//How do I give up my struggle with anxiety?

How do I give up my struggle with anxiety?

Updated 23/10/2018

It’s not your thoughts or emotions that keep you in the cycle of suffering; it’s your constant struggle and rejection of them that does. Non-acceptance of ‘what is’ is what creates resistance, and it is this resistance that causes so much extra suffering. This struggle is what prevents the process of healing to occur.

If you want to overcome anxiety then struggling with it is not the answer.

Anyone who finds themselves stressed and mentally exhausted has got there through struggling with their inner or outer world. These people aren’t in the flow of life; they are always pushing against it. They aren’t allowing their mind or emotions to be as they are, they are constantly at war with them.

Let’s concentrate on those who spend all their time battling with their anxiety. The whole battle they enter into revolves around them not wanting to feel it. The truth is that if you have anxiety, then you have no option but to feel its presence within you, there is not saying, method or technique you can master that can prevent this

If you had a bout of flu then there is nothing you can do, not to feel it, you would just have to ride it out and allow it to pass of its own accord. Imagine if you wasted all your day trying to fight it, suppress it and tried to figure a way out of it mentally. Or maybe tried a few internet searches to find someone or something to make it go away.

All this would do is exhaust you, it would take tremendous mental and physical effort to carry out, and so you would feel worse than ever. All you would have achieved is to add more suffering on top of your initial suffering.

This battle would have been utterly pointless and counterproductive. Yet this is what most anxiety sufferers do and then wonder why they feel so utterly exhausted and spent and why they stay in a cycle of constant suffering.

Be open to any state

Being open to any state

When you give up your battle with yourself, then your thoughts and emotions will change naturally. You can’t force or create a particular state through struggle or personal will; this will only create more suffering and mentally drain you.

The outside world, life and others act as they do, less stress and worry comes through understanding this one fact and realising that life won’t always go your way and that people won’t always act how you want them to.

The same principle is true when you experience any form of suffering; it is your non-acceptance of your current state that causes so much extra pain.

It doesn’t feel great to experience emotions of anger, fear, irritable, anxiety, sadness or any other uncomfortable state you may find yourself in. But trust me, if you allow yourself to fall right into your current state without struggle and resistance, then you won’t suffer the same as when you struggle and fight with it.

Also, it is the complete acceptance of your current state that allows your mind and body to start the process of healing. Left alone your mind and body are able to heal themselves, just like they are with a broken leg or a cut finger. Your body has the best healing in the world if you only step aside and allow it to do its job.

My recovery from anxiety came when I saw the truth behind my suffering and how I was creating the majority of it. Even with this knowledge the same thoughts and feelings were present for a while, but I just lost interest in them.

I no longer had any interest in trying to manipulate a state. If I needed to feel a particular emotion or mind state, then I would allow myself to feel it fully, no matter how uncomfortable it was.

There really is no outside force doing this to us, and so there is nothing for us to defeat. We are creating our own suffering and staying in a cycle through a lack of understanding.

So much suffering is self-created through lack of knowledge which leads to a pointless battle we enter into with ourselves. Recovery doesn’t come through some technique; it occurs when we do two things.

1. When we stop doing the things that are creating our suffering

2. When we allow ourselves to go through a process of healing our past suffering. This means to fully experience it as it is without trying to fight or suppress it.

Do you now see why battling with anxiety can never cure you of it? It was a battle that never needed to be fought.

Peace will never be created by going to war

Paul David
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Paul David

Paul David owner and sole contributor of this blog and https://anxietynomore.co.uk. Author of the best selling book on overcoming anxiety 'At last a life' and the follow up 'At last a life and beyond. Lover of all animals and the outdoors.
Paul David
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By |2019-01-10T21:10:13+00:00October 23rd, 2018|Anxiety|874 Comments


  1. Eliza 12th January 2016 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    “Fear of the state you are in” is a phrase used in the book “Hope and Help for Your Nerves” by the late Dr. Claire Weekes. She helped so many people and continues to do so today through her CD’s and books. For those who have never heard of her it’s great to have someone else coming up with the same philosophies and helping so many more people who are suffering.

  2. Natalie 12th January 2016 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul.
    I appear to not be able to post comments on your Official Facebook page – do you know why?

  3. Natalie 12th January 2016 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I would very much like to be a part of the Community to help overcome my chronic anxiety and panic. I’m 5 pages away from finishing your book.

  4. Chris 12th January 2016 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post Paul. I’m just wondering if this advice can be applied to specific fears as well? I’m sure alot of us have them, and I won’t go into great detail about mine, as I’ve already gone through it in the last post, but I will say that my suffering started the same way yours did – and this is my fear. Unfortunately I did alot of research on dr google/forums when this first came on, and even a few months ago (I’ve stopped now though), which reinforced the whole thing tenfold. Now I have this fear that my natural default setting is ‘broken’ as a result, and I won’t be able to recover (I also read that it potentially can get worse with time and can lead to depression, this thought really trips me up and I picture myself on a downward spiral). It feeds the anxiety big time and has manifested into obsessive thoughts, replaying all the scary stuff I read.

    I’m not really looking for any reassurance, more advice… Can I simply apply your advice to this hurdle I’m facing and recover with these fears? Claire Weekes mentions glimpsing or getting another point of view, but maybe it’s better to take a simple approach and just ‘do nothing?’

    No worries if you’re super busy as I know you get flooded with questions, but just thought I’d ask! Thanks.

  5. Rich 12th January 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Chris of course this advice can be applied to specific fears. As mentioned on here many times, your specific symptoms do not matter at all.

    Thinking your different or worse than others or beyond hope is one of the standard tricks it plays on you. This is never the case.

    Be wary of reading anything. You’re hyper-alert, hyper-sensitive. Go easy on yourself and don’t burden yourself with any more fears than you have to.

  6. Sara 12th January 2016 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    I know i promised to write with a more positive note, but unfortuantly no progress:

    I’m experiencing “akasthia”, and very very deep disconnection, sort of dissociation. My thoughts are not clear and i cannot really get a grip.

    I’ve lost interest in so many things because everythign gives me a panic attack. My thining is slow and I cannot concentrate, nothing sinks in.

    Just when i try to bring my mood up and say “its just a phase” i get really tense.

    What a rut I’m in, I’m scared for my baby (13 weeks pregnant) as I’m not eating

    Doctor just wants to shove meds on me and refuses to start therapy without.

    I’m far from my family, getting worse by the day.

    I cannot begin to explain how awful my anxiety is and how bad a place i’m in right now. i really want my life back….but i can see it drifting from me.

    I know most of this is due to my new life situation: moved home and awful new job (can you beleive nobody really talks to me and I have a 10 hour shift without actually having work??? ALL DAY)

  7. Colin 12th January 2016 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Try mind pilot Susan ? Great app !!!

  8. Michelle Brown 12th January 2016 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the post, Paul. I have given up the struggle with most of my symptoms, and it’s true, it makes it so much easier.

    Been trying lately to treat my insomnia the same way, as just another symptom of anxiety and if I stop struggling, my sleep will return. So far it’s persistent though (no more then 3 hours of sleep per night for 3 months), so I find I’m getting discouraged, thinking that the insomnia is something beyond the anxiety, like it is its own separate dysfunction.

  9. Rik 12th January 2016 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Good post Paul. I am accepting every facet of my anxiety now and sticking to the knowledge that once my sensitisation begins to leave me so too will the fears and thoughts and emotions. As i accept my thoughts as just thoughts things get easier. Not easy but easier. I know that if I stick to acceptance and letting time pass as it needs to that my mind and body will find peace again. I have had this recovery twice over the years and there is nothing sweeter than the other side of the suffering. The true appreciation of life and all it holds. It is waiting for all of us if we can just step out of the way and let our minds find their way back.

  10. ken 13th January 2016 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Can somebody answer this question im in a really terrible situation and very conflicted about things. But my question is vague but are “should have thoughts ruminations” or negative thought to let go. It would be nice to know. Because i have acidentally pushed my girfriend away and i have all these thoughts like i “i should have said this and i “should have done that” is it me ruminating or negative thoughts. It has gotten really bad since coming off of benzos thank you

  11. Rachael 13th January 2016 at 10:36 am - Reply

    I’ve spent the last year overcoming my anxiety and whilst I still struggle I feel I’m much better, However over Christmas I felt a little stressed, lonely and therefore felt myself becoming down.
    I’m now in a set back! I’ve become so fearful of becoming depressed that I feel I have made it happen, I’m now not wanting to meet with people in case I cry or have a panic attack….. my world is becoming smaller.
    I’ve now realised I’m avoiding lots of situations in case I panic or feel distressed!
    I’m sick of talking about it, reading about it and feeling it….I just want to feel ‘normal’.
    Can I do this by not giving my feelings thought, getting out, keeping busy or do I need meds? ( which terrify me)
    Will I get better or will this keep happening?

  12. Rich 13th January 2016 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Sara, You need to take control of your situation. Sounds like you have lots of time to think and worry in your job and life. Think what you can do in this time that is perhaps more positive and beneficial to you rather than think negatively. Eat little and often – nibble and graze if needs me. It will come back.

    Rachael, Can you do this by not thinking and questionning? What do you think based on the posts on this blog and the huge amount of advice available on here? Of course! To doubt is all part of the smoke and mirrors.

    Ken, Your questions are completely normal. Who cares if it’s ruminating or negative thoughts? Don’t worry about thinking this or that – it’s how you respond to it that’s important – and the trick is not to worry either way.

  13. Sara 13th January 2016 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Rich trust me i’m veeery disconnected, not even to say things to myself that i can believe. I’m trying to meditate to take things off my mind. And as i said positive thoughts are just not coming, not even if i really try, i can’t imagine them.

    My midwife is saying that I’m going through postnatal depression and need to take SSRIs as i have lost complete interest in everything.

    After stopping the meds cold turkey 7 weeks ago this has come as a shock and I’m unsure what to do

    I don’t know where your advice would be on this one

  14. Rik 13th January 2016 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    I feel very similar to you Sara. I started off with anxiety in December but then had a scary depressive thought and began to become afraid of depression and now it is the kind of thought that pops into my head an awful lot. I have had a bit of improvement over the last week or so by just not reacting as much when the thoughts come. I too feel very disconnected and not at all myself. I know rationally I don’t care about these thoughts but my mind makes them feel so important and just keeps them coming and with them comes a drop in mood but I am working on that. I am working on changing my attitude to them but it does take a while for this to work. They are certainly less important than they were at first so I think that with time and persistence I can get through this and as my anxiety levels drop it will become easier.

    If you stopped meds cold turkey that could certainly explain what you are experiencing. You should always taper off them as otherwise you are abruptly withdrawing something which your brain was using and it did not get chance to adjust back to life without them.

    Just fyi stress, anxiety or depression can all cause a loss of interest. I have it right now but have had one or two windows in this in the evenings this last week which tends to coincide with when my anxiety level drops right down. When you are very anxious you just dont feel like doing anything. It is normal and to be expected. You will get through it I am sure. Just work on remembering that they are only thoughts and feelings and you can begin to work on the choice to let them affect you so much.

    If you need to go back on the meds for a while and then taper off again to let your brain adjust back then that is ok.

  15. Rachael 13th January 2016 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    I guess I’m just struggling to see through the fog. The information on here is amazing and so reassuring. Anxiety is awful as we all know but with the help of this sight is becoming manageable, its just the down side I’m struggling with that’s all, I feel similar to Rik I think. I feel that is hindering my recovery right now, but I know I can and will crack it as we all will, it just takes time!

  16. Sara 13th January 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Hey Riki,

    You seem like you have the attitude right and I think that’s essential 🙂 It sounds to me like you are making progress and that’s really great to hear just thinking “Its just anxiety” is KEY and that’s wonderful though you may not see it. I hope that in a few weeks you’ll be out of this rut and feel less depressed.
    Read Claire Weeks on “depletion” it really makes the word “depression” less scary 🙂

    I can’t think clearly and am completly confused and disconnected from everything, I can’t just say to myself this is anxiety and beleive it: I’m in a weird place right now. Hard to explain, like DP but 1000* worse in a way.

    Yes cold turkey was probably not a good idea but that was my doctor’s decision! As taking AD during the 1st is high risk.

    I WISH THAT WE CAN ALL GET THROUGH THIS and that 2016 will be a promising year for us all.

  17. Rik 13th January 2016 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara,

    Yes I have found Claire Weekes explanation extremely good and it gave the whole thing a new light for me. Not to say it is any easier but at least I have that hope that what has happened can be undone using acceptance and allowing time to pass. I read her book More Help For Your Nerves a few days ago and it seemed to change my outlook completely. I still get a lot of intrusive negative thoughts but I am able to see that a lot of this is habit brought on by the fear of it and focusing on it in the earlier days. I have allowed it to grow far beyond what it started as by being so scared of it and doing all the wrong things such as researching etc. I have now stopped all researching and am just letting things be as much as I am able. I know I will come out of this eventually. It is just a matter of time.

    DP is awful. I seem to have it a hell of a lot and that is what seems to allow the depressive thoughts to have such an impact. Because I feel disconnected from myself and the things I used to enjoy I have very little to counter the depressing thoughts with. I dont even try to now though and just let them pop in and then go again and remember that this is only temporary. Not an easy task but I think I am getting better at it.

    Dont worry if you cannot believe that right now. At the moment your fear and confusion is over riding the rational bit of your mind and it takes much longer for a belief to sink in. Just keep at it. I have been working at it for a few days and am slowly taking it on board. Just remember not to argue with the thoughts or resist the feelings. Let them come and go and that is what they will do.

  18. Stephanie 13th January 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara, first just take a deep breath 🙂 You are OK. Your body is going through a lot of changes right now growing a baby, so be kind to yourself. It does sound like you may be experiencing some prenatal anxiety/depression – but guess what? That is OK. Many women go through it. I know I did. It might feel terrible and awful, but there is nothing wrong with you.

    Perhaps you can ask yourself if there are particular things you’re anxious about. Are you worried about being a mom? How you’re going to take care of a baby? There might be some things you can starting formulating a plan for that will ease your anxiety. I highly recommend getting a support system together. You’re going to need it after the baby is born!

    Also take some time to relax. Maybe take a bath. A walk. Whatever it is that you enjoy. Like I said, be kind to yourself. I know you feel like you’re confused and disconnected, but I can tell by reading your posts that you’re really not. You are probably just overwhelmed at that moment. Again, that is OK. It’s not wrong or bad to feel that way. Figure out what it is that’s overwhelming you and do what you can about it. You won’t feel the way you do right now forever.

  19. Sara 13th January 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    What’s overwhelming me: living in this country without my family and hardly any human contact what so ever.

    I’ve never experienced anxiety this bad and I can’t really talk myself through this and just beleive “its’s just anxiety or any othr thought”…..i don’t know if that makes sense

    The fact that i am truly depressed as i have now lost all interest in things and all i see is doom all day. I don’t feel myself, very dissociated really

    May i ask, how did you handle your depression during pregnancy? Did you take medication?

  20. Jen 13th January 2016 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    I have been doing really good things where getting so much better. Something set my anxiety off again which I have been worrying so much lately. I just am tired of feeling like this and going through this. Will this ever end? I just need some words of encouragement now. If anyone has any that would be great. How did people that recovered or nearly recovered get over this blah numb feeling. Maybe im in a set back or something. I don’t know I feel off everyday not like my old self and I just want my life back. Sorry for the rant.

  21. Stephanie 14th January 2016 at 12:20 am - Reply

    Hi Sara, I didn’t handle it well. I didn’t understand what was happening to me, so I kept it to myself. But inside I thought I was going crazy. I never took any medication until six months after my daughter was born, when I developed post-partum depression. But the medication didn’t help at all (in fact, it only made me feel worse). What did help was getting sleep, help with the baby, simplifying my life, and TIME. That’s why I suggested getting a support system together. Figure out what you need. Formulate a plan. I imagine with how you’re feeling right now that the thought of preparing for a baby seems impossible. I remember every little task used to feel overwhelming. So get help. Is there some kind of mom group you can join? See what resources are available to you.

    But most of all, try not to let how you’re feeling now cloud your entire life. Do what you need to do, not based on how you’re feeling, but because it’s what needs to be done. Right now you might think you can’t do that. With practice and time, though, you’ll learn to be/do in the midst of your raging thoughts/feelings. You don’t need to talk yourself through anything or convince yourself it’s just anxiety. You just need to keep living your life.

    Try taking the focus off of yourself and onto your baby. Eat not because you feel hungry but because your baby needs you to. Etc.

  22. elena 14th January 2016 at 12:40 am - Reply

    can someone please help me
    I’m 19 I have suffered with anxiety since I was young
    It started with bad thoughts with help with the book
    I have seemed to have controlled them.
    A couple of months ago I went through a pretty traumatic month
    And now my anxiety has put me in this new low that I feel like i can’t get out of
    I can’t eat anything without It coming back up and I already skinny so my mum is so worried threatening to take me to a hospital but I feel so bad and never hungry and I won’t eat. I can’t even be around my bf without feeling anxious I just want to stay in bed.
    I feel like my only option is medication and I feel so down please help!
    I feel like I will never come out of this it was so hard to even eat a banana and when I go to work my mind is racing and I’m shaking I feel like medication is my only option I don’t want a eating disorder I feel like just checking myself into a hospital.

  23. Sam T 14th January 2016 at 2:46 am - Reply

    Hi there, I’d really appreciate some help with my miss understanding. When I’m calm I understand that by allowing my anxiety to be with me no matter what without any resistance is the key to recovery because my worrying and stressing is what is ultimately keeping me in the circle of anxiety. When at certain levels of anxiety I know this.

    But sometimes my mind is completely over run with anxiety bursts and I start to try and think my way back to this clear understanding which I have when I’m calm. So ultimately I’m fighting the anxiety by trying to get back to a calm frame of mind. But if I cant seem to think straight when I’m anxious and it takes me away with it how do I accept this state?

  24. Chris 14th January 2016 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Thanks for the reply Rich.

    I tried to let the thoughts be there today without react to some success, however I ended up ruminating over them and my mind decided to come up with some other scenarios and I felt quite detached/depressed as a result.

    Just a question. I happened to read a reply to a comment from Paul on his Facebook page today saying that we need to lose the fear of the state we are in in order to start recovering, and we are only truly accepting when we aren’t feeling so terrified. Well because my fear is based around this particular thing, (it’s basically to do with past recreational drug use from years ago, and the fear that I have brain damage and this is why I feel the way I do) do I simply just need to stop fearing that? Should I just completely ignore it and not put any energy into it whatsoever? My only symptoms are churning stomach, nervous energy through my body – mainly in the mornings, and symptoms of an emotional nature (fear, low moods, strong negative emotions etc). I wonder if it is possible to just suddenly not fear it anymore…

    Sorry just a bit confused and need clarification! I’ve struggled with this one for a while now. I guess I’m also asking because, if I can’t lose my fear of it, then I’ll never be able to accept. Thanks!

  25. Rich 14th January 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

    To everyone with questions about what to do or how to handle something, or to people who don’t know why things aren’t getting better or easier despite your best efforts – please read Paul’s blog post a the top of this page. Especially the first paragraph.

  26. Rich 14th January 2016 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Chris you’re way too caught up in the details – Stop questionning and just leave the puzzle unsolved. Your symptoms sound like mine – but what they are isn’t important.

    It’s been said on here countless times (you’ve probably read the posts yourself) but to step back and just allow whatever to come into your mind, feel how you feel, is the thing to do. You won’t feel better – fear is fear. There is no Disney Fear where it’s all soft and cuddly – it’s crap, and will always be. But in not being bothered by it, you’re not fuelling it and making it worse. Then it will subside.

    Anything anyoned does to reduce the fear, remove the symptoms or speed up the process – no matter how good your intentions are, will just make it worse and for longer.

    You have to tolerate fear and anxiety in your life – learn to live with it and alongside it. This is a process of forming an amicable arrangement to allow it to exist in your life without you trying to remove it. In time, you’ll tolerate it and not be bothered by it so much. It is a long, gradual process.

  27. Matt 14th January 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply


    Did you ever try to actually INCREASE the thoughts/feelings you had? Like, running towards them vs. running away from them? I’ve read about some people doing that in order to help develop acceptance of the feelings, since you can’t be afraid if you’re trying to encourage the thing you fear to come out. Anyway, I just thought it was interesting, and was wondering what you’re thoughts were!

  28. Colin 14th January 2016 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Please don’t try to fight the anxiety !
    If you really feel you need to see a doctor ? Do so .
    The way this method works is acceptance .
    Read Paul’s books ? If you haven’t already ?
    It really works , but it’s not a quick fix ! There is an app called mind pilot that might help . The eating always comes back so don’t get in the cycle of worrying about everything . One step at a time slowly accepting that it’s only anxiety which is only a feeling and it can’t hurt you .
    Try to just carry on doing everything you would normally do in your everyday life . It will get better !


  29. Chris 14th January 2016 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rich.

    I tried to let it all be there today but the feelings/emotional pain is just too strong at the moment. This whole idea that I’ve damaged myself is very powerful and I’ve reached the point where life seems unbearable again. It truly is a living hell. Maybe I need a bit more outside help.

  30. Rik 15th January 2016 at 9:35 am - Reply


    I am right there with you as you know but I can assure you that you can move through this. For the last week and a bit I have been really working on letting thoughts be there and taking away my belief in them a tiny piece at a time. As I have been doing this I have noticed my overall anxiety levels have started to drop and this in turn makes the job a bit easier each time. I have actually seen some genuine improvement this last few days. Yes I do still get caught out a bit sometimes but I gently remind myself not to ruminate and divert my attention or let the thoughts blow themselves out. They may come back 1 minute later but then you just do the same again.

    What I am trying to say is don’t give up and keep going forward. You can do this but the first few days and even weeks of allowing are extremely hard and it is common to have a marked increase in thoughts as your brain thinks it has to keep reminding you of them as you were so scared of them. Once you break through the first few days you begin to realise that there is actually hope and you can slowly get through this. It is not easy at all but if you are brave you can do it. Eventually you will regain that trust in your own judgement and the thoughts become less and less as does the general anxiety and feelings of being down due to it all. Your brain is currently under immense strain from you so it is no wonder it all feels so overwhelming and painful. I was there too.

    If you need to speak to someone then that is fine and I would recommend finding a CBT therapist as last year when I suffered with harm thoughts it really helped me to speak to someone I could trust that had seen it all before. They will teach you the same thing about letting thoughts just be thoughts and not putting so much stock into them but in a practical way that may help your understanding.

    The reason the thoughts seem so real is that your mind is so highly sensitized and the rational part of your brain is not as active in this state. This is a common theme in anxiety as well as the constant introspection. If this wasn’t the case there would be no such thing as an anxiety disorder. I have come to realise this recently. It is total identification with our thoughts that causes the suffering. Only by true acceptance that a thought is just a thought can we move past it and also realising that we can actually choose what we do and don’t believe. That is something that comes with time though and glimpsing this fact. It is the same with physical symptoms. Only by truly accepting them as anxiety can people lose that fear that is keeping it all alive. I hope that helps in some way and just know that you are not alone in this.

  31. Debbie 15th January 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Hi risk I feel like my mind is always on my thoughts as I’ve said my mind just gets flashes all day of dreams I’ve had or movies I’ve seen it scares me bot I carry on than that familiar feeling I never had this . Is this ocd or my own intrusives?

  32. Debbie 15th January 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Sorry rik hit wrong key.

  33. Sara 15th January 2016 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    EVERYTHING IS SO SCARY, just thinking of getting a drink gives me a panic attack.

    What is that??

    I dread the mornings because i suddenly wake up with this feeling of “Oh my God i’m here living, anxious, in dp mode”

    Thats me, ALL day, even when i try to tell myself its just anxiety i’m super duper scared, I can feel the adrenaline, the extreme fear. The feelings of dread and i’m avoiding more and more and more of my life.

    I can’t do this anyone, HOW ARE YOU SO BRAVE??? It’s too tough on me, i really want out…….this is too much, out of control

    I medidate twice a day to get relief and i even take sedatives sometimes but nothing has relieved. 🙁

  34. Sara 15th January 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Oh and I’m BLASTED with negative images all day long, just vivid horrid images of me getting worse. Oh God oH God

  35. Rik 15th January 2016 at 4:09 pm - Reply


    OCD is just a term used to describe another type of anxiety disorder where you carry out neutralising actions or thoughts to counter or comfort against intrusive distressing thoughts, images or urges. I would almost certainly have qualified for an official diagnosis of it when I had my harm thoughts last year. But guess what. It is all just anxiety at the end of the day and is to be treated the same way. I got over that using acceptance, patience and understanding and will be doing the same with the thoughts I have now no matter how difficult it is. I know it is the only way to get freedom again. You cant beat stress induced illness by using more stress. It is like trying to heal a broken leg by breaking it again.

    Anxiety REALLY messes with the way you think and your ability to rationalise and makes all your thoughts seem so threatening and real. Believe me I know. I have been through this mill before. Your mind is so tired and stressed that it cannot think straight and then you add even more thoughts and fears to it by thinking about it and analysing thus tiring it further. Let it rest! It will fix itself if you do.

    Believe it or not the content of the thoughts truly does not matter. It feels like it does because the content is always that which you are most scared of. If you weren’t scared of it it wouldn’t keep coming up. Your fear is keeping it all alive as it is for me. I am working on reducing that fear by allowing any thought and building the realisation that thoughts are not under our control and we have a right to ignore them just as much as pay attention to them. You are the master not the slave in this situation but it takes a while to build that relationship back up.

    The best way to get through this is to let the thoughts come and go as they please and also work to build the belief that you can completely ignore them if you choose to. It is not easy at first and your brain will keep popping them up perhaps even more so when you first begin but you can do it. When the next one pops up just let it float away. Keep practising and don’t beat yourself up if you get sucked in. Once you realise you are ruminating just gently say to yourself ok time to stop ruminating and refocus on something else. As I said the same thought may pop back up 30 seconds later or even faster but then just do the same.

    I know this works as I have done it before and recovered. Too much stress and my own reaction to it put me back in the cycle.

  36. Rik 15th January 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply


    I can almost feel your tension and fear through your writing and I do feel for you as I have been there too. Right now you are probably going absolutely spare and that is what is putting you deeper into the condition. We have all done it. Even those who have tasted recovery have been sucked back in at some point as I have this time a few months on.

    You are in a position right now where you will find it all incredibly difficult and the concept of acceptance seems impossible. You just need to see a little bit for yourself that it works. If you haven’t yet read them I thoroughly recommend Claire Weekes’ books which will cover literally everything you are currently going through. It was a turning point for me this time round to read her work. I read more help for your nerves and it described exactly the stages I have gone through and the symptoms I have been having and gave me the realisation that this can be reversed through understanding, acceptance and patience. Just as we were the cause of the anxiety indirectly we can be the recovery if we are brave enough to accept and learn.

    I would first recommend arming yourself with knowledge by reading Claire Weekes and Paul’s books and then you will have a platform of knowledge from which to see your symptoms as just that. Symptoms of stress that you are magnifying beyond all proportions through fear. With knowledge you can take away a significant amount of the fear you are currently feeling and with each bit of fear you remove you are a small step closer to recovery. Your mind is extremely stressed right now but as it returns to normal all the symptoms clear with it. I have been through it myself. As you begin to recover it is the best feeling.

    Anxiety is all one big paradox. In order to beat it you must first accept that which is afflicting you. Until you are willing to fully accept it you cannot reach recovery as that fear will still be there causing further stress on your already exhausted mind and body.

    As Claire Weekes says. Recovery is simple but not easy.

  37. Jeff 15th January 2016 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Sara, and others in utter misery – give yourself a break. Yes we all try to get through this med free, but come on – if it gets bad enough, put a tourniquet on it. Life does NOT have to be that dark.

    I put myself through god-awful misery for a long time; and I KNEW what was going on, why it happened, and how to get out of it – you see I’ve been through it before. Didn’t matter.

    Your body is going to need some time to heal no matter what you do.

    The advise on this forum is priceless. But sometimes all the words encouragement and understanding in the world won’t fix TODAY. If you need your life back, burned out, hopeless, and in despair consider other options as well.

  38. Mo 15th January 2016 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    I agree with this post, Paul. Thank for giving us more insight. I’ve been struggling with this for a while.I worry a lot if peoploe won’t aaccept my natural self or judge negatively, so what I do is try to change my thoughts or emotions, basically the state, and try to fit around it. It’s very exhausting because I never get to a place where its permanently peaceful.

    If I let go trying to change my thoughts and emotions and let it flow naturally, I know I will get back to peace permanently like before I started struggling in the first place and be naturally self confident.

    But I’m scared of people judging me when I become my NEW natural self.


  39. Chris 15th January 2016 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    Hey Sara, just know that I’m right there with you. I wake up everyday with my stomach/body churning nervously and I feel soooo detached right now. I feel like I’m living on a planet with no color if that makes sense. It’s awful. I literally react with fear to everything. It’s definitely hard.

    Thanks Rik. I’m just gonna take it one day at a time I think. My suffering has been very severe in the last few days, my body is literally wired with fear and I feel super low as a result. It freaks me out big time, but I’m trying not to add any further fear. Sometimes I think how can anxiety be this severe?

  40. Debbie 15th January 2016 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks rik its a real struggle and battle you know you just feel scared of losing your mind and never getting it back i guess one of the tricks of anxiety.

  41. Colin 15th January 2016 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Give yourself a break wow yous are not grasping wheat anxiety is is !
    It’s nothing more than a feeling !!!let it be and the natural process will suffice .
    Stop asking / searching for answers it’s plain to see ? Pauls book and this blog keep advising ? But you don’t seem to grasp the knowledge being passed on ? It’s simple ACCEPTED ANXIETY !!!
    Don’t fear it / feel it


  42. Mo 16th January 2016 at 1:02 am - Reply

    Colin are you an ex sufferer?

    I understand the accept anxiety part. What about the part about getting rid of bad habits that can create anxiety or make you feel worse? Like smoking, eating excessively, drinking too much caffeine, etc.?

    Do I have to get rid of these for FULL RECOVERY AND PEACE?


  43. Ian 16th January 2016 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Hi Mo.
    I’m like you, although I’m not on Facebook but I want to comment on the Twitter page but haven’t due to having work mates ‘following me’..
    I’ve thought about setting up another account for me to do it, but not sure if this is a little fake as I’m hiding away from one myself.
    There are only a few people not inc docs etc who know. I’ve only recently told my closet friend and when I did a weight was lifted.

    A question to people who have gone on to recovery…
    What are thier thoughts on opening up & admitting to other about anxiety and acceptances??

  44. Ian 16th January 2016 at 8:02 am - Reply

    I thought I’d share a light bulb moment with you all.
    The other afternoon while at work, a thought popped into my head about something that had just happened. Quickly came the good old “what ifs”, I quickly saw them coming and instead of just standing there and letting them fill me I just carried on with my work and the thoughts left me.
    20 minutes later the thoughts came back but this time they caught me off guard and before I knew my old self stepped in, Questioning The thoughts then quickly came racing heart, light head and the looking for an exit feeling, I eventually saw this, started walking with a little smile on my face thinking to myself “this mind is so funny at times”, within seconds the thoughts/feelings had gone.

    I think penny had finally dropped
    But I understand it won’t be all plain sailing and a step forwards.

  45. Colin 16th January 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Ian
    Ian anxiety is much more common than you may think!
    At first when I suffered I told no one .
    This in its self didn’t help because now it’s all about acceptance ! And a part of acceptance is speaking about your anxiety.
    Most of my closest mates and family know that I did suffer from anxiety and I was not ashamed to share this with them .
    Recovery comes from a lot of different wee things like this.
    What you said on your other post about just accepting when at work is the way ahead for you mate !

    Just let it be there champing in the background .
    It can’t harm you if you allow it its space . When yo can do this , you won’t fear it the same and when you don’t fear something it has nothing n you !!!

    Keep doing your everyday things and before you know it you will have much more quiet moments like these and the happiness that comes with it is even more joyful than you could imagine !

    Good luck

  46. Colin 16th January 2016 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Mo
    Yes I am an ex sufferer!
    Giving up alcohol was probably my biggest part in my recovery .
    I used to drink 1 bottle of red wine just about every night .
    And through stopping doing this I have got to where I am now ?
    I just posted to ian about speaking openly about anxiety and sharing with friends and family . This takes a huge burden off your shoulders and helps on its self . It’s only anxiety after all , it’s not like you are a psychotic mad person ! You suffer from a natural phenomena , that every body on the planet suffers ( Adrenalin ) the only reason it turns to anxiety is because it s a cycle of worry and then fear then anxiety , search , fight , Google , am going mad , and on and on ‘ just take anxiety with a pinch of salt and let it be stop searching for answers and start enjoying your life again . I keep plugging this app !!!
    Mind pilot superb for mindfulness , sleep and pain relief
    A must for everyone on here . Please atleast do the trial


  47. Jamie 16th January 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the posts Colin.

    I think it is finding that balance by not concealing the anxiety anymore and maybe telling people close to you that you have issues but not spending too much time constantly talking about it which just feeds the negative thoughts and keeps your focus on it.

  48. Chris 16th January 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone.

    Sorry I need to reach out for support today, I’m once again in a horrific spot. This is a cry for help. My mind feels well and truly broken and my suffering is so horrendous. My whole body feels like it’s shot, so much fear and my mood is as low as it can go. I’m feeling so many negative emotions and it’s horrible.
    My mind is against me and I can’t even count how many what if’s I have right now. They all stem from the drug gremlin. God it’s just awful and I feel 100% hopeless. I don’t know how I ever reached this point… But basically I’m at the point where I truly hate my life.

    I’m not sure this method will work for me. I’m feeling worse as ever, and I’ve been trying this for years. I have these obsessive thoughts which tell me I’m screwed for life basically.

    I had a conversation with a mate last night, and I was just after reassurance really. He told me he once took a synthetic drug once that he thought was LSD, but it was something else and it has put people in psych wards. Now my mind is telling me that I probably took it once and that’s why I am in this state now, even though the chances that I did are very unlikely. Well my stupid mind doesn’t seem to care about looking at it logically.

    How can I recover with all of these fears? Let me list my what if’s below. They are well and truly my worst nightmare and I wish they didn’t exist.

    What if a drug I probably never took caused me permanent mental illness
    What if I have brain damage from drugs
    What if my drink was spiked
    What if the anti depressants I was on made me worse
    What if the protein powder I used to take gave me brain damage
    What if I harm myself
    What if I never feel happy again
    What if it gets worse with time

    Can anyone relate. How do I cope with all of this? It weighs me down so massively… I’ve tried to accept today but it’s just too hard. I’m so full of anger towards myself, how did I turn into this paranoid weakling? My symptoms include strong intrusive negative emotions, nervous fear in my stomach, constant anxious thinking 24/7, depression, so much fear it isn’t funny.
    Sorry for the negative post, this is just another cry for help. Thanks all.

  49. Bryan 16th January 2016 at 11:17 pm - Reply


    Did you read any of the responses to you in this or the other thread?

    Rik gave you some great advice, and he’s going through a struggle of his own as he’s stated… as we all have at some point. I’m deep into recovery but still have bumpy times but I have to say, the thing that helped me the most was to stop repeating how I felt to people.. and start putting their advice in place.

    We can throw water on the fire, or gasoline. When you ask if “people relate”… of course they do. There are thousands of posts here that are carbon copies of yours above with a different name. A better approach is to actually implement the advice given here. Simply repeating our discomforts won’t move the needle. We have to actually interface with and implement the advice.

    Paul wrote a great article above that essentially answers all of your questions. Have you spent time with it? Because it IS your answer. No matter how you feel or how you think you are different, it IS the answer. I only offer this viewpoint from having gone through the same thing in the past, and luckily being able to make progress actually USING the great advice from the mentors here.

  50. Chris 16th January 2016 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Bryan

    Thanks for the response. I have definitely tried to implement the advice, but at the moment I’m finding all the thoughts and fears are far too strong. I feel I have too many fears and they are weighing me down big time.

    I have read the responses yes, I guess I am just feeling a little desperate today hence why I posted. I try to let the thoughts come and give no emotional reaction, but that simply isn’t possible at the moment. Should I maybe just let that emotional reaction come for now?

  51. Chris 16th January 2016 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Maybe I should accept that the drugs might have done something to me, and I will now live my life regardless. This might be the best approach?

    Sorry for the negativity by the way guys, I’ve just been having a shocker or a day.

  52. Doreen 17th January 2016 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Seems sad that a new and very straightforward post from Paul should be followed by so many angst ridden negative responses. Please folks, take time to read what he has said.
    Chris – you have for a number of weeks now repeated your reasons for believing you are ‘broken’. I am convinced that writing them down over and over again, far from being cathartic and relieving you of them, is doing the exact opposite and reinforcing your belief in them. And it becomes frustrating for others who are trying to help you see another way.
    Sara – I am confused as I thought you were pregnant but on one post you say your midwife says you have post natal depression. Either way, I hope you are being helped by the midwife who is there for you as well as your baby.

  53. Harry 17th January 2016 at 7:36 am - Reply

    I want to speak directly to the people desperately posting above, coming from someone who still has a way to go with this whole anxiety business, but who has come a long way. I have never posted, because every time I come here, I am quickly reminded that there is nothing I’ve missed, nothing new I need to learn, Paul truly has said it all. The problem is, I have just simply fallen into a goal oriented mentality once again, where I think to myself, “alright, I’ve faced a lot of my fears, I’ve done things that make me uncomfortable, made a lot of progress, so why am I not recovered yet, let’s find out on the site, because I can’t take this right now!” The reality is, it’s an attitude problem. You don’t “try out” Pauls suggestion in hopes it will save you. This is a personal attitude shift that must take place within yourself, no one can do it for you. An attitude that says, “hey, whatever it is, however bad it might be, however maddening this all feels, I will let it be, i will continue, and i will choose to feel it, no matter what, because I am bigger than this nonsense.” There is no goal to accomplish, it is not linear. Think about it. If you weren’t scared of how you feel, and didn’t give a f***, would it be a problem? The answer is obviously no. As he says, just let it be. There is no ‘it’ anyway.

  54. Mo 17th January 2016 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Thanks Colin

    If you don’t mind , how and what made you give up alcohol?
    When you say its okay to talk about anxiety with others, do you mean the subject itself or the content of the worrying that the sufferer is dealing with? I would imagine talking about the subject is annoying from a non-sufferer perspective Lol

  55. Chris 17th January 2016 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Sorry about that, I’ve just been a bit overwhelmed with the state I’m in. I’m not trying to bring anyone down. Maybe you guys are right though, I’m not really helping myself posting the same stuff here all of the time.

