Reply

    Hi Julie, can I have your email address at all please? Thanks.

  475. Kyara 2nd February 2014 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Julie I received you email and emailed you back. Christine I asked Paul for your email and he said he needed an email from you before forwarding it. Let me know if I should email him again.

    To all who are recovering here remember acceptance is accepting physical and mental symptoms. Once your physical symptoms calm down you might still have the mental chatter, self checking, lack of emotions etc. Do not be alarmed with new ‘symptoms’. You don’t need to worry about your racing mind, emotions, feelings. It all passes in time. The more space you give it the faster it goes. I wouldn’t have believed this advice a couple of months ago. I questioned the acceptance approach daily. It does work. It is the right way to go. All you need is trust, patience and faith. Acknowledge when your mind is obsessing and let it. Don’t try to force thoughts or feelings away. They are harmless and will only come back with a vengeance.

  476. Lui 2nd February 2014 at 8:32 am - Reply

    So I think I got the message to 75% and in the last couple of days I discovered that a lot of my fears make no sense at all. So tomorrow , when school begins, I’ll start the the path to recovery. I’ll stay off the blog for some weeks. The last several weeks I completly changed my diet and started to go jogging. I’m pretty sure I’ll find the way out of anxiety. I’ll just accept my fears and will do it anyway. Sounds probably easier than it is…

  477. Christine 2nd February 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Thanks Kyara – I emailed Paul a good few days ago via the contact form but have just emailed again! xx

    Well, I’ve had a reasonable couple of days. Friday morning I had the usual adrenaline rushes when I woke up which make me feel horrible and started all kinds of negative thinking, but got to work and although it was on my mind constantly anxiety didn’t really bother me. Got home and felt anxious again as I had arranged to go to boxercise, but still went, it was hard and with the adrenaline pumping I had quite a few ‘doom’ moments, but afterwards felt great and had such a relaxing evening! Still had the the thoughts but that was fine!

    Yesterday woke up horrible again, but went shopping for a few hours, had a few wobbly moments but it was ok and then met some friends in the evening for a few hours with the Hubby & I felt almost ‘normal’, got home about eight and again was quite relaxed.

    All, I can say that it is true just to get on with your day with anxiety. I must admit I haven’t slept great and feel horrible this morning, mostly due to the adrenaline rushes that I get on waking, but at least I’ve had a positive couple of days! πŸ™‚ Not got much to do today so I’m going to try and relax and just let anxiety be there with me, don’t know how successful I’ll be but I’ll soon find out!

    Rich – so pleased for you again…you’re definitely on the right path! xx

    Rachh – it seems that you’re on the right path too! xx

    It’s lovely to see lots of positive posts! xx

  478. Paul David (Admin) 2nd February 2014 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Rachh Says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 11:49 pm e
    Ive had an awakening today. Ive started to get it. Acceptance is being willing to feel all emotions. Not rushing through life doing exciting happy things or trying to overly control. Just being willing to accept life and its experiences good and bad because thats what life is. Haha! Brilliant. I hope im on the right path here but it does feel right. I feel my attitude changing.

    That’s a wonderful insight Rachh and totally it, people think they have to rid themselves of feelings, come up with solutions to not feel a certain way. The only way towards feeling peace mentally and physically is to go through and feel emotions. You would be amazed at how much mental energy people use trying to rid or supress their emotions.

    All emails are passed on now, people can communicate other people’s email address if they wish.

  479. Christine 2nd February 2014 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Hi Paul, I still haven’t received Charlotte’s or Kyara’s? Sent another request before via the contact form. xx

  480. Rich 2nd February 2014 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Hi Christine, I hope your days improve. Just balance your negative thoughts with rational, positive ones and your mind will slowly listen. It takes time – you’re basically through repetition telling your mind all is well, while waiting for it to come to the same conclusion by itself. Just keep going. Once you have moments of clarity and calm you will encourage yourself and as things come back to normal, momentum gathers and you begin to enjoy the process.

    Rachh, It really does sound you’re making progress – once you have the right approach, everything else will fall into place. With your stressful job, just make sure you make time to relax and de-stress.

    Julie, Your agitation doesn’t come out of nowhere – it’s just another symptom caused by a tired and stressed-out mind. Relax and calm your mind, fill it with rationality and positivity and it will heal, and the agitation will stop. This is all it is. Learn to accept this (read Paul’s, Rachh’s and Kyara’s posts above as they describe this perfectly) and it will soon die off – just like all the other symptoms you have. Don’t give it the attention is so craves and it will lose its power over you. You can control this by how you react. Change your reaction to that of ‘doing nothing’.

    To those emailing each other, please do post up here anything that is positive or which would be helpful to others should you share it among yourselves. Positivity and disproving our negative thoughts really is the key to overcoming this.

    “We learn by doing” – Aristotle.

  481. Paul David (admin) 2nd February 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Kyara has yours Christine and when she contacts you then you will have hers, anyone else’s someone in the circle will have it.

  482. Mark r 2nd February 2014 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    Just thought I’d check in. Ive not been on really as been generally feeling better overall, getting on with life and sometimes enjoying it. I am having stretches of good days followed by some real tough ones, today being the latter. Im happy that the pattern is turning in my favour though.

    When I get the good stretches I find my thinking almost returns to normal, making plans, enjoying hobbies but when I have days like this I cant think outside of how crap I feel and life means bugger all. I agree eith kyara its the physical side that you need to accept aa they are the things that hurt the most. A chattering mind and light Dp is easy to live alongside even on very good days.

    Im not gonna let today get me down too much expecially on the back of 4 or 5 days of very good days.

    Hope everyone is well.

    Mark

  483. Nikki 2nd February 2014 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Aw I just really hope that the people emailing each other still continue to be active on the forum. I wouldn’t want to swap emails as I did it once before on here and it didn’t work out. The girl got all my contact details but didn’t return the favour then I got bombarded by a virus from her Hotmail account. It would be good if you guys can keep posting here.

    Today I have a migraine and feel lousy! Xx

  484. Bryan 2nd February 2014 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Good to hear Mark!

    I’m somewhat in the same place though currently at the end of a 8-10 day setback. (I hope)

    For me it’s all morning anxiety that sparks things. I feel fine at night or even for a fee days and then it ramps up out of sleep and sticks for a few hours to days. Feels totally random. All I can do is continue the acceptance practice until my body decides it’s healed.

    Glad to hear you are seeing improvement!

  485. Mark r 2nd February 2014 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Bryan,

    Its not so much sleep for me but when I wake I can tell it’s going to be a hard day. I’m not getting setbacks but patches of bad days. I class bad days when I really suffer, today has been particularly bad or so I think, the contrast of the good days makes the bad seem worse. Its totally random for me too with no reason for it.

    My acceptance level has been high despite feeling awful. Today ive had breakfast in a cafe, been to a record fair, changed my room around and now off to the cinema. I cant ask anymore of myself can I?

  486. Julie 2nd February 2014 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Hi Nikki, I will still be using the blog. I love it here, everyone has helped me so much.

    Rich, Thank you. I am applying Pauls method alot and it is working but I have a question, it may sound odd but I hope you understand what I am about to say.

    You know it says if you have a broken leg you let it rest and you don’t go finding ways to fix it sooner etc….? Well, you should apply the same method to anxiety and intrusive thoughts right, but how because you don’t think with your leg or whatever bone you break. How do you stop your mind from over thinking, worrying, intrusive thoughts…… I know I can accept i have anxiety now and the one thing I can do now is carry on regardless. I go about my days now cooking, cleaning, shopping…. where as before I did nothing but sit in my bedroom crying, shaking, not eating, rumminating all day long…. so things have improved. I just don’t know how to stop my mind from feeling anxious when my scary intrusive thoughts hit, I let them be there and I just start cleaning or cooking to take my mind off it but I guess that is the wrong thing to do.

    So things are improving but I am just stuck with that, I am still struggling a little to understand so thought I would ask here. I am reading Pauls book for the third time now, I love it and I hope it will eventually all just make perfect sense.

  487. Val 2nd February 2014 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    All going well…with me ..and hopefully others….a few good days,and bingo….life is good. Wishing you all well.val????????????

  488. Val 2nd February 2014 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Not??? But πŸ™‚

  489. Julie 2nd February 2014 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Great to hear Val xx

  490. Doreen 2nd February 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Saverina – we don’t put people’s email addresses on the blog.

  491. Val 2nd February 2014 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you Julie ….love your progress too.x

  492. Rachel 2nd February 2014 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Can I just ask anyone I haven’t thought about dizziness and felt ok but when I pulled my bed out to clean behind I went really wozzy off balance why can that be as I wasn’t thinking about it it also did it as I was cleaning my cd case why so sorry to keep going on about it I even do my own head in sometimes xx

  493. Nikki 2nd February 2014 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Rachel you can go dizzy if you hold your breath or if you over breathe. If you are bending down to move the bed your blood pressure can change – all very normal reactions for your body. The trick is not to worry about it when it happens. Easier said than done I know!

    Julie glad you are going to be hanging around here! There are not many of us on the forum who have trouble going out alone – its nice to have you around. Xx

  494. Julie 2nd February 2014 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    I’d say that’s normal, I get it when cleaning and even had it bad today after badminton. X

    Thanks Val x

    Nikki, be great to help eachother out, hard suffering from agoraphobia but we will get through it. I managed Costa today alone for my take out. I was kept waiting and even had a lovely chat with the girl serving me. Something I’d usually do πŸ™‚ xx

  495. Julie 2nd February 2014 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    I’d not usually do, I meant. Silly phone πŸ˜‰

    First line was for Rachel too πŸ˜‰ xx

  496. Karen 2nd February 2014 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Help…. I am in the midst of a massive set back. The light at the end of the tunnel has gone. Hard as I try, I can’t seem to do this acceptance thing. I understand the principle but feel I need to keep fighting, solving the problem. It is just my nature. I am carrying on life as usual, dragging myself around but its too hard at the moment. I feel so bad for my family, this has been going on for so long. I am sure there must be a reason for this but I can’t find it. I know you will say I have to stop trying but it is so scary. The thoughts so horrible and I have no feelings for anyone which scares me too. I know I have been here before but did not want to be here again. Will it ever go? Positive words please…..

