//Your emotions are always sending you a message

Your emotions are always sending you a message

Updated 29/09/2018

I get asked many times ‘what I did do to recover from anxiety?’

I tell people that my recovery came through making plenty of mistakes. No one made as many mistakes as I did in the early days of my suffering. One week I thought I had the answer, that this was it, the end of my suffering. When in reality all I had found was something else to cover it up for a while.

I went from one technique to another, one concept to the next, until I finally realised that I never had any control in the first place, that nothing I could achieve peace through struggle or effort.

I saw my suffering like a snow globe that only settles when you stop shaking it. I finally realised that I could never force peace of mind or fight or think my way better. I got to this point through exhausting every avenue, until I realised that battling how I felt was not the answer.

Giving up the struggle with suffering

Giving up the struggle

When I finally gave up this battle with myself I felt a little calmer; it was like my body was sending me a message that this was it, that this was the answer to being free and now I had to listen.

It was through this that I started to think about how our mind and body communicate with us. I then had a profound realisation that our mind and body are always guiding us.

If we drink too much then we get a hangover, it is our bodies way of saying it is no good for us.

If we eat bad food then we get a stomach ache or get sick, again it is our bodies way of saying don’t eat that again, it is not good for us.

The same as if we feel pain anywhere inside our body, it is our bodies way of saying there is a problem in that area and to go and seek a doctor and fix it.

If a snake was biting our foot and we didn’t feel immediate pain, it would chew it off, so our body sends a message before this happens.

So pain is a good thing and a vital part of our survival, it is a warning system and not there to punish it. We only continue to suffer when we carry on doing the things that are causing it.

It is the same if I spend too much time writing a blog post that can take up to three days to put together with editing and proofreading. When I begin to write, I feel inspired, and the words are just flowing out of me. But I find after a few hours my mind starts getting irritable, my enthusiasm starts to drop, and my wisdom begins to weaken.

My mind is sending me a message that it now needs a break, it has had enough for now. Once I heed the message, take a break and come back, then I feel refreshed and am able to write freely and happily once again.

I know the importance of now listening to my mind and body and doing what it asks me to do and not try and force it into something it doesn’t.

Psychological pain is our bodies way of sending the same message

Broken mind

If we feel stressed, it is our bodies way of telling us to stop worrying as it is doing us harm. If we are physically exhausted, then it is our bodies way of conveying to us that we are overusing our limbs and to take a rest.

Psychological pain is the same. The brain is an organ of the body just like a limb. So if we start to feel mentally exhausted, it is our minds way of telling us to slow down the thinking process and take a break as the brain is being pushed beyond its limits.

Many don’t heed this initial message and carry on over thinking, worrying or overworking and then cross a threshold which can then lead to a breakdown.

There will be many warnings before a final breakdown happens, it is just that the person did not heed them and carried on as they were. The mind and body could no longer operate under those circumstances and so a breakdown of mind and body occurred.

If you feel any kind of suffering then there is usually a message that something you are doing is causing you to suffer, it is like an alarm that will keep going off until you listen. This message is never asking you to stress and worry more; it doesn’t even want you to treat the symptoms you are creating, it just wants you to stop doing what is causing the suffering in the first place.

When I felt overly anxious, it was my bodies way of telling me to stop worrying, fighting, analysing, that it was not good for me. My mind and body were always communicating with me; it was continually trying to look after me and warn me that what I was doing was not serving me well.

I finally listened to this and many other messages it sent and thanked it for always looking after me and for creating the person I am today.

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 |2019-03-16T01:27:13+00:00September 29th, 2018|Anxiety|602 Comments


  1. colin 29th September 2015 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    I am glad you posted that ! I have popped on here every couple of weeks or so to see how people are getting on ? And so many keep asking the same question over and over . If only they could take heed of what you are trying to say they to would be on the road to recovery. I have had the most stressful few days in a very long time . To long to explain . But you no what even when due to this stress I started to feel anxious ! I never once acknowledged it and hence it was just normal anxiety due to the stressful events happening . What I read on here are too many people using every day events to gauge there anxieties hence they search and think about it to much. If only they could just let it be and get on with it they would start to recover .


  2. nidhi 29th September 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Hey paul…
    Once again a very nice article. Thank you. I was just curious to know that no matter I am living with dp n anxiety but somewhere I am lost and I just cant understand this. I am recovering but still somewhere in this recovery process I think I hv lost that happy go lucky girl which I once was…. Will I ever be the way I was… or will I always have this robotic feeling with me.

  3. Paul David 29th September 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    You can only keep pointing Colin until they see it for themselves unfortunately, although many now are.

  4. Pietro 29th September 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Hey, a new post from Paul 😀

    Paul, what’s your opinion on dropping the subject? Do you think in the end its counterproductive to keep reading about it all day and going to forums?

  5. Pietro 29th September 2015 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    I mean of course ONCE we understand that all of our symptoms are caused by anxiety and that all we need to do is live alongside it?

    I feel like, as you say in your new book, for a lot of people acceptance can turn into the new project, the new thing to “figure out” how to do etc. 🙂

  6. Dustin 30th September 2015 at 3:00 am - Reply

    Hey Paul,
    I wanted to ask you a question about your recovery. I know that everyone’s is different, but I’m just curious. You have mentioned numerous times the up and down nature of it. I guess before I got on the right path (I still doubt myself a lot), I was under the impression that the cycles would be much shorter (like some good weeks, some bad weeks etc.). What I have found in my recovery is that my ups and downs cycle on a scale of months. It has been over a year since I feel like I truly began accepting, and I have had good times, but nothing that felt like pure freedom. It has been so long since I have felt good/happy/at peace, that my doubt is very intense right now. I know that I must do what Nolan has said and just let it be. I’m not trying to reassure myself of anything, I am just curious about this aspect of your journey. Thanks for all your help and support

  7. Chris 30th September 2015 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Hi Paul.

    I thought this might be a good question to ask as there may be a few people, including me getting confused with this one.

    Last night I read the chapter ‘struggling with your thoughts’ and it was like a light bulb went off inside my head. I usually try to read your book more in my calm moments (although they are rare), just so I’m not using the book as a crutch and I can absorb the information better.

    Anyways, today most of my thoughts revolved around ‘letting my thoughts be there, not taking them seriously, not trying to work it all out etc’ My thought pattern was something like this ‘let the thoughts be there, including these thoughts, no resistance, no fear’ and then ‘but wait, am I trying too hard by going mentally going over and over this’. It’s pretty much like my mind automatically did this. I tried (even though I knew ‘trying’ wasn’t the way to go) to detach myself but they just kept on sucking me in, basically going around like a broken record. And then I tried not to try… lol. Automatically I was trying to work out how to implement your advice of not taking the thoughts seriously, not adding fear or resistance etc. This because obsessive.

    I guess the main question is, if we find our mind does this, then should we just go with it and let it try to work it all out/analyze? Even if we do internalize and get sucked in to the stream of though?

    No worries if you can’t reply because I know you are probably flooded with questions on a daily basis. Just thought I would ask!

  8. Jessica 30th September 2015 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Once again, great post Paul! I have been reading your second book and it is just as enjoyable as the first! Thank you for continued dedication to sharing your personal experience and first hand knowledge with all of us.

    So many times the books written are from those who have never experienced anxiety, but coming from someone who has been through the trenches and come out the other side speaks volume. So, so grateful! 🙂

    Colin–I too see so many struggle, but I was once there myself and completely understand feeling lost. I understand the desire to want them to move forward and stop questioning, but I remember how long it finally took me to give all that up. I’m still not 100% but this year I have made huge strides and finally have really unraveled the lie.

    I tend to think of it as those stuck in bad relationships, or someone who drinks too much, or is negative/unhealthy. Everyone around them can see it, they can offer advice and support, but it is not until they actually see it themselves and accept it do they move on.

    I thought many times I had moved on, but wasn’t really listening, didn’t fully accept. I am now and can see the struggles in others. I can only offer advice and support and hope they too will eventually come to see it themselves. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to be given this amazing insight and information at first, so it’s all so scary and confusing. It takes time to undo those bad habits. I am SO thankful that Paul and others take the time to offer their experience. I tend to think of it in the “pay it forward” attitude. Whenever I come across someone who I learn has been struggling, my first piece of advice is to pick up Paul’s book or come to the forum. Truly nothing better in my opinion!

  9. carla 30th September 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Colin, I’m going through many of the same difficulties as you I think.

    When I wake in the morning the anxiety will immediately draw my attention inwards and start churning out fearful thoughts and feelings. The immediate reaction to this is to try and calm these irrational fears with thoughts along the lines of ‘it’s ok to feel this, let it be here etc..’ – but the anxious thoughts and feelings remain – cue a merry-go-round of thoughts…..

    And then comes both frustration along with a panic that I’m over-thinking and somehow doing it all wrong.

    So I second your question really!

    And just to clarify, when I try and ‘calm my thoughts’, it doesn’t feel as though I’m trying to rid myself of my feelings, more a bid to temper the catastrophic, fearful thoughts and change my attitude to a more matter-of-fact one. But this in itself can feel like an effort and require some thought which then results in the dreaded over-thinking!

    And Paul, there’s lots of earlier stuff in your blog which reassures people that over-thinking and feeling trapped in our minds is normal with anxiety and should be accepted. I re-read this stuff sometimes when this symptoms is really bothering me.

    How does this advice correlate with ‘stop over-thinking.’ Do you mean let your thoughts run as much as they like but resist trying to think of a solution to make them go away?

    I just think sometimes, when people read ‘stop analysing’ or ‘stop over-thinking’ it can make them try and stop all the racing, looping thoughts that seem to come automatically with anxiety. Or even to become scared of thinking at all!

    Does this make sense?

    Many thank,


    Ps. Loving the latest metaphor, you truly are a king of analogies ?

  10. Fleur 30th September 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Hello wonderful people I need your opinion, if I have only the next fear (from anxiety) or I am really developing depression (I have fear of depression).

    I have anxiety half an year now and i had so much worries since anxiety started this year. Before anxiety (last year) I never felt this way or depression feelings – never. I never had questions about what´s the sense of my life. I lived and was happy and never worry about future so much.

    This year I had worries that I have schizophrenia, that I dont love my boyfriend anymore, that what if I will have anxiety forever, that what if i will be crazy, what if I have other mental illness. But I had often fear of depression too. But it disappeared, when I had better days and I found out that I am happy.

    But this summer supposed to be my best. I travelled to USA (first in my life) and worked there 2 months. 2 months was good, I had friends there I hadn´t anxiety so much only little worries. All summer I was looking forward to september because that was month of my trip through usa – 15 days.
    It was my childhood dream – to travel. I thought that in America my anxiety will disappear. My psychologist told me, that “when you will come back you will be happy and anxiety will disappear, you will see, you will not need me.” Through travelling in september I was standing in Grand Canyon and I felt anxiety. I wasn´t happy, what I expected. I hadn´t that feeling what I always thought that I will feel when I will some day travel. It was me again – me with anxiety – normal feeling like normal day, nothing special. Through my travelling through USA I developed new fear that “NOW i am experiencing the best in my life, the best what i always wanted to see – big country, I saw California, beautiful nature and I am not happy and still have anxiety.” Then I thought “what now, I dont know what to look forward next.

    Now I am at home, and I have terrible fear that I dont know what the sense of my life is anymore. I have boyfriend I love him, I study last year at university, I have perfect family (father, mother, sister). But I have fear that I will develop depression. Because I fear of future, that what is sense. I don´t know if this is sign of depression of it is only sign of anxiety. For example today I saw in my university spanish courses. First thougt was “I want learn spanish” then horrible feeling “NO, why? what is the sense learn spanish, it will not get me happy”. Are these normal OCD questions in my head (about sense of life) or it is depression? This weekend I will go sleep to my boyfriend I am looking forward but when I am thinking about next future about my future job or life I dont know what to looking forward. Never before my anxiety I had these questions in my head. Deep in my heart I know that this is only anxiety – my deepest fear is depression so I am afraid of this feeling so much that I am calling for this feeling of “what is the sense”. If you understand me please explain me this. I didn´t find this in new book, and here on forum too. BUT I hope that it is not depression, because I want to enjoy I want live I want be happy. I dont know how to accept feelings of no sense.

  11. Fleur 30th September 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    But I forgot, that I have feelings of no sense only when I want to think about it. When I live my day without thinking about future I am happy and normal in presence.
    Sometimes I have good mood and then I am thinking about “what if i will have nothing to be happy in future) and then I have bad feeling of depression. But this feeling is real, I really fear of no sense. I hope that it is anxiety, nothing more serious. I simply worry of no control. I know that. Because I worried that i will go crazy, that I will not have feelings for boyfriend, that I will have depression, because about these things I know that are out of my control!!! I don´t know how to trust MYSELF that I CAN command me – no depression never in my life!

  12. colin 30th September 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    I was fortunate that in my journey I accidentally discovered Paul’s method by myself . Just like Paul I educated myself by realising that sitting feeling sorry for myself not going to work etc was counter productive. I just got up and carried in regardless with how I was feeling . And realised god where has it went !!! It was only then I learnt that just living with my anxiety and letting it be there that I started to recover . I do still have moments and know it’s so difficult and a hwllish feeling , but I just move on with whatever I am doing . Without noticing it goes and through time goes for a longer spell . Basically I don’t give it much respect . The reason I read Paul’s book was I am intriged by the subject and why it happened to me . I was gob smacked when I read Paul’s book and couldn’t believe it’s what I done by myself . Like Paul says it’s not a easy journey and setbacks happen and still do . ANXIETY CANT HURT YOU!!! So please don’t give up even if you have felt well for a few days and had a set back those few days will turn into a few weeks , months, years and the light at the end of the tunnel becomes closer all the time ! Have faith in your on healing and let it do its job .

    All the best

  13. Billy 30th September 2015 at 11:42 pm - Reply


    I am curious as to the ear ringing experience? I have come a long way doing nothing as per Paul’s advice and i have read somewhere on this site that this is one of the last symptoms to dissapear. Wondering what others experienced. I keep pretty busy with life and work kids etc so i dont pay attention to it all the time but every now and then i kind of *check on it*

  14. Amanda 1st October 2015 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Does anyone (particularly women) find they are going well and feel they are moving in the right direction and then at certain times of the month they are back to square one and keep getting caught in the cycle month after month? Im not sure if it is a setback but would love any advice on how to deal with it. I feel like I don’t do any thing different and keep on living along with these feelings but get completely thrown each time.
    Many thanks

  15. Rosa 1st October 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Hi Paul. Does is take longer to recover if you had anxiety for a long time? I feel that I am doing the right thing, at least most of the times, and allow every feeling without resistance. I also live my life, go to work, look after my son, see friends etc. I have been doing this for 16 months and have made progress, but anxiety is still there, every day. Sometimes more like a background noise, sometimes shouting at me with full intensity. And sometimes, on a bad day, I loose hope and feel really depressed that I am still stuck in this feeling. Can it take several years to recover fully? Thanks for any help.

  16. Amanda 1st October 2015 at 9:05 am - Reply

    That’s how it is for me Rosa. I am wondering if there
    Is anyone out there that is from qld Australia as I would love to chat
    To someone who is going through it right now, my friends and family are extremely supportive but really don’t understand – am happy for admin to pass my email address on. Thank you

  17. Paul David 1st October 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Chris says: Anyways, today most of my thoughts revolved around ‘letting my thoughts be there, not taking them seriously, not trying to work it all out etc’ My thought pattern was something like this ‘let the thoughts be there, including these thoughts, no resistance, no fear’ and then ‘but wait, am I trying too hard by going mentally going over and over this’. It’s pretty much like my mind automatically did this. I tried (even though I knew ‘trying’ wasn’t the way to go) to detach myself but they just kept on sucking me in, basically going around like a broken record. And then I tried not to try… lol. Automatically I was trying to work out how to implement your advice of not taking the thoughts seriously, not adding fear or resistance etc. This becomes obsessive.

    I guess the main question is, if we find our mind does this, then should we just go with it and let it try to work it all out/analyze? Even if we do internalise and get sucked in to the stream of though?

    Chris you hit the nail on the head the first time when you said you were trying to use mantras to not struggle with thoughts and then were getting involved with them by trying to use mantras to try to NOT get involved with them, so really you were. The thing I learnt was that the mind is a conditioned machine, it follows old, deep ingrained patterns. So it may go over the subject through habit now instead of what it initially went over it for, which was fear, as when you fear something then your mind thinks its a good idea to get rid of it, hence why it ends up so busy in the first place.

    So basically you just have to give up on the mind/thoughts all together, just let it have complete free movement, so even if it starts to obsess, then let it obsess, it is wants to be noisy then let it be noisy, it is like leaving a naughty child to have a tantrum. I could have real days of clarity and then become v self aware and the mind would race once again, at the time i would enter a period of analysing and trying to rid, which just kept it entertained and busy once again, it never had chance to burn off all this momentum, to change its conditioning. Once I totally gave up on it and let it take me where it wished, allowed it to obsess and think about anything it wished, when I saw it as just a conditioned machine repeating old patterns then things began to change and my mind started to clear and the thoughts just began to ebb away.

  18. carla 1st October 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Thankyou Paul for your answer to Chris, it was useful to me too.

    I think, for me at least, I also need to chuck analytical thoughts into the conditioned machine along with repetitive, obsessing and fearful thoughts. I need to allow my mind to analyse but recognise that it’s a normal part of the conditioned anxiety state that will settle over time as the overall anxiety fades.

  19. Stephanie 1st October 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanda, I have noticed a connection between anxiety and hormonal fluctuations. I tracked for a few months, and sure enough my anxiety would intensify at certain times of the month. Now that I know there’s a connection I don’t despair as much when it happens. I just remind myself it will pass. It does get easier over time.

  20. sue 1st October 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    I have a lot of horrible thoughts that creep into my day and I somehow it seems to me that I am trying to think the worst case scenario all the time as though I am testing my self to see how bad my thoughts can be. Sometimes when I have not had them for a while its as though the book has opened and every thought I have had comes spilling out as though the anxiety is trying to keep me thinking them.
    I would love to get rid of them altogether and just be myself again.
    Letting them be there and not worrying about them somehow does not get rid of them for me.

  21. colin 1st October 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Guys anxiety feeds on all our weekness . We have developed a fear of the anxiety just like how we would fear a lion . We run away and look for answers , checking, thinking trying to find away to get rid of the lion all to no avail. Please guys embrace the thoughts the anxiety and all the shit that goes with it . It’s a sensation that’s eats your fear . I am testimony to this , like yous I thought ran searched to no avail . Then I went bugger this am just going to let this thing be there and get on with it . And honestly hand on heart minute by minute day by day and so on it slowly started to get better and better.

  22. Natasha 1st October 2015 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    I try to stop overthinking but I can’t. I think constantly, sometimes don’t even notice I’m doing it then realise I’ve been trapped in my head the full day! I understand not to unravel the thoughts and to just accept but I still can’t thinking constantly 🙁 feel nakared and no energy all the time.

  23. Matt 1st October 2015 at 6:50 pm - Reply


    I have read both books and have off and on tried to do as you state in your book. I’m still struggling with the fear of feeling like this for the rest of my life. I’m 44 and have been struggling with this anxiety off and on for 20 years. Some days I feel decent, but most are just different amounts of anxiety throughout the day. I think am having a hard time developing the faith that this is the right way to overcome my anxiety. I love how you write and can relate to most of what you have stated. I’m having a hard time trusting in the process and in myself that I can actually get better. I know that I have fought and tried to get rid of this anxiety which I understand is opposite of what to do. Did you have a hard time believing that this was the right road. I feel like an emotional Yo Yo everyday. Moments of calm when I feel like its working and then of high anxiety thinking I’m not doing it write or its not working. I have a great life other than this anxiety issue……How do you keep the faith in the process of recovery? Having a hard time staying positive.

  24. Anthoni 1st October 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply


    I just had to say this. I read your book last year after struggling with health anxiety and panic attacks. I really didn’t feel like living at the time. And I didn’t think it would be possible to get healthy at that time. But your book changed it all.

    I’ve been anxiety free since and love life. I really feel strong and alive again thanks to you.

    Million thanks, man!

  25. Rachel 1st October 2015 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    So today I thought I won’t think about it I will just get on with my day even though I do this anyway and now it’s like anxiety said no way will you not think about me and had made my symptom ten times worse to the point I have tingling in my head and my hands oh and I got a letter today I am being referred to a neurologist oh great x

  26. Dustin 2nd October 2015 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Rachel, why do you think that you shouldn’t think about it? Of course you are going to be thinking about it. Probably a lot more than you’d like, but you have to allow you’re mind to think whatever it wants. It is exhausting trying to control where your mind goes, and ultimately pointless. You have to move on and carry your fears with you. If you feel fear about these tingling sensations allow it to be there. Don’t try to chase it away or not think about it. It is ok to feel fear. I think a lot of people get hung up on that. I know I did. I had the mindset that fear was bad and if I felt it, I must have been doing something wrong. What I am starting to learn, very slowly I might add, is that you can still function with all of that fear within you. Even when you believe 100% that something is wrong, let it be. Don’t fall into that secondary level of fear. just let the thoughts run their course. And it is tough, but Your focus will shift naturally.
    Hope this helps or at least provides a little insight. Best of luck!

  27. Chris 2nd October 2015 at 2:26 am - Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to respond Paul. Really appreciate it and it helps alot. If my mind wants to obsess and analyze then I will just let it obsess and analyze and go about my day.

  28. Paul David 2nd October 2015 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Yes Chris because basically you are not that conditioned machine that we call the mind. All the negativity and false beliefs are built up through past experiences and kept alive by thinking that this is who you are and that what it says is true. It is never about fighting off thoughts or trying to change them, trust me you just exhaust yourself and get nowhere. It is about knowing that thoughts are not important, they are not you, they are just energy passing through, what they say about you or a situation are not true. How we think is how the world looks to us, the world becomes a filter to our thoughts, the way through this is to see them as false and to not feed them with our interest and attention. Let them scream, criticise, obsess, without your identification and interest they begin to dance around and then die down as they have no fuel to survive. Don’t ever try to fight the mind, trust me it is a battle you will never win.

  29. Paul David 2nd October 2015 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Natasha Says:
    October 1st, 2015 at 6:48 pm
    I try to stop overthinking but I can’t. I think constantly, sometimes don’t even notice I’m doing it then realise I’ve been trapped in my head the full day! I understand not to unravel the thoughts and to just accept but I still can’t thinking constantly 🙁 feel nakared and no energy all the time.

    Natasha please point out anywhere in these comments, on the blog, my Facebook page, twitter or both books where it says you should TRY to stop over thinking? No wonder you are exhausted and feel you are trapped in your head if you have this mental battle with yourself each day. My thoughts through past momentum whizzed around for a while, but when I lost interest in them as annoying as the background radio was, there momentum started to ebb away, you can’t stop thinking by using more thinking, which is what you are trying to do.

  30. Doreen 2nd October 2015 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Fleur – I read your posts and will not respond to each point as in fact they really all come down to a couple of observations on my part.
    I used to regularly get into the trap of wishing something would feel wonderful because in an ideal world it should (your trip to USA for instance). I would strive to get the ‘wow’ and the more I strived the more anxious and fed up I felt. Once I stopped doing that and accepted that how I was feeling may have to be ‘good enough’ then quite naturally the ‘wow’ would come from time to time. We have just been to Yellowstone and if ever a place should make the heart race (in a good way) then Yellowstone should. And it did, not all the time but at moments when I had to pinch myself to believe I was really there. But I wasn’t striving for those moments, so they just came. I hope you understand cos that was one of my biggest learning curves of all.
    As regards your fear of depression, as you will see from reading the blog it is actually not relevant what the anxiety latches onto, it is a bit of a beast and will latch onto anything and it can be different from day to day. If it wasn’t the fear of depression, it would be something else. So it is accepting the presence of anxiety that is the key.
    I sense that English is not your first language so hope you can understand what I am trying to say.

  31. Jen 2nd October 2015 at 12:42 pm - Reply


    I don’t fear my anxiety anymore, at least I don’t think I do. However I am starting to have normal feelings again but they feel so strange and I want to over analyze how I am feeling when im.feeling good. Is this just a bad habit I have built up? I feel like I’m tramatized by the feeling of panic that I had for a few months that I feel like it has messed with my thinking. Did u ever experience this? I then think am I ever gojng to gwt over this feeling. I think these are just thoughts right?

  32. Andy J 2nd October 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Guys,

    Been a while since I’ve posted on here.

    Still having my ups and downs. Although I still don’t feel entirely myself I have managed to continue working without any sick days and have also just returned from a Stag weekend in Barcelona; which I was absolutely anxious about before going.

    I think its just about continuing as best as you can and putting in place the different things Paul, Nolan, Rich and others talk about on here. The act of ‘doing’ is never going to work. People without anxiety don’t ‘do’ things to feel normal, they just live their lives without anxiety.

    Unfortunately a lot of my intrusive thoughts have turned obsessive, so I’m having to work with those at this moment in time, which is pretty difficult. I’ve also been taking Citalopram for a couple of months, but in all honesty dont think its doing me much good and is playing havoc with my sleep. Has any one else ever taken medication only to find it doesnt work for them. Would you just taper off it?

    I’ve ordered a copy of the book and I’m eagerly waiting for it. Thank again Paul, and thanks for returning to the blog to help all of us out. You briefly mention being depressed in your first book, was it severe? I feel some days that I really struggle for motivation, because it feels like every day is a repeat of the last. Optimism turns to avoidance which turns in to disappointment. Its only natural that hopelessness and depression sets in.

    All the best,


  33. Rosa 2nd October 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Hello, can anyone please answer to my email. It is the second time that no-one responds and I feel a bit ignored. Sorry, don’t mean to be demanding….

  34. Nolan 2nd October 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Rosa,

    To answer your question my advice is to stop tracking it. Stop concerning yourself how close or far you are from full recovery at any given moment.

    That was one thing that held me back. I would feel good one moment, thinking I’m making good progress and then the bottom would fall out. So, I just told myself “however I am at any given moment is just how things are…. if they get better, great…. if they get worse, so be it. I know what I need to do now. I need to live my life and stop paying extra heed to anxiety”.

    So in short: stop thinking of it in terms of “how close to or far from recovery am I?”. You’ll know when you’re feeling better, it comes on its own accord…. all you need to do is make your life bigger than anxiety again.

  35. Ryan 2nd October 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Well I leave for Europe in the morning, and my anxiety is skyrocketing. .it’s just so weird as I’ve flown countless times, yet my mind is screaming “Don’t get on that plane!! You’re going to panic! !”..so annoying as I wish I could just look forward to my vacation instead of hoping I make it through. .I’m just terrified right now and on the verge of tears in anticipation of it all going horribly wrong. .uggghhh. Sorry to vent, just feel like such a failure. ..I don’t know why I can’t accept the feelings when they are this strong.

  36. Jamie 2nd October 2015 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Deep breaths Ryan. The anticipation is always worse than the event (from my experience anyway)….

  37. Nolan 3rd October 2015 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Hi Ryan,
    Then allow yourself to panic and just have a different attitude towards the fact that you man.

    Surrender yourself to the possibility that it may be a physically terrible experience and have an attitude of “alright, whatever” towards it.

    We don’t fall into states of panic through solid reasoning and logic… meaning, you don’t have to convince yourself to panic in a given situation. Take something that’s completely innocuous and has no negative impact on you at all… I don’t know… something like a couple of kittens. Now try to work yourself into a panic over it. You’d probably say “yeah but, Nolan… that’s not how it works. It comes from within me. At a deeper level than just cognition.”…
    Exactly. So, since you didn’t have to reason yourself into a panic over it you don’t have to reason yourself out of that state of panic.

    All you can really do, if you want to start sending the message back to your body that you really don’t care, is let all of it be there..for better or for worse and stop adding the fuel to the fire by trying to make sense of it all in your head.
    It’s like you’re pushing a door closed against a force that’s always going to be stronger than you. You know it’s ultimately going to overcome you… you know it’s going to get through that door. Now, it might be good, it might be bad, or it might have no impact on you at all. But all of this pre rehearsal to it (fretting over it, letting it dictate if you’re going to read that book or not, watch that movie or not…whatever) is only going to mentally exhaust you, increase your despair, and however else it makes itself manifest in your life.

    But… taking the attitude of “whatever comes through that door, be it good or bad, is fine by me” will be the root of the change that will happen in your life on how you start to respond to stress, anxiety, depression (or whatever). Now, the words themselves are not going to magically make that physical and mental yuckiness just go away. You’re still probably going to feel crappy, on edge… but, you’re done playing mental gymnastics to work your way through it via reasoning.

    There’s a quote by GK Chesterton that I love:
    “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered…
    An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered”

    Anyway, “who gives a pooh” right? Let it come and still do everything you were going to do on your trip regardless.

  38. Nolan 3rd October 2015 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Ugh… “the fact that you may”. Not “the fact that you man”.

    Sorry about that.

  39. Matt 3rd October 2015 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Hi Everyone! Any thoughts on my comments above? Thanks in advance.

  40. Ves 3rd October 2015 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Hi Matt,
    Matt said: “I think am having a hard time developing the faith that this is the right way to overcome my anxiety.”

    You already have a faith. We all do. And the proof is that you are typing a post on the probably the best blog regarding the anxiety issues. So you do have a faith about the right way. But the thing is your mind has an ingrained habit to trick you. You just keep going.

    Matt said: “How do you keep the faith in the process of recovery? Having a hard time staying positive”

    You practice every day being positive until you unlearn habitual negative thinking process of your mind. Start with a small and then build it. That does not mean that you will never experience sometimes some difficulties in life like losing a job or losing a family member and etc. But you accept them as part of the life. You only observe the difficult emotions that come with unfortunate things and not react to them.

  41. colin 3rd October 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Hi andy
    Regarding your meds . I was put on fluoxetine when I first suffered from this . They helped me enormously . I just then slowly came off them by lowering the dose to 1 every 2 days and so on. Only took them as I didn’t know the only way to get better was to do what we all need to do is accepted and get on with it . You said you went away on a stag ? ( you got on with it )
    Do any of you mates know about your anxiety? I have found in the past that when I spoke about it to friends family that it helped me hugely . ( problem shared and all that ) good luck andy am sure you sent far away . Going to Barcelona was huge well done you .


  42. Elaine 3rd October 2015 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Hi everyone I’m jst about to read Paul’s amazing new book again.
    I’ve recently come off medication because to be honest I didn’t feel any better.
    I nw see a cbt therapist who is helping me and I am going to yoga and the gym so I am really trying to help myself.
    I really struggle with physical symptoms such as choking feeling and retching
    I am told just to do it and eventually it passes but it upsets me
    Does anyone else suffe in this way?

  43. Dani 3rd October 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Hi all

    I’ve posted a few comments on this on the previous thread, but then realised that Paul has posted a new topic.

    I just wondered if anyone else is struggling with DP/DR feelings of unreality? Many familiar places now feel strange and different to me. I find this the hardest anxiety symptom to deal with, but don’t see many comments from other people on this suffering the same thing.


  44. Anxious Indian 3rd October 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul and Nolan,

    Thanks again for everything!

    I had one question: I understand that setbacks are part of the process, but just wanted to know whether they ever go away completely? As in, is it possible to be completely recovered from anxiety? That you never think of it during your day?

    The reason I ask is because I thought I was completely recovered for months. Then suddenly, out of the blue, was struck with scary thoughts (something which I never had faced before in my initial 7 month stint with anxiety). This new symptom stumped me at first and put me in a setback with 24/7 hyperawareness, scary thoughts, obsessing over anxiety, dull non descript feelings.

    It’s been 1.5 months now since this setback started and I do get stumped with new scary thoughts. I started letting it all be there and hyperawareness has faded now. 🙂

    I am willing to let this take as long as it takes. But just want to know, does this thing ever go away completely?

    Like, will I have years in my life where there would be no setbacks? And I might not even remember anxiety everyday?

    I am sorry to trouble you with this question. Please answer only if you feel like.

    Thanks so much for everything that you have already done for me.

  45. Billy 3rd October 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Dani

    I’ve experienced that but i no longer do. It will go away if you dont pay it no mind . Let it run out of its steam. Just go on about your business whatever you are in the middle of. There is no magic wand to make it go away when you want, it will go away when you are at peace with it.

  46. abhi 3rd October 2015 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    i nolan m very impressed by your answers abt anxiety.i want ask u somthing.i have suffered anxiety for 2years and followed the paul advice and overcome of it.but 4weeks ago a massive setback hit me.i always try to being positive.but sometime i got into negative thinking.hopelessness..my exams is near n m worried abt that.m nt missing my studies for a single days n doing my best.even i challange the anxiety on every every step.n do whatever i want to do.but than negative feelings rose up in my m.ind..what i do nolan.plz give advice

  47. abhi 3rd October 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    everybody on this blog always talk abt anxiety..nobdy talk abt career anxiety..even paul never post here abt this..if he post abt career anxiey ths will be very helpful for many career anxiety sufferers..plz paul post here on career based antiety..i know that its a type of anxiety n treat in a similar way.but thoughts abt career seems very practical plz paul posy here abt career anxiety

  48. Carla 3rd October 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply


    I’m really sorry but I’m having problems around the central message on this blog – it’s probably just the anxiety splitting hairs but it’s tying me up in knots day in day out. Paul’s main point on this blog post is to stop analysing and worrying about symptoms. But what do I do when it’s the analysing I’m scared of. I live my life like I don’t have anxiety, I have no other fears, I’m fine with physical symptoms and what-if questions but I’m constantly in a state of fear about analysing. Every time I think inwardly I worry that I’m analysing. My mind keeps trying to work out which bits of my thinking I should allow and which I should try and stop. It’s the ‘mental gymnastics’ as you put it that are haunting me as they seem automatic yet everyone says this is precisely the thing that I need to stop.

  49. Carla 3rd October 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Paul even clearly states that we need to stop over-thinking. Now based on the fact that my anxiety was initially triggered by a fearful thought that I would never be able to stop over-thinking, this kind of statement is extremely fear-provoking.

    My mind is now stuck in a repetitive loop where it keeps trying to resolve the contradiction between ‘allowing all thoughts’ and ‘stop over-thinking’

    Does this make sense?

  50. JoJo 3rd October 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Nolan or my other helpful people:

    I woke up this morning and as I started my day I thought that like seems routine and mundane. I find myself always feeling like is my life enough or ok or fulfilled. Is this anxiety making me feel this way? I don’t feel like it’s a depressive thought. I just don’t see others say that thinking and questioning the quality of life as being anxiety? Then I’ll say ok why do you feel life is mundane or what do I need to fix so I stop thinking this way. Please help

  51. Julie 3rd October 2015 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    I am having a right time with physical anxiety and I wondered if anyone can help. I posted a couple of weeks ago saying I felt a little setback but my anxiety had become more physical since suffering from fatigue and low iron. My GP suddenly wanted to test me for diabetes and in the nurses room after a 45 minute wait once she took blood I had a huge panic attack. I couldn’t get off the bed I went all hot and afraid I would pass out. I worked myself up terribly. It was awful and since that day I have felt so fragile. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice as I am not used to this kind of anxiety as mine usually manifests in intrusive thoughts and anxiety around them.

    Since the big panic attack at the nurses office I have been struggling socially again, I had bad agoraphobia when my anxiety began a couple of years ago. Since the nurses office I have noticed my physical anxiety increase, but it’s not day to day shakes or fast heart it’s more in the way of noticing every bodily sensation and it sends me into an anxiety attack. For example daily I keep looking at my face to check my lips are straight and haven’t had a stroke, no idea where that has come from. Earlier today I itched my cheek and noticed the lower part of my cheek felt numb and I went into high anxiety instantly and was shaking, my face went red hot and my right arm tingling, which sent me into further panic. I sat through it but it left me very shaken and i realised I am terribly sensitized right now to my body and I know why.

    Since the nurses office I have felt very afraid of being ill and needing to go back to the doctors or what if I needed to go to hospital. I’d panic like I did and make a show of myself and they’d section me thinking I was a right state and unfit mother for being like that at appointments:-( which is my biggest fear ever. I have always struggled with appointments the last few years but I do them, like this year I accomplished the dentist, a ladies physical, optician and the GP a few times for a few things i had going on. I felt anxious but with my hubby I achieved them. Well since the nurses office I cannot imagine ever going back and I think it’s why daily I feel high anxiety as I know in November they want to check my thyroid and iron again and I can’t see myself going through a blood test again after that 🙁 It was a horrible attack that threw the wind out of my sails. The nurse had to help me walk out of the room back to the main door. I haven’t in all these 3 years had that happen even when my agoraphobia was at it’s worst. I would go hot and anxious but not like that, that was awful and since that day 2 weeks ago I have felt on the verge of anxiety attack most days. So any bodily sensation throws me into an anxiety attack where I go hot, flushed, tingly in arms and shake, very much like at the nurses room. This is new to me as I don’t usually get physical anxiety attacks 🙁 I know they are anxiety attacks but I am so upset that I keep having them over bodily sensations. It just seems an instant trigger.

    After the feeling about my cheek feeling numb on the lower half of my face, I told my hubby and he said Julie my cheek is less sensitive lower down than higher on my face, it’s normal but you are sensitized so panicking because you fear being ill and having to face an appointment again. He made me realise that is what this is. I always had a fear of appointments and hospitals since suffering agoraphobia but what has happened recently at the doctors has made me fear it so much that it’s making me scared of every numb feeling, pain…. it really isn’t like me. I am never this on edge about my health.

    I had an enlightened moment whilst reading Pauls new book, that we have to feel this to overcome this and I thought ahhh haaa I get it. I read a real life story and the man asked Paul why after accepting for a week did he not feel better and in my head I thought ‘he isn’t accepting, because if he was he wouldn’t be asking that’ I then had a light bulb moment, my first one ever at true acceptance. I have known better times and come a long way with my intrusives and agoraphobia but never fully understood acceptance so that this week was a huge milestone for me. I just can’t seem to do it with this, I guess because I am afraid as this is very new to me and I feel lost. It’s been caused by a very frightening event and I feel so ashamed of myself for having that attack infront of the nurse 🙁 I sobbed like a baby lying on the bed in her room saying I couldn’t get up as I was boiling hot and dizzy, afraid I’d faint. It was just awful because I wanted to leave having agoraphobia I can’t wait to escape after an appointment 😉 so it was just awful I couldn’t leave and had to stay lying down until the dizziness passed. She stood next to me hugging me and was so kind but I feel a right idiot.

    Anyway, huge ramble and I apologise but could do with some advice please.

    Thank you


  52. Joe 3rd October 2015 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    I felt tears come to my eyes as I read this post and largely I am stuck in a cycle of apathy. I guess being understood is a beautiful thing. I want to tell you all that all Paul says is true. I bought his book a few months ago having experienced some would say pretty severe anxiety for over 6 years.

    Recently I went on a months vacation and at first I worried to myself about how I would be and even thought about taking the book with me so that I could memorise certain quotes, that the book would be a safety blanket for me. However, I knew this was wrong and against the message Paul has been trying to deliver.

    I was so busy during my vacation that I didn’t have time to ‘search for the answer’ and my god looking back now, I can’t believe how wonderful it was to remove the torment that I, that we, all place on ourselves. This ‘whatever’ attitude truly is the ‘trick’.

    Since I have come back from my holiday and that I have been less busy, I have found myself reflecting asking questions such as ‘how did I get rid of my anxiety’ and lo and behold I am sure you can guess what good that did me… trying to rid/make sure it doesn’t come back only gives it life once more.

    The trick is to truly stop investing in ridding yourself of it. Stop playing the game. And when you tell yourself ‘I am not playing this game anymore’, make sure that you truly mean that and that you aren’t saying it to rid yourself of it. That is the fine line. To truly not care versus deceiving yourself in saying so to rid of your anxiety.

    Hope that helps and please stop caring. The world and your body is on your side, without you having to do a single thing. Smile knowing you can be a lazy a$$ that doesn’t have to search/find any answer and that it will all take care of itself 😉

    Love to you all and if anyone wants to message me to know more about my story or for any help please feel free to email me – johndoe9990@hotmail.com.

  53. Rory 4th October 2015 at 2:59 am - Reply

    I hope I can get a reply this eve, I’ve not gone to the docs with my issue yet but I have anxiety and panic issues. It triggers usually when I get no sleep and ive had no sleep for a few days. I also get something called hypnic jerk when I can’t sleep. I know diazipam works for me but my fried is bringing me lorazepam. Will it work the same and will I be able to sleep?

  54. Rory 4th October 2015 at 3:46 am - Reply

    Hey Julie I read you post and I suffer from a very similar anxiety trait. My anxiety does not come from anything else but bodily sensations. For instance mine is my heart, I am extremely aware of my heart beating and how hard and fast and sometimes it works me up into a right tizzy. I even feel faint sometimes and I’m convinced that’s because my heart is giving up and it’s pumping blood around properly.

    I still suffer from this but the way I help myself which may be of some use to you is I try to find some understanding as to why I feel like this. I tried to understand the Science of it all. For instance:

    The Brain is most powerful thing in the human body and that of any body, it can create instances that may seem terrifying but completely untrue. All it is is chemicals getting mixed up within yourself and in need of readjustment. Sometimes taking pills is the way of balancing out whatever chemical a person seems to be lacking.

    Now getting your head around this is very daunting and sometimes people don’t, there are instances when my anxiety gets so bad that no matter the research I have done and no matter what I know it does not help. You are blessed to have an understanding husband who helps you through times like these but you are in no means, NO MEANS a bad parent because you suffer with anxiety, you would be surprised how many people actually have it.

    I have found that unless you give in to the docs and tank yourself up with every medication they throw at you, the best way to naturally solve this are the following:

    Sleep – The bodies best way of regenerating.
    Diet – self explanatory
    Exercise – (this actually works the best, I for instance have an issue constantly with feeling my heart and every beat it creates, running removes the feeling and adds physical stress)

    Another way I deal with my bodily mishaps is to remove the feeling with another feeling, sometimes if I am paying too much attention to how my body feels or how anxious I am about it I create another feeling, if I feel my heart I just bop my leg, or if in public just move my hands around in my pockets, it creates a different feeling other than the one I spend way too much time thinking about.

    In my opinion you are not ill and neither am I, your brain is creating issues of fear due to possibly stress or a long term sub consciousness. I have evaluated the reason for my issues and mine is a long term period of high stress and when I was very young many losses which shaped my personality.

    Never fear, for ultimately you are in control 🙂


  55. Carla 4th October 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Hi Nolan,

    I’ve calmed down a bit and think I’ve sorted it out in my head. I think it was just a case of semantics giving my anxious mind the runaround ?

  56. Rosa 4th October 2015 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Hi Nolan,

    Thanks for your reply! I think I start to understand – yesterday I just didn’t care about my anxiety and I thought even if I have to live like this for the rest of my life, there is nothing I can do about it anyway. Worrying about recovery will definitely not make me feel better. You just have to give up fully, right?

  57. Anxious Indian 4th October 2015 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Hi Paul and Nolan,

    After writing to you last night, I suddenly felt a penny dropping moment.

    If I don’t care whether this exists or not, how do setbacks even matter? Even if they occur, they are another opportunity to learn! 🙂

    I can’t tell you the relief I felt after that. It is as if I see my symptoms separated from me. I can’t describe the feeling of freedom I feel today! I actually danced in happiness! 😀

    It’s as if I had been ‘coping’ or ‘ignoring’ or ‘accepting with the hope of getting rid eventually’ earlier.

    It is so exhilarating to let the mind think whatever it wants to 🙂

    I feel that complete recovery is something I am not even thinking about anymore. It will come when it has to come. I created these habits and I will calmly let my mind and body take as long as they want to reverse them.

    I hope this understanding and the peace I feel within finally stays with me 🙂

    Thanks to all of you – Paul, Nolan and Rich. You tried your level best to explain but it is strange that sometimes we don’t get the complete meaning of things explained to us.

    The biggest THANK YOU ever to you!

    P.S. Please come to India with your families whenever you want to take a vacation! You have a home and a tour guide in me here!! 🙂

  58. Kim 4th October 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone,

    I’m just hoping for a bit of advice really. Lately I’ve had a real struggle with my anxiety. I have gone through very good patches of months of feeling ‘normal’ but I have had a very stressful couple of years. I feel like my anxiety alongside very bad self esteem turns me into such a horrible snappy and over emotional person.

    My recent bout of anxiety has scared me a bit because I felt like I’ve had an ‘enough is enough’ moment and like I can’t deal with this carrying on in cycles (I have only mentioned my anxiety to the doctor once and they didn’t really help – just breezed over it)

    I am planning on going to a new doctor on Monday, and the thought is really terrifying me. What if I get a doctor who doesn’t take me seriously and makes me clam up? What if they tell me I’m bipolar or some have some other scary mental illness? What if they ask me questions about ‘suicidal thoughts’ and I don’t know how to answer? (I struggle with this one as one of my ‘scary thoughts’ is “What if i become so bad i get to the stage of being suicidal”

    I’m feeling frustrated as I have managed to put Paul’s advice into practice before – I just feel like my anxiety tricks me every time and I lose my way – always falling into bad habits. I know I really need to seek some help but I am just very scared about it all. I am worried about being put on medication ( I really would rather be offered some sort of therapy)

    I want to do this for myself and also for my boyfriend. I have an awful sense of guilt for putting him through all of this.

    Any kind words of help or advice would be kindly appreciated.


  59. Nolan 4th October 2015 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    That’s great news, Anxious.
    You’ve nailed it with your post.
    Rough times and doubt may still come….but you’ve had a glimpse behind the whole machinery of it. And you saw that fundamentally peace is still with your mind and body… that, this anxiety (however it makes itself manifest) is not the end of the story for you (or any of us). The despair and doubt that come with it are impressive… but not so impressive as to be able to ever extinguish that peace and calm that are more a true part of us than anxiety can ever image to be.

    Thank you for the kind offer too! If my family ever heads out there it would be a joy to meet up.

  60. Nolan 4th October 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Exactly Rosa.
    Now, this understanding that you just had may feel more right than other times. Other times the doubt and hopelessness may get really thick. But, you’ve had a huge step in the right direction of being at peace with the lack of peace in your life.

    And from there true peace will start to come more regularly and more profoundly. And at those moments you’ll have this strong intimation that the peace was always still a part of you…. that there never was an action you needed to take to chase the anxiety off. At a fundamental level you’ll just have this understanding.

    So, when the dark moments come just treat them all the same ‘oh well’ and move back on with the things that make up your life.

  61. Nolan 4th October 2015 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Hi Carla,

    If your mind goes into this automatic analyzing mode…. let it. Let it do whatever it wants to. But, don’t add any more extra fuel with it.
    “Oh big whoop… here goes my mind trying to make sense of everything…. so be it” and don’t give it any more importance than that.

    Here are a couple of things that would happen to me:

    1) the constant song playing in my head (or a small part of it, playing over and over and over). It drove me nuts. I hated it because it made me think I was truly losing it. What I eventually did (with Paul’s guidance): I let it play. Sometimes I even sung along with it (sometimes I didn’t) but I changed my attitude toward it happening…. and that rarely ever happens anymore (the song playing).

    2) When I would try to go to sleep it was like my mind would go into this automatic “hunt out and find sleep” mode. But, obviously no one falls to sleep this way. No one has to ‘find sleep’…. as a matter of fact, that action itself will probably be impede getting to sleep (and it did for me). Then the terrible thought: “I’m trying to go to sleep, but I go into this highalert mode of looking for sleep, which scares me…. which makes it even harder to fall asleep…. which will make me hunt it out even more”…. it seemed like an endless cycle of torment to me (and it was). But, I started to treat it the same way “okay mind, so you want to go into this automatic hunt for sleep mode which will make me more alert and make sleep more elusive… fine, go ahead and do that. But I’m done concerning myself anymore about it”…. I let my mind go on automatic high alert… I let it race around where ever it wanted to…and, I always eventually fell back to sleep. And in time that had no impact on me at all.

    So…. I just went with the flow of these automatic ‘happenings’ in my mind and body. I stopped fighting with them, just said “oh well, it is what it is” and in time they went away.

  62. Nolan 4th October 2015 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Hello abhi,

    I never tried to force myself to be positive. If I felt really miserable I just reminded myself that this is okay. I stopped treating it as something that I need to get out of.
    I would regularly remind myself “if this is my life forever…. then so be it”. I can still do the actions in life I need to do, regardless or not I feel emotionally happy doing them.
    Like, I still need to care about my son and wife. I need to make the a priority regardless of how I’m feeling. It’s a duty of mine as a husband and father. So, if the anxiety and depression (intense despair and fear) wanted to be there while I’m doing all of that stuff, then fine…. be there.

    I had realized long before that there was no tricking anxiety out of my life. If I felt like junk then that’s just how it is…. but I’m still going to make my life bigger than anxiety. And anxiety is more than welcome to follow me where ever it wanted to.

    Then true happiness and peace slowly started find their way back into my life. And it was never because I actually did something to chase the anxiety or depression off.