  56. Chris 17th January 2016 at 9:05 am - Reply

    I was just looking for reassurance I guess, I won’t make any more posts like that as I don’t want to bring the vibe down here and it’s not fair on others. Sorry everyone 🙂

    I find the whole seeking reassurance thing confusing actually. Claire Weekes says that a sufferer should be reassured as much as possible? I think I actually asked this a week ago, but maybe seeking reassurance should be a big no no for me from now on.

  57. Ian 17th January 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Hi Colin
    Thanks for your reply.
    It’s nice to hear someone say that’s the way ahead with things.
    I’d love to shout it out from the roof top and really open up to everyone about my anxiety but not sure I have the personality for that.
    Even before my anxiety I was a personal person anyway.
    I’m not one for caring about what people think about me but I’m someone who is…. My business is my business..

  58. Rik 17th January 2016 at 11:51 am - Reply


    You are misinterpreting claire weekes words. She means reassured that it is anxiety and nothing more rather than seeking reassurance for the specific issues. When i did CBT i realised very quickly thanks to my therapist that reassurance is VERY short lived and compounds the problem. You have no trust in your own mind or judgement at the moment and seeking reassurance increases this as you are looking to external sources to put your trust in instead of cultivating it in your own mind.

    Believe me i know what you are going through. Friday i had a great day and was able to put acceptance into practise very well. It was my best day in weeks. Yesterday was absolutely awful and i was literally hammered by depressing thoughts and feelings and other awful thoughts all day until my body and mind naturally calmed down in the early evening. But do you know what i did? I accepted it all to the best of my ability. Was it nice? Hell no. Was it easy? God no. I gathered myself and went for a nice walk with family (which felt like i was climbing everest) and i accepted that i may not be able to enjoy it but i wasnt going to miss it. This is where the big steps are made. Anybody can accept when they feel ok but to really progress you have to look that which torments you straight in the eye and continue anyway. In time your mind and body naturally calm as you are no longer feeding back more stress into the loop.

    Anxiety is the king when it comes to doubts. You will doubt everything and will doubt that you can recover etc etc. But ultimately you still have the choice to accept that doubt instead of investing yourself into it. By accepting it we again remove more fear and thus more stress.

    It has to begin somewhere. But dont expect that a day or two of accepting will make you feel better. Dont even look to feel better. Just commit to doing it and over time recovery will come to you. If you seek it you are adding stress.

    This is all stress related. We cannot fight a stress related condition by adding more stress. Sorry for rambling but i really want you to understand this. When that anxiety climbs higher than ever just sit and observe it. Make yourself feel everything it has to throw at you and chamge your attitude of wanting to escape it to one of accepting it. In time your mind will then see that it is not to be feared. Another link in the cycle is then broken. It is not easy but be brave and give it a try. This way confidence is rebuilt. I am right in the same boat with you.

    I am now about to go out for lunch with my little girl and sister in law. I fully expect thoughts and feelings to come along too but they are most welcome. It gives me chance to progress. I will not be giving them my full attention as i want to enjoy my dinner as much as i am able.

  59. Chris 17th January 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rik, yes I sometimes do misinterpret some of the stuff Claire Weekes says. For example, the insoluble problem she speaks of in her books. I always recognize my fears as the insoluble problem she refers to, but I think she actually means real life problems, not made up problems.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to make such a detailed response. I’m going to stop the whole reassurance thing then, it’s obviously just compounding the issue. I think it’s time to be brave and let the thoughts/anxiety do their absolute worst. I know for a fact it’s not going to be easy but I’m not going to look for relief externally anymore, I’m not even going to try to and recover.

    I’ve done this before and came out of my first setback this way, so I’m sure I can do it again. I’ll stick around though and let you know how I’m doing!

  60. Rik 17th January 2016 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Its no problem. I have dealt with intrusive thoughts before and done heaps of research etc and have had a course of CBT and the one consistent thing i found in all the writings etc was that acceptance is at the core of recovery. This is because it allows your mind the rest it needs to heal itself. When you are so highly anxious though you need to take what feels like a dangerous leap of faith. It only feels dangerous because your mind is terrified.

    Just let them scream at you and then just let them fizzle out on their own because in time they will. Remember that the goal is not to rid yourself of them but to accept that they are there for now and stop feeding them. If you are no longer afraid of them it doesnt matter one bit if they are still there. A side effect of that is that they slow down and eventually become a bad memory as your mind recovers back to normal.

    You cant put a time limit on it as that will mean you are still looking out for thoughts or symptoms which is the best way to ensure they stick around. That is the paradox of anxiety and the very reason acceptance works.

    Im doing the same myself now and although not easy i have had significant improvements from where i was even last weekend. Im trying not to concern myself with how i have been though as tracking progress keeps it in mind.

  61. Milu 17th January 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to say how wonderful it is to read this site and to hear all of you. I am currently in another episode of my anxiety/depression and have been feeling very lost. I tried a forum where everyone posted how meds are the only way out. Meducation is not an option for me they make me worse as well and I can say that I have had horrible post partum and three other major episodes that I have come out of without meducation. Our minds are so strong and our bodies are listening.. It is very hard to challenge thinking especially when our brains are trying to protect us. I know I can challenge thoughts to a point, I find lately that my mind tends to start throwing out scarier and scarier memories and thoughts.. Almost like it’s chalkengjng me. Reading all of your posts has reminded me that we have to keep working at it, th only way out is in ?
    Sara when I had post partum I never thought I would come out of it, everyone around me didn’t know what to do with me it was very hard. My sister dvdn told me at one point that she thought that was it for me and I was going to lose my mind. Hello anxiety! I want you to know that my kids are 8 and 6 and they are the joy in my life. Looking back that was one of the hardest times in my whole life but I emerged. We all that will t survive and as small as the willl feels sometimes it is there . Just think that’s why we are so anxious our brain is telling us to do something about how we are feeling.
    To everyone else, thank you for giving me hope this morning. I am going to keep working.,.,
    Great book by the way!!!!

  62. Shawn 17th January 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Rik, nicely put.
    I’m feeling a lot better after the Christmas period.
    I knew I’d go down a bit due to the fact this was when I went down last year, and I put myself under stress overthinking it, I still feel a bit rough in the mornings but it’s not bothering me too much and fades really quickly. I know I’m doing well because I didn’t sleep the best last night and it didn’t bother me either. I know that next Christmas will be better because I’ve shown my mind there’s nothing to fear and I got through it by facing up to those same fears.
    Also, I just spent the weekend in lectures at work, even at my best, before all this happened, sitting in a hall with over 100 people in silence would have seemed daunting, and I did it for three days at eight hours a day!! If someone had said I would be able to do this six months ago I would have laughed, it would have seemed impossible, unthinkable.
    I was told by my therapist when all this first happened that I wouldn’t just go back to my old self, I would be better than that and I can see this now.
    Chris, the drugs thing your talking about, I messed about with stuff in my teenage years, and when I was really bad about a year ago, it did give my anxiety an excuse to mess with my head as well. If it makes you feel any better I know now that this didn’t cause my anxiety, but worrying about it didn’t make the journey any easier. I’m in my late thirties now, so spent over twenty years fine and dandy despite what I took; I spent time in the armed forces under extreme stress sometimes and what I did in my errant youth never really bit me on the arse once.
    My recent issues are anxiety with a touch of depression added to spice it up and nothing more.

  63. Shawn 17th January 2016 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Just to add, at one point I thought I was developing schizophrenia, bi polar, psychosis, the lot. I really thought I was going mad, I had to take time off work for months; it really knocked my confidence as I thought I wasn’t “that type of person” (I know that means nothing now) if I can get to the stage I’m at with a few blips along the way so can anyone.
    I love the thing Paul says about witnessing thoughts without becoming them; for me that’s the key to getting over the irrational/ scary thoughts stage.
    If anyone has problems understanding this I would recommend mindfulness, it really helped me.

  64. Milu 17th January 2016 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Did you find the mindfulness was at first hard to do or have any kick back? I am trying and find that I sometimes feel worse after. When I was a bit stronger it was calming.
    Your words really resonate with me and I sm sure your encouragement and vulnerability is appreciated here.

  65. Rik 17th January 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Great to hear you are doing well shawn. It is funny isnt it how when you are in the middle of all this you think your personality is lost but as you recover it finds its way back again. I am still waiting for mine but i know it will all come back in time. Just got to keep moving forward and accepting. All the best for 2016.

  66. Clare 17th January 2016 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Good luck to u all

  67. Nolan 18th January 2016 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I never felt the need to actually “run towards” them.
    For me my goal was simply to live my life again with whatever wants to come my way. If those intense feelings and thoughts wanted to be there, that was fine. If they were going to persist for a long time, then I was just going to be fine with that again.

    I did think of the “running towards” approach. But, in my head I always thought “but it still seems like a way to put the whole thing on a time table”… that, this would somehow speed up recovery. And, at its core it seemed alittle misguided because of Paul’s approach is saying “hey, it really doesn’t matter…. and start living that way”. For me, “running towards” seems like a way to still struggle with it, to make it a big deal and something that needs to be challenged, fought, and ultimately beaten.

    I preferred the more passive route of saying “if it comes and it comes on intense…. so be it, I’m still going back to the way I used to live my life”.

    Just my view on the matter.

    Take care

  68. Shawn 18th January 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Milu, it is hard at first because it’s just you sitting in silence with your thoughts, but it’s a great way of learning to accept thoughts and observe them for what they are, just thoughts, they can’t hurt you and have no basis in reality; and when I was really bad it was scary but interesting to feel a full panic attack but not react to it in any way because I was in the middle of a mindfulness session.
    I haven’t had any kickbacks from it and generally found it to be a positive experience which helped me when nothing else would.
    Also, when your doing it your encouraged to accept how your feeling and concentrate on the source of your pain; when you do this you realise it’s not as bad as when you visually imagine how your feeling (if that makes any sense) I don’t know if that’s such a good idea because your doing something, but it is really hard to do nothing when your in the depths of chronic anxiety, I think it’s easier to take a step back once it settles. I can only comment from my experience, which is chronic anxiety for about two months; DP the lot, then a gradual calming with setbacks along the way (but never as bad as that first experience)
    If you can do this without Mindfulness then so much the better, but sometimes we need guidance as to what “acceptance” really is; you don’t have to look far back to see people on this forum questioning whether they’re accepting or trying. I wouldn’t go into it thinking it will make you better and will cure the anxiety; if you do it for this reason your trying to avoid a feeling which will confirm to your mind that maybe there is a danger which needs to be avoided and will keep you in the loop. I went into it thinking that I wanted to generally improve myself, and to be honest don’t do it very often anymore anyway.
    I think the main thing which has helped me was going out and living anyway, it hasn’t been easy, and I have no doubts I will feel rough again before my nerves fully settle.
    I also observe my anxiety, I started off worrying about mental health, then my heart, then the state of the world, then my daughter and what if something happens to her, cancer and a whole host of other things, this means I’m able to laugh at myself and ask myself “ok, this is the problem of the day now is it?”
    Sometimes my heart still beats hard, but it doesn’t feel like a panic attack did before, I don’t get the psychological reaction to it, and I say to myself if I’m going to drop down dead then so be it.
    If I’m going to be honest, I’ve done more in this last year of anxiety than I’ve done in most of my life, I’ve bought a house (and moved to a new town away from my family) my wife’s pregnant again, I’ve lost my beloved dog and got through it, I’ve gone from no sickness at work to two months off and light duties for another few months, and accepted this, I’ve learnt about mental health and become a mental health champion at work and have been able to help colleagues, I’ve changed for the better in so many ways, I seem to get on better with people, I enjoy holidays when before I would whinge about going away and feel I am overall a better father, husband and friend. I think this was just something I had to go through.
    I would like to get my overall sense of wellbeing back, but if someone said to me I would be like this for another few years, I wouldn’t be dancing with happiness, but I would live.
    Rik, fair play to you for helping others when your not feeling too good yourself, your words bring hope to many, I can guarantee you there are loads of people suffering who never comment on threads but read avidly.
    Nolan, you mentioned the timetable thing to me a good few months ago, I get that now, I still have this urge to ask “how long” sometimes, but I know now it doesn’t work like that does it.
    Best of luck to you all.

  69. Sean 18th January 2016 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Hi , just a quick question , does your blood pressure be affected by anxiety , and what can you do to lower it . Or are they not connected at all ?

  70. Shawn 18th January 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Sean, I believe it can raise your blood pressure temporarily due to your heart beating rapidly, but conversely, I understand it can lower it slightly due to hyperventilation. I think many things can cause your blood pressure to go up and down, such as exercise and what you eat and this is quite normal.
    As to lowering your blood pressure, I’m not sure how you would do that.

  71. Belgian 18th January 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Maybe a somewhat weird introduction to a post but here it goes: Congratulations to everyone on here!


    Well since you are reading up on this blog, it must mean that you are experiencing or have experienced anxiety in your life.

    If you are still struggling and suffering from “it”, you may have two reactions to my opening statement:

    1) This guy is nuts and should be locked away forever
    2) He surely does not understand my suffering

    Don’t worry, this would have been my reaction (I’d probably think both) for quite some time whenever I would read messages like these.

    But trust me when I say, we really are blessed for having anxiety in our lives. Anxiety – dealt with the right way – makes you more capable to direct your own life, makes you more appreciate life itself and will make you feel more human and real than ever before.

    On the journey to recovery, while walking the path of continuous acceptance, you will challenge yourself many times. As hard as they may seem, these challenges present more opportunity for internal growth than any other difficult life situation.

    Acceptance then is learning how to cope with yourself by opening up to yourself. By acknowledging and appreciating your own emotions, including anxiety. It’s learning to find peace in turmoil. To find peace in panic. To feel at peace with your ongoing struggle and finally to feel true peace within yourself.

    So still.. why celebrate this? Well, I know plenty of people who are not anxiety sufferers, but who are not really living their life as fully as we can. They are just experts in hiding themselves for conflict, anxiety, their own needs and finally for life itself.

    Anxiety for us is like a big warning sign stating that this does not go for us. As we do not immediately perceive it that way, we get afraid of it and start a war with it. But gradually, as the mists begin to clear and we begin to understand the trick we are playing with ourselves, the underlying emotions will resurface.

    I will not go as far as saying that it feels like being reborn again, but this experience has made me so much wiser and more in control of myself (ironically by letting control go 🙂 ) , than ever before.

    No other life event would have had this impact and – although the experience felt horrible and has had negative effects on my life – I will never regret it.

    I can surely understand that you are not at all in the “mood” for celebrating when suffering. But I think it’s really important to share this view on anxiety with you.

    Most messages on here are from people who are suffering and this you can feel throughout their words. This in itself is okay, as we all need sometimes the opportunity to vent our pain and I encourage people to keep doing this whenever they feel they need to do this.

    But my message for you all – and I mean everyone also the one who is doubting this now – today is a positive one. It’s not the typical ‘I’ve got the cure’ type of message. It’s not the ‘it’s really not so bad’ message we hear too often from people whose intentions are good but don’t really understand.

    It’s a message coming from someone who has been in the same place as where you feel you are right now. Who has felt as desperate, alone, numb and most of all overwhelmingly scared as you.

    If you follow the advice from Paul, Claire Weekes and others on here you too will learn how to celebrate life and IN TIME will look back at this period of your life from another perspective.

    I do not wish you all the luck as this is something you do not need while walking down your road (at least not to cope with anxiety). In stead I wish you a lot of time, acceptance and wisdom.


  72. Bryan 18th January 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Great job Belgian.

  73. Doreen 18th January 2016 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    And Shawn

  74. Chris 18th January 2016 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rik. I know this will be a long process, as I have alot of what if’s – which are pretty much all related to the same thing. I managed to put the acceptance into practice yesterday, and although I wasn’t feeling great I just let the thoughts be there. It felt uncomfortable, but I did have a few moments of peace even though they were a bit fleeting. I think I will read Claire Weekes and Paul’s books again tomorrow (I have a long bus journey so I will have plenty of time for this).

    I also managed to stop asking for reassurance yesterday in relation to my what if’s, which I generally do on a regular basis.

    I know this is going to take alot of perseverance, as my mind is conjuring up new tricks daily. It’s all what if this, what if that. Or – this has happened to you, or this is going to happen to you. I know what you mean when you say that doubt is king when it comes to anxiety. It’s like the worst case scenario is always going to seem the most real. It’s silly really, and hopefully I can see this with more clarity in time.

  75. Harry 18th January 2016 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Chris, my comment above just got approved. But also, just remember not to wait to see it clearly, or for new information, you can begin now. As Paul says, and common sense confirms, if you accept how you feel “no matter what” it is, then your recovery is inevitable. You can do it bro!

  76. anna 19th January 2016 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Belgian well said!

    Im on the road to recovery. I don’t write much here, but follow.
    It has been a very tough journey. But believe in hope, faith and patience.
    Good luck to everyone.

  77. bobby 19th January 2016 at 5:51 am - Reply

    hello can someone help me identify if i’m suffering from anxiety based on my symptoms?
    after a traumatic event (job loss) last year I started to develop weird obsessive thoughts that i didn’t have in the past and to not make the story long, i’m currently in that anxiety cycle in which i’m obessing with myself all the time and not living in the “NOW” as you guys mentioned in some posts – that typically bothers me is how i’m doing something but in my mind i’m thinking of something else and that feeling/atmosphere stains the activity I may be performing at the time e.g. playing a video game/doing some work at the office – would this be associated to anxiety and derived from that obnoxious 24×7 focus on my own mind and what may be triggering these feelings? – thank you guys

  78. bobby 19th January 2016 at 5:52 am - Reply

    forgot to ask if anyone has felt this exact symptom, the feeling that you’re doing something but in your mind you’re somewhere else and hence the current task’s atmosphere changes due to whatever’s on your mind…

  79. Gareth 19th January 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Hello All

    I complete agree with what Paul says, I see it clearly although like many I am struggling to practice it. I have a question alot of it is fear of the feeling and I have done this for sure.

    My main thing is obsessive thoughts. 1 of the things I obsess about is Climate chnage, I work in global education. Paul said in his last book that give your mind a break. Stop reading about anxiety read about something different. But My anxiety focuses on global issues they are 1 of my obsession, and that have led me into the anxiety trap on several occasion over the past number of years. ESpecially when I feel everything I do is adding to it, the food i buy, if I drive a car, the heating in my house etc

    How to I take a break and let my mind heal without avoidance?

  80. Rik 19th January 2016 at 10:34 am - Reply


    Sounds like classic anxiety to me and yes I would say that most people with anxiety feel this way. It can almost feel like your body is going through the motions while your mind is racing a million miles and hour and thinking of all kinds of crazy things. Dont let it concern you and try to shift your focus to what you are doing at the time. Your focus on your symptoms is what keeps you in the cycle.


    Obsessive thoughts is classic anxiety and can be overcome just as the rest of the symptoms can. You ask how you can give your mind a break so it can heal. It takes time and patience which isnt easy when also suffering with anxiety. When the thoughts come you must simply let them be there and not give them attention. That is how to rest your mind. Just let them come and go and make the decision not to invest your attention in them. It is very hard at first but over time it will get easier.

  81. Jacqui 19th January 2016 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Hi Nolan,
    I’m in the middle of a setback after being well for over a year.
    My issue is sleep, I try to accept and let my mind do what it wants. As soon as my head hits the pillow the panic starts, racing thumping heart. How did you deal with this. Also through the day I worry about sleeping, I say to myself it doesn’t matter, so what, big deal, I’ll cope. But I don’t think I actually believe this. Does that make sense? Did it take you a long time not to care?
    Thank you
    Jacqui x

  82. Mark 19th January 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Hey guys.

    So after recovering for over a year I’m in the midst of a setback. After developing severe anxiety I remember googling to my hearts content in an effort to try to to fix myself. But as great a resource as the internet is, the fears I learned about online stuck like concrete in my mind. I read that anxiety can develop depression too. Of course, what do you think happened…

    After I recovered the first time (took me about a year to recover this was mainly due to Paul’s method) I experienced the best year of my life. Yes there we’re a few blips but I never questioned it. In October last year, after meeting a girl and worrying constantly about our relationship, my co-writer not being able to commit as much time to our work and a job change all contributed to major stress, which led to anxiety and depression.

    My biggest problem is I read articles online where people deal with anxiety and depression for most of their lives and swear by medication ‘oh if i don’t take it i’m in trouble’ That’s where my mood starts to dip. I think ‘Well maybe I’m wrong, what if I’m too idealistic to think I can recover through acceptance’

    During my year long period of joy after recovering, these stories never overly bothered me. But as I’m in a setback, thoughts like ‘well Robin Williams found it hard to cope with anxiety and depression, what makes me think I can?’ (I mention him because we are in the same industry. A great man, may he rest in peace) I’m not gonna lie to you all, I think I can overcome it. I just need to get it out there as I’m not surrounded by people who are open to understanding. Does anybody have any advice to not being swayed by articles you read online? Is it just a case of accepting that not everyone recovers because they aren’t taking the right steps? i.e. Pauls method. Thank you all, Your comments are truly inspiring.

  83. Milu 19th January 2016 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Shawn than you for taking the time to write in response. I have started trying small bits on the app everyone is talking about and will continue to try. My anxiety started in the fall when I became quite ill and it has seemed to linger quite a bit. There has been a few triggers along the way but it has been chalkengjng as I have been trying to allow the snxiety and panic move through but this week is worse so I am confused why it hasn’t improved. I do know that it will pass it just a matter of time and getting to that place where it all cones together.
    I read all the entries and hear the strength you all have.
    Thank you for allowing me some peace in knowing there are others who are fighting daily for their freedom of mind. Or not fighting I guess. Accepting where they are at and being ok with it.

  84. Milu 19th January 2016 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Oh and Shawn congrats on the new pregnancy mine are 8 and 6 and so grateful for them ??

  85. Sean 19th January 2016 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Did anyone of you have high blood pressure whilst trying to recover from anxiety ? If you had fast heart rate as one of the physical Symtoms surely your blood pressure would be higher than normal

  86. Rik 19th January 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Sorry Sean I can’t answer your question as I don’t check my blood pressure. I am pretty sure if I did I would then have a new thing to worry about so I prefer to just leave my body to it to be honest.

    I suspect from your asking that it is causing you some concern and given you have anxiety I would bet that it is a worrying concern too that you are focusing on too much. All I could recommend is if it bothers you a lot then ask your GP but once they have given you information one way or the other accept that as the truth and dont keep worrying about it as otherwise you are adding more stress to a mind that really needs a rest.

  87. Nolan 19th January 2016 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Jacqui,

    You asked:

    “My issue is sleep, I try to accept and let my mind do what it wants. As soon as my head hits the pillow the panic starts, racing thumping heart. How did you deal with this.”

    I went through the exact same thing and what I did was this: I stopped making it any bigger of an issue than it already was. If I couldn’t sleep that night (or if sleep came but was minimal)…. fine, then that’s what happened and oh well, I’m still going to live my life. I’m not going to complain any more about it, I’m not going to ask for any more help. And I still would have nights like that, Jacqui.

    If my mind started to race I just laid back and let it race. I was done trying to guide it this way or that way. If intense physical feelings came with it then I let those feelings wash over me, stay as long as they wanted to….. and didn’t pay it any more attention than that.

    “Also through the day I worry about sleeping, I say to myself it doesn’t matter, so what, big deal, I’ll cope. But I don’t think I actually believe this. Does that make sense?”

    I still worried about it. Meaning, that raw material of fear was still there…. I stopped trying to fix anything. I didn’t take heed of that worrying/fear. If it came on intense then “oh well, it’s intense…. but I’m not going to go back to trying to make sense of it in my head, I’m not going to search for more help online, I’m not going to keep on talking about it to others”…. I’m just going to let it be there as long as it wants to be there. And, if it actually ever passes then great. And if not, then so what.

    Did I necessarily always believe this would even matter? No. I still had enormous doubts. But, I didn’t let those doubts dictate my life anymore. And in times they went away entirely.

  88. Tom 19th January 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone! I have been suffering from anxiety for five years, and have been reading the blog for about year and a half. Since then, I have tried to apply the method of letting the anxiety just be, and it has actually worked: my mind got clearer, my mood lifted, and I felt an overall sense of calm. This has happened around 4 or 5 times in over a year, but the problem is it usually only lasts for a few days, after which I fall back into the same state, focusing on the anxious thoughts and it usually takes a few months after I can successfully apply the method again. I wouldnt call this a setback, since I dont think I’ve made enough progress in the first place. Has anyone had a similiar experiance? Any advice on what I’m doing wrong would be appreciated.

  89. Jacqui 19th January 2016 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Nolan,
    Thank you for your kind reply.
    So you stayed in bed all night? I can last about 1 hour, then I feel compelled to get up. Try to fix it, do stupid thinks like smoke a cigarette have a glass of wine. I could go on but I shan’t. I know this is the wrong attitude.
    Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
    Jacqui x

  90. Gareth 19th January 2016 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Hi RIk Thanks for your reply, My obsession is Climate change end of the world type of things. My Fears are based on information that I have studied. I work in this area. It is hard to give your mind a break. Also Everytime I do an action or someone close to me does an action ie puting on the heating, drive a car, buy something thats not produced locally I feel that I am adding to it. So I am finding it hard to let my mind take a break when the way we live our lives is the fuel adding to my anxiety

  91. Matt 19th January 2016 at 11:26 pm - Reply


    That makes good sense. I’ve kind of toyed around with it, since I’ve read about that approach and also remember that Paul said in his first book that he would kinda ask anxiety if that’s all that it had, aka egging it on. But I totally understand that you mean that’s still acknowledging that anxiety is still something to be attacked.

    I’ve come to the realization that I’ve had a lot of resentment towards my anxiety internally, even though I haven’t changed anything in my life outwardly. I think it’s truly just my attitude that has been holding me back. Lately, I’ve just acknowledged that it’s there, and then I’ve allowed it to stay as long as it wants. My habit/reaction is to want it to be gone, and part of me feels panicky/angry about it staying there, but the other part of me just feels a calm, and not afraid that it stays. It’s kind of, well, bizarre. But I’m hoping in time, the patient part of my mind will take over as I continue to practice patients and non-caring.

    Thanks again for all your words, Nolan.

  92. Helen 19th January 2016 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    I am looking for some advice. First I want to say that I have been following Paul’s advice for nearly 3 years and it got me out of the worst hole of anxiety and depression when I had a massive breakdown and I did it without medication. I really believe that this is the way to go, but its not easy! Paul talks about stress and worrying is what brings us to anxiety and I agree. But how to reduce it I don’t know, every little thing stresses me! Recovery for me is up and down and as I get more stressed about things, the anxiety builds up. I’ve come to accept this and do what I can to try to relax and not get worked up into a full breakdown which is what happened 3 years ago. I’ve been pretty successful, practicing mindfullness and doing some light yoga. However, lately I continue to have excessive worrying and frequent anxiety about the future because I feel stuck in limbo with a big decision to make about moving back to the UK where I am from and all my family is or staying in Canada where I have lived for 6 years but have no family except for my Husband and son. I get myself so worked up about the pros and cons, every option seems bad and fills me with so much anxiety, draining me. I just cant make this decision. I’m really scared that running back home to be close to my parents and have help with my son is just running away from the anxiety but I want to be happy and I don’t know if staying here will make me happy. I miss my family so much, but is that the anxiety? I don’t want to give in to the anxiety but at the same time I want to be happy. My husband’s family is here in Canada but he is prepared to move. My head says stay because we have jobs and it would be much more uncertainty and hassle to move, but my heart is so full of fear of being permanently away from family and coping with two kids if I have another. I wish I could just bloody make this decision! Any tips on how to find clarity and make a decisionwhen you get in such an anxious worry mess?!

  93. Nolan 20th January 2016 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Hi Jacqui,

    Essentially, do whatever you want to do. Just don’t take as much heed of the beast living with you. That doesn’t mean you need to ignore it, cover your ears, and pretend it’s not there.
    But it does mean not letting it dictate what you’re going to do.
    I cancelled plans, I stayed at home, I avoided doing the things I used to do to “figure it all out”. As if it was something I could workout in my mind alone. All THAT ever did, for me, was get me more stuck into the muck and mire of it all.

    Some of this will make more sense when your mind is a bit more calm. And trust me, Jacqui…. when things are more calm and peaceful with your mind it will simply make sense to you as to how you were never broken and how this test will eventually end. But, then the setbacks come, and it’s during those that it just makes sense that you are broken and that despair is the one constant.
    So, you don’t need to struggle to bring in the happy, calm thoughts. They will find their way back. All you need to do is live your life like it’s bigger than the presence of anxiety/depression and all of the symptoms that go along with those.

  94. Nolan 20th January 2016 at 4:08 am - Reply

    Hi Matt,
    you’ve got a great attitude about it.

    What happened with me was this:
    I wanted IMMEDIATE help and redemption from this. I had seen family doctors, counselors, psychologists, physiatrists, massage therapists, acupuncture specialists, vitamin specialists….. I took so many meds and had so many prescriptions that the color sienna would emit from my medicine cabinet (just kidding about that one).
    I had read so many books on the topic of anxiety, depression, sleep issues.
    When Paul’s was finally suggested to me I had no interest in reading it.

    A friend that I had made on another forum was suggesting I read it. I remember I was lying on my bed… distant from my wife and newborn son (as usual)…. and I decided I had nothing else to do. So, I started reading it. And, it made sense. I felt this little positive growth inside of me.

    I had two days of being okay, not great, but okay. But then that horrid doubt crept back in (as happens with anyone with anxiety/depression) “What if Paul didn’t write that book for me? He didn’t really mention the sleep issue as much as I would have if I wrote that book…. and for me sleep is my biggest issue…. then it couldn’t have been written for what I was struggling with”.

    And I went way back down into the spiral of doubt and despair again. Eventhough I had those two okay days (and I hadn’t had anything like that since months ago).
    Then I found this blog and posted under so many different user names it’s not even funny. Anything to get people to talk about my issue.
    I would get some comfort, I’d feel a bit more secure… have some good days and then the doubt would have my crawling back here again, to do the same song and dance.

    I was noticing this cycle and it was wearing me down. I was convinced that any bit of hope would always be snuffed out by the despair as soon as that despair noticed that hope was filling me up.

    Then, I found myself at my lowest. Some kindly lady on here had said something to the effect that “Good, you’re at your lowest…. now don’t expect to ever get better and now you can stop caring if you will”.

    I decided to stop coming here entirely. I felt like I was just teasing myself in doing it. I told myself “I don’t care anymore. If I’m broken for good then fine…. if I die then good, I just don’t care. But, I don’t want my wife and son to think that I didn’t love them… I don’t want their final memories of me to be a useless, pity filled lump that just stays cooped up and afraid in the bedroom.”

    I didn’t say any of that to try to warm up hope and chase off despair. I truly meant it. I was going to live my miserable life more for them and less for me…. and wow.
    November of 2013 I was carrying my son out of the bedroom to bring him to his bed and I was flooded with this sense of peace and calm. I could have literally dropped to my knees right at that moment.
    I hadn’t felt that way for a long, long, long time. But it faded, and despair came back. But I reminded myself: it doesn’t matter, you’re not doing this for you anymore.
    I carried back on with my life… some days better, some days worse. I started getting bit of insight on the better days. Those better days were more profound…. setbacks still leveled me entirely, but I didn’t care. I didn’t expect them to be easy and I never forced them to leave. But they always left on their own. And like Paul said, with each leaving it was like a very gradual rediscovery of my old self. It’s hard to put into words.

    Then I had my moment of true peace. It lasted an entire night. My mind was at peace. I wasn’t afraid. I could see the end to this. and, strangely enough I didn’t regret a thing about the pain, despair, anxiety, depression, sleepless nights. I could start to see how all of this was making me a different, better person.

    That was the most peaceful, happy I had felt for years upon years. Even before this anxiety and depression had started.

    Anyway…. here’s to hoping I didn’t type past the limit of a post 🙂

  95. Stephanie 20th January 2016 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Nolan, always good to read your posts! You have a comforting way with words. I just want to wholeheartedly agree with the part about not regretting anxiety in your life. In time you come to appreciate how this journey has changed you – for the better.

    Also, I hope your dad is doing well.

  96. Mark 20th January 2016 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Fantastic insight Nolan and everyone else. Thanks for sharing. I just had my comment approved above, if you had any advice it would be greatly appreciated.

  97. Rik 20th January 2016 at 4:42 pm - Reply


    What you said could have been written by me. The depression thing only really hit me this time and was for the same reason as you. I became afraid of depression, googled it every day and lo and behold all I could think about was depression and depressing things. Perfect obsession conditions were laid out and that is what took hold. I can now see that this is exactly what happened and I spoke to my NHS therapist from last time yesterday and she said the exact same thing. Same obsessive anxiety nature just a different topic.

    The good news. For the last week or two now I have been applying my CBT knowledge that thoughts are in fact just thoughts and do not need to be taken in blind faith and I also committed to putting my faith in the method of acceptance of thoughts and feelings once more and this last week have had significant improvements. My mood has been better and my DP has not been quite as thick. The depressing type thoughts that had become automatic by this point due to the obsession are now slowing down a little and carrying much less force and I can see the road laid out ahead of me to recovery once more. It won’t necessarily be easy and there will be good and bad days but I can see through the fog of anxiety once more. I dont know how long it will take (and dont want to keep track either) but one day I will look back and think ‘what the hell was I so worried about’. I know this from experience.

    Your fear about anxiety recurring is a very fair one. I think something important to remember is that anxiety is a natural reaction to too much stress. It sounds like you had an awful lot of stress which naturally led to your mind turning back on the perpetual stress response. Nobody is immune to anxiety but what other people are better at is handling stress and emotion. They do things to reduce stress and also tolerate negative emotions. They also react differently to things than we do. We get worried or try to avoid and think that by worrying and stressing more we are somehow dealing with it but in fact we are just laying fertile soil for anxiety to take hold again. Most people do this automatically as they developed these stress reduction habits over their lives but for whatever reason we never did. In my case I relied heavily on cannabis for 6 years and it was only when I stopped and didnt replace the stress reduction with anything else and didnt know how to handle emotion that my issues with anxiety began. For the record it was a steady stream of stress due to my marriage last year that brought this down on me again. Had I dealt with the issues or somehow learnt to handle the stress better the anxiety may not have come back. I am trying not to look back and analyse now though. What has happened has happened and now I am trying to learn from it again and push forward.

  98. Colin 20th January 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Tom
    It’s a setback !!!
    Just keep doing what you have been doing and you will get more of the calmer days / moments as you progress with the acceptance .
    Don’t go asking yourself when this happens ‘ it will come back ‘ if it tears it’s head let it be just keep doing what you were doing .
    Before you know it it will be gone . It sounds like you fear it ?
    ‘ Don’t ‘ just welcome it in it doesn’t have the same affect Shen you can finally accept it . One thing I will say is I think personally that I will have some form of anxiety for the rest of my life . Do I give a damn No I don’t , because I am not frightened of it ! It doesn’t worry me . I think this is were I recovered ( no fear of anxiety ) good luck Tom and keep doing what you are doing mate .

  99. Colin 20th January 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Sorry about typos sent by my phone lol

  100. Jamie 20th January 2016 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Can anyone relate to this scenario ?

    When I sit down at night when dinner is done and my daughter is in bed, my mind starts churning over and over thinking what to do.

    I then start thinking – shall I watch something on live TV ? shall I watch something on my Sky+ planner? Shall I watch something on Netflix? Shall I watch something on Amazon Instant Video? Shall I download a film to watch? Shall I play on my PS4? etc etc When I finally decide on which of these things to do, I am then 1) continually checking my phone to see if I have any messages or surfing the net for unimportant things and 2) wondering whether I have made the right decision and whether I should stop what I am doing and do something else.

    In a stupid kind of way, I think my mind is seeking out the ‘perfect evening’. It really is ridiculous and yet I do it night after night. I then get to about 9pm and think “what a waste of an evening” !

    By the time I go to bed, my mind is tied up in knots and when I get into bed, I spend another half an hour playing with my phone for 20mins or so just reading unimportant things, checking for messages etc etc

    Can anyone relate to this ? Are you like this now or is it just me ? More importantly, did you USED to be like this ?

  101. Doreen 20th January 2016 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Nolan – reading your most recent post reminded me of when I came out of my very worst bout of anxiety. I thought to myself one day ‘well if this is how I am going to be then the best I can do is not let it effect my family and be there for them’. My children were young then. And that was the day I started very slowly to feel better. I would actually notch up in my mind another day when I had let them be my focus rather than me and give myself a pat on the back.
    Big life events have provoked anxiety since then but never as bad. And I know myself so much better now and recognise that my response to stress is to become anxious, other people might get headaches or stomach ulcers. So that is what I call recovery for me, not dreading another bout on anxiety but knowing there is me underneath getting on with life anyway.

  102. Matt 20th January 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply


    Great post. It’s reassuring (and helpful) to hear that returning to a calm self takes time and patience. That’s where I’ve gone completely wrong, is not having patience past two or three weeks. When I don’t notice a huge improvement, I let the doubt creep in, and I change course. However, I was watching a TV show the other day, and a celebrity was saying how she lost weight. The interesting thing was that she was saying that for two months, she dieted and exercised, and noticed almost no noticeable difference. It was after this initial time period that she began to see bigger changes. I imagine the anxiety is no different, since it’s just habit’s we’ve created in our minds. I would assume that change takes much time, and that expecting anything will only cause frustration and doubt. I plan to keep practicing my new attitude whenever anxious thinking pops up (so, almost every hour, haha), and in time, I hope that it will take hold. Thanks again for you story!

  103. Rosa 21st January 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I can relate to this. I used to get really anxious on Saturdays and Sundays when I didn’t have a plan for the whole day. And whatever I did, i.e. running, playing with my son etc., I had this nagging feeling that I did something wrong. That I should be doing something different. That something should be different. Before I read Paul’s book I didn’t know that this was anxiety. But this is what it is – anxiety. Treat it like you treat all the rest of it – let it be there, feel all of it and try not to be too bothered about it. It will pass! I am still not fully recovered, but I don’t have panic attacks anymore about a Sunday I didn’t make plans for 🙂 I have times now, when I just do what I am doing and I feel ok. And sometimes there is even a sense of peace and calm. This is a longterm project, so don’t give up!
    I hope this helps

  104. Sara 21st January 2016 at 11:38 am - Reply


    Thanks for the advice, just wondering, how exactly did you get out of post-partum? I’ve got pre-natal depression and horrible images and thoughts about my future.

    Did you ever feel spaced out? I’m very disconnected at the moment and I get those moments of being overly aware like “wow i’m here, I’m sick, i’m pregnant” as if it’s the first time i realize.