  497. Karen 2nd February 2014 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I have a general high constant level of anxiety so there is no let up. I really wish I had at least one place I could relax and be without it. Does anyone else have it with them ALL the time? I am sure everyone else thinks they have it the worst but to feel like I constantly need peeling off the ceiling can’t be right can it?

  498. Lui 2nd February 2014 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Yeah I have it all the time. I’m always lightheaded and derealised. It’s because I’m thinking too much about it.

  499. Rebecca 2nd February 2014 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Karen,

    It’s with me all day every day and I feel every ounce of your frustration. Feel really angry with myself that I’m not fully accepting this thing. It really is so so hard. Also I have the cold to so feel double rubbish. Hope you guys had a better day. X

  500. Maja 2nd February 2014 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    I think that anxiety is very individual just as dealing with it. For example, when I start to have a panic attack, I HAVE TO find a way to relax simply so that I don’t start feeling physically sick or like I’m going to faint. Taking deep breaths and concentrating on relaxing my muscles makes wonders for me. The psychological part of havin anxiety is best left as you said, not to fight to hard against it. I think that when I fight against my anxiety it gets even worse because I feel like I’m under a lot of pressure about that part of my life too…

  501. Rachh 3rd February 2014 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Another way ive been lookin at it is..
    I always looked at anxiety as something attacking me that it was something seperate. Ive now started to realise that anxiety isnt a thing. It is us.. Its an emotion. You are feeling it and need to be willing to feel it. If that makes sense. Not allow it in because its something seperate. We are all anxious and feeling anxious and need to feel it instead of thinking its something seperate needing to be removed.

  502. Rich 3rd February 2014 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Morning everyone, I had a bit of a blip yesterday – I think stress brought it on and my zero-tolerance level towards stress just set me back a little. I was sat working at my PC, and just didn’t feel right. I felt down, depressed, lost all lust for life – even though it only lasted for a couple of hours, it reminded me what it is like to feel like this – how ‘real’ it feels and how it is so hard to think otherwise when anxiety consumes you. I came off the pc, went for a walk and then read my book, and then felt better and had a lovely tea and evening. It’s so easy to say ‘what to do’ to people with this, but I still completely appreciate how difficult it is to apply the thinking required. Just rest assured that it does work, and the clouds do part, and you do return to your normal self in time.

    Rachel, Just remember that you are highly sensitised with this anxiety at the moment – your body is looking out for danger and what you fear. You’ve told it to be like this. Your fear is dizziness so you’re mind is constantly looking for that ‘danger’ – thinking you’re doing to feint or whatever and to look out for it all the time – the slightest sign – the merest hint. Therefore, you will often feel dizzy and then feel fear. You have to break this loop by not reacting to it – as hard as this may be.

    Julie, You asked ‘how do I stop the thoughts and the thinking’ – the answer is you don’t. You don’t because you can’t. You can’t control the thoughts appearing because its your sub-conscious which controls this for you. But, you CAN control how you react to them – and this is the key. You have to re-train your brain to identify them not as anxious or dangerous thoughts. This takes practice and time, but can be done – trust me as I do it (sometimes better than other times, but like I say, it takes practice – to rewire the neural pathways in your brain.

    So what do you do when the thoughts come? First, you do nothing. Don’t worry, don’t fight them, don’t panic, don’t actively distract yourself in purpose. You just let them come – let them fill your mind and run around and try to scare you and try to make you retreat into your shell and never come out.

    The key is that you do not react to them. You do not respect them – you do not listen to them, and most of all you do not believe them. You can listen to them and then propose an alternative, more positive thought for your brain to chew over, or you can dismiss them as the rubbish that they are.

    It is our natural instinct to try to rid ourselves of these thoughts – to fight them, to argue them and fear them, but this is a fight we can never win, so the key to winning the battle is not to fight. Rationalise them and replace them, then you’ll notice you’re less stressed, your mind more relaxed, and then it will begin to restore balance and normality will return.

    The key is to do nothing. This is called acceptance and floating – and is a tricky skill to master. As always, practice makes perfect.

    Karen, I’ve been where you are – my home was my safe place, but last year anxiety invaded and took this away from me. I had nowhere left to hide – I felt hopeless and lost. You’re not unique in this way. With understanding, you will learn to overcome this feeling. Read, digest and understand, and you will recover. Treat today as the start of your journey.

  503. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Thank you for your great reply Rich.

    Well this morning has been tough, the worst I’ve felt in a few weeks to be honest, and I even had a cry. So please don’t flame me for posting, it’s been a horrible couple of hours for me.

    I had a nightmare about something awful, and I woke up with the intrusive thoughts about myself and my daughter. I got up, had a shower and my old feelings swept over me that I didn’t want hubby to go to work. I was crying, mind racing with nasty thoughts and I feared him leaving me alone with the children. Of course I let him go, got through the morning. Went to my daughter, hugged and kissed her a few times. Tears in my eyes. After they went to school I felt so sad and overwhelmed, it’s been a while since they’ve sent me into panic like that.

    These thoughts are causing my anxiety, prior to these thoughts I had anxiety but nothing like this. I’m worrying these thoughts mean I’m a bad violent person, and the ones about me make me fear my future. Will they ever go and let me enjoy my family again:(

    I’d started feeling stronger about them, Pia said sent me a link that said a wanted thought can happen, an unwanted thought cannot. That helped but now I’m worried I’m defeated again:(

    Sorry for a self pitty post. Feeling very anxious and sad again πŸ™

  504. Mark r 3rd February 2014 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Hi Rich,

    I get the same as you really with that awful lost and hopeless feeling. Sometimes it can be a fleeting moment on a good day that passes very quickly, sometimes it can consume me for days. Yesterday was like that, full of misery and symptoms, I lost perspective and interest in everything. As you say though its important to not believe anything when you are like that as everything is grossly distorted.

    An old Buddhist saying is that the blue sky is always there behind the clouds even on bad weather days. You just have to sit back and wait for the clouds to pass. Same applies to our moods.

  505. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Charlotte- I’ve asked if Paul could pass my email address onto you, so far I’ve only heard from Kyara via email. X

  506. Rich 3rd February 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Mark R, that’s a great saying. I’ve got a buddhist saying I was given by my therapist which I have in my wallet:

    “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world”.

    I think of that saying everytime I catch myself worrying about anything.

  507. Doreen 3rd February 2014 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Regarding what to do with anxious feelings and the ‘what if’ thoughts that often accompany them.
    I used to try to push them away but they always hovered around waiting to pounce when my back was turned – so that was no answer.
    Then I found that although I had allowed them to stay present, I was feeding them, again with the ‘what if’ thoughts.
    So now, I let them be present with the absolute certainty that they will fade with time. If there has been a really good anxiety free time, I am always taken aback when the challenge re-emerges but I then settle back into ‘so what’ mood again pretty quickly.
    But I think I may have spotted the difficulty some of you are having with the concept of letting the thoughts be there – you are in fact ‘feeding them’ and making yourselves feel worse. No wonder you are sceptical about the advice to let them be present because you are experiencing this as feeling even worse by the constant feeding.
    I would also like to comment on distraction – in an earlier post Rich talked about getting out, reading a book etc and that he felt much better afterwards. That may seem contradictory advice as you will also have read him and other counselling against distraction. However, I think the secret is that if you purposefully rush round trying to distract then, like my first attempts to push the feelings away, they will hover round ready to bite again.
    However, if you naturally get on with your day doing something which would normally give you pleasure (in my case watching good TV I have missed on iPlayer) then you might well find that you have calmed down naturally.
    I also endorse a suggestion made on a previous post, that at the end of a bad day maybe think about all the things you have achieved despite feeling grim rather than focussing on the negative.

  508. Rich 3rd February 2014 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Julie, Self-pity is another symptom of anxiety – therefore it’s completely normal to feel it. I know I have!

    You say your thoughts are causing your anxiety, but it’s your REACTION to your thoughts which is causing your anxiety. Your mind only reacts to what you feed into it with your senses.

    Are you telling your mind these thoughts are rubbish? or are you worrying about them and winding yourself up and up and up about them? You’re choosing to do the wrong thing.

    It’s important you stop elevating these thoughts to some pedestal higher than that of ‘just anxiety’. They get their power some such reaction and you’re giving it to them. Stop it.

    Nightmares aren’t real, thoughts aren’t real. I think you need to calmly reinforce this to yourself and get some perspective.

    Everything you think is based on anxiety’s lies by a worn out and stressed out mind. You need to realise this and stop listening to your anxious mind. Stop paying it so much attention – stop fuelling it.

    No ‘but…’ or ‘what if’ you feel you need to think or write can possibly justify believing these thoughts and worrying about them.

    Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, then stand tall. Find the inner strength you have inside of you to face this thing. You are a strong, independent woman – a mother, a wife.

    What is a ‘thought’ compared to this??

  509. Nikki 3rd February 2014 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Julie your post is not a pity post. You have had such a fright this morning and your body hasn’t quite recovered. Try if you can and relax into your body. Simple things like trying to drop your shoulders and loosen your jaw. Your thoughts are scary but you are not. It’s so hard not to believe your thoughts but they really are not true. They just come from a tired mind. My own thoughts were terrifying a few years ago but I got a lot of comfort from Claire weekes who describes that your thoughts are worse when you are tired. I rarely get scary thoughts now. I just wish I could get rid of the physical sensations that flood my body when I go out.

    Try be gentle with yourself and be proud of your achievements. You didn’t ask your hubby to stay home today and that is great. I was reading your posts over the weekend and like me you cram a lot into your days at the weekend. Asda swimming badminton…. It’s neither wonder you feel rough today. For what it’s worth I find Mondays hard too as the whole week looms ahead and everyone is at work. Hopefully as today goes on you will settle. Xx

  510. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Rich – Thank you for replying.

    I have had anxiety in the past, usually based around my health but as soon as these thoughts hit 10 weeks ago I was thrown into turmoil. I have suffered the worst anxiety I have ever had and it has left me terrified. In recent weeks things have improved but today is the worst I have felt in a fair few weeks, and I am finding it overwhelming and worried if I am slipping back to the woman I was before Christmas. I can’t go back to that, I was sat all day shaking, scared, couldn’t eat, sleep, function, hubby had to work from home…. and this morning I have felt the anxiety in my stomach that I had back then. Where has the strong part of me gone?