  63. Nolan 4th October 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Jojo…
    I’m more than happy to help but I’m just having a little trouble following your question. Not your fault, just my reading comprehension 🙂

    Could you phrase that another way?? I just don’t know if I’m understanding you correctly.

  64. Anxious Indian 4th October 2015 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your reply Nolan! 🙂

    I am hoping that when I allow my mind to process scary repititive thoughts from my past and future projections, initially with pangs of fear and later without any emotion, it will eventually get bored and move onto something else 🙂

    Also, I know I might get tripped a few times, but that is fine too. I guess it is a process.

  65. Anxious Indian 4th October 2015 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    To Everyone on this blog, just wanted to share something with you all. I have made some major progress with the advice from Paul, Nolan and Rich and truly believe that this is the only way to perfect recovery.

    I will be taking a break from this blog now, but before that, wanted to share some insights from my experience which I would like to share with everyone here. If it helps anyone, nothing will make me happier!

    It happens because somewhere in our mind there have been laid patterns which send a false danger signal in harmless situations. So anytime anxiety or panic strikes (at any harmless location like anywhere outdoors or anywhere within your home), see it as a PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to overwrite those unnecessary patterns. As Paul says, pay it no mind and continue with your task at hand. What this does is eventually your mind realises that there is no danger and stops pumping andrenalin.

    If your anxiety or panic strikes when you are not doing anything too engaging, say when you are at home, it is an even better OPPORTUNITY. WELCOME It! Here’s why: Now treat your brain as a silly frightened child and use this opportunity to teach it that there is no danger. So try one of the following – put on your favorite music and dance, or sing and ‘pretend’ to sing happily, or read jokes online and laugh (even if you have to force yourself and pretend to laugh). It might sound absurd and crazy but it REALLY works – it has worked with me and 3 more people I know. When you do this, what happens is, the false danger signals in your brain get over written so fast. Give it a try 5 times and it just might work for you! 🙂

    This will work for situational anxiety. This will not work when it comes to anxiety evoked by thoughts though, because there the thought is the issue.

    No one can control their thoughts, and this is all the more true for an anxious mind.

    Anxiety creates an anxious mind which attaches fear to anything that you love most usually or your morals, and you get such thoughts. Paul has explained this beautifully. Try and read and understand what he is explaining as to why these thoughts originate and why they stick. Once you understand why they occur, you will be able to attach a ‘matter of fact’emotion to these thoughts and give them space to exist. (You are not the one responsible)

    The WORST thing to do is try and avoid these thoughts, as they will keep knocking at your door all the more.

    You might feel the anxious pang, as anxiety is present in our body, but the more you attach a ‘matter of fact’ emotion (or one of ‘can’t be bothered’ or laugh at it because it is false) and stop additional fear, you will feel less pangs of adrenalin at the thoughts. Our mind is very sensitive, it processes all our reactions. Slowly your brain will get bored of this and move onto other stuff.

    Also, when you don’t add the additional worry to these thoughts and let them come and go as they please, your mind’s habits will change and thoughts will stop sticking.

    This will take time, and perhaps several cycles of such thoughts, but eventually it will happen. Just have FAITH!

    Also, what is the other option? Ask yourself, have you ever been able to stop any thoughts? No right? Then why take upon yourself the additional worry to look for ways to stop them and spend all your day focusing on the issue all the more.


    I realised a cycle. I would be hit by some new symptom. Then I would get upset by it. I would look for answers online and ways to stop it. I would find something – maybe a saying – that gave me temporary relief. Then during the day or at the end of the day check how much better I am. What happened was, whenever I wasn’t busy, the symptom would come back and I would feel defeated and more anxious.

    What was happening here? I was ‘Focussing’ on the symptom and making it my life. In the process, I was getting pulled away more and more from the rest of my life.

    I realised it was the ‘Fear’ and the ‘Avoidance’ that was causing this. I could NEVER actively ‘do’ anything to rid myself of any symptom.

    So what was the other option? Let it BE. I would see it as an observer and move on. This helped me free the additional worry and also have more mind space to connect with my life and other outward things.

    It wasn’t a bed of roses, but it was better than ‘fighting’ the symptom all day and getting upset over it.

    Also, I felt a sense of FREEDOM when I did this. I had thoughts like, “WOW! I don’t have to figure out anything now” & “Wow! It is ok to think anything. I don’t have to worry about controlling my thoughts”.

    Trust me, this feeling was truly exhilarating! 🙂

    4. You become what you ‘Focus’ on. This is very true in life! Please focus on ‘LIFE’ and not ‘RECOVERY’

    Love your life more than anxiety. Let anxiety symptoms exist side by side but pay them no mind. Give your focus to living outwardly and everything you love and everyone you love as much as possible.

    I made a huge mistake and it took me very long to realise this. PLEASE don’t make this mistake.

    Focus on all positive things in your life and they will come back to you. You don’t have to focus on recovery as that will come on it’s own. You waiting for it will only increase frustration and again make anxiety the focus of your life.

    5. ‘ANXIETY’ as a word throws people into panic. Don’t think of it as a ghost or enemy. It is just a poor habit created by us, and we are the only ones who can undo it. Why should we fear a ‘Bluff’ that we ourselves created – whether it be physical and psychological symptoms. It was Scarlet on this blog who once said that she felt a great relief when she realised that there is no external agency going this to us 🙂

    We will all recover, trust me, because we are in the hands of people like Paul! No one else can guide you better.

    Even if you have doubts, follow every word Paul says. Every word he says is true!

    Wishing you all all the best! Every night I pray that all anxiety sufferers in this world find peace real soon! Try and send a prayer every night! And BELIEVE, we will all reach the other side! 🙂

    Lots of love to all of you! 🙂

  66. Debbie 4th October 2015 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Anxious indian how wonderfiul put someday i will.be there i know i get more intrusive than physical i did get physical but thats gone. Thanks to paul .nolanand maria and tom. Mine are weird i see movies and feel every thing i see has to remind me of something else than the crippling fear comes.

  67. Anxious Indian 4th October 2015 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Debbie! I am in the same boat. I have minimal physical symptoms that too mostly because of the pangs of fear caused by these scary thoughts.

    My intrusive thoughts are about scary things happening to me and my loved ones. So for a while I felt the same as you describe – that fear that any new scary thought will come from somewhere anytime.

    I am an extremely sensitive person so this content greatly disturbed me and all my anxiety came back.

    Then one day I just realised that as hateful as these thoughts are but their fear is only adding to my problems. I started giving them space to come and go and stick as well and somehow the fear subsided. There are times when I actually say ‘what rubbish’ and laugh. Slowly I am toning down my emotional reaction to these thoughts.

    What choice do we have?

    Not worrying about them has given me a little more mind space to attend to other outward things in my life. That is a big boon.

    Plus I try to stay positive and hope that now that I am dismissing these thoughts and not dwelling on them, in time my mind will realise that there is no need for this idiotic habit.

    Try and drop the Fear and Hate for these thoughts – that is what is causing this.

    Wish you all the best! ?

  68. Debbie 4th October 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Anxious indian thanks so much.

  69. Julie 4th October 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Anxious Indian

    I loved your post. Well done to you.

    I’ve had these watershed moments too and I was well om the road to recovery but since I started with I guess health anxieyy/extreme sensitisation to physical sensations I am finding it hard. I struggle to do as Paul suggests with it being something new and my brain seems to trigger anxiety attacks over anything that could mean I am about to have a stroke or something else nasty. All new to me. I did post above last night but I don’t think anyone has seen it as yet.

    A huge well done. I wish you a very happy life ?


  70. Anxious Indian 4th October 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie,

    Yes, the same thing happened to me last month. I fainted twice due to a vitamin deficiency but after that I got so freaked of fainting, I was monitoring every sensation in my body. I got massive anxiety over it.

    Then I realized it is my anxious mind making me over react to my health situation. So I started focusing on getting physically better. It really helps!

    Plus just acknowledging that it is anxiety making you over react kind of relaxes you and eventually the over reaction goes away.

    Wish you all the best!

  71. Anxious Indian 4th October 2015 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Julie, another important thing I thought I should mention. Apart from fear and hatred, there are 2 more reasons these intrusives are happening:

    1. Because we are upset with them, we brood about the issue. Thinking about the issue brings them back to memory.

    After writing a reply to the above post, I got thinking about this issue and guess what, one of my worst ones came back! 🙂 I feel yuck too but know it will pass. So start practicing dismissing these thoughts, and as far as you can, try and consciously stop thinking about this issue.

    2. Sometimes we tend to test ourselves with these thoughts, to see if we react or not. I would say we should stop doing that. Let the symptoms take care of themselves but let’s not get involved by thinking about the issue and testing.

    Hope this helps!

  72. Debbie 4th October 2015 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Anxious indian i get where everything feels familiar and if iam talking to someone my mind is seeing them in a scary place. Its weird . also if you are ever in ny come to brooklyn i live there. Also my dsd died last week a i call these feelings spooky my fear is of going nuts.

  73. Anxious Indian 4th October 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Debbie, my heartfelt condolences to you. You are not going crazy, these are just symptoms of anxiety so don’t hold yourself responsible for these thoughts. These are things created by an anxious mind, the only thing you need to do is see them as just symptoms separated from you and don’t react to them. Practice practice and you will learn to not react. Slowly, maybe one time a day you will not react, next day maybe 3 times a day and soon it will become your default reaction to these thoughts. That is when your fear will start dissipating slowly.

    I went through a phase where I was trying not to react to these thoughts but was reacting. This was frustrating me and making me even more anxious. So I set very small goals for myself. I was like if I get the thought say 100 times a day, I will be happy if I do not react 3 times. When I was able to do so even once I started loving it. Slowly and trust me very slowly I have been able to practice to not react. I still goof up at times but that is fine too, so many old habits.

    And do remember, you are not going crazy. That is another false thought brought on by anxiety. You have been through so much, cut yourself some slack 🙂

  74. Kim 4th October 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone.

    Sorry to be annoying and for posting this again.

    I’m just hoping for a bit of advice really. Lately I’ve had a real struggle with my anxiety. I have gone through very good patches of months of feeling ‘normal’ but I have had a very stressful couple of years. I feel like my anxiety alongside very bad self esteem turns me into such a horrible snappy and over emotional person.

    My recent bout of anxiety has scared me a bit because I felt like I’ve had an ‘enough is enough’ moment and like I can’t deal with this carrying on in cycles (I have only mentioned my anxiety to the doctor once and they didn’t really help – just breezed over it)

    I am planning on going to a new doctor on Monday, and the thought is really terrifying me. What if I get a doctor who doesn’t take me seriously and makes me clam up? What if they tell me I’m bipolar or some have some other scary mental illness? What if they ask me questions about ‘suicidal thoughts’ and I don’t know how to answer? (I struggle with this one as one of my ‘scary thoughts’ is “What if i become so bad i get to the stage of being suicidal”

    I’m feeling frustrated as I have managed to put Paul’s advice into practice before – I just feel like my anxiety tricks me every time and I lose my way – always falling into bad habits. I know I really need to seek some help but I am just very scared about it all. I am worried about being put on medication ( I really would rather be offered some sort of therapy)

    I want to do this for myself and also for my boyfriend. I have an awful sense of guilt for putting him through all of this.

    Any kind words of help or advice would be kindly appreciated.


  75. Julie 4th October 2015 at 9:41 pm - Reply


    I am sorry to hear about your dad passing.

    Regarding intrusives, I don’t know if you know I struggled terribly with harm thoughts. It’s funny that they now rarely bother me. My daughter was ill all last week and I enjoyed our time together when she had to stay home. A big change to the person I was before where I would live in fear of my children being ill and having to stay at home. I think I got to this stage by accepting the thoughts were just anxiety caused. They came harder when my anxiety was higher. I started to see this connection and it gave me some insight to how anxiety worked.

    You’ve mentioned you talk to people and see scary visions in your head well I had that too. I’d see everything as eerie and creepy. Even driving to the shops I’d feel eerie like I was in a creepy movie and I’d want to run home. It gave me a creeped out feeling inside. That is very normal with anxiety. Ocd can give you intrusive thoughts and images. The images may be what you’re experiencing. If you Google intrusive thought ocd you’ll see pure o mentioned. It may help you if you read some info by Dr Stephen Phillipson. He’s a doctor I saw and had excellent cbt to help with my intrusives which were my main anxiety symptom. He has some great papers to read online on intrusives and he gives very similar advise as Paul does in his books for intrusives.

    I thought this may help you. Right now you’re grieving. Accept that your anxiety will naturally be high. It won’t feel nice but it’s normal under the circumstances. Accept any thoughts that arise and do your best to not question them. If you feel them coming on allow them in, give them space and refocus on something you enjoy. A nice book, movie, colouring, yoga…. are what I turn to when I need to refocus. No amount of searching will help, it’ll keep throwing more fuel on the fire so accept it’s where you are right now. Be kind to yourself and gentle. Try to get time to relax and unwind. Mindfulness could be of some benefit. Finding Peace in a Frantic World is an excellent 8 week course that you will find on Amazon.

    Take care


  76. Julie 4th October 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you Anxious Indian

    Same here. I have low iron and my thyroid us borderline underactive and I have been feeling terrible fatigue which has affected my anxiety when going out as I feel woozy due to the fatigue I have daily which of course did make me fear fainting.

    Thank you for replying.


  77. Carla 4th October 2015 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    Nolan, I know the thread has moved on but thank you. Your reply is consistent with what I’m (somewhat slowly) working out for myself which is exponentially reassuring!

    You are very kind to reply so patiently to such angsty, repetitive questions. But your patience is hugely appreciated and really pivotal in helping us to maintain some self-confidence and optimism throughout this experience. Si thank you for being so selfless, kind and generally lovely.

  78. Debbie 5th October 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Hi julie thanks your were helpful .one more thing its like i was in a store and my mind feels like after i leave its still there. With those creepy feelings . i will look that program up . thanks again .

  79. JoJo 5th October 2015 at 1:31 am - Reply


    Sorry my post confused you. Basically I was saying I woke up and I had a thought that life is “mundane”. This thought then bothered me and I started to question why I was thinking this way and what I need to do to make life not feel this way. I tend to question a lot about life and the quality of my life. I never really hear people mention this so I wanted to make sure it’s anxiety. The other night I was sitting on the couch and thinking is my life ok, is it ok with my husband, and my daughter. When I considered myself without anxiety in the past I never questioned the quality of my life and it felt good and fullfilled. Can anxiety make your life seem like it is not right or not ok? Can it basically cloud it all. I hope I explained better. Thank you

  80. Anxious Indian 5th October 2015 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Hi Jojo,

    It happens to me too. So anxiety has created a habit in us where we QUESTION every single thing. Every thought, every feeling and anything else.

    I too sometimes feel bored, and then tend to start over reacting with thoughts like ‘when i have everything why does my life seem so empty’, ‘I am being ungrateful by having these thoughts’ etc. Before anxiety, I would feel bored, but would never obsess over it.

    Your post has made me realise that it is anxiety making me question all this. So next time this thought comes, let us learn to smile at it and remember it is only anxiety’s habits. Don’t brood over it. Move on – watch TV, read a book or anything you like.

    Slowly, our habits of QUESTIONING and OBSESSING will reverse. Let’s just keep FAITH 🙂

  81. Julie 5th October 2015 at 10:10 am - Reply


    If anyone has had health related type anxiety could you see my post above from Saturday evening. I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

    Sorry Kim I typed a long ish message to you to try and help but it won’t post, I am not sure why, I have asked Rich and if he gets back to me hopefully I wil be able to post.


  82. Kim 5th October 2015 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Thanks Julie, I appreciate it. Hopefully it will get posted soon!


  83. Julie 5th October 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply


    I have just seen your reply to me. Thank you for taking the time to reply it was a comfort.

    I think I have had alot of stress the last few months due to my ill health, my son being bullied and he was unwell for 3 months unable to walk with tendinitis…. it’s been stressful and worrying. I think it’s just all got on top of me juggling everything as my husband also started a new job further from home which put extra pressure on me. I guess it’s only natural my body is over reacting again. It’s now getting me in a new way to scare me 😉

    Thanks again


  84. Sue 5th October 2015 at 11:10 am - Reply

    My problem is testing thoughts when I have anxiety. Its as though my mind goes looking for the worst thought it can think. Yesterday I was sat quiet on the chair and I got a wush of adrenaline through my body and at the same time I thought of something awful and my heart would not stop pounding for ages. I managed to calm down and go out eventually. But all afternoon it was as though my mind was still looking for that thought. Why do I do that and want to scare myself even more.

  85. Sue 5th October 2015 at 11:13 am - Reply

    If I could just let things go I am sure I would get over the anxiety quicker. It sometimes feels as though I am punishing myself for nothing really as I have done nothing wrong.

  86. Fleur 5th October 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Doreen, thank you for response 🙂 Yes, you are right about everything in your post.
    And about my fear of depression, now it is my struggle of the month. I think, that next time it will be something else. But it seems to be so real.
    I want to ask one thing about this fear. My anxiety is not about physical symptoms anymore, it is only about worries. I worry about depression now, and this fear is so big that I don´t know how to accept. I can accept thoughts but I don´t know how to accept fear, or how to accept feeling /lack of interest/. Deep, I know, that I am not depressed, yesterday i really enjoyed time with boyfriend and his friends, I enjoy shopping etc. But I have that strange feeling /lack of purpose/. You think this is anxiety questioning in my head about purpose, or is it depression? Can anxiety give me feeling similar to depression, because I fear of it?
    I am afraid accept this questioning, because I fear that when i accept this, something bad happens / i mean depression /. So that´s why I all days question my thought if it is depression or not. And everytime I think about it, bad feeling happens. It is like testing my feelings, sometimes I feel good, and then I think about “Do I have big interest in things?” And then from good day I have fear and bad day.

  87. Ryan 5th October 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Well I’m on my trip amass I Janet to say it hasn’t gone great. ..which has really talken a severe blow to my confidence. Always in the past, when I’ve traveled, I’ve had a great time. .low anxiety and high mood…this time I had crippling anxiety the week up to the trip, could barely get on the plane, and once the long travel day was over had a massive 30 minute panic attack in the hotel room. . (Which I haven’t had in over a year. .) Really bummed out now because I really feel as if I’m getting worse. So frustrated to beef in vacation and feel this way. .my wider is in meetings all day so I’m on my own and have spent the day trying to sight see, but just feel blah. .just feel like I want to go home now, but am terrified I’m going to panic again on the three flights I have left. .I’m just so Overwhelmed right now. .

  88. abhi 5th October 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    hiii nolan i want to ask something my setback going spiral because of my career ambitions..before this setback m doing my best to achieve my career.n nw m m feeling very empty n fearful.my all brother n sisters are getting sucess n m here for nothing..what to do..your advice touches me a lot..plz give me advice..i never found a single post here abot career anxity.if u give me ans it will help me a lot…

  89. Steve b 5th October 2015 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Guys and girls. Anyone with health anxiety have a fear of death?..wondering how you resolved it, if indeed you did?

  90. Joe 5th October 2015 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    I’m so spineless and passive when I’m accepting
    I don’t know how to explain it but I hate it

  91. Jeff 5th October 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Ryan – rejoice in the fact that you made it!!

    Somebody recently posted that anxiety carries momentum (I don’t remember the exact wording), but it sure makes sense to me.

    You’ve been anxious about being anxious for over a week. It’s unrealistic to expect that, now that you’re there, the anxiety will just switch off. First you need to get past the stress that you put yourself through leading up to the trip.

    Hey man, you’re there now. Give anxiety the finger and enjoy yourself as much as you can. You’ll be back home before you know it, and will kick yourself if you don’t at least try to make the most of your time while there.

  92. Ryan 5th October 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Thanks Jeff, trying my best to. ..guess I’m just annoyed that I’m as anxious add I am. ..maybe I did expect it to turn off. .(it kinda has in the past ) so maybe that’s what is bothering me so much. .if I was at home and felt this way, I would just get on with my day, but here im just way to hard on myself to try and enjoy it I guess. .going to Brussels tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to that. .Thanks for the support!

  93. Ryan 5th October 2015 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    Another massive panic attack tonight and feeling hopeless add ever. .don’t know how im going to make it home my panic is so crazy. ..I have never felt this bad for this long in the four years I’ve been dealing with this and my god am I scared. ..having to take 2 ativan just to be rational. ..I feel so terrible for my wife add I am ruining or vacation. .crying yelling yelling her to take me home. .is just embarrassing. ..yet I can’t stop, it’s like an out of body experience. .I feel I am truly broken, and much worse off than I ever thought. .not sure how I will be able to come back from this. .I really didn’t think I would ever get this bad. I’m sorry for these negative posts, I just an so alone on the other side of the world and scared or if my mind. .

  94. Matt 6th October 2015 at 2:15 am - Reply

    I’m not an expert and am struggling myself, but you can do this. Take some breaths and let the storm pass. By fighting and allowing the anxiety to terrify you is making it worse. This will pass, I promise. Breath, allow it and move on. This can not hurt you! It’s impossible. Hang in there man. We are all pulling for you.

  95. Jessica 6th October 2015 at 5:55 am - Reply


    I just want to reach out to you because travel anxiety is something I have dealt with for awhile. There have been times when I felt anxious leading up to the trip and then was fine, but there were other times when I felt okay/semi-anxious and then arrived at my destination and just about lost it.

    Nothing any of us can say will convince you at this moment that you will be okay, or that you will make it home. Trust me, I used to say Jesus himself could come down and say “Jessica, you will make it on that plane and be okay” and I would be like “Thank you Lord, but I just can’t believe that.” (And I don’t mean this is a disrespectful way–it was just my way of explaining it to people)

    The rational part of your mind isn’t functioning right now. You know what happens when anxiety kicks in–nothing makes sense. I sat in an airport in Costa Rica trembling and fighting back tears. I told my husband flat out that I was pretty sure I would not be able to make it on the plane. Of course I did, and I got home.

    You will too, but your brain can’t even begin to process that right now. All I can tell you is what I did. I went out everyday and did an activity. Inside I was upset that I wasn’t fully enjoying myself, but I still did it anyways. Some days I cried, some days I laughed, some days were filled with both. I never ever wished the fear away, I just asked for the strength to get through it–which I did.

    It’s been a year since that trip and I can look back and say that was a pivotal moment in my life. It made me more determined than ever to finally do this the right way. I would accept, fear and all.

    Don’t worry about any of that right now. Don’t focus on what might happen, or how you thought things would go. Just take it day by day.

  96. Mark r 6th October 2015 at 8:01 am - Reply


    I travelled to Berlin last Monday by myself in the middle of 3 terrible days. I felt truly rotten for 2 days of my 3 day trip and like you had times where I cried in my hotel room. I did not once try and change how I felt though and made sure I did exactly what I wanted to when I was there.

    Stop fighting how you feel Ryan. Invite everything, the panic, the tension, intrusive thoughts, nausea etc. You’ve made a commitment to go away despite feeling like total garbage. Be proud of yourself for making it, not everyone would have made the same trip.

  97. Mark r 6th October 2015 at 8:11 am - Reply

    In addition to my post to Ryan just thought I’d give a quick update. Overall I’m doing well and this year has been my best in terms of getting back to myself and pushing on. Think this has been evident from my lack of activity on here.

    That said I seem to be in a bit of a funk at the moment of getting weeks of say 3/4 real good days, followed by the same in crappy ones with some a couple of black tar days thrown in to boot. Been around 3 weeks of this.

    For the ‘recovereds’ or ‘nearly recovereds’ did anyone find this after so much progress had been made? Trying not to analyse too much and keep my feet pointing forward but this trend is annoying me at the moment.

  98. Dani 6th October 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Hi Billy

    Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it


  99. Ryan 6th October 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Thanks for the words mark r, I am at such a loss,because this had been the best year for me as well, and now I’m questioning everything, and feel like I will never travel again. .which is breaking my heart because in the past it has been one of my favorite things to do. I Honestly feel like I am such a severe case, that I will never recover and it’s scaring me to death. Last night, during my second panic attack, I was begging my wife to taker me to the hospital. .it’s like I’m going insane. .now today I just don’t want to do anything. .I just feel like hiding. I’m so ashamed of myself and feel like a total failure. Thanks Mark R, it’s always good to hear from you. .I know we have had many of the same struggles, and wish you the best!

  100. Ryan 6th October 2015 at 11:57 am - Reply

    And thank you as well Jessica, this is all so new to me. ..likeep I’ve dais before, have been dealing with intense anxiety for about four years, but have always travel usually 3 or for trips a year. .always with anticipatory anxiety,but when the trip came, I always have had a great time. .usually very low anxiety. .that’s why I’m struggling with this so much. .but I know the recipe is going to be the same, just get out and let it be. .seems so incredibly hard to do right now. .but the only way. .thanks to all in this group, your support and advice always means so much when going through a rough patch..now I have to make sure to come back on here to help others when im feeling better. ..I am always absent from the big during those times. ..sorry about all my grammar errors as well, trying to type in my phone never goes well! !!

  101. Dominic 6th October 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Hi guys
    I’m kind of coming out of my setback. Its not nice and after a couple of years pretty much anxiety free it was hard to take at first. I did think I was fully recovered.
    But it was here. There’s nothing I could do about it. My mind would question, well I let it. I felt and still do feel rubbish but ‘ oh well, this is me for a while’.
    I feared everything from being alone, to going on holiday. I had / have little interest in work, life etc. All the symptoms that everyone posts about.
    I hate it all but what can I do but accept it all. It’s not nice but I’ve been here before and came out of it before with a little bit more strength and understanding.
    Ok so I feel like this? I’ve still got to get on with life. I know why I feel like this and I know it will pass. It always does.
    Please guys just accept it all and move forward with your life. Once you stop the questioning and seeking reassurances, you find slowly and but by bit life comes back to you.
    Even when I felt at my worst over the last couple of weeks I never questioned it or my symptoms. I know what it is and why it happened again. My nerves couldn’t take the everyday stresses and worries in my life.
    Now I’m easing my work load, getting plenty of sleep and just letting things happen until they pass.
    Sometimes I would feel depressed, sometimes I would get frustrated and wish for the carefree days again. It’s only natural. But I soon pull myself together and carry on.
    It’s the only way.
    i just want to make a point on avoidance. When I first got anxiety a few years ago I was scared to go out, staying out late, all the normal things that never usually bothered me before anxiety.
    I remember near my recovery being invited for a works night out. As I was feeling okish I decided to go. The night before I had an anxiety attack. Well the next day was awful. I just wanted to go straight home from work and cuddle up on the sofa with my wife. Safe and cosy.
    I had no choice though. I had to go. So I went, I got absolutely drunk, had a fantastic night. Got home in the early hours and laughed about it at work the next day with a stinking hangover.
    After that I knew life was bigger than anxiety and ultimately it just fizzled away.
    What I’m trying to say is that anxiety will give you these thoughts and fears no matter what. There’s nothing you can do about it.
    Live life and carry on as normal.
    Hope my experiences help you all a little.

  102. Pietro 6th October 2015 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your post Dominic, great stuff

  103. Julie 6th October 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply


    I went to my gp 2 years ago and demanded a referal to the mental health team as I wanted to be certain that I didn’t have another mental illness. I didn’t believe my gp when he said I had anxiety. I opened up and told him I had intrusive thoughts and mine were of harm. This was terrifying and I feared he would lock me up or take my children away. He didn’t and he said there was no need for me to see the mental health team. He told me I could do this myself and accept the anxiety. He also gave me some cbt courses online.

    I went to the mental health team and was diagnosed with GAD and ocd. I was told I was fine and my children were fine and I was not ill like I imagined I was. I saught private help as the nhs wait was 18 months. I saw a therapist via Skype who helped me for a year and this year I decided to cease therapy as I realised I could do this myself. She set me goals weekly and I met them. I’ve probably slipped doing them since I stopped seeing her so sometimes I think I need a guide but in reality I just need to stick to the exposures and push myself. I don’t need to have a therapist help me do that. I know enough about therapy now to do it myself but honestly Pauls book is all you need to teach you how to do it but if you feel you need guidance then ask for CBT. In the meantime follow Pauls book as it’ll help you get back on track.

    Like you I got back to a good place and now anxiety has tricked me in a different way. It’s tough but I’ve bought Pauls new book and found it a good help for setbacks.

    I had the same thoughts of what if I give up. What if I get to the point I want to end it. I had actual scary thoughts of that nature. I didn’t want them and my gp said they were again anxiety caused. He was right. I wasn’t suicidal at all as I was terrified of these thoughts. Yours are also intrusive, they’re very different from a person who is in that place.

    I went on medication and I honestly don’t think it’s helped much. I’m now stuck on it and regret even taking it as it’s a very difficult medication to come off I’m told. I believe Pauls book last year helped me and got me on the right track along with some guidance with my cbt. I am not saying don’t get meds and don’t try cbt. I just wanted to let you know I know how you feel. I too was terrified of what they’d diagnose me with. Just go and be honest about your symptoms and how you worry you have something more serious. Write it down and read it to the gp. You’ll then get everything out and they’ll reassure you I’m sure.

    Not sure if this helps at all but I hope it does a little.


  104. Julie 6th October 2015 at 5:08 pm - Reply


    I don’t know what’s going on but I can’t seem to post my full message to you. I just tried to post it in 2 posts but I am not able to post the second half. I apologise for this. I have asked admin why I can’t post to you. Hopefully they will resolve the issue of me not being able to post messages and I can offer you some guidance.

    Take care


  105. Kim 6th October 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Julie –

    Thanks so much for your reply. I had to register at a new doctor on Monday – i was absolutely terrified about even going. I registered but wasn’t able to be seen by anyone. The receptionist was so rude to me and I wanted to cry on the spot – half out of desperation and half out of psyching myself up to tell someone all my problems.

    I have an appontment for next monday. I have calmed down slightly since the weekend – but this has just added to another thought of ‘well I thought it was the end of the world at the weekend and now im feeling a bit better – i must be mad’

    I have managed to put Paul’s advice from this blog into practice before – but over the years not managed to stick to it – falling into bad habits. I do feel like I would benefit from some sort of talking therapy as I have massive self esteem problems and feel this feeds my anxiety a lot.

    I’m glad to hear your doctor gave you such reassurance – you must have been so scared Julie (but very brave!!) Hopefully the rest of your reply will be posted eventually – and I will let you know how I get on at the doctors.

    Take care,


  106. Julie 6th October 2015 at 6:38 pm - Reply


    Good luck and I shall look out for an update to hear how you got on at the doctors. I will be thinking of you.

    Paul – I have asked Rich but he isn’t sure why I can’t post. I am only able to post short messages, anything longer won’t go through. Can I ask why? I am trying to post some help to Kim as I can relate to what she is going through.

    Thank you


  107. Debbie 6th October 2015 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Julie i did get the audio book for the 8 week couse that you said also who did you skype for counseling? I feel scared today just the images popping in of anything. I dont have harm i woder also like u did if its another illness . thanks debbie .

  108. Pietro 6th October 2015 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Dominic I had a question, did you ever have unreality feelings? I have them pretty much 24/7…

  109. Julie 6th October 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply


    It does sound like ocd type of anxiety with the intrusive images and also you can have the ones about saying bad words to people. Don’t worry though, ocd is just anxiety, it’s all under the same umbrella If you email me I will give you the details. Did I give you my email in the past?


  110. Rachel 6th October 2015 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me if this is anxiety cos I have never had this before and feel I need to take myself off to a&e for the past week or so I have had the odd tingling in my head but now I have had it all day plus my head feels do tight and have pains in it please help x

  111. Adam 7th October 2015 at 12:23 am - Reply

    I too have been there where you are. I was there today just a few minutes ago. And where is that? Where anxiety/ random negative, “doom and gloom” thinking hits out of the blue, makes you feel fear spikes or “down” or whatever your personal flavor of anxiety is. The key to recovering from this…because it is a loop that you are in…is to realize these are all just thoughts. Ordinary, anxious thoughts from your mind and to pay them no extra attention. The feelings they generate inside you…suck. Yes, I know. I am nearly fully recovered and I still hate feeling them. But that is what acceptance is all about. FEEL THEM! And be unconcerned about it. There is no earth shattering, life changing revelation coming from these thoughts. They are just thoughts with no more relevance than any other thought. If it helps, think of it this way: Why are we able to remain unconcerned when we have happy thoughts? Because we feel good at the time. But the happy thoughts fade as do the happy feelings they generate. And we are still here, still the same person, and life is still going on. Its very much the same with the negative, anxious thoughts. They mean no more than a happy thought. They just create feelings in us that we don’t like feeling. So we fret, get upset, dwell etc because we don’t like feeling that way when we have a negative thought. Learn to accept the negative as well as the positive. You will be fine and it will fade too just like the happy thoughts. Learn to remain unafraid of having these thoughts and feeling these feelings and you will recover. Again, does it suck to have to experience them? Sure. But no one “ever promised you a rose garden” (as the song goes), they are just thoughts and feelings. Feeling and thinking them wont hurt you and they ALL do fade in time as long as you remain unconcerned about them. Attach no more importance to a negative thought than a happy one. Learn to accept it in this way and you will recover…..

  112. Kyara 7th October 2015 at 2:33 am - Reply

    Hello All,

    I haven’t been on in ages. I see a couple of my friends are back on and offering their help. I know we’ve all been in a little rough spot lately after having felt pretty good for quite some time. I haven’t had a moment to read through every post and offer my help to any one in particular, but I would like to give some words of encouragement. Please keep in mind that anxiety is a normal emotion and we cannot rid ourselves of it. I know for myself after having read Paul’s book I made it a goal to recover. I thought of it day in and day out. I thought of how if I accepted each rush of panic and each intrusive thought I’d be that much closer to recovering. Instead of ‘recovering’ I got to a point where I felt like I was watching myself daily to see what has left and psyched myself up to being such percent recovered. 75% or 80% or 90%. I needed to let it be! Let my body do what it needs and I needed my focus to be on my life. I had to get off the blog, stop rushing to write a friend every time I ran into a tough spot, stop trying to remember every anxiety related symptom I had the weeks before to see if I was better. I had to leave anxiety alone. You see what happens when we put our focus on our symptoms is we create an ‘issue’ to our already anxious mind. For example “last month I didn’t spike at all and now all of a sudden I’m having panic attacks again” well I was already anxious hence the panic attacks, but now I have a problem because I’m having panic attacks and I didn’t have them last month. What’s wrong with me? Where did I go wrong? What didn’t I accept? I hope I don’t end up like I was last year!” <— whoa! Pump the breaks. Let yourself breathe. Accept those new panic attacks. Let that anxiety flow through. It's ok if you're in a setback. You're still moving forward everytime you just let it go! Every time you chose to paint, walk or socialize with a friend instead of sit home worrying of the new issue you've stepped forward. You've showed your mind there is no harm and you're absolutely safe! Your mind will calm on its own and by you carrying on with your life. I hope this helps one of you. You're absolutely fine. You're going to feel better as soon as you let go of anxiety!

  113. Matt 7th October 2015 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Hi All,
    I’m hesitant to post on here since I think I already know the answer, but I am having problems implementing the “So What” attitude of the books. It seems that anxiety is the first thing I think of when I get up and the last thing I think about when I go to bed. I am constantly monitoring and trying to keep myself together when I have to go to work and/or socialize. Its almost like I am afraid to feel the feelings or to not “work on” getting better. This goes against the concepts of the book, yet how do I get to that place? The pull to get better is so strong that it seems that it overtakes my ability to think rationally. I have been dealing with this off and on for 20 years or so. I feel like I cant get better no matter what I do. I have a wonderful life other than the anxiety and feel guilty for putting my wife through this and I’m sure my kids have caught on that I’m having a hard time. I feel like I am holding them back, it has to get old for them dealing with me. Its old for me! 🙂 So……any helpful advice from those who have recovered or are close would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all! Also, I live in Maryland if anyone on here ever wants to meet or talk. I have read every book out there and could probably teach a class on anxiety, but I just have problems putting Pauls method into place. Please Help!

  114. Rich 7th October 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    JoJo, You’ll remain bewildered by it all until you put the puzzle down and stop trying to figure it all out.

    Rachel, I recommend you stop wasting your time looking for someone to come along and rid you off this with a magic cure. You’re asking them why your head hurts depite you continually banging yourself over the head all the time with a mental mallet. It’s like you don’t read any of the posts and advice on this blog. I can’t offer you any help if you’re not willing to digest that already given to you.

  115. Rich 7th October 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Matt, Welcome to the blog. The pressure to recover can come from anywhere – your perception by friends, family and colleagues, the need to keep working to bring home the bacon, to not just be social, but to mask it over convincingly and be ‘normal’ when you’re going through hell inside – it’s all pressure we put on ourselves to rid ourselves of this as fast as possible before anyone notices or it ruins our lives. It’s completely natural.

    This is all extra weight we put on our shoulders. It’s all extra fuel we put on the fire of worry and stress, and thus it gets bigger.

    I struggled with work while I was at my worst – focusing on tasks, performing in meetings and being sociable when I didn’t want to be – it was hard to keep up the fascade. What I did do though was be open and honest with my partner – so at home I didn’t have this pressure.

    Don’t put added pressure on yourself. This is you right now – people may notice things aren’t OK, but they do when you have a cold, or a headache. It’s not forever and with support you can afford to leave this pressure alone and let yourself have the space and time you need – however long this may be.

  116. Matt 7th October 2015 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the quick reply. Boy I do feel the pressure…I’m just really struggling with having faith that this is the right way to go and how to get out of the habit of constantly monitoring or tensing against the feelings. Logically, I can see where this approach makes sense, but when I am feeling down, anxious or any negative feeling, the need to “fix” seems overwhelming. How did you get to the point of just letting it be regardless of how you felt? I want to enjoy life, not dread it every day or have to pretend to be “normal”. Anxiety is with me everyday, I struggle everyday and lose a little bit of hope everyday. Big Breath…….it has to get better.

  117. Jeff 7th October 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Matt – like you I’ve dealt with anxiety on and off for a long time (for me some 30 years). Most of those years were anxiety free. But my anxious periods we’re hell on earth.

    For whatever reason I always understood that, like a broken bone, you don’t have to will recovery to happen. Your body will heal itself. I recommend a ‘hands off’ approach to recovery – which is pretty much the theme of many of the postings here.

    I live in Maryland too. Maybe it’s something in the air here….the cost of living, the populous, the DC beltway….
    Being a non-native I doubt it though. One of the things I learned is location, for me anyway, has nothing to do with anxiety levels….I can be immersed in an anxiety hell on a beach in Florida just as easily as here or anywhere else. Same goes for feeling great.

  118. rawnit 7th October 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    everyone i read lots of comments here. my question is how can i accept my thoughts. they come every second and i feel helpless. i know i have to develop the attitude but . i think when intrusive thoughts come i feel so stuck. at these situations. plz guys can anyone share their views. i feel so helpless when i try to feel good at these situations . the thoughts are present every second. i feel trapped.

  119. Matt 7th October 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the reply. It does seem like the hands off approach is the theme. I just have a hard time doing that, but maybe that is why I have been suffering for so long? I just want my normal life back and the more I try the deeper I get. Really struggling lately.
    Nice to see another Marylander here! If you ever want to meet up, just let me know. I’m up in Eldersburg.

  120. carla 7th October 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply


    Nolan really helped me with a similar issue to you – check out his reply to me a few posts back. I feel his message is very important.

    The monitoring, trying to make sense of everything and feeling like you can’t stop thinking about anxiety is all part of the condition. They are all common, inevitable symptoms and are really just a result of your intelligent, logical brain doing it’s job when faced with a state of anxiety – as you gradually calm down then the busy, logical brain will calm down with it. Just see it as all part of the package.

    I’ve been feeling much better since I’ve been able to come to terms with this and treat these mental symptoms just like any other. ‘There goes my anxious mind trying to fix things again – no biggie’

    The key word in your post for me was ‘resist’. I would go with not resisting anything Matt – you are obviously a really nice bloke going through the same crap that all of us with anxiety go through. You are not doing anything wrong and there’s nothing for you to resist – except perhaps the temptation to be too hard on yourself.


  121. Matt 7th October 2015 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Carla and Nolan,
    Thanks for the insight. That helps to know that it is common to feel that way and it makes sense. I am going to make a conscious choice to resist nothing and let it all just happen. You know me well already! I am very hard on myself. I’d never talk to anyone like I talk to myself. Just to harsh and judgemental. Thanks for the response Carla! Appreciate it!

  122. Stephanie 7th October 2015 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Hello Kyara, I loved your post. I’ve done, and still tend to do, exactly what you describe. I actually used to write down my symptoms, so then I could look back and think “Great, I haven’t had a panic attack in weeks!” But then, like you said, once I inevitably did have another panic attack I’d start to despair and wonder what I had done wrong. Now I know what I need to be doing (which is anything not related to anxiety), but I still find it hard to put into practice.

  123. carla 7th October 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    And, for what it’s worth, I think it can be quite easy to misunderstand the mental symptoms of anxiety.

    When faced with a real-life, dangerous situation it is completely normal (and automatic) for many of our brains to switch into problem-solving mode. ‘Where’s the danger, what’s the nature of it, is it life-threatening, is there an escape, how do I resolve the threat?’ etc..This is a NORMAL and HEALTHY response to a state of anxiety/fear.

    To me it seems perfectly logical that our brains will switch into a similar mode when faced with abnormal anxiety, in much the same way that the PHYSICAL symptoms will also switch on (rapid heat rate, dizziness, trembling etc..). And, yes, of course, there’s no real threat and no NEED for any of this to happen but our involuntary responses are pretty stupid – they don’t recognise this and respond automatically. Trying to actively resist or stop ANY OF IT is entering into a losing battle because you’re fighting against a powerful, autonomic response.

    So, like Nolan, and so many others have twigged, you can’t really stop your brain giving your anxious feeling some attention and trying to make sense of it all. But what you can do is treat it like another anxiety symptom (you’ve managed to come to terms with many of your other symptoms, right?) and practice allowing it to be there with understanding, compassion, non-judgement and as much neutrality as you can manage.

    All the best,


  124. Stephanie 7th October 2015 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Matt – I can relate to a lot of what you’re going through. I’ll say to myself “Ah I’m feeling anxious, I can’t go to this meeting (or dinner or whatever) feeling this way!” Then I’ll try so hard to pull myself together, which only puts pressure on myself and makes me feel more anxious. The reason this happens is because we have labeled certain feelings/thoughts as ‘bad/dangerous/etc’. And of course it’s only natural to do so, because they don’t feel good. But really, they’re just feelings. So instead, we need to allow ourselves to feel anything and everything. Nothing should be off limit. However we feel is how we feel at that moment. Once we reach that point, we’ll stop trying to fix ourselves, because we’ll have realized nothing is wrong.

  125. Fleur 7th October 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Hello please I need reassurance. I have the biggest anxiety these days, cause of my worries. I had worry that I have depression /thoughts about : what if i dont have purpose in life – and then strong anxiety feeling with this thought/. Today I stopped worry so much about depression because I found out that I can smile, I have energy. BUT now I have strange anxiety when I think about my boyfriend. I love him but I have anxiety when i think about him instead of good feeling. It is because I fear that i will lose my feelings /my love/ to him, that I will stop love him because of anxiety. I know it is stupid. Now I am very very scared because this is the biggest loop of anxiety and i dont know how to stop the FEAR 🙁 I really want accept but dont know how when i feel big big fear. Is it possible accept a fear? Please Nolan, everybody , now I have feeling that I cant heal myself and i will end somewhere in hospital. AND today my roomate in dormitory told me story about girl /student/ who took AD´s and now she is in hospital because she is crazy . I am so scared, I am afraid that it will be my case. I want accept so much but what about this fear? I must let fear be ? Thank you

  126. carla 7th October 2015 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    But, the really important point that I’d like to try and make is that we can’t FORCE our brains to stop trying to ‘fix it’ or pay the anxiety attention- because this response is a NORMAL and AUTOMATIC one under the circumstances.

    As the anxiety fades the mental processes that go with it will fade on their own. We don’t have to do anything to stop them.

    I think, for acceptance to be at it’s most effective, it needs to extend beyond the physical symptoms and encompass all of the automatic mental responses too.

    We just have to see that it’s all normal, all harmless and really quite boringly predictable. Just look back on this blog and see how similar all of our experiences have been!

    We all have a space of awareness (however small it sometimes feels) that is able to recognise this entire process for what it is and move forwards with it ALL there alongside us.

  127. Debbie 7th October 2015 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Maria iam in bad shape in my mind i feel like i will.never get my mind back. I feel like i dont even know who iam iam glad i can travel around by myself but no matter what i do my mind feels strange the images of anything just pop in and give me eerie feelings like it reminds me of someting else . like if iam talking to my friend iam seeing her in a room in my mind things dont make sense ifeel like i cant take 1 more day.

  128. Doreen 7th October 2015 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Fleur – it is quite simple as I said before. Anxiety chooses one target after another and the content of them is not relevant. You could come on here week after week asking about a different set of anxious thoughts and you will be no further on. If you can accept that you can choose to ignore the content and live with the uncomfortable feelings then you are on your way to feeling better.

  129. JoJo 8th October 2015 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Adam: thank you for your message last night it helped.

    Rich: is it the questioning the thought that you feel I’m going wrong? Or what am I doing that makes you think I’m still trying to solve the puzzle?

  130. Matt 8th October 2015 at 1:13 am - Reply

    Thanks so much for the detailed reply. It makes sense logically. I do find it hard not to resist and fight, but that obviously does t work to get better or else I would have been better long ago! As Paul says “why not try the opposite?” I will try to work on bit resisting both physical and mental. I do thank you for taking the time to write a response. It helps to hear other people’s advice on how to work through this. I just want to feel at peace inside. I’m sure we all do! Have you been doing well with your journey to recovery? It seems like it’s in yiour grasp!
    Agree totally with what you said! I don’t really feel like being around people when I feel this bad because I am embarrassed or worried that I will “lose it”, but I made myself go out to dinner tonight and I did alright. Gotta go to work in the morning and am just going to accept all that it has to offer and not hide from conversations or resist the way I feel. I need to stop working myself up and allow or I will still be in this blog in another 20 years! :). We have to stop fighting this!!

  131. Nolan 8th October 2015 at 2:48 am - Reply

    There was another poster who used to come here and comment in a very similar manner as your posts.
    It almost got to the point where it was like she’d ask a question but never really listen to the advice that was given. 7 people could say the same advice but she’d still come back asking for more advice.
    Her posts were rambling, hard to follow, and usually using this place as a sounding board for all of her problems.

    No one is going to say that a person can’t vent…. but when one person vents more often than not they really need to consider dialing it back a bit. It does nothing for them…. and it does nothing for other people who are looking for help.

    You have to ask yourself: what do you want? Do you want to be given the advice and then take a legit shot at trying to be at peace with the anxiety? Or, Do you want to sound off on everything that’s bothering you and just hoping to read bit of typed encouragement. But encouragement that never translates into an effort on your part to start reacting differently to the anxiety?

  132. Ves 8th October 2015 at 4:01 am - Reply

    Hi Matt,

    Matt said: ” I just want my normal life back and the more I try the deeper I get. Really struggling lately.”

    That is the truth. Normal life is peaceful life, peaceful mind. But we have been programmed to react with achievements based mindset which is norm. Achievements mindset is the one that is putting pressure on our body and mind and does not let us even start the recovery. Recognizing the pattern of our achievement mindset is problem in itself. We don’t even recognize how many times we have monitored ourselves how we feel during the day.
    And if you want to know how many times mind does this monitoring just count every time your mind starts the thought with word “I should” (feel or not feel like this). Every time I hear my mind telling me “I should” (feel or not feel) I smile and say “I surrender” and continue doing what I am doing at that moment.

  133. abhi 8th October 2015 at 5:13 am - Reply

    nolan plz reply my post..m waiting only for your reply

  134. carla 8th October 2015 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I’m doing pretty well overall I think, although I’ve certainly had some setbacks along the way!

    I was getting very confused and hung up on the advice which ran along the lines of ‘don’t try and fix it, don’t try and work it all out, don’t overthink etc..’ because it felt like my anxiety was making me do all these things automatically and trying NOT to do them was really fuelling the tension.

    I think it’s very easy for an anxious mind to get muddled, particularly with brief snippets of information/advice which are open to interpretation.

    With the help of Nolan I realised that this kind of advice does not (or at least should not) apply to that natural problem-solving, monitoring, fixy-type thing that anxiety makes our brains do. I had a bit of a lightbulb moment if you like; I suddenly realised ‘of course my mind is going to do that, it’s a normal anxious response, it’s completely normal in the circumstances’

    This was in contrast to earlier thoughts which ran along the lines of ‘I’m doing this all wrong, I’m giving the anxiety attention, I must STOP over-thinking, STOP trying to fix etc. etc.’

    This shift in attitude has felt good, although it has taken a little unpicking to get here.

    Behaviourally I’m doing well – I’ve applied for a new job, keeping busy and trying to build purpose, focus and routine into my life (which has previously been tricky with 2 v. young children!) I don’t take medication but have found that exercise is great for resettling the hormones and starting the day positively.

    The anxiety still ebbs and flows but I think I’m finally getting to the point where it can’t surprise me anymore; I’m getting to know all of it’s tricks and beginning to be able to look sideways at it all (insert shift, narrow-eyed sideways look).