    Chris: how are you doing?

  105. Jamie 21st January 2016 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Rosa

    I can totally relate to what you said about weekends. I hear people at work say that they had a quiet / relaxing weekend. To me though, when the weekend approaches I’m desperately trying to arrange / think of things to do as if I’m not busy I might feel anxious or be left alone with my thoughts. The idea of just sitting down on a Sat or Sun afternoon and watching a film would feel outrageous to me as I feel like I should be busy.

  106. Chris 21st January 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara.

    I’m not too bad currently. I’m just learning to take a step back from my mind and let everything unfold as it does. I’m really starting to realize that the mind is absolute useless to us in this state, so what’s the point in listening/trying to reason with it? Had a few hard moments today, I managed to convince myself that I suffered from another illness, I won’t mention what it is as I don’t want to make anyone else anxious here – but it’s funny really and stupid how my mind can be so illogical! Instead of getting involved with these thoughts I applied the whole ‘whatever’ attitude and managed to float past most of it, and I felt better for it.

    Feeling spaced out used to be a huge one for me by the way, and really did scare the pants off of me, but it’s completely harmless! How are you doing?

  107. Rik 21st January 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply


    It definitely sounds like you are on the right track now. I had a good day yesterday. Not so much today. The disconnection is fuelling my thoughts massively. I am keeping on though and accepting my feelings now whether they are negative or not. If i dont accept then i never pave the way for positive feelings to return. The contrast between good and bad days can be difficult i find and can suck me back in a bit until i recognise this and remember what to not do

  108. Milu 21st January 2016 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara
    I can tell you I remeber telling everyone I felt I would never get out of it because that is what I believed but I can tell you now that I was wrong and it’s hard to hear when you feel so awful, but keep that reminder in your pocket especially at your worst moments. That helped me to know others believed when I didnt.
    Well after they threw every pill at me and nothing was working (I am highly sensitive to any medication and even have a hard time with supplements sometimes) they sent me off to talk with a counsellor every week or other week. I also joined a talk group of other post partum moms. Not ute where you live but here there is a helpline for new or pre postum moms.
    I went for walk everyday and I remeber chanting statements like I can do this I am strong it will improve. Hormones don’t work for everyone and I am normally a bit sensitive hormonally. When pregnant and after there are so many changes happening and it takes time to settle. For me it started with insomnia and after 6 months I was a mess and couldn’t sleep more than two hous without hot flashes or panic in the night. It was the scariest time for me I was so scared .
    Just try to be kind with yourself. Do what you feel you can do. Try to eat well and get some rest . Get a little excersise if the anxiety is coursing through and you feel like you are going mad. Know that you are not alone and there are so many who come out the other end so much stronger. Oh and I had also had my vitamin d checked at that time and I was deficient. Not sure about your winters but you may need a boost of that ? where is that sun ha ha not here!
    Hang in there and happy to write if you need.
    I personally just had two weeks of crippling anxiety and yesterday felt relief, love reading everyone’s comments and using the tools.
    Great forum

  109. Milu 21st January 2016 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Oh and yes Sara I had those spacey thoughts often and it was a cycle of thoughts. Almost like I was subconsciously attaching my anxiety/depression to who I wAs. This is commongenerally for anyone with anxiety to do. Try to be aware of thought and say oh ok there is that thought again and go on with what you had at hand prior to the thought. I have been also ptexting this in my meditations and it is helps to desensitize to them.

  110. Sara 21st January 2016 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Hey Chris,

    So glad you’re ok and that you can apply the “whatever attitude” even though it can be tough at times.
    I had to be put back on those darn AD i hate so much because i had absolutly no appetite and that was a huge risk for the baby

    My anxiety was OVER THE ROOF up to 10 panic attacks a day, akasthia …etc

    I’m calmer now but still feel rather disconnected


    You know sometimes i wish i was sensitive to meds: it’s always been my safety issue and i’ve taken them for so long ( 7 years) i don’t know if i can function again without them.
    I live in Tunisia, so no groups/ therpay or even a good TCB doctor around 🙁
    Just the forums

  111. Mark 21st January 2016 at 4:55 pm - Reply


    Thanks so much for the response man. I’ve noticed massive improvements recently, the thoughts still having an effect on me, but only at times. Other times they float by.

    I’m currently in the most stressful period I’ve been in for quite some time but handling it all pretty well. Obsessive thoughts are the worst, at times it’s hard not to believe them ‘change your whole career’ ‘what’s the point in life’ ‘you’re gonna end up a crumbling mess’

    Seeing people go through the ups and downs of recovery is inspiring, let’s carry on supporting each other.

  112. Rik 21st January 2016 at 5:47 pm - Reply


    The good thing is that you have insight. That is key in my opinion as it offers a different viewpoint than what your thoughts and feelings are telling you. From this other viewpoint you can take the stance of acceptance that while you cannot change your thoughts and feelings you can accept them. This generally has the bonus of allowing thoughts and feelings to change on their own as Paul mentioned in the blog post. I usually find the insight takes a while to develop and requires a leap of faith as things are just too distressing at the start but once you learn enough about anxiety and start to believe thats all it is the insight follows and then you can begin to build on it and move the right way toward recovery.

    The thoughts do feel very real and scary but that is all just anxiety. It will pass and one day you will be happily living life and the whole anxiety episode will fade into memory. The more we search out recovery though the further away it can get as we keep everything at the front of our minds and keep the fear alive.

  113. Colin 21st January 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark
    Keep letting these thoughts float by mate . And if they do stick , just try to let them be ! After all it’s only a thought . Hope you continue to recover its not a race mate , it’s a marathon !! One thing that always worked for me when I did have a wee setback was to remember all those great days I had . This always brought a smile to my face . And gradually the setbacks became less frequent . And suddenly they where months apart and so on . Even now if I get that wee bit anxious ! I just welcome it in . Like I keep repeating your mind in an anxious state will be afraid . But if you can not be afraid then it has no substance . Then it will not bother you in the same way and the gear goes . Then RECOVERY !!! At Last. A Life !!!
    Good luck mark and yes we are a small family on here and we shall continue to support who ever requires our support .

  114. Brian 21st January 2016 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    I thought that part of the plan on how to give up the fight was to surf as often as possible to get all the relevant information – and guess what – the more I searched the worse I would become. By searching I was only fuelling the feelings by keeping my mind focused on them.
    The real answer is on this site and the book – stop searching and let your mind and brain get a rest.

  115. Dustin 21st January 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    I would like to direct this post towards you in hopes that you can provide me with a little bit of insight. I feel like I have completely stalled out in my recovery and stopped making progress. I remember my attitude changing towards anxiety about a year and a half ago. I would have periods when I felt better and periods when I felt worse, but I still felt as though I was out of the cycle. Even right now I don’t feel like I am in the cycle, but it seems as though I have hit a road block. I have been sick (cold and flu kinda things) for a majority of the past year and it has me exhausted at this point. I am not sure if a loss of immune system resilience can be a side effect of anxiety, but it sure feels like it. It has just caused the confusion and doubt to sky-rocket as I feel like I am mentally creating this illness (ridiculous I know). Nowadays, it seems like there is no up and down rhythm to this thing. I have felt pretty horrible for most of the past year (that might be a little bit of an exaggeration). I am just very confused and lost right now. I know I shouldn’t be putting a time table on this, but at the moment I have absolutely no idea how I could possibly be recovering. Of course I know that this should not be the goal. I guess I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired.
    Again any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  116. Brian 21st January 2016 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    PS One other thing, I looked around and I didn’t see anyone else spending hours and hours trawling the internet, they just appeared to be getting on with their lives and normal everyday activities. I realised that I was making myself so exhausted and worse by being on the internet. Enough is enough, stop the searching!!!!

  117. Lauren 21st January 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Jamie and Rosa: I completely identify with this aspect of anxiety. I find that it’s a characteristic that cannot totally be quashed without actively working through it. My therapist called those thoughts the “shoulds.” When you find yourself watching a movie on a weekend, just vegging out, and you think, “Why am I doing this? Am I wasting time when I should be doing x, y, z? Cleaning the toilets, organizing, exercising, etc.” We all have a million things running through our minds at any given time, and sometimes we just need to ignore those thoughts and “be.” It is very, very difficult for me – I have a preoccupation with not wanting to waste time. However, any time spent doing something you enjoy – even if it is just mindlessly flipping through stuff on your phone, or going down the vortex of Instagram – is perfectly fine! Sometimes your brain needs to zone out – it is healthy. Don’t let the “shoulds” get to you. They are always lurking, but you don’t have to listen to them!

  118. Nolan 21st January 2016 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Dustin,

    I think we all get to the point where you’re at.

    Many of the things that you say in your post are kind of like: I’m accepting of this anxiety, but really not…. I’m okay with all of the things that come my way, but really not….. I understand that I shouldn’t set a time table for getting the old me back, but I really don’t.

    Now, I’m not saying that to be rude, Dustin.
    There were people on this forum (Doreen being one) who had to say the same things to me…. and I’m ultimately glad they did.

    I’ll just stress: stop trying to make sense of it. When you’re in it (and even if you’re in it for awhile) don’t expect it to leave, just get back on with your living. This doesn’t mean you have to perform the heroically impossible feat of completely ignoring the thoughts and feelings; but it does mean you can stop being so impressed by them, it also means that you can stop heeding their advice.

    When you have your good moments things just kind of make sense, right? It might still be alittle cloudy or murky in there, but it still makes more sense than when you’re at your worst. Our thoughts feel lighter, certain things just kind of click and make sense. The impossible task of convincing yourself of a happy or peaceful thought when you’re in the throes of anxiety/depression comes a bit more naturally when you’re not in those throes.

    So, when it’s bad or low it’s not a matter of convincing our minds and bodies contrariwise. All we really have to say is “okay, I feel bad, kind of low, maybe really low… but oh well, so what. When have I ever been able to think my way of it? So, If I’m just going to be this way, despite of any active effort on my part to change it…. then I’m going to stop the fight.”

    I used to conceptualize it this way: I’m in a boat, by myself, and I’m being buffeted by the winds and waves. I’m completely at the mercy of this storm. I can’t yell at it to get my point across to it, words read or spoken alone will not calm it. From my vantage there’s no safe harbor or other ship that could even help me. Now, I trust that there might be that safe, calm harbor…. but I really don’t know; and when the storm really swells I doubt it even more that there could be such a harbor. So what can I do? I’m in a really bad way. So I’m going to do what I can to make my life on that boat bigger than just the reality of that storm. If I ever get to drift into that calm harbor then great; if not, oh well….. but I’m done having my life both contracted and defined by this storm.

  119. Rosa 21st January 2016 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I think I can relate to what you said. I read Paul’s book 2 years ago and I still have anxiety every day. The first year after I started to put his “technique” into practice I didn’t notice any progress – I kept feeling horrible. I didn’t fight it any more, but I still felt the anxiety in full intensity. Only after about 1 1/2 years I started to notice some progress – the pain became less intense, I had moments of quiet, I could forget about myself whilst being at work.
    I have had anxiety for a very long time and I accept that it propably will take a while before my nerves will have healed. Don’t give up if you don’t feel any progess at the moment; if you go with your anxiety and accept it you will get better – it’s inevitable. But be prepared that it might take a very long time.

  120. Lauren 21st January 2016 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    Dustin – the immune system breakdowns you referenced are absolutely related to anxiety. Suffering from anxiety takes a lot out of you and that can manifest physically. My anxiety has taken so many different forms in my lifetime and that was certainly one of them – my senior year of college various factors contributed to me being sick with the same infection over and over again. One’s body gets tired. Self-care is important – don’t neglect it!

  121. Chris 22nd January 2016 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Thanks Rik and Sara.

    Today is alot harder and I’m having trouble not getting involved with the story that my mind is creating, my anxiety loves to attach itself to things. It’s now telling me that I had serotonin syndrome while I was briefly on citalopram (after a conversation with a mate, which immediately made me think oh noes I had that – which adds to the fear of being broken lol), so I’m just trying to leave that fear alone no, I managed to not buy into it yesterday and apply the whatever attitude and I actually decided ‘if this is me for the rest of my life then so be it’ and actually felt a bit relieved, although today the emotional pain is very strong so it is a bit testing. I guess this is the irrational part of my brain in full motion, because the thought itself is pretty illogical!

    The compulsion to google it is strong, but I’m not going to do that and leave the puzzle pieces on the floor.

  122. Brian 22nd January 2016 at 7:34 am - Reply

    Look, it has taken me so long to understand that to accept everything including how you feel is the way forward. I always thought how can you not fight this – it was so wrong it only prolongs the agony and makes it worse. Apply acceptance to everything just let it all flow.

  123. Rik 22nd January 2016 at 11:24 am - Reply


    Avoiding compulsions is essential as that really feeds in an awful lot to your thoughts and cements them even harder. You are doing all the right things. It just takes a bit of time for these new habits to take hold and eventually they become the norm. I have been accepting my emotions now and not trying to change them as this was how I was before I became afraid of being depressed. Funnily enough I have had moments of feeling a bit better since I started doing this. How can I expect to feel happy when all I worry about it whether I am feeling happy 🙂

    I have the seratonin syndrome worry last time I had anxiety. Turned out to be totally false as did all my other anxious worries at that time. Put it in the bag of anxiety lies and leave it there. If it comes up again just let it float by. Dont try to argue with it in any way. Just let it not matter anymore. Your mind is desperately trying to find the reason for why you feel like you do which is why all these different things keep surfacing. Once it realises there is actually nothing wrong there then is no reason for it to search any more and normal feelings and thoughts can return.

    All the best

  124. Chris 22nd January 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rik. I also had the fear of depression big time, I guess I still do in a way. To be honest I have a whole bag of fears.

    I gave up the googling a few months ago, and I’ve had the occasional slip up but the compulsion to do it did die, in fact I was too afraid to actually do it again. I will admit the other night after a few too many beverages with mates I did briefly jump into google because I felt fearless at the time, however because I did this the next day it ramped up the anxiety big time. Big mistake, but I’m trying not to beat myself up for it. On a deep level though, deep down I can glimpse the truth. It’s hard though in the thick of it that’s for sure.

    I actually have the thoughts more or less 24/7, at the moment so it can be VERY testing and it’s hard not to get dragged in. It’s almost like I’m naturally in fighting mode alot of the time though, like I can’t completely let go, so I’m practicing ‘whatevering’ to the best of my ability.

  125. Lauren 22nd January 2016 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Rik and Chris:
    This really jumped out at me: “Your mind is desperately trying to find the reason for why you feel like you do which is why all these different things keep surfacing.”

    That’s a really excellent way of putting it.

    Something I tell myself all the time – Anxiety lies. But those around you speak the truth. This is tough to reconcile when you always hear people tell you to listen to your gut. But for those of us with anxiety, our mind overrides our gut.

    For instance, before he left the house today, my husband made me promise not to Google or WebMD anything. So that tells you a lot about where I’m at!

    (By the way – I started posting on these blog threads nearly two years ago after discovering it for the first time – and while I have found reasons to post over the last couple of days, I don’t usually. Though I always check in to see the discussions going on after each new blog Paul posts. I hope it’s not bad to jump in out of nowhere every once in a while.)

  126. Rik 22nd January 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply


    I am glad that struck a chord. I find that understanding why these things keep coming up takes away some of the fear of it. Of course while anxiety remains, so does the doubt as your mind always wants to know with certainty so it can let go of the worry (intolerance of uncertainty is a huge factor in anxiety) but over time these small realisations begin to sink in and you start to realise that it is true and that you can begin to trust that the thoughts you have are not in fact based on reality but are in fact your deepest fears playing out in your mind as a result of the stress you are under.

    The feelings of anxiety are your reactions to those thoughts. Take away the importance of thought and the meaning you apply to it and the thoughts and physical symptoms gradually begin to fade. That is the part where acceptance comes in. You accept how you feel for now and accept that although you dislike the thoughts you must accept their presence for the time being. Not the content. Just the presence. We cannot forcibly change the content of a thought as it has already happened by the time we notice it so we must instead let it go after we notice it and retrain our minds to see that it no longer matters to us.

    A hard realisation for me is that I have actually been creating my own suffering by mistake. By being so scared of being depressed I have been looking for it everywhere. Look hard enough for something and you will find it. Look hard enough for negative meanings and you will find them. How can someone be happy when they are constantly scared and looking for negative meaning everywhere.

    I am still not recovered by any means but I am making very good strides now and today I feel like my DP has lifted and I feel much clearer headed. All because I decided to allow myself to feel down if I needed to and to just accept however I feel. I have after all had an awful lot of stress to deal with over the last 12 months.

  127. Nolan 23rd January 2016 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Hey Dustin, regarding the immune system concern I wouldn’t put too much weight on it.

    Some advice might make it out to seem that “yes! with anxiety your immune system will be so depleted that the smallest thing will take you down.”

    Don’t put too much stock into that.
    When my anxiety was at its worst I was scientific to the smallest degree paying attention to x’s relationship to y (x and y being things about my body).
    I can get very bad migraine heachaches where the feeling of needing to vomit can come upon me. I had read (and heard) so many warnings that “anxiety will bring on headaches constantly!!”
    I was even terrified that it would happen…. but in reality, the relationship between the two was incidental at best. Some of my worst moments with anxiety and nary a headache to be felt.

    Same with my immune system. I heard so many laypeople and docs saying things like “expect to experience colds and fevers…. what with having anxiety and all”…. and again, same with headaches, the relationship between the two was incidental at best.

    Wrap up: don’t put too much weight on any advice that makes it seem like a certain effect that your immune system will necessarily take a hit from this.

  128. Sara 23rd January 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

    MILU: i was wondering if you and I could stay in touch somehow by email if you don’t mind?

    NOLAN: You spoke abut depression many times, could you please tell me about your experience of that. Currently i’m having a hard time “letting go”. Just when i try to be positive it’s like some part of me can’t accept that and I don’t…everything is negative and I’m very spaced out…depp in derealization.

  129. Jen 23rd January 2016 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I am expierancing a set back with my mind jumping from one worrying thought to another. From this I believe I got caught in the worry cycle. Now I have been having a heavy chest. Has anyone else have had this feeling like something heavy on your chest after stressing and worrying? I also second sara on some advice of the depression and how what was expierenced and how to over come it. I feel like I have come along way however have this hovering depressed feeling along with the depressed thoughts.

  130. Milu 23rd January 2016 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    One thing I woukd like to add regarding the depressed feeling is my psychologist said that our brains regulate. So if we feel anxious and high then it is only natural for the brain to say oh that’s too high need to go lower and then we feel a bit down . I have noticed this and it helps me to remember that.
    Sara yes I m happy to email with you but as this forum is read by many and only written by a few I wonder how to give it to you ?

  131. Sara 23rd January 2016 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Hey Milu

    I’ve just created a new account so I won’t have a problem putting it on this forum. You can do the same if you wish. Could you please send me a message on it that way we can stay in contact, thanks 🙂

    saraoua419 at gmail.com

  132. Colin 23rd January 2016 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Nolan
    Great post on the so called effects related to anxiety .
    I did suffer headaches , but again I just excepted them as a symptom of anxiety . If we don’t make to much of it, it soon goes as with the other symptoms that go hand in hand with it .

    You are so right in what you say . Just don’t read to much into the possibilities , and just accepted what ever comes your way !!!

  133. Dustin 23rd January 2016 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your responses. They are greatly appreciated. I’ve been trying to come up with a response to your first post about not fully accepting, but it has been tricky. I realize that it is not something that I have to “do”. I suppose I made it sound like I have been scrambling around in my mind trying to understand it all in my post, but I truly don’t feel as though that is the case. I guess I just don’t know how to apply your advice (again, the term applying seems wrong). I suppose that my brain is just over-analyzing it all right now. Also, Your analogy of the storm is spot on.

    Rosa and Lauren,
    thank you both for your responses. It’s nice to know that there are others who can relate (not that we wish to feel this way).

    Thank you all again!


  134. Milu 24th January 2016 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Rik I loved your post on jan 22. I am happy to hear of it lifting for you and I am sure your attitude and outlook are cintributing factors, great work. I too hVe had the fear of depression and I feel I have created it for myself as well.
    Sara I will set an account today was busy yesterday with kids activities.

  135. Jamie 24th January 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    A few successes this week for me I wanted to share:

    I met up with a mate to play pool on Tue (this wouldn’t have been a problem a few years ago but since my anxiety increased significantly 2 years ago, things like this really worry me) which was fine. He then suggested going to a nearby pub to get a bite to eat. This immediately filled me with dread as, for some reason, I now really worry about sitting down (particularly face to face and 1 on 1) with people as I worry I am going to get / appear panicky and have to leave. I went to the pub and although was a bit edgy it was fine.

    On Thu I went out for dinner with 5 or 6 work colleagues. Again, this now phases me when it didn’t used to but I still made myself do it. We sat in a circular booth in Nandos and the idea of NOT sitting on either end filled me with dread as I worry I would get panicky and be ‘trapped’. I did not sit on the end (not through choice!) and I was fine. In fact, I enjoyed it.

    Last night was the big one. I joined up a few internet meet up groups about a year ago to try and make some new friends. Since my marriage ended 2 years back (the cause of all this additional anxiety) I find myself with too much time on my hands and all of my friends are in couples, with kids etc. Anyway, I joined a new group near me and I went along to some drinks in a pub. This meetup event had 68 people going and how many people did I know ? Not one !

    I had a couple of drinks before I got there and found myself outside the pub for about half an hour (stupid eh) trying to pluck up the courage to go in. I ALMOST just turned around and went home again but I knew if I did that, I would really be kicking myself and be really down about it. After half an hour of standing there like an idiot, I went in, bought a drink, asked where they all were at the bar and went in. They were all very friendly and I chatted to probably about 10 people.

    A friend of mine text me this morning to ask how it went and called me “outstanding” for doing it as he (or his wife) could not have done it. Me ? I do my usual and just shrug my shoulders without congratulating myself.

    Anyway, 3 things like this all in a week have to help move towards recovery :o)

  136. ken 25th January 2016 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Hello can someone answer this for me. A girl i have been with for 8 years has not been around for about 2 months. She said things werent getting better. I did not know if she was gone or norlt and i would text her with no response not knowung if i lost her. I would go back n forth in my head. ” she gone, no shes not shes unsure, she said she needed. Space. I would try to ask what was going on all while worrying if she was with someone else or moving on. I have had these conversations in my head asking her to stay and. But now she texted me a picture of us. I didnt know what to say so i just said i like that picture. In my head i have been losing hope. And that she was gone. But im relived and upset at the same time. Like im mad she hasnt been around but relived she texted. But i panicked not knowing if inshould respond or say the wrong thing.

  137. Ian 25th January 2016 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Well done Jamie, sounds like a good week for you.
    The third one especially, I think this would of been hard for most people who lived without anxiety.. This must be a massive boost for you and your way to recovery.

    Yesterday I went into my local city for the day with the family (Missus & kids).
    This is a place I’ve been to so many times for days/nights out, but for no reason other than my own thoughts, this place as become a place that a scares me and I could easily avoid.
    while the day itself was very good and I found that I actually enjoyed it, The dream like/detachment feelings with the thought that everyone was looking at me wouldn’t leave me. A few times I’d find myself looking around to see if I could catch anyone looking at me, infact while writing this I’ve just remembered that the last time I went there I had the same dream like/detachment feeling over me all day
    But nevertheless I just carried on with the day and the smiles comes naturally.

  138. Rik 25th January 2016 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Well done Jamie. Nothing raises your confidence more than looking anxiety in the eye and carrying on. I did the same myself over the weekend by going swimming twice. Today I feel worse again but the weekend was ok. Just got to keep pushing forward no matter what. There will always be up and down days.

    Even in normal life people experience up and down days. Something my NHS therapist reminded me of when I told her I had felt down sometimes. She told me she had a feeling of being down on some days but the difference between me and her was that I worried about it instead of just taking it as part of normal experience. I find my anxiety makes me very concerned about thoughts and emotions which usually has the unwanted effect of making them stick around for longer. I am working now on just accepting how I feel from one moment to the next and the thoughts that come with these states.

  139. Ian 25th January 2016 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Rik, I also woke up today feeling a bit down today after a very good weekend, but I wonder if this is nothing other than a natural come down, A bit like the first day back to work after a holiday.
    But I will carry on with my day as normal.

  140. Rik 25th January 2016 at 11:30 am - Reply


    Yes I think it could be similar in my case also. Waking up to go to work on a grey Monday morning in January after a relaxing weekend very likely doesn’t fill most people with excitement but as I am so sensitive to any negative emotion or thought I really seem affected by it. As you say I am just carrying on as normal. Moods are transient and often our thoughts follow our moods. On Saturday I had a good day and found that my thoughts improved with that mood too and I was far less internal. I just need to retrain my mind to see that negative moods and thoughts are not dangerous and that my anxiety makes these magnify.

  141. Gareth 25th January 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Claire Weekes in her book has a whole chapter about the Dreaded morning feeling. It was great to read it because I have always noticed my anxiety is worse in the morning she explains it. Worth a read

  142. Andy J 25th January 2016 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Guys,

    Long time no speak. Just thought I’d come on and post an update.

    I have just been referred to a therapist with a slightly different company (its no longer directly through the NHS). I went for a visit last Friday and the lady seemed lovely, very supportive and reassuring.

    However, my anxiety and associated depression has not lifted. I’m currently still stuck in the middle of it and just trying to continue as best as I can. I’m finding the whole thing mentally draining and struggling not to read too much in to different bits and pieces. So as an example I can really be ‘up for’ going to the gym or for a run, but the next I just can not be bothered and my motivation seems lost. I then worry about this and as it doesnt have an answer, I cant seem to move on.

    In addition, I have my intrusive thoughts each and every day. I try not to do anything with them and just allow them to be there, but that isn’t really helping and I am convinced I need to do something else with them. This isnt my phobia, but the equivalent would be some one who has a fear of harming people, carrying around a knife for work duties, perhaps a scalpel. That person would be petrified of what they could do with the knife. The person has also read about incidents of people being stabbed, but this no longer seems to impact them, and makes them wonder if this is who they are now. There is no disgust or shock at these thoughts.

    Can you see how that cycle, albeit not the same topic, is causing me so much grief? My total intolerance of uncertainty is making my life very hard, and it is almost 18 months of non stop intrusive thoughts, meaning I can no longer enjoy or look forward to things, because whatever I try, I know these will return tomorrow and the battle will begin once more.

    Apologies if this sounds like self pity, but I am having a hard time.

    Hope every one else is doing ok.


  143. Rik 25th January 2016 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Gareth,

    I have read the claire weekes books and they are excellent.


    I too suffered with crippling intrusive thoughts last year but I overcame them and was well into recovery before I became extremely stressed due to life events and got very anxious again.

    One thing i can tell from your post is that you have not yet taken that leap of faith with your thoughts. In order to move past intrusive thoughts you must allow them to pop up as much as they need and any associated thoughts also and allow yourself to start to believe that they really do not matter. Believe me i know how hard it is but you can absolutely do it. You have to accept all the risk you perceive there to be in this and let your mind scream and shout and terrify you while not adding a second wave of fear or thought other than what happens naturally.

    You mentioned not being afraid anymore. I had this too and this is called a back door spike. Basically your brain gets that used to hearing the same stuff over and over and habituates. This is actually the goal of ERP for OCD. But what can happen is you then get scared that this means you like the thoughts which sets the cycle off again. It is at this point that you must take that leap of faith that you dont need to pay them any attention. You must let go. It is the only way to move on. If you still think they are so important how will they ever hold little enough fear for them to subside (which they will over time).

  144. Jen 25th January 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I am breaking down and going to the dr for maybe some medication. I am so drained and tired and maybe it will give me a little help to not believe my thoughts and calm down my worrying about everything and anything now. I can’t stand it I’m tired and I just want my life back with my husband and kids. All I want to do is cry I have zero motovation for anythinf I don’t look forward to anythinf it’s like I do t even know myself anymore. Anyone have advise?

  145. Jamie 25th January 2016 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    I have challenged myself over the past week and succeeded in each challenge (as I mentioned in my last post). I did not feel too bad over the weekend but have gone back into work today and not felt great, getting progressively worse over the day. I have noticed over the last few months that if I push myself that I then feel unwell afterwards e.g. sore throat, flu like symptoms etc.

    I am not doing my usual and analysing it / trying to fix it as much as I usually do. The best way to describe it as a feeling of ‘fuzziness’ across the top of my head, forehead and across my nose. This also makes me feel quite lightheaded and it feels like everything is moving from side to side. I have had a lot of inner ear / balance over the last 20 years so feeling dizzy / lightheaded really does not go down well.

    I am not seeking reassurance from anyone as I know it is just an offshoot of anxiety. I just wondered if anyone else feels like this sometimes ?

  146. Milu 26th January 2016 at 12:37 am - Reply

    Hey jen
    You are not alone, I can see the frustration in your post and I understand. It is hard to continually feel like this but have faith in the recovery of so many. Your husband and children still see you as mommy and wife despite how you are feeling. My husband always tells me that I hide it so well from them it is hard for them to know how I may feel.
    We all do what we feel we need to get better. When I am at my weak points I try to cry it out or even journal. Just remember how strong you are!
    Last week was a very bad week but this week Is offering a bit of peace. I wish the same for you.

  147. ken 26th January 2016 at 3:21 am - Reply

    Ok so idk what to tell her my anxiety has been really bad. And my girl i was with for 8 years says she cant be around me because i maje her more anxious. But she has been avoiding me and i was somewhat neglecting her and i was trying to tell her to talk to me then and not hold it in or run away a whill im doing the same thing. But i oersonally feel that if we were to talk that we could work things out but she doesnt want to. I personally feel we are vecoming more distant but i feel she is the one. She is saying that she needs to wait until her anxiety is gone so she can come talk to me but i feel its going to make both of us worse because i have things i want to sat to her aswell. Im not telling her what to do but i was trying to tell her the more she waits the worse it will be and we are going to be pulled apart. Idk what to do

  148. Doreen 26th January 2016 at 7:07 am - Reply

    Ken – I don’t mean to sound dismissive but relationship difficulties are not really anything that can be advised upon. Helping you with coping with symptoms of anxiety and moving on from them is the function of this blog

  149. Rik 26th January 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply


    I feel for you I really do. You are very much still in the acute phase of anxiety and it can feel extremely overwhelming. I would recommend taking the time to read Paul’s books again but would also really recommend Claire Weekes book More Help For Your Nerves. I find she explains very clearly what we go through and how these things can build one on top of the other if you allow the fear of your symptoms to go on unchecked.

    Your mind is under incredible stress right now and you quite rightly feel overcome by emotion and fear. You can get through this though and there will be a time where things start to settle down and acceptance becomes a little easier. You must make the choice to start though. Only you can do that. Meds can help to take the edge off symptoms when you are at your worst so if you feel you are desperate then there is no shame in getting a little relief for a while if that is what you feel you need. At some point thought the spirit must rise up inside you and you must accept the things that are going on inside you and make the choice to not let them rule your life any more. It is not easy but recovery only ever lies on the other side of what you fear.

  150. Andy J 26th January 2016 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Hi Rik,

    Thanks very much for your reply.

    Its so difficult, and this is my main anxiety block at the moment. Logically I should know that all of this is anxiety driven. I have had anxiety and mental health issues in many forms over the last ten years, yet a part of me still believes this is something else, that I am some kind of evil person. Often it is only one of the intrusive thoughts which set me off, and then all my good intentions for the day are ruined and I am back to square one.

    I’m tired, frustrated, depressed, hopeless, just generally fed up. I can’t actually remember what normal life is like and having things to look forward to. Life at the minute is a total grind and to be honest, an absolute nightmare. I repeat behaviors to keep me safe, but all this does is strengthen the grip anxiety has on me. Its just I’m too scared to try anything else.

    Thanks again,


  151. Rik 26th January 2016 at 1:53 pm - Reply


    As hard as it sounds you need to allow yourself to truly feel that fear and not give it any extra reaction. You need to take a risk on letting that thought pop into your head and scare you and then let it sit there as long as it wants to. You don’t have to like it or even change your natural reaction to it or in fact even have a reaction to it but just truly let it be there. As you do this you will see that it will fade away. It may come back again after a few seconds but it will always fade away. What you do with a thought and how you choose to behave as a result of it is ALWAYS your choice to make. This is a crucial thing to understand as it takes the power away from the thought. You have two choices. Continue to think it means something or finally admit to yourself that in fact it is just a thought like any of the other thousands you might have in a day.

    Here is a little tip that I found useful last time I had these thoughts. Next time you go out make yourself think about taking all your clothes off and running round the street. Or think about yourself slapping someone round the face with a massive trout. I bet you everything in my wallet that despite having had that thought, even if you find the idea funny, you don’t actually do it. Why? Because you dont want to. It is that simple. Just because you have a thought it does not make it true or reflect what you want to do in any way. It is just a thought that you are scared of which lends it power. You are scared of it because you applied a meaning to it. You applied meaning to it because you are so anxious and stressed and your mind is scanning for what you perceive to be dangerous (thoughts!) It really is that simple. I know it doesn’t feel like it but please trust me. I have been through the same as you and I know how real the thoughts feel. I overcame them and anxiety and was completely back to my old self. Since my setback as a result of ongoing stress I have been dealing with a new type of thought that has been extremely hard for me but I am making progress now.

    One day when you have been doing the right thing for long enough your overall stress state will lower sufficiently for you to no longer be on the lookout for scary thoughts. When this happens you wont even realise. You will only realise when you remember about it and even then the thoughts will no longer matter as you are not sensitized and will be able to view them as just unwanted thoughts. How long this takes depends on how long you continue to be scared of them and let them rule your life. Only you can make the choice to follow the correct path which is total acceptance of the thoughts. Not the content. Just their presence. You must rebuild the trust in your own mind and this takes time.

  152. Mark 26th January 2016 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Hey guys,

    just to keep you updated. I had really accepted thoughts and feelings and the depression and anxiety had begun to leave. The sun shined, the birds chirped. Beautiful. I got on with my days without even thinking about how good the days we’re that I was having.

    I didn’t sleep well last night, got up this morning and I felt down. In my weak state i casually clicked on an article which conveniently popped up about depression and the need for medication. Bang, thoughts and feelings right back.

    Time to begin accepting all again until I can be strong enough to let these fears go!

    The important thing I would say is I noticed the habit that brought me back to this state. However hard it is convince myself that that’s all it is.

  153. Rik 26th January 2016 at 2:38 pm - Reply


    Well done. I am going through the same thing so it is great to see that you enjoyed success. Keep up the good work. A minor blip is all this is. You will be back there in no time.

  154. Mark 26th January 2016 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rik.

    I think the important thing for everyone here (including myself) is to remember that I and so many others with all different mental issues and physical feelings such as Rik, have recovered before.

    We got sucked back in. But it’s another chance to cement acceptance into those tired and scared brains of ours. There is nothing wrong with us emotionally.

  155. Andy J 26th January 2016 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Thanks again for your post Rik.

    I know what I need to do and should have known this all along. Its just putting the theory in to practice.

    Thanks again,


  156. Colin 26th January 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Hi guys
    Wee question regarding anxiety !
    Do you think there are different levels of anxiety ? Eg
    Mild , moderate , severe ?
    I think when I suffered anxiety it was probably of the moderate sort !
    At the time in my anxious way I thought it was severe ?
    Now looking back and reading a lot of you guys posts . I think I would have been the the moderate bracket .
    Would it be possible out of interest to say what each of you feel your level is ?
    I think some people on here are more severe than others ? And are still using the blog as a technique . Eg they come on here giving advice about how to just accept and then ask for help ?? I absolutely think this blog is of great help to a lot of people , but some need to use the knowledge on here and move on ?

    Hope I don’t sound critical ? And really do wish everyone on here and anyone suffering with anxiety a full recovery . It really is possible to achieve this state . My biggest word on my personal recovery and still is , Acceptance !!! I still to this day accept that I have anxiety ( we all do ) and will always have it . But I don’t care , fear or avoid having it . I talk freely to my friends about mental health . I laugh and joke about my anxiety . Believe me all these things are acceptance . Sore head ? Upset stomach ? Can’t sleep ?
    All things that I suffered and might probably suffer one day again ? But you know what I couldn’t give a shit if it does .
    Move on guys ! Yes it’s hard but life can be hard ! We are a special few , that when recovered you will be a much more humble understanding liberated person.

  157. Rik 26th January 2016 at 6:23 pm - Reply


    Those of us that have dealt with certain issues before and overcome them in the past are very well placed to give advice to others who may be suffering from something similar.

    Do some use the blog for constant reassurance? Yes. Does that mean they don’t deserve a kind word or bit of advice that may click with them a bit better? Absolutely not. For some people the drips of reassurance they get can eventually lead to them plucking up the courage to accept and attempt to make their life bigger than anxiety. Some take longer than others. It is a process with as many stumbling blocks as victories. Of course we should always stress to them that they need to put the advice into practise as soon as possible rather than just asking again and again.

    When my anxiety came back in December I would definitely say I was in the extreme bracket. So much so I even asked for reassurance myself a few weeks back despite having overcome this twice before in the last 8 years using the same acceptance method. The rational mind just does not get a look in when you are that bad and when your stress levels are that extreme.

    I have been accepting it all now for a few weeks and have already seen significant improvements which has made my mind clearer to offer advice to the likes of Andy who are having a very hard time of it with intrusive thoughts.

    I do think that being stuck with distressing obsessive thoughts is incredibly difficult. I would have taken a million physical symptoms if I could have been free of the obsessive thinking at the start. It was crippling me. Sometimes just ‘putting it under the anxiety umbrella’ can be extremely difficult and it can take the person to see it from a different perspective or have it explained to them a certain way for them to begin chipping away at the fear and then take that leap of faith to stick it under the umbrella.

    Im not sure who you are referring to about giving advice and then asking for help as I haven’t seen all that much of that myself but as we all know it can be one thing to know the theory and another to put it into practice. One day you can feel good and the next a complete wreck. On the good days you may pass on advice you feel has helped and on the bad you may need a bit of reassurance to keep pressing on.

    We all post to support each other.