    These thoughts terrify me, and I guess because I am thinking them, for some reason I think they must be wanted or must be who I am? if that makes sense. They set me on high alert so now although the children are in school I am still on high alert, lump in my throat, but I am worrying about myself now and worrying I am slipping back.

    These intrusive thoughts have really changed my life. I wonder will I ever be free from them and be the girl I once was. It is really sad. I have always lived with anxiety and Pauls book helped me alot last year when I had agoraphobia and anxiety about going out, but since I started with thoughts like this I have been struggling. I have always doubted myself, if I have thoughts about myself does that mean I am giving up, if I have thoughts about my children does that mean I don’t love them. Very upsetting.

    My GP did say to me that the fact these thoughts create so much fear and anxiety proves they are unwanted. I actually am not depressed either, well I scored 12 so my GP said between 10-17 is minor depression so really isn’t a concern.

    I hope today gets better. x

  511. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Hi Nikki,

    Thank you for replying to me.

    I do find Mondays tough, I often experience high anxiety and intrusive thoughts on a Monday but today has been worse than normal. Well, similar to how I was feeling before Christmas but I was determind to not have my husband home. My son is ill, full of cold and his asthma is playing up so I have him home now with me.

    I was worried about posting on here but I don’t use anxiety boards now, really trying to avoid posting on the one i used to use alot, but everyone on here is always so supportive and I just needed to get out how I was feeling.

    Thank you for replying to me. xx

  512. Doreen 3rd February 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Julie – just now it seems like you are reading other people’s posts to you but not taking their content on board at all.

    Rich says ‘You say your thoughts are causing your anxiety, but it’s your REACTION to your thoughts which is causing your anxiety. Your mind only reacts to what you feed into it with your senses”

    And yet you still put the thoughts as being the cause of your anxiety, rather than the anxiety being the cause of your thoughts. And to be honest what your GP says doesn’t really help you see things differently as he too is putting the thoughts as a cause rather than a symptom.

    Because your anxiety is now manifesting itself as intrusive thoughts you seem to be giving it much greater weight than when it caused agoraphobia. Your common sense told you that being anxious about going out was rubbish and so you overcame that to some large extent. Why can you not see that these thoughts which are generated by extreme anxiety are also rubbish?

    Horrid as the thoughts are Julie they are only a symptom of your anxiety, not the cause.

    I could put a list a mile long about the ‘things’ that I have felt anxious about which had no foundation in fact. An example being that if I misplaced something it meant I was “going mad’. In fact I was agitated by anxiety and so I misplaced things much more easily.

    I know that might seem trivial compared to the thoughts you are having but believe me there have been more disturbing ones which it would neither help me to revisit here nor anyone to read them. But they were all a bluff Julie.

    You have anxiety – plain and simple.

    You describe one of your most recent posts as being written in order to ‘get out your feelings’. You have used the board for that a number of times and yet in the long run it doesn’t seemed to have helped you move on, in fact I would suggest the opposite.

  513. Sara 3rd February 2014 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m new posting on the blog, but sadly not new to Anxiety. I have suffered for nearly 15 years, have read so many anxiety/panic,cbt books, spent wasted time gogoling for hours on end. But can honestly say that until I found this website and read Pauls book did it all start to make sense. (Why had I not found it sooner) It all started for me out the blue when one day whilst cooking a breakfast I had a panic attack, my life then changed forever, because I feared another, I then feared being left alone, feared going out, feared going mad. Pretty much feared my own life, I walked about in a shell of myself not knowing what the hell was happening to me. Its only now having read Paul’s book I realise I suffered intense depersonalisation, I had never read about it at the time and no doctor explained this as a symptom of Anxiety. It took a good couple of years to start feeling normal, I came out the other side with the help of medication, psychotherapy and the support of family and friends. And it’s true what they say β€œFeel the fear but do it anyway” My biggest fear was I was going to stop breathing, I was told to hold my breath and try and stop myself, It’s impossible!! Whatever I feared I pushed myself to do It was the only way to overcome it, I went many years with a few hiccups I had 2 relapses where I thought I was back there again, I never had the depersonalisation again but the fear of going mad. My problem is I bottle things up and then it seems they explode with anxiety and panic and I then have to build myself up again. Although I have suffered for 15years this has not been ongoing and had many years completely anxiety free. But just before Christmas my anxiety built up again, and I was scared to do things on my own or be left on my own, felt yet again I was going mad and this time I have had intense intrusive scary thoughts. Which in the 15 years of anxiety is a completely new symptom to me, and what is now so hard to shake off. Pauls book has helped a great deal, I know acceptance is the answer and I do not avoid things and continue to life my life as if the anxiety was not there. But the thoughts are a struggle at times, when I’m busy and distracted, Great. When I’m alone or bored not so great, I know the answers and know what I should do, I have to remove the fear. And I will, and I know all of you on here can do that to. In the moment of intense panic/anxiety/intrusive thoughts you may not feel like you can. But you will !! It is a long process, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can highly recommend Katie Pipers book β€œStart Your Day With Katie: 365 Affirmations for a Year of Positive Thinking” Each day is a new affirmation, if you start your day on a positive note it can only get better :)?

  514. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks Doreen.

    I know I always say the thoughts cause my anxiety, but the reason I say that is I was doing fine until the intrusive thoughts hit out of the blue. As soon as they hit I was then plagued by them and my anxiety was rife. Prior to that yes i had agoraphobia but it didn’t cause me to feel like this. I realise now I do feed the anxiety by fearing the thoughts but the thoughts hit and then this bad spell of anxiety followed.

    I am just really struggling with them again, after a couple of weeks feeling a little stronger. I really hope in time I can get through this. I just want peace, I don’t want to feel scared to be alone, or scared to be around my children. It’s torture. I was prior to this a very loving, happy mum. I just lived and breathed my children, now I just live in fear of being around my daughter. It really has changed me.

  515. Rich 3rd February 2014 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie, I agree with Doreen – your post above (not your last one, the one before) seeks to just reinforce your fear into yourself again. It’s like you’re hitting yourself over the head with a sledgehammer, over and over.

    We know your story and your feelings – there really is no need to repeat them again and again on here.

    It feels like you aren’t listening to the advice we are giving you – no matter what I seem to write is ignored as you pour petrol on the fire again and again.

    You need to stop torturing yourself and start to digest what we are all trying to teach you.

    All you are doing is making yourself worse and worse. The only person who can stop this is you.

    PS Your intrusive thoughts ‘hitting you out of the blue’ isn’t a problem at all. It was, and still is your reaction to them that is the problem stopping you from getting better.

  516. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Rich – I apologise if I repeat myself.

    I want to apply the method of acceptance and letting the thoughts be there and in recent weeks I have but suddenly I am struggling and feel I can’t apply it to the intrusive thoughts that frighten me.

  517. Nikki 3rd February 2014 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Julie just for the record I think you are doing great! This acceptance thing is not easy and almost goes against our every reflex in our body. Think back to how you were a few weeks ago on this site you are doing so much better. Today is a blip because you have probably done too much lately and you woke up with a fright this morning. Don’t lose sight of what you achieved. When you are less tired tomorrow you will be able to try and accept your thoughts more easily. I have been hanging around this site for two years and I haven’t cracked the acceptance thing either. As long as we are heading in the right direction that’s all that matters. You have made huge progress over the last few weeks -be proud and try not to worry too much about today being rubbish! Xx

  518. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    I do listen and trust me I really do try to apply what people tell me, and in many ways I have but these still overwhelm me and I can’t seem to apply it to them.

  519. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you Nikki. Yes I do think I have come a long way from the woman who first posted here. I am struggling to apply the acceptance thing to these thoughts, I so wish I could. I struggle and I am sorry that i post here asking for help with that, I really don’t mean to repeat myself and annoy people.

    Thank you for your support Nikki x

  520. saverina 3rd February 2014 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Rich,

    Really like reading your posts, they’re really therapeutic. I believe the reason for your blip yesterday relates to memory of past suffering.

    Moderators/Paul I would like to help assist in giving advice and supporting, how do I go about this?

    Thank you.

    Regards, Saverina

  521. Nikki 3rd February 2014 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Julie maybe today you have to accept that you are having trouble accepting lol! Exhaustion does that to me every time. We all have days that are harder than others -in fact rich had a blip yesterday too. Tomorrow will be better! And by the way you are not annoying me! Xx

  522. Rich 3rd February 2014 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie, As Nikki says, this is just a blip. We all have days worse than others. Overtime these will become less and less. Just draw on your progress made so far – think of all the achivements (you mentioned going for coffee in an earlier post alone – use this to prove to yourself that you can, and are, beating this.

    The thoughts you have are anxiety driven, but they’re the biggest thing to you. You have to adopt the same attitude towards them as the smaller things (getting coffee), but because you fear them the most, they will take a little longer for you to accept and let ‘be there’ in your head without you being bothered by them. This is a long journey with small steps. Sometimes you take a step backwards. The key is to keep on going.

    Maintain perspective, keep applying the techniques – relax, calm, positive, rational. This is all you have to do. Let the thoughts be there, listen to them, but then couter-balance them and tell them that you don’t believe them, and you’re in control.

    Your strength is in you and shines through – going out, getting coffee, being home without your husband – you need to see this. You have the strength to get through this and you’re making huge progress. Believe in yourself – seize the day.

  523. Paul David (Admin) 3rd February 2014 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Julie look how many times you say ‘I worry that…..’ your posts are littered with them, this is exactly what keeps you in the loop, anxiety loves you to be worried as it feeds on it. The best technique is to allow everything to happen that you are worried about, allow yourself to be like you were before Xmas, allow today to be horrible, don’t hope or try to force it to be any different, allow yourself to think anything, allow yourself to fall into the deepest hole imaginable. It is this constant worrying, analysing, questioning, holding on, hoping etc that is making you feel the way you do, you need to release that and release grip, take everyday as it is, don’t hope it will be better than yesterday, you will be up and down, your thoughts will be irrational, you will feel dreadful at times, but you MUST allow yourself to feel this way the best you can, to rid ourselves of feelings and emotions we must allow ourselves to feel them, think of all the extra freedom this gives, it gives your mind the time and space to recover. This will not happen if you keep bombarding yourself with worry or constantly hoping you won’t feel this way. You will, the first part of recovery is accepting this and understanding it’s a process and it wont leave you overnight.