    Matt – are there any particular aspects of the anxiety that bother you the most? Or is the whole caboodle?!

    Fleur – I replied to you last night but it didn’t post for some reason. I just wanted to remind you that you are having these thoughts because you’re anxious, you’re not anxious because you’re having the thoughts. Can you see the difference? You won’t be able to stop yourself feeling the fear because the thoughts are being driven by an underlying anxiety state. You are already fearful even before you dredge up these dormant fears (which every human being has by the way).

    What you can do, however, is try and recognise the anxiety process and understand how it operates. The more you can internalise this understanding then the easier it will become to take the content less seriously.

    Good luck,


  135. Adam 8th October 2015 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Let me through out an analogy for those out there who are suffering with anxiety and are having trouble grasping the acceptance technique. The analogy is this: have you ever come down with a bad cold or allergies and felt completely horrible, but say you are out of sick time at work and must go in no matter how you are feeling? You make yourself get up and go to work even though you feel incredibly awful: pounding headache, congestion, body aches, the works. You feel like garbage. But you still go to work because what other choice do you have? You cant stay home or you will risk losing your job because you have no more sick time. So you set your feelings aside, acknowledge them and feel them and go to work. You work all day feeling horrible, but you are sick so you know the reason why you feel this way and you don’t dwell on the fact that you feel sick. You have accepted the way you feel (sick) and you have moved on from being concerned about it because worrying about it isn’t going to help you feel any better or make it go away. Pretty soon you get to work and start working. You still have the “feeling horrible” feeling in the background while you are working but again…what is worrying about it going to do for you? Nothing. Ultimately, what happens is you forget about how you are feeling and work through your day. At the end of the day, you may still feel horrible but you are unconcerned as you have accepted your fate (i.e. it is what it is). But you also made it to work, had a productive day and didn’t get beat by an illness/allergies.

    This is very much the same with anxiety. And this was/is how a large portion of my recovery went. Picking myself up regardless of how I felt, feeling it and then setting it aside and going about my day. That is acceptance. Once you come to terms with the anxiety as a part of you that cant hurt you or stop you from doing anything you want (only you can stop you…not anxiety. Its not in charge…you are and you make all the decisions regarding your life. Anxiety can only try to color those decisions for you.) you will be well on your way to recovery.

  136. Julie 8th October 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply


    jingyd31 @ gmail. com

    Julie x

  137. Ryan 8th October 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

    In Brussels today, and have to say this trip has been filled with ups and downs. .have had some great times with my wife, but have had high anxiety almost the entire time. .mostly at night which is odd because at hone nights are usually my best time. .can’t sleep here and get very very agitated and restless. I’m using ativan quite a bit, but I figure I’m just trying to get through this really rough patch and get back on track when I hey home. .I’m just so sensitized on the trip its crazy. .nervous stomach and crazy thoughts are an all day affair..bummed out that this happened during this trip, but trying my best to just allow and move on. .Heading to Manchester today, then London, then flying home Sunday.Is been quite a whirl wind trip, might be why the anxiety is so high. .been allot of stressful travel. .lots of great advice going on here right now, loved to hear all these great discussions!

  138. Matt 8th October 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Hey Carla, Ves, Nolan and everyone who has been so gracious to reply!
    I just feel over it. Just got to work and the whole way here my brain is thinking; Where can I go to get help?; Where can I run to?; I cant do this anymore or I’m just too messed up, this isn’t going to work”. I just want to run home and hide, but I end up just ruminating all day when I do that. I’m going to try to get focused on my work and just get on with my day. I think the aspect that bothers me the most about the anxiety are both the feelings of losing control or panicing and the thoughts about the future or if I will ever get better. I’ve lost a lot of weight and just feel like my life and my body are withering away. Such a helpless feeling. Sounds like you are doing well Carla. Keep on rocking!

  139. Ryan 8th October 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Hey Matt, sorry you are in a rough spot right now. .so am I..in fact probably the worst I’ve been in over a year. .I have the same worries, thoughts, and feeling you are having and man is it tough. But toy are on the right track, just go about your day, and try to let it all be there and do what it wants. .TOUGH. I know. I’ve gotton better in the past, and I know this terrible setback will work is way out as well..if I can stop getting involved. .so will you Matt,just let it all be there and keep moving on, before you know it it will disappear. .have a good day!

  140. Matt 8th October 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Hey Ryan, thanks for the pick me up! I know you are struggling right now as well and doing it overseas has got to be even tougher! Hang in there and try to enjoy the trip. It has gotten better for me in the past, but its been going on 7 months not feeling any better…….I think I just really have been obsessed with getting better for me and my family.

  141. Ryan 8th October 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Matt. .I get the exact same way. .I feel like I can’t enjoy life feeling like this,can be the father and husband I want to be when feeling like this. .but, I’m trying to just allow myself to feel this way and not get upset about it. .some days I do a good job, sone days are pretty bad. .but I’m going to feel like this whether I like it or not, so I need to get better with not fighting against it. This is the hardest part for me, when it gets really bad, to not try and stop it and not get so upset by it..we will get there. .just not as fast as we would like!

  142. Matt 8th October 2015 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Ryan, We sound a lot alike! How long have you been “fighting” this condition? I have been for a long time, ups and downs, good years, some not so good. I’d like to be more stable and just at peace inside. Not so fearful of how I feel, but I guess you have to feel the fear to get over it. Hard to do without fighting or resisting it. It sounds like an easy concept, but so hard to implement. Are you from the states or Europe? I’m in Maryland. I sure do hope I can catch on to the “attitude” soon……tired of struggling.

  143. Doreen 8th October 2015 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Abhi – there is no doubt but Nolan gives great advice. But I am sure he won’t mind me saying that other folks on the blog talk a great deal of sense too and in waiting for just one person to respond you may be missing pearls of wisdom from other people too.

  144. Rachel 8th October 2015 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone,

    I think about anxiety all of the time even when I’m not feeling anxious. I’ve got very good at noticing when I am thinking about anxiety then switching my thoughts to something, anything else. Should I be doing this or not?


  145. Nolan 8th October 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Abhi,

    Doreen is spot on. I learned from others on this board (Paul, Doreen, Dominic, and many others helped me). I appreciate the nod of confidence in my direction, but I’m no guru.
    I’m more than happy to help, but my advice is going to be inline with what you’ll hear from a Paul a Doreen or a Dominic (just to name a few).

  146. Nolan 8th October 2015 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    If anyone has asked questions directly to me and if I haven’t gotten back I apologize… not trying to ignore anyone.
    Just learned on Monday that my dad’s lung cancer spread to his brain. It’s scary, I can feel the anxiety welling up and you want to know what I’m doing about it? Nothing…. I’m letting any feeling come that is going to come and now with the attitude of “alright, is what it is… but I still have a life to live. The fear can come with me.”

    My coming here might be a bit spotty at best, but I’ll try to respond to any question.

  147. Nolan 8th October 2015 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Oh… I forgot to mention:

    I’m letting the fear and despair well up as much as it likes to because that’s a perfectly normal response to something like this: I’m scared for my dad, I’m sad because I’m only 37 and he’s my last living parent (my mom died in 2003)… I’m bothered by the thought that maybe it’s genetic and maybe somewhere in my body there’s something growing that could one day claim my life much more earlier than I expected….

    and all of this is fine, because it’s a normal concern to have. But I’m not going to add any more fuel to it. I’m not going to try to work out everything in my head. I’m going to live my life. Some things are just beyond my control and that is life. The accepting of that fact is liberating…. the fear will subside in due time, I put no timetable on it for it to leave.

  148. Ryan 8th October 2015 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Hey Matt, been in the anxiety roller-coaster for about 4 years. .2 really really bad ones and the last two slowly working on Pauls methods and seeing improvement. .I live in Minnesota, but over in Europe right now cause my wife comes here every year for work. .just so happens one of my nastiest setbacks had decided to join me for the trip. .but, this trip would be stressful for anyone as we are jumping around Alot and it’s kinda crazy. .Barcelona,Brussels,London, Manchedter,Amsterdam all in a week. .needless to say I’m excited to get home and rest!

  149. carla 8th October 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Nolan, I’m very, very sorry to hear that but, equally I know you have the strength to get through. I wish you all the best during this time xx

    And Matt, I’m not sure it’s a case of ‘getting better’ really (because you were never ill to start with), more about finding ways of managing and perceiving high anxiety levels.

    It sometimes helps me to view my anxiety on a numbered scale of 1-10 (with descriptions attached to each number). It is the same scale that is experienced by ALL human beings and helps me to recognise the patterns of different anxiety levels and, in turn, be less impressed by them. So, if my anxiety starts getting really high, just by thinking ‘hmm, the anxiety’s at an 8, that’s why my thoughts feel scary and I’m finding them hard to ignore’ helps me to take that sideways look at the symptoms and let them be there. Not always but it has certainly been a useful way for me to look at things.

    And also, if you’ve been struggling with acceptance for a long time, perhaps you need to shake things up a bit and consider other things alongside the approach (after all acceptance is not some kind of cultish concept promising to rid us of all our ills, it is simply a helpful way to approach our symptoms). What’s your daily routine like? Do you get enough intellectual stimulation and challenge? How often do you exercise?

    Acceptance can be a messy business I think and, from what I’ve seen it’s very, very rare to be able to simply grasp it and apply it with perfect grace and clarity. I think a little of it comes through learning, with the the odd lightbulb moment thrown in here and there, but most comes at unexpected times; maybe after getting through a challenging experience or having a period where your attention is naturally drawn elsewhere. Maybe after a long run or a bout of illness when symptoms suddenly fade due to lack of energy and you can suddenly think ‘oh yes, it was just excess energy all along!’

    And this is why I think the behavioural side is so important. It’s the area that you can actually do something about, where you can be positive, determined and take a more pro-active approach. It’s where you can direct your energy. Similarly, I’ve found exercise to be an area where I can actually do something positive which makes me feel good, takes the edge off the physical symptoms of stress and keeps me fit.

  150. JoJo 8th October 2015 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Today I had a thought that I just don’t feel happy. And what is wrong for me to feel this way? A healthy person doesn’t worry about the fact they feel down or sad? I guess to me that is scary because if I feel down I could be getting worse or get depressed. Is that the fear I need to ignore?

  151. carla 8th October 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Ryan, yes, that would be stressful for anyone, particularly if the trip is geared around your wife. You have all the stress but none of the purpose – the worst combination! I think should be patting yourself on the back for getting through it.

    Sometimes when I step back and look at all of the responsibilities and stresses I’ve had over the last few years it all makes perfect sense why anxiety put in an appearance. 2 small children born very close together, one (brilliant) child with an autism diagnosis, a full-scale house renovation and the sacrifice of a stimulating career that I loved.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, I think we’re all guilty of this. You are doing well and getting through – what about some daily exercise to take the edge off the physical symptoms while you’re away? I’m sure it will all settle again for you and no harm coming back on here for a while if you need that bit of extra support.

  152. Kat 8th October 2015 at 9:57 pm - Reply


    Very sorry to read about your father’s condition. As you may have read in previous posts, I went through it with my mother, and as I had never experienced anything like it before, it took a toll on me. As you said, to feel despair at times, to feel frightened, is very much part of the experience and shouldn’t feel unnatural. At the very least, I felt more supported when my mother was ill than I ever did when I was just struggling with my anxiety. When she passed, it was not expected (she’d been given at least a year, and only lasted 7 weeks before a complication took her), and I thought I would never recover. But, I was told by a doctor I’m working with that grief is to be expected, and that it is hard to distinguish it from anxiety at times. So, I’ve followed his advice to let the grief come, and it does, but I am surprised by how well I’ve dealt with her passing. I still have days which seem endless, punctuated by horrible anxiety, but I hold tight to knowing that it’s all a process, and I have used your advice, as well as that of others, to see me through. Despite all the horrors of the past year with regard to my anxiety, I can state also that I have had moments of extreme joy and peace. I know that this means that anxiety is not permanent, that it has a shelf life, even when things are particularly hard.

    I wish you and your father all the best. These moments require strength and understanding, but you’ve already shown that you have these attributes in equal measure. Positive thoughts to you both.

    Take care,


  153. Matt 8th October 2015 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Nolan, so sorry to hear about your Dad. I can’t imagine that pain, but admire your outlook on the process. Maybe we all get stronger after dealing with anxiety? Good vibes sent your way!
    Carla, great helpful hints and insight! I am bored out of my mind often, but afraid to make big changes due to the anxiety. It was a rotational assignment 7 months ago that kind of kicked this off again. I do try to excersize and do feel better once I do it, but it’s not consistent. I have had a lot of things happen over the past year as well and it doesn’t seem surprising that my anxiety Ramos up around big life events. Thanks for the helpful hints! Keep me coming!
    Ryan, that is a whirlwind trip! That stresses me out just thinking about it. Pretty awesome that you are working your way through it and haven’t succumbed to the anxiety pressure to leave. Great job! I have been dealing with it off and on since I was 20. I’m 44 now. Miine, like Paul’s started after abusing drugs for awhile and then quitting after a bad experience. Been up and down since that point. Good thing is that I haven’t done drugs in 24 years or so. I would have been dead or in prison if that didn’t happen. So a blessing and a curse. yet over all these years, I have never “lost it” or any of the other what ifs! I married had a couple of kids and maintained a job for 15 years. Not bad for high anxiety!!
    Has anyone ever thought of having a meetuo with fellow suffers or recovered peeps? I think that would be a great exposure and a way to support each other. I’m on Facebook if any of you all are interests in reaching out, let me know

  154. Doreen 9th October 2015 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Nolan – many sympathies with what you are having to cope with. People who have been around on the blog a while will know that from time to time I do comment on the fact that in reality life does through challenges and stresses at us, just as you are having now. I have had a number of those over they years, the details of which I won’t use up time describing. For me the learning curve was to recognise that the quite natural and appropriate anxiety generated by these events was spilling over into other areas of my life leading to what is sometimes described as generalised anxiety. So I learned to take no notice of the content of these ‘secondary’ anxieties and accept that I was just wobbling all over the place. I sometimes likened it to a loud bell ringing (the initial event) and that the echoes would carry on long after the initial shock. Hope that makes some sort of sense to other folks cos I know you will be spot on in how you let yourself react and grieve, Nolan.

  155. Jessica 9th October 2015 at 5:26 am - Reply

    Nolan–very sorry to hear the news about your father’s condition. There are those things in life we can’t control, and your response to this news is another testament of how strong you are and how you truly accept it all. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    Ryan–reading your itinerary is enough to stress me out! All of that in a week is daunting, even for the “non-sufferer” Glad to hear that despite it all you are still going out and doing things. Maybe this isn’t how you expected it to turn out, but hell, you still went AND you are continuing through it. Take the negatives out of the situation and just focus on what you said “have had great times with the wife.” 🙂

  156. abhi 9th October 2015 at 5:43 am - Reply

    hii everybody..i decided to focus on my studies not on anxiety..if i have felt yuck so be it..my study sedule is very tight..i do study for 12hrs in a day..but i make time for my love one..i ll follow my dream to make my career..dont know how but i do it any way..and maria also told me for do it any way..thanks maria nolan doreen..

  157. abhi 9th October 2015 at 5:47 am - Reply

    nolani m sorry to hear about your father..we cant control it man but follow the nature rule..all our wishes are wid you..

  158. Julie 9th October 2015 at 9:09 am - Reply


    If you look above to my half post the other day, Rich has now add the rest of my post to it. I am not sure why it wasn’t posting but it’s there now for you.

    Nolan – I am so sorry to hear about your father. Thinking of you.

    Kyara – Loved your post. You’re an inspiration to me and been a good friend.


  159. Ryan C 9th October 2015 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Hi guys I’m not here often but I do read a lot of everyone’s posts and I have just a few questions to ask:
    I have been recovering for quite a whilst now had my real ups and downs, setback etc but just to reassure myself that i am on the right track even after all this time I don’t get periods of good days not will I ever see them outweighing the bad. I beleive everyone’s body and mind will recover slightly different and it seems this is a popular path I have read where people do start to just overcome the bad periods with good, mine however has never been this case. If I could explain my recovery I would say its like there are two lines on a graph, one is me constantly moving upward and onward, becoming more of a person, and then there is the other line which is my feelings and they tend to always be bad and then they peak to a point where it feels so strong I feel I can struggling and can’t handle it and then it passes and I feel free from them for a short whilst. Not before long I plummet again as I see it like Paul’s new book that my body and mind is immediately going back into release mode so it continues this process. However on Wednesday night after a bad few days it passed over and I truly felt great, I mean I sat back on my couch and thought this is the first time i feel almost over this. It was a fantastic feeling! Then as almost expected I woke feeling worse than ever and it’s been like this for a few days. Now I beleive this is all positive but I won’t lie I do question it from time to time and think surely this is not a process which is so slow I gradually start having more of these good times and they outweight the bad? If that was the case then I would be recovering for seemingly the rest of my life?! It’s so strange I can feel so awful nowadays but I feel I am so much of the old me that its just around the corner? Can Anyone else relate to this? I know I shouldn’t care but I think everyone needs to get these questions off their chest to others who have recovered at some point for some more strength. Thanks.

  160. JoJo 9th October 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Can anyone shed some advice on my two previous posts?

  161. Jeff 9th October 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Ryan C – what you’re describing mirrors my experience. There’s the ‘real’ you that is gradually getting better (returning to normal) – in the background…. then there’s the ‘superficial’ you with anxiety that bounces around all over the place like a ping pong ball. Some days better than others, and it so goes on and on…..

    Then comes a day (your Wednesday) when, so to speak – the clouds briefly drift apart and you feel the rays of the sun on your face. Nice isn’t it? Those brief seconds of normality are rapture….

    My experience…
    The better days eventually out number the bad ones…..then at some point clarity starts coming back with a vengeance. Logic returns and fear fades. Then you honestly can’t remember what it was you were afraid of. What was I afraid of? Going to the dentist? The airport? Why?

    I still get pinged by (superficial) fleeting hits of anxiety….and man do I hate them. I expect it will go on like this for a while yet.

  162. Emma 9th October 2015 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    I have a question.

    I’ve had relationship anxiety (or “rocd) spikes off and on. Lately though, and ever since my hormones have been a bit whacky, I have absolutely no libido and when my boyfriend tries to touch me I cringe. I also get the sensation that all I can notice is his faults lately — like his breath, his loud chewing, little things like that repulse me. All this combines makes me think that I’m not “into him” anymore — my anxiety kicks in at this point, because that’s the last thing I want. If anything, I would love if my libido would just return and all could just go back to normal. Had some bloodwork done this week because I know I’ve been a bit hormonally off for a few months now (breaking out, low libido, etc.).

    I feel very guilty for feeling this way. I used to love his affection but now all I can smell is his breath (which seems so amplified now for some reason, I know it’s just me noticing and not a hygiene thing), or feel grossed out by his slobber, or not like the way that he kisses me, etc. This never used to be an issue before, he’s a really attractive man but it’s like I see him in a different light and that scares me because I want to always be together but I worry that I feel “different” — and I don’t want to feel different. I’ve talked to him about it and he has been very understanding and knows my anxiety.

    My parents divorced when I was 12 so I never had a real proper example of a normal long-term relationship. We’ve been together 4 years now. I cry about this sometimes and it weighs heavy on my heart, because I hate feeling repelled by the person I love. Also, my libido being shot isn’t helping any.

    Are these things sort of normal and ephemeral? Has anyone else been through this? I know lots of people get anxiety surrounding their relationship but… the grossed out feelings? Thanks 🙁 x

  163. Ryan C 9th October 2015 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Jeff thanks for the reply mate that’s exactly how my recovery has been. I’m writing this because after that great time man did it hit me harder than ever and along came all the doubts etc just when I thoght I was in for at least a longer period off positive times it fell flat on its face. So did this period take a whilst before it started to change for the better? I have the patience but I just was so baffled how I could eventually prove to myself I wasn’t void from all good feelings and then now back to this. Do you feel a lot better now Jeff with the place you are in? It’s not really just the fear I feel it’s just the overwhelming feelings of feeling crushed, flattened, fatigued, in a bubble etc just when things seemed so great.

  164. Bryan 9th October 2015 at 5:58 pm - Reply


    So sorry to hear. I hope God guides you through this the best way possible.
    You’ve been a great friend and my thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

    I see a lot of questions here that are so easily answered by reading Paul’s book. Like Doreen mentioned, I highly recommend that people here stop chasing down the minutia of a specific symptom or feeling and take a broader view. His new book is brilliant and before anyone asked a single question here, they should spend time to read his book at least once if not twice. And then after reading, have an honest look at whether or not the advice is being applied. Let’s pay Paul, Nolan and others the respect of putting forth a real effort to make change using their help… Not just use them as a crutch to avoid making hard changes in our behavior.

    My two cents.

  165. Stephanie 9th October 2015 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Nolan, I’ll be praying for your dad, you, and your family.

  166. Jeff 9th October 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Ryan C – don’t despair.
    Glimpses of feeling good (or at least better) was the first step for me. And you can be there for a while. I was there for a while. That first step, feeling somewhat human again. Brief periods only.

    With the exception of those brief moments of clarity, no joy at all. Which I’m sure that you and most on this blog can relate to.

    As for proof positive of your ability to recover – you have it. That first step – I was there for several months. You may be there for much less time (we’re all quite different). Then I was at the ‘almost recovered’ step for several more months. Many months actually. Recently though it seems to me like I’ve finally broken free – with the exception of the brief anxiety hits that I mentioned earlier.

    So it flip flops. At least it did in my case. Brief hits of clarity, followed promptly back to an anxiety hell – after time turn into brief hits of anxiety, followed promptly by a return to feeling normal. Normal, not euphoric. Euphoria only happens at the first step.

    Patience my man….all I can advise. You’ll need patience, and lots of it. Recovery will happen on its own.

  167. debbie 9th October 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Nolan sorry to hear about your dad.you are in my prayers.debbie

  168. Tom Marshall 9th October 2015 at 9:07 pm - Reply


    First off I just want to let you know that what you are experiencing is completely normal. Low libido happens to everyone at some point but because you are in a highly anxious state everything going tenfold. My first advice would be to make sure you are drinking plenty of water and getting a decent amount of exercise, it isn’t a must but it can definitely help. You are seeing through the eyes of negative thoughts and fear right now. So all you can notice is his bad qualities, again this is perfectly normal, when the doubt comes in the first thing that happens is the relationship goes under the microscope. ‘I don’t like the way he does X, Y or Z’ and so on I won’t go into it all too much because tbh its nothing to do with the relationship its more to do with your mind having a kick and scream because the reality of a relationship isn’t perfect hollywood love like it is presented. Love is imperfect, just like you, just like your partner and just like the world and when you learn to accept this you can embrace the true ebb and flow of a relationship. So lets talk about sex and this whole ‘I’m cringing when he touches me’ thing. I’ll give you a quick example… When Paul speaks about how he overcame his social anxiety he speaks about how when we wanted to approach a conversation or place his anxiety would rise but all he did was accept it, see it as a false signal and go for it anyway regardless of what his mind says. So the same concept applies to your relationship. Hold his hand, kiss him, hug him, tell him you love him and have sex with him even if every single fibre in your body is telling you not to. I know the sex part sounds pretty bias coming from a guy. But the more sexually active you become the more your sex drive will increase. Yes at first this will feel wrong, weird uncomfortable and you might not feel turned on, let it be there but have the attitude of ‘Oh well’ you clearly love this guy or you wouldn’t be so bothered by the current circumstances so don’t let fear dictate your actions by doing this you are showing your brain that there is no ‘Danger’ in been with your partner. That goes for everything and not just sex. So in future don’t pull away when the feelings are coming at you strong, get closer and take all the fear, doubt and intrusive thoughts with you. I promise you in time your attraction will come back, libido and connection will come back. Don’t try to force any feeling or thought let what ever comes up come up and don’t try to be 100% about the whole relationship or it will make the OCD worse, learn to live gracefully with uncertainty.

    One little tip about the hygiene thing. I told me girlfriend from the start of the relationship that if I ever smelt bad or my breath was bad to just tell me but not in a horrible way. So tell him but don’t get all irate about it. Say it in the nicest way possible. You aren’t been nasty by telling him this and I’m sure if you say it in the right way he will appreciate your honesty.

    And remember just because your parents had a bad relationship does NOT mean you will to, you are not your parents. You are you and no one can change that.

    I hope this helped.

    Tom 🙂

  169. Tom Marshall 9th October 2015 at 9:17 pm - Reply


    I’m so sorry to hear about your Dads condition, I’m sure everyone here will understand that you need to take time out while you’re going through this. I can’t even begin to explain how much I admire you for coming on here, giving people advice and keeping the positive attitude you have. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You have been a true inspiration to look up to and have helped me through some of my darkest times with your words. I’ve never met you but I know at the other end of that key board is an incredible man and a true leader just like Paul is and many others on this blog. I hope we cross paths one day just so I can thank you in person.

    All the best.


  170. Ryan C 9th October 2015 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    Thanks very much Jeff you have no idea just how much support you have given me. I’m not chasing some holy grail either though, I know life is not going to be perfect if I recover but I assume that the place you moved onto from where I am at the moment must have been a great place to be? I still experience no joy and when you speak as you do that you have moved to a place where you do it sounds like somewhere I can only dream of being as I am still regularly experiencing as you say ‘anxiety hell’. I have the patience as ive came this far so I can only keep moving onward with the process. I’m just at this tough point where I can almost see feeling good and almost sense it, it can seem so far away and then so so close.

  171. Laura 10th October 2015 at 1:27 am - Reply

    This is my first time posting here, I have been reluctant to read forums etc because I think it has the ability to make things worse… Due to comparison etc
    My situation is I had a burnout from work (I work in mental health) in 2011. I didn’t understand what was happening to me and I was very scared, with intrusive thoughts and memories of disturbing things I had experienced through my job.
    I got professional help after 2 months of struggling. Within 6 months I was living the most free I had ever felt…. I looked back at that time as the worst period of my life. From time to time I experiencef anxiety but it never bothered me as I never paid it any attention.
    Then 6 months ago I had a panic attack due to long periods of stressful events in our lives, while also coping with building a house, legal battles, raising 3 kids and working in a stressful work environment.
    I can see why I got anxious but I freaked out that I was back re-experiencing the “worst period in my life.” since that panic attack I have improved, due to Paul’s website, and the amazing psychologist I see.
    However I still seem to get stuck in the set backs… Each time I know they pass but I have this overwhelming sense of shame and embarrassment that I suffer with anxiety. It’s like I want to deny it and pretend I am this high functioning individual… And I see anxiety as a huge weakness.
    Further, my thoughts are “this is my life now” “I’ll always be anxious and won’t be able to enjoy life”
    I guess I’m just disappointed that I am back in this situation after working through it 4 years ago
    Have others had a significant relapse after year of being well?
    Any insight would be great

  172. Melissa 10th October 2015 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Hey everyone,

    I am back. Things were going so well for a while, and I know they still are. I got a new job, started volunteering and swimming three days a week. I can overall say I am very very happy.

    One little thing started coming up about a week ago. It’s been this feeling of being tired and wired. It’s a weird feeling….almost like I am tired, but I drank a cup of coffee and I am buzzing. I made the mistake of looking it up online and it turns out that it is a symptom for Bipolar disorder.

    Is this feeling of being wired and tired a typical symptom that comes along with anxiety? Should I go to the psychiatrist…? Just need a bit of a sounding board just in case.

    Thanks guys,

  173. Ves 10th October 2015 at 6:02 am - Reply

    Hi Ryan C,
    “Regarding this ups and downs, and sensing good feelings and then being so far away”

    We often think of patience as waiting to change. “I will endure this situation, gritting my teeth, until it changes”. Certainly we might want a painful situation to change, but with true patience it’s more like thinking, “I will be with this situation, period.” In other words there’s no expectation that the situation will change or get better. There is big difference with this approach of patience.
    By learning to turn toward our suffering and simply be with it, we are staying at the level of feeling. We are not getting into the story, the proliferation, or creating a self around it. If we refrain from getting into the story behind the feeling, it will be that much easier to experience the feeling without wanting to change it. It’s merely a physical sensation or a mental perception, and we do not need to add anything to it or try to make it go away. When we stay with painful feeling in this way, we are experiencing true patience.

  174. Ryan C 10th October 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Ves I fully understand what your saying and its this state of mind i have had for a long time but when it started to have these real good periods then it obviously dropped my patience and it was hard to return to the patience mode. I Melissa I can honestly say wired and tired is my most common symptom or was for ages and it comes and goes I feel whacked out like yawning and knackered but buzzing full off adrenaline it’s classic anxiety.

  175. Melissa 10th October 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for the response. Did you find that the adrenaline would kick in at night sometimes? I’m finding I get energized right before bed and then I wake up in the middle of the night.


  176. abhi 10th October 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    hello guys..m here for reassuarence..m in a very struglling period my career anxiety on its top when i study my anxiety tells me u cant and these feeling are so massive thant i cant even breath..feeling like out of control and totely broken..i just want to make my career..pls advice guys..

  177. Ryan C 10th October 2015 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Melissa I have suffered from this feeling immensely at times, sometimes the adrenaline would be very overwhelming, if you want my best advice is that exercise was very very helpful, if I went for a run as hard and almost impossible it was to get on that treadmill it would most definately leave me feeling a lot calmer, however as in Paul’s book which he says your body will build it back up again and I would get such a return of adrenaline that when I went to sleep I wouldnhave these big jumps and panic attacks in my sleep and I knew it was because it was having almost like a rebound effect. If I went to the gym however and did something very light like a session on the cross trainer very controlled and light with a light sweat and then had a sauna I always felt very calm and had a great sleep and peaceful night. Sometimes I still felt very crap but the adrenaline and the edge off the feelings was hugely reduced. I wasn’t trying to rid myself of these feelings by doing so I just did it to help calm my body and mind down. The gym and the sauna and the heat and then a cold shower was challenging sometimes it would give me real heights of anxiety but I knew I was facing more of these feelings and half an hour later I was very relaxed, it just had to work as I had burnt up energy / adrenaline and stress chemicals etc it was almost impossible for it not to have a positive effect. You were left tired and calm and it gave me a great sleep. As you know without a doubt the adrenaline is harmless but very annoying at night.

  178. Ryan C 10th October 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Hi abhi just take Pauls best advice and accept how it is usually I found when my anxiety was extremely overwhelming it was ready to calm down more than ever. Studying is hard and stressful and has you sitting in one position so try taking a small time out and as I would always suggest try going to the gym or have a break and then return once you have calmed down? I love the gym and my anxiety has me believing I won’t ever succeed or be able to peform and enjoy it again but I let this voice ramble on and train anyway 🙂

  179. Meg 10th October 2015 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Hi all, haven’t been on the blog for weeks but having a very difficult time. I came off anti depressents 2 months ago and to be honest I think I’ve recovered from GAD which is great. However I seem to be left feeling very depressed and sometimes have suicidal thoughts..today has been particularly bad. I didn’t feel like this before I was put on cymblata but it gave me side effects and withdrawal so bad that this caused my anxuety to develop into a disorder. Can anyone help or offer advice? Feel like I’m on a roller coaster right now but mo way am I going back on anti depressents as they caused most of this.

    Thanks 🙂 it’s helped a bit just writing it down!

  180. Melissa 10th October 2015 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Ryan C,

    I have been swimming a lot lately. It feels so good, and I cannot say that I go at a slower rhythm. I definitely like to swim fast and set some personal records for myself. Also, I think my body is adjusting to a new work schedule, and a new routine. I cannot say I am feeling particularly anxious…nothing compared to the breakdown I had a few months ago. I guess I am just so scared of being Bipolar.

  181. Melissa 10th October 2015 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Again Ryan C,

    I was just so concerned it was Bipolar. It is so annoying….! I have not been feeling the usual anxious symptoms except for the adrenaline in the middle of the night and right before bed. I am analyzing all of my emotions and feelings. It is terrible.

  182. Emma 10th October 2015 at 5:10 pm - Reply


    I just want to thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully to my comment. What you preach makes so much sense, I think to some level I knew these things but needed someone to interpret this situation for me and offer an objective opinion. Its also not an easy subject (intimacy) to talk about on here but I’m so glad you’re open minded and were able to offer me some advice on how to deal with what I hope is just an off-shoot of relationship anxiety/OCD.

    I’m taking your advice and will “fake it til I make it” — I guess I’m particularly concerned this time because I’ve had relationship ocd and doubts before and used the “fake it til I make it” approach but this new “repelled” feeling is totally new to me…that cringy feeling I mentioned. I even tested myself this morning and imagined he and I being intimate but still felt unattracted and put off. I really do hope my attraction for him returns along with my libido…nothing quite worse than feeling turned off by the person you love — especially when he is an attractive person. Also hurts to always be fixating on his faults and flaws….noticing these far more lately and in the noticing of it I’ve come to see that maybe a normal person would just notice that and move on, not think anything of it, but me I attach these other narratives to all this and fuel my ocd. Would you agree? It’s normal to notice your partners flaws, but idk why they turn me off all of a sudden — OCD I hope.

    I guess that’s why they call OCD “doubting disease” bc it makes you doubt and I can definitely attest to that at this particular moment :/

    Much love xx

  183. Ryan C 10th October 2015 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Hi Melissa it’s not terrible at all its human nature and we all do it. I think you need to give yourself a break and I am not qualified to tell you about bipolar but here’s why I truly believe your not. You’ve obviously had anxiety to be on this forum and its adrenaline you say your suffering from which has obviously made you scared and you have investigated this feeling and educated or read somewhere it’s bipolar, then your mind has became aware of this fearful possibility and now as you say your ‘scared’ of ‘becoming bipolar. In other words you’ve said it yourself your scared and its of something going to happen which hasn’t happened at all yet. This sounds like classic anxiety to me. Throughout my recovery I was awful for reading something and attaching it to how I felt so I just stopped all this investigating right away. The adrenaline is totally harmless and of course when it comes along especially at night it has to bring the fear and the thoughts so it’s totally normal to assume it’s something else probably because you beleive you don’t have anxiety anymore as you said you don’t have your old symptoms, but this is a symptom of anxiety and its one I have and probably everyone else, so just let it be there and resume to how you managed to overcome the rest of your symptoms and it will surely pass. Exercise makes me wired, anxiety or not, your hard swimming maybe making your mind and body overactive at night, it’s totally normal, mines was that bad I had no choice but to temporarily take it easier and/or train at different times. Or maybe it’s not the exercise at all maybe it’s just another small phase you are in which I beleive will pass. I’ve had the best nights sleep ever recently totally out for the count and then the past week I started going to the sunbeds, well I built them up slowly and I accidenatly went too far and stayed in too long on Thursday night, I had the worst sleep of my life, my mind was racing my body was overheating I was having visions in my mind when I closed my eyes and I jumped off my bed thinking in my sleep I was having a heart attack about 4 times having mini panic attacks and it was all because I really burnt myself and it must have been the heat stress on my anxious body and mind. This was all crazy amounts of adrenaline. My reaction to it all was I just seen it as something my body didn’t like and over reacted to because It was the first time I used the sunbeds and burnt myself in years, I had every reason to beleive it had some how fried my mind or done something terrible I was a confused mess and I felt hurrendous. But no, I got up got on and soon my body cooled down and so did this adrenaline I was wracked with. I hope that helps.

  184. Fleur 10th October 2015 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Doreen – thank you. That´s true. These days when I feel high anxiety I see anxiety in everything, so many targets, I am very vulnerable. Before 1 week I was afraid of depression, now I know that it was ordinary fear, because now I have more fears maybe 4 – what if I wil not recover, what if depression, what if i am going crazy. These questions came with my high anxiety state right now. And btw I had panic attack, which I hadn´t half an year.
    carla – thank you, yes, now I have high anxiety and I have so much anxiety thoughts. To Recognize anxiety process definitely helps. I like it when I can recognize it. That´s the time when I can accept, and my world is better, and I am happy.

    But I have new worse experiences now with thoughts and feelings. I have a boyfriend – 5 years. I love him, I am sure 100 %. When I think about him I have anxiety, very bad feeling that exactly: „What if I will have anxiety feelings next to him forever?“ Do you think that this thought is similar to thought of harming a child for example? Because I love him so much that I dont wanna lose him. I worry that this bad feeling will be worse than now and I will must break up in future. Do you think that these feelings are temporary and can´t harm my relationship? When I will have anxiety panic feelings next to my boyfriend I must accept these feelings? I know it is crazy, but it is my mind, so vulnerable. But in summer it was better I was almost recovered and now I have high anxiety and with anxiety strange feelings from life from everything what I love. I have anxiety mostly when I am thinking about something what I like. It is very sad. I hope that this symptom is temporary. Maybe I ask because I dont trust ME. Because of this anxiety I dont know how to control my feelings and that´s my fear that I CAN´T control my feeling. thank you

  185. Tom Marshall 10th October 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Emma its no problem at all, of all the themes of OCD this by far is the most painful. Which is exactly why you know its bullshit. Its unbearable for you to think or feel this way because deep down you love this person. Yes most people would most likely brush it off but your reaction to it just goes to show how much you actually care about the relationship. You don’t want to let a single thought or feeling ruin it. The main thing to keep in mind right now is the theme is not important, the story your mind creates isn’t what you need to ‘work on’ like your mind claims you should ‘Oh I don’t find him attractive today, something is wrong with the relationship’ its not the relationship its the uncertainty of the thought thats causing the suffering. Example with how mine used to go. One day Id be doubting my relationship and the next I would be seriously concerned about suddenly breaking one day and becoming a psychopath. The thoughts may change but there is always the same reaction regardless of the content. The feeling of uncertainty that springs from 3 simple fears. Fear of death, failure and been alone. Please don’t feel the need to check all the time if you feel attracted to him as this just keeps the loop going that you have still have a problem. The more certain you try to become the worse it gets. If your mind starts to disagree with allowing what is then let it you no longer care. I know it may be hard getting close to him again but trust me just dive in head first and don’t look back and peace will find you without your help 🙂


  186. Melissa 10th October 2015 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much Ryan C.

    Funny enough the psychologist I was seeing said I was not bipolar. So I should just believe her. Don’t know why I’m doubting what she said.

    I should know better.

  187. Jen 10th October 2015 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Hi. I’m new and I have been struggling with anxiety for a couple of months now after having a panic attack. I have been trying my best to let it be here and live along side it. For awhile I didn’t want to except how I felt and that I had this anxiety. But I’m getting better now with it. I do have a question for anyone that has experienced this but I’m starting to feel more like myself however I just have a dull odd feeling like I’m just not quit there yet back to my 100% myself. Is this a normal feeling of anxiety and will my personality come back again ? I just hope I’m on the right track with things and of course thr anxiety is making me feel that I’m never going to get my personality back again. Of someone could help with this that would be great. Has anyone felt this way on the road to recovery?

  188. Meg 11th October 2015 at 12:50 am - Reply

    Having read back a bit ryan and Melissa you’re symptoms sound exactly like mine. I’ve not Google it but i also convinced myself I’m bipolar. Deep.down I know I’m not but I can’t seem to let it go..

  189. Melissa 11th October 2015 at 1:14 am - Reply

    Meg I’m telling you I spend so much time reliving old memories and analyzing them. Problem is I have always had a hard time before my period (emotional, etc). So now I’m linking the wires feeling to manic episodes and the sad emotional moments to depressive episodes. It’s rly no fun. My doctors have said I am not. Also usually it’s your family members and friends who will see it before we do. They have all said I was silly for thinking I am bipolar. This all started when my boss told me she suspects I have bipolar when I presented her with my sick leave note. I have so much anger towards her.

  190. Meg 11th October 2015 at 9:28 am - Reply

    I’m the exact same my mew doctor is lovely and she actually laughed when I said I was scared im bipolar pr depressed and assured me I’m not. I’m gradually getting better with acceptance and neutralising it by realising so what if I had bipolar Id still be able to have a great life. But with this acceptance my brain just chooses something elee so now it’s moved on to suicidal thoughts which are upsetting! I had these thoughts months ago and they passed it’s very disheartening they’re back because they are my ultimate fear. I feel so close to reaming free but everytime I try to take the leap I stumble and stop myself.

  191. Meg 11th October 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    I also just read what you said about adrenaline at night time. I havr this too, no problems all day then my body feels so agitated just before I go to sleep as of its stored it all up. I fall asleep ok but then here awake as I’d something has made me jump. It has passed now but I think that’s because I didn’t care about it very much.

  192. Alaina 11th October 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone just looking for some advice, had anxiety for most of my life, but due to a medication change 3 years ago the horrible thoughts started. I managed to be free for a year last year until my grandad died at Christmas and they came storming back. I was getting to a point where I could just dismiss these as rubbish, but now I think I’m in a setback and they are tormenting me. I fear what if I have become this vile horrible person my thoughts are saying. I’m really worried that I have become a monster. I haven’t been able to eat or sleep properly I just don’t know how to accept that they are not the truth. I just want them gone but then another thought says what if I do want to have these thoughts. I’m petrified! I know I need to accept but I can’t when they are so horrible. I’m really stuck please any advise would be greatful!

  193. Jen 11th October 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    How do u know if you had dp? Or if it’s just thr anxiety and starting to recover and get back to feeling normal which I have heard can feel odd and strange as well ?

  194. Doreen 11th October 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Goodness me Fleur, you have done exactly the same thing again and moved the anxiety onto another target, saying that this one is worse and different. Are you seriously expecting anyone to tell you to leave your boyfriend for instance? You talk as if these thoughts come from on high and that you have no role in making them happen. You have the major role as you are constantly looking out for the next thing to pin your anxiety onto. I know this sounds harsh but you really must stop seeing each anxiety as relevant.

  195. Julie 12th October 2015 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Hi All

    I read Pauls second book and loved it. I had a fair few enlightened moments that made me realise I finally understood acceptance. Only taken me 2 years 😉 BUT I am still having a tough time applying it.

    My anxiety has moved away from intrusives and it’s now a general physical anxiety that gives me panic attacks randomly which has resulted in me staying home alot more. During the day at home I get physical anxiety which usually manifests as a light headed feeling like you get with low blood sugar, I guess that’s an unreality feeling. I feel weak and floaty. It then triggers my anxiety as I fear I will faint. In recent weeks this has become a daily thing.

    The panic attack in the nurses room 3 weeks ago has triggered this and I am having a tough time at accepting my anxiety has hit hard again but in a different way. I am struggling with a crippling fatigue which I guess is due to all this worry about why I feel like this again. So I fuel the loop and create more anxiety, which creates more fatigue. Some days I can’t function I am that exhausted.

    Any advice appreciated. It’s quite new to me this physical feeling and it makes me just take it easy all the time, but part of that is the fatigue making me feel weak.



  196. Louise 12th October 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie
    It may be worth trying foods that are low gi to balance your blood sugars out which may help with the light headed feeling. Bet you glad intrudives have left I remember how you suffered with them

  197. Julie 12th October 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Louise

    I have a pretty healthy diet and eat every 2 hours to keep blood sugar in check. Been tested for diabetes recently which was negative so it’s definitely anxiety causing this floaty head feeling. It hits often and it’s what makes me not want to socialise and hide away because I feel like I am all light and floaty inside and not grounded. Everything around me feels floaty too. It’s hard to describe but I have always thought that must be DP. It hits on it’s own too, not from over breathing or when in a panic attack. It just hits especially if I try to socialise but also when home. Strange. It’s my main symptom that holds me back I think.

    Yes, I rarely get them now and if I do they pass pretty quick. I resigned to the fact I may always have them and was ok about it. If I am very tired they may rear their ugly head but I cope much better with them.



  198. Maria 12th October 2015 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone,

    I just thought I’d share an experience I had last night with you all.

    As some of you know from seeing me here, I’ve been pretty much anxiety free for about 6 months, with just a few blips here and there. I’ve felt better than I have in years, and I attribute it all to Paul’s book. Well last night, I was having trouble getting to sleep. Might have been that tea I drank a little too late in the evening. And out of nowhere, I feel the surge of adrenalin creeping up my body. I’ve had this in the past at night as I try to get to sleep so I just rode the wave and let it pass. But then it happened several more times. It’s like my mind just wouldn’t shut down for the night. I tossed and turned, got up a few times, tried to watch tv, then tried to get back to sleep. I may have managed a whole three hours of sleep. Ugh. (I’m sure it didn’t help having a Great Dane in bed with me that likes to “snuggle”!)

    In the past when I’d have nights like this, I’d get up the next day pretty freaked out and very frightened. I think it’s natural to try to figure out why it’s happening and think your way out of it. But if I’ve learned anything from Paul, it’s that there is no logic to it. No sense to be made of it. I could sit here all day trying to figure it out and worry myself to pieces about it, but I’m not going to. I’m going to get on with my day and and give it the ole “so what”. I’ll let it take its course knowing that it will fade.

    I wanted to share this with you all in hopes that it will help you if you’re in a similar situation. Just let it be, let it do whatever it has to do. Don’t feed it with worry and fear.

    Hope you all are doing well. Xo

  199. Stephanie 12th October 2015 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Julie, just want to say that I completely sympathize with what you’re feeling. It’s been one of my main symptoms from day one. The weakness, the lightheadedness, the feeling of low blood sugar. In fact, it feels so similar to low blood sugar to me that I tend to eat when I’m anxious. All I can tell you is that you have to learn to let the feelings be there. But be sensible. If you need to rest, then rest. If you need to eat, then eat. You can’t avoid though. I know it’s hard to hear, and even harder to do. So next time there’s a social event, go to it. You will probably feel strange. I know when it’s been awhile since I’ve been in an anxiety-provoking situation that my anxiety is heightened. That’s ok. You’ll get through it. And then the next time you’ll be able to look back and encourage yourself by saying, “Nothing happened last time. Yeah maybe it was uncomfortable and I felt weird, but that’s all that happened. Just feelings and sensations.” I can’t tell you how often I feel odd at work. Just last week I was having a mini panic attack during a meeting. It absolutely stinks. But what can I do? All I can do is keep challenging my feelings and showing them by my behavior that there is nothing wrong.

  200. Bryan 12th October 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Great one Maria.

  201. Kim 12th October 2015 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Hello Julie,

    I have just read the rest of your reply. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a reassuring post. I have stayed away for a few days as i have felt slightly better but still not myself. (Even this sets me off as it baffles me how it can be the end of the world one day and not so bad the next!)

    I am off to the doctors shortly and will be sure to take on your advice and be as honest possible.

    Take care,


  202. Ryan 12th October 2015 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Hey guys, just thought I’d update you on the rest of my trip. .I’m at hone today, and the trip was a blast. .had lots of fun in the UK..wanted to cone back on here because I always seem to forget when I’m feeling good. .which I guess is a good thing. .to all suffering right now. ..it will pass. It always will. ..maybe not as fast as you would like, but if you just let it do what it wants, it WILL fade. Don’t get involved. ..just move along. Pauls methods really is the key. .trust me, Ive tried EVERYTHING. Pauls method is the ONLY thing that hashe given me any laying results. .take care, and keep moving forward!

  203. Maria 12th October 2015 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Bryan. 🙂

    A little shaky so far today, but I’m sure that’s from lack of sleep. I try to look at a little setback like this as an opportunity, sort of like a reminder to myself of how to deal with this.

  204. Emma 12th October 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply


    You hit the nail on the head when you said “its not the relationship its the uncertainty of the thought thats causing the suffering” — it really is the uncertainty of the thought/feeling itself that is causing the suffering, the uncertainty about whether or not they are true or an indication of a latent truth… Also, the doubt causes suffering in and of itself, the feelings of doubt mixed with the feelings of un-attraction, provoke suffering because we feel they MUST indicate some type of truth about the relationship.

    I read somewhere that the feeling of unattraction I have for my boyfriend is actually deeper than that and more that it’s more a projection of my own unconscious fears than simply thinking he’s actually gross! I haven’t seen him all weekend because I was away visiting my parents, needless to say I am feeling some anxiety about seeing him again and wondering how I’ll feel. As well as when it comes time to be intimate how I’ll be able to “take all the thoughts” along with me and apply a “cringe but do it anyway!” attitude. Xx

  205. Ruth 12th October 2015 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Hi, this is my first post – I just wondered if there was anyone who’s recovered from health anxiety who might have any advice? I’ve read both of Paul’s books, and I totally get the theory of acceptance, but I’m really struggling with actually doing it. I don’t see how I can accept the possibility I might have a terrifying illness. Any thoughts? Thank you so much.

  206. Jamie 12th October 2015 at 8:21 pm - Reply


    I work in a big open plan, cramped, noisy office and I am struggling quite a bit at the moment making phone calls to clients (I work in complaints so some calls can be challenging). I am on edge a lot of the time worrying that when I call a client, I will get panicky on the phone, not be able to speak properly, may have to hang up etc and that people will notice.