  158. ken 27th January 2016 at 12:19 am - Reply

    Doreen thank you and that was the first ever response i ever had on here and it was because i didnt follow guidelines. But i guess my issue is i have a hard time speaking up for mayself. And saying how i feel. Thank you

  159. Jen 27th January 2016 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Thanks Rik and Milu for responding. It really means alot. I guess I have to have the inner strength to not play into these worrying thoughts. It’s hard

  160. ken 27th January 2016 at 2:38 am - Reply

    Can someone maybe explain this to me. My confidence is very low and have alot of anxiety but this popped in my head and dont know what it means

    “You cannot rely upon your own intuition in deciding how to deal with OCD.”
    For some reason i feel like its saying i cannot trust myself. Is that incorect. Kind of confused

  161. Ryan 28th January 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Hey guys, been doing fairly great and off the blog for quite some time.. But of course dealing with a tough setback right now due to a diagnosis of gastritis. I have severe indigestion, and stomach pain. Have never dealt with this before, and my anxiety is back with a vengeance…it’s hard for me to eat right now because I have so much pain when I swallow. They have put me on very high doses of Prilosec, but decided to stop taking them because they don’t seem to be doing much and I feel as if they are increasing my anxiety..my question is has anyone else dealt with gastritis, and were you able to help or stop it naturally by diet? I’m trying not to stress cause I know that’s what caused the gastritis in the first place, but hard to let it be when I’m in pain and can’t eat.. Been having to take Ativan the past few days as I have taken a huge step back.. Which is really frustrating as its been probably 6 months since I’ve taken one… Any thoughts would be appreciated!!

  162. Bryan 28th January 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply


    Went through gastritis and yes with time, diet and stress reduction I got past it. I would avoid the Ativan for other reasons if possible. You don’t want to create more problems. Setbacks are natural and if you approach this like you did anxiety originally it’ll fade in time. Worry and stress reduction are paramount.

  163. Debbie 28th January 2016 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Ryan I have had gastritis on and off my whole life I went the natural approach as nexiam and the others caused me anxiety. Here is what I do I take dgl it is a form of licorice , drink butter milk it coats your stomach keep away from any spice or anything with acid in it . Also aloe Vera juice helps and coconut water harmless coconut water is the brand it’s pure. Hope this helps .

  164. Colin 28th January 2016 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Hi Rik
    Sorry if it came across like I was criticism anybody for coming on here for reassurance! I just think in my own personal journey ( with Paul’s book )
    That constantly searching by asking questions over and over would only make things worse ? The whole theory of this is to let go !!! Be free of anything it throws at us . Take it for a ride if it rears its ugly head . We have to stop looking for answers . The answer is preached every day on here . Accept ,Accept , Accept !!! Even when I suffered a setback . Yes I felt the effects of it but I knew what it was and knowing what it was and not fearing it . That’s when it had much less of an impact on me . So by not fearing it and accepting yea I have anxiety it had no strength !

    Even as of now if I get a twinge of anxiety . I don’t give it the time or space to have an impact on me . This is such an easy way of recovering from anxiety . Or maybe like I was asking about various strengths of it ? Mild moderate or severe ? That’s what I was asking and maybe this is why I have recovered quicker ? Let’s all get back to the basics ? Even if it means reading both of Paul’s books again then do it , get the knowledge you need again . Refresh the mind on the subject , start from scratch . Take the advice handed out on this blog and put it into practice ???

  165. Sally 28th January 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Ryan yes I have had gastritis I now have duodenitis inflammation of the duodenum,the treatment is the same.The meds you are on do not cure these conditions they merely stop you making so much acid giving your body the chance to heal itself.I have been on these meds for years even so it flares up from time to time usually when my anxiety is off the scale.Diet is very important in the healing process ie no fried lay off butter cheese etc alcohol is very irritant to it.If you don’t take the meds it will not heal because acid is aggravating an already sore stomach.Hopes this helps and it takes time so be patient Sally

  166. Rik 28th January 2016 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Colin,

    I do think some do get much stronger anxiety than others but usually this is down to their own reaction to it over time or they could have much worse life circumstances that are ongoing increasing or maintaining stress levels. As you say, if we all accept then the power is taken away. Knowledge is key as you also alluded to. Read the books, get the knowledge and a few tips or explanations from those who have been through it before and then commit to acceptance. Simple but not easy by any means 🙂

  167. Nicola 28th January 2016 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara,

    I suffered pre and post natal anxiety if you ever want to talk about it. I admitted myself into a psych ward as I was becoming suicidal so it was pretty bad! Still is but there’s nothing about anxiety and depression I haven’t experienced and I’ve managed to survive this far. 5 years down the road – nearly 6 xx

  168. Julie W 28th January 2016 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Anybody struggle with signficant self awareness? I take it with me wherever I go, and some days it’s worse than others. It’s hard to enjoy myself when I am always thinking of me. Trying to just accept this, but it is really hard. This is my biggest symptom right now. I guess I need to just let it be, and live with it. Any other advise?

  169. Nicola 28th January 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Julie, yes absolutely. It’s horrible!

  170. ken 29th January 2016 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Does anyone have advise for head conversations. A girl I have been with for 8 years is unsure because my severe anxiety but I’m having these head conversations saying I need her and everything. I have been trying tontwlk to her but I get anxious around her now the conversations hppen a lot and inworry what she will say. What do I do

  171. Amanda 29th January 2016 at 2:24 am - Reply

    Can I ask if you take meds? And if they help?
    I am almost 12 months in and can’t imagine suffering for 6 years. Some days are better than others but it’s always there, I do everything and live my life going on holidays, working and raising my small boys but it never leaves I am always focused on me and how I’m feeling.

  172. Nicola 29th January 2016 at 3:13 am - Reply

    Hi Amanda,

    It’s difficult. I have recently begun taking a steady course of Venlafaxine 150mg a day as at the end of last year all the anxiety and set backs led to a nervous breakdown and a period of extreme suicidal depression, BUT, I should say that I was trying to do far too much in my life. I was running my own business, studying for a diploma, I’m a mother etc etc… I honestly don’t believe our brains can cope with that much stress, and mine just gave out and said ‘enough’. Now I respect and listen to my brain and body. I gave up my business and managed to finish my course and get my diploma. I applied for benefit, CBT and finally admitted I needed help from doctor who put me on meds. Now finally I seem to be on the up, but I hit my lowest point. I had had so many setbacks and periods of depression that I had lost all hope. I’m agoraphobic, and can hardly see anyone but now I have begun to broaden my prison a little and will keep working on it. I learned to deal with panic attacks and have stopped having them. I have diazepam as a security blanket. It’s been hell on earth, but if nothing else anxiety has given me enormous self respect and strength. I never knew I was so strong!!

  173. Nicola 29th January 2016 at 3:22 am - Reply

    And with all respect I think Paul said he had one panic attack in the 10 years he had anxiety – I’ve had hundreds and gone on to suffer panic disorder and that’s a whole new level of anxiety! if I had anxiety without panic my life would be entirely different!! I am constantly aware that I could lose control at any minute and that’s a difficult thing to stop being afraid of! However, neuroplasticity allows for brain change and I firmly believe that if I can create new habits and thought patterns and break old pathways I can beat this thing. For now I’m just accepting that I will be this way the rest of my life. That way I can just give up the fight. I’ve had problems all my life and used alcohol before I got pregnant – sober since, so I would hope nobody would get as bad as I have xx

  174. Amanda 29th January 2016 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Thanks for replying Nicola, I truly understand how painful it is, I hope you are on the right path now.

  175. Nicola 29th January 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

    You’re welcome Amanda. Thank you xx

  176. Doreen 29th January 2016 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Well done Nicola.

  177. Andy J 29th January 2016 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie,

    Yes, I suffered with that significantly up until about 18 months ago. The feeling of always noticing how you are and being unable to think outwardly. I longed for how I used to be, thinking about what I would do at the weekend, then maybes getting distracted and thinking about something else. But constantly returning to myself and how I was. I would just try and allow it to be there. You know it is anxiety, and that it cant do you any harm.

    Unfortunately for me, that lead me on to my new wave of intrusive thoughts which have continued since then. 18 months and counting unfortunately. I just cant seem to reduce their impact or allow them to be there. Each time I have one it panics me as much as the first one ever did. I’ve tried and currently still am on medication, I’ve tried talking therapies, mindfulness, books etc, yet nothing can seem to shift where I am.

    I find I am stuck in the same old cycle, each and every day. All it takes is one thought to panic me. I cant stand being alone and have placed numerous behaviours in to my daily life to protect me. I know it is only enhancing the thoughts, but the alternative of acting on them scares me witless. I have absolutely zero trust or faith in myself, and dont know how I can begin to turn this around. I’m hoping to speak to a different therapist who can give me some techniques in the interim.

    As mine has turned in to more of an OCD, I’m not really sure if following this guidance is for me.

    Hope every one else is doing ok.


  178. Nicola 29th January 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Andy, the picking away at scary thoughts and trying to analyse my way through them is something I struggle with too, have you ever noticed though that you can have one scary thought for say two weeks or whatever only to have it replaced by another – and when you look back at the original scary thought, it’s not scary anymore! The thoughts are only scary because we are scared at the moment of thinking them. I’ve had some mad thoughts go through my head. Now I recognise them as just that – thoughts. I am learning to choose how I react to them. Best of luck

  179. Andy J 29th January 2016 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Thanks Nicola.

    I guess because I have had them for so long, my reaction to them has changed. Where at first I would be petrified and guaranteed that this was not who I am, the duration has changed my perspective and started me worrying that this is not anxiety, but actually who I am now.

    Needless to say if I acted upon these thoughts, then my life would be over and so that is really distressing. I just dont want to have these thoughts anymore, but I am becoming so entangled with what I am and what I am not thinking and how to deal with different scenarios, that panic just sets in and I go back to square one every time.

    Good luck in your recovery.


  180. Rik 29th January 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply


    You need to take that leap of faith. You could begin to be free as of today if you just started taking that leap of faith each time that you can let the thought be there. The trust in your own mind comes back over time. I have had all the thoughts you have and then some but when I committed myself to just letting them be there and trusting in my own choice not to act they began to fade and my anxiety began to drop. You are keeping the cycle alive yourself by not realising the simple concept of choice that you will always have. Let them be there. Its not easy at first but it does get easier. When the doubt thought comes ignore that too. Anything whatsoever on that theme simply ignore it. It is all created and perpetuated by anxiety and fear. Fact. Remove the fear and they fade away as you are no longer interested in them.

  181. Nicola 29th January 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply


    Your brain is supposed to be a tool for good. Use IT – don’t let it use YOU!

  182. Milu 29th January 2016 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Andy I hear your frustrations I too am constantly surrounded with thoughts all day everyday, none of them seem present day relevant. I have been just allowing them to flow for about 6 weeks and all I fibd is that there’s is another be one right behind it. I have for through anxiety and depression before and know that it is only a temporary state. just remember that others feel your pain as well and that there is hope.
    Nicole, panic attacks are definitely hard to embrace. I had not had them for many years and they have come back, although familiar they are far from comfortable. T sounds like you have made positive changes in your life that are helping you in your recovery.
    Rik your words are always so offering and level headed. Thank you for the support you give to all in this forum

  183. Sara 29th January 2016 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Hey all

    I just wanted to update my status in order not to leave any negativity in the forum as I know i hate to read people really suffering and automically think i’ll be that person crying for help.

    I’m feeling TONS better and i wanted everyone to know that i went through horrible cold turkey withdrawal…..give your typical worst day of anxiety and bump the meter about 1000% and you get the state i was in. I’d also stopped eating unless i was forced and couple that with the vomiting and early pregnancy: Well you get the drift!

    So for anyone looking back on my comments PLEASE don’t think that’ll be you, i was under tremendous stress and pressure and circumsances that will probably never occur to you.

    That being said some ladies handle cold turkey during pregnancy pretty well so please don’t take me as an example.

    I wish you all lots of courage and ACCEPTANCE as that is all we need.

    I’m taking a break from the forum and really focusing on my health right now i hope to come back soon to read recovery stories from the following:

    Mark r- you’ve been a great help to everyone here and you truly deserve the best

    Milu- You’re so strong and couragious here’s to a happier and healthier new year

    Jamie and Chris: You guys just need one last push and you’ll be giving advice in no time

    To the rest LOTS OF SUPPORT AND POSITIVITY (is that a word?)

  184. Rik 29th January 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Great to hear you are doing well Sara. I am still in the throws of this setback but doing my best to accept all that comes my way. It is incredibly difficult but I will not give up.


    I like to try to help those who are really struggling as like you I have been through this all before and come out the other side smiling. It never feels like it at the time but feelings and thoughts can change and you can be left feeling proud that you stayed the course and didn’t give up. I find the feelings of depression the hardest as I feel no joy for anything I used to most of the time. I am just letting this be though and continuing to do the things I would do if I were not like this. I am sure that in time it will all blow over again.

  185. Andy J 29th January 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks again Rik.

    I guess I’m just having a bit of a blip. I haven’t really seen a lot of progress but perhaps I am not really accepting everything.

    Hoping for a better weekend

  186. Derrick 29th January 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Nolan or Colin –

    I would love to hear your thoughts on my situation. I am sure that Paul’s advice is sound. I have been dealing with high anxiety for 5 years now, and I have made a lot of progress. I definitely notice that when I am feeling great and enjoying life that I am not getting caught up in the anxious thoughts, feelings, and sensations. I am just living my life. This feels just like what Paul and Claire Weekes are teaching.

    The problem is when some thought, feeling, or sensation comes on strong enough to grab my attention I slip back into focusing on anxiety and trying to work it out to get back to feeling good. I start feeling like crap and sliding into setback. No fun, as I am sure you can relate.

    I try to really not give my feelings, thoughts, and sensations any attention or respect, but it seems that when I am anxious my mind is going to chew on the thoughts that yell the loudest. And this is what happens when I am in setback. Paul says not to try to change your thoughts, so I just keep doing what I have to do. Is it OK to try to consciously focus on other things when the anxious thoughts are trying to get all of my mind’s attention? I’m not sure if this is using a “technique” or not. I’m just not sure how to move my mind in a better direction when I’m experiencing anxiety. Is there a way to focus on other things that fits in Pauls teachings?

    I hope this make sense, and I would love to hear your thoughts.

  187. Maria 29th January 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Hi all,
    Haven’t been on here in quite awhile as I’ve been doing pretty well. But today has been tough! A dear friend of mine was rushed to the hospital last night with a tear in his aorta. He’s been like a brother to me since we were kids. This morning I was updated and learned that things were very serious. I decided to cancel my work day and head to the hospital. On my way I started getting a bit anxious as I really hate hospitals! I parked and took a deep breath and headed into this huge, crazy maze of a building. Took me 15 to get up to his room and by then I was a hot mess! I stayed for a bit, got an update from his wife, gave him a kiss and high tailed it out of there. I had several little panic attacks while in there, or maybe just one long high level of anxiety. Call it what you will.

    I am home now with some quiet time, waiting to hear how surgery goes. And my anxiety level is understandably still pretty high. But what I know now since reading Paul’s book is that this is ok. I need to give my body a little time to chill, for the adrenalin levels to come back down. I may always find myself in situations where I feel anxious, but how I respond to that anxiety is key. Writing this to you all is a reminder to myself and hopefully helpful to some of you. If I’m just patient and allow all these cruddy feelings to do whatever they need to do, they’ll subside.

    I think the brain of an anxious person reacts very habitually. I look at it as my job to start retraining my brain by allowing the anxiety to do its thing, rather than freaking out and trying to fight it. It’s hard, very hard. I’ve reacted with fear for 30 years, so it going to take time. But I have the tools now and so do you.

    I hope this helps and would appreciate any feedback from anyone that this makes sense to. 🙂

  188. Rik 29th January 2016 at 7:43 pm - Reply


    I think by what you said you know what you need to do and why you are still stuck. Take the leap. Trust and accept. You can do it.

  189. Debbie 29th January 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Marie i understand how you feel my dad died 3 months ago and 4 days ago my sons wife left him and i have 4 grandchildren and i also have a leaky aorta valve which is what started this whole anxiety 1 year ago i have spoke with u a few times anxiety can really mess u up. It plays its nasty tricks as u remember my are intrusives of any movie dream i have had i feel like at times as iam talking to someone my mind is in that scene its scarey . But i get threw every day. And scarry dejvu i always looked for a label of what this is because i never hsd anything like this only physical symptoms .sending u hugs do u live in the us?

  190. Colin 29th January 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Hello Derrick
    Sorry to hear that you are not coping at the moment .
    What you are experiencing is a setback ! Pure and simple . Please try just letting your mind do what it wants . Just try doing what you know is best for you ? When I had what you are experiencing. I would just try to settle myself ( relax breathe ) this would let me slip back into my own sense of well being . I would become grounded again ! At one with myself ! ( mindfulness ) it lets you come back to where you belong . Don’t let this setback deter you from your recovery . Go forward and recover again mate !


  191. Chris 30th January 2016 at 4:39 am - Reply

    Hi all. Just wanted to share a few successes. Also have a wee question at the end.

    Yesterday I was the best man at my mates wedding. I started off the day feeling awful as per usual. In spite of that I attended the wedding, gave a three minute speech which everyone loved, and drank too much expensive champagne! Lol.

    Anyway. This morning I woke up and the awful anxiety was there once again with all the thoughts, it felt overwhelming. This time I thought I would try something different. The thoughts were destructive as usual, so I decided to say to them ‘so be it’ and I completely submitted to every thing my mind was saying to me. If this is going to happen, then so be it. If I never recover then so be it. The feelings still hung around for a wee bit, but my mind decided it didn’t need to keep going over the subject anymore, because of this ‘so be it’ approach. I then came out the other side of the moment, feeling quite normal, and the burden of anxiety felt slightly lighter. It was a bit of an aha moment. I thought that I had to work on all my belief systems to recover, but the truth is these aren’t my belief systems at all, they are ANXIETY’S belief systems. When I came out through the moment, the whole thing just didn’t matter so much.

    I have been holding back and shying away from my thoughts a fair bit. I am now going to think whatever I want, whenever I want. I am going to let my thoughts and feelings cause absolute havoc. They are going to anyway probably. I don’t even need to glimpse, all I need to do is completely submit to everything. It’s the only thing that has actually made me feel better. The more we resist, the more it persists.

    I always thought my fears (I posted about them earlier, probably no point in repeating them) were the insoluble problem that Claire Weekes referred to, and I would need to get counselling or something. It seems like this maybe isn’t the case at all, because we all have specific fears. I’d love to get an opinion on this actually.

  192. Nicola 30th January 2016 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Does anyone ever feel like they just don’t know what’s real and what’s not anymore. Like you just don’t have the clarity you had pre-anxiety? Like the world you thought you knew so well has disintegrated in your mind in a sense? I don’t have psychosis or anything. It seems to have happened after just having anxiety and depression for so long. Like my brain has changed, which it undoubtedly has.

  193. Nicola 30th January 2016 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    On the other side of that I seem to have flashes of complete pre-anxiety normal. I don’t let if affect me too much so perhaps I’m on the way out of this!

  194. Rik 30th January 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Nicola,

    Yes absolutely. During anxiety i feel a completely different person and totally disconnected from everything. I put this down to my brain trying to protect me from things i feel i cant cope with which when i am at my most anxious is pretty much everything. I have learnt a lot about anxiety and the way our brain works etc which now helps me to understand what it is happening. Having had anxiety in the past i also know that my old self is still there and when recovered i feel 100% normal and connected again. It is a horrible thing and for me has contributed hugely to feelings of depression and thoughts along the same lines. I now see what is happening though. I cant feel for anything because my brain thinks i still need protecting and has shut off all emotion to protect me from further stress. Of course at the start i questioned it all and tried to fight it but now i realise that all i need to do is step out of the way, trust that my brain will right itself eventually and just take the depression thoughts with a pinch of salt. I didnt think like this before the anxiety so i know that i wont once it is gone again. It is just a temporary protective state that my mind is in. My brain doesnt realise that i would overthink it and make it worse.

  195. honey 30th January 2016 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Honestly I don’t know why I am bothering to post but I’m having a bad day so once again I’m reaching out to those who have recovered or understand this stuff better than I do. With anxiety comes all these symptoms. Some are obvious and acute eg heart racing and nausea. Some are more subtle and thought based. But there’s this one thing that happens that just completely.renders.me. It comes over me out of nowhere, I may have been fine for weeks or months and then there it is. It’s like a cloud descending and Robbing me of all the happiness in my life because right there in that moment nothing else matters but solving this problem and googling. I am so confused. And in my worried state I jut think to myself that recovery is basically just another word for ‘learned to cope with feeling awful’. I’ll never be normal again. Because it’s always lurking there. And even when recovered do you just think oh I don’t care if it comes back? But when it does how do you know you won’t go back to old ways of struggling? I’m so confused. I’m just not ok with coping. I feel defective like there’s something wrong with me when everyone else just copes with life’s ups and downs but I fall apart. Something as minor as a holiday throws me into despair, self pity etc.

    Does anyone else get that feeling I described? If so does it go when you’re recovered or do I just need to learn to deal with it always poppin up now and then.

    Like I’ve said many times I’m ok with feelin normal anxiety levels but it’s not normal to struggle to hold myself together when I’m out for lunch with my friend. Or struggling through work all day every day. I know we are all going through this but I feel so angry at the world today and self pitying. I know these are all the wrong things to do,

    Colin can you shed some light please? Or anyone recovered?

    Feel free to be blunt. I need telling off for going round in pointless circles I am so fed up with myself and with anxiety which I know I create myself.

  196. Derrick 30th January 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Colin –

    Thanks so much for the response. I feel like my acceptance level is once again increasing, and I’m not reacting so much to the sensations and thoughts. Your advice is excellent! I know I will come completely out the other side one day. I’m feeling very hopeful.


  197. Milu 30th January 2016 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Hi all just a quick question for anyone trying meditation out there – do you find that you get more constant thoughts? They are sometimes random memories sometimes random thoughts but I wonder if by meditating that I sm releasing more thoughts? I started a meditation class in the new year and then had two weeks of very strong all day long anxiety, it ha subsided but the thoughts are still there. Any opinions? I have heard that meditating us cautioned for depressed people but not sure why?
    Honey take comfort in the fact that you have emerged and you will again. I think we get stronger me learn more about ourselves in these processes.

  198. Nicola 30th January 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Milu I tried some meditation for a while. My anxiety increased but then I found some periods of calm. I think it’s about learning to allow your thoughts but without clawing into them and picking them apart like so many of us do. There have been stories of it triggering some mental health problems in people but I can’t help but think these people had underlying problems anyway and as its a change for the brain it should probably be done carefully, especially if you are hypersensitive to change xx

  199. Milu 30th January 2016 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks Nicola I think I will go back to my guided meditations as I found this quite relaxing, it has been the sit in silence that I think has affected me. Hypersensitive is my middle name lol

  200. Fleur 31st January 2016 at 12:21 am - Reply

    Hello, I want to say you about my experience.
    I am from Slovakia, and I sometimes read one slovak forum about health. There was one post from one boy who was desperate. He said that he has OCD, GAD, anxiety-depression… So much labels. From his writing it was clear to me that it is anxiety.

    He wrote because he wanted a help, and he got only advice about medication, and psychiatrist and very negative posts. I wanted to encourage him so I wrote him a post, something like this „don´t worry, I told him about labels, that he has only anxiety and those labels are symptoms, that it´s possible to be free again. That the best thing would be doing things like before, accept…

    Then he wrote to me a long hateful post :-o: „Please, Fleur, I hate these conspirative tricks. Stop. Don´t write to me these bulls*its.“ And then other people agreed with him. That anxiety is serious illness, etc etc…

    I am very sad from those posts. I wanted to help someone, but they were angry at me. I am sensitive and It didn´t help me with my anxiety. Such a BIG negativity. I will not go there again.

    I write this because I want to thank you Paul David, and everybody who is posting here. It is really very positive and unique blog. And of course books. I love this positive approach. I am so much better thanks to you.

  201. Nicola 31st January 2016 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Fleur I am shocked that they replied to you in this way as your reply to him was correct! We know anxiety has serious effects on people but they didn’t need to be so horrid about it. Hope you’re ok xx

  202. Nicola 31st January 2016 at 1:48 am - Reply

    I have only been able to travel a couple of miles from home for about 3 months since my nervous breakdown. Today I managed to travel 14 miles from home to visit my parents who I haven’t seen in a long time because of fear. Today I decided that I just didn’t care about the anxiety. I didn’t care if it came – I have coped with it all before. I didn’t allow it to take primary focus in my mind, I just wanted to see my mum and dad. It just so happened that I was listening to Claire Weekes on my way over there and she said something that struck a chord – she said ‘with interest aroused, fear takes a back seat’ you cannot be interested in something and fearful. I wonder if like me, any of you have found that you just don’t enjoy anything anymore because fear is always at the forefront of your mind, and everything has become a chore. Try for one day to set the anxiety aside and just not care that it’s there – you can go back to worrying the next day if you want. It’s amazing what else comes up in your mind when you put the anxiety aside. I find myself thinking about things I might actually like to do. I had a wonderful two weeks once where I decided that I was just going to get on with life and sod the anxiety and I was genuinely free for those two weeks before something out of my control happened and I was flooded (mental panic I could get control over) – had it been allowed to continue for longer – those two weeks I mean, my mind would have naturally adopted those new habits of being. I think I might be getting there again.

  203. Nicola 31st January 2016 at 2:09 am - Reply

    I have honestly forgotten what ‘normal’ feels like, so I am no longer fighting to regain this elusive ‘normal’ feeling. I have finally truly accepted that anxiety is my lot and from this I no longer try to change things or hold on to or keep replaying bad episodes – after all this is me now so what’s the point. I think I have found the true meaning of acceptance and from here I can only get better. I’m not TRYING to accept, I HAVE accepted. A strange relief comes with this.

  204. Chris 31st January 2016 at 5:51 am - Reply

    Hi all, me again!

    I’ve been re-reading parts of at last a life again as a refresher, and wanted to ask a question in relation to positive thinking.

    In the chapter Born to Worry, Paul explains how we need to change our negative thinking habit to a positive thinking habit. However in his later book he advises us to basically give up on our thoughts altogether, and to not take them seriously.

    This is a little bit confusing. The first advice says change your thoughts, the other says give up on your thoughts. Is anyone able to elaborate on this? Thanks.

  205. Nicola 31st January 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Does anyone else ever just feel a terror sweep over them for no reason and feel like they are just overwhelmed by the world?

  206. Rik 31st January 2016 at 7:36 pm - Reply


    I would say feeling overwhelmed and afraid is pretty much the basis of most acute anxiety attacks.

    Rather than try to unravel each aspect of it instead try to assign the blame squarely on anxiety and work on accepting it and floating through it.

    I couldnt even begin to list the different physical and mental symptoms i have experienced in my times with anxiety.

  207. Rik 31st January 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply


    You are reading too much into it in my opinio . Learn to accept and negative thoughts change to positive over time once you become more involved with the world again and feel better in yourself. It is incredibly difficult to feel positive when you are so anxious etc but it comes back over time.

  208. Nicola 31st January 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I think it’s derealisation/ dissociation ??

  209. Jamie 31st January 2016 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara

    I’m really pleased that you are feeling much better as I know you were in a bad place a month or so back. I am not sure what you did differently to get through it but it is brilliant news.

    I am not used to people saying positive things about me so what makes you say I am one last push from actually giving other people advice ?

    To be fair though, over the last couple of months, I have had small glimpses of sunlight which I think is the best way to describe it. I have done some challenging things and really put myself out on a limb which I think is helping me move toward accepting / recovery. I am not putting a timescale on anything but it is only after these events that I realise that things are getting a bit easier.

    More successes this weekend were – I had a friend come down and stay over for the weekend which I was very nervous about. The thought of someone with me for nearly a whole day with no escape (I may have a panic attack etc etc) was very anxiety inducing. Anyway, I picked him up from the station, we went out for some food, he stayed over, we went to the cinema today and I drove him back home (an hours drive) stopping for a bite to eat on the way home and popped in for a cup of tea the other end. All of these things were really big as I have not been used to doing these things for a long while but I did all of them irrespective of how I felt / thought about it.

    I wish everyone the best and well done Sara. I know he doesn’t post much here these days but I want to say another special thank you to Nolan. I have said this before but something in one of his posts about 6 or so weeks ago seems to have made something ‘click’ in my mind and the glimpses of sunlight have followed soon after :o)

  210. Jen 1st February 2016 at 2:44 am - Reply

    Would ocd be considered the same as anxiety? I read it can’t be cured do you guys think thats true? Would I apply the same method to ocd as with what paul says? Or is ocd different.?

  211. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 4:19 am - Reply

    OCD is anxiety and can be cured xx

  212. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 5:30 am - Reply

    Anyone else take medication?

  213. Rik 1st February 2016 at 9:36 am - Reply


    OCD is basically anxiety but you get too concerned with your thoughts and can find it almost impossible to ignore them. It can be recovered from. Last year I had very bad Harm OCD. I recovered from it fully. It was only when I was under long term stress again at the end of last year that my anxiety came back full force.


    I am on 50mg of Sertraline which doesn’t really seem to do much for me. I am told is isn’t even considered a therapeutic dose.


    Great to hear you are still moving forward. Keep up the good work.

  214. Andy J 1st February 2016 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Hi Nicola,

    I currently take Citalopram, although I don’t really feel much better for taking it. I’m in the unfortunate position that I don’t want to come off it in case I get any worse. As with most medications, starting or stopping can cause negative effects in the interim.

    I’ve had a mixed weekend. I still continue to live my life, going to different places and exercising but I still can’t seem to make progress. As soon as I see any positives, a negative returns in its place, making progress pretty much impossible.

    The depression has really started to kick in. Not dark thoughts that I want to act on, but just a total hopelessness and I wish I wasn’t here. It isnt fair to have to live this way, and I really empathize with any one who is in a similar position.

    I liken it to giving some one the wrong medication constantly. So some one who has a chest infection, giving them medication for their heart. I think I am trying to apply methods and techniques which just arent working for me. I’m just completely and utterly lost.


  215. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Andy I can identify a lot with what you have said. It’s like the negatives far outweigh the positives making recovery seem impossible. I have stopped chasing recovery and just try to survive each day – I think that’s the key for now. Acceptance. I take 2mg of Valium about twice a week when I get desperate which allows me to stop worrying about the panics and that is a huge help xx

  216. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 11:11 am - Reply

    When depression comes as well you just lose the will to go on don’t you. I honestly would recommend listening to Claire Weekes audiobooks in the evening. They are so comforting and remind me why I feel the way I do. It’s like CBT everyday 🙂 xx

  217. Andy J 1st February 2016 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Hi Nicola,

    Yes it can be difficult.

    I guess the key theme on here is acceptance and the ‘do nothing’ approach. However, I find that difficult when it comes to the feeling down. Surely doing nothing then will only make things worse?

    I also struggle with just putting everything down to anxiety. I have always been some one who needs to rationalise things in my head. Once I know how something works or what its impact will be, I can understand it and move on. Then there is no fear.

    The way I have been feeling and the thoughts I have been having, have no rational explanation. The only explanation would be that I have become some kind of monster and a bad person. Urges, impulses, thoughts etc, combined with a total lack of any kind of shock at them, now has me worried even more. Add this in to my time suffering and all the potential issues I could have if anything ever arose from my anxiety and the stress is just immense.


  218. Vadim 1st February 2016 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Hey guys Nolan I hope you can help out with this.never posted here before, though I read here a lot and it helped me recover.

    I did everything that Paul said and i felt myself and everything was perfect.

    Until i started getting close to a girl (im engaged) and realised i went to far and fell inlove with her. The fear of this while understanding that i dont really love my fiance was horiffying. This time seems like it was not toughts that was just a realse of adrenalin but the truth i avoided for some time.
    This affected me so much i couldnt eat or sleep or think of anything else, it wasnt classix anxiety like i had it and wasnt afraid of it

    The thing is that i decided to split with my fiance and it gave me relief and i felt at peace with myself and was able to do everything again for a day. I tought that once i felt the freedom and let my forboddin feelings to be felt and my engament felt so logical and convincing i could go back apologize and carry on, but this inability to focus and unease just keeps on going like i never knew it. Suddenly the things i was sure of a minute ago doesnt convince me and i dont know if its just anxiety or anything else since i delt with anxiety and felt different, but a person in a relationship conflict with himself is pretty common but they dont feel like this.

    Im very confused since its a new situation for me and i need to understand whats going on to know how to deal with it.

    Thanks for your help,


  219. Belgian 1st February 2016 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Again a message of hope for everyone here,

    – although you don’t need more hope than your regular Joe down the street –

    I wanted to share with you that I can now honestly say that I am truly recovered.

    It’s difficult to explain, but it feels like as if there is a deep understanding of everything I used to worry about. It seems there is still a difference in what the mind knows and what the heart does.

    It’s one thing – and already a very important first step – KNOWING you should let go, knowing you shouldn’t worry about your worrying and knowing you shouldn’t feel anxious because you feel anxious. It’s another to actually FEEL you don’t longer need to do this.

    I now feel very emotional about it all. I mourn about the things I’ve lost or missed out on, but most of all I feel a strength without comparison. Looking back at myself when I was in my darkest hour, nothing has changed really. But my world now looks so much brighter and bigger than it did ever before.

    It seems that we tend too easily forget the pain, disappointment and fear that accompanies any progress in life. Sometimes we get stuck in those difficult times by actually wanting to be too brave or by trying to run away from it. Acceptance then gives you the oxygen you need to move quietly on and beyond your own hard times.

    There really is nothing to discover in your heartache other than the possibility to change your approach to it. It’s a fact for every living organism that life will bring its pain, its sorrow, its end. Happiness and luck are just the other side of this coin.

    There was no magical cure, no magical pill, no divine intervention which has brought me this wisdom. There was Paul’s message, Claire Weekes’ message, lots of love and support from the people around me and most of all trust in the change time brings. You can start this journey too, you only have to let go….

  220. Ryan 1st February 2016 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    So frustrated at this setback. I really had thought I was in my way as I had many months of great times… I was still anxious many times, but dealt with it fine…now after having this gastritis problem I’ve dropped into despair again, with all day crippling anxiety and a deep scary depression. It’s inly been a week, but just feel back at square one, and feel hopeless that I can ever overcome this as I’ve been at it for many years with small success. But every time I get challenged and anxiety gets really high, I crumple again and fall into the same traps.. It’s as if my brain refuses to accept sometime and wants to just sit and feel sorry for myself..as sad as I have really, really enjoyed life this past year, but now down in this dep depressing place and having all my terrible intrusive s******* thoughts again which really scares me… I wish I could just let go and stop fighting…

  221. Andy J 1st February 2016 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Belgian,

    Thanks for that post. Your words always seem to resonate with me.

    Its always good to hear from those who have recovered. Sometimes people like myself get bogged down with the ‘will I ever recover’ thoughts.

    Thanks again

  222. honey 1st February 2016 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Thankyou Belgian. Stories of hope always help to remind me that I’m on the right path with all this. I always struggle to really understand what full recovery is like. I know you are left with its memories but would you say the condition remains the same but you don’t care about it anymore? Or does the anxiety disorder actually go away with recovery? Because I’m still so confused and I guess it’s good to know what to expect from recovery so I can be realistic about my goals. I’m ok with just not caring about anxiety anymore and willing to just go through it mindfully but is that all I can expect. I have this vision that recovery is this beautiful place where I just get anxious in normal circumstances rather than eating dinner with my partner in a restaurant for example and where I just feel like a normal person rather than someone who can’t cope with anything! Is that just a dream or could it actually be an expectation that is realistic?

  223. Rik 1st February 2016 at 4:43 pm - Reply


    I am in a setback now after almost reaching recovery last year as I still had heaps of stress going on in my marriage and never truly accepted my thoughts but i can tell you that once you reach recovery or even once you are nearly there you are no longer sensitised and the same things that affected you so much during your illness just no longer hold any weight at all. You still remember bits (your mind is good at forgetting the hard times) but they don’t hold the same fear. You no longer have an anxiety disorder. You may get nervous before a presentation as any normal person would but the difference is that you see it for what it is. You can think clearly, laugh and joke and basically you are a normal person like anyone else but with an insight that most people never have. You enjoy a whole new zest for life.

    For me when I got better it was like I was completely back to my old self. I loved the things I used to and had fun like I used to and i pushed myself to do things I wanted to but had been too scared to do. Normal stresses are dealt with with ease as compared to anxiety they are nothing. Recovery is not something people can explain to you when you are suffering. You just can’t comprehend it. I can attest to that as I cant imagine it now that I am in a setback but I know it exists and that hope is all I need to know that if I do the right things again I can get there again. You have to trust that one day you will get there and then you will know how amazing it feels. I didnt quite reach full recovery as like I said I had enormous stresses going on at work and at home that I just wasnt dealing with. I was trying to bury my emotions and ignore it all but it caught up with me one morning at the beginning of December.

    I am now working back at acceptance and for the first time I am starting to allow myself to feel my emotions rather than try to bury them. If I feel sad due to how I feel then I allow it. That’s not to say I choose to wallow in it but rather that I am learning to appreciate that I am human and should not be trying to avoid natural feelings. I have a lot to learn about dealing with emotion but I have started the journey again and will get there in time.

    Andy J,

    I had the worst intrusive thoughts you could ever imagine last year during my last bout with anxiety. Trust me when I say that you can move past them. I have replied to you a few times on this post. Take a minute to re-read them and then work at what you know you need to do. This is ALL anxiety. It truly is. I didnt believe it either but once the anxiety faded so too did the thoughts. Give them no respect and move on.

  224. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    It was nice to read that post Rik

  225. Belgian 1st February 2016 at 6:14 pm - Reply


    The ‘anxiety disorder’ is a label. A way of telling you that you are letting anxiety taking over your life. A lot of people experience inexplicable anxiety symptoms at odd moments. It only becomes a disorder as you are reaction to anxiety by adding fear and ultimately by capitulating for this feeling.

    I totally get your point though. What can I expect? What if this is as good as it gets? These are questions anyone suffering from anxiety are asking themselves and I asked myself too.

    My answer to this is the same as Claire Weekes’ answer: recovery always lies on the other side of panic and you only get there by finding peace in the middle of it.

    What she actually says is that by finding peace in the midst of it, in time you will lose your fear for it. Read your post back again.

    You say that you ‘are ok with just not caring about anxiety anymore’ but a few sentences later you say: ‘where I just feel like a normal person rather than someone who can’t cope with anything!

    You are more than halfway down the road to recovery. You know you shouldn’t care, but you are not yet feeling this. Instead, you’re still afraid of it and obviously you don’t WANT to feel that way.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a process everyone in our position has to go through and you WILL get there too!

    So what is this ‘there’ then?

    Recovery does not mean that you never will feel fear anymore, but it’s about knowing in your heart that it does not matter one bit.

    By going down that road, anxiety will gradually lose its sting. And as it loses its sting, it will not show up so often anymore.

    BUT – and this is very important – it can resurface at any time since it’s a human emotion and it carries the burden of so much past suffering for you.

    The good news is that recovery means that you carry in your heart the memory of coming through this suffering too.