    The reason people get frustrated when they advise and you come back and do the opposite is that they can see where you are going wrong, I can see it, you have to try and work on this and not go down the instinct path which tells you to fight or wish it away. People tend to give up answering if they feel they are not being listened to, just ask them to expand or question a certain part if you don’t fully get it, this is better than dismissing the advice being given to you.

    You can think what you want, thoughts are just a stream of words with no importance, anxiety makes them irrational, scary at times, but they are not real, they are completely false, no matter how loud they shout. Now it is you and you only who can chose to believe this. I used to have them, I could see the truth behind them and took them with a pinch of salt, I no longer have anxiety so they are no longer there, but they could come back tomorrow and I could not care less and that is because of my attitude towards them and this is what you must work on. Repeating that you have them hoping that someone can magic them away will not help, think them, it’s fine as long as you can see them for what they are, false thoughts appearing real that are brought on by your anxious state, you cannot think these irrational thoughts without anxiety, so that tells you why they are there.

    Julie just try and take things on board, instead of using it as a sounding board or some kind of journal to how you are feeling daily. Try to use it to find advice, to change the way you think and react, ask if you are not sure on anything. I and others mean well and there is no need to apologise for anything, we are just trying to get you on a different path, one that will truly help you.

  524. Rich 3rd February 2014 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Saverina, I’m just another person on this blog just like you – I just post on here with regular comments to share my progress and get support when I need it. I just read the books and give back when I’ve learned to help others. You too can do this if you wish – I feel that it actually helps me with my own anxiety issues tremendously.

    Nikki, My blip yesterday brought back all of my fear – just like a dark cloud looming over me, taking the sunshine out of everything. All my progress washed away, returning me to square one… …But it didn’t – it’s all a bluff, but I was taken in by it I admit for a few hours.

    As you mention, today is another day. Recovery is a journey – there are ups and downs. The thing to remember is that even though it may feel like it, there is no reverse, just the odd bit of turbulance now and again.

  525. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Nikki – Thank you for your support, it means alot. I am very tired today, I had a nightmare last night which I think has triggered this high anxiety today as it has been a while since I felt like this. Early night for me πŸ™‚ x

    Rich – I am going to work really hard to accept the thoughts like I think ‘oh I need a drink’ or ‘I need to do the ironing’… normal thoughts that I don’t attach anxiety to. I will really try to do that. I hope I am getting the idea now.

    Paul – Thank you so much for replying. A reply from you means alot as I really admire what you have achieved and I love your book. I have recommended it to so many people. It has helped me in many ways but like I have said the thoughts that are intrusive I struggle with. The reason I do is because for example having a thought about my daughter who I love so much is terrifying. The one thought is bad enough but of course it spirals into many more….. If I did that I would lose my children, lose my life, feel guilt forever…. so one thought spirals and it is then I feel my anxiety run wild. It is almost time to pick my children up and I hate it that I feel anxious about being around them at home. I used to love picking them up from school and spending time with them.

    I thought I was getting the idea of the acceptance and I have for my anxiety it many ways. I couldn’t function only a month ago, I sat all day worrying, doing nothing but shaking but now i go about my day and let myself feel anxious. It is just when I have the thoughts that I cannot seem to accept them and not fear them.

    Noone can take them away from me, I know it has to come from me and it only will when I lose my fear of them by just letting them be there and attach no emotion to them. I hope i can do that, I find it so hard with these thoughts in my head. Thoughts are just thoughts, you cannot hold them, they aren’t real but I guess I have always thought what you think must be what you want to happen.

    I will be taking yours, and everyone else’s advice on board. I am here to learn and that is why I posted today as I am struggling with applying the acceptance to these thoughts and today just felt truly overwhelmed.

    Thank you for replying to me.

    Julie

  526. lorryt 3rd February 2014 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Hi All,

    am beginning to realise that alot of my anxiety was created by my reaction to a very destructive relationship with my partner. i am now not with him, but am experiencing anxiety over a new one !!!!….I KNOW ITS ASSOCIATED WITH HABIT AND MEMORY…, and some trust issues, but i am finding it really hard to accept it all. It dosnt help that i have stopped my meds, silly person that i am . i should stay on them , just at least for a few more months. I know anxiety can’t hurt me, just make me feel very uneasy and again as it has always done the thoughts are taking over and i am believing them. some days i can let them be there and just treat them with the contempt they deserve, but today i seem to be doubting that I am going to be able to hold my relationship together, and that its all going down the pan. i am overthinking and overanlayzing every little detail. anxiety sucks, but need to relearn all that i have forgotten about it…

  527. Paul David (admin) 3rd February 2014 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Paul – Thank you so much for replying. A reply from you means alot as I really admire what you have achieved and I love your book. I have recommended it to so many people. It has helped me in many ways but like I have said the thoughts that are intrusive I struggle with. The reason I do is because for example having a thought about my daughter who I love so much is terrifying. The one thought is bad enough but of course it spirals into many more….. If I did that I would lose my children, lose my life, feel guilt forever…. so one thought spirals and it is then I feel my anxiety run wild. It is almost time to pick my children up and I hate it that I feel anxious about being around them at home. I used to love picking them up from school and spending time with them.

    A thought is only terrifying if you attach any importance to it, if you see any truth in it, a thought without fear holds no weight whatsoever. I thought lots of daft and irrational things in my day, they seem so silly now because they were, it was just anxiety playing tricks on me. You know these thoughts are irrational deep down so don’t worry you will never act on them.

    Allow yourself to feel anxious around your children, mummy is just having anxiety issues at the minute, she will be back to her old self soon, just remember, small steps. Feel no guilt for how you feel, don’t try to change how you feel, allow yourself to feel anxious, it’s all this hate and frustration and guilt about how you feel that is getting in your way.

    At the moment Julie you seem to be in one big battle with yourself, don’t use this blog to feel instantly better, use it to be more accepting of the way you feel, this is key. I spent years TRYING to feel better, it was the trying that created more stress, tension and anxiety, I spent years trying to DENY and SUPRESS my feelings, this appraoch would never work, I was always fighting myself, it was only when I let myself feel these emotions, this emptiness, this strageness that I began to heal, all the stress, worry and tension left me, I still felt awful for a while which was to be expected and that was fine, but for once I had fully accepted myself.

    This is why it is vital to not hope you don’t feel a certain way, to worry you will, to punish or question yourself if you do. Whatever emotion or thought that arises allow yourself to feel/think it without judgement or concern. You get better at this and it becomes second nature, your just getting on with your day whilst the storm rages, yet you feel detached from it, almost like it is seperate from you.

    So tomorrow when you pick your children up, know you will feel anxious around them, you may not like it, but learn to be O.K with it, no questioning, hoping you won’t, no guilt or self pity. Just at least try at first, remember don’t use that advice to try and make you feel better, that is not the aim right now, a change in attitude is, that is what will eventually lead to you feel better. A change in attitude results in less stress, less worry, less obsessing, everything that keeps anxiety going.

  528. Doreen 3rd February 2014 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Saverina – just feel free to give advice and support. That is exactly what the blog is about, The only role the moderators have is to weed out unsuitable posts (and Paul has listed reasons why that might be necessary further up the blog) and to make sure posts are readable.

  529. Dominick 3rd February 2014 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Following your advice I’ve made some very impressive progress.
    I’m back at work now…. thank you for that.

    My only problem is:
    I have sleep anxiety. It all started with bad work stress. I had a few sleepless nights and that became this almost constant fear of mine.

    When the fear comes on thick I’m terrified. I’m convinced that I won’t be able to sleep again. That I’ll wake up and my mind will be buzzing with terrible, negative thoughts.

    I have felt true freedom from these thoughts at times. I can hold them in my mind and see how they came about and why it was irrational…. and, at that moment, I’m no longer scared of them.

    But then it’s like a switch and the fear and doubt are ratcheted back up.
    How do I both allow them to be there…. but not be so scared of them and finding myself being convinced by them.

  530. Dominick 3rd February 2014 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    It’s hard to always see the thoughts as being irrational…. because I still have nights where those thoughts creep in and it does indeed effect my sleeping.

  531. Perdy 3rd February 2014 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Rachel, I too suffer constantly with dizziness at varying levels, this has gone on for years, I have had numerous tests and 4 MRI’s, of late I’ve just tried to accept it, I know there is nothing there so it IS anxiety and it has eased quite a lot. It is always worse for me in shops especially supermarkets, and big department stores, which is a shame because I love shopping, but now it’s a chore! I whizz round and get out. Dizziness is one of the worst physical symptoms in my opinion, and believe me I’ve had lots!!! Have lots of twitchy muscles at the moment which I’ve had on and off before, trying not to worry it’s something bad, but it is difficult………..just seems one symptom after the other, there’s always something!!!! I just try and have a word with myself…..I’ve had so many tests for this that and the other, but even going for tests/doctors etc gets me so worked up, aaaaaarrrggghhhh, trying to stay positive but………..

  532. Rachel 3rd February 2014 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Any ladies out there when you are due on does your anxeity seem alittle worse sorry rich you can’t answer this one for me lol x

  533. Nikki 3rd February 2014 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Yes rachel my anxiety is worse at times during my cycle. This is made all the harder as I am starting to go through the menopause and my cycle is all over the place. Some days I cannot make sense of why I feel the way I do and then lo and behold I have a random bleed -happy days! Sorry to all the guys who have found themselves reading this TMI!!!

  534. Rachel 3rd February 2014 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Lol cheers Nikki

  535. Karen 3rd February 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    I have tried very hard today to accept. Sadly I feel like my anxiety has gone passed a point to complete hopelessness and robbed of my belief that I will get better. Low low thoughts that don’t feel like anxiety thoughts. Are these all part of it. I appear to have lost any positivity. Do I use acceptance on this too? I can’t stop crying and this is completely new to me. Any advice? Do I just accept the crying etc?

  536. Karen 3rd February 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    The other thing I am finding hard to understand is that when my thoughts are constantly worrying about how bad I feel and how I am not getting better, my brain is buzzing, do I just let them? Surely that worrying is fighting but I am confused because I should accept them? Please can someone advise me? Sorry to keep posting but quite often I feel like I should be in hospital as I feel so I’ll. Not really true I know. Any help greatly appreciated.