    I think this stems from about a year ago, I rang a client and these precise thoughts popped into my head from nowhere and lo and behold, I got panicky and ended up hanging up. Because there are so many people all around me at work (who are probably not that interested in what I am doing but try telling that to my irrational self) I find myself waiting for 1) the people immediately around me to be on the phone themselves 2) for them to be away from their desk or 3) be talking amongst themselves. If any of these happen then I am a bit more comfortable making the call (particularly if I am rejecting the complaint, I worry that the client will argue / challenge the decision and I will really struggle on the phone).

    I know I should be just picking the phone up irrespective of what is going on around me or how loud/quiet it is and making the call but it is so hard. The odd time I have called when it has been quiet, my voice has wobbled and I have ended up talking pretty quickly to try and ride it out and hope no one will notice.

    I wondered if anyone had suffered with anything similar or had any advice ?


  207. Suzanne 12th October 2015 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    It is a comfort coming across this site knowing I am not alone, just bought Paul’s book and read half the book, I will try to put it all into practice

  208. Shelby 13th October 2015 at 12:08 am - Reply

    I know I’m supposed to just give the thoughts and feelings space. But what about when it switches on and off all day. Then I start thinking is this normal? Am I bipolar? Or how do I know when the not so good feelings or weird icky feelings I get aren’t depression ? I am on Effexor and have been on it for 10 years for what started out as anxiety. Well of course I have been trying to suppress or not think about my anxiety when it happens. I know now I have been doing it all wrong.

  209. Chris 13th October 2015 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Hi Paul (or Nolan or anyone)

    I was just wondering if I could ask you another question. I feel it is the only thing stopping me from moving forward right now.

    Basically it’s to do with depression. I find when I am in an anxiety setback, I also experience moments of severe depression. In these moments I find it really hard to convince myself that I don’t have clinical depression, because of how low and fearful I feel, and the emotional pain that comes with it. I feel like the world looks grey and lifeless, very little motivation, dreading the future, no positive emotions etc. It’s a sort of desperate feeling to escape how awful I feel, and I feel like I just want to give up. It’s interesting though, because if I’m reassured, it tends to lift straight away – does this mean that it must be anxiety?

    I just want to make sure I’m in the right place here. This seems to be the only thing stopping me from implementing the advice in your books right now. So my question is: will the advice in your book work for someone like me?

    It might be useful to note as well that when I am not in a setback, I do not experience this type of depression. In other words, the anxiety and depression co-exist.


  210. Chris 13th October 2015 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Actually maybe this is D.P that I am experiencing? I feel emotionally empty alot of the time, and I feel quite isolated, I dunno it’s hard to explain. Maybe the ‘depression’ feeling is a result of me overthinking and adding resistance/fear?

    Any thoughts?

  211. Shelby 13th October 2015 at 5:59 am - Reply

    I have an issue with dying and the fact that I won’t be here one day. I won’t be here to see my children. And when my mind gets going it spirals with this fear and brings out my anxiety. how do we get over fearing something that is real and will happen eventually ? And it’s kinda weird cause when this anxiety hits me it’s usually after a good day with family or when I feel good.

  212. Julie 13th October 2015 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Stephanie – Thank you.

    Yes I think that’s what I need to do. Stop being so hard on myself and if i have to sit or lie down whilst it passes then do that and try to do that without adding fear. There is nothing worse than feeling that weak floaty feeling, it always makes me anxious. I have to learn slowly to be ok with it.

    I do need to build myself up socially again and not let what happened in the nurses office scare me forever. I am just so afraid of appointments since and that’s why my anxiety towards my health has flared up. I even hate answering the door, I am suddenly terrible socially. I guess because the panic was so bad I feel I made a fool out of myself so now hide away. It has made me realised just how well I was doing! I thought I wasn’t doing well needing hubby at appointmnets, or to socialise with me but the truth was I was coping fine and getting through them well. This huge panic attack in the nurses room has knocked the wind out of my sails and I can’t imagine ever being able to do an appointment again which of course makes me feel stressed and anxious because I am 36, I will need an appointment again in my life time. I feel very under pressure.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Kim- I am glad it helped. I hope the doctors appointment went well.


  213. Julie 13th October 2015 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Shelby – Since I was 5 years old I have had that sudden doom of ‘oh my we die’. It will wash over me like a rush and I then sit there and imagine myself not waking up again. Now as a mother those realisations hit me harder because I love my life and my children. I do still find it hard to accept we die. I live in fear of it and struggle to accept it will happen some day. Just talking about it now sends that rush up my body and yes I almost feel panicky. I get it once every couple of weeks. It’s as thought it just suddenly hits you that we aren’t here forever and it’s upsetting. It soon passes but I know how horrible that realisation is when it washes over you.

    I think that’s why we need to live a life so that death isn’t in our minds. When we are old we won’t be afraid because we will look back at our lives knowing we lived it how we wanted to, it was full of love and happy memories. Live a life that’s what you want it to be and then death isn’t such an issue. I think at the moment when we have anxiety death terrifies us more so and we worry we will waste it being like this.

    I also had the issues with posting last week. It was only letting me post half a comment. Very frustrating but it seems to be ok now. I think a few members have had this issue, maybe it’s technical thing.


  214. JoJo 13th October 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    How do you handle the following when your mind throws out these thoughts and feelings:
    feeling like you need mental help, that you just can’t do it anymore. Just feeling like your going to fall apart or not be able to keep handling life. And then sometimes I just feel like down about life like nothing to live for etc despair depressive thoughts. Does anyone experience this? How is this related to anxiety and how do you move through this?

  215. Jacqui 13th October 2015 at 1:55 pm - Reply


    My story is very similar to Nolan’s. I started having sleep anxiety, about two years ago. I have had other forms for about 20 years but the sleep one floored me. I hadn’t found Paul at this time (wish I had). My GP started me on Mirtazapine. To cut a very long story short has anyone got of this medication?

  216. Rosa 13th October 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply


    Nolan has written quite a lot on depression and adviced people to treat it the same way as anxiety – just experience the feelings and thoughts that come with it and get on with your day. I know it’s hard – I have suffered from anxiety and depression myself.
    But Paul’s approach works – I felt utterly depressed a few months ago. I did what I had to do in terms of looking after my son, go shopping, cooking, etc., but when I was on my own I was just lying in bed as I felt so horrible. I also felt really empty, just didn’t know what to do with myself. I allowed myself to feel like this and tried not to add more fuel to my depression/anxiety which means I tried not to be depressed or anxious about feeling depressed. I am still not recovered, but the insensity of the depressed feelings has lessened a lot and I notice that I am more interested in the world again…
    Hope this helps!

    I was just wondering if I could ask you another question. I feel it is the only thing stopping me from moving forward right now.

    Basically it’s to do with depression. I find when I am in an anxiety setback, I also experience moments of severe depression. In these moments I find it really hard to convince myself that I don’t have clinical depression, because of how low and fearful I feel, and the emotional pain that comes with it. I feel like the world looks grey and lifeless, very little motivation, dreading the future, no positive emotions etc. It’s a sort of desperate feeling to escape how awful I feel, and I feel like I just want to give up. It’s interesting though, because if I’m reassured, it tends to lift straight away – does this mean that it must be anxiety?


  217. Emma 13th October 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply


    I’m the same way sometimes. I can oscillate between anxiety and depression (or low moods as I call them, because I don’t think my depression is necessarily clinical). For a long time I was really afraid of depression, it would give me “second layer anxiety” like crazy… something about it was just so scary. I realized I was adding a lot of unnecessary suffering by fearing this mood state. I hope you’re feeling better.


    Your depression sounds like mine when it was at its worse (no motivation, bleak perception of life, everything painted grey, feeling a certain emptiness or a sort of anvil in my chest). I think a common fear we have on this blog is the fear that we are categorically depressed — or clinically depressed. I try to look at it like we have some SYMPTOMS of depression but not actual depression. Those who suffer from depression as a clinical condition are probably in depression blogs… we’re here on an anxiety blog, because we have anxiety, which can inherently be characterized by depression-feelings, they’re just an offshoot of that anxiety. We’re emotionally sensitive people and we at times experience lowness and some symptoms of depression. Your description of how you feel when you’re down sounds a lot of like everyone else’s on the blog. So, I think yes it’s just an off-shoot of anxiety, just another way your inner turmoil is manifesting. Attend to it with kindness, breathe into the feelings of emptiness and let them be. As Nolan always says, peace will find its way back to you.

  218. Vic 13th October 2015 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Hey everybody,

    I’m Vic and I haven’t been on this blog for probably a year now, as I am completely anxiety free!!
    This blog was just absolutely amazing during my anxiety journey and so I decided to come back to help others as well!
    I don’t want to tell you my whole anxiety story now, but feel free to ask me everything you would like to know and I will try to help you with my experiences!
    By the way, sry for mistakes! I am no native speaker 😉


  219. Nolan 13th October 2015 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Thank you very much for the kind words, everyone!! My dad had his first round of chemo treatments last week… and this week he starts radiation for the tumors in his brain. He’s been in a great mood so far…. so, all things considered, I have nothing to complain about. Things are going as well as they can.

  220. Nolan 13th October 2015 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Chris, I had very intense anxiety as well as life sapping depression. I actually had bouts of depression since I was a freshman in high school.
    I’ve been on every medication under the sun for depression, anxiety, and sleep issues.

    I say none of this to discourage anyone from taking their meds…. but, after reading Paul’s book in July of 2013 I never took another med again.
    Over the years I had been on: Prozac, paxil, paxil cr, trazadone, lunesta, ambien, ambien cr, Lexapro, Xanax, klonopin…. and scores of OTCs and other vitamins and nutrients all to ‘battle’ anxiety or depression (and the symptoms).

    But, in the summer of 2013 I went off all of.

    I’ve had a few spikes (or drops) of depression recently. Mine is the type where nothing matters. I look at a beautiful scene (say the sun setting over a forest) and immediately a thought will surface that says “it’s all meaningless….” not only the thought, but internally I feel ‘convinced’ by the thought. Automatically convinced by it. In the past I would argue with it… try to convince myself that I don’t actually feel that way. All that would do is pull me down further. Make me exhausted, frustrated, and terrified…. broken.

    But, I started to treat the depression the same way I did with the anxiety: “oh well, big whoop…. I know what I have to do with my life… so I might as well and get on doing it. I have a son and a wife that I need to be there for regardless of how I’m feeling.”

    It would be great if the passion and life was there to flow in the same direction of my day to day obligations…. but, at the times when depression is on thick that’s just not the way it is. But, there’s no mistake over the practical things of my life that I still need to do. So I get on doing them, with or without depression.

    I had been told time and time again that my depression is “major” and “clinical”…. and there was a time I was convinced that there was an imbalance of sorts with me at a fundamental level. But no longer…. I’ve taken nothing to aid in supposedly ‘re-balancing’ me and yet I’ve had moments of profound peace and joy in my life. With Paul’s help I developed an ability I never use to have: I can now respond to stress/anxiety/depression in a manner that gives my life more freedom than it ever had before. Simply by letting it be there, not adding extra concern and fret to it… and moving back on with my life. Giving no timetable of departure to either the stress/anxiety/ or depression…. and every time my body ultimately still knew what to do and I always found peace back in my life.

  221. Nolan 13th October 2015 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Rosa, that was wonderfully written.
    Great advice.

  222. Nolan 13th October 2015 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Jacqui,

    I was certain I was broken with sleep. As soon as I would shut my eyes my mind and body would go on hyper, hyper, hyper alert. It’s hard to put into words the torment I felt when I would think of sleep, try to sleep, hear the word ‘sleep’. Something that at one point in my life was not any issue in the slightest became the biggest thing in my life. Bigger than my child that had just been born 6 months prior.

    I used google so much looking for help and hope that I’m sure somewhere a server was smoking trying lose the heat.

    My psychiatrist used me as a test hamster…. In less than 2 months she had me on at least 6 different things. The last scrip she ever wrote for me was for Rozerom (sp). I went home, looked at it… and ripped it up. I never went back to her again.
    Thankfully very shortly after that I was suggested Paul’s book. And that changed everything for me. Not right away, mind you. I had some initial success with Paul’s method. But then I had the thought “well, he didn’t really talk all that much about sleep… maybe his book wasn’t geared towards me”…. so I fell right back into the pit of intense anxiety and despair.
    I found this blog shortly after that. Asked the same questions over and over and over again. Doreen and many others would say “Nolan (but not Nolan because I posted under many different names), you’re not taking the advice. You just keep asking the same questions.”

    Eventually it took and I took the advice to heart and slowly started to get better.

    My sleep is as good as it has ever been. Hearing the word sleep or insomnia doesn’t fill me with the same fear that it used to. I can have a bad night of sleep now and not care in the least the next day.

    You’ll get there….

  223. DarrylA 13th October 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    This is the part where I cannot relate. He says

    “When I gave up, truly gave up, I felt a lot calmer. Sometimes the storm would rage, but without me trying to push the storm away it was allowed to just play itself out and eventually calm would be restored. ”

    I NEVER have calm restored. In fact, I have been symptomatic for 2 years. Mon stop. On a scale of 10, my symptoms never go below a 5, but escalate to 10 throughout the day. Generally I remain around a 7-8.

    After reading both of Paul’s books it also seems to me his recovery went rather smoothly, whereas I have been trying to improve for 2 years and have only gotten worse. I can’t help but think his condition certainly could not have been anywhere near as severe as mine.

    I’m not sure he truly appreciates or understands what it may be like to truly let go and accept something as severe as what I face everyday. I find when my symptoms get down to a 5 it is much easier to contain and just allow. But anything above that I find it humanly impossible. I am a strong person and lived a great life until this starTed 2 years ago. I was always able to overcome anything. I find it hard to believe that anyone could simply live alongside the types of symptoms I face without judgement. Without worry. Without completely noticing they are there. It is debilitating.

    I need to somehow figure out the secret to accepting such severe symptoms or I fear this suffering may never end.

  224. Teresa 13th October 2015 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    I have not posted on here for a very long time as I basically (after a very long time) understood the concept and got on with life. Yes I had times when my anxiety levels were higher than usual and yes I did get symptoms – when I got bored with them and gave up they would dissipate and something else would pop along to gain my attention – most of the time I am very good and I am so busy living life they slip away. I don’t visit the blog often and I was very much in Paul’s situation and it was finding this site years ago and reading his book that gave me the understanding of what anxiety is.
    I have grown and improved and suprisingly no matter how many times I think – that’s it, I understand it, there always seems to be another layer and it reveals another piece of letting go, accepting life as it is …
    I am now asking for more understanding as I want to make these final steps to total acceptance and I have hit a bit of a stumbling block. Through a couple of bumpy experiences having blood pressure taken in past years I have become scared of being mis diagnosed with high blood pressure. I have an appointment booked but I fear the fear will rise it, any suggestions of how I should be approaching this would be welcome. I understand it’s anxiety.

  225. JoJo 13th October 2015 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Can anyone shed some advise on my last few posts? I feel like I’m being ignored 🙁

  226. Stephanie 13th October 2015 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Teresa. The first time I went for a woman’s exam I was very nervous. When the nurse took my blood pressure, it was high. She got concerned and took it again. When it was still reading the same, I told her it was probably just because I was nervous, that I’ve never had high blood pressure. So my suggestion to you is either to say something before your blood pressure is taken, or wait and say something if it reads high. You don’t have to make it any more complicated than that. You’ll be fine!

  227. Jamie 13th October 2015 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Hi. Has anyone got any thoughts on my post below ?

    October 12th, 2015 at 8:21 pm


    I work in a big open plan, cramped, noisy office and I am struggling quite a bit at the moment making phone calls to clients (I work in complaints so some calls can be challenging). I am on edge a lot of the time worrying that when I call a client, I will get panicky on the phone, not be able to speak properly, may have to hang up etc and that people will notice.

    I think this stems from about a year ago, I rang a client and these precise thoughts popped into my head from nowhere and lo and behold, I got panicky and ended up hanging up. Because there are so many people all around me at work (who are probably not that interested in what I am doing but try telling that to my irrational self) I find myself waiting for 1) the people immediately around me to be on the phone themselves 2) for them to be away from their desk or 3) be talking amongst themselves. If any of these happen then I am a bit more comfortable making the call (particularly if I am rejecting the complaint, I worry that the client will argue / challenge the decision and I will really struggle on the phone).

    I know I should be just picking the phone up irrespective of what is going on around me or how loud/quiet it is and making the call but it is so hard. The odd time I have called when it has been quiet, my voice has wobbled and I have ended up talking pretty quickly to try and ride it out and hope no one will notice.

    I wondered if anyone had suffered with anything similar or had any advice ?


  228. Jen 14th October 2015 at 1:13 am - Reply

    Jojo. I have something similar happening I felt like im.getting better and when I do feel almost like my old self I get bought of feeling like what if I just lose it or have I already lost it and not just know it. I keep thinking it’s just anxiety. It might be because I don’t like these thoughts and they keep coming around. Maybe to much in my head right now. So i. Just continuing on wiTh my day and I’m guessing they will eventually go away. Cuz I never thought this before anxiety so I know it’s the anxiety but it for sure try to play tricks on you.

  229. Dillon 14th October 2015 at 1:16 am - Reply

    Hi all!

    Hope everything is going well for you!
    I am an 18 year old in the US currently in my first year of university.
    I struggled with anxiety severely in the tail end of 2012 with my main source of anxiety being depersonalization feelings. I fell completely into the anxious cycle, questioning what was wrong with me constantly and allowing all my negative feelings to take hold of me. Through my many hours of online research, I luckily came across Paul’s website relatively quickly and his ideas were instilled in my head. It took a gradual amount of time but eventually I learned to truly not care about my symptoms and what do you know! I was soon a flourishing member of life once again.

    Last year was my senior year of high school and I would say it was one of the best years of my life. I was living nearly completely anxiety free, of course I still experienced some symptoms in uncomfortable situations but as Paul showed me and I learned to implement myself, I would just ignore these symptoms and live my life and of COURSE they went away!! I made a group of friends that I adore, I created music with good friends in a band, and I made a wonderful girl my girlfriend.

    Unfortunately, just about a week ago, after experiencing some prolonged stress due to the big change that is leaving my family and attending university, I managed to let the symptoms that I would usually allow to occur in the background capture my attention. Now I find myself thrown back into the worry cycle with symptoms capturing my attention nearly 24/7 and I keep worrying that these symptoms will impede my ability to do well in school and that I’ll ultimately have to drop out of school and suffer for the rest of my life. (Sounds crazy right?) Well, it has been so long since I first suffered and I am finding it difficult to implement Paul’s ideas again and I find myself second guessing everything. I just purchased Paul’s book (I managed to recover just by reading his website the first time) and his words are true and comforting but I still struggle to not care once again especially because I feel like I need to get better now.

    I don’t mean this post to be discouraging to anyone because I admit I could have been living a more healthy lifestyle to discourage future anxiety. But I was truly recovered for nearly 2 years and now I find myself back to square one. I know deep down that it is just anxiety but it still feels a bit new after not grasping me for such a long time. I am mostly just getting things off my chest but I will continue to believe in Paul’s word and hopefully I find myself once again. I appreciate any support! But if I recovered before I can do it again and you all can too!

  230. Teresa 14th October 2015 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Hi Stephanie – thanks for your reply. I will do that, I think because I have had this experience previously it has become a ‘fear’ which I manage to avoid then somewhere along the line I am in this position again and worry about the fact I cannot control my fear which in turn controls my blood pressure reading and gives them a false reading. This has become a ‘big’ thing as I then in turn worry how will they get a real reading as even at home it has the same affect. I realise my own mind is creating this scenario but i am finding it difficult to accept how this can resolve itself.

  231. Teresa 14th October 2015 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Hi Jamie Just left a long comment and lost it!
    People who you work with will be more concerned with what they are doing after work or having for tea – or even their own work that to be worrying about you. You have become over aware of your own self and you are analysing yourself. These days phones have such poor quality the people the other end will be lucky to hear you let alone wonder is you have a wobble in your voice. If you have – so be it – it is not going to change the advice. They will put the phone down at the end of your call and forget you.
    It will pass – just carry on doing your job to the best of your ability and then the rest is in the lap of the gods. I have been through so many scenarios and they have all been pests or sometimes seemed a lot more – but do you know what? They all faded in time and when I looked back they seemed to be something I would not have worried about if I had not been anxious.
    Do what many others on here have advised, be the person you want to be and at some point you will meet him. This will go Jamie – and you will be left knowing that you were stronger than you thought you were.

  232. Samantha 14th October 2015 at 10:42 am - Reply


    Does anyone have trouble sleeping due to anxiety.. It’s been over a year and still no sleep 🙁 I’ve read both books and they cured me first time round but this time I can’t seem to get into the not caring attitude. I constantly think this is it now I’m never going to sleep again and i can’t bare the thought of it… Sad times.


  233. Meg 14th October 2015 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Jojo ans jen I experience this too and if you read further up melissa and Ryan also discuss this feeling. I’m fine 75% of the time but when the depressive anxious thoughts come they are intense like you said and it feels too much. I get this every couple of days and it always passes. I used to spend whole days feeling like this. I guess this is all part of it, you’re not alone 🙂

  234. Rachel 14th October 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Yesterday felt good today feel dreadful but I have realised that it has to be anxiety because if I was ill ill the illness wouldn’t go for one day hope I get more day like yesterday god knows what was different yesterday though x

  235. abhi 14th October 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    hii everyone hope everyone is doing well..this setback doesnt want to go..i have a question that setbacks are nvr ended.? i want to know that we ll always have setbacks on time to time to time..m very fearful to think about that.canwe live an anxiety free life or be successful in life? i have many dreams to complete..plz reply..

  236. Nolan 14th October 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Abhi,

    you’re putting a bit too much importance on the setback. So you’re in a setback right, oh well…. now move back on with your day.

    You’re not going to feel great, because you’re in a setback.
    However, from what I’m reading in your post, you’re struggling mightily with trying to make sense of it, how long it might last, if they’ll always keep coming back…. and so on.

    My only advice would be: be at peace with the fact that you’re struggling right now…. pay no extra special thought to the nature of it/it’s length/it’s likelihood of coming back again.

    It’s understandable that you’re caring too much about the nature of this setback (and setbacks in general) but it does you no good. So stop paying it so much respect by mentally engaging with it as much.

  237. abhi 14th October 2015 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    thank you so much nolan..i ll go with my days..without adding extra fuel..this satback gave me an oppurtunity to learn..n last time what i did in front of anxiety..i just stopped my studies n thought that when it all ended i ll start my study n career..but this time i made a step to continue my studies..which makes me feel very happy..m not the slave of anxiy..

  238. Matt 14th October 2015 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    This may be a weird question, but I’m actually questioning how I feel…..I have been in a setback for about 8 months and am trying to work my way back just to living and not paying it any mind, but as I sit here teleworking today I find myself not sure if I feel anxious or ok……its a weird feeling almost like I’m looking for the anxiety to be there and it feels odd when it is not…..like its missing or the “shoe is about to drop”…. I do like that I am not super anxious, but I am hesitant to “feel good”. Thoughts?

  239. Dominic 14th October 2015 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Dillon

    Two years anxiety free felt great right? Not even given anxiety a second thought hey?
    It’s a setback your in now and its obviously worse now because you are leaving home and starting college etc. just accept it for what it is. A big period of stress has led to you feeling anxious. It’s fine. It’s happened to me recently after a long period anxiety free. Let it be there for as long as it needs to be there.
    In Paul’s second book he’s says about letting the anxiety cup be emptied. This is perfectly explained. Your anxiety has bubbled over and now needs to be released. Let it all out.
    It’s hard I know. I’ve got my own business and it was really hard at first but just let it be there. Here’s an example:
    When I was in thick anxiety it would wake me up early. Whereas before I would sit online looking for cures this time I thought hey that paperwork needs doing. So I got on with it and had a coffee while everyone slept. I got on with my day and actually ended up more productive.
    You’ve got over this before so you know it’s only a matter of time before good times are back again. Let the cup be emptied and things will be back to normal soon enough. In the meantime it is what it is. Things are a little harder but you’ll be fine.
    I just want to point out the measure of a person who can, despite going through real personal issues, comes here and gives support to everybody. Nolan you are an inspiration. Even I read your posts and feel inspired.
    I’ve felt the pain of my father being diagnosed so I can totally relate. You truly are a great guy. All I can say is that you have the strength to get through this. God bless and wishing you and your father all the best

  240. Teresa 14th October 2015 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Hi – I totally echo Dominic’s point to Nolan. I too think you are an inspiration. Take care and I am sure all our thoughts and prayers are with you and your father for a good recovery.

  241. Debbie 14th October 2015 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Nolan your are inspiration you still write to help people even though your dad is sick your words have helped me with my dads passing 2 weeks ago. You and your dad are on my prayer list

  242. trish 14th October 2015 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone,
    Paul I have been on to your blog in the past. I think the last time was when I had my first child. My existing anxiety that I had for years became too much to handle. I had always taken on board your tips but looking back I never did follow through. I have had a lightbulb. Moment these last few months
    Months With the help of talk therapy and mindfulness and your information, and
    The freedom in my head I feel is fantastic.I have an internal sense of calm that I haven’t had in 13years. I spent so much of my time in my head obsessing and ruminating. To now experience being truely in the moment is nice and a new experience. I’m not fully recovered but the feeling of been able to move forward is really good. Paul and everyou can I ask when you were recovering did everything feel a little strange? At times my confidence is so good socially and in work etc like I used to be I can find I’m a bit aware of it. What I mean is, my body and mind has had a break and time to recover and is automatically kicking on with everything but apart of me is a bit scared to totally just go with it. I had a stressfull week last week, the kids were sick and lack of sleep (usually a trigger) my mind started trying to pull me back into worrying it takes so much work doesnt it to keep going with it. I’m unsure if depersonalisation makes you feel like your in a dream or questioning what’s real around you? That’s how I feel at times now I’m thriving forward. Paul I don’t expect miracles I suppose some reassurance would be great from people who have been there and gone through it.
    When I wake now I’m full steam into the day with energy and enthusiasm it’s abit scary. The rewArds I have felt in the last number of months is huge and step by step I’m getting there. I delayed messaging as I wanted to ensure I wasn’t obsessing about the new symptoms!!! I was looking for some of anyone’s knowledge around recovering. It feels funny to have all my confidence back and it’s hard not to question if this is all real weird sensation I think my pour brain has spent a life time with old and anxiety it’s just a very different existence.it’s difficult not to fall into old habit’s when your under pressure. Sendin everyone good healing. It’s so hard at times to be working on it while life is also busy. Thank’s Paul also I look forward to your new book.

  243. Jamie 14th October 2015 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the reply Teresa

  244. Teresa 14th October 2015 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    Hi Jamie – you are very welcome – your focus will shift and you will be suprised how you will lose your fear of this situation. It’s closer than you think.

  245. abhi 15th October 2015 at 12:11 am - Reply

    nolan ..really you are a true inspiration..i love your advise..you come here time to time and help people..you are really a life loving person..and have a great soul..i love you man..thaks for giving to us your best experiences..

  246. Chris 15th October 2015 at 1:18 am - Reply

    Thanks Rosa, Emma and Nolan. That helps!

    I guess at the end of the day they are just labels. It probably all comes under the umbrella of “feeling like crap” haha.

  247. Horton 15th October 2015 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Really at this point, I’ve kind of given up on recovery. My personality and memories are way too buried after all this time, and more than just buried they’re lost and forgotten forever.
    I don’t really know what to do now, I keep doing the acceptance thing, might as well, simply because it helps me achieve the best possible life I can in this state, but I just wish the ‘best’ wasn’t this awful state for the rest of my life. I really do wish I could of just lived my life as me, but oh well I guess this is just the hand I have been dealt and I need to suck it up and live with it.

  248. Dillon 15th October 2015 at 2:12 am - Reply

    Dominic and all,

    I really appreciate your kind and thoughtful words! I am actually studying psychology at university which I was inspired to do because of how people like Paul helped me. Two years anxiety free really was fantastic and I was definitely the best version of myself that I have ever been. I think that is why I have let this setback (which feels like a relapse to my anxious mind) really get to me. I am thankful that I am already familiar with Paul’s and all of your advice as I do understand that it is simply anxiety that afflicts me. I really just have to realize that I am not going to feel better immediately especially if I keep internalizing all my thoughts and worries. I have found myself almost constantly checking if my feelings of detachment are still present because I feel like I need to feel normal again NOW. But as Paul says, this is the opposite of what we must do to recover. I truly believe the concepts that we all know now are the truth but of course my anxious and tired mind throws out scary thoughts that tell me otherwise. I will continue to believe in Paul’s words and hopefully I truly grasp them once again because I know this is the only true path to recovery. 2 years of anxious free living compared to the 2 weeks that I’ve currently been suffering should tell me and all of you that we really don’t have anything to worry about and our current afflictions will soon look like a little bump in a road if we give them space and allow them to resolve themselves.

  249. Sam 15th October 2015 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Hi Horton,

    Sorry you’re feeling like this. I reached recovery using Paul’s methods but unfortunately due to personal problems I have let anxiety get the better of me again. It sounds like you want to be free of anxiety so much that you’re not truly accepting it (sorry if I’m wrong here) acceptance for me was really not giving a damn how I felt or if I recovered it not. i don’t beleive that we ever loose our personalities but we’re so consumed in ourselves and how we feel we then feel like there’s nothing else which leads to more panic thinking we have lost our true identity and we won’t get it back when all we have truly lost is the trust and belief in our wonderful bodies and that they will recover. Just live your life because you only get one and not because you think it will make you better.. I really wanted to get fit but always felt so tired that I didn’t think Id have the energy too, in the end I just did it despite feeling like I’d been hit by a bus and I never regretted going. I found a quote from Ralph marston that I thought was good “feelings come and feelings go, there is no need to fear them and no need to crave them. Be open to your feelings and experience them while they are here. Then be open to the feelings that come next. Your feelings are part of your experience”

  250. Jeff 15th October 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Trish – yes recovery can take some getting used to….strange as that may sound.
    Slowly letting your guard down. That is, no longer routinely bracing yourself for the daily onslaught of anxiety, can indeed seem strange.

    Your post is an inspiration. Congrats on your recovery!

  251. James 15th October 2015 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Haha! I’m not sure it’s possible to NOT care if you recover or not! I mean it will always kind of matter? I mean it does make a difference how you do everything, think of everything, experience everything. To me life with and without my disorder are more different than night an day.
    Is it ok that I don’t ever truly not care? Is it really necessary to recover?
    And is it ok that I don’t believe that recovery is an actual possibility? Is that necessary to recover?

  252. Sam 15th October 2015 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    If you don’t beleive you will recover then why worry about it just let go and accept it .. Let it be there. As soon as I read Paul’s book I could relate to everything he said. Everyone in the world is different but we are all wired up the same so if all these people can reach recovery using Paul’s method then you can..I speak from experiencing recovery myself that it is possible it’s just about having the right attitude towards it, you can wake up and accept how you feel good or bad or you can fret and worry over It. At the end of the day it’s just thoughts in your head making you think you won’t get better it’s not reality so just take them for what they are at first I cared that I hadn’t slept in over a year but then one day I just thought.. So what.. What’s the worst that can happen, nothing can be worse than this…yeah, It takes a long time but try it you might be surprised!

  253. James 15th October 2015 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks for replying Sam,
    I do agree I have found the whole acceptance thing can be easier than ever when you have no hope of recovering. It encourages you to live in the present and stop holding out for recovery. I do that for weeks and months at a time.
    But the time comes, where I remember what I used to be like. I had such a different mind, I found my mind beautiful and fascinating (not being vain, I just enjoyed it so much because I only experienced it for half a year before my disorder started) I saw the world in a great way. It’s the absence of that that bothers me, I know I just can’t live my life any other way, well I could for a few years if I had to, but not for the rest of it.

    Anyway, do you mind giving me some clear ‘yes/no’ answers?
    Wanting to get better is bad for acceptance/recovery: Yes or no?
    Certainty in never getting better is bad for acceptance/recovery: Yes or no?

    My main question of course is “will I get my old mind back and my old memories back and my old personality back and will I ever be happy again.” But nobody can answer that question save for maybe me with a time machine, haha.

  254. Jen 16th October 2015 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Trish and Jeff
    When I read your post Jeff for Triah I started to cry not because I was sad but because I was so happy. I as well have been feeling that same way. Like something is off or strange to do normal activities because we are so used to having anxiety and waiting for it like Jeff said. I as well question things if they are real because of how my anxiety was and I might have had depersonalization for bit from it. These feeling used to scare me but I have just learned and still am to let them.be there because it’s nothing that’s going to hurt me it’s just annoying and frustrating at times. I also know I’m recovering because I notice myself engaging in other things thrn how I am feeling and this anxiety. I am not sure how fare I am in recovery. I’m not sure if it matters but if anyone else knows it would be nice to know I guess just.to know I am on the right track. Jeff have you recovered? And if so what do you think? Thanks all this website Paul’s books and this blog have helped alot. I had no clue this even existed until I had a panic attack and it set everything off for me. That was about 2 1/2 month now I know we are all strong people for having to go through this. It’s not fun but it will make us strong in the long run.

  255. Dustin 16th October 2015 at 2:49 am - Reply

    Could somebody let me know if my last post went through. I am not seeing it on my computer. Thanks!

  256. abhi 16th October 2015 at 5:30 am - Reply

    hii everybody..nolan doreen mariya anyone who wamts to help..m not negetive anymore.i have joint family..i first had panic attack in 12class..than after in graduation..because my aunty and dad also were GAD..i got into attacks..i nvr give up..m totly recovered in august2014 by the help of this blog.m nw back in this ..after two days ago i catch that my brother also in same situation..he is only 15..i love him most..i dont want to see him likre this..to seeing him i got panicked everyday.i ready to help him but he didnt want to go forwarx..what to do??i wish all his problm become mine..plz help..m nfrom india..

  257. Sam 16th October 2015 at 6:56 am - Reply


    No – we all want to get better, it’s natural, just don’t make your world revolve around it
    No – if you’re certain you’re not going to get better then acceptance of your condition should be easier like I said why worry about something that you’re certain you can’t change… Just work on your attitude towards it.

    I have the same memories but you don’t have to make anxiety your enemy I remember when I first recovered and I felt like a different person (in a good way) I had gotten over the biggest hurdle of my life and It felt amazing I really appreciated everything around me a whole lot more – I felt it had made me a better person. lifes not always an easy ride and no one ever has a completely clear mind we all suffer now and then it’s natural, just some more than others.

    At the end of the day we have caused ourselves to feel this way through worry and stress of course we have the power to undo it.

    Of course I beleive you can because I have been there – in fact I know you can but you have to accept a few things and be prepared to be patient.

    Your mind is still beautiful just a little stressed it needs a break … The world is also beautiful so get out there and make some new memories.

  258. Doreen 16th October 2015 at 7:57 am - Reply

    abhi – I would find it easier to understand what you are saying in your posts if you could try and use full words instead of abbreviations. And also sentences like in the post above for example. Then I might be able to offer some suggestions.

  259. abhi 16th October 2015 at 8:19 am - Reply

    doreen..m from india..i have joint family..3years ago my aunty n dad were got severe anxiety..i also suffered from depression in school time..then wid my dad i also got severe anxiety in 2013..i followed paul david advice and got my life once again m..bt tis year m back with a massive setback..2days ago i saw that my brother i love most is suffering from anxiety..i love him a lot ..i give him my example but he dont want to move foreword..m very scared about him..what i do?

  260. Sam 16th October 2015 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Hi Dustin,

    Cant see a post from you I’m afraid

  261. James 16th October 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Thanks Sam. I really do appreciate it. I do hope that I get my old memories back, its important to me. I am fully open to making new additional ones though!

  262. Debbie 16th October 2015 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Anxious indian hi wondering how you are doing?

  263. Jeff 16th October 2015 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Jen – you asked if I’m recovered. Honestly I’m not sure. At some point ‘recovery’ becomes ever more subjective.
    I have recovered in the past. But, like I’m sure you’re aware – it’s unlikely that you wake up one day to ‘recovery’.
    It all (the whole experience) slowly fades from memory as time passes.

  264. Jen 16th October 2015 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    For anyone that has recovered or almost recovering ( doreen,nolan,jeff) have you guys ever felt like all the physical or pretty much all of them have gone and subsided but my mind or thinking still seems foggy? It’s like I’m almost there and I can feeland see my old self again but not quite there and the odd off feeling is a reminder I am not there yet? It’s like the anxiety is waiting to pull me back under? I have tried not sure if I’m that good at is as it oviously bothers me to accept this feeling and keep telling myself it will eventually go away as well. It’s like my confidence is not there yet so I question things still like how I felt when I was really panicky and I might have had some dp. Have any of you guys experience this feeling? It’s like an uneasy feeling. I then want to start to worry about it but I tell myself nope I’m okay. I think maybe this is only the further I’m going to go maybe I’ll never be the old me again. It’s like I know it’s the anxiety but at the same time it gets the best of ya sometimes. If anyone could help that would be great it’s always good to have resuurance that I’m going in thr right direction and what is holding me back.

  265. James 16th October 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks Sam, it really means a lot to me every time somebody takes the time to reply to me (especially when it’s solid advice.)
    I do really hope that I get my memories back though, they are important to me, but I’m very open into making new memories and living my life in the present provided I get to add all this life experience to my old my memories. Something really great can come of all this, I know that. But I need my memories back.

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  266. James 16th October 2015 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks Sam, it really means a lot to me every time somebody takes the time to reply to me (especially when it’s solid advice.)
    I do really hope that I get my memories back though, they are important to me, but I’m very open into making new memories and living my life in the present provided I get to add all this life experience to my old my memories. Something really great can come of all this, I know that. But I do need my old ones back.

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  267. Doreen 16th October 2015 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    abhi – all you can do is point him in the direction of Paul’s book and this blog. He has to want to move on, you cannot make him

  268. Anxious Indian 16th October 2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Debbie,

    So sweet of you to remember me.

    I am still having scary intrusive thoughts. My body is still reacting to them by shooting adrenalin. However, I now know in my mind that these are bullshit so my reaction to them is decreasing.

    One thing I realised in the last 2 days is that not reacting much to these thoughts is not enough. I need to try my 100% to focus on life. I have been trying to do that.

    I was thinking that it’s good that I have lost fear of my thoughts. Then I was wondering how long these might last now since I am not adding fear to them.
    But then I realised that while that is fine, I should focus on life much more as I am still thinking too much about the condition. I am now practicing not thinking about this issue anymore, and letting the symptoms come and go but not engaging with them.

    It feels right somehow. For the first time, I feel pretty confident of being on the right track. I have my fingers crossed that I can keep up this attitude.

    I wish everyone all the best on this strange scary journey to recovery! 🙂

  269. Sue 16th October 2015 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    do others find that intrusive thoughts can be there one day and not the next. Is it possible to stop or change the thoughts as they start to make there presence felt again.
    Is there such a thing as for Gods sake pull yourself together as regards to the things you think or is it something out of our control with anxiety.
    Sometimes I think my thoughts are odd to say the least and I wonder how they will ever go if they keep coming back.

  270. debbie 16th October 2015 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Anxious indian iam glad you are doing better .I still get intrusives of the strange just seeing movies memories anything to put crippling fear in me ha ha but iam making it strange as. Everything may seem . We are moving on .

  271. Daniel 16th October 2015 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    Long time no see everyone!

    Intrusive thoughts are like a wound forming a scab. You might look at that scab and say “It’s ugly I want it gone now.” You bother it, pick at it, tear it off. The wound will stay and the scab will return.
    Not being phased by intrusive thoughts sounds hard, it’s not a matter of them not making you feel bad, they will always feel scary, but don’t try and make them go away. They are there, so what, you are still going to go about your day and do whatever it was you were doing or were going to do before the thought occurred.
    They will be there for sometime that is beyond our control, which is great because that means it’s not our job to get rid of them. We can relax in the meantime as they slowly stop coming when they realize they are being ignored, they’ll realize aren’t important.

    General rule for everyone,
    Recovery starts by doing. Doing nothing in relation to your anxiety (neither doing what it tells you to do or doing things that you hope will get you better) all you need to do is whatever you want to do and of course whatever you need to do (if you have a job or are studying or have pets, friends and family that depend on you). You defy anxiety by just living a normal life, and acting fearless even when you are feeling scared. Defy is totally the incorrect word, you’re more so showing you nervous system that it is mistaken, it thinks there’s danger where there it is none. You’re smarter than it, so show it the truth, show it the way and it will follow your lead. It won’t only stop producing fearful feelings, but it will start producing calmness and happiness as you dictate to it.

    So in summary, anxiety is an overprotective friend who bases his fears on misinformation, you can’t change it’s mind but you can lead by example and it’ll start to follow suit.

  272. JoJo 17th October 2015 at 12:17 am - Reply

    Anxious Indian
    You also just think about your condition even when your not symptomatic? And have you noticed not paying attention to your thoughts is making them come less? Also you have the bad mental stuff without psychical feelings as well? I guess this gives me hope of I stop paying attention to any bad feeling or thought I can recover.

  273. Anxious Indian 17th October 2015 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Hi Jojo,

    Yes, I used to think about my condition even when not symptomatic. That obviously brings the thoughts back. I have started practicing reminding myself not to do that, and habits are changing slowly.

    Not paying attention to thoughts does make them come less. But more than that, stopping to worry about them, is what making it come less or bother me less.

    Anxious mind is like a scared little puppy. You start showing the mind you are not scared of these thoughts. Smile at them even if you have to fake it at times. You will start to see changes.

    Carry on focusing on your normal living as far as you can. Staying busy helps – whether it be socialising, TV, books, work etc. Even though you don’t get the full pleasure from it as you used to.

    It is exactly like how Daniel says above “So in summary, anxiety is an overprotective friend who bases his fears on misinformation, you can’t change it’s mind but you can lead by example and it’ll start to follow suit.”

    Hope this helps!

  274. Sue 17th October 2015 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for explaining it all to me and mostly I do go about my day. Yes I want rid of it all and I suppose I do get fed up wondering how to rid myself of it. Some days can be good and others not so good. Sometimes I think I have mastered it and others I get up like a scared kitten. Then the thoughts start and I question them am I going mad when I know I am not and that its just anxiety. I have a bad cold at the moment and laid low yesterday was not too bad but today all nervous. I say to myself its only a cold but the mind comes up with horrible irrational thoughts about my surroundings for some reason. There is nothing wrong with where I live, before I moved there I had anxiety but sometimes I just want to run away from it all and myself.

  275. Daniel 17th October 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    It’s the same for me Sue,
    The best we can do is find some joy in what we have for the time being. I find anxiety mode is not just the bad emotions, it’s a separate spectrum of emotions from your usual self. Normal mode has anger, sadness, happiness, fear and anxiety has it’s own different versions of anger, sadness, happiness fear. Find the good stuff within the anxiety spectrum when you can. I’m far from recovered, my symptom’s haven’t budged an inch, but I am still living a rewarding, satisfying life that brings me much pride and joy. It’s not everything I want, but it’s good enough and it holds the promise of not only a return to how things were before but a vast improvement after all the growing we’ve done and accomplishments we’ve made.

  276. Meg 17th October 2015 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Just a quick question. My setback passed very quickly once I just pushed myself out there and got on with life and I’ve been much better. My anxiety levels are lower than they’ve been in years but I’ve noticed a feel tired all the time especially when I stop and im not busy. Did anyone else have this during recovery? Most of my physical symptoms have gone but headaches and tiredness are sticking around. I am accepting of them just curious if anyone else noticed this.

  277. Jamie 17th October 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Hi. My anxiety on the whole has been a little easier over the last few weeks which is good. However, for the last 3 days, the best way to describe it is every now and again I feel a very noticeable heartbeat. It is more of a “thud” than a normal heartbeat (which I would not even notice) and it is not happening when I feeling very anxious at the moment just throughout the day. I was taking beta blockers up until a couple of months ago when I slowly came off them.

    I am not overly concerned about it but I wondered if anyone else had experienced this and it could be something to check out with a doctor or will just go away ? Thanks

  278. Meg 17th October 2015 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Jamie I experience this too every so often especially as my anxiety decreased it seemed to just happen for no apparent reason. I wouldn’t worry about it I think it must just be built up anxuety just working it’s way out of your system. I haven’t noticed it happening to me for quite a while now.

  279. Bryan 17th October 2015 at 4:05 pm - Reply


    Yes. Depletion is a normal and positive sign that your body is calming down. Keep doing exactly what you are doing.

  280. Meg 17th October 2015 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks Bryan. I’ve got used to being tired over the years because I was anxious all the time and now thats not the case but I’ve felt so wiped the last few weeks, on the plus side I’m sleeping better than ever!

  281. Sue 17th October 2015 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    I think sometimes the problem with me is when I feel normal with no anxiety I start remembering how it was with anxiety and I think that sometimes makes me think I am still anxious at times when I am not. Even the thoughts I had can pop in my head. How do you relax and be normal the days you feel it without keep going back to how it was the day before or last week.
    Will it just wear off the more normal days I have as time goes on.

  282. JoJo 17th October 2015 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Anxious Indian:

    Thank you for your response. So I am not supposed to be worried when I think a negative thought about my life or my job or anything? When I have a down thought or that thought that comes in that upsets me? Is that an intrusive or scary thought even when it’s just a bad thought about life and not “scary” like I just a monster? Sorry this has me confused. How do you ignore feeling or thinking bad about stuff?

  283. karen 18th October 2015 at 7:34 am - Reply

    Oh dear …. I am in a total pickle. Had a really stressful month and bang …. anxiety through the roof. I was proud of myself that I faced a couple of anxious situations despite my brain screaming no. Really pleased with myself. I have over done it and the symptom that brought me to my knees two years ago is back with a vengeance….. intrusive thoughts …. and insomnia …… and they are constant and I mean constant. I am so scared …. I can’t go to work …. what if they are true …. scared I will act on them and they are true. I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I know I should ignore them but what if there’s the slight possibility they are true. I had so got over this …. feel back at square one like I need to be in hospital and I am a dangerous person. I know all the theory … I have been at this a long time but what if I am actually that mad dangerous person on the news. Help please … totally lost my way.

  284. Anxious Indian 18th October 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Jojo,

    Anxiety makes one feel so low so naturally you get negative thoughts. But once anxiety passes then you might not feel so bad about life. So let these thoughts come in. But don’t give them so much respect as things will change for the better in the future. Don’t push them away either as they will keep knocking at your door. Let them come and go but remember deep inside that things will get better once anxiety passes.

    Hope this helps!

  285. Jeff 18th October 2015 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Karen – many of us go through this after substantial recovery. Stress can bring back our old friend. But these are almost always just brief visits.

    The worst thing you can do is fear it. Yes it’s there, but there’s not a lot a ‘weight’ behind it.

    You can’t turn back the clock back to where you were two years ago – even by being afraid and letting yourself get all worked up.

    I tell myself …’Look deep inside you, there’s nothing there anymore.’ Only the fear of past events brought on by recent stress. It’s nothing.

    Let that fear go and your anxiety will dissipate faster than you think.

  286. JoJo 18th October 2015 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Anxious Indian:

    But why do people call them scary or intrusives? Doesn’t it seem what I am describing is not anxious thinking? Or the fact they bother me if why you think it is?

  287. Sara 18th October 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Hello Everyone!

    I’m sure, especially being that I have such a general name, that no one will quite recognize who I am. But I used to be very active on this blog. I discovered Paul’s book last January and, I will say without a doubt, it saved my life.

    I was experiencing intense daily anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, lack of appetite, depersonalisation, derealisation…pretty much, you name a symptom, I had it, and bad. I was desperate, I was floating along in a cloud of anxiety and I could hardly reach the outside world.

    It took me a few months of “practicing” Paul’s method, when I started to really get it. The final step for me was also forcing myself to stay off of this blog, which is why I haven’t been back in so long. The blog was a great tool and support system, but I eventually realized I was using it as a crutch and it was starting to do the opposite and keep me in my anxious mindset, obsessing over things and looking to responses on here to ease my mind…which, in turn, was not practicing Paul’s method at all. Once I REALLY got what “doing nothing” meant, things started to get better.

    I’ve been meaning to hop on here for a while now to just make my testimony, that this works. It takes practice, and you won’t get it right away. You are reteaching yourself how to approach something that you’ve approached in a certain way for, most likely, years.

    I know how you feel, I know where you are, I know it looks like there is no way out and it’s scary and terrifying and you WANT to fight it. Don’t. Let it be. Be with your anxiety and live alongside of it, it makes so much sense once it clicks, and things will get better. The light will get brighter, life will regain it’s joy and senses.

    When I was posting in here I was very concerned that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my wedding day, which was in August. I’m thrilled to say that it was the most beautiful day of my life, and my anxiety was nowhere to be found. I was calmer than my best friend and bridesmaid, ha!

    Thank you, THANK YOU, thank you, Paul, Nolan (You were an extremely helpful part in this, always responding to my posts and in the most perfect way) and everyone else who helped along the way.

    Would I call myself cured? Not quite. I still feel little bits of anxiety here and there, and as the seasons change here in North America I’m experiencing some level of heightened anxiety, but I know exactly what to do with it, and I am not afraid of it. And, in my opinion, that is recovery. 🙂

    I am happy to talk to anyone who has questions for me or wants my advice, I’m no expert, but I did it and it worked!