    At any stage you have the choice to let yourself be guided by the way you suffered on the one hand or the way you came through your suffering on the other hand.

    I am confident that we can learn to go for the second option.

    And the more we are confronted with anxiety, the more we can practice this.

    Recovery for me means this.

    It means that anxiety doesn’t play such an important role in our lives, but is just one of the many feelings that color our lives.

  226. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    I think that’s the key isn’t it Belgian – not to let the anxiety be your primary focus. I had two weeks before I got bad again where I can honestly say I was anxiety free. It was amazing. I just woke up one morning and didn’t care that I had anxiety, I was interested in other things more. The problem is when depression comes too so you don’t enjoy anything enough to do it.

  227. Debbie 1st February 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Hi rik i was wondering the images of movies i see and dreams i have had is that intrusives or has it become ocd.? I am like 75 %there but those images are errie feeling . Weird .

  228. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Anyone have existential thoughts that frighten them? Like how are we here? Trying to comprehend the size of the universe, wondering if anything is real? Etc….. I know it sounds odd but when I am in that worrying cycle, the fear feels warranted. Like I should be afraid. I wonder if these things scare non anxious people?

  229. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Intrusive thoughts are down to your brain tying to find the cause of your unease. One day Debbie you will look back on those thoughts and wonder what you were ever afraid of. I’ve experienced this, where I have an intrusive thought that scares me stupid, but then it gets replaced by another thought and the original thought is no longer scary! Anxiety anxiety anxiety. Now I have scary thoughts but I just trust that it is anxiety and that they don’t deserve my attention. I can’t of just get on with it anyway. I am drained, but I know I am in a place of acceptance.

    As a side note, I have found exercise very helpful, here’s why:

    In addition to the creation of new neurons, including those that release the calming neurotransmitter GABA, exercise boosts levels of potent brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress.

    Now when I get anxious, I just get up and exercise. This isn’t avoidance, I’m happy for the thoughts to continue but I don’t have to sit and take notice of them.

  230. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    It also burns off any accumulated
    adrenaline etc.. Allowing the body to better relax

  231. Andy J 1st February 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rik.

    I know this needs to be persistence. I do things and if I feel ok it seems to settle but then if I have a setback I forget everything. It’s just going to have to be patience.

    I really appreciate your advice.

  232. Debbie 1st February 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks nicola . I also try to walk 2 miles every day.i have a leaky aorta valve that is what started this whole deal and a few deaths inthe family .i would not travel by my self but now i do i followed pauls advice .

  233. Rik 1st February 2016 at 8:56 pm - Reply


    Forget the term OCD and instead just think of it as anxious thought. They are one and the same, only if you think of anxious thought it can be seen for what it is rather than becoming scared of a term that makes you think it is some incurable thing. OCD is completely recoverable by the way. I have done it in the past and know others who have too and it only came back with my anxiety this time as I was scared of it still so I kind of caused it myself by looking out for scary thoughts. Ask any person with any kind of anxiety though and I guarantee you every single one of them has some kind of fearful thoughts each day that they obsess over. The only difference is with OCD you are fixated on one theme as it scares you so much. The theme could be anything but it is always whatever you are most afraid of. Otherwise you wouldnt obsess over it as you would just not be bothered.

    I could choose to identify with the label of OCD but does it serve me to think of myself as having OCD or is it far better to realise that OCD is actually just an anxiety disorder like any other? The main difference with OCD is that you have certain fearful thoughts or themes rather than a broad fear of many things. In my case I had both. I feared lots of things but usually I will have a main fear that takes up most of my thinking time and keeps recurring against my will. I know how to tackle it now though after having successfully overcome extreme harm OCD last year. By tackling my anxiety with acceptance and allowing the thoughts to just shout away it all loosened its grip and left me over time. Without anxiety there is no obsession as the sensitisation is not there any more to keep it all alive. It is just a tired sensitised mind that needs a rest that it doesnt get. Paul has it spot on.

    OCD is treated in exactly the same way as anxiety. Acceptance of the presence of the thoughts and realising that you can allow them to be there and carry on with life as though they werent. No matter what the thought you ALWAYS have the choice about what to do with it whether it scares you or not. This realisation is key. You can also utilise ERP in extreme cases but at the end of the day the goal of ERP is to expose you to something until your mind habituates to it over time. Pretty much the exact same thing as acceptance does but in a more direct way! Please do not get hung up on labelling yourself. This just creates a feeling of permanence and fear that is not warranted. Step away and let it be and take away its power.


    The best way I like to think of how I must act with relation to acceptance of thoughts is to be consistent and persistent. It is the same with anxiety in general. Be consistent in your acceptance and persistent in your will to accept and live your life.

    In the times you feel you have slipped a little just remember to stick to your guns. It is the hardest thing to just sit and let your thoughts run rampant without feeling the urge to try to stop them or counter them or unravel them but this is where you build the trust back in yourself by proving to yourself in real time that you can do just that. That uncomfortable almost itchy feeling of needing to attend to the thoughts fades over time as it is replaced by the trust and realisation that you were in control the whole time. It is only your anxiety that makes you doubt this. When a doubt comes. Ignore that too. It sounds so simple but I know first hand that it isnt. You can do it. With each successful acceptance or ignoring of the thought your spirits will lift a little and that trust seed can be watered. If you haven’t seen them before I really recommend watching some youtube videos by a lady called Katy Daath. They are very good at explaining how acceptance of the thoughts actually results in them fading. Well worth a watch.

    Sorry for the wall of text guys.

  234. Rik 1st February 2016 at 9:01 pm - Reply


    That is what started this all off for me again. I got very anxious and stressed, then DP and then started with all those damn thoughts. Like you I am applying the same acceptance to them now as I know that when I am not anxious I couldnt give two hoots about thoughts like that.

    If someone without anxiety thought a thought like that they would have forgotten it 2 minutes later. We are just so highly sensitised that thought seems dangerous as the fearful part of our brain just sees us have a negative reaction and stores that and reminds us of it to try to resolve it. Only by accepting we dont need an answer do we send the correct signals to that part of our brain and over time the neural connections are broken again. It takes one bad reaction to a thought to make it come back and the more we attend to them the more they stick and the cycle begins. We are the only ones who can break the cycle.

  235. Nicola 1st February 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Absolutely agree Rik. By placing no importance on your thoughts your brain doesn’t feel the need to keep analysing them. I am doing just what you have written above and am finding that my mind turns instead to positive things that are of interest to me.

  236. Debbie 1st February 2016 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks rik for the info.you are helpful.

  237. jen 2nd February 2016 at 1:08 am - Reply

    Rik, or anyone have you ever had worry thoughts come back after years ago and now are coming up out of The blue which I then try and figure them out and try and replay the time frame out in my head to figure out the worry thought which thrn makes it worse because it go’s to the worse case? Why is this happening? I already feel so low this just make it so much worse. Because I can’t remember everything it makes me more anxious and more anxiety happeneds. I keep thinking to myself oviously these thoughts are not true since I was able to dismiss thrm then but now it’s hard because of this stupid anxiety circle I’m in

  238. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 5:01 am - Reply

    I have a word of caution about anxiety and the acceptance approach. Although it is of course correct, I forced myself to go through 5 years ‘acceptance’ with no medical help. Sometimes I would suffer 3 hours of panic attacks but still I’d push on. I was suicidal every set back. Eventually I had a nervous breakdown and 3 months later bed ridden with my worst suicidal depression yet – it was triggered by an anxious thought and I just lost the will to go on. The diazepam I had avoided for 5 years saved my life that week and after that I had no option but to go to docs for an antidepressant. Now I am recovering and much better able to cope with the anxiety, antidepressants don’t effect my anxiety they just help with the depression. My doc gives me diazepam for when times get really rough and that allows me a safety net so that I don’t have to constantly worry about having panic attacks.

    My point is don’t be afraid to ask for a little help if you need it, I should have done it much earlier, I’d probably saved myself a lot of suffering….

  239. Doreen 2nd February 2016 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Nicola – you are very brave. I noted that you said you forced yourself to go through 5 years of acceptance. I guess what you have now learned is that it isn’t possible to ‘force’ acceptance – in fact the two words are contradictory.
    It seems with the lift that medical help has given you now feel stronger and more able to ride the anxiety rather than fight it.
    Well done.

  240. Amanda 2nd February 2016 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Just wondering if anyone has seen the movie “Numb”? about a guy with dp apparently based on a true story. Just wondered if it is worth watching and if it was helpful at all?

  241. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Yes Doreen I was always TRYING to accept and there’s a big difference between that and actually accepting. My brain has cleared more in a week of true acceptance than it did in 5 years of TRYING to accept. What strikes me is how quickly when you do really accept your brain manages to start restoring itself.

  242. Adam 2nd February 2016 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    I’m currently reading your book (two-thirds done) and almost all the content resonates with me. However I am still stuck on “acceptance”. I have been in this degraded state for about 10 years and I am a chronic worrier and have severe anxiety/panic and depression as a result. I am seeing a counselor and in the past year we have also been working on “acceptance”. However I am not sure how to get there. I tell myself “I accept how I feel” and “this is OK” over and over and over, day after day but I just don’t feel it. I go to work everyday, carry out my life as normal as possible but my worries/anxieties are still ever present. I still haven’t felt that “mind clearing” as others have described. I try to think positive, but I just can’t seem to get over that first hurdle. Thank you.

  243. Tim 2nd February 2016 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Yea I’ve been on the road of acceptance for many years now too. I improved a little but I’m still so depleted..when I try to do anything I get jittery and shakey soon and I just have to pace myself constantly or things get out of hand.

    What I came to discuss about is this; basically you have to let anxiety be and it calms down and it kind of fades on it’s own right? Well I have social anxiety too and whenever I talk to someone (online) it always comes up like what do you do..what have you been doing..right? It’s normal. But then I explain like I’ve had a difficult period of anxiety and developed like depletion (chronic fatigue syndrome) and it makes me so anxious to talk about it. It’s such a big and serious subject and it scares people away. Talking about it just makes it stronger and more present but when relating with other people it’s hard to avoid if you’re whole life has been a mess for many many years because of anxiety depression and chronic fatigue. How could I deal with this?

  244. Tim 2nd February 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Also when you tell people you have an anxiety disorder.. They’ll be like oh.. You should get professional treatment and blah blah.. There’s not much point in explaining it can’t really be treated you just have to leave it alone and it calms down..people just don’t get that. They think it’s a real disorder as if it were a “thing” while it’s just a process..a vicious cycle you have to stop feeding. People just don’t understand but still it’s what I’ve been dealing with for so long..

  245. Belgian 2nd February 2016 at 3:11 pm - Reply


    Existential thoughts, like any other thoughts, are never anxious by themselves. It’s your reaction towards them that make them scary.

    Of course, everyone sometimes feels lost, tiny and insignificant when we are confronting our existence with the overwhelming universe that surrounds us. In fact, I firmly believe that religion thrives on this ancient fear for insignificance, for losing our individuality. Why else do they all talk about the after life?

    The reason why it makes such a deep impact on you is the fact that you are sensizited.

    You have three options at that point.

    One, you can fight this feeling by trying to run away from it, deny it. I am sure you know the outcome of this path.

    Two, you can have faith that your life means more than this by divine intervention. Hence, you will accept anxieties presence by finding an explanation that is satisfying.

    Three, if you are not religious, you can still acknowledge its presence, understand why it has such a deep impact and therefore accept it.

    As soon as you have accepted it, you will make room for other things to come up again.

    None of these three attitudes would in fact change something of your reality, but I hope you realize how much your own happiness can depend on it…

    My personal look on this has changed over the years. As a teenager I was very afraid of the fact that my life will end at some point and also from the utter insignificance of it. I tried to be religious, but it does not fit my personal beliefs.

    Now, this insignificance has its merits for me. It opens the gate for a “putting things into perspective” attitude, for not making too much a big deal about something. And at the same time, it’s an invitation for me to make my life as meaningful as possible. When facing death every small nuisance we encounter becomes something very unimportant and at the same time re-evaluates the life we are living, the choices we have to make.

    I love the books of Yalom on this. He’s a psychiatrist who writes beautifully of these existential feelings and claims that almost all of our fears are born out of this one. (very short, in fact too short, summary)

    Anyway, I think this is truly a good example on how our attitude towards a feeling determines our reaction towards it.

  246. Bryan 2nd February 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply


    Most people I know we’re not helped by drugs or if they were it was only very short term. The notion of drugs helping us accept” is generally a false premise because drugs like Valium which you mention are notorious for horrid withdrawals and actually make the condition worse for a considerable portion of people.

    You use the word “caution” which I find to be quite ironic because it is the person who chooses to take drugs who, I believe needs to exercise great caution. These drugs have consequences and are generally nothing more than a temporary band aid which only makes the pain worse once you rip it off.

    So for anyone reading this… please understand that there are two sides to this story. Some may find temporary help by drugging themselves but many are made worse.

  247. Bryan 2nd February 2016 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    And inherent in the sentence… I take drugs so I don’t have to “worry about panic attacks” is a major flaw in reasoning.

    Anyone who has read Paul’s book knows this flaw.

    Panic attacks are harmless events our bodies create for self protection. They are not threats to be drugged away and treated by worrying about them.

  248. Tim 2nd February 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Yes so true!

    Also..I took ssri’s for like 8 months and I was in an even more horrible state than “normal”. (I don’t have much nice things to say about psycholgists and psychiatrists..kinda resentfull towards them for not teaching me how one gets out of this mess..).

  249. Colin 2nd February 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanda
    Is this a recent film ?
    A lot on here asking how to accept !
    Try just letting every thought / feeling be there without analizing it . Yes it’s there but so what . Let it just float by and leave it alone . Just do what you do daily . For some strange reason I felt slightly anxious yesterday . I noticed it , and nearly gave it some my attention ( o god it’s back ) but I didn’t I have said on here on numerous occasions that I personally think our anxiety will now be with us for life ? But so what if it is ! I will just carry on regardless, and by not caring it disapates . This is a process of acceptance that really works for me ! Take today , no anxiety !!! Just a normal day . I also do believe that since 1st suffering anxiety 4 years ago I have changed as a person . I am much more aware of my world and don’t take things for granted , I am more grounded and considerate . I actually love life so much and try living it day to day rather than months ahead !
    This all works for me !

  250. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    And Bryan again 5 years with panic disorder, I know how to come through a panic attack, in fact I haven’t had one for ages and that’s not down to diazepam. There’s only so much depression and anxiety a mind can take before it breaks in my opinion and I chose to help my brain get some rest. Claire Weekes sees no harm in using tranquillisers when things get too bad and neither do I.

  251. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Plus I don’t take drugs to avoid panic attacks. I said they are there as a safety net. Psychological. I don’t actually need them.

  252. Stephanie 2nd February 2016 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Nicola, I don’t believe Bryan was referring to your personal choice to use medication. It was more the fact that your post portrayed medication as a quick fix. Those of us who have had negative experiences with medication like to make sure both sides are heard. For some people, medication seems to make a big difference. And that’s great. But it’s unfair to assume that this will be the case for everyone.

  253. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Again with respect to Paul, he had one panic attack in 10 years. Try having hundreds..

  254. Steve b 2nd February 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Nicola. Stay. It’s not the first time Bryan has given his opinion on meds and then went on to quote some random nonsense.
    Bryan. If they don’t or didn’t help you then fine but stop making generalisations. Some people need both Paul’s message and extra help.

  255. Tim 2nd February 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Let’s just say that whether u use no meds or do use meds..the way through anxiety is the same. And it’s that (let’s call “it” acceptance) which will get u off meds if ur on them now.

  256. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    When I said a word of caution I just meant that if people needed extra help they shouldn’t feel like they’ve failed or anything.

  257. Bryan 2nd February 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Nicola, my prior response may or may not have come through so I’ll just recap it…

    I’ve dealt with it for 5 years as well, a good portion due to drugs I was put on, and would probably be totally recovered had I not been.

    Criticizing Paul for not having panic attacks is not fair. We all experience this differently. One person’s panic attack is no worse than another person’s DP,

    If YOU felt it helpful to take drugs, that’s your choice. But if you offer it here as a “caution” to an audience primarily made up of folks who have either had no success with drugs… been harmed by drugs… or want to do this naturally, I’m not sure why you are so offended by someone else giving THEIR side of the story?

    Again, I’m not sure why someone disagreeing with your drug choice is so offensive you are brought to tears? We have all suffered here, or we wouldn’t be here. These drugs nearly ruined me, as I didn’t know any better and was suffering. Those who are now in the same position I was… deserve to know both sides of the story before making a choice to start taking them.

    And Steve is correct. It’s not the first time I’ve offered the truth about my experience with these drugs, as have many many other people here. And when the topic comes up next time, I’m sure people will offer their opinion.

    It’s beyond me why this is such a hard concept to understand. There are two sides to the drug story, and those who have been harmed… aren’t going to sit well with this cozy notion that they are just a gentle helping hand.

    We can all make our own choice, and I get that some people are under the impression its is a last resort for them. So be it. That’s their choice. But there is noting wrong with people here being honest and no one side of this topic deserves free reign to “caution” people in one direction, in my opinion.

    i truly wish you continued success with your recovery.

  258. Steve b 2nd February 2016 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    You are missing the point.

    This is an anxiety website. If you are suffering from anxiety you are scared, frightened etcetera. If you are scared and frightened but are also taken meds how do you think your ramblings make them feel? Julie a case in point.

    I havnt noticed anyone say that not taking meds is dangerous. No, They just say not taking meds is a choice. It should be the same when commenting about meds. It’s a choice. You choose not to take them. No extra comment needed.

  259. Belgian 2nd February 2016 at 8:28 pm - Reply


    I do not think that your comments are in anyway helpful.

    Please be more considerate when writing here as people who are visiting thuis website are in a fragile state.

    Your opinion on medication is very much colored by your own experience. And your statements are put as generalities which they are not.

    You can’t even grasp the idea that there are cases in which medication saves lives.

    Which they do.

    Be modest about what you believe is the truth.

  260. Amanda 2nd February 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks Tim
    No I think the movie is quite a few years old now.

  261. Tim 2nd February 2016 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    Belgian, when people (begin to) grasp the idea of this site any need for medication becomes obsolete. Acceptance saves lives in the end! It’s what this site is about not meds for gods sake

  262. Tim 2nd February 2016 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    He had a horrible experience with them, I had the same. Some had better experiences. Maybe a reader is on meds, maybe a reader is not on meds. The message of the site is the same for us all.

  263. Colin 2nd February 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Let’s not dwell on the drug issues again please!
    This is a democratic blog . Bryan is allowed to express is opinion on here as is Nicola .
    Nicola I remember when u first suffered anxiety , I was all over the place and would have taken anything to take away the awful suffering u was going through . I was prescribed an AD plus Valium . And a beta blocker . I used the lot of them initially and then through time removed one at a time as I got better .
    If you need the help of meds then this is your choice . They might work for you but not for others . To be honest though , the real road to recovery only starts by using acceptance . I am where I am today by using this acceptance and a bit of attitude towards anxiety . But by no means would I knock the potential initial benefits of meds . And to be totally honest here they are what probably saved my life !!! We all know exactly what anxiety can do to our fragile minds . So please all make your own choices regarding meds . But do also embrace your anxiety with accepting it .

    Good luck all and please Bryan is a very knowledgable gentleman on here that is within his right to his opinion .


  264. Debbie 2nd February 2016 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Hi nicola today been a bad day feeling axious like i want to scream and yell at people feeling angry.

  265. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    I was practising acceptance, it’s the depression caused by constant stress that I couldn’t cope with. I no longer wanted to. I’d had enough.

  266. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Debbie. I’m sorry to hear you felt bad today. I hope you have a better evening xx

  267. Bryan 2nd February 2016 at 9:23 pm - Reply


    Of course my experiences color my opinion, what person wouldn’t say that? I’ve also met with and spoken with hundreds of people and browsed thousands of stories of people who have been damaged by these drugs.

    When you say that my opinion isn’t “helpful”… To the contrary, I had someone been honest with me about the dangers of the drugs when the doctors gave them to me I would’ve avoided nearly dying and two additional years of suffering.

    So again, we can agree to disagree and you are free to take drugs if you choose to, but this does not give you a right to silence other people from giving their truth.

    And if people are in this delicate state you speak of, that’s all the more reason they should be made aware of what these drugs can do. Why would you want to shield someone from having the complete story about taking drugs if you purport to care about them?

    Again, this is my opinion and you don’t have to buy into it but it’s certainly not fair for one side to silence the other on this issue.

    I stand by what I posted, there are thousands of stories out there and a little bit of research will open most peoples eyes on this issue. If people preferred to keep their eyes closed to factual information, that is their own decision. My decision is to be honest about what the drugs did to me and what I have seen them do two scores of people.

    And I do not think your attempt to silence one side of a topic are helpful either. So again we can simply agreed to disagree. I’m going to continue to have and post my opinions and you can continue to have and post yours.

    If the goal here is to truly help people, van complete honesty from everyone involved should be welcomed. My honesty on this issue is to help people avoid suffering by having all of the information. I’m sorry if that doesn’t fit with your agenda

  268. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    How does scaring people with horror stories about meds help people?

  269. Jamie 2nd February 2016 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to check in as I have had a tough couple of days after having quite a good weekend.

    My ex-wife text me yesterday and said she wanted to get divorce proceedings underway (we have lived apart for 2 years so I guess it was on the cards). I do not have any feelings for her anymore but getting the text really increased my anxiety, worries and made me feel pretty down. Whether it is true or not, she said part of the reason she wanted to end it was because of my issues. I have my doubts about this as there were clues (these only highlighted after the event) that she had met someone else towards the end. I asked her this straight out and she denied it. She is with him now.

    Anyway, getting the text has dragged up all the thoughts like 1) did it end because of me ? 2) am I any further forward than 2 year ago ? 3) will I ever meet anyone else ? 4) what if she states my unreasonable behaviour as reason for divorce ? 5) what I have to go to court or to see a solicitor and be in a room with her ? etc etc. All / most of these thoughts are irrational but it has all come to the fore and given me a very bad tension headache last night and all of today due to ‘overthinking’.

    I had been seeing some signs of moving forward over the last couple of months so this has given me quite a knock.

    I will do my best to distance myself from the thoughts, just accept how I feel and not let me knock me off balance….

  270. Bryan 2nd February 2016 at 9:31 pm - Reply


    Thanks for the kind words. No need to dwell indeed. I offered an opinion. Nicola offered an opinion. People can choose for themselves. It’s a public blog where people meet and offer experiences. We can all benefit when we keep our minds open to the whole story IMO.

    Be well!

  271. Bryan 2nd February 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply


    I was divorced during my struggle, similar to your story. I now look at it as a blessing. Met the best woman I’ve ever been with and couldn’t be happier.
    When someone leaves you during the struggle, you learn all you need to know about that person.

    You will rise above this and I suspect look back in time and realize it happened for the best. Hang in there.

  272. Steve b 2nd February 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Bryan. It wouldn’t have been the drugs old chap. It was the fear of them. I can see that from your posts. For Julie it might be the shops, for someone else relationship anxiety. For you it was blaming all your problems on medication.

    A wise women once said to me that if you broke your leg would you worry about putting a cast on it. Would you worry about what the cast had done to your leg?

  273. Bryan 2nd February 2016 at 10:05 pm - Reply


    To the contrary, I was not afraid of drugs at all when they gave them to me. In fact I was like most people and figured it was the way to go. I didn’t have any education and no one had warned me about the potential dangers. I went from feeling bad and having normal levels of panic and anxiety to losing so much weight the doctors put me on a liquid diet, missing the only three weeks of work I’ve missed through this whole thing and forming gastritis among other elements, none of which happened before the drugs. I went from a 6 on a scale of 10 to a 10 AFTER taking the drugs. Coming off took months and I was worse than when I started. I could give more details but there are tens of thousands of similar stories out there if anyone simply wants to open their eyes.

    So unfortunately your story is inaccurate. I was not afraid of drugs, I was naïve and quite eager to “cure “my anxiety. So unfortunately your story is inaccurate. I was not afraid of drugs, I was naïve and quite eager to “cure “my anxiety. What happened was the worst months of my life and then dealing with the damage the drugs had created.

    So you have your facts wrong. And you don’t know me so I’m not sure why you would think you have any facts anyway?

    Had someone simply show me Paul’s blog and give me the right information instead of giving me drugs, I wouldn’t have suffered the way I did. I’m not sure why this is so hard for you to understand because you’ve heard the story around here from plenty of other people.

    And yes I am persistent but no more persistent than you who always seems to confront me when I offer my truth on this issue.

    Again, we all have our opinion on this issue and for one side to try to silence the other is not a sign of true caring.

  274. Doreen 2nd February 2016 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Reading Nicola’s helpful posts to others on the topic of acceptance it seems that she has a vey clear understanding of what it means and is feeling much better as a result.

  275. Doreen 2nd February 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Reading Nicola’s helpful posts to others on the topic of acceptance it seems to me that she has a good understanding of what it can mean and is feeling much better as a result.

  276. honey 2nd February 2016 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to say Thankyou to Colin and Belgian for replying to me the other day. It means a lot that I can come here for support when I most need it, so Thankyou both

  277. Bryan 2nd February 2016 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    True Doreen and I’m happy for that.

    And you should also mention Tim above who overcame being harmed by drugs and also understands Paul’s tecnique.

    Let’s not only support those who are pro-drugs, OK?

    Everyone here deserves to have their story heard.

  278. Nicola 2nd February 2016 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Actually I am not pro-drugs. I became aware that my depression was probably caused by chemical changes due to anxiety problems. I tried a hundred other things to rectify this before I reluctantly began taking anti-depressants. It was an act of desperation.

    For me, thankfully, they are helping to cope at this time.

    Thank you Doreen for your kind words

  279. jen 2nd February 2016 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    I think we all should just agree to disagree with the whole med situation. It works for some and not for others. I think what is being missed here is that this site is for encouragement and to help others in time of need. I don’t want to see this site closed because of the arguing. I come here for positivity. I am taking meds again and I hope and pray they will help take the edge off like the dr said for me to put all this into practice.

  280. Bryan 3rd February 2016 at 1:33 am - Reply

    I actually agree, Jen. Take drugs, or don’t take them… share your experience, and let’s talk about how it helped or hurt us.

    I’m always a little shocked at the attempts to censor one side or the other. We’re all adults… and in the name of helping one another, we should all be able to express our experiences with things in regards to recovery.

  281. Chris 3rd February 2016 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Haha oh noes, are we really going down this road with the meds discussion again. This is starting to look very familiar to the last thread. This sort of discussion just feeds peoples fear in my opinion, as anxiety sufferers are so suggestible. I know everyone here has good intentions when they comment, just saying 🙂

    But anyways that’s not why I’m here…

    Thanks for the reply Rik, Yeah you’re right, I’m overthinking things and asking too many questions. At the moment I have too much idle time on my hands so my over active imagination gets to reek havoc alot. I’ve just enrolled for a web design course and it looks like I will be moving cities to do this (pretty scary thought considering the severe state that I’m in), but I think this is going to help me alot.

    The one part of Paul’s advice I haven’t been putting into practice is ‘go out and live your life just as you would if you didn’t have anxiety’, well I’ve been sitting around all day mostly in my room, mainly only gaming and occasionally going out to visit friends. No wonder why I feel so depressed haha. So I’m going to go out and live an active lifestyle. I’m going to study web design and become the best I can possibly be at it. I’m going to go back to the gym and get in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I’m going to start creating music and I’m going to join a band again and get super famous (heh well that part is probably unrealistic), and I’m going to do all of the above, not to make me feel better, but because I am tired of letting anxiety dictate my life.

    As for my fears, I’m working on adopting a ‘so be it/whatever’ attitude. Instead of trying to prove them wrong by debating with them and playing games in my mind, I’m just going to let them do what they want.

  282. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Is dissociation a part of anxiety? Does anyone else get this?

  283. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Sounds like you have the right attitude Chris. Exercise helps me a lot xx

  284. Doreen 3rd February 2016 at 7:33 am - Reply

    This is what Bryan said, which I think reads far more strongly and critically than just putting his side of the story. He makes it as a statement of fact. Words like ‘drugging themselves’ are very pejorative and nowhere have a read such critical language from people who are using medication about those who aren’t.

    “These drugs have consequences and are generally nothing more than a temporary band aid which only makes the pain worse once you rip it off.

    So for anyone reading this… please understand that there are two sides to this story. Some may find temporary help by drugging themselves but many are made worse”

  285. Doreen 3rd February 2016 at 7:46 am - Reply

    With reference to my post above – that was one of the reasons I commented on Nicola being brave in her post about medication because I knew what she would get back in return.

  286. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Yes it was the drugging themselves comment that I found so upsetting. Made me feel like a failure.

  287. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 7:57 am - Reply

    And I’ve only ever done my very best.

  288. Belgian 3rd February 2016 at 9:30 am - Reply


    I do not want to silence you.

    You can share your experience, but if you would re-read your posts, you will have to admit that the language you use is harsh and not in the least bit moderate.

    You make it sound as if medication is always making things worse and that the danger is so significant it outweighs any possible positive effects. In fact, it seems you are on a crusade against medication and crusades are most of the time misplaced..

    I can only tell you that here in Belgium a recent study has shown that around 10% of the population is on anti-depressants. If the risk would be so high as you indicate, a staggering amount of people here should be housebound, suicidal or even hospitalized. This isn’t the case.

    Fact is that these anti-depressants are probably prescribed too quickly, but that’s because in a lot of cases they are the only thing we have… They do save lives.

    Where it goes wrong is when there isn’t an adequate follow-up by a medical team. For example, anti-depressants in the beginning MIGHT make you feel worse and sometimes it takes a while to find the right medication for you. Also, you can never stop taking them on your own accord. A medically trained person should always guide you through this.

    I am taking fluoxetine for more than one year now as at that time I was so lost that working on my anxiety was simply impossible. In the beginning they did make me feel worse, but I was warned for this so I knew it was to be expected.

    Furthermore, I was also explained that these anti-depressants would never be a solution to my anxiety. They are simply there to make it able to work on your anxiety related issues. They lift the bar a little bit so you don’t get overwhelmingly panicky too soon.

    This is very important as this indicates that you should still work on your problems.

    I know I am very lucky to live in a modern country with excellent affordable health care and acknowledge that this isn’t always the case, f.e. in the US.

  289. Rik 3rd February 2016 at 10:49 am - Reply


    That is a fantastic attitude.

    I try my best to get out and do everything but find it very hard due to a feeling of total flatness and detachment. I think this is DP. It is like I feel lost to myself at the moment.

    I am still going swimming and trying to see people when I can though and haven’t missed a day of work yet.

    If anybody else has had DP is that what they found with it? That they felt like they could not access their personality at all? I feel almost drunk at times and just not myself.

  290. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Yes Rik, I’ve had DP/DR, it’s caused by an over stressed mind trying to make you feel better by disconnecting you a little from your surroundings. Unfortunately for anxious people this only makes things worse. I had it for two days recently and just felt like nothing was real. I knew what was happening, I accepted it and it passed. Just remember it is the anxiety, accept it will pass and calmly carry on. You’ll be ok!! It will go xx

  291. Rich 3rd February 2016 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Once again everyone, please consider the wider audience of this blog and the longevity of your posts put on here before commenting and entering into specific discussions with specific people.

    Everyone has the right to their opinion but negative and unsupportive comments will be removed as they do not serve to benefit the wider audience of this blog long-term.

  292. Rik 3rd February 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Thank you Nicola. I feel this contributes massively to me feeling so depressed at times or at least thinking thats what it is as I can’t seem to access who I am and what I love and when I look at things I used to love there is no emotion there at all and things dont seem real. It is hugely frustrating. I am trying to just let it be there and allowing myself to feel this way now. Not easy at times when it is coupled with very scary thoughts or depressing type thoughts. My major fear when all this started was depression and so you can imagine the thoughts that pop up all the time when I feel so out of it.

    I feel a bit dizzy, drunk and disconnected all the time at the moment with the exception of an hour or so in the evening when I am far calmer. Sometimes I find it very hard to believe that it is anxiety doing it to me and that my normal feelings will ever come back.

    I should know better though as I have been through this before albeit I don’t remember it being this bad.

    This morning I woke with extreme anxiety again but I simply let it be there. I have been doing this for a little while now. After a bad nights sleep last Sunday I felt absolutely awful. My whole body was vibrating and I was a mess all day but I still went to see a friend for a while and took my daughter swimming. It was all very difficult with the level of disconnect going on.

    I am determined to get through this though no matter what it throws at me. It is weird as it is like I somehow know that once I am back to a normal mind state and not a stressed and anxious one that all the things I am worrying about or the thoughts I am having just wont matter any more. It’s like I know that this isn’t the real me and it is just my anxiety doing what it does. Of course I doubt at times though.

  293. Chris 3rd February 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

    You’re not a failure for taking meds Nicola, I’ve been on them short term and I can see many others here have been on them too.

    Thanks Rik. I’m doing my best to maintain this attitude, it’s hard when I get into those depressive states but I have some direction in life now so I’m feeling good about that. I think I’m close to a point now where I’m ready to stop trying to recover and just start living with anxiety/dp regardless.

    That is definitely DP you are experiencing. I’m the same, my personality is nowhere to be found at this given point and time, and I can only very rarely experience positive emotions. I’m very flat most of the time. I can still feel sort of happy, but it feels kind of fake/empty. Very weird! Definitely no feelings of being content that’s for sure. And the drunk feeling yep that has recently come back too, the physical side of it is something that I hadn’t experienced in a long time actually, but to be honest it doesn’t bother me too much.

  294. jen 3rd February 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Don’t feel bad Nicola your not a failure at all. I’m on meds to and I think it’s the best for me. Let’s all just try and help each other. I know I need encouragement I’m going through alot right now with this anxiety and letting my worries take over which now in return is only focusing on myself and nothing else.

  295. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Hi Rik, yes anxiety has a terrible way of making you feel that your fear of your thoughts are justified and so your brain wants to keep picking at them, and yet our brains are so very tired that this is why we have this anxiety in the first place. It’s a nasty cycle. You have to trust that no matter how bad you feel or how bad the thoughts seem – it is anxiety playing its tricks. When my brain has a nagging need to keep picking away at thoughts I now don’t let it, and when I truly accept I feel surprisingly quickly connected to the world again. You’re not alone buddy 🙂

  296. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Thank you Jen, thank you Chris x

  297. Rik 3rd February 2016 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the support guys. It really does help. Today actually feels a bit better than yesterday which is great. I am trying not to place any importance on that though and just carrying on accepting and allowing. I got a better nights sleep so that almost certainly helped.

    DP and obsessive thoughts are by far the most annoying symptom for me. It has been constant for weeks and feels like my mind just totally shuts off all emotion and feeling leaving me feeling like a shell. When I have a down thought there is nothing good to come back with due to the DP and just not feeling like me at the moment. I think I will just let the thoughts do as they please and put my trust in the knowledge that once I am back to normal these things will just not matter any more or they will at least be dealt with in a rational way by my brain instead of nothing but fear and belief.

  298. Jamie 3rd February 2016 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the reply Bryan.

    As my ex and I have a daughter and I have my daughter regularly, I find this very difficult. Staying in contact with my ex by text and seeing her when I pick up or collect my daughter is very tough. Whenever i get a text it makes me anxious and also when I see her. This makes me frustrated that she still has an effect on me after all this time. I then criticise myself for still having the issues that she originally cited as part of the reason the marriage was over.

    If we had not had a child together and I could have made a clean break 2 years ago and I’d not had constant reminders of her, I can’t help but think that I would be further forward than I am.

  299. Bryan 3rd February 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply


    Exact same here. We have a daughter and she was about 6 when we split.
    We did a very slow and cautious transition and she’s doing great now. She lived more with me but sees her mom a few days a week. She’s adjusted nicely which was my chief concern. There is no hatred or drama between my ex and I and none of that will trickle down to the little one. My suggestion is Thant you do your best to just focus on taking great care of your daughter through this and when time allows… This is a topic you can work through in therapy.

    Again, I don’t know you but listen to your story sounds very familiar and my guess is that you gain more perspective as time goes on here and eventually end up looking at this as a blessing. Keep doing the recovery work and do your best not to blame yourself because obviously, that’s ridiculous. No one would choose to be in that state.

    You’ll come out on top. You just need time.

  300. Bryan 3rd February 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    And my last comment on the drugs issue… no one said anyone was a “failure” who took drugs. I was given them. Am I a failure because they harmed me and I didn’t know the dangers? Of course not.

    This is such an emotional issue for people but the bottom line is it comes down to being informed, and if the concern here is for the wider audience, then absolutely people should know all possible outcomes before considering drug use. That’s not a criticism or a failure or any other unnecessarily emotional reaction, it’s simply factual that people should understand the benefits and potential risks when considering anything of this nature. It’s really just common sense.

    Aome here who took drugs without issue have felt free to purvey this information. It would be uncaring and frankly bizarre not to respect the many who have had negative experiences. Why would we choose to silence those who have been harmed? Does that “protect” the next potential user who is wondering what the true outcome might be?

    We can have this discussion without resorting to name calling or overreactions.
    It’s the right and decent thing to do to consider EVERYone, not just half.

  301. Rik 3rd February 2016 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    I have to say I agree Bryan. It can sometimes come across wrong on a medium such as a blog but everyone is entitled to an opinion and as long as it is expressed respectfully there should be no issue. I feel it is such an emotive subject that it will always end up with crossed words but as long as it can be kept civil there is no problem.

  302. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Is paranoia a part of anxiety? Anyone else get it? Or dissociation?

  303. Nicola 3rd February 2016 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I don’t have paranoia btw….

  304. Colin 3rd February 2016 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Hello ALL
    Can I make an observation. I have noticed quite a lot when a new post from someone who hasn’t posted or is new to the blog is no replied to . Could we all make a concerted effort to either answer or welcome them to this wonderful place ? We all know how difficult it is to express our thoughts on this subject , especially when we are new etc . So glad we are all here helping and offering support ( arguing lol ) about all the issues that go with this subject . The one thing u always notice on here is how articulate you lot are ! Strange how anxiety or this blog seems to attract a more understanding bunch of people . No foul language is used on here . Or have I just never seen it ?
    Let’s all spread the word on acceptance being the best way forward for recovery of anxiety and all that goes with it .
    Good luck with our journey folks !


  305. Debbie 3rd February 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Colin you are the best !such a peace maker.

  306. Rik 3rd February 2016 at 8:00 pm - Reply


    I think it could be because the newer members posts are waiting to get moderated so when they finally come onto the blog once approved people may not scroll all the way back up to see them. If I felt it was something I could offer help with I would certainly or at least welcome them.