  537. Dominick 3rd February 2014 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Karen,

    I’ll choose my words more carefully this time:
    Yes, i was in a very dark place recently (after a very good/normal moment for me…. which made it even more frustrating) and I came out of it.
    The same doubt and despair that you’re feeling.
    At that point I saw no hope whatsoever.

    But now? I can see it quite a bit more clearly.

    Think of it this way:
    your brain is ultimately trying to keep you safe. It’s confused, working overtime in overdrive. It senses when your afraid of something so that only reinforces it to say working at the level it is.

    You’re trying to convince your brain and body that you’re okay now. That there’s no need for it to be as activated as it has been. When you get that flood of feelings, like your brain is screaming at you to see if you’re still scared picture yourself calmly standing there as it yells at you…. trying to see how high you’ll jump…. calmly standing there, looking right back at it, not afraid, not angry…. simply accepting of it.

  538. Karen 3rd February 2014 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Thanks again Dominic, you are really helping. I shall keep on practising acceptance.

  539. DCYL 3rd February 2014 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Julie – it’s hard to believe, but in a few months, it will be almost three years since I had my first experience with an anxiety attack. It was about a month or so later when I found Paul’s website and this blog.

    If you’re struggling it’s ok. What we’re suggesting is pretty simple: Don’t let anxiety dictate your life. Just go on with your day to day activities and carry on. What I found helpful is exercise (as Paul suggests as well) but there may be an activity you like that you can fully engage yourself in.

    The mistake I made is that exercise became a crutch. During and shortly after exercise, I was feeling good. However, it’s not possible to exercise 8 to 10 hours a day. So I would feel crappy other parts of the day. That’s why it’s important to do your activities as normal and keep occupied regardless of how you feel.

    A few times in 2012 and even in early 2013, I felt “pretty good” and thought I was “recovered”. In actuality, it was in the past few months (right after Thanksgiving and into Christmas) where I first realized “hey, I’m feeling pretty normal now”.

    Recovery is not something you can force. But once you get into the habit or living your life, the anxiety slowly recedes into the background. One day, you will be like “Hey, where did it go?”

  540. Rich 3rd February 2014 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel, Yes I cannot comment on women’s cycles unless you’re talking about riding a bike, so I’ll leave you all to it on that one!

    Rachel, Perdy & Nikki, Light headedness is a classic anxiety symptom. I Didn’t have dizziness, but I did suffer with light headedness when I was at my worst.

    I can’t comment on personal experiences with this, but looking for answers at the DRs or hospital or MRI etc is the natural response I guess, but in the case of anxiety, it is the wrong response – because it reinforces to you that there ‘must’ be a problem and therefore exasorbates the fear, which therefore makes you more sensitised, and therefore more prone to feeling dizzy, and you just feed the fire and it rages on.

    Perdy, your dizziness in supermarkets is just the product of your mind – why just supermarkets? Have you ever actually fell over or feinted? Even though the symptom is physical, the cure is in your mind.

    I hope everyone has read Paul’s post above where he talks about ‘letting go’ and letting anxiety take over and do whatever it likes. I can offer no other advice better than this, not only because Paul is living proof that it works, but it is the only real way.

    So to Karen, Julie, Rachel, Perdy and everyone else worrying about how to deal with their symptoms, please read Paul’s post. I can testify that when you truly resign yourself to anxiety, truly give in to it and will it upon you – to do its worst, to make you feel as bad as it possibly can, to accept everything it can throw at you, it is after this moment that you realise that it is harmless, that it is all a bluff! After the storm comes the sunshine, and the blue sky, and your mind can relax and begin to heal, and you start to recover. You are then never afraid of the rain again, and it feels good.

  541. Val 3rd February 2014 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    This is the last time I will mention medication…BUT….thanks to a wonderful psychiatrist.medication, AND Paul’s advice and practices I booked a holiday yesterday to Malaysia in June ……..I am feeling pretty good..I push thru yuk waking time and get going with my day. As I have travelled quite a bit and love it I feel this has helped me feel happy and confident and something to look forward to. What more can I say…..try and keep busy,do something you love and treat yourself….I have put myself first and stopped worrying about daughter who causes me Anx …..mothers will understand….she is 38 now and it,s time….lol. Good luck to you all x

  542. Nikki 3rd February 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Oh wow val – Malaysia how exciting. I had the best holiday of my life there a few years ago. Still talk about it to this day. You will have a fab time. Xx

  543. Val 3rd February 2014 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you Nikki…going to batu ferringhi on Penang …have been to Vietnam twice …loved it so much… Hope u r good. πŸ™‚ x

  544. Val 3rd February 2014 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    I hope these posts are sending positive vibes to you all..that is my sincere wish

  545. Val 3rd February 2014 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Nikki…hade to mention the “women’s prob thingy”………will get better lol

  546. Nikki 3rd February 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Phew thanks for that val – feels like a never ending cycle of hell – night sweats – horrendous migraines sometimes 3 a month and on top of that anxiety! Will be glad when its over – hopefully I will get through it unscathed and without a beard lol!

    We stayed at batu kawan in penang then we went up to langkawi island then back down to penang island and finished off in kuala lumpar. Am jealous wish I could come with you! My hubby has a sspecial birthday this year and its our silver wedding anniversary so am looking at holidays but for some reason I am not feeling any of them yet. Am sure that will change as the months go on. Xx

  547. Rachel 3rd February 2014 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Rich your post was funny cheers for that.
    Perdy I feel for you it’s horrid I know everyone is helping especially Rich that’s why I feel bad for writing this so Rich don’t tell me off. Perdy I hate supermarkets too. When I look at something on a shelf it seems that it’s moving and like now I feel like I’m on a boat in the middle of the sea swaying. Blooming awful. I’m doing my best with Rich’s advice but hard to apply it sometimes when you have an actual physical symptom but saying that I have had a bad afternoon. Not with this, for my mum who has dementia. So Perdy I know what you are going through. Oh and I haven’t 100 % come to terms that it’s anxiety xx

  548. Lynn 3rd February 2014 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Lucy and Tiara, I want to thank you so much for responding to my post the other day. What you wrote was very helpful to me. Thank you!

  549. Julie 3rd February 2014 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Paul, Rich, DCYL, Nikki and Doreen. Thank you all for today. I’ve really took on board all that you’ve said and I do believe it’s struck home. I’m hopeful that the acceptance will become easy to apply with time but I’m willing now to accept. I had a good read of all your posts and I had my cbt tonight for my OCD intrusive thoughts and she too said what’s holding me back with these thoughts is acceptance. I need to acceot they are anxiety fueled then I begin to move forward.

    I’m now going to believe and accept these thoughts are anxiety, they aren’t me at all.

    I am meeting with the mental health team tomorrow, he wanted me back two weeks after the assessment to discuss what the team decided for me in terms of groups I could join and the waiting list for cbt. I’m nervous, I struggle at appointments, I always want to run out, that’s how agoraphobia makes me feel. I didn’t find it easy last time but I know hiding away and avoiding it won’t help me so I will be going as soon as the children are in school. I hope one day I can do appointments with ease.

    So yes I shall now be accepting 100% and seeing what that brings. Thank you all for today, it has really helped. I can see now where I’ve been going wrong with the intrusive thoughts. I was exposing myself to the feared thoughts and situations and wondering why the thoughts weren’t getting any easier but it’s because of the emotion I attach to them. I have to just acceot them and let them be there like any other thought. It’s a thought, and I can see now my adding fear to them was just making them stronger.

  550. Rachh 3rd February 2014 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Julie for the record. I know how you are feeling. I have been in your position for around a year now winding and winding and winding myself up. Until you get into the right mode you wont know what is right and you probably find the whole approach quite confusing because i know i did.
    You dont need to post what has happened and how your struggling because we know how desperate you are.. Believe it or not we have all been there.
    You need to stop working things out and picking at each little thought about agitation/your past/your brother/intrusive thoughts the whole shebang. This is what is winding you up.
    You need to start being you! And that starts with feeling your anxiety.. And see the thoughts let them be there they are scary. But do they matter (no) because they are not intentions no matter how much you convinve yourself they are. Stop trying to fix and control..

  551. Mark r 3rd February 2014 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Lot of activity today and some great responses as a few people appear to be struggling. One thing I note though is that some are ‘trying to practice acceptance’ and are frustrated that they its still not working.
    If this is you ask yourself honestly what you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to accept then it won’t work for a few reasons, one being that you are using acceptance as a tool to get rid of, push away feelings and force better ones.This is the polar opposite of acceptance. Another main reason is that you are forcing acceptance and trying to use it on a logical level. I feel that acceptance is built over a period of time where you live you life fully, despite feeling bad, living with and without trying to change feelings. The more you live your life, the closer to the tipping point you will be where the stuff of life matters more than how you feel.

    Don’t fall into trap of ‘Am I accepting?’ and checking if its still there or not, live anyway regardless of grim you feel right now. Acceptance will come in time.

  552. Rob 4th February 2014 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Hi guys. I’m new here and just wanted to say thanks for Paul for helping me recover. I haven’t had any anxiety symptoms the past couple months but I’m just concerned and wonder if anyone else goes through things like I have been lately. And maybe some help and advise since I’m struggling with this. Like now that I’ve accepted its over, its still hard sometimes to get back to how my life was before this. I’m still internally talking to myself about it, and thinking about it. And my mind is on me a lot still. I’m just wondering if these are still habits I’ve made while I had it. And a lot of the negative thoughts like, I’m never gonna get through this, I’ll never think of something else, I wish I never got into this, thoughts get me and bring me back down again. Just need help and get me back on track.

  553. Val 4th February 2014 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Nikki….25 yrs..good . Get back to those hols girl!!! We sound similar. Are u on Facebook ..I have become friends with another lovely contributor on here and we are having good cyber times!!! Let me know and we can let Doreen know and contact via e mail. Only if you want. Sunshine to everyone…Rich ,have you ever thought of going into comedy….luv your humour!!!!!!!!!