    Have a great Sunday, all.

  288. Ryan 18th October 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Hey guys, I’m curious if others deal will flight anxiety. .just got back from my trip, and on the flights I was very very anxious. .almost to the point of a panic attack. .really frustrating as I’ve never felt that way before. Now, I have another trip to hawaii coming up and every time I think of the flight a wave of panic surges through my body. .I have had panic attacks were I’m crying and pacing and totally freaking out, and I guess I’m afraid this will happen on the plane..Super frustrated as I used to live to travel and now this is really making it terrifying. Any thoughts?

  289. Anxious Indian 18th October 2015 at 3:15 pm - Reply


    In reality, no thought is ‘scary’ or ‘intrusive’. It is our reaction of fear and obsessing that makes it scary or intrusive.

    For example:

    If a non anxious person has a thought like “I don’t like my job” (which is a perfectly normal thought to have), they would then go on to think of what other jobs they can apply to. Also, they would probably not spend all their day thinking about this, but only certain parts of their day as they have lots of other stuff to focus on.

    The same thought in an anxious person gives rise to thoughts like “why do I feel so bad”, “why am I having this thought”, “i feel scared”, “is it caused by anxiety” and then the obsessing goes on all day.

    So the thought is a thought, it is an anxious mind’s reaction that is causing the issue here.

    Try and realise that and relax. If you don’t enjoy your job, look for something that you might like more. If you find life dull, try and add some activities / hobbies / TV / Classes – anything that you think will interest you even a little bit.

    When you involve yourself in activities, it will give your tired mind a rest (as the mind is not designed to think all the time), then your thinking will be clear and things will start to make sense.

  290. Jen 18th October 2015 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Sara. Did it feel odd or strange to recover? I am feeling like an off feeling and want to question things still. I’m sure it’s just a habit I have built up. I feel it worse in some places then others. I still feel anxiety sometimes but most if not all my physical symptoms have gone. It’s just other off feeling I still have. Kind of a foggy not as clear mind still. Did u feel this way.

  291. Sara 18th October 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply


    I do not experience those feelings…anymore. At least not with consistency or to the level that I used to.

    It sounds like you may be explaining some level of derealisation. That foggy, unfamiliar feeling sometimes even in your own house. I will say that the last of my symptoms to fade were obsessive/intrusive thoughts and the feeling of derealisation. I remember feeling as though my physical symptoms were completely gone but I couldn’t rid of that foggy feeling, or the obsessive thought I experienced (which was the fact that time is moving constantly, you can’t stop it, and everyone ultimately dies, but we don’t need to get into that…it was simply an obsessive and intrusive thought, and never actually hurt me) once I truly accepted the feelings and thoughts I was having and lived alongside of them, they too faded.

    I even still have moments of fogginess here and there or on a particularly hard day. The difference is, I may give it half a second of attention. “Oh I feel a little off, oh well it’s a feeling and won’t hurt me or change my day at all. So anyway, what was I doing? Oh yes, let’s get on with it.” And it passes right along as I get back to my day.

    Anyway, what you’re experiencing sounds totally “normal” to me and it doesn’t deserve your attention or looking for answers. Just let it be there, and continue on living. This too shall pass. 🙂

  292. JoJo 18th October 2015 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Anxious Indian:

    Thank you again. But I thought we aren’t supposed to have to do anything to get rid of this? I thought it’s not really my job or life and that was just created by the anxiety. I am so confused by all this. How do you know when the thought is real and needs to be addressed? Like when we spoke earlier about the relationship anxiety. I thought it’s not really about that.

  293. Jen 18th October 2015 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks sara. Yes it’s like I can tell I’m not 100 percent yet but almost there. I am actually in gaging more and find my self thinking about things I used to and not just on how I have been feeling. I think I need to have more patience I had a panic attack august 1 and ever since then I kept feeling really anxious. I have gotten so much better but sometimes I get that doubt that I won’t be back to my normal self again but I have to turn that around and think postive and how far I have came not that it’s not good enough which sometimes it’s hard. This is exhausting. I do have thr weird obessive thought as well I think it has to deal with how I’m not feeling q00 myself yet. Like I question what I am seeing and if I’m interpperting it normally or right. Which used to bother me alot but just have realized it’s just a thought and it’s not true but man it can really mess with you. I sometimes get down on my self like how did I get to this point I can’t believe it. Or when I look at my kids it makes me sad because I felt like I have failed because of how I feel. It’s like my confidence isn’t all there. So I only have suffered about 2 1/2 months and I’m kind of scared to ask how long it took for your depersonalization to go away because I oviously I wish I didn’t have it and be back to normal. But did it take u long. I’m aure everyone is a little different depending on how lomg they suffered but I feel like I’m on the right road to recovery. Well things seem to be getting better so that must day some Thing. Thanks for the response it really helps

  294. Sara 19th October 2015 at 12:30 am - Reply

    I don’t really think that stating exactly how long it took me will be beneficial to you, or anyone. This is not because I don’t want to tell you to drive you crazy, this is because the whole point and the way this method will “work” is by realizing that in reality, you are already there. I wouldn’t want my timeline to be compared to anyone else’s, but I will tell you that patience was key (and I know how hard it is when you’re wishing and waiting to be better) you have to actually get to the point where wanting to “get better” is not an ultimate goal you are striving for, because that is indeed still reacting to and trying to treat your symptoms. You must say to yourself “if this is me the rest of my life, and I’ll always feel foggy and off, then so be it! I’ve got a life to live and kids to love and things to discuss, so this feeling can hang out with me but let’s get on with it, together if we must!”
    This is not supposed to be an easy thing to do, I don’t think. And it’s not easy. And you’ll get better at it. Don’t rush yourself.
    If you do follow Paul, Nolan, and everyone on here who has reached a level of recovery, do not fear because you WILL reach it too!

    I hope that all came out correctly – I am trying to remember every response and approach that helped me and reflect it to you.

  295. Jen 19th October 2015 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Yes I agree I have the attitude most of thr time but some times I get frustrated. Which I’m sure is normal. I just have to realize it’s out of my control and worrying will not change anything but make it worse. I just think it bothers me because I read somewhere on the Internet that once u have depersonalization you will always have it. I know that’s not true bit because I read it somewhere it bothers me it was also from a place that wanted you to pay them to get cured. So I’m guessing that is why TN ey said it. Who knows. I know recovery is just around the corner. I just have to have patience and that has been the hardest part for me since I have always been a control freak and want wv everything perfect. But man I am learning patience for sure. I know this will be a blessing in thr end as it will make me an even stronger person. I hope I will beable to help others put as well.

  296. Jen 19th October 2015 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Sue. I have felt that they do seem to die down the thoughts as the anxious anxiety goes down and you do more moral stuff. I had them alot and now I can do things and want to do things with out thinking about my anxiety or reverting back to me 24/7 like it was. Don’t get me wrong sometimes I still do think about how I feel but that’s probably bad habit. My councilor told me that when u do something 30-40 times it becomes a habit. So the more u don’t react and think they are bad the better.

  297. Jen 19th October 2015 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Normal* not moral sorry about that

  298. Chris 19th October 2015 at 4:22 am - Reply

    Hi all.

    Sorry to be back again asking more questions! I did okay for the last few days, and got better and better with letting thoughts pass through, emotions pass through etc.

    Basically my anxiety story is similar to Paul’s, all my issues kinda stemmed from using soft drugs occasionally (speed, ecstasy). One of my old fears was ‘what if the drugs I took caused neurotoxic damage to my serotonin system’ – and this was reinforced by the constant googling etc. I used to visit forums with people with the same problems. The good news is that a majority of them recovered – I suspect they were just dealing with anxiety like me.

    Anways, I moved on from this subject and found peace again, had a long stretch of peace with the odd mild setback here and there. However the thought came up again yesterday (I’m in a ‘day one’ kinda setback right now) and I did okay with it for a while, but then got involved again. Started going back on the forums to re read recovery stories, then googled mdma induced brain damage/depression etc only to find conflicting advice.

    Now I’m extremely frustrated with myself more than anything – as I know that all I’m doing is keeping myself in the loop. Yet I couldn’t help myself but jump on the internet. Now I’m faced with all these thoughts ‘you have brain damage’ ‘everyone else recovered but you’re different’ etc etc, and ‘you’re keeping yourself in the loop cos you’re addicted to google’.

    Main issue is the thoughts around my previous drug usage (haven’t touched anything in over two years) and thinking how I won’t recover because of it. And I’m also mega annoyed at myself for googling, but I fear that I’ll do it again. Should I just accept this and be like “yeah fine, whatever’ or should I try and rationalize with it? I’m a bit stuck here any advise would be much appreciated, thanks guys. Sorry for the wall of text!


  299. Chris 19th October 2015 at 6:22 am - Reply

    I guess the main question is this.

    If I have the thought ‘you won’t recover because you used recreational drugs two years ago’ should I just accept it? Should I be like ‘fine so be it, I screwed myself up so what’, or should I say ‘that’s nonsense, if you did then you wouldn’t have had such a long period of peace’. I feel like trying to rationalize with it might be counterproductive.

    I feel like the thought/belief is holding me back.

    Any advice?

  300. karen 19th October 2015 at 7:40 am - Reply

    I know I am asking for reassurance but right now I feel scared to leave the house or interact with anyone …. I CONSTANTLY think I may go insane or lose the plot or all manner of crazy things in my head. Too scared to carry on as normal or go to work just in case. Haven’t felt this mad in years. Please reply x

  301. Lucy 19th October 2015 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara – really good to read your post, I’m very happy for you. Well done! I would definitely say you are pretty much recovered when you can say you are no longer afraid of it. Good on you!

  302. Anxious Indian 19th October 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Jojo, since your anxiety is high, it might make you see everything in a negative light. So it might make sense to address these concerns later one your mind calms down. Only then you would know if these thoughts are real or not.

    Let the thoughts in, but say we will think of this later, not now. Reasoning with them using your tired mind will not get you anywhere.

    Whatever you decide, atleast don’t be scared of them. They can do you no harm. They are just thoughts.

  303. Pietro 19th October 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Hey Sara,

    I think moving on from the blog and anxiety as a whole is important too, but I keep getting sucked back into obsessing about it. Any advice? I really want to “make the break” and just get on with my life, but I keep worrying that I’m missing something.

  304. JoJo 19th October 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Anxious Indian,

    Sorry to keep bothering you. I guess I always thought the thoughts that are bothersome were created by anxiety. I never thought once it all calms down there is stuff to maybe work on. I also thought the thoughts don’t really have much evidence and I don’t know even know why I am thinking them but maybe I have this all wrong.

  305. Anxious Indian 19th October 2015 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Jojo,

    It sure seems that anxiety is magnifying your problems. There might not be problems at all in fact.

    Just let things calm down. You might not find your job and life mundane.

    For now, just keep saying, we will think about this later. If for a few months life seems boring than so be it.

    Only once your mind calms down, will you know whether the thoughts are real. An anxious mind will not give you the right answer.

    My prayers are with you!
    Wish you all the best! 🙂

  306. Jamie 19th October 2015 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    After signs of improvement over the last few weeks and putting myself in yet more challenging social situations this weekend, today feels like a big kick in the teeth.

    I always feel at my worst at work due to worrying about how I am going to feel, I may have to go home, how I may appear when talking to people and the current major issue is using the phone to call customers (I work in complaints).

    I have gone in today (I usually feel at my worst on a Monday for some reason) and spent the whole day worrying about calling clients. I finally picked up the phone to call and explain my decision and was shaking so much I could barely get my words out (the girl sitting opposite me glanced over when my voice went which added to the anxiety). It did settle down after a while but I am constantly worrying that I will get panicky and waiting until the ‘coast is clear’ before I make a call.

    To add to it, I almost had a panic attack when I was helping my daughter do her maths homework tonight as I just could not think straight and my mind was flooded with thoughts like I was going to lose control or have to go away and calm down.

    It is very frustrating. I just cannot understand why all the challenging things I have been doing socially have not made me better equipped for work and to not be so frightened of all the negative thoughts about work and looking after my daughter for example.

  307. Debbie 19th October 2015 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Anxious indian hi i waswondering do you ever feel like your talking or doing. Someting and your mind just gos somewhere else like you see an image that reminds you of something else. Like weird dejvu than i get panic and mind feels dark and scarey

  308. JoJo 19th October 2015 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Thank you again Anxious Indian. I guess I have had an anxious mind for so many years that I don’t know even know if it’s anxious thinking or high anxiety anymore. How would I know if this is thinking from anxiety? I’m so far removed from what life was like before this. It’s scary not to know how to get back to normal or if you ever will. A lot of people seem to know their thought is anxiety or scary etc. how come I struggle some much knowing if this is even anxiety or just normal thoughts. Please help anyone. Cried my whole way home from work 🙁

  309. Ben 20th October 2015 at 1:42 am - Reply

    I have read both books now and am currently in an episode. I have previously suffered debilitating anxiety and always ran for pills and anything that would make me feel normal.
    The education from both books has really hit home on a logical level. I am still struggling with an aspect of it though.
    My problem is mentally I feel ok and although I get anxious thoughts I am able to get on with my day. The problem is the physical aspect of constant nausea which I am finding hard not to focus on. I am still getting on with my day but get all the what’s ifs of if something is wrong and will it ever go away. I’m not following those thoughts but it seems to be stumbling block for me. I suppose this ties in with over the years I have made a habit of becoming overly sensitive to any health concerns.

  310. Nolan 20th October 2015 at 3:53 am - Reply

    Beautiful story, Sara! Thanks for sharing!!

  311. Anxious Indian 20th October 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Jojo, is it so important to know if this thought is real or not right now? That it is worth your tears?

    So what if it is real? So what if it not real? Let it come and let it go. Obsessing over this thought is what is keeping you from enjoying your normal life. Distance yourself from it! Atleast for a couple of months so that your mind gets rest.

    Also, given that you are obssessing over it, it is most likely an anxiety fuelled obsessive thought.

    Do you want a couple of thoughts to stand between you and your recovery?

    Read Sara’s lovely story above. She too had obsessive thoughts till the end. Here is what she states they were – “(which was the fact that time is moving constantly, you can’t stop it, and everyone ultimately dies, but we don’t need to get into that…it was simply an obsessive and intrusive thought, and never actually hurt me)”.

    Let it come and let it go like a fly flitting by. Don’t let it stand between you and your recovery!

  312. Anxious Indian 20th October 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Hi Debbie,

    I get this all the time. I just try and do 2 things:

    1. Bring my attention back to the present.

    2. Keep fear under bay, as being scared of your own mind is like writing a letter to yourself and then being afraid of it. 🙂

    It is my mind at the end of the day. Not an external ghost or entity, so try and not fear it so much. Make light of it as far as you can.

    Hope it helps!

  313. Pamela 20th October 2015 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Hi everyone I doing better now having moments of peace then worry where it all gone then it like my mind goes over it all again.& that’s when I feel the need to research it all but I don’t & also get my mind going over things way too much. Absolutely love Paul’s new book.x

  314. Mark r 20th October 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    Having a right arse of a couple of days, square one, whole orchestra of symptoms. It’s still hard to comprehend that as advanced as I feel in recovery that I’m still capable of feeling so bad. It always passes within a few days but is a grinder when it appears again.

    My question is if anyone has organic stomach issues that are linked to anxiety? I’ve been a sufferer of IBS for about 10 years now and it always seems to be a precursor to me having a flare up of anxiety symptoms. I’m generally very careful in what I eat but as it was my birthday weekend I had some drinks and a bit of greasy food. Yesterday stomach problems and high anxiety symptoms. I know there is a chicken and egg factor here on which comes first but does anyone have the same issue? I seem to remember Rich struggling with this? I may be wrong.

    Hope everyone is doing well


  315. Julie 20th October 2015 at 1:53 pm - Reply


    I remember you, you helped me so much early last year and I have always wondered how you are doing.

    Well done and congratulations on your wedding day 🙂

    I was doing very well until the last few months. I had a little health scare when I found a breast lump, I am fine but it triggered alot of stress and anxiety. A month ago I had to go into the doctors for a blood test and I had a terrible panic attack infront of the nurse and I since haven’t felt good at all, very setback. You might recall I had agoraphobia and intrusive thoughts troubling me last year. I had overcome them alot and could do appointments again, sometimes even on my own but my husband often accompanied me. Despite anxiety I was doing them and coping. Now since the panic attack a month ago it’s all come and washed over me again. I am now afraid to do any appointments for fear of an intense attack like that again infront of a GP or nurse. I am ashamed but also afraid of how bad it was. I went dizzy, hot, couldn’t feel my hands and couldn’t stand up, I had to lie down and then panicked that I couldn’t escape. Urgh it has left me shaken.

    So as a result of that attack I am back inside my head, intrusives aren’t too bad but they are more of the nature that all is lost, I am odd, a let down as a mother as my husband had to take our son to an appointment at the GP without me last night, I am ill and need help… that kind of thing instead of the harm thoughts I used to have. I feel trapped at home again and rarely go out on my own, I go out with hubby and the kids fine, I don’t want to socialise again and I have developed health anxiety which triggers panic attacks in the house if I feel unwell for fear I will have to go to an appointment.

    Basically I feel lost and no idea how I will get my head back above water. I guess it all comes down to the fact I have lost all my confidence since the panic attack last month, and I am back inside my head feeling low about myself.

    Your story has given me hope that I will get through this setback. I hope so as I am finding this tough to deal with. I am also dealing with alot of emotional stress in my personal life with one of my children. Stress causes me to feel heavy on my chest every day which makes it hard to breath at times. It’s a horrible feeling every day. I am doing yoga to try to help with that.

    Sorry to offload on you Sara. I just wanted to thank you for your support, sorry to moan about my recent issues.


  316. karen 20th October 2015 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Is it safe to say that a setback makes you want to go back to avoiding all the things you have overcome again? Every little thing is scary again? And the only answer is to carry on as normal and ignore your brain screaming at you?

  317. Tony 20th October 2015 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    I’ve found that the symptom that truly bothers me the most and I am having a hard time accepting is this feeling of detachment and unreality.

    After a couple weeks I now experience it nearly 24/7 and I’m just wondering if anyone else has experienced this in this way nearly all the time and is it okay to feel detached all the time and still recover?

  318. JoJo 20th October 2015 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Thank you Anxious Indian. You are right I’m letting an intrusive thought upset me so much and then I dwell on it and seek reassurance from others that it’s just a thought and I am ok. This is what I need to break correct? And then continue living life and then my normal will come back. I think also re reading Paul’s book to make me feel better or coming on here needs to stop because that’s probably keeping it fresh on my mind. Don’t you agree?

  319. Anxious Indian 20th October 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Jojo,

    You are absolutely right. Your anxious mind is making you treat a simple thought as a scary monster.

    How can you let such a tiny thing stand between you and your normal life? 🙂

    Let the thought come and go, and smile at the silliness, and don’t pay it any special respect.

    Also, taking a break from the blog will help as this topic will not be on your mind 24/7.

    Just try for a month or so. I am sure you will notice a difference.

    Again, I pray for you everyday and wish you all the best!

  320. Emma 20th October 2015 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone, it’s me again.

    Been doing well but teetering off and on with some relationship anxiety. Need some perspective.

    My boyfriend and I have been together 4 years, he’s a lovely man. I’ve had relationship anxiety in the past and it went away. It’s been creeping up on me lately with feelings of being turned off by him. And sometimes get these ‘longing’ feelings for my ex (even tho I DON’T want to be with him). But still I find myself wondering how he’s doing, how we would’ve been together, etc.

    When we talk via text (not often) it feels so nice to catch up and just to hear from him – but I wind up feeling irrationally guilty afterward. We spoke this weekend, I checked in on how he was doing after having ignored him for so long (felt kinda bad). When we spoke he said he thought my new Instagram picture was “really cute” and……I think on some level, I wanted him to notice it. <<< that right there leaves me in a grip of anxiety and guilt that won’t quit.

    Why did I want that? Did I post the picture JUST so he would notice? I can’t tell – if I did it with those intentions I feel so bad because I shouldn’t have those motives for anyone else but my boyfriend! Why did I enjoy speaking to him? Was I being flirtatious? — all the thoughts and anxieties I’m having at this point.

    It all gives me this strong anxiety and feeling of "needing to confess" to my boyfriend. Does anyone know that OCD-need-to-confess feeling I’m talking about? Had it a lot as a young child. Would confess everything to my mom. My anxiety wants me to confess to my boyfriend that there's a possibility that I posted the picture so my ex would notice, that I enjoyed speaking to him and it brought up some old feelings, that I do think about him in a longing way every now and again (even though I don’t want to be with him).

    I sound like such a headcase lol. But I’m feeling anxious about all this. The rational part of me says to just let it go, it was nothing, ok so what if I did want him to notice the photo, is that so criminal? But my mind is running me through this anxious loop going "yes, yes it is." The more I try to rationalize with it the more I feel myself tense up and the anxiety building. But the anxiety is gnawing away at me.

    This particular spike seems more tricky to understand than others because it deals with my specific actions I guess. Any insight would be super appreciated.

    Love x

  321. Doreen 20th October 2015 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Actually Emma – this is something you need to sort out for yourself as you are in some ways asking for relationship counselling. If you are in two minds about who you should be with then of course you are going to feel anxious. We cannot tell you why you are posting pictures etc, you have to work that through maybe with the help of a counsellor.

  322. Emma 20th October 2015 at 7:38 pm - Reply


    Appreciate your response but I think you’ve misunderstood. I’m not at all in two minds about who I should be with. I even said in my post I ‘DON’T’ want to be with my ex lol. I want to be with my current partner.

    What I deal with is relationship anxiety, others have had it too. It’s characterized by feelings of doubt which are super inherent to OCD (aka the doubting disease). The swirling thoughts I’m having about the post, and other things like “did I do something wrong?” “was i flirtatious?” was I this, was I that, etc, are obsessive ruminations on a sort of moral level. Thinking I did something wrong, obsessing about it.

    It’s not seeking relationship advice — regular obsessive anxiety advice lol. Thanks for your input though.

  323. Fleur 20th October 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    I don´t post so much on this forum, because of my english.
    But when I saw, what you posted I had to reply to you :-).

    I am 23, and I have a boyfriend for 5 years. I love him, like you love your boyfriend. I too experienced relationship anxiety this summer :-(. With my boyfriend, we decided to go to USA for work together. For the first time we lived there together, we were together 3 months – all days. We didn´t live alone – we lived with 2 more guys. By time, I had “longing” for our roommate. Just like you say about your ex. NO. More longing. I was almost like a 15 years old girl, I was thinking about that man, he was very kind to me. I liked him. That´s why I had very hard time with anxiety. All days I was googling “What if i don´t love my boyfriend anymore”. I was scared of my own feelings.

    I felt a guilt, like you. I was crying. Some days I was sure that I love my boyfriend, and other days through my high anxiety it was bad again. SO, this was my summer. It wasn´t feeling that I don´t love my boyfriend, but it was a big fear. Because I wanted marry him, he is my everything.

    In september, we came back to Europe. My relationship anxiety was gone. Because anxiety changed TARGET. Then it was fear of depression. So my relationship anxiety lost power by itself!

    Now I know that I love my boyfriend, I love him more than ever.. And now I know that anxiety is very tricky. Anxiety looks for what we are afraid the most.

    When I read your post, I saw me and I see only anxiety. If you would be anxiety-free you would didn´t care. BECAUSE you posted, that you don´t want ex. You are only thinking about him. It is absolutely normal. You have a control over that. I think you are afraid of that only because you experienced anxiety, and you feel like you don´t have control over your feelings?

    Don´t worry, I wish you recovering.

  324. Emma 20th October 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply


    I smiled so much when I read your post. First of all, your English is great! What’s your first language? You have a very pretty name.

    We are the same age and my boyfriend and I are together 4 years now, so I really relate to you. Before relationship anxiety, I had fear of depression. I still have it sometimes, but like you said my anxiety has changed target. My relationship is the new theme.

    I feel a lot of guilt, especially because I realized I was trying to get this guy’s attention when I posted the photo. Just like you, I have been scared of my own feelings. I regret texting him and checking on him. I also regret seeking his attention. Did you feel this way too, guilty for thinking certain things? Or doubting your own actions? Thanks Fleur xx

  325. Jamie 20th October 2015 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Any thoughts anyone ?

    Jamie Says: 
    October 19th, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    After signs of improvement over the last few weeks and putting myself in yet more challenging social situations this weekend, today feels like a big kick in the teeth.

    I always feel at my worst at work due to worrying about how I am going to feel, I may have to go home, how I may appear when talking to people and the current major issue is using the phone to call customers (I work in complaints).

    I have gone in today (I usually feel at my worst on a Monday for some reason) and spent the whole day worrying about calling clients. I finally picked up the phone to call and explain my decision and was shaking so much I could barely get my words out (the girl sitting opposite me glanced over when my voice went which added to the anxiety). It did settle down after a while but I am constantly worrying that I will get panicky and waiting until the ‘coast is clear’ before I make a call.

    To add to it, I almost had a panic attack when I was helping my daughter do her maths homework tonight as I just could not think straight and my mind was flooded with thoughts like I was going to lose control or have to go away and calm down.

    It is very frustrating. I just cannot understand why all the challenging things I have been doing socially have not made me better equipped for work and to not be so frightened of all the negative thoughts about work and looking after my daughter for example.

  326. Mark r 21st October 2015 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Exactly that Karen,

    A setback will bring back the worst of feelings temporarily. How you deal with it, ie carrying on as normal will influence how long it sticks around. It’s a little bugger but let it scream and shout like a little child. I’ve been dealing with this for a few days, they crop up now and then.

    Sounds like you already know how to deal with it though.

  327. Mark r 21st October 2015 at 7:42 am - Reply


    If you trawl through the posts on here you will see that anxiety has a tendency to amplify any normal worries and concerns into disproportionate levels. Obviously you have a concern about loiking after your daughter as any caring parent would so this is magnified with your mindset at the moment.

    I can identify more with the work aspect as this comes with added pressure. I can sometimes have an awful day at work, as I did yesterday….sometimes I wonder how the hell I got through a day, but then remind myself that I did and that is something to be proud of. My role is client facing and I too worry that if I’m having a bad day I will crack up in front of a client or work colleagues…..but I never have so I know its another anxiety intrusive thought. When you have some good days at work you will have a bedrock of confidence to fall back on. No matter how bad a day gets I always know I’ve had some great productive times at work, even more than people who complain about trivial things or minor ailments. Keep plugging away and it will become easier.


  328. Luke 21st October 2015 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Hi to all,

    My anxiety came back after 6 years after i overcame it by applying Paul’s advices from his first book.

    So i guess it could be considered a huge setback. It started with some intrusive thoughts about sense of life etc. then depression set in, after depression lifted anxiety came back and this circle would repeat for weeks.

    I felt like i already knew better than to start fretting about it but i still went and did some mistakes like googling etc. maybe because my last big anxiety happened so long ago (6 y).

    Now after two months of being like this my mind found another monster it focuses on. It is a fear of going crazy. It is worse than everything i ever experienced. I have wife and 2 kids and this fear of ending up insane or psychotic and not being able to provide for them is paralyzing me. I sleep only few hours every night, lost some weight.

    I am constantly checking myself, doubting if what i saw was really there, or i would sit at work and all of a sudden a horrific thought of my coworker sitting behind me is some creature watching me and fear would just flood my brain because of that. It is as if my mind was coming up with the most scary scenarios that mentally sick people have to keep my fear of being mad alive.

    Ignoring this and living my life anyway is quite difficult at the moment.

    Can anyone here relate to this? I am truly in a bad spot now. Thank you

  329. Jen 21st October 2015 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Can anyone help me with this question of mine. When you have recovered or started to recover did you ever feel weird or it felt strange to feel “normal” again? I am feeling more and more like my normal self but I feel weird because of what I went through for those few months that when I was panicky I didn’t feel like I was living my life so I keep thinking I have missed out on a few months of my life which in return is making this hole thing feel weird and thrn sometimes o go down thr questioning route. Has anyone else felt like this.

  330. Colin 21st October 2015 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Jamie
    It looks like you are still in the cycle mate.
    You say you worry!!!
    That’s the one thing that got you here in the first place .
    Just try and I know through experience it’s not easy to let it go , let it be there , and sure enough it will go . Please try and just except that you suffer from anxiety ! It’s not going to fly out the door overnight . It takes time , but eventually your mind will re boot . Yes you will have moments , but do what I do and just say to yourself hey it’s on a bit of adrenalin it will soon pass , by the way it always goes . Your body only has so much of it .
    Good luck and chin up , there is light at the end of the tunnel .


  331. Jamie 21st October 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks Mark and Colin.

    I have spent most of the day at work in a state of complete panic worrying that I would not get my particular bit of work done by the end of the day as it was really important it was done by then. Clock watching, not being able to concentrate, racing thoughts such as “I am going to lose control at my desk”, “I am going to have just get in my car and drive home”, “I am going to burst into tears” etc etc. It was the worst day for a long while. I got to the end of the day but did not get the work done.

    I tried concentrating on my breathing and I also found talking to myself while I am working (giving myself a running commentary is the best way to describe it I think) which helped in spells but it was a horrible day. My head is still in knots now and I am worrying it is going to happen again tomorrow..

  332. trish 21st October 2015 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Jeff that was kind of you to say and nice to hear. It really is bout being ok.letting your guard down. That can be scary at first. Jen try not zoning in on the strangeness. I know that’s easier. Said. Than done. I found what helped me was just focusing on my breathing and this would get me out of my head. I would go about my day and check in with my breath when I felt the thoughts were getting too much. At the beginning the feelings and thoughts came fast n furious but and it was hard to not focus on them but I persisted. This then loosened the grip. And I was able to start allowing the thoughts and feelings to come and go.the fear started to go. I was amazed how fast I started to recover.at the beginning I felt I could turn back at any time, but now I have come too far to go back. The rewards are huge. It’s a very difficult and lonely journey. I have a good support network but ultimately it’s something you do on your own because it’s your mind. At times I found that hard. I had always anxiety and ocd when I was young but it was manageable and I had it under control. After the birth of my kids it went to another realm. It was the first time I said it out loud and admitted how bad it had become. Huge life changes rock the foundations and you loose your little routine and sense of control.. I will always be gratefull to becoming a mother and having my children it has made me address my mental health and not just put up with the anxiety. It’s the first time I’m ok with not being ok. This brought such flexibility and calm. I used to analyse how I was feeling every day. I wanted to feel good all the time and needed to feel that sense of control. But life isn’t like that. We aren’t going to feel the same way every morning when we wake up. We are going to feel tired sometimes, stressed, Ill or busy. Im ok with that now. Once the thoughts and feelings eased the fear subsided and my body and mind got that rest that Paul talks so much about that bring’s such confidence. I couldn’t believe how fast each layer started to ease from social anxiety to intrusive scary thoughts. For me doing nothing was concentrating on my breathing or just sitting each day and doing some mindfulness. This allowed my mind to have a break. It’s easy to turn back but once I started having those days and weeks free of anxiety i knew there was no going back. It has slowed every thing down. I used to rush about so much. Probably running away from the anxiety. Now I feel like I’m taking everything in so much more. Once the grip starts to loosen. The power of the anxiety lessons. Who knows what challenges are around the corner but I do feel my ability to cope with whatever life throws at me is so much better. Keep going. Learn to try and accept every day and once you see the break through you will see the hard work paying off. I have had many many years of symptoms. The last year my anxiety probably reached the worst but it has also been the most I have learned ever and finally I get it. Jamie don’t fret.I experienced that too, same as meg mostly when anxiety was decreasing so it confused me. Resist the urge to overthink. Hope things get easier for everyone on here xx

  333. Sue 21st October 2015 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    When my anxiety is bad and I have nasty intrusive thoughts sometimes going through my head most of the day. I try to be upbeat with singing and talking positively to myself but I think this is causing me to be just hyped up all day trying to think and mask how I feel. I have come to the conclusion that no one is normally happy all the time and when I was not anxious I was never like this. I took each day as I was up or down and got on with things without analysing how I felt or what I was thinking. I get on with my day, go to work and out with friends but as soon as I get in the house its like a flood of anxiety and negative thinking sweeps over me. I try to break the habit but it causes me more tension. Any suggestions on how to accept it all. I get concerned that It will never go and it will stay a habit. Its all too much effort sometimes.

  334. Pamela 22nd October 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Can I ask why my post from this morning has been deleted????

  335. Bryan 22nd October 2015 at 3:16 pm - Reply


    I would agree with Doreen. Your problem sounds more like one of self control rather than anxiety. It sounds as if you’re making choices (to flirt with this ex) and the after the fact trying to blame anxiety. Anxiety doesn’t make us flirt with our exes. No offense. It’s just that you are dealing with a relationship issue. You sound very young and perhaps there is some experience you still need to gain in that arena. We all have to go through maturation with regards to what a real commitment means.

  336. Danielle 22nd October 2015 at 4:58 pm - Reply


    Have been studying and practing the method of pauls words, i have stopped worrying about the anxitey and feel my anxiety has dramaticly improved i do trust my body to get better i wont go into my full story as its a long story but i went from having sever panic attacks constant worry and intrusive thoughts depersonalisation to now the only major symptom i can say i have is spikes of an intense sense of dread during the day then periods of my day where i feel my normal self again are increasing and by late eveing i feel myself back to my old self wondering what i was so worried about im not sure if the dread is a new feeling or something i never noticed before because of all the other symtoms apart from this i still struggle with a bit of self awareness confusion and still a little of hearing my own thoughts but also dramatically reduced i do feel i am making massive progress and also this only started about a month ago, was so lucky to find this info when i was still in the stages of panic i was given beta blockers and anti depressants both made me feel alot worse i feel the citralopram caused the depersonalisation after only a couple of days beta blockers caused me to hallucinate and increased my anxiety anyway i just looking for a bit of reassurance am i on the right path i dont want to take an medication do not want to feel numb or zombie trying my hardest to do this on my own but do have an appointment for guided self help next week

  337. karen 22nd October 2015 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Trish I love your post. I try to do that but end up going into a panic. More consistency needed on my part.
    Thankyou Mark R.

  338. Jeff 22nd October 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Luke – anxiety is bad enough….add lack of sleep on top of that and you quickly get mentally and physically exhausted. Do this for a string of days and you likely become a basket case. Most of us have been there…you’re in good company.

    After my last recovery I went 12 years before another trip into the anxiety zone. Not cool. I thought it was OVER – FOREVER.

    At some point you need to sleep – else getting behind the wheel, or even going down a flight of stairs can become quite dangerous. After you get some decent sleep most of those weird perceptions will likely fade.

    How to get some sleep? Well each to his own, some (like me) believe in better living through chemistry when necessary….. but sleep you must before taking that return trip to recovery.

  339. Mark r 22nd October 2015 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Sorry to bump but I don’t usually ask for advice on here. Any thoughts on my post of 20th October?


  340. Jenny 22nd October 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply


    I’ve gone through something VERY similar to your situation. As someone who’s also dealt with relationship anxiety, I don’t think its a relationship issue at all or of self control. It’s textbook relationship ocd what you described. You caught up with your ex harmlessly (you mentioned you don’t speak often which tells me you don’t have a self control issue) and now you’re in distress questioning your morality. You’re suffering from the uncertainty that you may have liked the attention, and so on. Anxiety can really exaggerate feelings of guilt. It’s OK to accidentally flirt sometimes, you caught yourself and you sound like you regret speaking to him so that’s a good thing; you’re a young woman, it’s human nature and harmless. What’s not good is the irrational guilt and rumination that followed. I’m telling you this because something similar happened to me where I beat myself up so much when I felt I was flirtatious with someone. It happens to everybody, you recognized and everything else you can just let go, nobody’s perfect, we all do things we regret but anxious people take the most benign of mistakes and ruminate about them for ages. Hope you feel better 🙂

  341. Jen 22nd October 2015 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Anyone please.
    I don’t know if I still have dp or its thr thoughts that are creating the weird feeling or if the weird feeling is just anxiwty it’s self. I think k I had dp for bit at my most panicky stage of anxiwty. However all of my physical symptoms have gone but I still get thoughts that I’m going to get confused or I’m not experienceing things right because I feel a strangeness. It’s getting better each day but I’m wondering if the thoughts are making me feel this way. I’m not reacting to the thoughts but I wonder how lomg this will last.

  342. Jen 22nd October 2015 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Maybe I don’t all my emotions or confendence back yet and I can tell im.coming back in layers. But I think k whay I’m doing is over analysing it ad looking into it to much. I wish I could let it be and just move on with this crap.

  343. JoJo 23rd October 2015 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Why is it that life felt normal and good and fulfilled before my anxiety and once I had anxiety I just feel such a lack of peace and fulfillment. It’s so hard going through the motions everyday and just feeling like all the days blend together. And questioning life and my purpose and what’s it all about etc… It’s not panic attacks or physical discomfort by why such a lack of inner peace? I feel like my life has everything I need so why is it not enough. I only think anxiety does this because I never felt this until anxiety came around. Any advice or insight on this?

  344. Jen 23rd October 2015 at 1:06 am - Reply


    It’s hard. I think because of what we have gone through it makes us question things because of the panic feeling, anxiousness, worrying thoughts, and dp. All this just has taken a toll.on our bodies and minds I believe. Before this we didn’t have to worry about all this and try to recover and not let it bother us all at the same time and still do things that we use to and try not to focus on it makes it all very draining. So I think thrn we start to question things and feel a empty sull.feeling and wonder why. Just know that it will go away and fade. I have been seeing myself come back in layers. I still have to remind my self it’s okay to feel this way nut I wonder why I have this etcc… hope all is well

  345. Kevin 23rd October 2015 at 2:51 am - Reply

    Hi Mark r,

    To answer your question about stomach issues with anxiety. I DEFINITELY had some problems regarding that. Before anxiety I never had any upset stomach issues unless I ate something really spicy or if something just didn’t sit well with me, which was rare. After anxiety, especially during my health anxiety phase, I had stomach problems everyday. It was rare that I had a normal day regarding it.

    As for which causes which, It really depends. Anxiety takes a toll on the body physically. Your body is on constant edge and as a result, your stomach can become upset and have trouble digesting. Once you realize you have that problem, then you may start thinking about what is causing it- is it an ulcer? stomach cancer? some unknown disease? At least this was the case in my situation. And then all that worrying only causes more anxiety and more stomach problems.

    So I don’t really know if I have any advice, but just letting you know that I have suffered the same thing. I am pretty much free of any issues with my stomach for the most part, since my anxiety has disappeared. Hope this helps!

  346. Kevin 23rd October 2015 at 2:58 am - Reply

    Hey everyone,

    It has been a long time since I have been on this blog. I just haven’t been thinking about it to be honest. My physical anxiety is pretty much gone. Although I am in no way in a great place. I still suffer with intrusive thoughts and urges, although without the physical anxiety. Because of the thoughts, I still take it to mean that I have psychological anxiety and possibly depression. I am still trying to get a hold of how to express my emotions, which I tend to suppress. However, I do not want to come back to this blog on a bad note.

    I figured it is time to come back because I feel that I can offer some help now that I have overcome much of my anxiety. So I just want everyone to realize that it will get better. I am proof. Although I am nowhere near where I would like to be. I know that I will get there. Things are always changing. Nothing stays the same, once I realized that everything became a lot easier.

    If anyone has any questions, please I would love to help. Wish the best for everyone!

  347. Kevin 23rd October 2015 at 3:05 am - Reply


    I know what that feels like. To question your life and purpose and everything that you are. Life feels very empty when you are in that state. I used to tell myself “I have everything I need, I should be happy with my life” but that only put more pressure on me to be happy.

    Anxiety just makes life feel a lot harder than it should be. Life is short and thats what makes me not question things so much anymore. Just know that things are always changing and nothing will stay the same, including your questioning life, etc..

  348. Anxious Indian 23rd October 2015 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Jojo, anxiety drains us emotionally so much that for a while life feels very empty.

    But with normal living, the normal feelings will resurface slowly. Just don’t try to force it.

    Understand that this is just the last side effect of anxiety which will pass with time.

    Regarding “And questioning life and my purpose and what’s it all about etc… “. Dismiss the questioning when it comes. Everytime the thought comes, dismiss it, and do not take it any further. In fact spend your time doing normal activities. Believe me, you are on the last steps to recovery. You are almost there!

    Scarlet, who recovered, wrote on this blog regarding her final steps to full recovery: “I’d say it was a combination of things, learning to dismiss my thoughts, doing more ‘outward ‘ things, and finding something that interested me… basically my anxiety hobby/obsession with daft thoughts was overtaken with something more productive.”

  349. carla 23rd October 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Hello all, I hope you are well!

    Kevin, Anxious Indian, anyone please.

    I’m looking for some advice or support regarding inward, anxious thinking and the associated fear that this kind of thinking is ‘bad’ and and will doom me to a lifetime of anxiety.

    When my anxiety started it was basically thought-driven. I was worrying about a variety of stressful things that were happening in my life and I suddenly had the trigger thought of ‘what if I can never think normally again? What if I get trapped in my own mind forever?’

    Now I’ve always been a little bit introverted, a ‘thoughty’ kind of person but never really berated myself for it before; in fact, I sort of saw it as a strength. But since the anxiety has hit I seem to have turned against this side of myself and begun to see my thoughts as the enemy; somehow the culprit behind all of the anxiety in the first place.

    And whenever I read comments like ‘let it be’, ‘stop over-thinking’ or ‘stop analysing’ it makes me punish myself more and start along another anxious train of thought, something along the lines of ‘I’ll never get better because I’m thinking too much, I’m just the wrong kind of person to get better’

    Somewhere along the line I’ve got confused and lost confidence. CBT encourages us to challenge thoughts, others to dismiss them, others to make space for them, others to stop analysing, others to focus on something else, others to chuck them all in a metaphorical bucket and ignore them etc. etc.

    So now I basically don’t know what to do with my thoughts. I know I can’t make anxious feelings and thoughts go away. I know that. But I’m wondering how to get away from the fear of doing things wrong. If I reassure myself – wrong. If I think about anxiety too much – wrong. If I try and challenge thoughts – wrong. If I try and push them to one side and focus on something else – wrong. If I try to hard and let them be – wrong. If I find myself pondering/analysing my anxiety – wrong!

    Wrong, wrong, wrong!

    I guess I clearly still need lots of reassurance about anxious thoughts! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Believe it or not, I’m actually doing pretty well in many ways. I’m having some really long stretches of low anxiety and am able to function well even when the anxiety is high. The physical symptoms have greatly subsided and I have a positive daily routine.

    But the thoughts and self-doubt can still cripple me when they hit. I regurgitate any advice that begins with the word ‘STOP’ and play it around in my head like a loop. And also anything that carries a tone of ‘just stop going over it and let it be for god’s sake!’ leaves me feeling unnerved and self-critical.

    Many thanks, you guys are all great 🙂

  350. Debbie 23rd October 2015 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Hi anxious indian anyone ive got over the battle of physical symptoms but linger with the strange feeling in my thouthts like i was driving yesterday and feeling in my mind that the highway. Was familiar to a different highway somewhere else or a dream i had. Keeps popping in my mind and iam there my biggest obsession is fear of losing my mind 24 7 all i want to know is this considered dp. Also with seeing scenes or images of anything. Like my mind is always trying to remember someting.its quite scarey.thanks.

  351. Mark r 23rd October 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the reply. I think I’m the same as you really and suffer from a ‘nervous’ stomach more than any organic issue. That said though I do cut out things that irritate it….dairy, gluten, spicy food etc. This seems to have a positive impact.

    It’s been a rotten week for me, but I think due to ‘pigging’ out at the weekend on chocolate, beer, cooked breakfast I’ve caused myself a little wobble. Every day this week I’ve had tension, low appetite, no interest, high DP etc.. It lifts for a few hours at a time then descends again like a black cloud. I know this is all part of the course and I need to see it out by underreacting to it but its annoying to say the least.

    Always seems to be how I wake that dictates my day. A good day I will have minor symptoms, go along with my day, crack jokes, sing, even whistle, make plans and generally get involved with life stuff. I don’t give a hoot about anxiety and the subject bores me. Of course the flip side of the coin everything is in reverse of that and then I feel consumed with the darkness of it. I always know though that the good days will come back round and the clouds will part again so I take all the negative feelings and thoughts with a big pinch of salt.

    As I said in my previous post I do feel okay a lot of the time and feel that anxiety is in the back of my mind rather than the front but I still kind of get tripped up in these periods where the symptoms can return and make me feel crap. That said my recoveries are always quite long so it’s not unreasonable to think that an external stressor can knock me a little bit from time to time.
    I think a factor in me tripping up is this is that I tend to compare myself to a previous day/week where I felt good. This is something I need to work on as we can never go back as Claire Weekes would say.

    If anyone can recognise or advise would be appreciated.



  352. Meg 23rd October 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Carla – I can totally identify with that. My main issue is constant thinking, ruminating and I don’t really know what to do. I have experienced everything described so you’re not alone! I find when I’m busy and distracted it isn’t a problem but as soon as I stop my brain goes into overdrive.

  353. carla 23rd October 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Meg, hi!

    Sorry you’re going through similar but nice to find someone to share the experience with. It really helps to know that other people are going through this too. It does make me feel less alone and somehow helps me see all of this thinking as a normal part of an anxiety state rather than something I’m doing wrong.

    Today I’ve been trying to be kind to myself; giving myself little mental hugs throughout the day rather than punishing or criticising myself too much.

    Have you got any kids Meg? Do you work? I’m a teacher but have been at home for the last 6 years looking after my two little ones. I worked during the summer term and am now job hunting again for something part-time. I think staying at home with babies has been pretty tough mentally for me and I’m looking forward to getting a bit of balance back!

  354. Belgian 23rd October 2015 at 2:57 pm - Reply


    Is it possible that Dutch is also your native tongue? 🙂

    I can relate to your story as relationship anxiety was/is also one of my preferred anxiety ‘targets’.

    It makes in fact a lot of sense that our relationships are suffering when we suffer from anxiety. Anxiety builds on “what ifs” and uncertainties and what is more uncertain than love? What does it mean to love and to be loved?

    Imagine love being a ship at sea. Sometimes you can enjoy the smooth soothing calm winds and at other moments you can be thrown away out of your own boat due to heavy weather.

    We could discuss hours on the meaning of love, in fact that is where a lot of poetry and art in general builds on.

    But this is not the issue here. The issue at hand is your reaction to your emotions and thoughts. At times they feel overwhelming and that is why you are scared of them. That is why they are so scary. I know, because I have been there too and still am at some times.

    My reaction to thoughts about my relationship have been holding me back from fully recovering. I could deal with horrible thoughts of illness (mental and physical), thoughts of not succeeding but the thought of not being married to the ‘right’ girl and all that goes with that really stayed and haunted me.

    I never really could accept my doubts, my fantasies of being single again, the mourning of losing my ‘freedom’. And this lack of acceptance kept me ill. Luckily, I have a fantastic wife that kept supporting me and with whom I could discuss these very difficult subjects. It is not until recently that I am more able to accept my anxiety on this topic.

    I am able to do this now because I have learned so much of myself this last year. I understand my doubts, my feelings of aversion now. I can not go into detail due to lack of time and general relevance, but I can tell you that our own personal history and physical constitution determines the way we look at things. It is not until I understand this that I could begin practicing FULL acceptance.

    It is worth it. For a very long time I thought that recovering was all about not feeling anxiety any longer. I now know it is about feeling it right through. Again and again. Anxiety now can be blissful as long as you make way for it so it can leave you at its own pace. There is a peace on that other side of anxiety. It is there for everyone, I am sure of that.

    I do not longer fear my fears because I now that I do not HAVE to be propelled by them. I do not have to be DEFINED by anxiety, but it is I who can DEFINE my anxiety.

    My psychiatrist ended one of his last sessions by making the following comment:

    Anxiety is like a traffic light. When it turns red you are warned to stop because there is a risk that a car is coming from another side. It does not necessarily mean there is a problem, it is about sending out the message that there is a risk. Most importantly of all, let a traffic light never stop you living!

  355. Ves 23rd October 2015 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Carla,
    Have you tried to relax you body & mind (it is one, inseparable unit) with superior resolve in order to tame unsettled mind and reduce one of its symptoms – the frequency and intrusiveness of the thoughts?

  356. Carla 23rd October 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Ves, not quite sure about the ‘superior resolve’ bit but I do find that mindfulness meditation can be helpful, particularly after exercise.

  357. Meg 23rd October 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Carla – no I don’t have kids I work full time as a radiographer in the NHS. U find during the week.when I’m busy with work I’m much better but I tend to struggle when the weekends come.

  358. Ves 23rd October 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Carla,
    re: Superior resolve,

    Whether it’s about relaxing or helping with the dishes, we are constantly resolving to undertake specific activities. We set up in our minds a firm resolve to do the thing we want to done, and then pay attention to the result that resolve has on our actions. When we don’t do that, the mind tends to wander, drift and get lost and scattered; we forget about resolve to stick with whatever it is that we’re doing.