  307. Jamie 3rd February 2016 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    I think a “reply” option to an each individual comment would be a great addition but I don’t know how easy to add that would be

  308. Jamie 3rd February 2016 at 8:38 pm - Reply


    Wow – we do have similarities as my daughter would have been 6 when we split too. Where are you based ?

    My ex has turned into someone I just don’t recognise now and when she initially said she had reservations about our marriage at the end of 2013, my anxiety went through the roof. The thing that sticks with me is she was not the slightest bit interested, supportive or sympathetic at that time but as you say, it is obviously for the best that we have split.

    May I ask if you would class yourself as completely ‘recovered’ now ? What suddenly made the whole ‘acceptance’ and living with it click with you ?

  309. Peter 3rd February 2016 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    I think there should be a forum. Why not? I know it was tried once a long time ago, but it’s not a bad idea if properly moderated.

  310. Bryan 3rd February 2016 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Hey Jamie,

    I’m not recovered as in 100% symptom free but have improved immensely from the dark times for sure. Most days are pretty good. I have some stinkers and setbacks but I’m ok with that. Life is good… I just may not feel perfect all the time. I spend more time helping people than asking for help anymore so I suppose that’s a good sign.

    Acceptance didn’t click for me so much as I had to just practice over and over and get on with life. It’s been a slow recovery for me partly due to various circumstances like meds… divorce… hectic work demands etc. But alas… I’m grateful to be feeling better and I’m better for having gone through it.

    So I know right where you are. I was in the thick of it when my ex lost interest in things. Showed her true colors and that’s fine. Like I said, I hit the girlfriend lottery after that so things worked out. lol. Seriously thiugh, I cringe now thinking back to what I put up with. But I got a beautiful daughter out of it who is happy and healthy so it all worked out and it will for you too. Mark my words. You’ll look back and be glad this happened some day. Not glad for the pain but glad for the end results.

  311. jen 4th February 2016 at 1:25 am - Reply

    Hi Rik. I had dp I believe and never really the worrying thoughts only so much self awareness I was getting better with thr accepted center and bam the worry thoughts came flooding on in after a something that put me in a set back. Now all I have are these worrying thoughts however the dp has gone. I think it’s because I stopped focusing on it. I would read others say this but never could but it to effect until it happened. I don’t know what’s worse worrying thoughts or dp. I’m hoping they calm down and I can think rationally. What do you do for your thoughts? How do you not let them bother you? I sometimes can brush thrm off but then get the same thought and play right into its trick.

  312. Albert 4th February 2016 at 8:52 am - Reply

    What is the difference between accepting an intrusive thought and ignoring it or dismissing it ?
    My main problem is the amount of intrusive thoughts i get (100 s a day) and im having a certain amount of success but when i get a lot of them in find im “dismissing” them ,im unsure if this is the way to go ?

  313. Rik 4th February 2016 at 9:16 am - Reply


    For my thoughts I just do my best to let them go and assign them to anxiety rather than me. It is incredibly hard when I am very anxious but yesterday I had a good day and found it much easier.


    Accepting is basically ignoring it. You don’t technically need to ‘do’ anything. Just let the thought come and then let it fizzle out on its own. It is very hard at first but with practise it gets easier. When we are tired or very anxious it can be very hard to do but just keep doing it as best you can.

  314. Nicola 4th February 2016 at 11:42 am - Reply

    If it helps anyone, exercise burns any excess adrenaline the body stores in the muscles. I do cardio everyday and it helps a lot xx

  315. jen 4th February 2016 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rik. It sure is hard when they feel so real and then they spiral to the worst case and give you that fear and before you know it you are playing into it. It’s hard to see them.for what they are when you are anxious.

  316. Rik 4th February 2016 at 2:56 pm - Reply


    I know exactly what you mean. It can feel so hard to just let them pass by but it is essential. If you catch yourself getting sucked in just make the decision to let them go again.

  317. Bryan 4th February 2016 at 3:23 pm - Reply


    Dismissing is perfectly fine, and is really just a form of acceptance.

    To me acceptance is simply defined as any non-fighting state.

    We’re not always going to like something (like a symptom) but we can allow it to be there/pass without engaging and getting tangled in a battle.

    Dismissing to me sounds like…. “Eh… I don’t have time to fuss with this stuff.”
    Which is terrific and sends the brain a great message.

  318. Jamie 4th February 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply


    I have found going on dates with people since my split incredibly difficult due to my anxiety (worrying how I may feel, come across, I may get panicky etc) and the idea of entering into a relationship with someone absolutely massive also.

    How did you find it Bryan if you don’t mind me asking ?

    People say to me “don’t you find going on dates with people exciting” ? Little do they know….

  319. Colin 4th February 2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Jamie
    I haven’t had to experience what you are asking Bryan . But I do understand that it might seem a massive thing , but also might be beneficial as part of your recovery ? As doing all the things and just carrying on as normal is what we want to be doing. Yes you might feel panicky 1st time but I bet after you have done it , you will wonder why you were worrying!
    Go out there mate and try it and I promise through no experience on the dating but what I did . Accept how you may feel get out there , do the norm and start living and loving life again !!! Please give it a go ?


  320. Sue 4th February 2016 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Can anyone explain why I am a lot better than I was and a lot of my intrusive thoughts have gone but every now and again On e or too creep back in and it is as though my mind wants me to carry on keeping them alive.
    The other morning I woke up and thought I had nothing to think about and nothing to worry about and by the time I had had my breakfast I had thought various anxious thoughts again as a form of habit. these thoughts are the same all the time and I wonder how I will ever stop thinking them.

  321. Rik 4th February 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Sue,

    Having beaten intrusive thoughts in the past I can tell you that the goal is not to never have them again but instead to not react if you do. It is not realistic to want to never have them again as even people who have never had anxiety get them.

    I am in the throes of anxiety again and i am again dealing with awful intrusive thoughts but not of the same type as last time as well as bad dp.

    This evening i sat and just allowed it all and sure enough after a while the dp faded and the thoughts slowed down. I consider this a huge success. I far from recovered right now but will keep going.

    What you have to remember is that these thoughts are deeply ingrained in your mind due to just how much you thought them and it takes time for these neural pathways to be severed.

    My advice would be dont go looking for them and just allow more time to pass and remember that you dont need to stop having them. Just to not give them the time of day anymore.

  322. Albert 4th February 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Appreciate your reply Bryan.
    My thoughts are lessening, but just when you think you have cracked it , they (the thoughts)try and sneak back, there very cunning
    For example, i havent been out for a meal for a while, the thought suddenly came into my head “What if you havent been for a meal because deep down your scared of having a panic attack when out for a meal”
    My response was dont be so stupid, but by doing this it “locked” the thought in, i then started thinking, “yes, maybe just maybe i might be scared of having a panic attack when out for a meal, should i now go out for a meal to prove i can handle it”
    Cunningly i had been “sucked ” into reacting to the intrusive thought, which i now cant seem to shake off.
    It can be so hard to accept my thoughts
    Any advice anyone ?

  323. Rik 4th February 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply


    I have posted a few times on this blog entry regarding intrusive thoughts. It is something I suffered immensely with last year. It may help you to have a look. Long story short is just let the thought come and do nothing with it. You dont even need to respond to it. Just let ut fade out again.

  324. Chris 5th February 2016 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Hi everyone. Apologies in advance, definitely not intended as a ‘pity party’ post. Just been having a rough day. I literally can’t experience any positive emotions. I feel very low/depressed, fearful and I’m very grumpy most of the time… haha. It’s strange, but the world looks lifeless and I feel like an empty shell. It’s a dark experience and I feel as though I’m completely lost. It’s feels like I’m only functioning at 50%, and I get a sense that I’m carrying some sort of burden with me. My thoughts are constantly inward too, and they are pretty negative. Luckily I haven’t lost my creative edge and I’m still writing good music, but there’s no real enjoyment in it. I was at a party earlier but I decided to leave, as I couldn’t really engage in any conversations as I had no interest and was feeling very self concious… I also felt quite off balance and spaced out, but these are physical symptoms and they don’t bother me as much.

    Sorry if this is negative, but can someone please assure me that the above falls under the anxiety/dp umbrella? I guess these feelings are my biggest hurdle, and I still can’t muster up the courage to fully accept them. Thanks all.

  325. Rik 5th February 2016 at 11:02 am - Reply


    I have been feeling the same stuff as you buddy. Things that used to hold enjoyment currently feel flat to me. I do think it is to do with the stress our minds are under. I am just allowing it to be there. I have had some moments today of actually feeling ok and laughing at work despite feeling a little not with it. Now I feel a bit flat again but I also started thinking more so I assume it is DP and the constant inward thinking that is the cause. I am not fighting with any of it. If I feel a bit fed up or flat then it is little wonder really given that I have done nothing but stress out for the last 2 months!

    One thing I do remind myself of is if I am scared or anxious how can I possibly expect myself to enjoy something? During times of extremely high stress our minds will shut down our emotions and make us feel flat. This is quite well known.

    I actually nearly posted myself about this about half an hour ago to ask anybody if the enjoyment comes back eventually. I would be interested to hear if the rest of you suffer with these kinds of feelings when you are anxious.

  326. Chris 5th February 2016 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    I’d definitely be interested to hear too actually. The anxiety is one thing, but it’s the emotional side I still really struggle with. It makes sense, that we are under such stress that all our positive emotions are drained. But it just feels so overwhelming sometimes, that emotional pain can really feel soul destroying. Yesterday I had a great day with letting the thoughts be there, today, well they really did knock me down and I got that desperate kind of depressive feeling, can anybody relate to this? It really is hard to put into words, but it’s such a dark place. It feels like total defeat. Boy I’m painting a lovely picture aren’t I, haha.

    Oh and Rik, from personal experience after previously getting out of setbacks, the enjoyment definitely comes back.

  327. Rik 5th February 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply


    The emotional side is what really knocked me off this time around. I started with anxiety then after a few weeks I noticed I had a complete lack of enjoyment in anything and felt very flat. I think this is where the DP really kicked in to be honest and it has hung around since. This then produced heaps more anxiety as I started analysing why. Big mistake lol.

    Now I am simply letting myself feel however I do and letting my thoughts just come and go. I know that when the anxiety and DP are gone I will not be remotely bothered by such thoughts. Funnily enough I was sat in work today and the other guy next to me (who has no anxiety at all) turned around and said ‘god I can’t be bothered with anything today’. Exactly how I have felt at times due to being so anxious and stressed and yet he was not anxious or anything like that. The difference between me and him is that I feel the need to find a reason why I feel like that and he just doesn’t care. It is his attitude that we should be aiming for with anxiety symptoms including thoughts. To just be and not care about the whys and wherefores. This is how we give our minds and bodies the break they need.

    If we didn’t care about the symptoms any more there would be no more anxiety 🙂

  328. Bryan 5th February 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply


    I actually waited quite a while to start dating mostly because I was just sun a wreck from the stress disorder and withdrawal. As I got better physically and the sickness/anxiety lessened the thoughts of normal living (i.e dating) returned.

    There’s no rush. Give yourself time and space to get your legs under you and build confidence. You’ll enjoy dating again and it’s a great feeling when you do. But It takes time to put the acceptance tools and stress reduction in place.
    Go easy on yourself and let that confidence build back up.

  329. Andy J 5th February 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply


    I’ve got a few quick things to ask, as I am still struggling with the concepts.

    When we say ‘accept’, what exactly are we accepting? Am I accepting that I have intrusive thoughts? Am I accepting that I have an anxiety condition?

    In my mind, to gain peace, I need to understand the mechanics and logic of what is going on, otherwise I am basically saying ‘I am accepting’ without even know what I am doing and hoping to get some reassurance from it.

    As I have specific concerns, should I not be looking in to how they came about and why I have them? Should I not be looking to how I can convince myself otherwise?

    Im fortunate in so much as I dont have any physical symptoms. I dont get the tight chest or shakes or headaches. My symptoms are all mental. The constant mind chatter, the constant over analysing, the feelings of being down.

    How can you allow a thought to naturally remove itself? If you think something terrible, it isnt going to go away of its own accord is it? You have to think about something else to replace it. So how do I manage to do that without trying to?

    I know theres a fair few things raised, but if any one could help I’d be grateful.



  330. honey 5th February 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I find that I really procrastinate because I have lost faith in thus method. This setback has lasted months now and almost a year on and off. The only difference in before when I was feeling better is that I believed in the method. I’m almost like what’s the point in trying to recover when it’s not even possible. My own mind is completely holding me back. Instead of re reading the book and taking it on board with belief it works I’m googling for people who have fully recovered. There aren’t many out there and that just reinforces my procrastination. Also I keep getting this strange feeling. It just comes over me and robs me of the ability to be rational and positive.
    Chris I think I sum experiencing the same thing as you. It comes over me from nowhere and it’s like a feeling of loss, grief or heartache and hopelessness. Like oh yes I’m still ill and anxious. How hopeless. I’ve started a mindfulness course too and I’m getting thoughts during practice that I’m just wasting my time and that even if I improve I’ll never fully recover. I’m actually just doing the mindfulness to enjoy the present more do I keep having to remind myself of this. Anyone relate?

  331. honey 5th February 2016 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Andy I think by acceptance the idea is in our behaviour more than anything. Opposite to emotion action. Behaviour is the only thing we have any control over because our thoughts do what they want as do our emotions. So accept thoughts for being there and I guess try not to get involved with them in an internal argument. Also accept your emotions and don’t change what you are doing because your feeling anxious. For example I wake up feeling anxious and automatically turn to google to work it all out or sit in bed feeling like crap and brooding. I know that I’ll feel a bit better if I get up and get on with what needs doing around the house or get ready for work on time but old habits die hard. The habit is the behaviour not he thought. Remember we cannot control thoughts or think our way out of this. So we should get up, read a book, watch tv, do something that isn’t about anxiety to train our minds that there is no real threat. I’m learning mindfulness at the moment and the idea is to accept thoughts as they are. Perhaps label the thought ‘oh look heres indecisiveness’ or whatever and go back to what you were doing. You need to do this a hundred times sometimes but the more you do it the more natural it becomes. You might benefit from learning the concepts of mindfulness. It’s acceptance of thoughts and eventually they come less because you get used to just being aware of them and not caught up in them. Hope that helps

  332. Rik 5th February 2016 at 4:43 pm - Reply


    How far has analysis of your thoughts got you so far? How far has trying to convince yourself got you? The involvement and fear of these thoughts is what got you into this mess and what is keeping you there.

    These thoughts are not you. They are what you fear. You have to put the trust into just allowing them to be there and they WILL slow down and lose importance and you WILL begin to recover. You dont need to think of other things. This will happen naturally over time. It is called obsession for a reason.

    You must just allow the thought to come in and then just dont do anything with it. Nothing at all. Ignore it completely and do whatever you were doing. Normal people get the odd weird thought but the difference is they realise it was nothing and forget. You were sensitized and so you thought the most catastrophic thing you could and the fear was created. This then led to more fear, more checking for thoughts, more thoughts, more fear etc etc etc. The cycle goes on until you are prepared to take the risk to ignore them. As you begin to do this the confidence in yourself will build back up and you will realise this was all just anxiety playing its tricks.

    I know how hard it is. I have been there.


    There are likely millions of people who have recovered from anxiety. How many of them do you think would like to remember about it or go online to write about it? Most will either move on with their lives naturally or simply want to forget about it.

    I understand your frustration as I am in a setback myself but you must try to keep the faith and keep moving forwards. The blog is here to support you when you need it. Everybody will have doubts and harder periods. If you can move past these then who knows what is around the corner? This setback could be the last you ever have. You could be just under the surface of the water about to burst free. Every bit of literature I have ever read on anxiety always says that the way to get past anxiety is always through it so keep pushing on. You could have a great week next week that will restore some of that faith.

  333. marie 5th February 2016 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone/Nolan, this is the first time writing on this. About a year ago or more I suffered with insomnia really bad to the point not sleeping nights in a row and having to call in sick to work and feeling panicky going to bed constant thoughts about sleep and feeling heart racing and sick to my stomach. And then I was Thinking early this week how far I’ve come I sleep like a baby and then all of a sudden I’m in insomnia mode again and had a few hours sleep few nights and no sleep at all last night and now I cant stop worrying and panicking!!.. How did I manage to overcome it the first time cause I feel I’m not strong enough and this is so hard.. I keep thinking if I dont sleep what will happen to me health wise?.. What if I never sleep again (I know stupid but you know what anxiety’s like) will I get depressed?. And I was practically recovered until till this week started Sunday and I feel I’m worse than before is this a setback even year or more later is that possible!? And when I’m going to go to sleep its like I’m watching myself try to fall to sleep and its really off putting.. Sorry if this doesn’t make much sense rant and a half! Nolan if you are about I’d really appreciate your encouraging words I know you had a tough time with this.. I overcome this just forgot what I practiced. I dont want to take medication or sleeping pills in too scared to take them and don’t think they solve the problem. Thanks guys Marie

  334. Andy J 5th February 2016 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Rik and Honey,

    Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to me. I appreciate it.

    I guess its taking that leap without needing reassurance. Unfortunately I have always needed someone there to tell me that what I am doing is right, in most forms of my life.

    Whenever I get a set back, or have a particularly scary thought, it really does knock me and my confidence. I’ve said on here before, but each one still is like having it for the first time again. The whole acting on them possibility absolutely petrifies me too.

    Hope you all have a good weekend.


  335. Mark r 5th February 2016 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Hi all,

    Not posted on here for a while to be honest. The reason being I wanted a break from forums and therapy and just crack on with life. I have been having bi-weekly therapy sessions with an ACT therapist which has been a great help along with the advice on here. We agreed a few weeks ago that I should see him once a month now. He wants me to push myself everyday and do something outside my comfort zone, I made it my daily purpose to do this. In the last few weeks I’ve been doing things I’ve been avoiding since mid October when anxiety/sensitization appeared in my life again. So I’ve been to a busy city centre, 2 football (soccer) games, a trip to London and back plus a few other things. I basically do the opposite of what my anxious mind tells me to.

    Since I have pushed myself I’ve seen times of peace, normality, being me etc. go from a few mins to actual days. I had pretty much a straight two weeks of having normal thoughts and a normal anxiety level. Even on days where I have had higher symptoms ive been pretty upbeat and chirpy, singing silly songs, cracking jokes etc..

    I’ve noticed that the clouds are starting to part but I like to think that this is fundamentally down to me doing things regardless of how I feel, and showing my brain that I don’t need its protection.

    Unfortunately this week has been littered with days where I feel downtrodden and depressed. I find those particularly difficult to deal with as the chirpyness and outside interest seems to go out the window. I’m trying to see it as a positive sign though as they appear to be dotted around rather than 24/7 like a few months ago. I only really check the blog now when I feel ultra crap so thats another good sign really.

    Hope everyone else is chugging along nicely.


  336. Jamie 5th February 2016 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Brilliant news Mark r. If staying away from the blog helps then continue to do so but I’m glad you checked in.

    I can relate to the ‘pushing yourself’ parts. Leading up to and during these events, they seem terrifying but part way through and afterwards you realise it wasn’t actually that bad.

  337. honey 5th February 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Mark r good to hear things are improving. Remember that the bad days in between good days come because the messages just need reinforcing so just keep pushing through like you are.

    Thank you Rik I really need to push through all this as I know with behavioural work because I’m aware that this is the only way forward, just doing things without consuming myself in anxiety and saying no to urges to fix things and work it all out in my head. I sincerely hope you’re right about recovered sufferers. I hope one day if I ever recover I can help others.

  338. sue 5th February 2016 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    I have had a good day intrusive thought wise and have not had one negative thought. I felt a bit panicky at tea time but it went. I got some good news and got excited and wham a horrible thought came into my head. there is no rhyme or reason why it does that. Anyway I did not let it get to me I am going out now and not dwelling on it as its not true. One day they will just stop coming I hope.

  339. Rik 5th February 2016 at 7:20 pm - Reply


    If you need reassurance on this then who better than those who have been through it before 🙂 Put your trust in the advice that we who have been there give you.


    Very happy to hear you are improving. When i was just watching the blog and not posting i was hoping for progress for you. Keep up the great work.


    Again excellent news. Having a tough time myself but it is because I am pushing myself and accepting. Remember. Its not the absense of the thoughts but your reaction to them that counts.

  340. Albert 5th February 2016 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Re intrusive thoughts
    I could do with a bit of advice:
    Ive had driving anxiety/panic for quite a while, basically anxiety about motorways and driving in the rush hour.Its not the roads which is the problem but the amount of traffic.
    My understanding is to conquer this fear i must face it to beat it, so i have been going out of my way to conquer it, ie if i need to get to a certain place, instead of taking the easiest route i purposely go out of my way to find the most anxiety inducing route. Each time i do this i dont feel any relief as i feel
    im “testing myself.” and building myself upto fail
    Im wondering whether i am doing this wrong and instead of “looking”
    for anxiety i should just take the easiest route, and if i need to go to a place that is outside of my comfort zone then face the fear then.The reason i say this is when i have “had” to go to a certain place ie:take my son to a function i did it fine, yet when i “tested” myself on the same route, i had massive anxiety.
    Complicated, but any help would be appreciated

  341. Mark r 5th February 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks Rik and Jamie,

    Feeling better was a combination of pushing myself and peeling away from the blog. Naturally how I feel becomes less important and matters less. As I posted above I’ve had a terrible few days so mattering has cropped up again as its hard to be external. As I’ve had some good times I’m taking them with a huge pinch of salt as I know that I’m on the right track and peace is in me underneath the turmoil.

    Don’t want to spend too much time on here so I’ll check back in a month or so.

  342. Debbie 5th February 2016 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Hi rik can dp feel like your mind keeps putting u in another location or street than you are and a creepy feeling comes over you it just happened to me.thanks or anyone else have this.

  343. jen 5th February 2016 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Chris and Rik, you guys have explained alot how I have been feeling off and on. The very low depressed mood. You described it well Chris when you said like your carrying around a heavy burden. It scares me sometimes how low it gets because I have never felt this way in my life. Most of my physical symptoms have lifted I had alot but now it seems just mental. The thoughts of what if this or what if that are so hard to not entertain because of how real the feeling feels. I keep reminding myself kind of what Rik said about once the anxiety goes or settles down so will my thinking. But right now it’s hard to stay positive sometimes. I had a great night last night and felt completely normal it was amazing. But when I woke up thr doom and gray cloud was over my head again. Ugh. I guess one day this all will be gone. Just don’t know when

  344. Chris 6th February 2016 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Hi Jen.

    Yeah I know how hard it can be, sometimes it just completely saps our motivation and our will to live. And then it can suddenly just lift. I find that in general I am a lot better at night time. Mornings for me are definitely the worst!

    Thanks for the reassurance Rik. It looks like we are both going through something very similar. I’m sure things will get better for us!

    I’m definitely not having a good time with the thoughts at the moment, but I’m doing my best not to engage with them. I guess this is going to take time. I have had the ‘drugs messed me up’ thought back in my mind for the last few days which I find very discouraging and emotionally painful. It’s saying things like ‘you never came right’ which isn’t true, but anxiety makes be believe the thoughts regardless. We really cannot trust our thoughts in this state. I was thinking about actually seeing a therapist for this issue, but I’m hesitant because I think it might just reinforce that particular fear.

  345. jen 6th February 2016 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Chris I as well feel better at night. During the day I’m tired and don’t want to so much. I feel at work is the hardest for me for some reason. I’m not sure if there is more memory of suffering there or what but it seems to be worse at work. Yes it gets hard feeling down like this. I have never had a depression feeling before I know mine mostly from how this anxiety has made me feel and how it seems to have to have robbed me of who I was for awhile. I know and have faith that once this anxiety is more under control and settles down that feeling will too. It’s so odd where one min I can be perfectly normal feel like my old self like I have never gone through any of this and then thr next the thoughts, anxious feeling, and doubt come rushing in and it feels like you don’t know how feeling good feels like. Do you guys ever feel that way? I’m trying to stay positive and lean on god to help me as well. I know I’ll be delivered from this I just have to believe. I think this medication I have started seems to be working a little bit to which I’m happy about. I know it’s not the answer but if it can help me get to thr right place to put all this into practice then I’m happy with that.

  346. jen 6th February 2016 at 2:59 am - Reply

    I guess I should clarify my statement of me saying that the depressing feeling scares me sometimes. After rereading it, that’s not truly how I feel about it. It doesn’t scare me it is more as I feel its draining, hard to deal with feeling and over welming would be a good word for it. I know it’s just part of the anxiety. I have been getting good at brushing that feeling away and not playing into it. But it does drain you of any motovation towards anything. Just wanted to clarify. See there goes my perfectionist and worry wort side of me thinking that I worded it wrong and wanted to say it right and not have someone think something of me that I didn’t mean to say. Ugh I guess I can say I don’t like that feeling but I am learning to handle it and deal with it thr best way I know how.

  347. Rik 6th February 2016 at 8:48 pm - Reply


    I am the same. Feel decent at night and then awful in the morning. Today the morning was a nightmare. Got woken at 5am by my wife getting up for work and then doing a darn exercise dvd downstairs before she went. Not the best start to the day. Had my little girl all day which always makes me worse as thoughts can centre around her which i hate.

    Despite feeling terrible i took her to the local pub for dinner with my sister in law and her boyfriend. While i was there i felt immensely derealised which makes everything feel so much worse. I managed to eat my dinner and didnt resist any of it and just accepted it all.

    When i came home i was exhausted so led on the sofa and played with my daughter a bit while relaxing.

    After a while i started to feel better. Like my brain had realised i had faced the danger and there was no need to worry anymore.

    Now i feel quite a lot better. Still not 100 with it but i am very tired. I havent been reading about anxiety etc today either. Just came on here now to post.

    Hope everyone is doing well and keeping uo the acceptance.

    Quick question. Do you guys find when you are trying to get back to sleep in the morning that you have loads of weird thoughts? Not sure if i am half asleep or not but it freaks me out a bit at times.

  348. Debbie 6th February 2016 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Hi rik is derealisation when you physicslly somewhere but your brain keeps putting u somewhere else .like driving on a road you feel like your on another road somewhere else.

  349. Rik 6th February 2016 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    For me i feel like the world is not real and that nothing means anything. I feel empty and like i cant feel anything or feel love for those i know i love like i am just not me in that moment. It is horrible. My vision seems odd and my intrusive thoughts are horrendous at those times like my brain is freaking out. The other day i had a moment where i was driving down a road ive driven thousands of times and all of a sudden i didnt recognise it. Very freaky. I knew what it was though so just let it go. That is all we can really do as otherwise we are adding further stress to a mind that is already blasted and needs a break.

    I can tell i have just put my mind through so much and the lack of sleep really amplified it like crazy. Looking forward to sleep this eve. Just hope my wife doesnt wake me up again.

  350. Colin 6th February 2016 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Jen that’s a sensible statement as fearing it won’t help . I sometimes in the past say when feeling slightly anxious , thought to myself that God am going to suffer this hell all my life ! But staying strong and believing that so what if I feel like this was the key to me feeling better . Yes I might suffer anxiety all
    My life ! But it’s how I accept the anxiety that really matters . If I don’t give it much time then honestly it doesn’t have much of a say to how I feel . But like everyone on here , sometimes I give it a space in my head and it’s starts to manifest it’s self . Just accept that it’s there but don’t engage it . I think that’s the key to accepting and success !!!!

  351. Derrick 7th February 2016 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Colin – Your description of feeling like it would never end is something I can relate to very well. As you say, the relief comes when you no longer care if it lasts for the rest of your life. Ironically, when I have successfully adopted that attitude in the past and just get on with life, things settle very nicely, and I start feeling great. In my 5 year run with anxiety, I have had dozens of the “recovered” periods when I would have told anyone who asked that I was anxiety free.

    As I suspect is normal in the circumstances, setbacks happen and are usually triggered by some old disturbing symptom (dp or dizzy vision) that I get caught up in before I know what happened. Then it seems like I start the whole process over, and that is the most frustrating part. I think I am actually much improved, even in setback, but it is easy to loose perspective when you have been going through this for so many years.

    Recovery is definitely a tough up and down cycle. Is that to be expected? How do you find the faith and strength to keep moving forward?


  352. Jamie 7th February 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I had a better day at work on Friday by stepping back from my thoughts and treating them as just that – thoughts. That seemed to help and I felt a bit better than normal.

    I went to the cinema with a friend on Fri night which I was quite nervous about but it was fine. I took my daughter to the cinema Sat morning which was fine too.

    I went for drinks in the afternoon and evening yesterday with 5 or 6 friends,which I was also quite nervous about it but had no problem. Obviously after a few drinks, the nerves get easier anyway. The friends I met up with, all of them are married apart from me (who is now separated). I find this quite hard as I feel like the odd one out as they inevitably ask how dating is going etc. When I have a night out, my mind is telling me I have to make lots of effort to meet someone. The journey home and today have been quite tough. A hangover, feeling down as I think I won’t meet anyone because of my anxiety are not a good combination. When I do go out socially, I try to take the approach that trying to meet women is not that important but my ‘recovery’ is more important. Just doing stuff socially is progress so meeting someone will happen when it happens. As I said in one of my previous posts, the reality of my ex saying she wants to start divorce proceedings this week has made it a tough week but I have tried to deal with as best I can.

    I am sorry if this is maybe a general post rather than just about anxiety.

  353. Doreen 8th February 2016 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Jamie – so very well done. Guess in some ways, your thoughts on moving on with anxiety are the same as those on hopefully one day meeting someone else. The more relaxed you are about both those things the more likely it will be that the anxiety subsides and that you meet someone. Good luck.

  354. marie 8th February 2016 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Hi if someone could get back to me appreciate it at my comment a bit above please thanks

  355. Stephanie 8th February 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Marie. First, I know how frustrating and even shocking it is to be faced with anxiety and its many faces (yours being insomnia) again after a good period. That being said, I don’t believe you have forgotten what you learned before. You’re just going through the initial shock, frustration, etc. Everything you learned is still there. And really, all that is, is to let happen what is happening and to stop caring so much. You said you’re having anxious thoughts about sleep. Ok, then so be it. If the thoughts pop up, let them, and then move on with your day. If you go to bed and start panicking, then so be it. If you don’t sleep, then you don’t sleep. You got through this before and you will do it again. It just takes time and patience.

  356. Jamie 8th February 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    I have got myself in such a state today at work.

    I work in complaints and there is a lot of pressure to close almost every complaint the day you start it. Anyway, I finish at 2pm on a Monday (to do a school run) so I get pretty anxious most Monday clock watching and worrying that I MUST finish my work before I go.

    1) I didn’t feel too bad when I first got there and was stepping back from my thoughts like I had been recently. Time started to pass and I was not making much progress with my complaint (partly due to not having the right systems) and I was starting to worry more and more.
    2) Then my line manager at just after 11 said she would probably give my case to someone else who was in work for longer (and had the right systems) so I worried about that
    3) Then I worried about what the lady who was taking the case would think about this and then about me explaining what I had done so far on the case
    4) She was a little ‘off’ with me when I asked if it was convenient to come and explain what I had done so far which of course caused more worry
    5) More worrying about her talking about while she was on her lunch break to colleagues, whether my line manager thought I should progressed more and finished it myself
    6) More worry on way home and criticizing myself which did not give me a pleasant afternoon with my daughter as the day, how it made me feel and whether it will happen again tomorrow was on my mind. The panic when my work was given to someone else and the lead up to explaining what I had done (as I thought I would get really panicky explaining it and it would be noticeable) was so so high. I felt like I had 10,000 volts going through my body!

    It is all self created I know but it does not stop it being so frightening. I tried to distance myself from my thoughts but still had a really bad day. Lots of silly thoughts on the way home like ‘I can’t do this anymore’, ‘I am going to have to take time off sick as it’s too much’ and so on.

    I am now doing my usual and trying to decide on the best method of handling tomorrow 1) deep breathing 2) saying ‘they are just thoughts’ 3) saying ‘I don’t care what happens to me’ etc etc

    I didn’t feel too bad yesterday and back to work to this…

  357. marie 8th February 2016 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Thanks Stephanie really appreciated the comment back your so right I know I’m just overreacting and getting in the same habit again obsessing and getting worried and fearing it and that builds it up where as if I left it would go sooner and ive done this before can do it again nothing bads going to happen to me. On the plus side I did sleep last night I think haha… Have you ever had this Stephanie thanks marie

  358. marie 8th February 2016 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for your reply so reassuring and I know I will get through this like you said ive done this before. Have you ever had this issue? Thanks.

  359. Chris 9th February 2016 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Hi all, just thought I’d check in for the day!

    Rik, your experience seems to be very similar to mine, especially the ‘nothing means anything’ feeling, and not recognizing familiar areas, like they somehow look different. For me it’s like the world is a different place. This is all really normal stuff with anxiety/dp. I get it so bad at times that it feels like my life is over, not fun! This is something that will pass for both of us, however we are definitely going to have to give it time.

    I had a mini aha moment today. It wasn’t monumental, especially due to the fact that I can’t really feel any good emotions, but I can kind of see where I have been going wrong. Whenever I get the horrible repetitive thoughts in my mind, 8 times out of 10 I still get involved with them! I try to prove them wrong, and I try to change my point of view or belief in them. The mistake I am making here is that by trying to prove them wrong/arguing with the thoughts, I am giving these thoughts wayyy to much respect, and this only reinforces them. I generally get involved when I get that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach which I’m sure we are all familiar with.


  360. Mark r 9th February 2016 at 11:34 am - Reply

    I did say I was going to keep away from the blog for a while but I’ve felt so low this last week, so if I do I tend to feel lonely and very isolated. When I’m down I come here once a day to skim over posts which I don’t think causes any harm.


    Your post struck a chord with me as we seem very similar in our experience. I’ve been dealing with this ’bout’ now for the last six years. I’ve been dealing with anxiety in total for almost 15 years now. I used to have very bad periods for years at a time but then be well for a few years. The pattern seemed to have changed this time round where I can be ‘very well’ for a long time, although not recovered but then suffer a setback which tends to send me back down the pile again. What helped me feel less frustrated about this was to view it differently. If I have to have a ‘bad time’ now for a few months then be okay for around 18 months then that’s a pretty good ratio. That mindset stopped me looking for full recovery.

    What’s given me strength to carry on is I know I’ve made it through before and I can draw on past experiences. Also the feeling that I’m doing and going the right way, I get glimpses or days of being myself which is rewarding. It took years before I saw any kind of progress so I handle anxiety much better nowadays. Sure it’s crap and we don’t want it, sometimes the frustration needs to come out and I cry but I get up again and face it.

    Sounds like you deal with it very well so sorry to sounds a bit preachy. I’ve never really come across anyone on here with a similar pattern to mine.

    Be well all


  361. Derrick 9th February 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Mark – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is great to hear that you can have such long periods of feeling good. I think I will need to be Ok with the idea that, like you, I will have periods of good and periods of anxiety. I need to fully be ok with this. I probably set myself up for failure by striving for the elusive “full recovery” that we all want so badly.

    I am considered very high functioning, since I can work, travel, and take care of all of my family’s needs, but on the inside I can suffer deeply while doing these things. At times there just isn’t joy where there should be. I can relate to much of the pain I read from others on this blog. It’s time to get off to work now, so I do my best to accept how I feel and try to live in the moment.

    I hope you all find some peace today through acceptance.

  362. Marie 9th February 2016 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Hi guys, thanks Stephanie for you kind words did you go through this yourself, I really can’t stop myself searching and obsessesing over it, thinking how the hell did I do this once and can I do this again? I don’t want to go on medication or sleeping pills to get me to sleep, if I go days without sleep am I going to be ok, is this just a setback, I know this is anxiety because I’m scared and fearing it? I was only thinking last week how I never have any problem sleeping and how hard it was and then bam I’m going through it again (one year later). I’m trying to accept and let go but it’s even harder when you haven’t had a wink of sleep. And I don’t know if you have had this or anyone as soon as I go to bed it’s like my mind knows I’m trying to sleep even if my stomach stop playing up and my heads not racing thought it’s like I can’t get that switch to turn from being awake to asleep.. I really need some help can’t stop crying. I feel like no one can be getting it this bad I know it’s not true. Thanks.

  363. marie 9th February 2016 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Hi guys. Thanks Stephanie for your kind words did you go through this yourself?, I really cant stop myself searching and obsessing over it and scaring myself then. Think how the hell did I do this once and can I do it again? I dont want to go on medication or sleeping pills to get me to sleep. If I go days without sleep am I going to be ok?, is this just a setback after a year later of good 8 hours plus sleep?. I know this is anxiety because I’m scared and fearing it?. I was only thinking last week how I never have any problem sleeping anymore and how scary it was when I couldn’t sleep and hard it was and then bam I’m not sleeping. I’m trying to accept and let go but when you haven’t had a wink of sleep last night its hard suppose its harder not to accept it more effort!. I dont know if anyone had this as soon as I go to bed its like my mind know I’m trying to sleep even when my stomach stop playing up and my heads not racing thought its like I can’t get that switch to turn from being awake to sleep. I really cant stop crying. I feel like no one can be getting it this bad but I know its not true. Thanks

  364. Nolan 9th February 2016 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Hi Marie,

    I hope you read this.
    First, I’m very sorry for the delay in response. I’ve just been busy with work and other things.

    I know EXACTLY where you are.
    My sleep issue was my “BIG THING” with anxiety. Everyone has their BIG THING, sleep was mine. It terrified me, Marie.

    I was certain I was irreparably broken. All I could do was think about it all day: both willfully and automatically. What I mean is that I intentionally focused on it a lot, and my body and mind also automatically focused on it (even when I was not being intentional with my attention on it).

    I would have a good stretch of days and then the doubt and fear would creep in…. but remember this: that doubt and fear is happening automatically. So, just let it. Let it creep in and stay as long as it wants to.
    Change how you intentionally deal with this. I used to google it all the time, talk with people about it all the time, pray on it all the time.
    I stopped doing those. I made my life bigger than the issue. if I didn’t get much sleep and I had a big day before me I simply said “so what, I’m doing what I want to do now.” And I lived my life regardless of the sleep or lack of it.

    Now, that’s what I did intentionally…. but, like I said there’s the automatic/reflexive issue too. Where your mind and body just immediately gear up on their own. This you don’t have as much control over. BUT, these are changed slowly (but, sometimes you’ll have those immediate moments of peace). And they’re changed based off of the amount of intentional attention you give the issue.
    So, you’re sitting around the house and that reflexive thought and fear envelope you. What do you do? Do you sit there and try to “think your way through it”? or, do you say “ah, nuts to it…. I’ve got more important things in my life than this”…. and do something that makes your life bigger than the fear and the sleep?