  554. DCYL 4th February 2014 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Rob – as Paul said in his book, “recovery” will hit you when it’s least expected. Like you, I thought I was “recovered” for some time. But in reality, it was only the past few months when I realized that some of my “worries” have really lessened. Your mind might react to some thoughts / etc that come up but your body will be normal and you will be like “Hmm, this feels different”.

    If you are still thinking about things, you’re not 100% clear yet. But it means you’ve made progress. Continue to live your life, try not to over analyze any feelings and you will get to the finish line eventually.

  555. Rachel 4th February 2014 at 7:15 am - Reply

    It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to lol happy birthday to me going to be positive all day to day x

  556. Julie 4th February 2014 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Ok, today is the day I change my attitude and I think I’ve the knowledge now to do this. I’m just going to let the anxiety be there, first step is getting through this appointment this morning. I dread appointments, the fear and anxiety hit of will I have a panic attack. When I panic in appointments I go so dizzy, like my whole body goes numb, fast heart…… I panic every time I have to go to appointments, so this morning I’m going to try to accept that I may feel bad and have the so what approach, how long that will last I don’t know.

    As well as the thoughts, the agoraphobia is my other biggie and I’m hoping if I can truly accept how I feel when out I can overcome it but my body just floods with the shakes, fast heart, light headedness and I feel I will collapse. That’s why I avoid going out alone, I guess it’s easier than feeling that terrible when out, but it’s robbed me of my life this last year and I really want to get my independence back, meet my friends and go out anywhere alone. I hate only being able to go places with hubby and the children.

    Do you think by accepting that will help me on the road to recovering from the agoraphobia?

    I shall check in after my appointment this morning, my husband is coming with me which I know is my security blanket but I’m accepting it’s what I need right now.

    Thank you all for yesterday.

  557. Val 4th February 2014 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Happy b’day Rachael…..x

  558. Doreen 4th February 2014 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Julie – read what you have just posted. You have gone on here early in the morning and listed all the feelings you think you will have today with this appointment. What a way to start the day. Then you ask a question which you have asked over and over again in one context or another. And finally you say you will check in here after your appointment. Why not do something nice, or read a book or anything that will lead to real acceptance as described by Mark above.

  559. Doreen 4th February 2014 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Val – this should really be coffee shop chat but folks don’t seem to visit there so I’ll ask on here. I think you live in Aussie don’t you? We have just booked to go in the Autumn (your spring). Whereabouts do you live?

  560. Nikki 4th February 2014 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Wow julie what a day you have got planned – you will be feeling anxious for sure. Dont put yourself under any pressure to feel any differently. Most people without a diagnosis of anxiety would be feeling nervous about your appointment. Remember acceptance doesn’t mean that you won’t feel nervous. It means that you don’t care that you are anxious! Very difficult to do.

    Like you my body gets flooded with symptoms. Its just adrenaline tho – I know that but its really hard to carry on feeling as awful as you do. I honestly believe that acceptance will help with agoraphobia – after all agoraphobia is not an illness its just another layer of anxiety.

    Today I am having to go out with my key workers who have been allocated to help me get out and about. I am making good progress with them but it always pushes me to my limit. When I come home I am going to be on my own as my daughter will be at work. My anxiety has attached itself to the thought of being alone in the house. This is fairly new and I hate it. I think it was rich who says that anxiety can invade your safe space so you have nowhere to hide. Needless to say I have been awake since four this morning worrying about being on my own. I have been wracking my brains thinking of all the people I could phone to distract myself. I know what I am doing and don’t know how to stop this planning and accept. I haven’t even panicked yet and I am already anticipating it – grrr!

    Val am not on Facebook – one of the few people remaining lol! Happy to have your support and chat here tho. BTW feel far too young to be having my silver wedding this year – only in my forties – people look horrified when I tell them lol!

    Lets hope today is not as scary as we are anticipating – hmm that doesn’t sound like acceptance to me. I guess today will be what it will be. Xx

  561. Rich 4th February 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Good morning everyone. I mean that as a decision to make – have a good morning. Choose to have a good morning.

    I was not looking forward to work yesterday – anxiety on Friday and the knowledge of having to cover holiday leave on a Monday made me feel anxious and ‘what if’s crept in. As always, they didn’t materialise. I am still guilty of bad habits.

    Val, I have always been optimistic in my attitude to things (apart from myself belief and my self confidence) but comedy for someone who suffers with their anxiety? That would be an achievement! I do feel that anxiety has held me back though over the last 15 years massively – in regards to ambition and living life. We can’t change our past, but we can change our futures.

    Julie, You really are your own worst enemy at times – I don’t know if I should try to instill positivity into you by picking apart your posts, or try to be friendly and supportive of your situation, but this morning, Doreen summed your post up perfectly. Remember – “with our thoughts we make our world”.

    In regards to supermarkets and appointments, if you strip back everything, you are left with just you. Stood or sat, walking or sitting – this is no different to doing this in ASDA or the DRs or in your home. The fact you are somewhere else makes no difference. With me, I’d be checking for toilets in case my anxiety hit, (I know – ‘planning to fail’), but realising that environment makes no difference is a big part of overcoming ‘agorophobia’.

    PS Why is ‘agorophobia’ in inverted commas here? Because I believe like many others that there is no such thing. Agorophobia isn’t a condition – it’s not open spaces or going out you fear. It is the ANXIETY you feel when you’re in them that you fear. Beat the fear of anxiety and you beat the secondary conditions.

  562. Val 4th February 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Hi Doreen …yes I have stopped writing on Coffee Shop for that reason so have mixed it all in here..probably not a bad idea as we can support each other,have a joke.exchange small talk etc….
    I live in Melbourne and would love to meet you if you grace our lovely city..LOL
    I will keep your e.mail address and we could communicate when it is closer to your hol. Best wishes..val

  563. Sam 4th February 2014 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Hi all just a quick question. Does anyone ever wake up more depressed than anxious? I keep thinking that the anxiety could be depression. I understand anxiety and depression go hand in hand but i presume ones usually more dominant.

  564. Rich 4th February 2014 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Hi Sam, Depression is a symptom of anxiety (it wears us down and makes us feel helpless and hopeless). The fact you’re thinking this and are anxious about it, means that this is likely just a manifestation of anxiety.

  565. Paul David (Admin) 4th February 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Just to let everyone know Richard is now a moderater. He displays pretty much everything needed and has given some great advice on here. He will work alongside Doreen to make sure the blog stays as clean and helpful as it has been.

    Paul

  566. Nikki 4th February 2014 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Hey val my youngest daughter is on a gap year in oz right now and having a blast. She spent Christmas in Melbourne -she had an absolute blast. She is currently in byron bay. She keeps sending us photos of her amazing holiday. Sadly I cannot get the money together to come visit her.

    Well just back from being out with my support workers. It was so hard. I was shaking like a leaf for most of it. We went a walk and managed despite my legs shaking. We then went for coffee and then I did a couple of circuits in the car on my own. Am home now and still shaking but proud that I stuck with it. Am on my own and some how that feels ok. All that worrying at 4am for what. Grr!! Xx

  567. Rachel 4th February 2014 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks val

  568. Rich 4th February 2014 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Nikki, Congratulations on your achievement! I hope you feel good for accomplishing everything you have done – be proud! I hope you know, but the shaking is just adrenalin in your system having no outlet, but this is all it is, and all it ever will be. Knowing this, that is just adrenalin I hope is some comfort.

    Also, you know that you were guilty of winding yourself up from 4am – this is hard not to do while you’re so sensitised, but to understand that this is partly why you felt so anxious is also important – that you did this to yourself by how you reacted to your fear. You planned to feel anxious, thought you would be, and so you were. Overtime you will realise there is nothing to fear (shakey legs don’t harm you), but hopefully in time you will be able to apply Paul’s advice and let the anxiety be there and wash over you, without worrying about it.

    Be proud of today, be positive, and use these positive experiences to no longer fear anxiety – you’ve seen today that it’s just a bluff. It is!

  569. Doreen 4th February 2014 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Hey Nikki – very well done. I think with some people the actual physical symptoms themselves don’t cause any fear in terms of life threatening illness etc, more that they are a b….. to be coping with. No wonder we fear them for that reason alone. However, you did it and I am sure by now the shaking has died down. Acceptance of the shaking can perhaps be balanced by the success in getting out and about.

  570. Sara 4th February 2014 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone,

    Have any of you practised mindfullness ? I recently read Ruby Wax’s Book “Sane New World” This has helped her deal with her depression, just wondered if any of you have tried it ?

    I find reading really helps relax me, I dont use it as an escape but I find reading peoples stories that have hit rock bottom but come out the other side a great motivator. Rubys is a good book, I also receommend Katie Piper “Beautiful” and Beverley Callard “Unbroken” Can any of you recommend any ?

  571. Bryan 4th February 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Nice to hear about modding Rich. Love your attitude and look forward to reading stories of your complete recovery.

  572. Bryan 4th February 2014 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    DCYL,

    Just wanted to say thanks for continuing to post despite feeling better. Always enjoyed your posts and I’ve saved a few in fact. Just for pure curiosity, what was your condition? (What form did it take?) I feel like I’m 70% recovered but still have big setbacks and very bad days. So, the acceptance work is ongoing.
    Thanks again.

  573. Rich 4th February 2014 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks Bryan – it’s great to be able to give something back to those who have helped me. I be sure to hang around here for a while and will let you know how I go.

    At the moment I am at a point where I actually want to do things – to show my anxiety that there is no danger and I enjoy things. Something inside me (I think it’s the memory) holds me back, but I hope to achieve more, and will keep you posted on how it goes – good and bad.

    Sara, Skip up the comments a bit and you’ll see me and some others talking about a Mindfulness book on Amazon which comes with Audio CDs to relax to which is recommended by Ruby Wax. It has a turquoise cover I believe. It seems to be well received. Don’t forget through that you have to ‘do’ as well as just read, so get a few good books but then stick to them, then go ahead and practice.