    It is important to develop the ability of attending to and following through on our resolutions. That’s because, after setting a resolution with particular activity, we often find ourselves experiencing restlessness or boredom when actually engaged in that activity – whether it’s meditation or some mundane task. When that happens, we end up replacing what we’re doing with something else, and the cycle begins again.

    In essence, we are resolving to take an interest in what we are doing – to be interested in the process of being present and applying ourselves to the activities at hand. That kind of resolve allows the mind to be buoyant and uplifted. If we sustain this practice, the mind will become easily settled and clear.

  359. Meg 23rd October 2015 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Ves – thsnkyou for putting it so well. I know you’re right because when I’m engrossed in a task I forget about anxiety however I’ve gotten into the habit of mot focusing on the task at hand and it is then that my mind gets in knots.

  360. Jamie 23rd October 2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Great post Belgian – thanks for sharing.

    Well after 2 days of sheer panic at work on Wed and Thu, I managed to get through them and ended up inviting a lady down I have just started seeing last night. It really was the LAST thing I wanted to do last night and felt as if I should be doing stuff to ‘fix’ myself, calm down etc to prepare for work today.

    The anxiety before she arrived last night was incredible. I was pacing the house and overwhelmed with adrenaline. It was very difficult at times to try and concentrate on the conversation and try to ‘mask’ my anxiety but I got through it and had an enjoyable evening (despite the way I was feeling). Back into work today and yes, my head was tied in knots and scary thoughts were there but I got through it again.

    I find it so difficult to not keep trying to analyse why one day is better/worse than the last and why these setbacks seem to hit when you are doing as much as you can to challenge yourself.

  361. carla 23rd October 2015 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    I understand what you are saying Ves and it makes good sense – I think there are a lot of benefits to be had from any kind of mindfulness. It kind of ties in with Nolan and Paul’s message too – sentiments such as ‘make your life bigger than the anxiety’ are sort of saying the same thing I think.

    But I mainly run into problems when the anxious thoughts are persistent and keep creeping in – I find myself getting frustrated and judging myself harshly. I mull over some of Paul’s comments such as ‘stop stirring the waters’ or ‘stop over-thinking’ and panic that this is exactly what I’m doing – there is definitely a lot of judgement there.

    And part of me knows that I’m misinterpreting what he means but my anxious brain just won’t have it – it keeps running into the same old battle with itself. ‘How can he advocate total allowing yet also advise us to stop over-thinking? What does he mean? Is analysing bad? But what do I do if the analysing seems to come automatically?’

    I think, because I already hold such a fear of over-thinking, I am now extremely suggestible to the slightest suggestion that it might be problematic. A bit like someone who feels anxious about, say schizophrenia and continually misinterprets information on the subject.

    I know I am still quite scared of these thoughts and, of course, my instinct is to try and reassure myself in order to be less scared. But the problem is that, the continual attempts to reassure just bring more thinking. I feel in a catch-22. Either remain scared and hyper-vigilant or create more thinking by trying to reassure myself. Aargh!

    I suppose I shall just continue with the general practice of allowing my thoughts as much as possible, continuing with my life focusing the best I can with it all there and trying not to judge myself too harshly in the process. But it’s certainly not easy!

  362. Mark r 23rd October 2015 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Setbacks suck. Blurgh!

  363. karen 24th October 2015 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Agreed Mark r …. sounds like we are doing quite similar …. half the time feeling good then external stressors kick in and yuck. Very very strong setback here too showing no signs of passing. Yet I am carrying on as best I can. I will go on my theatre trip … family do tomorrow as it’s the only way out. Beginning to doubt the passage of this one …. longest setback yet.

  364. Mark r 24th October 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Hi Karen,

    Yeah same. It’s not the worst I’ve had but I feel pretty rotten all the same. I’m keeping as occupied as best I can too. The thing to remember is that they always pass, no matter how severe and how convincing it is.

    This is Claire Weekes take on them:

    The sufferer must understand setbacks so well that he is not tricked by them, however long they last or whenever they may come. He must learn to appreciate the difference between memory and reality. He must understand that it is memory that slips right back, not he! And he must let memory slip back, as far as it wants to and not withdraw from it in fear!

    The worse setback of all may come before complete recovery, because recovery is so close. A set back is most often caused by the thought at the back of the mind of what if ‘it’ comes back. This, coupled with sensitisation, not yet fully healed, will see that ‘it’ comes back from time to time.

    When you have a set back. Halt! This is memory. Setback is your friend because you learn from your setback. Examine it closely, and I am sure you will find that some shock has stirred the embers of your illness, or you were so tired with trying. Have the courage to accept every setback until they no longer matter.

  365. Jamie 24th October 2015 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Thanks Mark.

    This is very relevant to me at the moment

  366. Mark r 24th October 2015 at 10:12 am - Reply

    No worries Jamie. I’m in a hole right now and acknowledged it. I’m just going to give it the space it needs and carry on as normal until it passes. It’s the only way. I was absolutely fine as near ago as Sunday so I know I’m okay underneath this. Such a bloody nuisance!!

  367. karen 24th October 2015 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Mark that is so helpful …. The so tired from trying and pushing myself has definitely kickied this in x

  368. Mark r 24th October 2015 at 11:09 am - Reply

    No worries Karen.

    What always helps me is drawing on the strength that I’ve pulled myself through all the other setbacks and feel loads better than I did before going in. Feels difficult right now but I know I’ll be through it in no time and forger about it.

    Hang in there mate.

  369. Jamie 24th October 2015 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    I’m in a very similar place Mark but have just told myself if this is me forever I’ll just accept it and get on with my life as normal as I can….

  370. Mark r 25th October 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply


    The acceptance part is correct but there is no truth in this is you forever. Things always change and can be very dramatic. I’ll give an example…

    About a month ago I was caught in my last setback. I was in Berlin on my own on a short trip. I had 2 days of very bad symptoms, the works, nothing new but I made sure I did everything I planned to do. I felt like I would never smile again but then on the next day I felt fine and had a great day, this set up a period of peace for me. Don’t be dismayed by how you feel now, if you have the capacity to feel better, which I know you do then you will do.

    Anxiety, lke all emotions are a temporary state.


  371. karen 25th October 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Mark ….as you say I have found that after each setback I have come out stronger and it’s important to remember that in the midst. I am living normally … work / theatre / family party not cancelling anything despite the utter rubbish and scary thoughts my brain is throwing at me.
    I am often amazed at how thoughts could so easily become reality. For example today my brain tells me I cant go out for meals anymore OT socialise. Never been a problem before… but while my anxiety is high it is so believable. This then easily becomes the new anxiety problem. Am I making any sense? I can so easily see how people become aggrophobic. So I guess I will be booking in a meal out to disprove these thoughts.
    Mark and Jamie Can I ask how long have you been in recovery?

  372. karen 25th October 2015 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    And I guess this is why …. when in a good patch I plan things in because the last thing I can face in a bad patch is organising nights out etc. So I always have places to be going in a setback and I try get there through hell or high water. It’s interesting how many brain always uses scary intrusive thoughts to try stop me going places. Why is that?.
    Sorry on a random thought meander.

  373. Meg 25th October 2015 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Karen I know where you’re coming from. I also had similar thoughts aboit going out and still do occasionally. When my anxiety first started getting really bad I had to force myself myself to go outside one day as I felt utterly terrified.Im pretty sure if I hadn’t done that I would have easily become agoraphobic.

    I think I’ve reached a bit of a turning point with everything this last few days. The last few weeks I have been very overwhelmed by my anxiety eith fears of becoming depressed/suicidal and fears that I must have another mental illness..I specifically panic about bipolar and schizophrenia. I would appreciate any input or advice from anyone who has experienced similar thoughts? I also have started having lots of headaches, different kinds sometimes tension, sometimes “ice pick” headaches and other times just a tingling type headache.. did anyone else have this? Tiredness has been bad too.
    I’ve realised this last few days that I’ve been making it my daily aim to feel better for about 8 months now. I thought I’d been accepting but I can see I haven’t been truly accepting…just putting up with symptoms and hoping they’ll be gone the next day. It took feeling truly overwhelmed and pretty much terrified to suddenly realise why I haven’t improved very much for such a long time. I have felt anxious sInce childhood and had a disorder I think since I was about 17 (now 24). I feel ready now to just go with this now for as long as it takes and see what kind of person I can be without anxiety 🙂

  374. carla 25th October 2015 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Hey guys,

    Karen – I do exactly the same! Plan stuff when I’m feeling better and then have to haul myself there whilst being battered by symptoms. Like you though, I always go and generally it’s never as bad as I was expecting.

    Meg, I’ve had all of the fears you describe above and no longer fear any of them – I guess this just shows that we do pass through these fears. They are all really typical, common ones too – and all rooted in the mind exaggerating the anxious feelings. I guess it’s the same old thing response you should be aiming for Meg. Recognise that these thoughts are exaggerations and let the anxiety keep rattling away with it all.

    This is easier said than done though and I’ve been struggling awfully today.

    Yesterday I was able to believe that all the thoughts I was having were just normal anxiety symptoms and nothing to concern myself about. And today – well, that’s just all fallen apart again! I woke with anxiety, began to get flooded with thoughts and then the doubt and fear started creeping in: ‘Am I fighting? Am I trying to fix it? Am I doing this all wrong? Am I making the same mistakes that Paul made for a decade? Am I trying to solve thinking with thinking? (this one really ties me up in knots trying to work out which type of thinking I should be allowing and which I should be trying to stop)

    I guess I just don’t know what to do with myself when I’m feeling very anxious and my thoughts are crazily lurching around between fear-based thoughts, logical, reasoning-type thoughts and resistant thoughts. And this type of experience tends to feed on itself. The more anxious I get, the more the thoughts dominate and the more distressed I feel. And then I just end up feeling hopeless because I’m just about as far away as I could possibly be from those golden feelings of ‘so what’ or ‘meh’ or ‘big whoop’ that people talk about.

    How do you guys cope with the feelings of doing it all wrong? Or when the anxiety turns advice on acceptance into a another source of fear?

    Ach, I could see it all quite clearly yesterday – a glimpse I suppose. But today the anxiety has overwhelmed me again and I can’t see the wood for the trees.

  375. carla 25th October 2015 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Feeling a little more clarity again, phew!

    I think it’s taking me a while to realise that the mental symptoms of the fight of flight response need to be treated in exactly the same way as the physical ones.

    Just as a racing heart, trembling hands, dizziness or sweating are a normal response to anxiety, so is increased thinking, racing thoughts, analytical thoughts, problem-solving type thoughts etc..

    And when I think about it, I’ve always responded to real-life crisis situations with a thoughtful, problem-solving approach so it stands to reason that my brain is also going to behave in this way when faced with anxiety.

    And I’m having glimpses that this is ok. It’s just my own personal response to anxiety. I don’t need to beat myself up over it. Acceptance means allowing MY mind to behave in the way that it wants. It does not mean I’m doing anything wrong or looking for a magic cure, it’s simply my brain going through it’s normal processes when presented with anxiety.

    Trying to stop analysing or over-thinking whilst anxious is as futile as trying to stop a racing heart.

    Off on holiday with the kids tomorrow for a rainy week in the New Forest. That should keep me busy at least!

  376. Mark r 26th October 2015 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Damn it! This is very frustrating for me at the moment. Been having setbacks on and off since recovery started but kind of baffling how some can be so intense that I think it will never pass, then its over in a couple of days. I get ones like this which are less intense but seem to want to linger and are damn stubborn! Feels pretty weird, almost flu like.

  377. karen 26th October 2015 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Hi Carla
    I get exactly what you are saying … my symptoms are mainly thought based and for me that’s so much trickier than physical.
    I am learning that I shouldn’t be trying to ‘stop’ any thoughts at all …. as you say the obsessive thinking is an anxiety symptom. It’s more a case of …’ok right now my brain is trying to fix anxiety / think about anxiety constantly / having intrusives / catastrophise’. That’s ok it’s just another anxiety symptom. If you can then gently refocus away from it and get out of your head … great … if you can’t ….don’t worry about it.
    The key I think is to let your brain do all of these things as long as you don’t add second fear…..ie. worry / panic about your thinking. It clears on its own as the anxiety decreases you can’t do anything to stop it.
    Hope that helps ….I am still a work in progress with this too, it’s not easy.
    Brilliant you are still heading off on holiday, despite the anxiety. Well done you x

  378. karen 26th October 2015 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Mark … have you been in recovery long?

  379. carla 26th October 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Hi Karen,

    Yes, your reply makes perfect sense and is very helpful, thank you! Our holiday has hit the skidders though as both of the kids are currently lying on the sofa, periodically vomiting into buckets.

    Mark, sorry you’ve been hijacked by it all again. You have a great understanding and attitude though which will definitely work in your favour. Let us know how you get on today.

  380. Emma 26th October 2015 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Mark R, Karen, Meg, Carla

    I’m in a similar place as you all. Recently my anxiety was sticking to one particular theme but has now sort of shifted back to being a more general feeling of distress and discomfort, with some fleeting moments of (almost) despair.

    Like Mark mentioned, I was fine a week ago, but since last week Monday I have been just riddled with anxiety which was triggered after I spoke to my ex (and felt I ‘may’ have been flirtatious and then felt super guilty which caused me to obsess about it all week, along with other mistakes I have made in my past). At times the anxiety takes on a certain “subject” or “theme,” like yesterday I was seriously beginning to fear that this setback was going to turn into real depression and I wouldn’t be able to “get out of bed” and go to work…my life would fall apart, etc.. while other times I just have this freestanding feeling of unease and low mood, it waxes and wanes, at times I feel better only for it to creep back in. I have been extra tired too.

    I went out for lunch today as well as shopping but felt totally off the entire time — I can’t even really describe how I feel but it’s like this ‘lack of inner peace’ like someone took my internal snow globe, shook it and broke the tranquility and stillness that once was.

    I’m having a really hard time just living alongside the anxiety, it feels like I’m walking a tightrope to avoid the abyss. Lots of effort to try to keep it together. I also feel this urge to cry at times too. Today I told my boyfriend that my anxiety had been acting up and asked “do you think it will pass?” and he said “of course.” I know I’m venturing beyond my baseline levels of anxiety when I’m asking things like this.

    From experience I know that most of my setbacks lifted as soon as I “turned the struggle switch off.” It can take some time to surrender and say “ok, I feel like awful and that’s just how it’s going to be” … it’s hard to let go of the need to feel better, to feel like we did just last week even. I know it will take me some time to yield to my inner state and I hope I can get there before giving it the fuel that feeds. Just wanted to let you all know we are all in this together. x

  381. Mark r 26th October 2015 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Carla,

    Sorry to hear about your kids and hols. Had the Norovirus in Jan and it aint nice!!

    It’s a rough road over here. I’m just trying to be patient with myself. My setbacks don’t usually last longer than a few days so the frustration is boiling and I’m trying not to let it get the better of me…..feel like utter crap though!

    Karen, not sure my recovery time is going to help you really?


  382. Meg 26th October 2015 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    So nice knowing were all in a similar place, makes me realise what is happening to us is a normal part of the process.

    Emma I know what you mean about setbacks passing when you stop fighting them. I find that when I just accept feeling awful and stop caring the setback lifts. It is by far the most frustrating thing in all of this!

  383. Fleur 26th October 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Emma, hi it is me again. My native language is slovak :-). Ok I read your last post and I have similar feelings like you have! You were afraid because of that relationship anxiety, you worried so much, that now you have stronger anxiety feelings like “depressed feelings…” I know it very well. Me too, I was afraid 1 thought /1 feeling/ that what if I will leave my boyfriend in the future because of my tricky anxiety or I won´t be able to love my boyfriend, because of anxiety feelings and anxiety emptiness symptom. That was/is my BIG fear. After these worries I started panic again last week. I had almost panic attack from these fears.

    You write that you had low moods feelings. Me too :-(. And when I think about depression I lost my fear of losing boyfriend, and I am only afraid of depressed feelings. It is totally “change of targets”. I had maybe 1 all week without interest about things. I was afraid almost all the time, I was going only to school, no hobbies, terrible weather outside and in my mind thoughts like: “what if I lost my interest in things,that I liked?” “What if nothing will make me happy?” I loved shopping so last week I went shopping but it was boring. I had thoughts about anxiety and I didn´t want to look pretty in new clothes. Because it didn´t matter for me.

    AND what I wanted to say to you:

    Yesterday I had very great day, actually all weekend. I was shopping again, and I liked it. I bought some clothes, I was watching superstar at evening and was cleaning my dormitory room, I felt good, I didn´t feel anxiety, because I proved myself that I don´t have depression and I was in peace and like my normal self.

    Now I have good mood. I think that we feel low mood and other terrible feelings because of our fear of that.

    Emma, I had last week BIG feelings of distress, and discomfort. And this weekend I was totally fine. So don´t worry, It will change. When I had feelings of despair I thought that what if it will be forever, now after 1 week it is totally different. I know that it will come again. I will try to accept. When we have good days, it is proof that recovery is still possible and behind corner.

  384. karen 26th October 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    No prob not mark … I guess that’s me wanting to know others have been at it as long as me . Frustration …. others seem to make a full recovery within a few months and I get despondent and am beginning to feel I will never get there.. But all we can do is keep not working at it. This has to be my longest setback yet …. into a couple of weeks and it’s difficult to not question what I am doing wrong. I shall just keep going.
    I posted a link that’s waiting to be moderated Carla … about thoughts … keep an eye out as it’s really good. X

  385. Carla 26th October 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks Karen 🙂

  386. Jamie 26th October 2015 at 6:14 pm - Reply


    I am not sure what you mean by how long I have been ‘in recovery’ ? I have always been an anxious person but since my 10 year marriage came to an end at the tail end of 2013, it escalated significantly (I ended up in The Priory it was that bad). My ex said that one of the reasons the marriage was over was my anxiety (which of course is a recipe for disaster) but this it seems was just an excuse as she had just met someone else. I have been doing loads of social stuff over the last month or so to really challenge myself but had a large setback at work last Wed and had a very trick 3 days at work.

    Anyway, over this weekend, I went to a family meal on the Saturday and on Sunday, went to a meditation group, my brother came round to watch football, went to the cinema with a friend and went on a ‘date’ in the evening. All of these things made my incredibly anxious beforehand and during at certain points but I managed to get through all of them.

    On the subject of the ‘date’ this is someone that was just a friend to seems to be developing into more is now causing relationship anxiety that some people have mentioned on here.

    I get on pretty well with this person and she seems very genuine and nice but I cannot decide how much I actually like here because of my anxiety, which sounds daft probably ? She is about 8 or so years older than me and as wants to see me more than I want to see her, it is making me back off. She is suggesting we do stuff once or twice in the week and at weekends which I am not comfortable with. I am going to have to say to her how nervous I am about the whole dating thing and/or getting into a relationship and I don’t want anything serious/heavy. The other side is, if she WASN’T as keen as she is at the moment I probably would be more interested.

    Can anyone relate to any of this ?

  387. karen 26th October 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Wow Jamie… That’s amazing … you really are feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Getting on and living despite the anxiety. I think that’s brilliant. I guess the more we do this stuff then eventually we will enjoy it all more again. I am guessing work was better again today then too.

  388. Rosa 26th October 2015 at 8:22 pm - Reply


    You don’t sound daft at all. Making decisions when anxious can be really difficult as we have exaggerated responses. Someone else might feel a bit uncertain and uneasy, for anxiety sufferers it can feel as if it is a decision about life or death. We are also used to “investigate” our feelings and can become anxious if we don’t feel as we think we should. At least this was how it was for me when I started to date my husband 6 years ago. What helped back then (even without knowing about Paul’s approach) was the thought that I didn’t have to feel crazily in love. I just told myself that this was a nice guy and that I liked spending time with him. And that this was all I had to know at that moment.

    If you enjoy spending time with her, then do it! If not, then don’t. If you are not sure, it doesn’t matter. There are lots of people out there who don’t know excactly what they feel for someone or who are in relationships they are not sure about. And that’s ok! Only anxiety wants to make us believe that it is a really big thing.

    Hope that helps.

  389. Jamie 26th October 2015 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    She messaged back and said she understands that I’ve been through a tough time and I’m “healing” but she’d like to get more “intimate”. She seems to be missing the point. Most men wild be punching the air right now but not an anxiety sufferer….

  390. Carla 26th October 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Oh Jamie, I know you’re going through it (as we all are) but your message did make me smile. Life can be so ironic sometimes can’t it? I remember in my early twenties when I was being utterly battered by anxiety and, honestly, I was beating men away with sticks! Everyone wanted to ‘rescue’ me and none of them had a bloody clue about the depths of suffering I was experiencing.

    But I’m now married to one of those men. Because no matter what I said or what I did to demonstrate quite how f***ed up I was he just wouldn’t go away. And we somehow got through it to happier times. 20 years on and a second, brutal wave of symptoms, he’s somewhat less starry-eyed and patient. But he’s still here and i wouldn’t be without him.

    So my advice is to be brutally honest. Tell her all your doubts and worries. By all means finish it if there’s no attraction, either physically or mentally. But if there’s even a little part of you that wants to see her again then do it. If it’s meant to be then one date will naturally lead to another. If not, then you’ll be putting your phone on silent and desperately avoiding all her regular haunts!


  391. Jamie 26th October 2015 at 10:41 pm - Reply


    I met her via an Internet social meetup site so it complicates it a bit whatever happens as I would no doubt continue to see her on the meetups. I have told her I was in a very bad place when my marriage ended and I was / very nervous about the meetups, dating and getting into another relationship. I have made it clear that I don’t want to jump into another relationship.

    I don’t want to go into too much detail to her about my innermost thoughts and feelings as she may repeat it to others on the meetup group (she has a good friend she goes to a lot of events for example). I don’t want to come across as a complete head case either and I certainly don’t really want to discuss intimacy in detail with her.

  392. Belgian 27th October 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Carla (and others 🙂 ),

    I can so relate to your story. Basically, all this chatter about the influence of anxiety on relationships really comes down to the fact that anxiety amplifies our emotions.

    This means that simple – and perfectly normal – thoughts of uncertainty about a relationship are felt so strong that it seems impossible to go passed them. It is very easy to fall into the trap of letting these feelings define you when in an anxious state.

    For me there are two ways of letting these thoughts define me:

    1) I totally identify with my thoughts and break up with the girl
    2) I go into combat mode and spend days ruminating on the subject

    I have found a very special woman who has put up with all of my ‘imaginary’ battles. She does this because even though I express my doubts and fears about our relationship, she feels my struggle and the love that I express in my actions towards her.

    I see anxiety and a relationship as two different ‘problems’ now. Very recently, for the first time in years, I truly allowed myself to think my way out of the relationship with my wife. I was lying in bed and utterly surrendered to these thoughts and feelings while understanding their true significance. It was such a liberating experience. It seems silly now why I have been fighting these thoughts so vigorously in the past.

    It took me a lot of practice to reach this point. But it was more than worth it. I really felt all the negative energy pouring out of my head, finally finding a way out.

    Does this mean I do not longer have doubtful feelings or thoughts about my wife? Of course not. These thoughts and feelings are part of me. But the love for my wife does not have to be defined by them. On the contrary, I have been battling them and choosing my wife again and again, even when it all felt so horrible.

    This for me is love. It is a choice to stand by someone’s side even when this choice is not always the easy one. Of course, this choice should not be made out of a misplaced feeling of duty or just because you feel scared to be simply “alone” (although for many these factors would play an important role and who am I to judge).

    I make this choice because I do not want to let anxiety governing my life and because of the fact that my relationship is so strong it survived the most difficult time I (we) ever experienced.

    In that way, and this is difficult to appreciate in the midst of our suffering, anxiety is also a gift. We are forced to live between exaggerated emotions. We have to look them in the eye and can not turn them a blind one like so many people do.

    There is richness in this experience. One that can only be shared by people who went through it. When you have found the right way of acceptance, strength and wisdom will be born out of the shivering wrecks we sometimes are.

    Never lose faith and trust in this!

  393. Dani 27th October 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Hey everyone,

    I just wondered if anyone else on here is struggling mainly with the DP/DR side of things?

    I feel I can deal with the physical anxiety symptoms and as such they seemed to have calmed down, but I still have some DP/DR and it really gets me down.

    It mainly involves me feeling like I’m not human anymore, even though I know I am. I feel like there are 2 parts of my mind, one which knows how to function in every day life and then the other part which says “none of this makes any sense, what is life?, you don’t feel human, what is it to be human” – and that part goes on all day long, pretty much non-stop. I know I’m suppose to accept this but it’s like torture.

    I’ve tried carrying on as normal (except for going to work as I’m signed off sick) – but it doesn’t seem to be getting much better.

    Will it subside in time? Occasionally I feel glimmers of hope that I will feel like a normal human again but most the time I can’t imagine getting back to normal.

  394. karen 27th October 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    So …. is there a difference between allowing and accepting how you feel and carrying on despite it, …. and …..ignoring it and putting on a face.
    Many recovered say they smiled on the days it was nearly impossible and just carried on. But is that accepting how you feel? Isn’t that just forcing and pretending. Or does it mean …. accept you feel cack and do your best.

  395. karen 27th October 2015 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Many recovered say they made themselves smile and carried on on days it felt impossible. I get that.
    So what’s the difference between accepting / going towards feelings but carrying on anyway …..and ignoring them forcing yourself on. Does that make sense?
    Hi Danni…..are you the Dani that used to be on here with sleep anxiety that gave me fab advice? Pauls book has great advice about dp. X

  396. karen 27th October 2015 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Oops sorry. Computer malfunction

  397. Jamie 27th October 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the response Carla by the way. I will get there 🙂

  398. Dani 27th October 2015 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Karen,

    No not the same Dani

  399. Horton 27th October 2015 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I’m gonna be the biggest pain in the ass right now and ask some really silly questions, aimed at Nolan but anyone who wants to can chip it. Not sure if he’ll even read it anyway seeing how he does not frequent the website regularly anymore.

    Nolan once wrote this:

    “Yes, every happy, warm, joyful past memory was stained.
    But worse than being stained, they tormented me. They seemed like scenes from a life I never experienced. Now, I know that I did experience them… but my anxiety (and the fears, doubts, and symptoms that went along with it) did something to those past memories that appeared to ruin them forever when I was in the darkest days of anxiety.
    I got to a point where I didn’t even want to think about them. I didn’t want them coming up in my mind for the reasons I stated: it just tormented me.
    But yes…
    I recovered the joy of those past memories.
    I didn’t try to though. It’s just something that comes naturally once peace finds its way back into your life.
    This wasn’t a linear improvement. Ups and down and backwards and forwards and new fears and new doubts then new hope and new insight….
    This has been a rollercoaster of a time in my life.
    But, the absurdity of all if it is what ultimately helped me in just letting go, giving up the struggle and saying, “Whatever is going to happen at any moment is simply what it is…. I’m done fighting it”.
    But back to your question:
    Yes, the full flavor of those past joyful and warm memories came back to me.”

    This is my key issue. My past memories are gone in the manner in which Nolan described, which changes the meanings of things to me in the present and future. They’ve been completely gone for me for the past 24 months, which is a long time. Time normally causes memories to fade, but even more so when you throw a quote-unquote “anxiety disorder” into the mix. Nothing’s budging, nothing’s come back over my recovery period thus far. And frankly it just doesn’t make sense that memories CAN come back after being so completely gone for even a week let alone several years. It seems illogical to hope for that, and a logical fallacy to think it possible.
    I suppose most people here would tell me: “Be ok with them never coming back.” And I do try to, I concentrate on the present most of the time. Not the future. Not the past.
    But to me recovering those memories, making them the present once again, is recovering from anxiety. It is being me again. Of course in regards to recovery people will also say: “Be ok with never recovering.” Which I also do most of the time, once again opting concentrating on the present instead.

    I suppose I’m doing the safety behavior thing, the relief fishing thing, the harmful cycle of trying to get answers that will always elude me.

    But, although I know this is an acceptance faux pas, I’d still like some advice. If anyone has any.

    Wish you all the best!

  400. JoJo 27th October 2015 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Hey Team,
    I call it team cause you all help us out and keep us going. I am just really beside myself right now. I try and not call people about my issue or talk about it. I have tried to ignore the thoughts, I feel like I still don’t feel those moments of relief others describe. The minute I’m not distracted or full into something the mind chatter is back and thinking and analyzing my situation is present. Am I going to have to never be able to relax and not be idle? I just get flooded with feelings like my mental problem is getting worse, I’m gonna breakdown and not be able to go on, am I depressed, is this anxiety. I have to go on I have a child and a husband who need me. Is this serious, do I need to call my mom and tell her she needs to get me help or on more meds? Why am I not happy? What’s wrong with my life? I keep battling all of this in my mind. How did my mind get so messed up and think such yucky and down things? How am I ever going to get my mind better after 5 years of conditioning this way? How do you stop not wanting to heal the mind. I just am so frustrated and feel so angry again at all this. I know I have to stop searching for peace. I just don’t know how people do nothing and stop searching. To me it seems totally impossible and I am saying this after 5 years of trying. What do I do? How do I get these bad feelings to go away? How do I feel happy again and stop feeling despair and down and sad and not myself etc. maybe I have depression and don’t know? I don’t really hear others says they feel down or not right about life. Anyways I have said enough.any advice would be great although that’s another thing I’m not supposed to do. Ughhhh this sucks

  401. Mark r 28th October 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Emma,

    It’s always really fascinating to read your posts, not only because you are very articulate but also due to your interest and knowledge of mindfulness. I am guessing you have read ‘The Happiness Trap’? It mentions the struggle switch in that book.

    I’s very strange for me at the moment and pretty confusing, not that it’s anyway straight forward. I’ve spent the last 12 months or so ‘plodding on’ at a snails pace and slowly getting back to myself. Since last Monday I’ve swung from completely terrible to okay to feeling almost recovered, the latter being dotted around the bad days. I get a shift as well which is quite dramatic and feel okay for a few days then to feel terrible again the next. I’ve had these periods before in recovery, some a lot darker and longer than this so I know underneath all this tension and awfulness that I will come out smiling again and further along the line towards being me again. In any case I need to give it the space it needs to burn itself out. Of course I’m getting the usual thoughts of ‘This one’s taking ages, perhaps it will never go’ but try and brush these off as they are total bull****.

    I did read in a letter to myself that these times are a recovery accelerator and my own history kind of proves that so maybe there is a silver lining but it’s not nice and it’s not easy!

    So to Me, Emma, Karen, Carla and Dominic who all to be in this boat, let’s keep the faith as ‘This too shall pass’.


  402. Mark r 28th October 2015 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Ps forgot to say as well that I’ve not once tried to change how I feel whatever I do…if I’m playing golf crying so be it, if I’m at work feeling tense so be it, if I’m at the pub not engaging so be it….I’m sure you get my drift…haha.

  403. Jamie 28th October 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Keep on doing that Mark. It has to be the only way. Your mind will eventually learn that there is nothing to fear and your life will not be altered even with anxiety bubbling to the surface from time to time

  404. Chris 29th October 2015 at 12:07 am - Reply

    Hi all – I’m really really struggling right now and it’s looking hopeless.

    Basically I’ve had a compulsion to go on google the last few days, which I did (beating myself up for it). Anyways, about two years ago I used recreational drugs (speed,ecstasy) – haven’t used any since. During this time my anxiety skyrocketed and manifested into anxiety-depression. I came right for a period of time with normal setbacks etc. But in this last setback I thought “what if the drugs damaged my brain” and so I went onto google. I read all this terrifying stuff (actual government studies and neuroscience journals) reinforcing my fears, and it basically says that I’ll just get worse over time due to the aging process. It’s all scientific resources I read too not just some guy on a forum scaremongering.

    This absolutely cripples me with fear and hopelessness. The worst feeling in the world. Is there anyway to overcome this anxiety with these demons lurking above me? How should I react when those thoughts come? Because they seem so real. Help 🙁

  405. Mark r 29th October 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

    This has to be the most brutal setback I’ve had. One day okay the next full of anxiety, dry heaving. Not easy at work. This is awful.

  406. JoJo 29th October 2015 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Any advice on my post above?

  407. Jamie 29th October 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    I think the last few posts may be a job for Nolan, Paul or Belgian…..

  408. Belgian 29th October 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply


    The only answer I should give to you, you have already found yourself. It is in your first sentence:

    “Hi all – I’m really really struggling right now and it’s looking hopeless.”

    Well then, STOP STRUGGLING!

    It is impossible for me to determine whether or not you indeed suffered ‘brain damage’ and whether or not this is going to get worse over time. Reading your text it does seem to me that you are more than anything suffering from anxiety and not from brain damage. 🙂

    If you want to be sure of this, contact a doctor. But stop believing Google. You are trying to determine something that takes 7+ years of university to understand.

    I did use marihuana when I was younger until I suffered anxiety attacks from them. If I wanted, I could now think just the same thing as you. In fact, because I am writing about it, I do. It simply does not have the same effect on me, because I am not in anxious state.

    You are in an anxious state, that is why everything feels so overwhelmingly intense. It does not feel intense because you have brain damage, it only feels this way because you are scared of it. It is not necessarily true!

    In fact, you are not using anymore. That is so sensible, that it proves that you must have apt cognitive reactions 🙂 .

    As someone who is easily sensitized, you should refrain on using alcohol and drugs. Last Monday I went out for a drink. I drank too much for a Monday night and because I did not had enough sleep, I felt anxiety (heart palpitations) for two days. Not pleasant, but I know and understand why they are there AND that this will not last forever.

    Your present state will not last forever. It can only survive as long as you or your memory fuel the fire that creates it. This fire is adrenaline. So stop reading Google, go out and do something taking your anxiety with you. It will not harm you, because it can’t. Surrender to your anxiety by accepting its presence and by understanding it’s utter insignificance.

    I am very sure that you will recover. Just practice this acceptance and let time pass.

  409. Meg 29th October 2015 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Chris – I had a severe reaction to anti depressents and googling Judy terrified me…Some people documented after a severe reaction they took years to recover. I Googled and Googled and terrified myself but my dr is adamant I’m ok and just have anxiety. I’ve finally accepted it and when the thoughts come I just remain completely neutral and they’re gone before I even have chance to think about it. Stop struggling and fighting against the anxiety as it only reinforces it.. I know this is incredibly difficult bur you will get there 🙂 like paul says stop stirring the murky waters.

  410. Colin 29th October 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Chris your dr is right it’s anxiety ! Let it be . Don’t google it because it’s only negative stuff on the Internet . Avoid avoid avoid mate.
    Stay true to yourself , believe there is light at the end of the tunnel and soon you will see it getting brighter.


  411. Julie 29th October 2015 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Hi All

    Where am I going wrong? I just don’t know and could do with some advice.

    Ok I had gone into recovery I think earlier this year then I had a few health issues and had to face my fear of appointments. Then last month I had a blood test, huge panic attack infront of the nurse and since then this setback has hit in full force and i haven’t had a day where I have had a break in 6 weeks. After that day I had constant general anxiety, health anxiety and panic attacks if I feel any physical sensations that feel like I am ill incase I end up needing to see a doctor and have to face an appointment which I am terrified of after how bad the last one went.

    Well since then I have the panic attacks, not had them in years and are physical ones rather than the intrusive thought ones i used to get that threw me into a high anxiety state. These are full on physical. Then on top the fears of needing an appointment so my health anxiety I guess is playing up but the worst part is this general anxiety all day. I feel it racing around me and I feel a general unease all day, like something bad is going to happen, maybe I will have a huge panic attack, go crazy, pass out, need to see a doctor…. it’s a horrid unease all day. It has of course triggered my intrusives again which are about what if I hurt others or end up sectioned. They aren’t daily really but sometimes hit when this unease is high.

    I used to have the odd good day and I’d get a break, which I guess is a glimpse but because in the last 6 weeks I haven’t had a glimpse or a moment of feeling relaxed I feel scared this won’t ever lift 🙁 I have no hope because I have had very little break the last 6 weeks. At least prior to this I’d have a nice relaxed evening or a nice afternoon and feel calm and think oh I feel so relaxed right now. I haven’t in ages and it worries me that this is something far worse than anxiety to feel this unease and feel scared what if I lose control feeling. Urghh, it’s tough.

    Can anyone offer any advice? I hate to be back here asking but I feel stuck and I keep worrying are the meds I am on doing this to me. I have been on them 2 years now and i have been in good spells so I should know that’s not the case.

    Any advice appreciated.


  412. karen 29th October 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    So many seem to be having setbacks right now. Wondering if the weather doesn’t help. I am going to start taking vitamin D and Magnesium. Can’t hurt and I don’t expect it to fix it. This will pass …. you are doing everything right …. sounds like we all are … We are just panicking because it isn’t passing as quickly as we would like. Totally understandable. But we know we are right because we have had moments … days …. weeks of clarity. It’s just total frustration to be back there. It’s not easy to not care! All we can do is keep going and ensure we don’t avoid or perform compulsions ….. It has no choice but to pass.

  413. Dustin 29th October 2015 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    I know this may not be the response you were hoping for, but have you ever considered idea that it might be ok to feel this way? I have read your posts before, and I have read the responses to them. What if you took a different attitude to how you are feeling. Don’t try to make yourself not care about it, because you will naturally care. Have that “so what attitude” that so many people have talked about on here towards your thoughts and feelings. I have felt absolutely horrible for months on end and my hope has been shaken to the core, but I am not spending my time worrying about it. Right now I have my doubts that this will ever end, but they can stick around however long they want. I think that many people are under the misconception that it is wrong to feel a certain way or have certain thoughts. Let it all be there. Let it scare you if it wants to. But let your mind rest and allow it all to be there. Again I know that this is probably not the response that you wanted, but you need to take heed of the amazing advice that people like Nolan and Paul have given us.
    Hang in there. You’ll give up the struggle someday and realize that there is nothing to figure out and no insanely complex puzzle you need to solve. You’re not broken, so there’s nothing that needs to be fixed. Hopefully I could provide some perspective and if there is something that I said that didn’t make any sense, please follow up.

  414. Chris 29th October 2015 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks everyone.

    The problem is I believe the thoughts and I’m at the point where I can’t even function at all. The idea of ‘brain damage’ has completely taken over my life and every second is hell. I’ve had people try to reassure me but it has no affect whatsoever because I’ve read into it too much. Not trying to sound like a pity party here but I’m honestly so severely messed up.


  415. Julie 29th October 2015 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    Karen – thank you ?

    Dustin – it was a great reply, thank you.

    That’s what I have to start doing, not caring if this is me forever but in struggle to be ok with how I feel daily when I’ve had good times. It’s me not accepting my life has changed because of the anxiety. I spend too much time dwelling on the fact I feel so bad because I’ve not felt good moments very often to reassure myself like i normally would.

    Your reply was great. Thank you.

  416. Ves 30th October 2015 at 4:44 am - Reply

    Hi Julie,

    Our conscious mind is not in control. There are many subconscious processes bubbling away in the background, calculating and evaluating situations and experience and presenting to the conscious mind “it’s” thoughts. You’ve probably witnessed many such thoughts arriving in your conscious mind. But we can’t change the “thoughts”. The only thing we can do to quiet the mind through relaxed but aware watching. To bore the mind into shutting up, to relax so it has the space to do so. Don’t over think things and don’t force quiet on your mind nor criticize yourself for the way things are. Sit, relax, breathe, pay attention. Don’t seek to recreate past experiences – that’s just more thinking! Don’t cling to states of mind – again just more thinking!

    You have strong motivation, use it right to relax and relax even more and it will bear fruits in its own good time.

  417. Mark r 30th October 2015 at 7:37 am - Reply


    A lot seem to be struggling at the moment. I feel bloody awful but still pushing through keeping some perspective. Yesterday was off the scale in terms of feelling bad, cant describe how terrible it was. However saying that I still had 2 hours of complete peace where all the tension, awfulness dropped away and I had my interest and appetite back. I’m hugely encouraged by this as it seems to be passing and I know this is a temporary stage. It’s been two.weeks of utter s**t but with good days and times dotted around in there. Of course they come of their own accord so I’m not forcing anything.

  418. Meg 30th October 2015 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Chris – I got to this point a few weeks ago and went to the Dr’s. She seemed disappointed as I hadn’t been to see her for months and she thought i was better. I don’t know why but thus gave me a moment of clarity and I’ve finally given up tge fight. The anxirty cycle just stopped and I’ve had panic attacks in the night every night this week…BUT for the first time I couldn’t care less. I’ve got on with my week at work and it’s been ok even though I feel awful ive still had a good week. It’s taken me nearly 10 months to get there but I’ve got there eventually.

  419. Julie 30th October 2015 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Thank you Ves.

    That makes sense, I know what you mean that I have to be ok with how I feel. I just don’t do a good job at feeling like this and feeling ok with it when I haven’t had a day off in weeks I begin to worry this is far more than anxiety going on 🙁

    Today I feel anxiety racing, I feel exhausted and worn down. I carry on as normal looking after my children and home but inside I feel nothing but anxiety and fear, my head keeps racing and general anxiety buzzing around my body and I have no idea how you just let it be there.


  420. Julie 30th October 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply


    A question. How do I feel ok with this? I don’t purposely add fear to this as it seems automatic that I feel awful inside. I feel anxiety racing around me, I feel resteless, agitated…. it then triggers my intrusives of losing control and not being safe near my family. Urgh. Like I say I don’t purposely add fear to it, I just feel this constant racing around and I can’t relax. I let it be there and I carry on but still I feel it and feel terrified 🙁

    I know I am being so negative but I am upset because I feel this constant unease and have no idea how you do the so what, because even when I do I feel terrified and no better for it. It just seems automatic. Today it’s racing around my body and it sets my head on high alert which triggers the scary thoughts. How do you be ok with that? I am just not used to feeling like this and I am not glimpsing good times lately so I have lost hope which adds more fear I am ill and this isn’t anxiety. I then think I am a terrible person, ill or a bad mother 🙁 I just want to go back to feeling relaxed at home, enjoy my days and feel happy.

    Sorry to offload again. I just feel so lost and I had come so far 🙁 I worry I am far too complex to overcome this as I have agoraphobia, social anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thougts, general anxiety……… 🙁


  421. Ryan 30th October 2015 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Hey Mark,
    Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. .I was doing great after my trip, up until yesterday, as me and my wife started chatting about our upcoming trip to hawaii. We were taking about the fight, and my body started to panic. .now I’m back in high anxiety mode. .morning till night. This is really really frustrating add I used to love to travel and fly, and now panic shoots through my body every time I think of the trip. So incredibly frustrating. Not sure how to accept this one. ..just scared this is going to get worse and worse. .which stinks because I have made great strides this year. .

  422. Dustin 30th October 2015 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    You are mistaken if you think I feel ok about what I am going through. If I feel ok about where I am in my life. I would be lying if I told you that I was happy right now or that my anxiety doesn’t bother me. The only thing that has changed for me is my attitude towards it. What kept me in the loop (and where you may or may not be struggling), was the idea that once it clicked (whatever it was) I should instantly feel like the same person as I was before, That I should have no fear of this thing, and that I would gain back all of my confidence and happiness that I once had. Any day I had that was less than this insane idea of normalcy, in my mind, I was back at square one, and I would work myself up over it. When things changed for me, it wasn’t like a light bulb went off in my head. There was no huge realization or life altering piece of wisdom that suddenly came to me. Honestly it happened when I moved on from the subject. This isn’t to say that it isn’t on my mind constantly. I just took it with me and allowed my body and mind to do whatever they want. Even if I am convinced that I have made no progress or that I am back at the beginning. I went around for years trying to figure it all out, wondering why I was still not myself. Years after I found this website. Things are better for me. They are most certainly not good, but they are better. So again, to answer you question “How do I feel ok with this?” – You don’t. Take it all with you. It does not feel good, but it is liberating to allow any thought/feeling to be there. You’ll get there.

  423. Mark r 30th October 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Ryan,

    I’m the same as you. Been in recovery a while now but this year has been the one with the most strides towards myself, although its had the most setbacks of any other year. Maybe they are recovery accelerators after all.

    It’s a bit dark for me at the moment and this setback seems especially long. Its affecting everything but im still keeping busy, although have zero interest in anything. Work is especially difficult as I cant focus at all. Been out with my camera this afternoon and cried my eyes out for most of it. Giant leap of faith needed here as I know I’ll be back to being me soon.

    You always fear it’s going to get worse and thats the trick of setback. All those fearful thoughts return and you worry about being back at the start. You never are and the clouds ALWAYS part. This all feels on the surface to be honest, years ago I would have totally lost myself completely.

  424. Jacob 30th October 2015 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    In need of help again.

    As I said in a previous post from a while back–I took Finasteride (Propecia) and now I am suffering with all kinds of symptoms: head pressure, loss of libido, intense anxiety, emotional numbing, DP/DR, panic attacks, loss of social abilities, and more.

    I just don’t know what to do about it. I had absolutely NO stressors in my life to cause me any issues prior to taking that medicine. Paul David says our state is created by stressors in our life which eventually culminate in a tired mind, etc. But I had absolutely 0 stressors—life was great prior to the drug so my symptoms in no way can be self-induced/ triggered by worrying about side effects.

    The fact is I got side effects AND THEN started worrying about them. My entire life has been screwed by the pill. My brain and body are probably damaged as well. Sperm count is totally messed up.

    What the heck do I do in this situation? It feels like nothing can help as medicine hasn’t advanced enough to solve this AND therapy doesn’t work as I don’t have ANY REASON AT ALL to feel like this.

    And while this is all going on with my physical/mental health all my friends are getting ahead and having the time of their lives in college. I’ve had to give up my dreams and this causes me further agitation. This state is causing me so much stress since I am unable to achieve anything at all.

    I used to be at the top in school with a high GPA and now I’m failing out. That officially means I have become a failure in life.

  425. Tom Marshall 30th October 2015 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Hey guys,

    I haven’t posted on here in a while. I’ve noticed relationship anxiety keeps popping up quite a lot so I thought I would write a little post for people this doesn’t just apply to people with that particular theme it applies to everyone because when it comes down to it, the story the mind creates for the feelings is pretty irrelevant, However I know when its about the relationship, the uncertainty is crippling and thats what I have experienced the most during my time with my good old pal anxiety.

    You know what, Anxiety is almost like a super organised friend that you get drunk that one time, He’s brilliant when he’s sober but after a hard night at the pub the poor bugger doesn’t know up from down. The next day, He feels horrible and its safe to say its going to take him a few days to ‘recover’ but regardless of the fact he feels crappy he knows that this awful hangover won’t last forever, all he has to do is take it steady drink some water and get back on with life, he might even stay in bed for a while but at some point he gets up and after a few days he’s back to normal.

    Now, you are in a relationship with someone you who love dearly. Everything going great when BAM! A little thought pops in to say ‘Hey what if you didn’t love them?’
    Before you know it you are crippled with anxiety by the idea of not loving them. So you go on analysing the thought and trying to figure out a ‘deeper meaning’ as to why you are having this thoughts and before you know it that one thought turned into 100’s and your on guard picking out every single flaw about them that could potentially ruin the relationship. But if you notice at the same time all these thoughts and judgments are hurting you, You just want it all to go away and feel love and attraction like you one did towards that person. You start to fear you are in the wrong relationship and somethings wrong with you.

    I’m here to say there is nothing wrong with you, those feelings don’t mean you don’t love them and those thoughts may come in strong but the 100% control your actions in life. If you notice throughout this process of feeling the way you do there is always something inside you that tells you to stay. Your thoughts may think otherwise and tell you that you’re in denial but when it comes to the bottom line no matter how hard it all hits you, the desire to figure out how to get rid of these thoughts and feelings is overpowers told persistent doubt in your mind.

    So the saying goes, ‘Learn to live gracefully with uncertainty’

    Well… I’m changing it for the moment.

    ‘Learn to love gracefully with uncertainty’

    Yes thats right, stop trying to get rid of that feeling or this thought and Stop telling yourself that you need to fix yourself in order to love this person properly.

    Look at what moment your in now, are you with them? Is you’re anxiety sky high at the very thought of them? Well ok then. Ask yourself this, what action can you take towards that person that you would normally do if you didn’t feel this way and do it.
    Don’t try to make it perfect, be as imperfect as you want I mean we are human after all. So kiss them, hold them, tell them you love them, make love, take them to dinner, help them with something and for once do it all without trying to change what you are thinking and feeling inside. You’re mind will always have a reason or a question as to why you can’t and thats fine. You don’t need the answers anymore and if you are not with them and its bothering you. SO BE IT! What are you doing in this moment? Always choose to do the thing that would make you happy in the long wrong. Not to distract yourself, not to get rid of it. But to be with it and say ‘You don’t control my life anymore, I do.’

    The same applies to anyone who is struggling right now, give the search up and go do something you enjoy while holding hands with your super drunk organised friend.

    I wish you ALL the best and I don’t hope you will get through this because I already know you will.