    Setbacks will come, Marie. Automatically your body will be saying BIG ISSUE!! ADDRESS!!! …. but intentionally I’d like you to react with “nah, I’m fine… whatever is going to happen is okay with me… if I sleep, great. If I don’t, oh well… not ideal, but so what. I got this”.

    Marie, if you need to talk I’m more than happy chatting with you too. I’ve been there. I know how terrifying it is, I know how broken you feel right now. But you’re not broken. You will find that peace again.

    One more thing: when you’re lying down at night and if your mind gears up and goes on high alert and starts racing…. just let it race. Let it go where ever if wants to go. Let the fear spike as high as it wants to spike…. and great it all with a “so what”. Think of it like you’re just watching a movie. Don’t force your thoughts this way or that. Let them come as they may and go where they want to. Dispassionately view it all. God bless.

  365. marie 9th February 2016 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much I nearly cried at that Nolan your words are so reassuring. I know that googling and looking through this and thinking about thinking and fear on top of fear are not helping ?.. I know I can do this and eventually one way or the other sleep will return to me. Nolan did you have nights in a row of not any sleep and also is it normal to have a setback after a year of being fine with sleep no problem and the switch going from being awake in to sleep did you find difficult to its like I forgot how I did it before. But I did nothing that the thing I need to do isn’t it and accept whatever fear thought and feeling I have.

  366. Nolan 9th February 2016 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Hi marie, I had many nights in a row where, if I did get any sleep, I wouldn’t have guessed it.

    Some nights (many, early on) I would take a Xanax, or an Ambien, or a Trazadone, or an Ambien CR, or a Lunesta, or a Klononpin (or many other things) and I might then get 2 and a half to 3 hours of ‘sleep’ that felt nothing like sleep.
    And, when I’d wake up from that my mind would be as alert as it ever had been.
    It was more like I was knocked out than I actually slept.

    Setbacks can come at any time. It’s how we start responding to them that slowly starts to dictate our future responses to them. initially they would terrify me and think all gain and hope was finally lost for good.
    But, that’s just the tricks of anxiety.

    So, when setbacks came I didn’t expect anything to change. This was just how it is…. if it lasts along time, so be it. If it ends quickly, cool whatever.
    I was simply done having my life being dictated by the presence of anxiety/fear/depression/sleep issues. Those could all be there, but I was going to make my life more about other things than my own woes. I’m not saying this was easy….. but it was just my new ‘mode of interaction’ with anxiety/depression/sleep issues.

    And remember: accepting doesn’t mean that the intensity of the fear and doubt (and symptoms) will vanish immediately. It’s more: Even with the fear there, and all of the junk that goes along with it I am now deciding to live my life like I once used to…. bigger than the narrow focus of anxiety. And I am not going to let this dictate what I do anymore. I won’t cancel plans, I won’t search this or that out online, I won’t have all of my interactions with others to probe if they ever dealt with this in hopes of finding those stories of conquering it.

  367. marie 9th February 2016 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Thanks Nolan for everything ? I’m going to get off this and stop googling and let my mind and body heal.. Even if I feel like crap its only temporary I will accept and allow however I feel or think and I’m going to get through this. Ive done it before and I can do it again thanks for the support ? we got to stick together.

  368. Tasnim 9th February 2016 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone! This is my first time posting. So here’s the thing:

    I think I’ve always had a bit of anxiety, looking back. Or just the whole overthinking, plus hypochondriac stuff. But recently, about a month ago, I became obsessed with this fear or thought of schizophrenia, after learning about it in psychology class. So for the past several weeks, I constantly worried about this thought, trying to fight it, and forget about it. I think weeks of this struggle was my breaking moment and I had an anxiety attack. Since then I have been consumed in the anxiety. Luckily, the next day I found Paul and I kept myself from sinking too far maybe?

    It’s been a little over a week now. And I have been trying my best to follow Pauls advice. I think I can say that my physical symptoms (heavy breathing, stomach turning, and some trembling) have had less effect on me now (minus any setbacks). My main worry us my doubt and intrusive thoughts and going crazy. I’m struggling with them the most. Recently, it’s my fear of developing depression. I have hit a couple low moods, but I don’t want it to get any worse. I dont even know if I have depression, I think I just get down thinking of it. For those with anxiety, does any depression developed go away with the anxiety? Honestly, these thoughts are the ones that are really causing the struggle. I have doubts that I will have this lingering mood even when I reach recovery.

  369. Tasnim 9th February 2016 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    It’s just that I haven’t seen many posts dealing with intrusive and obsessive thinking. I dont so much obsess over social situations and things I did, but more so, doubts and fears. Is this normal? I so far, haven’t been faced with many symptoms of social anxiety and physical symptoms, as much as I have with my thoughts. Does anyone else get like that? I also find myself with more anxiety in the morning, where in the evening it slightly tapers off. Sorry for writing so much. I just wanna understand this symptom and know if it’s part of the anxiety.

    I made the mistake of visiting a different mental health site, where people answered that anxiety doesn’t go away, but you just have to cope with it through treatments. It fueled my doubt more, especially because I am an anti-medicine type person.

    But anyways, thanks for all you’ve provided Paul, I think you really kept me from falling deeper. Hopefully I will feel like my cheerful, carefree self again one day.

  370. Mark r 9th February 2016 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    How long was a long setback Nolan? Although I’ve seen improvements I’m still affected by this almost 4 months later. I’m still plugging away but it does take it out of you.

  371. Nolan 10th February 2016 at 2:30 am - Reply

    Hi Mark r…
    “how long”??
    I think that’s the wrong question to ask, in all honesty.
    I can understand the desire to want to ask it. If it were something completely independent of our conscious/intentional activity then it might make more sense to ask “how long”.
    But the two are in some ways connected: in asking “how long” you’re telling yourself “I’m fine with this, but I’m not fine with this”.
    Which I feel, though maybe not in all that intense and profound of a way, feeds back into the cycle.

    Think of it: you’re at a restaurant with family and at another table there’s an obnoxious lady talking on her cellphone. Talking very loudly and crassly. Everything about this lady is just grating on your mind. But, you’re really the only one bothered by her. No one else at your table seems to either care or notice her. You want to really enjoy this time with your family but there’s this factor that you didn’t anticipate that plays right into the worst of you. You start to slowly realize (No one else is bothered by her, maybe it’s more a problem with me than with this lady…. and, even if I could get this one lady to shut up, chances are I’m only going to become more and more aware of instances like this… this is only a problem that can get bigger for me.)
    Now, you’d look like a fool if you sat there and put your fingers in your ears to block her out. You want to look composed and collected so yelling at her is out of the question. The only real solution is to intentionally redirect your attention back to your table with your family; while understanding that, since this is a big issue for you (inconsiderate people) at an automatic/reflexive level in your mind and body you will still be noticing her, will be screaming at you to “DO SOMETHING!!!!!”. Here’s the fork in the road: you follow your feelings (DO SOMETHING) or you follow what you value (being composed, collected, not easily flustered by things like this). Now, if you sat there and started thinking “gosh, how much longer will it take before I stop noticing her?” you’d be feeding right back into noticing her. You’d probably understand that it’s going to take some time (maybe many times out in social settings) consistently putting value above feeling (the urge to react). You might have ups and downs. Some situations you’ll be in and nothing will set you off. Then, another time your out at the movies and everything is setting you off again. Those times, when everything is back to setting you off isn’t a signal that “ah, crap, it didn’t work”…. because, at least in some instances it did work…. but that old machinery you were so used to using is just kicking into gear again. Let it kick into gear. this isn’t an issue where you’re confused on what to do. You know what to do, you just wonder why that automatic/reflexive part of you is still bringing to surface that bad stuff. You wonder why your feelings aren’t in line with it yet…. so, don’t take heed of the feelings follow what you know you’re supposed to do…. with little regard or concern for how long it may take for your feelings to fall inline with the new approach.

  372. Doreen 10th February 2016 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Mark r….I would also add that you are talking about set back like you might talk about pain in your mouth following a tooth extraction where there might be some value in hearing how long that pain is likely to last based on other peoples experience.
    Firstly however anxiety is an individual experience and whilst knowing others also have set backs is comforting, it won’t answer how long you might feel caught up in those feelings.
    Secondly I don’t think there is a finite time because some people might carry on being aware that anxiety is part of their lives and is sometimes quite intrusive when stressful events occur, but manage to get on and live life to the full despite that. That certainly applies to me.
    Others seem to think recovery is a complete absence of anxiety and until that state is reached, they are in ‘setback’. I would suggest it is the latter who go on being adversely affected by anxiety for far longer.They continue monitoring themselves waiting for the end to come.
    So be comforted in knowing you are not alone but and follow Nolan’s good advice

  373. Sara 10th February 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Hi all,

    Sorry for the dissapearing act! I was too detached and had concentration problems so it was hard for me to read anything on here.To make up for it i’ve read pretty much everything and i noticed that a lot of you were giving me advice so THANK YOU to all.

    Basically i felt better because my mum came in to cook and take care of me, she force-fed me at first and things got better from there because i was finally getting the proper nourishment for me and the baby!

    Jamie: you said “what makes you think i’m just a push away”, well you know once you have the right attitude it’ll always be with you and you tend to bounce back from terrible days pretty well…that’s why i said you’re nearly there, it wasn’t to sound wise or anything but i truly beleive so.

    Nicola: I’m experiencing the exact same thing, you know hyper awareness and feeling detached and overly aware of your existence. It’s horrible but you can’t just get rid of it and i’ve been through it and came out the other end like normal.
    Ladies: thanks for reaching out, pregnancy should defiantly come with a medal!! And all you find on the net are scary stories so that doesn’t help much
    Right know i’m a bit anxious because my mum is going back and i fear that i’ll go back to that terrible place i was in. So i’m secretly hoping she’ll stay haha

    I’ve noticed that with intrusive thoughts and OCD, it’s not acutally the thoughts that we’re scared of. Basically we just have a LOT of unexplained fear (stems from adrenaline) and our brain tries to associate that fear to something, so it creates scary thoughts to justify the fear: This is why you could be scared of one thought and completely a different one next week.

    This is really helping me, realizing that “I’m just scared” and not particularly scared of something….apart from the thought that I won’t recover of course, but I suppose that will come with time

  374. Sara 10th February 2016 at 10:21 am - Reply

    P.S: Does anyone know why we feel so much better at night? I’ve got theories but really sometimes it feels like i’m competly another person at night, more confident and ready to take on life…..then the morning strikes and i’m a chicken again!

  375. Belgian 10th February 2016 at 1:01 pm - Reply


    I completely understand why you are asking this question, but it really doesn’t matter why you feel better at night. Even if you knew this, it would not help you cope with it all.

    In fact, it is not your job to ‘investigate’ this. Just try to notice this and embrace the feeling without holding desperately onto it.

    I try like to look at it as a normal fluctuation of feelings what everyone has, but which is felt much harder by anxiety sufferers.

    It’s felt much harder because I believe some of us are born more sensitive than others and because anxiety sufferers tend to focus on this continuously changing internal environment.

    We do this because we are afraid that we would not pick up on something important, much like the time which led to our first meltdown.

    Unfortunately, it is this preoccupation with self that results into stress and therefore to a more intense feeling.

    What I try to do is notice the feeling, name it and accept it to the best of my ability.

  376. Sara 10th February 2016 at 1:16 pm - Reply


    Yes you are completely right, it was more of a curiosity than anything else as i noticed it to be the same with everyone else.

    I now know that getting to the core of why i feel this way is meaningless, why it happened to me i the first place or psychanalsing everything won’t get me anywhere.

    You know, i also realze that a lot of the “setbacks” are really just pure imagination and souvenire, they are ever as bad as we think they are, but our memory tends to enhance them based on past experiences.

    It’s also unfortunate that one simple feeling or thought can quickly bring everything back when you’re just starting out…..that’s why the begining is so difficult and we tend to go around in circles because of this

  377. Jamie 10th February 2016 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Good to hear from you Sara and you also Nolan. Thanks for the encouraging words Sara.

    I had a dreadful day and night Monday and felt like i was not going to sleep Monday night for worrying. I also thought I would end up being off work with stress again. I had to give myself a bit of a talking to on Tuesday morning and just said “I don’t give a xxxx how I feel, what happens to me or what other people think about me. I am going right back into work and smashing through all of the anxiety”. I went in and did precisely this. I made calls whenever I wanted to rather than waiting for the coast to be clear, spoke to people 1 on 1 without avoiding it and just got on with my day. Weirdly enough, I tried to smile as much as possible and this also helped!

    I went in today with the same attitude and did not care what happened to me. I went from spending most of the day in complete panic on Monday to resolving 3 complaints today (which is pretty good going). It is surprising how “attacking the day” (that is what phrase I use) and smashing through it all can do for the confidence. It almost feels like a 180 degree turn from Monday. I did not feel great today as I had a fuzzy head which was making me feel pretty dizzy at times. Is it anxiety I was thinking ? Is it catarrh ? Is it a cold coming ? I just kept on saying to myself “I don’t care what has caused it. I am just going to get on with my day”.

    I am still not feeling 100% now but it is just one of the things. I will go back tomorrow and get on with things…

  378. Stephanie 10th February 2016 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    That’s exactly the right attitude, Jamie! I think many of us have gotten the idea into our head – because we’ve spent so long feeling weird/awful/rotten – that recovery from anxiety means feeling wonderful all of the time. While that would be nice, that’s just not life. I guarantee if you talk to most anybody they deal with their fair share of odd feelings/sensations. The difference is they don’t allow those feelings/sensations to define their entire day. Even for yourself, I’m betting that before anxiety if you had a fuzzy head like you mentioned in your post, you probably would have noticed it, maybe thought “hmm this is uncomfortable, I hope I’m not getting sick, oh well!” and then moved on. So it’s all about getting back to that place of less analyzing and more perseverance. Great job!

  379. Mark r 10th February 2016 at 11:13 pm - Reply


    Thanks for your replies, much appreciated and awesome insight. I think my question should have been how did you cope with the long setbacks rather than how long.

    It’s a frustrating time for me at the moment I guess. The emotional side of me is bouncing up and down like Zebbedi. One moment I’m okay with how I’m feeling the next I’m so low and battered by it all that im floundering.

    I’m definately in the same camp as Doreen of getting on despite how I feel but at present there is no enjoyment where there should be. The only thing I don’t do which I was doing prior to this kicking off again is dating. My next big step in life is to find someone to settle down with but at present I dont feel I could give anything to a relationship. I don’t want to just date someone either to prove to myself that I can as that would kind of make them a guinea pig so to speak. But equally is this giving too much respect to how I feel? Any thoughts on this?

    You raise an interesting point about what is classed as a setback. For me I’ve lived with a certain level of symptoms at varying degrees for 6 years now. I would describe a setback as where the symptoms are interfering with my enjoyment of life rather than a complete absence of symptoms. I don’t really care about full recovery but would like to feel a bit better, well we all do.

  380. Janie 11th February 2016 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Hello Nolan and to anyone else reading this, I see that you have had a lot of difficulty with sleep issues. I have suffered periodically with insomnia and anxiety since my twenties, now in my fifties I am having a really bad patch. Medication has helped me in the past and I am on medication now which seemed to be taking the edge off. However I have very obsessive thoughts around sleep and I am really struggling with one particular issue which is when I go to bed I get songs on repeat going on in my head which can continue all night so I don’t get any sleep. I have not experienced this before but it is really scaring me. Any advice or similar experiences would be really appreciated. Many thanks


  381. Bryan 11th February 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply


    Belgian is right. It truly doesn’t matter why… though so you know it is very common. I’d guess 90% of stress disorder folks feel better at night. The body releases hormones to help us slow down in the evening and hormones to wake us and move us in the AM. It’s just circadian cycles and very normal.

    Like he said… there is no good overthinking it. Just know it’s a safe, normal bodily pattern that like all patterns will feel better when your sensitization comes down to normal levels.

  382. Albert 11th February 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Any tips help please on accepting intrusive thoughts when your alone and not busy (im a singe dad who works from home, i have my children for 4 days a week)

    I get 100s of intrusive thoughts a day, i have improved a bit by using the “accept the thought but ignore the content” method, however when im not busy the thoughts still somehow get me to ruminate over them.

    I know people say keep busy, but i cant be constantly “doing things” all day in order to keep the thoughts at bay, also i feel this isnt really “accepting” as well ?

    Any help gratefully accepted

  383. Tasnim 11th February 2016 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    This might not be the right question, but I want to understand. For anyone who has recovered, are you able to go through your days now without thinking about anxiety? Also, do you still get setbacks where you feel you are back to square one, after recovery?

    I would like to say I understand what I need. I need to allow anxiety to become apart of me, like any other condition I have. Like how I have bad vision, it’s just something I have, but I don’t go through my day thinking about it. I guess it’s the same thing with anxiety, it’s a part of me. It’s just really hard, due to the memory of it. I am at a point where I can function well, and in the evenings I feel almost practically normal. And I still do everything that I used to do. It’s just hard because even when I am calm I am still thinking about the anxiety. It’s like my mind is always checking into it, and when I laugh or talk, I always find myself checking into that thought. I’m not sure how to explain. I just to stop thinking about anxiety, and stop monotoring.

    I would like to say I’m improving, it’s been almost two weeks, and I think the anxiety has only affected my life for a couple months, so I’m not sure if I will have a setback or not. I just keep checking myself and my anxiety, while doing work in school and talking with friends and family, etc. I read posts where obsessive thoughts are the last to settle down, but not sure.

    Sorry for the long post. I don’t plan to post too often, but I just wanted to get that out.

  384. Jamie 11th February 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Mark R

    I can 100% relate to your comments on dating. I find it a daily struggle just going into work every day and not having time off with due to anxiety (I have not had a day off for over a year now). So, the thought of getting into dating again seems so big. I feel like I have been in a ‘setback’ for the last 15 years 🙂

    I went on about 5 or 6 dates last year with different people but either they did not want to take it any further or vice versa. One woman started providing feedback actually on the date itself ! She was saying things like I did not give her enough eye contact and I was not ready for dating. That knocked me massively and made me very depressed for a while. To pluck up the courage to go on a date and to be told stuff like this when you feel really anxious anyway was really tough to take.

    Another woman (a friend of my sister in law) who I went out with 3 or 4 times at the end of last year text me after our first date. I have no idea why I said it but I asked how she thought it went and she said she did not think I was that interested in her because of my body language. Yet again – I know she did not mean it but to say that to someone who is incredibly anxious on the date and is very self conscious is like a bomb going off. That had a major effect on me too and made even MORE anxious for the 2nd date.

    When the weekends approach, I find myself scrambling around trying to arrange things to do with people but nearly all of my friends have wives and kids. If I have nothing to do I think I am scared I will have too much time to think and feel anxious. I then think ‘oh I wouldn’t have all this time to fill if I was with someone’ and then I am back to the being frightened of dating thing again.

    I can really relate to what you said about not enjoying things too. I have said to many therapists over the years that I never look forward to things, do not enjoy things ‘in the moment’ and rarely look back and think ‘that was a good day’.

    I just have to keep powering through I guess.

    Where are you from Mark may I ask ?

  385. Rik 12th February 2016 at 11:36 am - Reply


    As I mentioned I have had extreme intrusive thoughts in the past and overcome them.

    I have some now during this setback but I am slowly overcoming those too now.

    The advice is always the same. Resist the urge to ruminate until this becomes your new habit. Let the thought come and go and add nothing to it. If you have a thought you consider good you dont ruminate about it so there is no need to do so with a random bad thought either.

    The only way to reduce their impact and frequency is to just ignore them and not continue to ruminate. If they are there when you are not busy then let them be. Dont pay them attention as much as you can help it and dont add any further thought. It is that simple. It is hard to do when very anxious but over time your mind realises there is no threat and so they begin to fade.


    I have been doing better this last few days. I have taken myself away from all reading about anxiety etc and truly just begun to ignore my thoughts and slowly put trust back in myself. It has been very hard but I have made progress. Yesterday my DP lifted for a little bit which felt amazing. I am on the right track so I just have to stick with it. Keep the faith and remember to not ruminate on the thoughts. Let them come and go.

  386. Ramji 12th February 2016 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Hi to Everyone ,

    Am new to this blog , been following paul and some of the peoples advice through this forum for quite a while .

    My story in short , Aug 2014 was abused sever side affect to a weight loss supplement and which hit by sever insomnia and later developed anxiety and depression , my anxiety was mainly focused on my sleep was been suffering from sleep anxiety unable to fall and stay asleep .. Antidepressant doesn’t help … few months back i have read paul’s book about acceptance and allowance … then i had a drastic improvement over my anxiety but what doesn’t seem to improve was my Depression …

    My core issue is i could able to fall asleep without any issues but will wide awake at 4 to 5am and trouble falling back to sleep and the morning blues and morning depression (which is the classic symptoms of depression) at the worst for the extend i cannot drive or go to my job and later in the afternoon and eve i would feel better .

    i have couple of question on my issue

    1. Whether paul’s advice on acceptance and allowance will work for depression ? because what i come to know about depression is , it is more of a chemical imbalance in the brain and my doubt is how can acceptance could heal the chemical imbalance in brain rather than drugs ?

    2. I can fall asleep normally but wide awake morning @4am and not much of racing thoughts .. what could i do if i awake in the morning from sleep which i don’t have any control over in my sleep and continues morning exhaustion.

    I had realised acceptance and allowance have made huge impact on my anxiety , intrusive and OCD thoughts .. but this “morning depression” which is completely out of my hand i feel complete hopeless , very low in energy and empty ,, where there is empty i cannot accept anything .

    Will be great full for anyone who can help with questions .. thanks in advance.

  387. Albert 12th February 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Appreciate your reply Rik. Ive only been “ignoring ” the thoughts for a week or so, so im guessing you would say just carry on ? Im checking to see if the thoughts have diminished but by doing this am i not accepting ? should i not put a time limit on it ?
    In the past i had the classic OCD thoughts “what if i hurt that poor old lady” etc… but ive mananged to overcome these thoughts, now they are based around basic things, driving, eating, walking etc, it even feels stupid writing these down but the more basic the thought the more i get

  388. Nolan 12th February 2016 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Hi Albert,

    I had constant, intense, and at times very violent intrusive thoughts.
    My son at the time was not even a year old…. and many of these thoughts would be directed at hurting him. They made me hate myself even more.

    But, sometimes the thoughts were just a bit of a song that would play over and over…. for hours non-stop.

    You quickly realize that ignoring them just doesn’t work.
    But, following Paul’s advice I just let them be there and stopped caring so much. No more trying to ignore them or arguing with the content or subject of them. I greeted them with a “oh, hi” and moved back on with my day.

    I let them take my mind wherever they wanted to take it but just stopped caring so much.

    I think sometimes people conceive of acceptance like some kind of magical invocation that will immediately slay the thoughts or at least take some wind out of their sails. Now, maybe that does happen at times…. but that’s not the goal. The goal is simply to live your life like you used to. It means letting those thoughts capture your conscious attention, pulling it wherever it wishes to, for as long as it wants to, but with less concern that it’s happening. Like a child that grabs your hand and starts leading you all around the store to show you the things she wants you to see.

  389. Albert 12th February 2016 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks Nolan,
    Im still trying to get my head around the concept of “accepting” the thoughts.
    My take on it is,i cant control the thoughts that come into my head but i can do something about how i react. The method im using is, accept the thought but dont react to the content, welcome the thoughts but let them pass like leaves floating down the river

    My trouble is i work from home and im then in home alone with my boys a lot. When im out my intrusive thoughts are less as i have other things to focus on, but when im in home as you can imagine my thoughts are awful. I know people say keep busy, but its not practical to be doing things all the time to keep myself occupied

  390. Nolan 12th February 2016 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Hi Albert,

    I agree… It’s no reasonable.
    Distraction is not something I did and those intrusive thoughts still left me completely.

    Let them be, let them grab your attention… Just don’t care so much that it is happening.

  391. Sara 12th February 2016 at 5:42 pm - Reply


    How do you ever stop watching yourslelf and surveilling every emotion??

    Occupation and distraction would have been good if i wasn’t just fired!! Also i’m not getting any pleasure out of every day things, i am easily distracted.

    I know that if i continue like this i’ll just bring the anxiety back now that it’s at bay.

    One minute i’m hopeful and the next i’m hopeless….any advice?

  392. Tasnim 12th February 2016 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Ok, sorry for constantly posting.

    I think I am nearing towards recovery. I feel practically normal. The only thing is that I feel really weird. Its like I’ve been away for a few months, and I’ve now come back, but everything feels different. I feel slightly disconnected with everything and everyone. I tell myself to let myself be, but I sometimes wonder is this normal, even so far in progress. Will I feel comfortable and normal again, in my usual surroundings, like before? I do have some bad eyesight, and I’m not sure if that plays into it. I hate wearing glasses because I feel like I’m looking through a window. It just feels odd. It’s almost like I’m close to normal, but also distant.

    I’d really appreciate if someone would reply.

  393. jen 13th February 2016 at 12:34 am - Reply

    I have felt that as well I think it’s called the transition stage inbetween suffering and back to normal. I thibk it’s called no man’s land is how paul put it in the book. I feel odd too feeling normal. I think it’s to be expected since we got used to feeling anxiety all the time.

  394. Tasnim 13th February 2016 at 3:26 am - Reply

    It feels odd. Sometimes I’ll look around the room and feel as though I haven’t been here in a long time. I went to a store today, and the memory of it is completely blurry. It’s like I was walking through a haze. Its good to know ‘m not the only one. I haven’t suffered as long as many others, which I am grateful for. I mean, I still feel anxious and scared at random triggers and stuff. But I just let it be there, though I don’t like it. Do you sometimes get a little flash of an intrusive thought or anxiousness when at certain trigger words or images?
    I’m glad you are nearing recovery. I hope we feel back to normal soon. Thanks for replying

  395. Chris 13th February 2016 at 3:33 am - Reply

    Well I’ve had a rough few days. I had to try and not post here but I need a bit of help and support.

    I can’t get over this specific fear I have (the ‘i’m broken from drugs’ one), and I keep thinking I need to do something about it to lose the fear like see a therapist or something, but maybe this would only reinforce it. Ideally I’d like to be able move on without resorting to getting outside help but it’s making me quite depressed. It’s literally a nightmare.

    Is this something that will just fade with time? Can I still take a do nothing approach to this even though it has so much impact on me? Sorry this isn’t more positive today, I’m doing my best to not let it affect me but today is a harder day. I told myself that I would stop coming on here for advice so I can move forward but it seems I need a little bit of a boost.

  396. Jamie 13th February 2016 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    I just wondered if anyone was familiar with Eckart Tolle’s work and his book “The Power Of Now” ?

    I watch videos of his stuff on YouTube (Oprah and Jim Carrey are big fans) and I have a “eureka” moment. I am a slave to my mind and it causes the majority of my suffering. I know this but to ‘be present’ and observe your thoughts is easier said than done….

  397. Sara 13th February 2016 at 1:06 pm - Reply


    I feel like that too! Like i’m looking through someone else’s eyes, everything around me is odd because i’m aware of everything!

    Sometimes it actually bothers me for some reason, it feels like i’m in dreamland

  398. jen 13th February 2016 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Tamsin. That kind of sounds like maybe some dp left lingering around. I had that to. I think mine has turned into more depression and I have been getting worrying thoughts that I dwell on. Chris, how did you start this anxiety? Did you have a panic attack? I would try and look at it like every time that thought comes to you just tell yourself that there is alot of others going through this as well. That everyone on this blog has some form.of anxiety from many different reasons. Maybe that will.help. that helped me when I had the thought I always had this and maybe I was losing it but then I thought I didn’t feel like this before my panic attack so a panic attack won’t cause me to loss it so it’s just anxiety. I hope that helped.

  399. Mark r 13th February 2016 at 10:28 pm - Reply


    Thanks for your take on it. I will wait to be honest. I think with most things with anxiety you need to push forward, face and accept but things where you need to invest emotional time and energy its best to be sensible. I’m getting past how I feel each month, so leaving it til the summer won’t hurt.

    I can relate with the work thing too. I love my job, I started in November 14 and had around a year of enjoying it to the full until I got sensitised in October. At the moment I’m just focusing on doing a good job rather than enjoying it. I know I will be able to be absorbed by it again as I feel better. It’s hard as I’m an accountant and its very frustrating not being able to focus but it keeps me busy and I have structure to my day when I work.

    Weekends are the hardest for me too but I can always find things to do. I finish at 1pm on Fridays and when feeling good this was something to look forward to, at the moment its a worry unfortunately. Ironically I’m actually doing more now than I was when I felt great before October. I think it’s an important distinction to make between finding things to do to keep anxiety at bay and doing things for enjoyment. I’ve got back into selling vinyl on Ebay which gets me and about and is also something I’m passionate about too. I’m a huge football fan so I’ve started going down to see my local team Aston Villa, even though I’m an Everton fan!!

    I’m in Birmingham, UK.


    One thing I found immensely helpful for thoughts is something called diffusion, part of Act therapy. Have a look on Youtube for Russ Harris, he also wrote a great little book called The Happiness Trap.

  400. Tasnim 14th February 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Sometimes I just can’t help but get frustrated. I’m living my life like I normally do, but with everything I do, my mind is constantly reverting to thinking about anxiety. I just wish I could forget about it. I know I’m being impatient, but it’s just hard to imagine a day where I can carry on with life without the term anxiety continuously crossing my mind. Will this point in my life come?

  401. honey 14th February 2016 at 7:19 am - Reply

    So a common theme I’m noticing from those who have managed that elusive recovery we all so wish for, is that the anxiety is still here even though these people don’t care about it. That yes he symptoms reduce sigh acceptance but they are still more prone and at risk to anxiety am I right? This has been extremely hard for me to accept. The year that I spent almost recovered I believed in my heart that full recovery meant that I no longer would have anxiety disorder and that I would cross some sort of threshold that would make me stronger than someone who’d never had anxiety not weaker. Following this recent relapse of setback or whatever you want to call it, I have been completely unable to accept that recovery is not the full absence of risk of relapsing again and again. I have tried my absolute best to be OK with this fact that I will never completely and fully overcome this but obviously it’s all proven too much for my exhausted brain and despite starting mindfulness last week I had a massive nocturnal panic attack last night. I read statistics about gad that people with it relapse and recover relapse and recover and that’s how mine has always been. The mindfulness isn’t helping yet and I feel while I’m doing it that it’s just another tool to avoid or fix or cure me and that isn’t going to happen I wish I could just accept that. I’m totally digging it still I know but it’s so hard to accept. I’m sorry my post is quite negative. I wonder if Nolan or Colin or anyone who has accepted the fate I so desperately cannot accept could shed light on this one for me. I’m so exhausted. I am losing the will to live at all and then J look at my beautiful children and feel awful guilt for feeling that way. Thank god I have them!

  402. honey 14th February 2016 at 7:27 am - Reply

    Tasnim of course it is it’s all you know. It’s so hard to accept. We all spend so much time trying to accept it we deserve a medal for allege effort we put in. I have lost all my safety behaviours and even refuse medications when I have simply felt dreadful out of fear for reverting back. I know that I cannot unlearn what I already know from progress I have made in the past. I went around a year of being practically recovered. What I now realize was that I probably was as recovered then as I’m ever going to get. I went at that point months without anxiety even crossing my mind but on the occasions that it did I would usually brush it off. So their is hope that you can have extended moments of peace. Whether they last forever once recovery is achieved I don’t know.

  403. Chris 14th February 2016 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Hi Jen thanks for the reply.

    I kind of ended up answering my own question today and realized that it doesn’t matter what I fear. Fear is fear, and if it wasn’t this it would be something else. So I’m just going to allow myself to fear it and see it as negative energy that needs to be released. I’ve been fighting it a wee bit, telling myself I must not think it anymore etc etc and not let myself feel crap over it. Now I’m just going to let go of the reigns.

    The reason I got confused is because I read a Claire Weekes book and she talks about special fears/problems, and that a sufferer needs constant reassurance etc, but I don’t think that is the way forward with my fears. I think I’ve mentioned this before actually, I’m getting deja vu just typing this haha. I’m going to stop reading other books on anxiety now, the advice in Paul’s books is pretty much all I truly need.

  404. Jen 14th February 2016 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    I just read somewhere that stress and high levels of cirtosol or dopamine can cause schizophrenia, do you think that’s true? Of course now I’m worrying about This.

  405. honey 14th February 2016 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Most cases of schizophrenia develop earlier on in a person’s life. You would know by now I should think if something like that was occurring. It is true that schizophrenia is caused by dopamine imbalances and people with a predisposition to the disorder are more likely to develop it with high levels of stress but in my experience of nursing people with it, they usually had signs at a young age and often experienced deprived or difficult childhoods and or had a close family member sigh the illness because it is very common for it to be genetic. I would say it is very unlikely that how have anything to worry about. At least no more than any other person. Hope that puts your mind at ease.

  406. Chris 15th February 2016 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Hey Jen. If that was the case then we would all have Schizophrenia! Anxiety definitely can’t lead to schizophrenia, the fact that you’re worried about it is a good sign you don’t have it. Even me just reading that has freaked me out a bit, this is the anxiety talking. I don’t know if you googled it or just read it in a magazine or something, but if you did then definitely keep off Google! This is a lesson that I learned the hard way.

  407. Chris 15th February 2016 at 12:32 am - Reply

    Has anyone here ever experienced head/brain sensations? I was falling asleep last night when all of a sudden it felt like my body began to seize up a bit, and then I felt a pressure in the right side of my head which moved across like a wave. It then produced a sort of snapping sensation in the middle/right of my head/brain! It’s hard to put it into words because it’s hard to remember exactly what it felt like but I’ve been worrying about it today. Thoughts like ‘on no what if it’s epilepsy’ or ‘what if I’m having brain zaps’ even though I’ve been off all meds (which I was on for short term) for 3 months. I’m a smoker so this had really made me want to quit… haha.

    I thought I would ask here first because there is no way in hell I am googling it. I just want to know if it’s a symptom of anxiety. Otherwise I’ll go see my doctor if it happens again.

  408. Jen 15th February 2016 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Hi Chris. Sorry I didn’t mean to scare anyone with what I said and yes of course I read it off of somewhere on Google. I will not be googling anything anymore. And I had something that happened to me where it started kind of like a head ache feeling and then it felt weird in my head like spasms it then made my right side of my face go numb feeling. I went to the urgent care and they told me it was from the anxiety after I told them what I have been dealing with. I was also taking a medication Celexa which gave me a head ache for two weeks straight. I went off of it and the head aches went away. But my Dr called what I had muscle spasms I haven’t had them since. I’m not sure if it’s the same as what you had or not . I’m on a new medication and so far so good.

  409. Belgian 15th February 2016 at 10:40 am - Reply


    I remember your earlier posts.

    Fear was pouring out of your writing. It’s good to see that this storm has passed and that you have taken Paul’s message on board.

    It’s totally normal that you are clinging on to that final thread of ‘what ifs’ and continue to investigate all your symptoms. This is called ‘habit’ and you can only change this by re-affirming Paul’s and Dr Weekes teaching time and time again.

    You will be more and more capable in doing so until it will become – almost – an automatic reaction and ultimately – perhaps – a new way of looking at life.

  410. Chris 15th February 2016 at 10:55 am - Reply

    Hey Jen.

    I was on the same stuff very briefly. No worries, it probably scared me for about two minutes total haha, really not an issue at all and I’m already over it. I’ve come to realize you really can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Either way I don’t mind if this sort of stuff brings up anxiety anymore, I just see it as more negative energy being released. The fear has mostly passed over this whole ‘brain zap’ thing too. It’s totally irrelevant, it’s just fear.

    PS: Stop googling haha! Trust me you don’t need to, and the fact that you are googling is a sure sign that you aren’t accepting.

    Hey Belgian

    Thanks. Yeah I was in a very very frightened state back then. It’s because I was on google most days scaring the pants off of myself. I’ve stopped doing this to myself now and I’ve been dealing with the aftermath. The last few days I have seen progress… I don’t actually feel any better but I have changed my attitude and simplified the whole approach. I used to think that I needed to prove all of my fears wrong before I could start putting Paul’s advice into practice. I thought I needed peace of mind with my fears, but really I just need to let them be there and see them as what they are… which is anxiety.

    I’ve really opened up to everything in the last few days. Just viewing it as negative energy that needs to be released has been a big help.

  411. Belgian 15th February 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply


    You say : “I needed to prove all of my fears wrong… I thought I needed peace of mind with my fears but really I just need to let them be there and see them as what they are… which is anxiety.”

    Very true!

    You are very well on your way to find peace in the midst of these thoughts and of your reaction to them. Through acceptance, this peace will find you.

  412. Belgian 15th February 2016 at 1:57 pm - Reply


    A rather personal message from me.

    As I am not suffering anymore from an anxiety disorder, the only thing I am left with is anxiety 🙂 .

    My relationship with it has completely changed. Anxiety comes and goes and often I can now detect where it has been triggered. At the same time, I find it almost difficult now to believe how much I used to identify myself with it.

    Apparently, there is now room and space to tackle those behaviors and mindsets which made it possible for a disorder to settle in.

    It’s quite the journey. We all carry a surprising amount of unsuspected old grief and unresolved issues…

    Where I totally agree that you will not solve anxiety by trying to solve it and that acceptance of the symptoms is the only way to desensitize, I still feel its important to reach out to these aspects of my past and present that are key in understanding MY anxiety.

    It’s like lifting the hood of your car and looking at its mechanics to understand why the engine goes in overdrive from time to time.

    The fact that my reaction towards anxiety has so much shifted, makes it much easier now to follow my anxiety. By following it, I get to know it better and am able to reason with it more. I now know why my anxiety was so unbearable two years ago.

    It was my warning signal that I was holding myself back in my relationships. That I was not looking out for myself and that I not had enough attention for what I truly wanted. It screamed out that I carried too much weight to truly feel the love I was looking for. If you would have known me, you would not have believed this. Outwardly, I had everything sorted out. A great job, a beautiful wife, a house, a lot of friends. But I now know that every possession or progress in life, is worthless if we haven’t found peace with ourselves.

    I remember in my first session with a psychologist where the issues from my childhood were discussed who are now the ones to be ‘dealt’ with. It’s remarkable that from day one everything was already somewhat clear to me, but grief, guilt and anxiety made it impossible to process this. They made up versions of truth that were much more outrageous than what really was going on. Somehow, they were created in order not having to deal with my past grief.

    It took me years. But we need the journey. We need to feel everything our body is making us feel. We need to follow our own paths to become anew. That is why time is so important and why time is always your strongest ally.