  574. Lui 4th February 2014 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Hi everybody!
    Actually I said I would stay of for a while there is just a tiny little question I have! So I think I got a bit of Pauls message! My life envolves to the better. I started to go jogging and I got a little student job. Right now I do an internship. I stopped avoiding a lot of things. I do not feel better but at least I am not avoiding anymore!
    So my biggest part of anxiety are people. It’s super hard for me. I did an exchange year a year ago to get rid of the shyness but it was hell!
    Although I read the book like three times+ Weeblys Letter I never got the message quiet right.
    So my question is if I am on the the right path now!
    So I am in a social interaction. But I am not avoiding my feelings! I let all the emotions and thoughts in my head. But instead of staying quiet I try to add to a conversation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. I don’t fake cofindece anymore. My voice wobbles and I have far more symptoms. After a conversation I try to not analyse it. Plus that I took the pressure of me to get it right the first time. If it’s not working, than it’s not working. In the past I would block all the emotions and feelings, would get all tensed up, not smile an and stay quiet breaking out in tears afterwards because I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I even started hating people.
    I still feel horrible in a lot of situations, but β€œwhatever” right?
    Does this way of thinking sounds about right

  575. Nikki 4th February 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Hey julie how you doing? Been thinking about you lots and hoping you got on ok. Xx

  576. Perdy 4th February 2014 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich, I hear what you’re saying, no it’s not just supermarkets, it’s most big stores, but yes you’re right, I think about feeling dizzy before I even go in, so I’ll try not to give it the time of day and just get in there. It is the most debilitating and frightening symptom and yes I know because it frightens me it’s feeds the symptom. However on a more positive note it is much better so far this year πŸ™‚ Last year was the worst so far for me (since starting in 2007) but looking back I did get very worked up over my health, constantly obsessing about various symptoms so here’s to 2014, let’s hope it’s a better one for all of us on here!
    Sara I have also read Ruby Waxs book and found it very interesting, I have practised some of her techniques, but it’s like many things in life, it has to become a habit to have an effect. Little steps and all that……

  577. Rachel 4th February 2014 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Purdy I’ve had it since 2007 aswell and your right so so scary x

  578. Val 4th February 2014 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Nikki….your daughter will be experiencing a very hot summer…glad you are enjoying her photos…it is an amazing country .. I lived in Essex in 71… And love England too.. So different to Oz…. Found your weather a bit bleh but those thatched cottage villages …gorgeous…and London…loved.x

  579. Julie 4th February 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Hi,

    Nikki first of all WELL DONE!! you did fantastic, very happy for you.

    Thank you for asking after me. I went, I almost ran but as soon as he called my name I went in the room and I did shed a few tears. I was honest and told him my anxiety during appointments isn’t easy and I get the urge to run out. He was lovely. We had a good catch up, he had spoken to the team after my assessment and they all agree its the GAD causing all of my issues. They all want me to try to go to the group therapy they offer, self esteem one especially so as of April I will be going alone to them, ekk!

    I am on the waiting list for one to one CBT, it is a 12 month wait but in the mean time he wants to help me and see me fortnightly, in between sessions he will be giving me homework tasks. Like this weeks is to start getting structure to my day, he wants me to walk my dogs at 10.30 ish every morning this week and to go into Costa for a drink a couple of times, alone. He will call me inbetween sessions to see how I am doing with the tasks.

    He said that I have to accept all my feelings, emotions, thoughts as anxiety then move on regardless of how I feel. Go into shops, meet friends… feel the anxiety but do it anyway. So I guess this is exactly what Paul talks about in his book. I don’t want to be mixing myself up with different advice. Me having these tasks and checking in with him weekly is a good thing to use along side Pauls method, right? He said he wants to help me get over the agoraphobia which yes as Rich says is just another spin off from anxiety, it is just the panic attacks whilst out that cause most people to hide away at home. I have done that for a year now and have lost friends, my freedom etc… so today he said we are going to start making changes. He was amazed how much I understand the subject of anxiety and OCD and he said I have all the tools I need, it is now time to implement them, but he thinks I need a little push in the right direction.

    It went great, I stayed, I didn’t run. I felt the fear but did it anyway πŸ™‚

  580. Julie 4th February 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you Doreen for your post and Rich.

  581. Nikki 4th February 2014 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Oh my word julie well done to you too. Your therapist sounds amazing. There are not many of them who are so supportive. I am exhausted at the end of today. I have a deep sense of pride in what I achieved today but don’t feel very excited by itAagh am out and its hard. Help. Lol! XxThe effort in doing it has taken a lot out of me. Like you I need structure to my day. Not quite sure how to get it tho. I need to work on getting out by myself so I can think about volunteering or paid work again.

    Claire weekes talks about acceptance and about how hard it is to do. She also encourages us to visualise ourselves accepting as that can help. She talks too of glimpsing acceptance. That is where we get moments of clarity about what acceptance is. I think that is where you and I are at. We get glimpses of how to accept and we make great strides but then we get exhausted and overwhelmed again. We are doing great and wont fear our symptoms forever.

    Val my hubby and I are so jealous of my daughter in oz. We would love to be there experiencing it with her. However this is her adventure and she doesn’t want us tagging along lol! I live in Scotland so no thatched cottages here – just beautiful beaches, stunning mountains and lochs – oh and rubbish weather lol! The log burning stove is blazing away tonight as its freezing!! Xx

  582. Rich 4th February 2014 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Evening everyone, Lots of positivity tonight – great!

    Julie, congratulations on today, I hope you gained a lot of confidence in the advice here we offer and the achievement of today. You’re on the right path and you know it – so be confident and believe, and believe in yourself – because you’re proving to yourself that you can do this.

    Just make sure you think positively at all times. Don’t dread things like your group meetings – look at the positives in them – you’ll get out, you’ll likeminded people, you’ll get better. Don’t use them as an excuse to think about, talk about and consume yourself in your fears and past. Do this for yourself.

    Nikki, you described how anxious you were today, and how full of anxiety you were going through it. Remember that adrenalin is like a turbo boost for your body – heightened sensitivity, senses, muscle tension etc – and afterwards when it wears off, it is natural to feel tired and exhausted. I always suffered from fatigue when I was at my worst – just wanted to sleep all the time. The only thing that today has taken out of you is negative energy! Be positive, and don’t undermine what you have achieved. Build on this.

    Lui, You have it my friend – don’t worry, be happy. Every little thing’s gonna be alright. Just do what you feel and don’t worry about it. Today I was talking to someone and I was stumbling all over my words – not because I was anxious, or drunk, but just one of those things. I didn’t care. Did the other person? I don’t care! I’m sure neither of us can recall what I was saying anyway – and that’s the thing. It’s no big deal.

  583. Lynn 4th February 2014 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I spent the last few days scanning over all these comments. There are some very helpful ones that makes me so thankful for all of you and Paul and this website/blog. RIch, you said something that really helped me:

    Rich Says:
    January 15th, 2014 at 3:55 pm
    “Anxiety is a real bitch because it uses your worst fears against you. If you fear it the most, then that it what it is going to use against you. I fear stomach upset and loss of appetite (which to others would seem like no big deal). Others fear harm, or health issues (which to me seem like no big deal). However, our underlying condition is the same, and the way to recover from the disorder is the same for us all.”

    This really clicked with me. I now remember that when I get the chest pains/sensations, or any symptom of heart problems as I fear having something wrong with my heart. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but would tell me why you don’t fear health issues? That is what my anxieties are based around and I would love to hear from you (or anyone!) : ) why you don’t fear health issues as I think this would also help me to know.

    Thank you so much for any replies!!

  584. Nikki 4th February 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Omg just have to share this with you. Just jumped in the car and drove to a shop – went in by myself to get washing up liquid. Can’t tell you the last time I did that!! Oh and my daughter has just been offered an unconditional place for university – its all happening in this house tonight. Going to bed a lot more positive than I got out it! Xx

  585. Charlotte 4th February 2014 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Julie and Nikki

    Great news both and so pleased for you !

    Julie I have your email now and wil send u an email ! Nikki is right u sound like you have a fab therapist !

  586. Val 4th February 2014 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Nikki..been to Scotland too….beautiful !!!!!

  587. Kyle 4th February 2014 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    Hi my names is Kyle and I am completely new to this forum but I have read Paul’s book and it was the first time someone told me what my symptoms were caused by and why I had them. Last year I had been under a great deal of stress having graduated from university and not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life other than going along with my dads idea of going to law school which I had constantly been battling with in my head.

    I turned to substance abuse for about a year when I noticed my anxiety was ruining my life and I needed to start pulling myself together. So I quit abusing my body and immediately my anxiety and maybe a little depression shot up and caused me to go to the doctor where he had told me I had anxiety and gave me medication. I have always been a the worrying type but now I was worried that I had anxiety which led to more anxiety and then more anxiety that I was on medication.

    The depersonalization and derealization hit me hard and freaked me out because I thought I was losing it and turned to so many self help books that just told me to breathe and push the thoughts away. After reading Paul’s book the depersonalization and derealization have left me for about over a month now but the irrational thoughts are still there. Before they were scary and terrifying because I thought I had every mental disorder and thought I would be that guy who wound up on the 5 o’clock news or CNN.

    I’m on medication for my thoughts and it has really evened me out and I’m in therapy which has helped and I no longer have panic attacks or depersonalization and I can sleep. But now all these thoughts are still there and they are pretty nasty and bad but I don’t feel scared by them. But I feel that they should scare me like before. I’m really confused as to why they are there but I’m not really affected by them. Can someone tell me if this is my mind accepting them as truths? I thought they would just be gone….

  588. Rachh 4th February 2014 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    I keep getting glimpses of acceptance and i get on the right path but then my brain automatically starts questionning things again and how i should/shouldnt be. Is this normal on the road to recovery. I feel like im slowly getting there but get pulled back again.

  589. Charles 5th February 2014 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Lynn, may I ask what you are trying to achieve? For example, out of the blue you get a sharp pain in your chest, what do you think a good reaction to that is: 1 shrug it off like it’s nothing. 2 freak out a little bit, thinking it’s a heart attack or something serious, start to monitor it for a while to see if the pain is related to your breathing/posture…etc

    I can tell you that most people do #2, the people who’s able to do #1 probably had this happen to them before and they know it’s nothing.

    A doctor once told me this: (I went to the ER twice in a week because of my health anxiety) for people with no pre existing medical conditions, if you have time to freak out about a sensation in your body, it’s probably nothing.

  590. Charles 5th February 2014 at 3:45 am - Reply

    Rachh, it’s very normal. In fact, when you are questioning things and feeling terrible, that’s normal too.