  426. Jen 30th October 2015 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    So I feel like I’m going on the right track to recovery however I feel anxious alot through thr day now which makes me confused and I have been struggling with these thoughts of questioning my existence sometimes. And also I keep struggling with am I feeling normal and this is how its suppose to feel but I question it like I’m on the moment but it’s not sinking in and I question my memory of I remember things. Is this normal. And will it go why do I keep doing this and feeling this way and thinking this way. I had a very good moment on Wednesday night I has zero anxiety and felt like my old self again however now it’s gone. What did I do wrong please can anyone give me some encouragement and advise. I feel like I have lost my old self which makes me sad

  427. Meg 31st October 2015 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Tom Marshall – thanks for commenting I’ve screen shotted sone of your previous comments aa they’re very helpful.
    Particularly when you wrote about fearing schizophrenia, bipolar etc as this has been a big one for me. I’ve finally started ignoring these thoughts and feel better for it. One of my main symptoms is just feeling tense and off all day long, it doesn’t feel particularly attached to any situation or thought..its just kind of there making me feel awful. My body just feels gross sometimes!

  428. Anxious Indian 31st October 2015 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Jojo, if you can, please read the book ‘The Power of Now’ from Eckhart Tolle. I have a feeling it might help you. I believe a free PDF is available on the internet. If not, then I can also email to you. Let me know.

  429. Elaine 31st October 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Mark r
    Sorry to hear your struggling I suffer too with dry heaving or retching which really upsets me.I have been going to a cbt therapist who encourages me to retch instead of holding it in but I lasts try znd control it not the right thing to do I know
    Do you just let it happen I get so embarrassed

  430. Mark r 31st October 2015 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    This setback has shoved me into a spin dryer of wasps and barb wire, its been 2 weeks of utter misery. The relief I get when the clouds part is phenomenal.

  431. Maria 31st October 2015 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone,

    I too haven’t posted in awhile, but I thought I’d share this little insight with you.

    When I first read Paul’s book last spring, my anxiety lifted almost immediately. Oh glory days! I felt like myself again for the first time is ages! It really clicked that I had absolutely nothing to fear, that all of this was just a sham. As soon as the fear was gone, so was the anxiety!

    So I started living my life again, doing things that I enjoyed and feeling really great. But if I’m honest with myself and you, deep down I was still avoiding. I didn’t want to fall back into the grips of anxiety so bit by bit, I avoided situations or actions that way in the back of my mind I knew used to trigger my anxiety. And guess what? Yep, the anxiety slowly crept back in. While I thought I was no longer afraid of it, i really was! Dang it!

    So I wouldn’t say I’m back to square one, but this little setback has been a wake up call. For me, the lifting of my anxiety came from simply no longer being afraid of it. I believe our brains work on habit, and like any habit, it takes time, patience and effort for change to happen. I think what happened here with me is probably pretty typical, and as easy as it would be for me to get really down on myself about it, I’m not going to. I’m looking at this as a learning experience and I’m moving forward. Rereading Paul’s books is a great reminder for me in how to deal with all of this. So if you too are in any kind of setback, just remember to see them as progress, not failure. Learn from them but don’t wallow in them. Wallowing and ruminating just keeps them fueled.

    Hope this helps someone out there. Xo

  432. Tom Marshall 31st October 2015 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Meg, no problem at all, I’m glad to hear you are on the right track and by the sounds of it you are starting to change your relationship with your thoughts, I know it might be tough sometimes and yes it doesn’t feel good but you will get there In the end.


  433. Sue 31st October 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    HI ALL

    You guys are such couragous, generous people 🙂

    I don’t mean to be a fart so please correct me…..Do you acutally believe in “recovery”??

    I just keep thinking about it and I’m afraid, the odds are we’ll be like this forever.

    Its not negative thoughts its become my reality, I’ve read everything out thre and every post, it doesn’t seem logical or real that it would ever lift. I think its destined to come back every time.

    I should know, I’ve had around 10 relapses over the 7 years! Everytime is same.

    I hate that I can’t see recovery its just that Ive gone through all the phases to et better, I do (even the dp lifts) but it slowly comes back.

    Can anyone relate and just give me a slap in the face, let me see the light.

    Again I’m sorry to be a fart 🙁

  434. Dani 31st October 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Jen,

    Just read your post and wanted to let you know that I also have the questioning existence thoughts and not feeling my normal self. I think it’s part of DP/DR. I would say though that if you are having periods of starting to feel like your old self then you are heading in the direction of recovery.

    With regards to the questioning existence thoughts, I have these and similar thoughts almost constantly atm and am also constantly checking in on my thoughts.

    It seems there’s not many other people on here that are dealing with DP/DR, but these are the symptoms I find the hardest to deal with, I can accept the other anxiety symptoms, but the DP/DR feels like mental torture


  435. Debbie 31st October 2015 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    I agree dani i believe i have dp mine seems like everything seems familiar or strange djuvu feelings iam always in my thoughts it is the worst . it gives me a creepy feeling. Iam here but my mind is in diferent images. It comes without even being in panic but than that dos give me panic.

  436. Jacob 31st October 2015 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    So anybody have any idea what I can do?

    How do I deal with the fact that it was a prescription drug that put me in this desperate place virtually overnight?

    As in I was never ever an anxious person before and it basically damaged my body. Ive even had medical blood tests done that point to certain metabolites and hormones out of whack but nobody knows how to fix this. And I have had to lose my girlfriend because of this–not being able to get it up at all. That essentially implies that my life is worthless. Im having to deal with all kinds of symptoms such as the ED, anxiety, head pressure, floaters, depression, DP/DR, intense brain fog. I am no longer able to function at school—> another reason my life is essentially worthless. I went from being on top of the world to nothing.

    How am I supposed to achieve my dreams Exactly in this moment like all my friends are if this is going on. Ive lost everything I had thanks to the medicine.

  437. Meg 31st October 2015 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Jacob – get pauls app. There’s a recovery story from a girl called zoe broadbent who’s anxiety was started due to a bad reaction to pain medication and she, like you describes suddenly bwing thrown into anxiety . Obviously she didn’t describr any sexual difficulties but read her story you may be able to identify with it a bit.
    In my opinion the difficulties you’re having could possibly be anxiety related and I know it’s difficult, but now the anxiety is there, it’s there and pauls advice is the only way forward.
    If it makes you feel better, I had to drop out of university a few days before my course was due to start because of anxiety. I took a year break and then did the course, achieved a first class honours degree and have been qualified only 18 months and have already been promoted to a senior level…All this without even realising the reason I felt so bad all the time was because of anxiety.
    I was told I had an anxiety disorder in february and although it was nice to know what it was it also threw me into deep despair. However, everyday I take heed of pauls advice and I have had some horrendous times but I jist know I will eventually recover and hopefully have the knowledge to make sure I never suffer like this again.

  438. Ryan C 1st November 2015 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Hey guys. Once again I am not on here often but wondering if anyone can offer any advice, maybe even Jeff? As we’ve spoke before and your advice was great! Basically during my recovery, whenever I do anything out of my norm, I suffer, badly. When I went on an xmas night out, it put me in a setback, then when I went to a concert, again, when I had a bad cold it threw me off my road, even recently when my mate took me to a a duly trampoline centre after I come right out my Comfort zone and or overwork my body I can feel totally like its thrown me off balance for sometimes Upto a week! When I get back on track, I am more further ahead than ever however I decided to really challenge my anxiety and move forward and went to Cyprus on my ow and stayed with a friend, I didn’t particularly enjoy it but I managed this and I have a major fear of flying and did that also. However since I have came home im not myself, I feel worse than ever, ive been home since way Saturday and I still feel awful, and what’s bothering me is this strange feeling that is almost overwhelming. I am used to the feelings of detachment but it’s like I can ‘feel’ them intensely and it’s making me feel quite sick. I feel a bit dizzy off balance and almost like everywhere that I started to find going so much easier before I went has me feeling very anxious again. Is this just another phase I should see through? Will I come out of this? It feels like a setback but they never usually last this long and it’s almost starting to seem quite unbearable. It’s like a very strange feeling of being more normal than ever at the same time but without feeling anything that is normal? Still no feelings of joy or love. It really is hitting me quite hard. Thanks.

  439. Ryan C 1st November 2015 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Sorry for spelling errors: *adult trampoline centre / *home since last Saturday

  440. karen 1st November 2015 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Dustin …. that post to Julie was incredibly helpful. I think I have been labouring under the misconception that acceptance meant you serenely went through life not caring or bothering about the anxiety and not caring about feeling awful. Your post helped me to see that it doesn’t mean that at all …. It means feel crap. … have meltdowns …. and get on anyway whilst feeling the fear. I think I thought acceptance meant I wouldn’t feel frightened anymore or I wouldn’t get upset and want to cry about it !!!
    Am I on the right lines now?

  441. Dominic 1st November 2015 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Hi Guys
    Just wanted to pop back and answer a few questions.
    This one is for Chris firstly. Drugs! Well I smoked quite a lot of weed before and up to my original bout with anxiety. I used to get anxiety and paranioa while smoking it but ignored it as I was addicted. After I had felt I had recovered totally I am ashamed to say I started smoking it again to deal with stress.
    I knew it was wrong and had daily internal battles with myself about it. This coupled with high life stress brought on a terrible setback. Three years after my initial anxiety.
    I should have known better and now understand that it was part of the problem. My setback came in the same form as my original anxiety. Lying in bed late at night, high and full of anxiety from cannabis.
    I’ve seen this setback as a blessing to me, and a realisation of my relationship with drugs.
    Now I know the person I am and what drugs do to me and now know I not to ever go back there.
    Anyway, on to setbacks, im still in it, still having the boring thought, feelings, that come with it. Will I ever get out of this etc. my mind try’s to figure it all out at times, scary thoughts come along and that horrible feeling comes over you. I’m there! The same as all of you. My mind will try and work out how to get out of this.
    Now this time I have enough knowledge and understanding to just accept it. My mind will do all this anyway, no matter what I try to do. I just let it do its thing. I can’t control what it does at the moment so why bother.
    Frustration and feeling hopeless.This is also pretty standard, this is part of wanting to be rid of anxiety. I have moments like that but I dust myself down and tell myself to stop feeling sorry for myself, this will pass.
    Fear, ah that old chestnut! Well when my anxiety is high, ie the dreaded mornings, everything is shaded by fear, future events, work, etc
    My advice is let it all be there, it’s going to be there anyway, the things that scare me now, didn’t bother me a couple of months ago so I’m doing them anyway.
    This setback is taking a little time to go but I’m not worried, my mind and nerves will recover once they are ready, in the meantime I carry on with life feeling rubbish or not. I’ve been here before and got myself home so I’ll be there again.
    Sorry if I describe it as all about me. But what I mean is if I can totally recover and live totally carefree for so long then so can you. It just proves that these thoughts and feelings are just temporary and will pass.
    My advice is and always has been to move on from the subject, even the blogs. It keeps you on the subject. Its so hard to I know. Even now my mind will try to find answers, it’s what it does when you are anxious. Let it and get on with your day. The answers are in life and living it, not about something somebody writes to make you feel better.
    Hope this is helpful

  442. karen 1st November 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Meg …. that is brilliant x

  443. Meg 1st November 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Karen – thank you. I think in a lot of ways anxiety can drive us forward but eventually it takes its toll. I can see now that I’ve always been a perfectionist and always wanting to be the best ar everything. From this experience I’m starting to see that although this has made me appear successful, it’s never made me happy and this strive dir perfection made me full of doubt and self criticism. If anything, going through this has made me realise I need to listen to my body and give myself a break.

  444. karen 1st November 2015 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Me too Meg …. am guessing that’s something a lot of us have in common …. High expectations and perfectionism.
    For example …. family days out …. I expect them to be happy / fun / perfect like on TV. When they turn into tantrum child or arguing I am immediately down. Reality check …. that’s actually normal …. my expectations were not. It was never going to be a 100% perfect day with no issues. X

  445. Julie 1st November 2015 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Dustin – Thank you. I get you now. Yes I think I thought I’d read Pauls book, grasp acceptance and instantly the anxiety would go or my fear would leave but that hasn’t been the case. I have had many lightbulb moments where I have realised what it is I must do to live alongside this anxiety but I still add fear to it and wish it would go because I hate how I feel inside. I now realise i have to let it be there no matter how awful I feel and live my life. What I tend to do when I feel a setback is to give up my yoga, stop eating, wallow in self pitty, cry all day, dwell, avoid……. everything I shouldn’t be doing. I realise that I need to do the things I love despite how awful I feel and slowly I am getting those things back.

    For me the worst part of this setback which has been almost 2 months now is my fear that it’s last so long and that means I am not ever going to recover this time. Again that is something I need to stop doing. I just find it hard to say, ok this may be me forever because I want to live my life. I want to do everything I want to do in life but this damn anxiety stops me. Like holidays abroad, nights out, eating out more, socialising…… I realise I have to do these things despite how I feel but my anxiety can be so intense at times that I can’t do these things often as my anticipatory anxiety can be pretty severe.

    Dominic – I loved your post. Thank you so much. Everything you wrote struck a cord in my brain and it was a comfort.


  446. Julie 1st November 2015 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Maria – Great post. Thank you for sharing.

    Julie xo

  447. Meg 1st November 2015 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I think acceptance is also about being positive even though we may feel rubbish for quite a while. From pauls book I get the impression his recovery took a long time and some of the recovery stories sound like recovery was drawn out. For me, I’ve accepted that I may still feel like this this time next year and possibly longer… However if I hadnt found pauls advice I would have probably fumbled around in the dark and got much worse. How I try and see it is that this can’t last forever and by taking this route we are educating ourselves enough to make sure we don’t fall into this trap again. It is awful but if spending however long feeling like this means we can find peace and ultimately stop ourselves from suffering then I think it’s worth taking this route, hard as it may be.

  448. Jacob 1st November 2015 at 10:42 pm - Reply


    Thanks for the reply–I did get the app and took a look at that. Really unfortunate.

    Somehow though I am going to have to cope with the sexual difficulties. I have booked an appt to see a counselor about all this and for the anxiety. And somehow I need to find the right medical professionals to fix the hormonal component if its possible.

    Im still really agitated over the whole situation though and may have to check in to a psych ward. I suppose its kind of like a tragedy though where somebody loses an eye. Our society really makes sex #1–you see it everywhere on TV and everything so not be able to do that really gets to my head. I am a college student after all sex is all I hear people talk about day in day out.

    Theres just so much crap to fix up and its all very overwhelming on top of all the stuff we don’t know about finasteride depleting the brain allopregnenolone (which has been proven with tons of studies). And somehow I need to have all that figured out myself cause typical doctors suck and its very time consuming/stressful.

  449. JoJo 2nd November 2015 at 1:26 am - Reply

    Hi Tom Marshall,

    Your posts are always so helpful. You mention how the mind comes up with a way to try to explain our feelings and then we question the relationship. I notice with myself sometimes I am asking or dwelling on if I love him and this never happens because I am having physical feelings. It is more mentally going on in my head. Is this one in the same? Sometimes though it seems like this is how I really feel inside. It’s so confusing. It’s hard to know when you try and ask yourself how you feel about your partner and you almost can’t feel that you love them. It’s like trying to instantly ask yourself to feel you know you love them and you just can’t. This always gets me and spikes me more. I have done much better with this issue it just still pops it’s head up. Sometimes I don’t want to be touched or I Notice myself resisting his affection towards me and then the doubts come in. Then I feel like I really don’t feel right, something is wrong. Any insight would be great?

    Also why are we constantly asking ourselves why we are not happy? What is the reason anxiety does this one to us?

  450. Mark r 2nd November 2015 at 8:30 am - Reply

    Wow, setback appears to be on the menu for a few of us at the moment.

    I’m starting to see the light at the end of mine now after a very rocky two weeks. Had two pretty decent days considering where my appetite, interest, humour have poked through the darkness. Still have pretty ramped up symptoms – tense body, loud mind, very thick dp but thats something I’m going to have to work with for now. I think the hardest part is that the symptoms I’ve been okay with the best part of 18 months have started to matter again but that will die down.
    I’m still living my life despite this but it goes without saying that everything is a lot harder than it was a few weeks or months back. I think its easy to wallow and get upset when symptoms return in a rocky period as you get used to a certain ‘baseline’ of it. Ive been doing some of that but realised thats my old way of coping and isnt going to help me turn this around. So I’ll see how today pans out and hopefully I’ll continue to trend upwards again.

    If I can take something from this it would be that I’ve been thrown back into the worst of times again temporarily and I’ve been able to push myself through it.

    Great to see positive posts from Dominic, with that attitude you’ll be back living comfortably pretty soon!


  451. Steve 2nd November 2015 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Hi all,

    Maybe this is the wrong place to post this, but I could use a little reassurance. I recently returned from an overseas holiday and came down with a flu like illness which sent my anxiety into overdrive. Other than obsessing I have every fever-related illness under the sun I’ve become obsessed with checking my temperature and how my body feels heat wise. I feel like I’m always hot, particularly on my face and legs, and as I worry it just gets worse. I don’t even really have a high temperature, but it does seem to go up a bit when I’m anxious

    Just wanted to know if anyone else is or has been worried about their body temperature and how hot they feel. I am so intuned with it now I literally feel hot and burning all the time. Can anxiety cause your body temp to rise a bit and these burning weird skin sensations? I actually think I made my flu last longer by obsessing over the symptoms and how tired I was.

    If anyone can relate I’d love to hear from you.
    Thank you 🙂

  452. Meg 2nd November 2015 at 11:17 am - Reply

    My setback has made it quite hard for me not to question things again. The fears of being bipolar popping around again but doing my best to just let then float away. It’s strange how much I want to see my dr as I know she will tell me as she has several times that I am definitely not bipolar.. silly anxious thoughts!
    Like you mark my body feels constantly tense and stressed and my chest aches like mad. It wakes me up early each morning. I can’t see light at the moment but I know some will appear soon 🙂

  453. Michelle 2nd November 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    I’m really spiraling downward at the moment. So hard to know I beat this before and it took SO long of feeling SO miserable.. having a few good years, and now I’m back in it. Makes me almost feel despair that this might be me for the rest of my life if I even make it through it this time.

    I know Paul’s methods work but I know how long it takes. Right now I can’t get to the acceptance part and I can’t get past the fear. I’m not afraid of the symptoms, per se. I know that it’s “just” anxiety causing these feelings, and that I’m not going to die or anything, I’m just afraid of feeling like crap for a long time. Scared of being a burden to my husband and scared of making my 14 year old daughter not have her normal mom. I’m scared of feeling like crap day in and day out, and I guess because this is so fresh (started a couple of weeks ago), I can’t accept it… actually, it’s like I don’t want to accept it because I want things to go back to the way they were. I feel like I already “did my time.” Feelings of depression well up at times too.
    Mornings are the absolute worst.
    I just bought Paul’s new book and will get to reading that today. Hoping it helps.

  454. Mark r 2nd November 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply


    You’re right as the light will appear soon, just be patient and hang in there! It’s been a rollercoaster 2 weeks of a setback. As Emma said it waxes and wanes. I go from feeling completely awful with a body and head full of symptoms to having calmness and clarity. 24 hrs ago I was dancing and whistling whilst cleaning my room. Today I cant think straight, tense, body and head full of symptoms. We have no control whatsoever of when it descends or lifts so have to go along with it.
    I’m also having a hard time letting go of how I felt a few weeks back, but I’m not going to get that yet. Oddly as well my mind keeps on going back to the worst setback I had which was 2 years ago. I guess that’s part of it trying to fix it all again….I’m not joining in.

    Some setbacks are tricky, I’ve had intense suffering for a couple of days then been.completely fine, others take a bit longer unfortunately.

  455. Carla 2nd November 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Setback, bad week, bad patch. Whatever we decide to call it, looks like I’m right there with you guys.

    I’m struggling horrendously with looping, repetitive thoughts and I just can’t seem to grasp the essence of ‘letting it all be there’

    Each morning I wake from my wonderful, normal dreams and within seconds am thinking about anxiety. My instinctive reaction is one of dread because I’ve been having the same thoughts now for 10 months and the prospect of facing another day of them fills me with despair and fear.

    I am trying so hard to adopt the right attitude but, no matter how I try and spin it, the truth is I’m distraught. These thoughts have taken my life away – my friends, my husband and my beautiful children. I’m not part of the world any more. I feel like an empty shell, a zombie pretending to be normal to save those around me from being affected by my pain.

    There’s not even any content to these thoughts. Just fearful thoughts about being stuck in my head followed by a stream of reassurances gathered from various sources followed by frustration that I’m paying the thoughts far too much attention and perpetuating the loop. And that’s it. All day long, round and round and round. I’m well aware that I can’t stop it but any attempt to let it be, change my reaction or distance myself just seems to produce more thoughts. When I try to focus elsewhere the thoughts just seem to shout louder whilst I’m trying to carry on as normal.

    I’m just at a loss really. I can completely understand the logic behind acceptance and have no trouble seeing how others can recover using it. But it appears that I’m just crap at it. My brain just keeps interfering and churning out thoughts.

    I want so much to shrug my shoulders and think ‘whatever’ but instead I just keep finding myself sobbing with hopelessness and thinking ‘I can’t do it’

    i think much of the problem is that I currently have little else in my life to focus on. I’m busy enough with the house and looking after my 2 small children but I’m bored and frustrated. Days out with the kids and coffee with friends should be fun but I’m finding myself feeling more and more resistant to all of it.

    My instinct is that I need to re-think my lifestyle, find a job and get a couple of projects going. But the constant childcare and lack of routine has made it difficult thus far. And, as a result, my brain is just looping round and round trying to fix an insoluble problem.

    Argh, I’m just really frustrated and upset. Sometimes it just all feels too much ?

  456. carla 2nd November 2015 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    Just wanted to follow up with a slightly less frantic post!

    After a run and mindfulness exercise my body and mind finally calmed down and I enjoyed a relatively relaxed end of the evening with a glass of wine watching the apprentice.

    I don’t know – for me, trying to grasp acceptance when symptoms are really high seems as hard as trying to think positive thoughts or make the anxiety go away.

    But when I calm down a bit, acceptance seems much more natural and makes a lot more sense – my thoughts feel less of a threat and they naturally fade into the background more.

    The past 10 months have probably shown me that a multi-faceted approach has been more successful in dealing with my symptoms than trying to practice acceptance alone. Exercise, mindfulness and purposeful activity have all helped me enjoy better phases and accept the symptoms more successfully.

    But when conditions get tough and I’m with the kids for prolonged stretches with no time for any of the above then the whole acceptance model just falls apart a bit and starts to become laboured and counter-productive.

    Anyway, I know this is not true for everyone – I’m sure there are many who are able to give up the fight in the face of the fiercest symptoms. That is fantastic.

    But for those who are struggling with it I just thought I’d post my thoughts whilst having a happy moment of clarity.

    Carla x

  457. Tom Marshall 3rd November 2015 at 2:03 am - Reply

    Hi Jojo,

    What you are describing is the very nature of the Illness. You read my post then and your mind jumped to straight to the conclusion of ‘Well if my thoughts aren’t trying to figure out a feeling then this must be something different’ Its very crafty when it comes to these situations, after all it is trying to come up with the most ‘Logical’ solution from the information it is receiving. Just to put you at ease a what you are experiencing is textbook reactions to uncertainty which causes to much anxiety. The more you try to figure out if you love him or not by checking, questioning, trying to get the feeling ‘Right’ and pull away from him because you feel strange, the more this will come at you because you are constantly feeding this one thought by reacting to it constantly. Its a typical OCD pattern.


    ‘What if I left the stove on? Ok I better check it’

    Someone without this condition would check and if it was off they would leave it at that. However, someone with this condition would check over and over again until they could stop this crippling feeling of anxiety caused by the uncertainty of ‘Am I 100% sure I switched it off?’ The rational part of your mind is now switched off and even though you know deep down it isn’t on you still get this desire to check again to gain more relief from anxiety. Like I said before, ‘Learn to love gracefully with uncertainty’

    So lets turn the stove into your boyfriend/husband.

    ‘What If I don’t love my him? Oo I better check’

    ‘There isn’t any feeling there… This means I don’t love him’

    ‘Ok I’ll check again NOW do I have feelings for him’

    ‘Ok that didn’t work I’ll see if there is any reason to not love him’ *que the obsessive negative judgemental thoughts’

    ‘OH now i’m having bad thoughts about him this definitely means I don’t love him’

    In the space of all this happening all you have done is reacted to an emotional response which your mind has now created this huge story for and because the danger of potentially not loving this person has put you in fight or flight mode to fix something that doesn’t need to be fixed. Ask yourself this JoJo, if you really didn’t love him would you be on here constantly asking the same question over and over again? The only answer you want to hear is YES you do love him! and thats whats making everything worse. Your coming on here to find certainty which is only going make your mind throw more uncertainty at you so you can gain relief from that and right now your brain thinks its doing a great job for constantly doing this because you keep getting involved with it, you have shown your brain through these compulsions that you need to find an answer to this question when you don’t. Stop resisting it all, let it be as loud and annoying as it wants. On the flip side what you are going to do is act like you would if you didn’t have these thoughts or feelings. What would you do? When you answer that just do it and don’t look back REGARDLESS of what your mind says, take the action which would make you happy and be ok with how you are feeling in the now. By doing this you are showing your brain that you don’t have to worry about these thoughts and feelings anymore.

    One last thing I would like to add, its not your relationship that is the problem. Its your reaction to uncertainty of thoughts and feelings thats the problem. You have already noticed that your mind jumps from one obsession to the other creating all these different ‘themes’ of anxiety but each time its the same process which creates the suffering.

    Stop trying to fix it all and go live like you would if this wasn’t around, not to get rid of it or stop it all coming. But to truly show yourself that you are so much more than what you ‘Think’ you are.

    I wish you all the best.


  458. Debbie 3rd November 2015 at 3:11 am - Reply

    Tom maershall i have a question can dp be different with everyone my mind is doing whatever i see has to remind me of something else or talking to someone my mind thinks of something else or i see image in my mind that s of nothing that.makes sense i dont even know what the image is that wants to.bring panic attack but i say its just my mind messing with me .its scarey and creepy feeling i have more mind symptoms than physical . images just pop in my mind .

  459. Mark r 3rd November 2015 at 8:34 am - Reply


    You cant really grasp anything whilst in the thick.of it, just need to go along with it. If you carry on whilst the storm rages then that’s acceptance.
    Your two posts mirror what I’m feeling at the moment…a frantic mind then a calm rational one. Every day for the past few weeks has been very tough but almost every day I get some time where all the tension falls away and I’m at peace again. This shows that the process is working, the calmness will be restored.
    As I said in previous posts its a rollercoaster at the moment. Unfortunately we cant get off until its finished, just ride it out.

    We can’t force these moments…..they come on their own.

  460. Julie 3rd November 2015 at 10:10 am - Reply

    HI All,

    I know I am focusing on symptoms here and it’s a big no, no but I was wondering if anyone could relate and tell me why I get like this. I know it’s probably anxiety but it’s scaring me.

    Ok I have agoraphobia, well I can go out with hubby but alone I always feel very on edge and anxious. Even drives alone out of my town make me feel horrible. I go light headed, I feel like my eyes can’t focus and are almost rolling, I often have to wear my shades as the light makes me eyes feel worse, I feel on edge and very anxious. I am like this the whole time i am driving but once home it stops so I guess it’s physical anxiety.

    Today I drove to the town 15 minutes away, had a drive round and on the way home I felt really light headed and then I suddenly feel like I am floating and I panic I am not in control of my body or mind. I feel very out of it, not grounded…. it makes me very scared when I am out driving and that happens and it can often trigger a panic attack. I got home and still feel a little shaken. I haven’t had that feeling for a while but it frightens me when I do. Can anyone relate?



  461. Ryan C 3rd November 2015 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie I can relate to this 100%. It’s just pure anxiety. Throughout my recovery nearly everywhere I went felt like this. It’s built up through habit and fear and the way to get through it is to go to these places and feel these feelings and they will slowly get easier as you will surely find nothing happens. Overtime for me it just got easier as your confidence builds and you feel much less need to suddenly drive back home. It’s completely harmless, I had moments of extreme panic and fear and if i truly sat on it and allowed it to be there it always passed. Maybe try testing yourself by driving out and build your confidence one step at a time? I used to just slowly take trips further away from my house and it did get much easier, Ryan.

  462. Ryan C 3rd November 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Hey guys just out of interests does anyone really really struggle feeling this way when they have a bad cold? Everytime I get one I am very depressed and just simply feel I cannot cope at all. Everyone I know tells me ‘it’s only a cold’ and i guess it does get to me how much it just ruins me when it comes along.

  463. Meg 3rd November 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Marl R – I agree I’m not having whole days of peace but each day ill have at least a few hours where I feel so at peace and calm so my body must be starting to calm.
    Ultimately what we are doing by carrying on even when we feel awful is retraining ourselves and our bodies to go back to a baseline anxiety state. The reason a lot of us have suffered is because we’ve been anxious about being anxious for a long time and our brain has sort of re programmed itself…but that doesn’t mean we can’t change it back 🙂

  464. carla 3rd November 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Yes Mark, it certainly is a rollercoaster.

    I guess I get frustrated when my mind won’t leave it alone even when I understand the process and recognise the distorted thoughts.

    It’s like my mind is trying to force itself to not be anxious about thoughts rather than just stepping back and accepting that anxiety is just latching on again and allowing it to burn itself out.

    Oh well, there have definitely been some patches of brightness in the dark. Onwards and upwards everyone!

    Carla x

  465. Mark r 3rd November 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply


    May beneficial to let your mind not leave it alone. It’s programmed to problem solve so that’s what it will do anyway. As long as youre anxious its going to try and fix it, just try not to get involved.

    Read today that as long as you act as everything is okay in bad times then this will give the right feedback to the part of the brain that sets our protection level. The scientific explanation to the acceptance method. Obviously that’s the hard part.

  466. Julie 4th November 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Further to my post yesterday can anyone tel me if this is depersonalisation please?

    Yesterday after I picked the children up we went for a little drive to the shops. Whilst driving I felt like I was inside my head, the children were talking and I couldn’t take in what they were saying, I smiled but inside I didn’t take in anything they said. I felt inside and disconnected. Looking at others in their cars and walking, I thought they are normal. I then suddenly had an intrusive about what if I crashed my car down this hill, I instantly panicked that all of this inside my head feeling is something far worse than anxiety. It knocked me sick.

    I have felt this inside my head feeling for a while now. It’s like I am in my own world, I feel fatigued, brain fog and just cannot connect with normal life. It frightens me something is very wrong. Can anyone relate or explain this?

    Thank you.


    Ryan – Thank you for explaining that to me, it really helped. I will keep going out, maybe not as far as I did but build my way up. I won’t avoid, I won’t go back into that trap.

  467. Meg 4th November 2015 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Julie what your describing is related to your anxiety and happens because you get so stuck in your own head. I know it feels bewildering and strange but paul describes what you’re experiencing in his book and you just have to accept it like everything else. You can label it if you want..It dies sound like depersonalisation but ultimately does it really matter? It’s all just another part of anxiety that we just have to accept. Questioning every new symptom can hugely hold you back I have done it myself and it just causes you to plateau. Depersonalisation is the brains way of forcing you to give it a break!

  468. Doreen 4th November 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Julie – I don’t mean to sound harsh but you are asking the same questions as you did about 2 years ago. As Meg says, you are questioning every symptom and it reaches the point were folks don’t respond because the answers have been given time and time again, not just to you but everyone else who asks.

    You actually were giving the answers to other people not that long ago and it was great to see. You know them really

  469. Julie 4th November 2015 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Meg – Thank you, appreciate your reply. As you say a new symptom does make us question. I just wondered what causes that inside your head feeling. Thanks for helping.

    Doreen – I know, unfortunately setbacks shake us. I am sure I will be back giving advice again once I am through this setback. I just wondered if this sounded like DP, which I know doesn’t matter but I just wondered and thought I’d ask.


  470. carla 4th November 2015 at 2:07 pm - Reply


    Don’t worry, I know how it feels when the anxiety is sky high and your mind is throwing frightening thoughts and experiences at you left, right and centre.

    Your symptoms are DP. I’ve had it and it does feel awful – and a sign that your anxiety are high. As I’m sure you know it’s completely harmless and will fade as your anxiety subsides.

    And, the thing is, whilst I can clearly see the benefits of continuing our lives, learning to shrug off symptoms and turning our focus away from anxiety, I also think that it is normal to seek some comfort and reassurance when it’s really biting.

    It’s normal to self-talk, normal to talk to others about it, normal to want to write things down and normal to have a few coping strategies under our belts.

    When the acceptance model is taken to it’s extreme it can present as pretty militant. STOP fighting, STOP overthinking, STOP dwelling, STOP adding second fear., STOP trying to work it out. In fact it’s almost reminiscent of the ‘pull yourself together’ mentality of the 70s. Which is ironic really because I think in essence it really should be the antithesis of this.

    I would prefer to amend the above advice to something along the lines of anxiety is bound to make you feel tense and resistant, it will grab your attention and pull your attention inwards, it will throw your brain into problem-solving mode and it will make the outside world seem distant and unimportant. It won’t hurt your though and it will pass. Take care of yourself and put into place those strategies that help you, even if just a little bit.

    I often read your posts Julie and think that you just need a hug. Someone to sit down and put their arms around you. Remind you of the things that you already know and reassure you that you’re not doing anything wrong (I think we all need this sometimes.) You seem like such a nice person and I imagine you’re a great support to others when they’re struggling.

    Setbacks are tough but it will pass, just like the others. Hang in there chick x

  471. JoJo 4th November 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Tom Marshall,

    Thank you so so much. Why do you think I can’t seem to get it and stop doing what I shouldn’t do and stop the compulsion? That’s what frustrates me. What did it take for it to click with you and for you to just move forward? Did you drop the subject just cold turkey? Is it that you were just stronger and more determined?

    Also how do I handle feeling like I “feel” down or not happy. But in reality I am ok and happy. Are these just bad thoughts or how I really feel and I’m just fighting it? No one wants to feel like they are not happy or feel like life is overwhelming or too much. How do you not fight that? Sometimes I’ll say to myself you have to keep going on, you have a baby who needs you. What is causing me to feel so low that I have to use my baby as reminder to keep going? I have no reason in life to feel such desperation. Please help when you can. You are amazing at advice and have really helped me.

    Anyone else who would like to help please do.

  472. carla 4th November 2015 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Doreen – incidentally, I hope you didn’t think that I wasn’t criticising your advice. I think recovery from anxiety is a real mixture of being both gentle and tough with ourselves, a dynamic which I see playing out repeatedly both in my own recovery and also on this blog.

    If we give in too much to the thoughts and feelings we can find ourselves isolated and lonely. Yet, equally, if we’re too hard on ourselves and try too ferociously to ‘shrug thoughts and symptoms off’ , think ‘whatever’ or even simply to ‘accept’ then this can just pile on more anxiety.

    I can see both sides and think it’s one of the challenges that we all have to navigate.

    Carla x

  473. Debbie 4th November 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Carla its debbie if u read above on my post do you think i have dp. My feelings seem different.thanks if u can help

  474. carla 4th November 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Debbie,

    What you are experiencing sounds like shots of adrenaline grabbing your attention and presenting you with fearful thoughts or images.

    Adrenaline is supposed to work like this – quickly and forcefully. It is designed to grab our attention and keep us safe from danger.

    Claire Weekes used to call them fear flashes and I think you can experience them either in your mind, body or both!

    Again, it’s just the harmless fight of flight response in action. Totally normal in the circumstance.

    Hope this helps,

    Carla x

  475. Julie 4th November 2015 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Carla – I just read your message and I cried. Thank you for being so kind and saying such lovely words about me. I really could do with a huge hug, I have felt full of fear with daily general anxiety since my panic attack 7 weeks ago in the nurses office. It triggered this awful set back and I have found it tough to live with. On top of that my son has been struggling with anxiety due to bullies and told us he had thought about giving up on life. It’s all broken me and I am struggling with high anxiety. He starts seeing a psychologist tomorrow to help him with this. It’s been so hard on me to hear my son struggling like that, it’s a mothers worst nightmare. I am crying typing that out, sorry to throw that on here.

    I wrote down today all the symptoms that bother me and an explanation underneath of what I would say to someone else if they had these symptoms. I then went out and tried to just be ok with the DP feeling when I am out in the car or in a shop, I just can’t seem to surrender to it, I still feel full of fear as though it’s an automatic reaction in me. I wonder if I will ever be ok feeling general anxiety all day, DP, panic…. Since the attack in the nurses room I have been terrified of needing an appointment at the doctors and I think about it every day wondering how the heck I’d cope. I am struggling because i had come so far and was finding appointments ok again and now I am more scared than ever. I think if this general anxiety would turn down a notch I’d be able to cope a little better.

    Thanks for your kind words and support.


  476. Debbie 4th November 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Thanks carla big hug i always fear going insane or brain tumor from strange. Thoughts lol.

  477. Mark r 4th November 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie,

    Only you can turn this setback around. Truly I know how frustrating it is after progress but these times are part and parcel of recovery. None of your progress is lost, its real, you just can’t see it at the moment.
    Like many on here at the moment I was fine until a few weeks ago and then suddenly had a a setback, a bump, a blip etc. I had two weeks of intense anxiety with only breaks for an hour or so or evening etc. Initially, I got upset it returned, I wallowed, I cried, I wished it away. Up until Friday just gone I was driving my car and crying my eyes out. What was this doing for my anxiety…? Reinforcing the fact there is a problem and giving me more of the same. I decided I needed to get my old attitude of not caring back so I thought sod this and packed my weekend full of my life stuff. I even went to a pub quiz last night after work.
    What I’m trying to say is your attitude depends on how long this setback will last. Dont let it matter. Don’t question the symptoms. Instead of making a list of them, make a list of things you want to do and do them.
    You’re not caring about it all attitude is there Julie, it got you this far, it won’t fail you again. The setback will loosen its grip and you’ll bounce back up to how you were a few months back, perhaps even better.
    ‘A setback does not hold back ultimate recovery, provide you cope with it in the right way, try to remember that’. Claire Weekes.

  478. Fleur 4th November 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Hello :). Sorry for negative comment, but this day wasn´t so bad until now!
    It is strange how good day may be changed. I wake up with good mood in the morning, I was accepting and afternoon was good too.
    But then my doubts came. ALL year I had so much fears from my anxiety. Like cancer, schizophrenia, dont love boyfriend, depression… Everything! But my worries were changing like: later I was sure that for example I really dont have schizophrenia because sypmtoms stopped and I later was wondering, why I was so scared.
    But this feeling scares me always from start of my anxiety (January). This feeling is with me always through my anxiety. Nobody said about it! I always was introvert and perfectionist. And from anxiety I have strange feelings Like I can´t handle. For example I think about what I plan to do this weekend at home (for example read a book, then organize my closet, clean my room) and I have only bad feeling. Strange, inappropriate feeling. WHY? I must say to you that I feel like this is trigger my anxiety. I had big big fear of depression, but I think that reason is this. When I can´t function normal, mild depression-symptom set in! Please, I don´t know what is this symptom. Do you feel something similar? Is it derealisation or DP?It is like bad feeling from my task, from mundane tasks, from planning from my hobbies, from thing what I loved – I always loved organize my closet or clean my room and now I have only feeling of what the sense, or bad feeling like I AM GOING CRAZY IF DO THIS TASK (clean a closet)or I will panic if I do this. I am overwhelmed with this task(hobby…)

    That is my feeling. What do you think about that feeling. Is it anxiety, but why nobody has it? It is DR, DP? Or something worse with me. How to overcome this symptom, accept and do that? When I have BAD feeling from doing something in my freetime must I do it, because if not, it is avoidance? Thank you.

  479. Julie 4th November 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Mark – Thank you so much for your reply.

    My setback began after a huge panic attack in the nurses room 2 months ago. I had agoraphobia when all this began 3 years ago but slowly I had built my way back up to appointments with my husband with me. Then wham a huge panic attack happens in the room, I made a huge show of myself and I since have felt terrified of ever being ill and needing to go back there. I think that is the root of the setback because now I feel I can’t just accept it because that real fear of going to appointments or places alone is back in full force. I couldn’t even manage a doctors appointment with my son 2 weeks ago and my husband had to take him, which caused me to feel like the worlds worst mother. I used to have a hot face, fast heart and feel dizzy in appointments but I learnt to cope with that and this year I faced the dentist, optician and GP a few times and it felt great. The panic 2 months ago was so intense I cannot face an appointment, it was my first huge panic attack in years and it shook me to the core.

    So since then I seem to have a general anxiety all day, I go into high anxiety if any sensations crop up that could mean I am ill and need to see my doctor. My agoraphobia has flared up again and just in general I feel inside my head and disconnected. All since the nurses room I have felt this intense again. It’s been a shock to me. I am left fearing it won’t lift as its been almost 2 months now and like you said I might get the odd hour where i feel relaxed but it soon comes back in full force and I feel restless and agitated inside.

    I just feel a little lost and I am focusing too much on the fact I can’t do appointments and i swear it’s the root of it. I am a mother and I am only 36, I will need to do appointments again so I feel annoyed and frustrated. I have been back to the doctors surgery and sat in the waiting room but I can’t face going into a doctors room, hence why I just waited at my sons appointment. Last week I took my daughter to her optician appointment, my husband waited in the waiting area and I went in alone with her. I felt constantly fidgety, anxious, couldn’t relax… it’s a general anxiety constantly making me feel like this. I then worry I can’t overcome this as it feels so intense this time round. It’s been tough.

    Can I really apply this method to all that I have described? I even feel general anxiety at home, all day, which is pretty new to me. I used to have good days, now I might have a good 5 minutes, it makes me lose hope.

    Sorry to ramble on, I just wanted to give a good background about what’s going on. I appreciate your help Mark, thank you.


  480. Kat 4th November 2015 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Hi guys,

    I have followed this blog and had great success with Paul’s book following two traumatic deaths of immediate family members in a year ( mum and sister) I am only 22 and never experienced any sort of anxiety before but after the two unexpected deaths by life was completely thrown into uncertainty and it’s no wonder my mind was ready to shut down and a break was needed. I am in full swing of recovery but the last symptom I am having some confusion and difficulty with is the feeling of being strangled ( globus hystericus) I was wondering if anyone else had this symptom? i can feel absolutely fine with zero feelings of anxiety but still have the sensation on having a scarf to tight around my neck. Any reassurance that other people have suffered from globus hystericus would be hugely appreciated.

  481. Jeff 4th November 2015 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Ryan C – from reading your posts, many are probably envious of your lack of fear, going to all of those places. Certainly I am.

    Through fear is an opportunity for the analysis of the fear itself. I’ve done this, especially lately while attempting to fall asleep. The most god awful anxiety would hit. I’d sometimes feel like electrodes are connected to my brain. I’d tell myself – ‘whatever you do, do NOT fear’…… Or is it sleep apnea? No…it’s anxiety, I think.

    It seems to me that you’re so close to full recovery that maybe at times you struggle to separate anxiety from to how you’d feel w/o any memory of it (i.e. normal)…? Sometimes that’s how I feel…..is this truly anxiety, or would I feel like this anyway (if I were ‘normal’)? I mean lets face it, we can feel like crap when we’re feeling ‘normal’ too right? Remember that?

    In the early days, not so long ago, there was absolutely no doubt about what was and wasn’t anxiety. As you recover, distinguishing between was is and isn’t anxiety may not be as easy.

    Certainly I’d recommend keep on doing things outside of your norm. For me it’s like going to a gym for a little (mental) workout to help shake me out of this anxiety stupor/complacency I’ve been in for so long.

  482. Luke 4th November 2015 at 9:20 pm - Reply


    I really need your opinion. I am struggling hard with feelings of going crazy. I know this sounds like pretty much anyone on this blog goes through more or less.

    But i am at the point where my mind latches onto anything like for example i am looking into computer and and my mind is having hard time comprehend the text so my next thought is i am probably losing it, or i am driving on highway somebody looks at me from car next to me and my mind shoots the thought oh this guys is looking at you, you are paranoid because thats what people with schizo would be thinking…it is really hard to explain these thougts. But on some days this happens 50 times a day.

    From what i learned from this site ir Pauls books is that i could just be experiencing overworked mind. I the want to not react and just watch my thougts but it is difficult thin to do.

    Anyways i had similar emotional states in the past and i always shook it off mostly by subconciously shifting my attention on something else, ignoring it etc.. this time though i cant seem to get past this and it is really eating me up. I lost appetite, weight. I know i am probably looking for reassurence i can still be ok, or to hear if somebody else experienced somwthing like this. It is scary as hell. Any advice would be appreciated.

    I am pretty well educated on anxiety subject as i have been struggling few years ago and recovered (at least i thought i did). But this time i feel utterly lost. I fear i will get wheeled away to some mental insitution and my life will be over. I need help guys. I am 36, with great wife and two little boys. It brings tears to my eyes thinking what would happen if i dont make it through this.

    I appreciate any response. Love you all people.

  483. Dustin 4th November 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Ryan C,
    You mentioned it a few posts back, but I wanted to refer to the post you made about being sick. This is one of the things that makes me feel the worst. I have been sick for a large fraction of the past six months. Perhaps anxiety can have an effect on the immune system. I guess it really doesn’t really matter why my sickness is hanging around, but it makes me feel like I am not making any progress. It doesn’t feel like I can possibly be recovering while feeling like this, but I suppose that it may still be happening. I wish I could offer some advice, but I guess as many have said on here before, we just have to let it hang around as long as it wants to. Of course I would greatly appreciate some insight if anybody else can provide it.

  484. Kevin 4th November 2015 at 11:17 pm - Reply


    I just wanted to say that i have been there, as many of us have. I had a thought once when i looked at my mom that she might be trying to poison me. Then i thought ..oh no is that paranoia from schizo?? Am i going crazy? It seems so funny now actually that i questioned that thought.

    Even now when people look at me, i get a thought of …why is that person looking at me? Is he gonna hurt me? Do i have to hurt him first? Its ridiculous and the thoughts goes away after a second. But i still have them, just dont give them the importance i used to.

    Its hard but all i can say is just have faith that its all anxious thoughs. I had thoughts convincing me that i was gonna die of a heart attack for months. I had them for at least 3 months and finally they lost its importance. But only cause i realized that its been too long. Ive panicked too many times about this only to find out each time that its anxiety. Eventually your mind will get over it.
    Hope i helped in some way.

  485. Luke 5th November 2015 at 12:41 am - Reply


    Thank you. The thing is i dont even have panic attacks. It is just constant uneasenes, probably because i am sensitized to the max.

    This is the worst state i have ever been. I would trade fhis symptom for amy other i used to have before. It feels like i am at the brink of madness. How do i make peace with my fear of losing it? By accepting whatever happens happens?

  486. Kevin 5th November 2015 at 1:51 am - Reply

    Hi luke,

    yes essentially thats how to do it. I remember one day thinking “im so done with this, if i go mad theres literally nothing i can do about it.” And even though that sounds scary, it helped. Same with my health anxiety. I was always so anxious cause i thought i was gonna drop dead any minute. I started thinking “ive been to the doctor ive checked myself out. They havent found anything. If i die, theres nothing i can do about” and it all sounds dark but it helps over time.

  487. Adam 5th November 2015 at 2:17 am - Reply

    Face the fear, people. Stand and remain there while it washes over you. After you do it once…do it again. And again. Show your amygdala that you are in charge of you. You will not run, not hide. Not melt. You can handle all that is thrown at you and you CAN function quite well while being anxious the entire time. See the fear, acknowledge it, and do what you will anyway knowing fear cannot stop you. Only you can stop you. This is acceptance and eventually, the path to recovery.

  488. Amanda 5th November 2015 at 4:39 am - Reply

    Just wondering if anyone can relate? My last episode of anxiety started 7 months ago – it has been debilitating to say the very least it is now much more easy to deal with in fact most symptoms don’t bother me at all anymore the thing that bothers me tho is that i am left feeling quiet depressed at times – I have never had depression before and it actually scares me that I can feel so depressed at times and just cry and cry because I feel so down – my thoughts seem to focus on what if my depression becomes so bad and I want to end it all and become suicidal – just wondering if anyone can relate – thanks Amanda

  489. Mark r 5th November 2015 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Hi all,

    Just to give an update really. As per my post to Julie I’ve been feeling rocky for a few weeks now. My mind appears to be split in half….one half carrying on with my life as it was before and the other bouncing up and down and feeling every emotion in me. After two weeks of very intense anxiety I turned a corner on Saturday and felt a lot of spirit and positivity return.
    I’ve noticed subtlety in where my appetite, sleep has improved, have half a mind on my task/hobby now and also making jokes and involuntary joining in conversations. Sometimes I find myself whistling and singing. I still feel a crushing blow when the anxiety and depression engulfs me again….its a harsh reminder and I hear a voice that says ‘yes but what about these symptoms?’. I then feel very down and despondant for a time.
    A mixed bag here to be honest but better than a week ago which was all terrible. It’s as if I’m on my way climbing back up the ladder to how I was but then someone keeps standing on my fingers.
    When I’m not caring how I feel I’m on here giving advice to others but then when feel so down and deflated like this morning it gets to me as how difficult everything has been and turned on its head in just a few weeks. Hopefully a more positive post from me later.


  490. Tom Marshall 5th November 2015 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Mark that’s fantastic to hear mate! By the sounds of it your heading in the right direction. I know those little voices can get annoying when they say ‘yes but what about this?’ but as you already know you don’t have to listen to them 🙂

    Remember your thoughts serve you, you don’t serve them.

    Have a great Thursday!


  491. Julie 5th November 2015 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Mark – I am sorry if I put on you, please ignore my reply to you above, I don’t want you to feel even worse.

    You are making progress, it doesn’t matter how slow it is you are. I know how it feels to feel good and then be engulfed by anxiety again. I would say this is my worst setback to date and after 2 months of it I feel I am losing hope that it will ever lift. It’s hard not to despair.

    Thank you for your kind post to me, it did help. I hope this lifts for you soon.


  492. Mark r 5th November 2015 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Thanks guys.

    It’s a rough ride. I’m accepting the lot, never trying to change it but it morphs and warps quickly into different emotions. Yesterday on here advising, the next having a tearful morning.

  493. Belgian 5th November 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Luke, Julie, Jojo, Fleur and so many others.

    In fact the only thing you really have to understand – and this is a reminder as it the essence of the Paul’s book– is the following: What stress (or sensitization) does is magnifying all our emotions and making it seemingly impossible to bear (carry) them. Because your reactions to these emotions are so strong, you have started to fear them. Your body reacts as it would do with any fearful situation: it wants to protect itself. Then anxiety (adrenaline) comes into the picture. Anxiety or Adrenaline release really is nothing more than an in-built response to protect us. Anxiety or Adrenaline is causing all – and yes I mean – ALL of the symptoms you have been asking about. DP, compulsive action or thought, racing minds, etc. ALL of them.

    Then we make the biggest mistake of all. Instead of celebrating the fact that our body reacts the way it should (not easy, I know ? ) we start to fear these symptoms (our fear). We start avoiding places, we start inventing safety behaviors or we start just questioning our experience and try to find solutions and answers to change this. Everything we try as long as it would result in not having to feel this feeling. By doing this, we do not allow the adrenaline to run its course and leave our bodies, but we release even more adrenaline. That is why they say you are trying to put out a fire with fire. And so, the cycle of fear is established. Remember: The only thing we need to fear is fear (Churchill).

    The good news is that there is always and at any point in time a way out of this cycle. The key to that is not adding fear but accepting its presence. To learn to accept is not easy at first and it takes time. Walking the way out takes time. Please understand this. I ‘understood’ the mechanics I reiterated above quite quickly, but it has taken me a lot of time to really learn to accept and let go.

    So, I feel your doubts, your fears. I was as bad as any of you. But I do not – at any point – pity you for your problems with anxiety. Why do I say this and why is this so important? It is because these anxiety filled periods really are opportunities for all of us.

    Strength, courage, faith, wisdom… all of these things have to be born out of their counterpart. Weakness, cowardice, hopelessness and ignorance are as necessary as falling in order to learn to walk when we were babies. We need the tears, the pain in order to grow as a person. As we all know (anxiety or no anxiety), life is full of them. It is not until you have known and experienced so much turmoil that you can really appreciate calmness and peacefulness. Like Doctor Weekes said: ‘recovery always lies on the other side of panic’. I have grown more this last year than I did in the thirty years before that. For the first time, I start facing the fears that controlled my life by accepting them and finding peace amidst them. I can honestly say that I will never be in the place I was because it is impossible to go back there when you have learned the healing power of acceptance. I still fear, I am human after all, but I just simply can’t imagine fearing my fear. In any case, when I feel my memory pulling me back, I now know the way out and find it much easier to find.

    I am now saving to buy myself a nice timepiece and am thinking on engraving something that will remind forever the journey of these last few years. (I am not a fan of tattoos ? ) . I was thinking to put something about acceptance, understanding but in fact I always come up with : Trust in time. Trust in time. Do no try to force yourself from the beginning to trust your understanding, your acceptance. Just trust in the healing power of time. When you have started to walk the road of understanding and acceptance, time will bring you at your destination wherever this is. Whenever feeling so overwhelmed by distress, obsessive thoughts, general anxiety know that time will bring space and healing in your life and let yourself go. A force beyond your control is capable to heal, so do not try to control it.

    Above all: Trust in time!

    Good luck!

  494. Mark r 5th November 2015 at 1:34 pm - Reply


    Don’t worry about the length of a setback. My longest one was 2 months at the tail end of 2013. It passed and I’ve had an awesome 2 years. Full of ups and downs, more setbacks etc but awesome all the same. I wouldn’t have thought it at the time but always the way isnt it? When you feel bad you can never imagine feeling better.


  495. Hannah 5th November 2015 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Hello all,

    I,ts very pleasant to read such inspiring comments from people who are on the road to recovery,

    Just a quick question: Do you guys sometimes feel snappy or maybe jus very irritated and just fell like snapping at people?

    I hate it I come off rude and insesitive to other 🙁 But I can’t help it

    What is that due too?

  496. Anna 5th November 2015 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Proud of you to be writing such and sharing your experience with all of us.
    To all of us in recovery, this too shall pass. Everything is temporary.
    When i look back at me a few months ago, i realize how much i have changed. Ive had dp, scary thoughts, obsessive thoughts, low mood, unable to sleep, sweating, no appetite, losing weight, intense shoulder neck pain, and my list goes on and on. They still come and go, but my attitude has changed and trust me it takes time and patience to change attitudes and not to care. But who cares let it pass through you (i know i know i went through so much pain but hang in there and don’t add more fear, do let anxiety, adrenaline trick you)
    Sometimes it gets real hard and sometimes very peaceful. BUT we have to enjoy both. I know one day i will reach the place i want to be, until then i am learning!! WE ARE ALL IN IT TOGETHER. God Bless! Hope, love and faith 🙂

  497. JoJo 5th November 2015 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Tom,
    Did you see my response to your post to me? Any advice on it?

  498. JoJo 5th November 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply


    You say:
    What stress (or sensitization) does is magnifying all our emotions and making it seemingly impossible to bear (carry) them. Because your reactions to these emotions are so strong, you have started to fear them.

    My issue with this is that isn’t it bad your thinking your not happy or don’t love your partner, or you can’t handle life or you are depressed in the first place? I get it is magnified but isn’t it a problem we are thinking this? When I was without this condition I never thought this stuff or felt like this. Our emotions are magnified but why are we thinking bad stuff in the first place??? Did I misunderstand your advice?

  499. Michelle 5th November 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply


    Anxiety likes to play tricks making you fear all kinds of things that are simply untrue. It’s not bad that your mind came up with that thought, it is just anxiety trying to scare you, and it is succeeding. If you loved your partner before the anxiety, nothing has changed. It’s just the anxiety trying to scare you. Believe that… and once you have moments of freedom from the grips of anxiety, you will see it’s true.

  500. Ves 5th November 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Jojo said: “Our emotions are magnified but why are we thinking bad stuff in the first place???”

    author and spiritual teacher A. H. Almaas about struggle:

    “Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are actually yours. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. Without something pricking you in the side saying ‘Look here! This way!’ you are not going to go in the right direction.”

  501. Anna 5th November 2015 at 9:07 pm - Reply


    This happend to me too. The reason why it comes in a very strong way/emotion is that because we have feared it. We fear what if were not happy, or we dont love our partner, or if we get depressed. And once that thought comes we fear it and more fuel to it, like why im i thinking that!!!! and so on. And this just makes us fall in the cycle even more. So you shouldnt care what you think. Just think of it of your anxious mind playing tricks. Let it make you think that but dont give your attention, just accept and move on. Trust me that will pass too. Remember whatever you fear comes back so just let it go. Let all that negative emotion just get released. Also you mentioned you never thought of it before, so really this condition only brought that upon you. Ive been through it too, so your not alone. Also if you read pauls 2nd book it explains this.
    Good luck and just let it go

  502. JoJo 5th November 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Ves:
    Thank you but is that saying this stuff does need attention or fixing . I thought the whole point of acceptance is to really do nothing to get better?

  503. Fleur 5th November 2015 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Belgian, thank you so much for your beautiful post to us.
    But I have the same question like JoJo has.
    Before anxiety I never had questions/thoughts/feelings that what is the sense, why am I not happy or that I can´t handle life. NEVER. These feelings are new for me. That´s why I am afraid of them so much. Because I still think that it´s something more deep than only anxiety. Why does my mind give me these stupid feelings?
    For example I am with friend somewhere and we are talking, everything is normal and I am happy, I am smiling. But then I think about “what´s the matter, what is the sense” And then anxiety comes. But it is not only thought, it is feeling, I feel it. And that´s why I am so scared then. I want accept so much but how, when I am afraid that these feelings are depression or that I am not happy and something with me is really bad.

    I think that I am not so afraid of thoughts, but more of my feelings of my real feelings 🙁

  504. JoJo 6th November 2015 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Btw what is the tile of the book by Claire Weeks that a lot of you refer to?

  505. Debbie 6th November 2015 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Jo jo the books are hope and help for your nerves and peace from nervous suffering those are the most popular books by claire weeks you should get them . hope this helps. Jojo i hope u feel better. ?

  506. Mark r 6th November 2015 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Hi all,

    Just to put a more positive spin on things at the moment. Yesterday I cried an absolute river of tears, frustration boiled over for me and I needed to let it all out. I just woke and didnt want to face another day feeling like crap, but I did and will do until I feel better. The thing that’s getting me at the moment is this setback is taking longer than all the others. And the fact that I’ve lost interest in my work, hobbies, interests etc but thats to be expected. It is what it is and I need to accept and float through it.
    Always helps to speak to a rational person in times of a bump. My mom reminded me that although I feel bloody awful at the moment it was only a week ago that I was so anxious I could barely sleep, eat or work so its dropped drastically.
    Since this all started in 2010 this has been the best year in terms of progress, I just need to remember that.
    Damn setbacks eh….

  507. Jamie 6th November 2015 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark. Didn’t someone say on here recently that the worst setback of all comes immediately before ‘recovery’ ? Food for thought maybe.

  508. Julie 6th November 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply


    I loved your post, thank you so much for taking the time to write that to us.

    You talk perfect sense and I know what I must do to recover, well mostly I know but deep down I am still struggling. I will be driving my car and all that inside my head feeling starts and I feel disconnected from the world around me, floaty, woozy and light headed…. I panic instantly. I have tried to just say ok it’s anxiety and relax into it but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. Why can’t I accept this thing? I don’t know what it is I do wrong.

    I know I need to believe it’s anxiety to start with, I need to believe all the strange feelings, emotions, thoughts and DP are anxiety and then accept it but carry on living. Not caring how I feel or think but no matter how hard I try that just doesn’t seem to work for me. I have had better times and been ok but I am not sure I ever fully accepted.

    At the moment my head will still panic about how I feel and I sink into despair thinking this is me forever now as it’s been 2 months feeling so bad again. I have the agoraphobia/panic attack issue at appointments and when socialising alone, intrusives which I don’t worry too much about as i am more accepting of them most of the time, general all day unease and anxiety and the inside my head feeling where I feel weak and floaty in my head and I panic I will faint or I won’t be in control. I go through every day worrying if this is anxiety For me the worst symptom is the light headed feeling I have, it sends me into panic attacks alot when I am out as i fear i will either faint or not be in control of myself. I even get it at home some days but mostly when out. I am guessing it’s just DP, I used to think it was low blood sugar but I eat ok and GP has checked me over. I wish I could stop being scared of this feeling, it hits often throughout the day.

    I know eventually I will pull through this setback but right now I am at the stage thinking how I can truly accept. It’s as though my body still adds fear and panic as a habit.

    Thanks again, sorry for the ramble.


  509. Steve b 6th November 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Amanda. That low mood is a sign you are close to recovery. I used to speak to the guys at anxiety centre and they told me to expect what will feel like depression as I start to get better.

  510. Bryan 6th November 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply


    If you’ve never had these thoughts until now, isn’t that a perfect exclamation of this all being anxiety driven? That tells you that the thing to do is pay them no credence, and move about your day the best you can. Belgian explained it all to you. Reread his post and think about how you can install that wisdom into your situation. And by the way, having a fear of strong emotions is a very common anxiety trait. Everything you describe is very standard anxiety. I realize it is disturbing to us, but take solace in the fact that it’s a common occurrence that will alleviate when you allow it to and by the way, having a fear of strong emotions is a very common anxiety trait. Everything you describe is very standard anxiety. I realize it is disturbing to us, but take solace in the fact that it’s a common occurrence that will alleviate when you allow it to.

  511. Bryan 6th November 2015 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    (Excuse the double sentence typo above)

  512. Ves 6th November 2015 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Jojo,

    What made you think in that quote that you have to “fix” something? There is nothing in need of fixing. Our Body-Mind system works like a charm. What I would suggest you to relax a little. Then perhaps it would be a good idea to relax a little bit more. Ponder that the difficult things in our life are there to help us – that their purpose is to wake us to life at its fullest.

  513. Mark r 6th November 2015 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    It is a nice thought Jamie. I’m not going to hold out for that though, or even full recovery. As long as I can function, enjoy life, smile and make people laugh again then that’s good enough for me. I’ve been in that place very recently so I know I can be there again when this has blown over.
    I think I’ve had the sense now to stop comparing how I feel now to how I did a few months back as this is what’s upsetting me. I need to be gentle on myself. I dont feel great at the moment but a week ago I would have given my right arm to be how I am today.
    I’m proud of how I’ve dealt with it to be honest. I used to fear these times and do everything I could to avoid them. I realise now that it’s going to crop up now and again so I may as well do what I want with my life.
    I read on an older post by Helen who used to be on here that ‘it’s not the trigger that matters but how you deal with it’.


  514. Ryan C 6th November 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Jeff, this is exactly what I’m thinking. The difference between anxiety and normality is becoming such a fine line at times it’s almost crossing into each other. However I have had a few really crap days with the old symptoms rearing their head which confirms I am most definately not free from the chains of anxiety. However, on the other hand, I have had a very bad cold which has most definately made me feel way way worse than normal. I am not recovered for sure but as you say I am very close even though most of the time I do feel crap I am almost certain when you recover on the end it will be like a flu or a cold disappearing. Even a normal happy person on top of the world who is hit by either will be miserable and unwell, unhappy and tired and probably flattened, unable to exercise or enjoy what they normally would, however fast forward a week or two and how they felt would be a shadow of the person they are. I think in the end Jeff it’s just habit. Paul said in his first book about a phase he went through where one lady described it as being in no mans land where feeling normal actually felt strange and it was although the feeling of anxiety was waiting to drag him back under but it was actually the transition between anxiety and feeling normal that made normality feel strange, this is how im feeling most of the time. On the verge of feeling great but very very strange.

  515. Markr 7th November 2015 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    For the bad days….

    ” I’ve endured this discomfort before and survived it, and so I can survive it today. I’ve felt these feelings before and sat with them, and so I can sit with them today. I’ve felt like giving in before and held onto hope, and so I can continue to hold on today. I made it through yesterday, and so, I can also make it through today. I can do it. I will do it. I am doing it. I am strong and I am capable. I will not give up.”

  516. Anxious Indian 7th November 2015 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    For people struggling with thoughts, I recently read a book ‘The Mind Works’ by Will Beswick, someome who I believe Paul also recommended in the past (I gathered that through his conversations with Will Beswick and Candie in past blog posts), and it has helped me.

    Will explains beautifully how we (anxiety minds) overthink – we re-enter bygone thoughts and sensations by trying to explain/fight them in our mind. Also, we further tense to uncomfortable thoughts and feeling thus prolonging them and making them stick.

    It has shed a whole new light on this stupid illness. Just thought I should share with you all in case it helps.

  517. Rock 8th November 2015 at 12:02 am - Reply

    Stupid answerless question but, I simply just wish there was some means of proof that I will recover or rather the way I define recovery.
    I define recovery as the return of my mind as it was, my beautiful way of looking at the world,my way of understanding things, my incredible imagination but mostly my memories. So many precious memories, memories I carried with myself everyday ad each experience informed who I was as a person.I grew everyday. I don’t want to lose those memories. Many people have told me I can recover but the memories won’t come back, which is what I feel too, but to me that simply isn’t recovery. Acceptance to me is concentrating on the present and making the most of now, my stay in Alcatraz if you are familiar with A Letter to Myself. I do good work most days, being content in this version of the world I currently live in despite it’s painfulness, lack of flavor or color and the lack of my true self and my memories. Despite these limits, I can accept the present and pay no mind to what the future and the past hold and have held.
    But it would all be so much easier if I simply knew those memories would return to me.

    Didn’t even phrase my question as a question… silly me.

  518. Mark r 8th November 2015 at 9:10 am - Reply

    I know this is temporary but it feels like utter hell. I gave up the fight with this setback weeks ago. It gets easier, I can see the light then it engulfs me and I’m left floundering and feel so awful.

    Sorry for the negative post but these last two days have taken me for a ride.


  519. Mark r 8th November 2015 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Maybe futile in asking but how do some setbacks pass within a few days then some are so damn stubborn?

  520. Colin 8th November 2015 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Hi guys
    Just a question out of curiosity!!!
    Could people let me know what is there occupations ?
    Doing a little study regarding anxiety and would appreciate this from you guys .
    I know with your posts you are struggling mate . But please keep faith it’s a hellish feeling !!! But it will pass everyone on here will support you . We are all in this together .

    Thanks in advance for any feedback .

  521. Hannah 8th November 2015 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Hello all,
    This is by far the best advice I have read on this subject and I truly believe that these are the answers I am looking for. I am seeking some advice and reassurance though. Anxiety came to me In January during a very stressful period of time in my life. I am in my last year of high school and will be attending university in the fall of next year. After reading Paul’s book this October I instantly had the best two weeks of my life. I was no longer afraid and began having days free of anxiety. But because of a very stressful week( driving test, homework, exams) the feelings returned and I fell back into the cycle and have been there for more than a month! What I am asking is how do I keep it up! How do I find the motivation and continue and not give into anxiety like I have so many times before. I have a lot of wonderful opportunities coming my way and sometimes I worry that I’m going to screw it all up by being too afraid and anxiety will take over. I know this is so silly but these fears feel so real and when I feel down my anxiety gets even worse. I know these fears are not valid because without anxiety I would be excited to begin my life but I was just wondering if anyone of you kind people on this site could give me any advice.

    Thanks a bunch!

  522. Meg 8th November 2015 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Colin – I’m a radiographer in the NHS 🙂

    On another note.. something strange has happened this weekend and I don’t feel anxious. It’s crept up on me and it feels so strange kind of like my brain doesn’t know what to do with itself! I’ve spent most of the weekend feeling so light and free but strange. I’ve had small patches in the day where I’ve felt kind of empty and pretty depressed but only a passing feeling lasting maye an hour or so. I’ve read other peoples posts saying that you can feel like this as anxiety lifts but just wondered if anyone could weigh in?

  523. Mark r 8th November 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Colin,

    I wont post when in the thick of it. It’s not fair on others.

    Accountant btw.

  524. Mark r 8th November 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply


    That’s a great sign!! Yes its common when it lifts as you’ve spent so much time in an anxious state it feels odd to be normal. I’ve been the same over the last 3 horrible weeks. All of a sudden the anxiety stops, tension goes and everything seems peaceful again. I’ve had two pretty rotten days but had about 2 hours earlier where the same thing happened….I was instantly myself and cracking jokes…anxiety crept back in again.


  525. JoJo 8th November 2015 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Hi Colin,
    I am in sales!

  526. Hannah 8th November 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    Quick question: How do you “accept” all this exactly?

    What I mean is that at the end of the day I feel very tense as if I was still fearing, I don’t mean too and I can honestly say its not scary anymore but something tells me im doing it all wrong…………….can you relate??

  527. Fleur 9th November 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Bryan, really thank you for response. 🙂

    Problem is that I dont know how to move about my day. I have so much free time. I study last year at university but there is no occupation, because I separated 1 year to 2 years because of anxiety. And now I have school only 1 day per week so really school isn´t my occupation. And I am everyday alone at home or dormitory. I have boyfriend but I am with him 2 days per week because he studies in different state. I started exercise too – 3 times per week – jumping, swimming, pilates. I really like it, but it is only 1 hour per day it is really nothing. Do you think that my anxiety is worse because lot of free time?

    I have a feeling like I dont know how to manage my free time. I have so much time and really dont know what to do, and then feelings of depression comes. Low mood… maybe because of my bored mood. All my life I was introvert, I loved being alone. But always there was occupation in my life – school 5 days per week. But my psychologist says that I dont know how to manage free time since I am at university.

    Please people, how your day looks like? Because when Paul says about “live normal life like before anxiety” I never had normal hobbies. I know that it is wrong but I am almost all day surfing internet, watching tv series. I have anxiety only almost 1 year BUT I have boring life 5 years. Maybe I think that my anxiety comes from boredom in life?

    From this post I want to know what are you doing when it is said – move with your day. I think that I do wrong things.

  528. Jamie 9th November 2015 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Anxious Indian. Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ve looked it up and it sounds very good as I suffer vey badly from believing / reacting to negative thoughts. However, when I hear of a book that may be useful I’m always torn between buying and reading it or just not reading / staying off forums and living my life as it is. I feel like if I read the book it will be yet another quest for that ‘silver bullet’ to somehow fix myself

  529. Mark r 9th November 2015 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    Please remember that anxious thoughts are the product of your state of mind, nothing more. This is true for other states of mind too…happy, calm, angry etc. Treat them as another symptom that will eventually leave as your go further into recovery. As ive dealt with anxiety for many years now I can say with confidence is that they will get quieter and no longer bother you.

    On another note I cant stress the importance of being occupied whilst anxious. I mean this in the sense of not running away from your own thoughts and feelings but with work, hobbies etc. This has a two fold effect on going forward and living your life and also showing the anxious part of your brain that you are in no harm and it will get the right message. It’s the last thing you want to do I know. At the moment for me I’m getting literally nothing from any external life stuff but I know it will come back again.

    Jamie, agree on the silver bullet theory. The reason I haven’t bought Pauls new book is that I know enough and would be trying to make myself feel better. When I was very bad two weeks ago I was on here every hour for reassurance. Now calmer I mainly come on to inpart advice.


  530. Mark r 9th November 2015 at 1:47 pm - Reply


  531. Rose123 9th November 2015 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Hi there I was just wondering if anyone suffers with thoughts that are horrendous as mine?! I’ve read both Paul’s books and my anxiety doesn’t even bother me anymore thanks to all of Paul’s wonderful advice. I had about 6 months this year where I was completely anxiety and intrusive thought free and it was the best 6 months of my life! However the past few weeks my intrusive thoughts have returned with a vengance, last year it was the the thought that I was going to seriously hurt my children and now it has turned into ‘what if I’m a paedophile??!’ This is so painful for me to even write because I literally adore my children and other children too. I know it is just anxiety manifesting itself but the ‘what if it’s not anxiety’ thought pops into myhead and literally makes me feel like I could throw up! I’m trying to just let the thoughts be there but they are so disturbing that I struggle to be ok with not taking notice of them. Has anyone else experienced this?! And have any advice? I would be eternally grateful as I’m just struggling so much.

  532. Julie 9th November 2015 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Fleur – If you enjoy being alone and watching tv then do that, do things that you enjoy. It doesn’t mean you have to fill every moment of your day as that really is avoiding anxiety. Well that is my opinion. Many people fill their days to the brim to either avoid being alone, or avoid having time to think about anxiety and that isn’t what you need to do.

    I was never a very extrovert person before my anxiety began. I went shopping alot (cost my husband a fortune lol) and I liked to have coffee with a friend but when this anxiety started 3 years ago I was unable to leave my house and as a result i stopped socialising. My husband now has more money in his bank account 😉 So my life became more introvert but before my anxiety I enjoyed chilling out watching movies with my children or baking with them. I never filled my days to the brim so I don’t now. What I did do though was find new hobbies when I became unable to leave my house. Something I could do in the house that was a good focus. Not to avoid anxiety but to find something I enjoyed, to bring back the spark in my life.

    A typical day for me is I take the children to school, I go for a little drive by myself listening to my music and I may pop to the shop for some chocolate. I come home and I do my housework, have a cup of tea and enter a few competitions. I then do yoga for half an hour before lunch. In the afternoon I have 2 hours where I relax, in that time I watch tv or a movie, even if I feel anxious I allow myself this time because running around like a headless chicken all day just doesn’t work for me. My evenings are very busy once I pick my children up, with cooking, taking children to their clubs etc…

    So as you can see my days are not filled to the brim. I only have my own company during the week and I am fine with that. If I sit down and do nothing all day but think about anxiety then yes i make myself feel alot worse. I try to stick to a routine and I find it helps. Taking up yoga and meditation was a great focus for me. I didn’t start them to cure my anxiety, I guess I hoped they might help but I ended up really enjoying them and they are now a way of life for me. I love to read too, not about anxiety but I love books on budhism, yoga and spirituality. I never did any of these things before I had anxiety, I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t had anxiety so really it’s led me to some beautiful things.

    My advice is if you feel you have too much free time and you are spending that time brooding, find a new hobby, not to forget the anxiety but to refocus your attention onto something else and let anxiety be there in the background.

    We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too.


  533. Andy J 9th November 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Hi Guys,

    Its been a while since I posted. I’m still having a hard time but have been doing my best to get on with my life.

    I’ve started at a new gym and have managed to do all the things I’ve had planned, including a trip to the Lake District and also a Stag Doo in Barcelona.

    I still however suffer from severe intrusive thoughts. Their frequency and severity is still the same as it has always been. When they come I try to allow them and not question them, but sometimes they feel so real. Is this who I have become now? I should know that I had none of these before anxiety, but its so hard just accepting this and continuing. Because of their frequency, the impact seems to have reduced, i.e. the shock factor, which makes me question myself even more. Why am I no longer shocked/disgusted by them? Its really hard to just allow them. Its been well over a year now and I still really struggle with these.

    I’m pleased every one is still giving advice, and if I had to give any of my own it would be to keep yourself occupied and think outwardly as much as possible. As soon as you start looking inwards the trouble begins. There is no answer to find within yourself, because there is nothing to find.

    Have a good week.


  534. Michelle 9th November 2015 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Paul, forgive me if it seems like I’m posting under 2 email addresses. I got a new email address years ago, but I have been waiting for my posts to be approved for quite awhile, so was hoping my old email address would still work.

    Anyway, how to you get past the no sleeping at night, or at most 3 hours, waking with intense anxiety every single day? How can my tired mind and body heal with no sleep. I try to calm myself down, and go back to sleep but I’m too keyed up. It’s the worst!

    I suffered this back in 2008-2009 and thought I was “cured,” only for it to have come back about a month ago due to the sensation of not being able to breathe properly due to a hiatal hernia. So sad and scared to have to endure this again. Sometimes I feel like I would rather die that do this again.

  535. Fleur 9th November 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Julie – Yes, I enjoyed being alone and watching tv, but now I have a feeling, that I can´t watch tv or surfing internet all days. I found out that I can enjoy it after school or after busy day, but I can´t watch tv all days. I must tell you that I lived 5 years like this. Only hard studying and surfing internet with watching movies all days – it was procrastination for me. It became a habit. All 5 years only school and internet. Then in January anxiety/panic came. Now I think that I did a mistake somewhere in my life. I don´t have good aproach, that´s why I think that I can´t live like before anxiety. Because that lifestyle brought me anxiety I think.
    But now I exercise, but still it isn´t enough. Exercise can be only 1 hour per day and still I have so much free time – all days. When I am at home I don´t have any motivation for example cleaning house I have a feeling like I can´t. That´s reason why I am afraid of depression. I don´t know maybe it is depression and not anxiety. I really don´t know how to explain my strange feelings, but at home I have really strange times. Like I am really bored, but still I don´t want to do anything. But I have this feeling only at home, when I am in gym, or with friend I have energy and I am almost normal. So it is like really bad habit, when I have free time at home I really don´t know how to move with my day. I feel like crazy person this is crazy and I don´t understand why! I can´t bear my free time at home. Thank you for your advice Julie, I must find some part-time job. Maybe then my focus will change.

  536. Jen 9th November 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Meg and mark r…
    I have also felt this way. It truly does feel weird and strange to feel normal again with out the constant anxiety. I could tell I was slowly seeing my old personality come back but really felt weird still. I think I was holding on to the feeling of anxiety as strange as it sounds maybe cuz I got so used to it being there all the time. It’s like a friend I am forced to be around. Not the greatest. It took me awhile to accept I have this horrible thing. But I feel where the real change came from is I just decided I don’t care anymore how I feel. I am fed up and kind of had enough of it ruling my life. Then all of a sudden I have been having multiple days of feeling almost normal I say thing because normal feels weird and strange to me now. I think we just have to get used to it. I feel right now though is like an empty feeling that so,etching is missing and kind of emotionless but I have read post by scarlet and she said she felt this way at the very end for awhile. Which makes sense since we are having to adjust back to normal again. The anxiety feels like it wants to pull me back down the worrying path sometimes but I say I don’t care and it kind of goes away. I wish there was more on this part of recovery. Anyone that has recovered have any advise? I feel like this is an important step to go over too because at first I was panicking and worrying about this new strange feeling. Paul or anyone that has recovered could u please give any advise. Right now I just feel more dull and life doesn’t have a whole of of pazaze to it. Is that normal feeling at the end. Thanks in advance. I also get some worrying thoughts about how I am feeling this way of the new feeling too hope that’s normal lol

  537. Michelle 9th November 2015 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Can anyone please tell me about how to cope with not being able to sleep at all? My anxiety is worse during the middle of the night and in the morning. Really having trouble coping with no sleep.

  538. Jen 10th November 2015 at 1:54 am - Reply

    I had some issues with sleeping. I would wake up really early thrn I started to toss and turn during the night and couldn’t get back to bed. I talked with my Dr and I started taking melatonin and it has helped. Maybe talk with your Dr and ask about that. Also if you are stressing and thinking about how you won’t beable to sleep and it’s your main focustomers. It’s going to create more anxiwty about it and just add more fuel to the fire. I thibk paul said in his book just tell your self and have an attitude of oh well if I don’t sleep if I do then great and if I don’t then oh well. Try to get that attitude towards it maybe that will help taking the focus odd of not sleeping and might get a better nights rest.

  539. Michelle 10th November 2015 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Thank you Jen. I’ve been through this before, so you’d think I’d remember. Problem is it was about 6 years ago, so I forgot everything. I re-read Paul’s first book and read his second and try so hard to accept how horrible this feels, then I feel like I’m stuck in my own head, trapped with no way out, which of course causes more panic. I wish I could figure out the accepting part… maybe then it wouldn’t have happened to me again all these years later.

    Not being able to sleep at all has been so hard because I know sleep is vital for recovery. Seems like my body is sabatoging itself. I’ll be fast asleep for an hour or 2 and then wham.. wake up with panic. It’s so lonely being the only one up in the middle of the night.

  540. Jen 10th November 2015 at 3:55 am - Reply

    Oh Michelle I get it. It has been really tough for me as well the accepting part has not came easy. I feel like I’m at the tail end of this lovely anxiety that I got from a major panic attack a couple of months ago. I understand what you mean when you say it’s hard to get out of your head. What is working for me is just having the attitude of I don’t care how I feel anymore. If I feel weird I feel weird nothing I can do to change it. I now have been having days of barely any anxiety if I do it’s like blimps here and there because it’s like my brain wants something to worry about. Since I’m letting that go I can understand how things might feel odd now because I’m not giving it anything to latch on to with the over analyzing every feeling and thought which I didn’t really realize I was doing. Just try and let it just be there and keep telling your self so what and oh well and don’t give into the worrying panic feeling. If you feel panic when I wake up just be like okay whatever and just feed into it or give it the attention it wants. That’s the only way it will survive is by us giving it attention. I have made a ton of progress exspecally in the last week here that it’s pretty amazing and strange all at the same time. I can tell my brain wants to over analyze my feelings etc.. But I am getting really good at just cutting it off and not going there hyoid the thought. Your sleeping will get better once the anxiety clams down too. Just try and get the so what attitude and don’t pay it any attention. You got this

  541. Julie 10th November 2015 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Jen – I love that attitude. I have had it tough accepting this setback. It began 2 months ago after a huge panic attack in the nurses room when i had a blood test. Since then all my anxiety came flooding back. It had never left completely but life was much better. I have been in this setback a long time it feels and I am trying to get to that stage you describe above.

    With my it’s like my brain is panicking at every bodily sensation, because deep down I am now terrified of needing an appointment at the doctors and that major panic attack happening again, so I have noticed I panic at every tingle, pain, dizzy feeling.. anything sets me off into high anxiety. On top of that i just feel general anxiety all day and ruminate about how bad I feel, how bad my agoraphobia is again because of this panic attack I had…. I want to get that attitude of cutting it off once the rumination or panic starts but my brain keeps reacting with fear to every feeling, thought or sensation automatically.

    Any advice? It is your attitude I have been working on and you describe it how I imagine I should be handling this setback so I thought I’d reply to your post. I loved it.

    Thank you.


  542. Belgian 10th November 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply


    Maybe I am going to sound a little harsh, but it is certainly not my intention to insult someone .

    I have been reading up on what has been said here and it strikes me that a lot of you are in a similar position. You claim to understand the message that Paul and others are giving you. But then immediately after reaffirming that you got it, a question on how you feel or think is followed. For example: I know these thoughts are just anxiety finding its way out, but what about the fact that I think I am a child molester?

    Let me explain where I think you go wrong there. You understand that anxiety brings crazy thoughts and crazy feelings. You now know they are not true. The mistake is that you think that by knowing this, you should not feel the way you do. Because – for example – if I know that I love my partner, then surely I must not feel this anxious feeling no longer!

    It does not work in this way. You are feeling and thinking the way you do, because you are anxious. You get anxious for reasons that are not always under your direct control since it is the working of the complex machine that is your brain. This would not be a problem if only you could let it be. Instead you keep this fire going because you dislike the way anxiety is making you feel and are trying to make it go away. That is why they say the thought is not the problem, it is your reaction to it. This is where acceptance comes in. As long as you don’t accept, you continue your pointless struggle and you are not allowing anxiety to pass. Acceptance is not fighting. It is surrendering to the feeling, to the thoughts. Surrendering is not quite the same as giving in. I love the word floating from Dr. Weekes here because it explains so well the mindset I want to be in. I try to welcome any feeling or thought at my door, invite it in and let it do whatever it wants to do. Another mental picture I have is me surfing on these emotions.

    Again it is important to understand that this is a process, it takes time for this to ‘work’ so allow yourself this time. Try not to be discouraged when you experience a setback. A lot of people are complaining that a setback is particular long or are constantly searching what went wrong to bring him/her in this situation again. Reading these posts I always think the same thing. Of course this setback is hard for you, of course it seems not to pass. All you are doing is stress about it! You let it be in the center of your life. You are disliking these feelings so much that it is impossible not to lose yourself in it. In what you write the workings of the anxiety cycle are perfectly demonstrated.

    Don’t beat yourself up about it though. I think I have recovered, but still I have moments where anxiety comes up. This is not nice, but I see it as good practice time. Once you have felt the workings of true acceptance, you understand that is by nature gradual and you are more capable of appreciating and accepting this.

  543. Andy J 10th November 2015 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Belgian,

    Thats a really good post.

    I think I am one of the people this post should be aimed at. I know that the intrusive thoughts I have been experiencing have only increased since having anxiety and the content was never something I even worried about before.

    Its just when the thoughts are so full on, its hard not to try and fight them. Its as though if I don’t, I am some how condoning them. But then I know that fighting against them will never win.

    I really have been stuck in this anxious circle for a while now, and avoidance techniques are something I use frequently. I guess I am scared to try and move on but know that unless I do, I will be stuck in this washing machine of anxiety forever.

    I might have asked this before, but what is the difference between (a) allowing thoughts and (b) getting involved in them. What if the natural progression of the anxious thought is to get involved in it?



  544. Belgian 10th November 2015 at 1:56 pm - Reply


    With allowing you do not add something. You just experience what there is to experience. With getting involved you either avoid or battle the thoughts/feelings.

    I could make the following analogy:

    The way you could see allowing is imagining you are floating on a boat on a river. You look at the scenic landscape, the weather, the birds in the sky. You feel the speed of the current. Sometimes going very fast, sometimes slow and calm.

    Struggling is you trying to jump out of the boat, trying to peddle away against the tide.

  545. Michelle 10th November 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Thank you Jen and Belgian. I understand it all, but putting into practice is so hard for me. I haven’t gotten to the point where I accept feeling miserable and knowing this is how it will be for possibly a good long time. It’s hard to accept not feeling happiness. I know acceptance is the only key out of this prison, I just don’t know how to find it. So much easier when the anxiety wanes later in the day. But when it’s at its worst (in the mornings) it’s all but impossible for me. I guess if acceptance was easy, this blog would be pretty empty.

    I have some questions… I know we’re supposed to let it wash over us and feel it, but every single thing I think about when it’s pretty thick in the morning gives me anxiety. The thought of taking a shower, the thought of making my daughter’s lunch, the thought of going shopping, watching TV, reading a book, mopping the floor… everything keeps fueling it. I tell myself that those things aren’t scary, and I actually enjoy them (well, except mopping), I let those feelings be there, but with every calm thought, the anxiety grows. What is the key here?

    Also, during the times I can’t sleep, is it okay to put on meditative music to relax myself, or is that considered a “doing” and not accepting. Should I just lay there immerse myself in the anxiety?

    This all started with the sensations that I can’t breathe due to a hole in my diaphragm. I feel like until that gets resolved, neither will my anxiety, but that sensation in and of itself is anxiety provoking. How do I get past the feeling of not being able to breathe, especially when it’s not anxiety related?

  546. Stephanie 10th November 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Michelle, of course you’re going to feel scared about everything when you’re anxious, because your mind is looking for danger where there is none. The solution, then, is to show yourself that there is no danger by doing the thing/task regardless of how you feel. Don’t analyze how you feel while or after doing the thing – remember, the intention here isn’t to rid yourself of any thought or feeling (although you may find yourself wanting that automatically). The intention is simply to live your life. If you need to take a shower, then shower. If you feel awful while showering, then so be it. As Nolan always says, the feelings of calm and peace will eventually find their way back to you.

    From my experience, when you can’t sleep the best thing is not to fight it. I try to just let myself feel however I’m going to feel, and usually when I do that I find I eventually do go back to sleep. The times when I add fuel to the fire by agonizing and thinking “no no no, I can’t let this happen, I need sleep!”, those are the times when I’m usually just tossing and turning. But either way, so what. If I sleep, I sleep. If I don’t sleep, then I don’t sleep.

    Michelle, it’s going to take a lot of practice. You’ll find yourself not caring sometimes. Other times you’ll find yourself falling back into the trap of questioning, avoiding and fighting. That’s ok. Each time you’ll gain a little more understanding, clarity and independence.

  547. Michelle 10th November 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    I’m so sorry for the deluge of questions.. it’s just all so raw for me and I want to gain my understanding back. Is crying over how I feel okay, or does that add to it? Sometimes I just can’t help it (like right now).

    Also, since I had this before back in 2008-2009, is this considered a setback, or brand new? I truly thought I was done with it, living a completely normal life for 5-6 years.

  548. Bryan 10th November 2015 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Michelle did you read Stephanie’s answer? She took time and gave you a very detailed thoughtful explanation of what you need to do. Honestly there are really no other questions that are important. Stephanie was gracious enough to lay it out perfectly for you. The thing to do now is to act on her (and Paul’s) advice.

  549. Michelle 10th November 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Yes, I did read Stephanie’s answer. I’m sorry for coming across as a whiney baby. I just feel so lost and alone and was coming here for support and reinforcement to help me “get” it.

  550. Andy J 10th November 2015 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Thanks Belgian.

    I think the whole duration of this anxiety has really knocked my resilience. I have been doing relatively well, albeit with some avoidance habits.

    But the last few days have brought with it a new wave of anxiety. I am currently on Citalopram (at a low dosage of 20mg) and missed a couple of days before retaking. Could this have been the thing which sparked it?

    Ideally, I want to be off the medication, as I feel it isnt helping a great deal with the issues I have. My main issues are still the negative cycles of obsession and the worry about them. I know it is classical anxiety, but the depth of depression makes it hard to move on. Every day of my life is stained by what I am going through. I would just like an hour or two of clarity where I could get my head around what was going on.

    I really wish I had appreciated what I had before all of this started. The ability to enjoy and look forward to things, without the darkness seeping through.

    Thanks again for the advice.


  551. Colin 10th November 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Andy
    Try and stay positive mate.
    I am no expert on the subject . But I have recovered but still get occasional setbacks especially after drinking alcohol ? I was wondering if anyone else has this ?

  552. Stephanie 10th November 2015 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Michelle, it’s ok to look for encouragement and support. But eventually you have to actually put into practice what you’re reading. Constantly coming on here asking the same questions to different people, wanting reassurance, will just amount to another relief-seeking technique. It might make you feel better momentarily, but it’s not going to do you much good in the long run. You have to be the one to decide you’re not going to let your feelings and thoughts hold you back anymore. People on this blog can point you in the right direction, but we can’t make you start walking.

    If you need to cry, cry. Then wipe the tears away, get back up, and continue on.

  553. Mark r 10th November 2015 at 5:52 pm - Reply


    Yeah most of my setbacks appear from alcohol the night before, not all but most. Trying not to berate myself too much as socialising is really important.

  554. Jeff 10th November 2015 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Rock, you wrote: “Many people have told me I can recover but the memories won’t come back, which is what I feel too, but to me that simply isn’t recovery.”

    There is a phrase not used much on this forum – ‘anxiety has a shelf life.’ It does. It’s easy to forget this while riddled with anxiety…because we’re so tired, scared at times, sad…feeling despair and burned out. Hard to recall those fond memories when you’re in that state of mind.

    When you settle, recover to your old self, your memory will almost certainly return. It’s anxiety, an emotional state – not brain damage.

  555. Julie 11th November 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

    How do you all cope with stress? I have been suffering from it for a couple of months now and I swear it’s why I am not coping well with this setback. I am not looking for a reason to blame for my setback but I have had alot of stress recently and I am feeling quite unwell. I spoke to my GP a few weeks ago and he just suggested increasing my meds which is a big no, no as they do nothing at all for my anxiety and next year I hope to withdraw.

    Since the big panic attack in the nurses room in September I have hit a setback, i was feeling stressed at the time due to myself feeling unwell, I had alot of blood tests and it all was too much. Hence the huge panic attack. Since then my son has been struggling with anxiety due to bullies and he opened up to us a few weeks ago and told us he’d had suicidal thoughts. Lots of phone calls and appointments had to be made to help him. I now live on the edge of my seat worried about him, checking he is ok in the night etc… It’s been really stressful. My daughter hasn’t been well for a month with bad headaches which has been causing me alot of concern. She is going to the GP this morning with her dad. I took her to the optician 2 weeks ago and we thought it was eye strain as her sight had got worse. My eldest son is a teen and he has been playing up alot, mostly because his brother has been struggling and maybe getting a little more attention so as a result my he’s played up to get more attention. It’s caused alot of stress and anxiety coping with his mood swings aswell as everything else.

    So basically alot of stress and as a result I feel ill. I feel I am swaying when I walk, like I am walking on a moving bus or boat. Anxiety? Urgh and just generally I feel very stressed inside, pent up and anxious. Upset that i can’t take my daughter to the GP appointment because of my panic attack in the nurses room setting me back anxiety wise, I have constant anxiety over every physical feeling incase i am ill and need to see a doctor, it’s horrible. I know deep down the main issue is that ever since the nurses appointment I have been highly anxious about my health because I fear going back there. The last 2 years I have struggled doing appointments due to high anxiety/agoraphobia but hubby would come with me and I’d cope, I’d feel anxious but ok. I even took my children by myself a few times and I was ok, just anxious inside. Since the huge panic attack there I am highly stressed about ever needing to go back. I have panic attacks often now, where as before they were so very rare. It’s as though now I just couldn’t cope with any appointment at the GP because I am so sensitized and panic hits me badly as soon as I enter the building. I am now anxious about my health because of this and spend every day worried what if this stress gives me a heart attack, stroke, brain tumour or what if I just felt ill and needed to see the GP. I am due blood tests soon and can’t face going because the last panic attack was so severe.

    So urgh I feel extremely stressed and worried. Sorry it turned into one big ramble and I hope i don’t get flamed for posting but I am so stressed inside and worry that I won’t ever get back to the point I was at *sobs*


    Belgian great post again. Thank you.

  556. carla 11th November 2015 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Hi Belgain, Jen, Steph etc..

    I keep getting stuck on the same issue so I was hoping someone on here might be able to help a little.

    Now – I understand the concept of acceptance. Flipping heck, I’ve been reading about it since 1996! So that’s all good.

    And, with the support of the marvellous Claire Weekes I recovered from my first bout of anxiety and have lived the majority of my life without anxiety.

    But stresses, strains and a period of worry saw it return last year and finally exploding with the anxious thought ‘what if I get stuck in my mind forever, worrying and analysing. What if I NEVER have a normal, outward thought again?’

    Now this lead to a horrid, horrid phase whereby whenever I tried to think anything I interrupted myself with a an anxious thought of ‘see, you can’t think normally. See, see, this is going to happen forever.’ It was bloody terrifying.

    Now evidence has proved that this situation could not sustain itself so that awful level of terror has subsided somewhat.

    But I’m still left with a fear of inward-thinking, analysing and worrying. Which I understand is classic GAD – worry about worry. A fear that worrying is somehow dangerous.

    Now, Paul David talks a lot about accepting fearful thoughts and physical anxiety symptoms but is less clear about how we should deal with the circular, worrying, chewy type of thoughts (which is how my anxiety presents and the thing that causes me the most fear).

    In fact, he and others repeat again and again that we should not spend time analysing, worrying or brooding about our thinking. Well, when I’m anxious, analysing, brooding and worrying is precisely what my mind does! And, another thing it does is to automatically counter worrying thoughts with more reassuring ones.

    For example, when my mind starts thinking about anxiety as soon as I wake, the reaction is often an automatic one of worry (what if these thoughts get stuck again) which will then be quickly followed by a thought along the lines of ‘it’s ok, it’s just habitual thinking, just let it be there.’

    But then I think “NO! WRONG! Firstly I’m worrying/paying attention to my thinking and, secondly I’m trying to counter a thought with a thought. Oh no, I’m perpetuating a loop – resist, resist, resist, fear, fear, fear!’

    Now I know that Paul did not intend his advice to have this effect! After all, one of his central messages is that we cannot change the content of our thoughts and should allow ourselves to think and feel anything. Which is what I believe too.

    But I’m struggling not to continually punish myself for this.

    I try and find comfort in Claire Weekes who explains that we should ‘be prepared to think continuously about ourselves for some time and that ‘at first, acceptance will only be felt as words and that these words will often fail us’. She explains that it’s helpful to talk to others about their worries/thoughts and that her patients usually needed repeated reassurance about their experience.

    These descriptions mirror my own journey. Sometimes I’m able to accept in my heart, sometimes I’m overwhelmed with negative thoughts (which then seem to generate a lot of self-talk) but most of the time I’m just punishing myself, questioning whether I’m worrying too much, analysing or not.

    Paul talks in his book about not seeing thoughts as bad or good, but this is precisely what I’m doing. Analytical thoughts are BAD, any kind of self-talk or self-reassurance is BAD, any kind of thought that pays the anxiety too much attention is BAD.

    I’m trying to build my own confidence by accepting that MY thoughts are simply going to be a mixture of anxious, repetitive, analytical, worry-based and reassuring thoughts. Because this is how my anxiety presents. These are MY thoughts and therefore the ones that I should be accepting.

    But I keep struggling with doubt and focusing on contradictions. I guess this is what anxiety does to us too.

    I guess I’m just looking for someone to help me find the strength to go forwards confidently, to help me realise that analysing, worrying and brooding are all classic symptoms of anxiety too and that needn’t punish myself for thinking in this way.

  557. Doreen 11th November 2015 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Julie – you have repeated this story over and over again now about the nurses room and your son and all the feelings that you are having. Both sound horrible experiences but it cannot be doing you any good to keep recounting them on here as if somehow you will get a new and magic response from the readers. The content of these posts and their repetitive nature is the furthest you can be from shrugging your shoulders, getting on and accepting that you have anxiety.
    I am not the only person saying this – read Stephanie’s post to Michelle on 10th Nov. The same applies to you. You always thank people for their lovely responses to you and then begin the process of asking for help all over again as if the sensible help you are being offered isn’t sinking in at all.

  558. Julie 11th November 2015 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Thank you for your response Doreen.

    I think I was just wondering how people cope with stress, what’s a good way to manage it as I am letting it build up inside me and it’s flowing out as anxiety. I am just not sure how to manage the stress I am experiencing, and they are genuine stresses.

    I do take on board alot of what people say and it has helped alot. I didn’t mean for my post to come across as though I haven’t, I was just trying to get some tips on stress management.


  559. Louise 11th November 2015 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie
    I am sorry you still suffering. Hun I have had emdr and it has made huge difference for me with anxiety it not a quick fix but I am a lot better after 3 sessions it is worth a go

  560. Doreen 11th November 2015 at 12:44 pm - Reply