    Think of your body like a car, your gas pedal is your “adrenaline producing” system, your brake is your “relaxing” system. You want to slow down your car, but your foot is on the gas pedal, and you are wondering “is it normal that I am accelerating?” You are doing the opposite of what you want, but the result itself is very normal.

    You also mentioned that you feel getting “pulled back”, that is not true, first of all, pressing the gas all the time doesn’t really damage the car in anyway, it certainly doesn’t damage the brakes at all. You can still brake whenever you want to.

    My advice would be to do whatever you want, go ahead, question everything, observe how the “adrenaline producing” system works, it’s all normal. I would further suggest that since this is all normal, let’s stop worrying about how fast/slow the car is going and just enjoy the scenery along the way.

  591. Julie 5th February 2014 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Nikki- you should be very proud of yourself. I know how hard it is to do those things. Well doke for going to the shop tonight πŸ™‚

    Yes he’s really nice. I asked for the referral to the mental health team only a few weeks back, got assessed quickly and expected to just sit on an nhs waiting list for cbt, I’m amazed he what’s to help me in the meantime, setting me goals to get over the fear of going out and mixing with friends and being alone again. That as well as my knowledge from the books and people here I think will help me.

    Rich- thank you. I am learning slowly, how to acceot and float:) I think with the acceptance and advice from here and the support from the MH team it will be a good mix. I’m also having some help for the OCD type thoughts but I think with acceptance they’ll lessen. I can see they are just caused by the anxiety and hold no weight. I learnt a lot by sitting through my appointment today. I’d wanted to not go in, crying to my husband, I felt so silly. I was honest with the therapist and at the end he was telling me for once I’d stayed, felt the high anxiety peak, then drop which was the big step to recovery. It felt good that I’d done that.

    I hope with the guidance from the man at the mental health team, homework tasks plus what I’ve learnt from here, I will be doing the right thing to recover in time.

    Thanks Charlotte. Look forward to your email x

  592. Julie 5th February 2014 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Well done Rich too on becoming a moderator. πŸ™‚

  593. Karen 5th February 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Yesterday I said to myself, ‘ok I give in’,I will just take what you throw at me and accept it because its ok. Weirdly I now seem to be on a complete low. Do you think that’s my body giving up the fight and collapsing with exhustion? Still got anxiety symptoms but that’s ok.

  594. Karen 5th February 2014 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Also I am finding it so hard to deal with the children when I can barely cope with myself. Is this normal too and something I should just accept?

  595. Nikki 5th February 2014 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Exhaustion is hard to cope with karen but its all part of the process. Anxiety is exhausting! Good to hear you have finally let go. You will get your energy back don’t worry about it. As for the kids you are probably coping better than you think. I am childminding my niece today and feel exhausted inside. She has no idea tho. We are doing gentle things like colouring in and jigsaws. Be gentle with yourself. Xx

  596. Rich (Moderator) 5th February 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Julie, Glad things are going so well. Just remember that although you are getting support, it is YOU who is achieving these things. Get support from the people around you, but do not rely on them and do not think that you cannot do this without them. Think of them as a helping hand along the way. Give yourself credit where credit is due. Above all else, be positive and optimistic and determined – and these things will become a reality.

    Lynn, My stomach and the fun times it gives me when I’m anxious trigger anxiety in me, but other things do not – I never ever worry about a racing heart, or dizziness, or hot sweats, or a tight throat – and because of this I never experience them. They just don’t bother me. Even when I felt light headed I didn’t worry about it at all, and soon, my mind was on something else. You have to accept it is just anxiety, and float through them (go against the anxiety-wish to run).

    This may sound strange to someone who suffers with the symptoms I dismiss, but it just shows that the symptoms vary in us all but the condition is the same. It doesn’t matter what we all fear and suffer – the underlying disorder is the same, and to overcome it for each of us results in the same thing – a loss of the symptoms.

    You cannot think yourself better, you have to show yourself first. Then your brain realises and re-learns to do this by default. To show yourself, you have to completely let go of the fear of anxiety and the symptoms. You have to prove to yourself they’re all a bluff, and no harm will ever come to you. This is the leap of faith we all must take. It requires courage, but thousands of people have done it, and I bet not one of them finds anxiety’s fear to be real.

    Charles, Your comments are spot on, and you’ve out-done me on the metaphors too which is annoying πŸ™‚ You’ve summed up our reaction to anxiety perfectly. Everyone needs to read your posts above and accept that this is what we’ve all been doing. We’ve all been guilty of trying to slow down by pressing the gas pedal. It really is this simple.

    Kyle, Welcome to the blog. The community here is great and hopefully by reading the comments and posts by Paul, you’ll gain a lot from it. It takes your brain around 2 months to learn a new habit, so expect to wait a while as you apply the ‘nothing’ technique and acceptance for your brain to re-wire itself into a more rational state. Just go with it and let it heal. It will.

    Finally Karen, For those who do not believe, or succeed in accepting the ‘nothing technique’, you have to hit rock bottom to realise that you just cannot fight this thing, that it is hopeless to even try (like we say you can’t) – it’s like you burn yourself out. You mind just cannot take you beating it up any more. So, you stop trying. Then, when you stop fuelling the fire, you brain gets a chance to heal – the chance it’s been craving all this time, giving you these scary symptoms try to make you slow down. When you give up the fight, it begins the healing process.

    Some people can learn and recover through applying the techniques, others have to hit rock bottom to realise that there is no other way. Either way, we all come to the same realisation; Give up the fight. Go through the fear and realise there is nothing to fear – it’s all a lie.

    It may feel like you’ve hit a new low, but this may well be the turning point your mind has been waiting for. So, what are you going to do with this opportunity?

  597. Paul David (Admin) 5th February 2014 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Rachh Says:
    February 4th, 2014 at 11:27 pm
    I keep getting glimpses of acceptance and i get on the right path but then my brain automatically starts questionning things again and how i should/shouldnt be. Is this normal on the road to recovery. I feel like im slowly getting there but get pulled back again.

    Totally normal, your brain is learning a new way to view things, learning new beliefs an new pathways are being created. Old pathways and beliefs try and conflict and pull you back to you old ways of thinking. Setbacks to your old ways are totally normal and the reason you are just glimpsing at the moment. Don’t let this discourage you, any old habit in any walk of life is the same, it takes repeated doing to create a new beliefs, to create a new way of thinking.

  598. Julie 5th February 2014 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Thank you Rich.

    I was just concerned if having CBT is going to interfere with me just accepting and letting anxiety be there, letting my mind heal. Or is it ok to do this alongside the method in Pauls book?

    I am just letting myself feel however it wants to feel. I realise after talking to R at the mental health team yesterday, I need to accept all my feelings and thoughts are fueled by anxiety, once I accept that I will lose my fear of them. I can see now that i have been constantly pouring more fuel on the fire by questioning them and wondering why I was having them, all day long. I am still a little worried about them but I am just saying to myself I have to believe the professionals, all of you on here and what the books say, anxiety fuels all of the nasty thoughts I experience and let go. I hope I can continue to do this.

    This morning I went into the sorting office to collect a parcel I missed yesterday, and in to get myself a Costa. So I did one of my homeworks;-) My task also for this week was to walk the dogs every morning but in this weather I think I would rather stay indoors πŸ˜‰

    Karen, it is normal to feel exhausted, we have been running around questioning every sensastion, thought….. for goodness knows how long, giving up the fight is difficult. I also feel exhausted today. I too have children and at times have found it so hard being a Mum when I just felt like I needed to be looked after, it was tough. Don’t be so hard on yourself, I’m sure you’re doing a fantastic job. xx

  599. Rich (Moderator) 5th February 2014 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie, It’s totally fine to do the CBT and the exercises they give you in addition to taking on the advice here and the books we recommend. All I would say is make sure you have time away from ‘anxiety’ – it’s unhealthy to eat, sleep and breathe anxiety.

    Your long-term goal is to be free of the fear of anxiety – so you can experience it but not react to it negatively in any way.

    As mentioned, you have to ‘show’ yourself how to be normal by doing normal things, so your brain takes notice and learns. Your brain only learns when in anxiety mode (hence the need to go through the fear to debunk the bluff).

    Try to do everyday normal things and limit your time online reading about anxiety, talking about anxiety and worrying about anxiety.

    To be normal you have to act normal. This means doing normal things, and normal people don’t spend all day reading and thinking about anxiety. At first ‘fake it until you make it’, but in doing so you are showing your brain how you want to be, and it will listen. Whilst doing this, if you feel rubbish, just allow yourself to feel rubbish – knowing this is just your brain’s habit, and that this will change.

    Above all, remain positive and optimistic. Eyes on the prize. Everyone fears anxiety because of our thoughts – they’re powerful things. The great news is that they are so powerful we can use them to conquer the fear and rid ourselves of the hold anxiety had on us.

  600. Julie 5th February 2014 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Thank you Rich, that makes sense. I think I spend far too much time reading so I am trying to do more normal things so that my day can become more structured.

    I am feeling exhausted today after yesterday, which always increases the anxiety for me so I am having an afternoon with my feet up. I feel really light headed and like I am in a dream state walking around, which has at times made my anxiety peak but I am just trying to carry on as normal and accept it is all just tiredness and anxiety. I have been awake since 5. This acceptance isn’t easy is it.

  601. D-Ren 5th February 2014 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Darn! After moving to new apartment, my moods are pretty low.
    Havent slept too well, sleeping on a yoga mat for a while before my parents bring me a realdeal bed!
    People make so much noise here even after midnight..

    Anxiety levels are higher, but I am cool with that. Grr!

    Rich, that moderator after your name looks cool!

  602. Sara 5th February 2014 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie

    Scary thoughts is a new anxiety symtom for me, some of those thoughts were centered around my children, so fear level was off the scale. At my peak level of anxiety I gogggled intrusive thoughts which led me to Pauls website. It was a turing point for me and the 1st time in 15 years all my symtpoms made sense. Although still very much scary, I started to accept the thoughts were an off shot of my anxiety and as I had stopped fearing most of the other symptoms new ones were chucked at me. It really is the most horrible symptom, but as I began to ignore them and not fear them they have started to diminish. And knowing they are caused by the anxiety and are not part of my rational brai