    Anxiety is your signal. If you are suffering from it, do not expect that you will stop suffering instantly. Thousands questions and scary thoughts may rage in your soul as a furious, obstinate storm. These are not the ones to be answered. The only thing you need to do is follow the words of Paul and Dr. Weekes. Let acceptance prepare the road and eventually anxiety will even accompany you on it. Not as the enemy you loath, but as the friend you needed.

  413. Tasnim 15th February 2016 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    I would like to say I’m nearing recovery (minus any setbacks that could happen), and I’m making the effort to keep off this site, as it is becoming a crutch. The only thing I’m trying to wrap my head around is me constantly checking my feelings. Many of my symptoms subsided, but with no matter what I’m doing, I will think back to my anxiety and check up on it. I don’t know if I’m crossing the line between me doing stuff in my life, and me distracting myself to keep my thoughts occupied. I feel like I’m trying to keep myself busy so I think about the anxiety less and less. I just don’t know if I’m going about this stage wrong. I would really appreciate an answer from someone who recovered.

  414. Chris 16th February 2016 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Thanks Belgian.

    I’m having another one of those doubt days, where the fears aren’t fears anymore, they are instead things that are making me depressed. I sometimes think in this state that maybe I do need therapy to help me get over this whole brain damage fear. But maybe it’s because I’m in already in a depressed state, and I’m giving these fears too much credit. I can get a bit hung up on what Claire Weekes says about insoluble problems/special fears, and how she says that major fears need to be attacked at their source.

    Any opinions on this?

    On a side note, at the end of the day my back up plan is to live my life regardless of how I feel. I guess I can be thankful that the depression I feel isn’t as severe as it used to be, it’s more of a void where good feelings used to be.

  415. Eliza 16th February 2016 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    There now seems to be more evidence of a gut/brain connection to anxiety and depression via the vagus nerve. Taking a quality probiotic supplement helped me, and got rid of that feeling we often get in the solar plexus area with anxiety. It’s worth checking out.

  416. Belgian 16th February 2016 at 1:05 pm - Reply


    If you feel therapy would help you, why don’t give it a try?

    What’s holding you back?

  417. Chris 16th February 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Hey Belgian,

    One thing is money, none of it is covered so it would cost like $150 a session. The second is that it might only reinforce the fear. If it’s not necessarily then I’d rather avoid it haha.

    I did look into it today a bit and briefly spoke to a therapist on the phone who I thought could maybe help me. I told him my fears and he told me they are unlikely etc etc, but then the horrid doubt came back into play saying ‘nope he doesn’t know what he’s talking about’ etc, then the specific fear felt more significant so maybe it just serves as reinforcement.

  418. Ian 16th February 2016 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Hi all.

    Not commented/been on a for a few weeks as I didn’t want coming on here as a new technique.
    I’m dealing with anxious thoughts about things around me really well, I can easily let them be there, they soon go and I feel real progress but One part I’m founding very hard is the self like as such. I’m finding the inner critic about myself really hard to deal with, I can’t let them be there without believing them as seeing them as true.
    The thought of being worthless, no worthy, my partner doesn’t love/care about me seem to be so real…

  419. Colin 16th February 2016 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Tasmin.
    I even now still do this , I think it’s totally normal and nothing to worry about ! Perhaps through not feeling anxious for long periods, you will let this also slip to the back of your mind and then no longer do this either . But as of now just enjoy the freedom from anxiety did in a strange way never forget what it’s like ! Remember that part of recovery is being able to discuss and think about anxiety also . So glad that you are where you are and keep being positive . Same goes to everyone out there . One question . Can you guys share your alcohol consumption with me . Just that I do believe there is a definite link between it and anxiety . Totally understand if you tell me to do one none of my business. But since I have become tea total I haven’t suffered anxiety !!!

  420. Debbie 16th February 2016 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Hi colin i was wondering do u have to get use to feeling yourself without anxiety i just feel strange . It feels like my mind just latches on to images and stays there

  421. Tasnim 16th February 2016 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks, I hope recovery comes. One thing that is bugging me though currently is that I still have a fear that I haven’t been able to “accept” or move towards. The same thing that made me break in the first place. I keep getting scared at the thought of developing schizophrenia. Yesterday, I was swamped with school work, and got stressed, so my anxiety came back and the thoughts of schizophrenia came back. The anxiety mellowed within an hour, but the thought still lingered. I was going back and forth thinking what if? and then trying to convince myself out. I want to just accept it, but I’m finding it difficult.. The rational part of me knows that I can’t fret about, but the anxiety part of me brings out so much worry. At times I’ll think or do something, and think “wait, isn’t that something a schizophrenic would do,” and then get scared or try to push it away (which I know is bad). I learned so much about in psych class, so the info is stuck in my head. I’m only a high school senior, so the uncertainty can be crippling. I know a lot of people with anxiety had this same fear, and I don’t know how to move past it. I feel that it is hindering my recovery.

  422. Chris 17th February 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Sorry is someone able to help me here? I’ve really fallen off track and the doubt is at an all time high. I am very bewildered. One of the reasons that I’m finding it hard to float past this fear of mine is because of this line from one of Claire Weekes books, which is in regards to floating.

    “while this method is excellent for minor fears, major fears must indeed be attacked at their source, otherwise unmasking fear is only dodging the issue. By major fear I mean a fear big enough to have originally caused illness and to be now interfering with recovery”.

    I find this very confusing. I wish she would be a bit more specific here. This is the reason why I’m so hung up on “oh no I need therapy” etc, because of my fear of brain damage from drugs – the most stupid and pointless fear ever. I guess I see this as a major fear, but I honestly would rather float past it and get over it myself. Now whenever the thought comes to mind, when I go to float past it my mind says “nope you’re dodging the issue, you need therapy!” but what good will therapy do. There is no way to ease this fear because there is no way it can be proven to be right or wrong. I thought it would be more appropriate to just deal with the anxiety. Ughhh 🙁

    I’ll admit I’m obsessing over it yes, but I guess that’s normal considering the state I’m in. This is why I like Paul’s books more because he doesn’t add confusing paragraphs like that.

    Can someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me clarify this, it’s playing on my mind big time and I’m literally desperate. This acceptance approach is my only way out and I don’t want it to be tainted by a single paragraph. I am so bewildered and I just need clarification. I will send you chocolates if you do 🙂

    Thanks so much.

  423. Xylo 17th February 2016 at 4:28 am - Reply

    I hope everyone here has first been checked for hyperthyroidism etc… Hyperthyroidism in particular mimics an anxiety disorder and is not going to improve with acceptance.

  424. Doreen 17th February 2016 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Tasnim and Chris – you are both doing the same thing. Latching onto something and making it bigger than it is and seeing it as something to be resolved before you can move on. Probably everyone who has ever used this site has had their own ‘thing’ and come to realise that if it wasn’t that, it would be something else. That was the point at which acceptance for them and me started.
    Anxiety sits on our shoulders looking down and ‘thinks’ what can I make her/him worry about today? You have to live along side the fear, recognise that is has no value and gradually that way of thinking will become second nature.

  425. Chris 17th February 2016 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Hi Doreen, thanks for that. You’re right. There’s always a ‘thing’ involved with anxiety. For me it actually switches a bit. If I’m reassured about one fear, another usually just pops up in it’s place. It seems I have the whole ‘hypochondria’ type of anxiety. Anxiety doesn’t prevent me from doing anything. I can literally go anywhere. It’s just the stories I make up in my mind that cause me to suffer. For instance, my mate told me about a thing called serotonin syndrome about a month ago, which I knew a little about but I decided to google it in a weak moment (something I don’t do anymore) and instantly I was like ‘I must of had that when I was on meds cos I had side effects!’. So silly.

    Tasmin, I used to have that fear too. It’s so common it isn’t even funny. You’re not going to develop it, trust me. I’d bet a large sum of money on it!

    Has anyone else on here had a big specific fear that they have overcome with acceptance?

  426. Belgian 17th February 2016 at 11:01 am - Reply


    Congratulations! Once again you have the opportunity to practice acceptance!

    You know already everything there is to know and I am sure you also know how meaningless your anxious thoughts are. You know that the only thing you are suffering from is anxiety and not brain damage!

    But – and this is important – it’s not because you know it isn’t true, that you are not feeling ‘anxiety’. Go with whatever you feel and think, let your body float throughout even the biggest storm. Let’s be honest, you constantly engaging with this thought isn’t helping you at all and is only making you more anxious.

    Claire Weekes wasn’t referring to your ‘drugs have harmed my brain’ thought when she told us “while this method is excellent for minor fears, major fears must indeed be attacked at their source, otherwise unmasking fear is only dodging the issue. By major fear I mean a fear big enough to have originally caused illness and to be now interfering with recovery”

    She was referring to anxiety caused by some difficult life situation involving guilt, grief. Basically, she was saying that you can’t tackle these problems by floating and ignoring them. Floating will still help and is necessary there to cope with your anxiety, but it can’t fix the root of your issue. That is why she said that the treatment is basically the same.

    Your only concern when anxious is to cope with it by accepting it. I am sure you can and will do so.

  427. Steve b 17th February 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Hi Colin
    Most of me episodes have resolved around drink and drugs. I am sure there is a big link.
    I am also teatotal now. 10 months and feeling better( slowly)

  428. Belgian 17th February 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Colin & Steve,

    there is a clear link between anxiety panic attacks and alcohol. I always feel more anxious the day after I had a couple of drinks.

    That is why anxiety prone people should try to avoid alcohol and certainly drugs. I have come to terms with the fact that my hangovers are a thousand times worse than other people’s 🙂 The risk is addiction since drugs and alcohol first make you feel better and less anxious when under influence.

    Important to stress here is that there is no more long time damage than there is for someone who isn’t an anxiety-sufferer. In fact, the fact that we react so heavily on it can also be considered to be seen as a positive point. It’s another way our body is telling us not to have an unhealthy life style 🙂 . So consider your ‘anxiety felt hangover’ as something unpleasant, but good! It will help you to accept it.

  429. Chris 17th February 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Thanks for clarifying that Belgian, that doubt can really throw me off track sometimes! Maybe it’s just another part of the package I need to accept.

    I misinterpreted it as one of those ‘major fears/problems’ because the thought causes so much grief, but once again if I didn’t have anxiety then this thought wouldn’t really bother me so much. I think me getting involved with it and identifying with it is really causing me grief more than anything. Deep down I knew getting therapy about it and looking for reassurance wouldn’t help, as whenever I do it literally just makes me feel worse. This must be my minds way of telling me that it’s best to leave it behind and feed it no more. It’s just like playing whack a mole as Paul describes. Such a relief to know I don’t need to dig any deeper into these fears that I have.

    It’s crazy how ridiculously suggestible we can get in this state. For me it almost feels like I need to look for the hidden meaning behind every single word lol. I guess I have nothing to lose by just going ahead and accepting it all.

    On the subject of hangovers and anxiety, it can certainly make you feel more crappy. For me hangovers aren’t usually a big issue with anxiety, but I know alcohol isn’t a good option because it can keep us sensitized. Although in saying that, last year I went to Europe while in a setback and I did one of those Contiki tours, which is basically a month long pub crawl through Europe haha. We drank nearly every night, and I still managed to come out of the setback regardless! This is a month of minimal sleep every night, walking all day in the 45 degree heat, and partying nearly every night. I found it quite interesting how I felt better after all of that. Maybe it was the constant distraction of traveling. Still it seems that most people don’t feel better long term from drinking, I tend to only drink once a month now.

  430. Jamie 17th February 2016 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Doreen – may i ask if you have ‘recovered’ (if i can use that term)?

    I remember Nolan saying you helped him when he was really struggling which suggests you’re a veteran of the blog.

  431. Rik 17th February 2016 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Hi All,

    Just wanted to check in. Trying to keep positive and keep accepting. Having a particularly hard time with DP at the moment. Feel constantly in a daze and disconnected from things and struggle to feel any emotions. It is at the point where I can’t feel things towards loved ones so much and I have to admit I am very much struggling with accepting that. Has anyone else experienced this?

  432. laxmi 17th February 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Hi all just wanted to know if anybody has problem with eating my mnid is full with thoughts of eating every 2hrs if I dont eat I get scared tensed mylife is restricted cause of those houghts how to deal with these thoughts pl help

  433. Sara 17th February 2016 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Guys i just waned to ask about depression PLEASE

    How would you deal with lack of motivation when you are feeling depressed??

    I feel like i’m going around in circles, getting some courage and dealing with it then it slowly dimunishes and it creeps back and the cycle goes on….how do you acutally move foreward with depression??

  434. Xylo 17th February 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Sara I have the same thing. Constant cycling – for a while I’m ok, then really anxious, then depressed, then ok and so forth. I don’t feel like I can survive like this forever and I haven’t been any different in years.

    Chris – I used to be a binge drinker, interestingly alcohol works similarly to tranqs, it has an effect on GABA. So no suprise that anxious people like to drink! You may have felt OK during that time because as Claire Weekes says, having your interest aroused is better for you than rest, interest is anxiety’s worst enemy! I know for me that boredom causes a lot of my internalising and ruminating. I feel fine when I’m genuinely interested in something!

  435. Xylo 17th February 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Rik – yes I have experienced what you describe. At one point I couldn’t feel anything but fear and couldn’t bear to be around my family – I was just frightened of them all. I still get it on occasion but better understand it now and come through with acceptance, carrying on as if it’s not there and trusting that it will end. It might last a day or two. It’s horrid but normal for anxiety sufferers.

  436. Shawn 17th February 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Belgian, I really admire what you say and how you say it! I would say I’m over the anxiety disorder, I’m not cured because how can you be cured of fear, and why would you want to be? People who pathologically have no fear tend not to live very long lives, and don’t tend to stay in one piece either. Anxiety isn’t a disease, you have to change your relationship with it, learn to live alongside it, teach your brain that it doesn’t have to react in the way it has been, then it fades away. It may come back to me, but I know I can get over it so it will never be as bad as it was.
    Colin, I haven’t drunk in well over a year, my hangovers were blistering! Before all this i used to joke with my siblings about the dreaded “beer fear” I would be a mess for about 24hrs after a session; I couldn’t string a sentence together, I couldn’t face people, I assumed everyone got it to some degree and never associated it with anxiety, I knew it would fade after a good sleep. However when I began to feel unwell it was like I instinctively knew that more booze would send me over the edge so I stopped, and well, I went over the edge anyway. I don’t think it was the booze, I think the feeling of beer fear was underlying anxiety manifesting itself when I was feeling rough. Even though I’m pretty much over anxiety now, I still don’t think I’ll bother with the sauce anymore; that’s the beauty of a period of anxiety, it forces you to confront things you probably never wanted too and make changes you never thought were necessary.
    Tasnim, I had the schizophrenic/ psychosis fear as well,it is horrible! I’m not a mental health professional; but through work I’ve had to deal with people with these sorts of disorders, usually when they’re in crisis. Looking back, I was required to deal with people in crisis without a real understanding of what was happening to them, so when I started to develop severe anxiety, I assumed I was developing one of these types of disorder; this added to the stress which resulted in me having a “breakdown” with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that anxiety was just looking for something to latch onto.
    I no longer have to double check whether or not something I heard was in my head or others had heard it too. I no longer lie down trying to fall asleep, just waiting for “the voices” to start, and I don’t question whether my thought processes are still rational or not (I understand now that if they weren’t, I wouldn’t know)
    Anxiety is a horrible, horrible condition until you change your relationship with it, and, if necessary, make the lifestyle changes it demands.

  437. Shawn 17th February 2016 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Sara- unfortunately anxiety and depression can go hand in hand. When I was depressed, I used to look at what I had achieved, even when I felt numb, I would make sure I got up, got showered, had something to eat whether I could stomach it or not, and if I did that I would say to myself that I couldn’t be that bad.
    Just because your depressed doesn’t make you a depressive, if your in a bad situation ( and anxiety IS a situation that feels bad) then of course your going to be depressed.
    I took St Johns Wart to take the edge of the depressive feelings, and it did the trick for me, I’m not saying I was jumping for joy afterwards, but it really took the edge off. Not everyone likes this sort of stuff, and it should NEVER be taken with antidepressants, but even after much googling I could find very little negative feedback on it.

  438. Chris 18th February 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Xylo, that’s interesting. Makes sense though.

    Rik and Sara.

    Yeah depresssion is a big one with anxiety, it’s spiritual exhaustion. I’m going through this today and it feels absolutely crushing! No pleasant emotions, just a real heavy burden. All we can really do is accept it to the best of our ability. I’m also not feeling motivated. Just try and do something easy like watch a movie or go for a walk even. Cardio is good too.

  439. Chris 18th February 2016 at 4:04 am - Reply

    Just a question actually, has anyone here experienced that ‘burning’ kind of fear? I experience it across my face and especially in my solar plexus area.

  440. Angela 18th February 2016 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Hello, this is my first post here. I think this is a wonderful community and I was wondering if someone could possibly help me please.

    I have read the book, and I hear everything that Paul and everyone has to say but I have one very large worry that I think might possibly separate me from you most of you.

    I had a stroke just over 2 years ago, and since then I have been suffering with crippling anxiety. To me it is clear that it is a result of the stroke, and therefore is this something that I will not be able to recover from?

  441. Tim 18th February 2016 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hey All/Paul,

    Firstly id just like to thank Paul for an amazing blog. I really love it and check it out when I need the help. Ive had crippling anxiety for years, and thanks to claire weeks / this blog im starting to see moments of calm which is lovely. I will continue to learn about and follow the method, just allowing the anxiety to be there, not to protect myself, not to feed into it, not to use safety behaviours etc.

    Yet I still do have a couple of main worries, and I was wondering what people thought. Firstly, my mind goes blank in social conversations. I can feel calm and just not think of anything to say, I also feel I don’t have a great amount of knowledge to draw from despite my age. Now I am CERTIAN this partially to do with anxiety – I focus deeply on myself when this fear arises. But I do worry that I have a poor memory just naturally. Ive also entertained the thought that my constant focus and worry for myself (even when alone) has basically narrowed my life to the point where I am not that interesting because I haven’t learnt much.

    My second fear is low libido. I took a medication years ago that i blamed for my anxiety all this time and low libido. I have only started to entertain the though that maybe I am maintaining the anxiety myself. Is it possible that my libido will improve as I relax and sleep better?

    Any comforting thoughts would be lovely. I know i’m creating more anxiety for myself by worry but i’ll try not.

  442. Rich 18th February 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Tim Welcome to the blog. You sound a lot like me. For me, libido is the first thing to go when I’m anxious – it’s something that comes back as soon as I bring myself out of the darkness. This is completely natural – as why would you want to do something fun when you feel so rubbish.

    You like many others are analysing everything and trying to figure it all out – totally natural thing to do. Your quickest way out of this is to abandon analysis and care. Don’t worry about how you are socially or how people perceive you. Those worth hanging onto will stand by you through good and bad. Those that don’t aren’t worth worrying about.

  443. Rich 18th February 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Angela, Welcome to the blog. I can’t relate specifically to your situation or what may be bringing on the anxiety, however you can be sure that you can recover from the fear of the anxiety in the same way that I and many others on here have and still try to do (often more successfully than other times but hey ho!).

    Part of this process is overcoming the fear of the anxiety such that it doesn’t bother you any more and subsides. Easier said than done. If you’re able to lose the fear of it (often by pretending to before actually have the fear leave you) you will be able to enjoy life with or without anxiety.

  444. Tim 18th February 2016 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Rich. I just want to say thank you for taking the time to reply. It really means a lot. To hear that libido is linked to anxiety to a degree from someone is really heartening. Because of my belief the drug had ruined me ive really created one hell of a mess for myself. My anxiety has been near constant for 10 years. Even while driving by myself etc. Plus ive been so worried about my libido/that i have no hope its no wonder its low. I will do my utmost to stop analysing and fixing. Ive tried everything and i feel in my heart this is the way.

    Regarding being more int r resting ive started listening to radio and podcasts to catch up on current affairs. This i hope will have the double effect of centering my outside myself. Previously id listen to music partly as an attempt to cheer/calm myself before i went somewhere.

  445. Tim 18th February 2016 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Ya know, im starting to think a focus on ones own problems is the defining problem of the 21st century in the west. So many believe we are broken and need fixing. My parents are not anxious at all and they place there focus outwards. I know this isnt much of a revelation but its interesting. I think its our individualistic culture where we believe we are the centre of the universe and should be perfect and capable of anything.

  446. Jen 18th February 2016 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Is it normal to still feel not like your self after having first panic attack in august? Ever since thrn I have been always anxious and the is hell started. I jump from one worry to the next. I just want to be my old self with out all this feelings and worries. Just feeling a bit discouraged

  447. Chris 18th February 2016 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    So I made a MASSIVE mistake yesterday.

    I had another ‘what if’ thought, and I decided to follow it through with a google search. I was on 3mg of Ativan back in November for a week, and I had this whole fear of withdrawal. It passed. However yesterday I reinforced the whole thing, and now I’ve convinced myself the withdrawals have come back!

    I won’t be going near google with a ten foot pole again, but I’m in a state of utter terror and despair today. The fear is literally off the charts and my body feels shot. I’m cringing the anxiety is so bad and every second is hell. This is not ideal…

    I was feeling more positive about my recovery last week, now I feel like my life is over. Sorry for the negativity, just reaching out for support. It’s my own fault for going back to google 🙁

  448. Tasnim 19th February 2016 at 1:30 am - Reply

    Sometimes I’m not sure if I am truly accepting my anxiety or just keeping it at bay, like I’m pushing through it. I’ve been swamped with school stuff this week, and also in the school mornings, I usually have to keep to myself, leaving me with my thoughts. That whole time I am thinking about anxiety. I get sleepy sometimes, because I think I tire my mind out. Today we went on a field trip, and I again was in a haze, probably because my mind was so tired. I also had to take a nap today because I was so tired. So today I’m in a low mood, which I guess is why I feel a bit doubtful. It’s not really a question, but I had to get that out.

  449. Tasnim 19th February 2016 at 1:53 am - Reply

    I think Im like Chris. My anxiety has more to do with my thoughts than w/ other things. I don’t have much issue doing stuff, and when I’m talking about with friends and family, I’ll find myself with a period where I’m not thinking about anxiety. My physical symptoms are usually at minimum too, with the exception of a few times. Right now I just spend most of my time thinking about the actual anxiety. I end up connecting thoughts to it, even if it’s unrelated, or end up along the lines of analyzing, even if I’m not technically worrying. I just don’t know the difference between me suppressing my thoughts so I could focus on what I need to vs accepting them and letting them be there so I can focus on other stuff. It’s like I go back and forth. Does that make sense? I know I’ve made a lot of posts recently. I just want to understand this, or know if I am going about this wrong as some symptoms have slowly resurfaced again.

  450. Tim 19th February 2016 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Hi Jen, I honestly think that its very normal for you to have these feelings. Your panic attack was im sure very scary, you are essentially experiencing some post trauma stress (hightened nervous system).

    Regarding what Chris was saying I think there is a positive from it. This just shows how much power our thoughts have over our feelings. There is almost no chance that what you are feeling is due to withdrawl, its all to do with the meanings you have created. This means that there is a lot of hope, once we can get past it.

    Hi Tansim, I wish i could help but im not quite sure im 100% knowledgeable about this yet. However you want to get to the stage where you don’t fuse with your thoughts. I have kind of started to realise that whatever worry / analysis I engage in doesn’t help, so I haven’t been doing it as much.

  451. Evy 19th February 2016 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Hello everyone …
    Nolan and Belgian
    if you can be so kind to give me your feedback as I’ve read a lot of your replies and they are so awesome and soothing
    I would like to take a moment to introduce myself , I used this site many years ago , 5 to be exact , I was in the worst situation of my life dealing with high anxiety , disturbing thoughts and the stubborn unreal feelings , as things got better an I started to progress , I soon left the site as I started living a “normal ” life again , I rarely ,, if ever even thought about the site anymore , my best feeling was when the unreal feeling lifted as well as the attacks , I pretty much go on with life , the ending of last year became really stressful with work , relationships. Etc… In late nov I experienced a full blown panicky attack ! Followed by the new year i now how feelings of reality and dp! At first it frighten me , but then I remembered I felt it before , what brings me back is I question myself what did I do wrong !? Why did that annoying symptom come back !? I haven’t felt it in years , as I thought I would never feel it again , it saddens me because I feel like I’m dead, and life is passing me by , I feel numb , I get these weird thoughts in my head , songs playing over and over , I try to stay positive as I know I overcame this , I never thought i would ever be here again , 🙁 as I look back at all these years I do see there was things I didn’t address properly at work , just life issues in general , but then I see friends in much more worse sinerios and they don’t feel what I feel ! Ughhhh ! It gets frustrating at times! But what I’ve been doing is not fearing my symptoms to not make me feel worse! Sometimes the unreal feeling can be so unpleasant that I feel I’m going to loose my mind ! I have 2 wonderful kids and just to think of it breaks me ! I know I have to stay positive it can be challenging at times , thanks for listening
    God bless !

  452. Chris 19th February 2016 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Thanks for the reply Tim.

    I honestly can see how so many of my fears are psychological, however when I’m in a state of fear that doesn’t seem to matter and these thoughts seem so believable.

    Like I said, yesterday I made a massive mistake, and I’m paying for it now. I’m having a bloody hard time accepting all this due to the intensity of it all. I woke up this morning and it was all so overwhelming, that fear and despair was literally off the charts, I couldn’t bare my own company and every second was literally torture. I seem to be swaying back and forth from fear to depression. Every single task is replaced with this sense of dread. When I receive a message on facebook, all I feel is dread. When I hear the dishwasher beeping, all I feel is dread. On top of that my thoughts are my worst enemy. Seriously how bad can this get? It’s so damn intense and happiness seems like a foreign thing that I’ll never experience again. It’s such a dark dark experience.

  453. Rik 19th February 2016 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Hi Chris,

    When you find yourself falling backwards again it is time to pick yourself up and begin to accept again. You have created this new fear by going on google and frightening yourself. I am pretty sure we have all done it and felt that sudden dread hit us when we think ‘what if’. The what ifs are so powerful when we are in a highly sensitized state that they feel real and if there is any shred of doubt we then become scared and obsessed. Been there myself. We are extremely suggestible to fearful thoughts at the moment. Just start the acceptance again and take the sting out of the thoughts.

  454. Chris 19th February 2016 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Thanks Rik.

    Its going to be challenging but I’ll give it my best shot. My emotions are in absolute overdrive at the moment, and my thoughts are very obsessive and clingy. I forgot that suffering on this level actually exists. That constant inner tremor of burning fear and those feelings of depression are very unpleasant, especially when the thoughts just add and add and add. This is going to take time I think.

  455. Rik 19th February 2016 at 11:29 am - Reply

    It is a process Chris and some days are easier than others. Symptoms, both physical and mental, can wax and wane but if you stay consistent then time will heal. When the thoughts pop up just refuse to ruminate and let them go each time. Once you no longer engage with them they will over time reduce until they are just a memory and shrugging them off will become second nature. With your emotions try to understand that they are created by the state of stress that your body and mind is in. Did you ever see someone who was stressed to the eyeballs smiling and laughing? I certainly haven’t. Once your mind is no longer stressed out the feelings of depression will begin to fade also and other things will capture your attention. I am a work in progress myself but I have noticed some periods of normality this last few days. As soon as I notice them I end up thinking again but it shows progress.

  456. Belgian 19th February 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply


    you have been here before, but you now have one great advantage you didn’t have last time. At least not in the beginning of your suffering.

    You now have the knowledge you need to pass beyond your suffering. You know the way already. It starts at the same place as it did before. It starts with acceptance.

    Acceptance of the feelings you dislike. I feel the frustration for the return of your ‘dreaded’ feelings. It’s normal to feel frustrated. Everyone would be. So feel frustrated. I also feel your anxious feelings about it. They are normal too given the circumstances. So feel anxious. You already know you could feel anything without it truly harming you.

    As you accept, you will stop the endless battle with yourself and you will restore your energy. Energy that left you for reasons other than anxiety. You write yourself that the last few months have been hard for you. I feel sorry for that. I totally sympathize with it, but you know that your anxiety is telling you to stop worrying about it. To feel what there is to feel.

    It’s not easy. Some people feel ‘more’ than others. Everyone copes with distress in their own way. Some suffer more than others. Don’t begrudge your own suffering and don’t feel jealous of people who – at first sight – are not suffering as much as you do.

    It’s not easy, but you can find the way. You have found it and that’s one experience that will never leave you. Accept your current suffering and let time and life bring you back somewhere uphill where joy and luck are already waiting your arrival.

  457. Colin 19th February 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Such a nice post ! Very well said my old son !!! It’s so nice when someone can put such great feedback to someone needing support . Well done again , keep up the superb advice you are given .


  458. Colin 19th February 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Colin * lol

  459. Fleur 20th February 2016 at 12:08 am - Reply

    Hello, please, I need help. I am desperate.
    I wrote here in december that I have relationship anxiety problems. I have an anxiety for 1 year. I had everything from physical symptoms to intrusive thoughts of harming, fear of depression in 2015.
    But now I do everything, I don´t feel anxiety when I study, when I go to school like last year I thought that it is impossible. It was unbearable for me. NOW I have feeling of anxiety only when I am with him /my love/. I am with him for 5 years. It was perfect before anxiety, no doubts, I was always laughing and was happy with him. Then I had panic attacks from school AND after half an year of anxiety my anxiety changed focus on my boyfriend.

    These intrusive thoughts/feelings are a torture, it is the worst what I have ever felt. It is worse by every day. I don´t want to spend time with him anymore. I don´t know WHY. I think that it is because my fear. Because when I am with him I have those thougts that I don´t feel love and then big anxiety is coming. So I think and hope, that this is the reason for that I don´t want to be with him. I read books, watch movies, I do everything because I don´t want to think about him and about “what if my love to him is gone.”

    I don´t want to be without him it is my worst nightmare.

    My boyfriend is very very sad he doesn´t understand. I don´t blame him, my feelings are very strange. I am not sure if it is anxiety or my real feelings. I feel like a psychopath. How can I CRY and be SCARED of break up /like end of the world/, when I don´t want to break up. But I have big fear that I will leave him, that I will lose my feelings. And every day it is more true. I really can´t be with him without feelings of dread. For example I am watching a movie with him, when we are talking or watching everything is OK, but then we are going to lie together and kiss or touching and this I simply can´t. I can´t touch him, I feel a strange aversion. Or anxiety. Like I must runaway from him I must be alone. I don´t understand why I feel this. Then he is so sad, because I am very cold toward him. This worries me. I can´t and don´t want to touch him or kiss him. With one word I don´t want romance. And this is a nightmare. I want to feel it. Then my biggest fear is that what if it is real and love is gone. When I am not sure that it is anxiety I can´t accept.

    I must repeat myself that I never had these worries. I loved spending time with him. It is completely strange so I hope that it is anxiety.

  460. Tim 20th February 2016 at 1:28 am - Reply

    Hey Chris,

    I was there a few weeks ago mate, very low. My head was spinning, each thought seemed to have a power over me like a wave crashing against my body. My mind went numb, I would just feel like sleeping in bed. I think its a loss of hope that is behind great depression. What turned me around is understanding (firstly that this was all related to a sensitised nervous system – the tiredness, the intrusive thoughts, the sadness, lack of clear thought, lack of energy. I said to myself this is me now, my poor body and mind are quite sick. But hope also helped. I truly believe(d) that it was only anxiety/sensitisation. Its something that can and will change over time. If you have sad and intrusive/obsessive thoughts just let them happen, don’t try to be strong. Have some compassion for yourself “yep, right now lets just admit it, im pretty fucked. People could probably tell, oh well”.Just do your thing and they will go eventually.

  461. Chris 20th February 2016 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Thanks Tim and Rik. I think that’s the best approach to take. My fears are so stupid and irrelevant anyway, I’m practicing letting them go to the best of my ability.

    On that subject does it even matter what our fears are in this state? Is recovery the same for all of us, no matter what our anxiety/depression wants to latch on to?

  462. Evy 20th February 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Your post left me speechless , I was so into it that for that quick minute I forgot I even had anxiety ! I really appreciate your feedback , it’s nice to read such positive words when your feeling so low ! I know I can do it , and this time will be a bit different ! Your message helped me so much today , that I rarely felt dp or unreality !
    Thank you so much

  463. Evy 20th February 2016 at 7:56 am - Reply

    Belgian 🙂
    Thank you so much for your kind words , as I was reading your feedback , I totally forgot I even had anxiety again ! Reminding me of the fact that I overcame this before , and I can def so it again ! Now that I see things with the “I don’t care attitude ” I could have saved myself from so much stress and dread ! I find myself addressing life different for the past month , I wish I would of done this all along , but it’s ok better late then never ! I really appriecte your post , positive attitude can go such a long way ! Today after reading your post I felt a rush of normality rush through my body , that I rarely felt stmptoms of dp or unreality ! I still felt detached but I was so busy I barely paid attention to it
    Blessings to all

  464. Doreen 20th February 2016 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Chris – you know the answer to that last question. Seems you are still needing to define the content of your anxiety as ‘different’ to other peoples. The content isn’t relevant and you yourself have agreed with that some posts back.

  465. Doreen 20th February 2016 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Jaimie – in answer to your question. I live my life to the full with an understanding of how anxiety can sometimes rear its head and then be disregarded. I don’t use words like ‘recovery’.

  466. Chris 20th February 2016 at 9:48 am - Reply

    I’ve tried to hold back with the ‘poor me’ posts. But I’m in such a desperate place right now so I feel I need to post this for help. I’m so sorry if this comes across negative or scares anyone, I just need support. I want to recover and enjoy life again. I’ve gone from bad to worse in the last few days. I was in a much better place the other day and I felt I was on the right track and I’m a bit disappointed in myself for falling off the railing and having to resort to one of these posts, but honestly I need support. Anyways…

    I am convinced I am the worst here. My fears are so obsessive and every moment is absolute torture. Even when I say ok I am going to move on from this useless fear of mine (the brain damage fear), I can’t. The emotional pain I am feeling is indescribable.

    Honestly how can acceptance heal something of this magnitude. Every second is hell and every one of my thoughts makes my guts sink.

    I never used to be like this. Quite the opposite. I loved life and was such a positive person, this state definitely brings out the worse in me. Now I am severely depressed and I am in a state of extreme fear 24/7. It’s literally a tragedy to me. I’ve been in this setback for five months now, five months, they never last this long. My mind always finds something horrible to conjure up to reinforce this fear of mine. The latest it is saying is ‘you’re a small person so these drugs/meds affected you more’ (I’m 5’6 and 65kg). How ridiculously obsessive is that!!!

    I fear I am going to be in this state forever and it makes me feel sick. Life should be enjoyed, not spent in a mental prison. I feel like a tormented soul.
    I’m trying not to be full of pity, but seriously will this work for me? I’m at such a desperate point. I want to live dammit.

    Once again, I’m so sorry I had to resort to one of these posts. I know some of you will be thinking ‘why doesn’t he get it?’ etc. I know what it’s like to read these desperate posts when I’m in a relatively grounded place where I can work with my anxiety (it’s almost like I forgot how bad it can actually get), however when I’m thrown into this state, I can suddenly remember how bad it is… I’m literally in tears as I write this.

    Honestly has anyone been this bad, is this anxiety or does it sound like something worse? Any advice would really help me. Thank you all so much.

  467. Amanda 20th February 2016 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Don’t apologise we are all in this together, I have been in this last set back for almost 12 months, it has been a living hell, I don’t avoid anything and pretty much live like I did before going to work, on holidays and raise 3 little boys – all the while feeling awful, detached, depressed, dp , I too convinced myself it’s because of the drugs I took in my early twenties (I am now 38) some days I handle it better than others. I think I have accepted this is my life and I still don’t feel any better. Do you have someone you can talk to? I hope you are not alone, sorry I wish there was something I could say to ease your pain as I truly know how awful it is, you are not alone

  468. honey 20th February 2016 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hi Chris,

    Just wanted to respond and provide support. I was in a really awful place for a while a few months back. I’m still really procrastinating about accepting and keep looking for recovery stories of hope. I find my thinking very black and white when I’m bad. Unfortunately anxiety cycles like this. And we get these times of utter despair but then it improves slightly. I really don’t have the answer because I’m still in a setback but am feeling a big bottle ND having less physical anxiety now so am functioning. All I can say is that at my worst I just referred through my gp to see a psychologist on the nhs. Just having someone to talk to got me back on track and may help you too. I don’t feel like I need it now but it helped. Thinking of you. Trust that there will be a better day.

    To everyone else, just a random question, how old were you when your anxiety disorder started?

  469. honey 20th February 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Bit better not big bottle ?

  470. Rik 20th February 2016 at 11:36 am - Reply


    I completely empathise with you. I too am struggling a lot despite accepting. My fears are now more reality based because of DP. It is really proving extremely difficult for me at the moment. I have recovered from anxiety before and when i am as bad as this i also find it extremely hard to remember what it was like before. Acceptance does work though. Unfortunately it takes time and patience which isnt easy when you feel so bad. You have told your mind that every thought is to be feared and so it responds accordingly. Only you can start to reverse this learnt behaviour.

    Dont feel the need to apologise for reaching out. We are all here for the same reason.

    You know why you have gotten worse this last few days and that is because you fell back into the trap of googling. This means you were not accepting. Had you been accepting there would have been no need to google. If you are not accepting then you are not calming your mind and also you are not showing your mind that there is no need to fear these thoughts. Try to take stock and begin again. If you feel crap then feel it. Dont try desperately to rid yourself of the anxiety. Just feel it.

    You have seen it work before as you mentioned you are in a setback. That means you have done well in the past so keep thar spark of hope alive and get back on the horse. You can do it.

  471. Amanda 20th February 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Hi honey
    I was about 23 that was my first major episode and now this one (38), had a few minor blips in between but I got past them quickly, this time it’s been alot harder.

  472. Rik 20th February 2016 at 11:42 am - Reply


    I was 22. Then was free of it for 8 years. Had a bad patch last year but recovered but then due to extreme stress it came back again in December.

  473. Amanda 20th February 2016 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Very wise and comforting words Rik.

  474. Milu 20th February 2016 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Hi all
    Haven’t written in awhile took a break of reflection. I have created done thoughts recently that have pulled me back into my anxiety. I have physical symptoms and have started telling myself of all the scary things I could be sick with. Ah, anxiety when will you ever just lie low? Going to jump on my thiughts.
    Chris I too have been scare my youth drug usage has caused this in Me but I have heard over and over that it just isn’t true. I think when we feel so fearful our smart brain is just grabbing at any reason to make us believe that is a solid reason. Who wants to accept emotions and thoughts can create such fear. I wanted to also mention that I do see a psych and it is very expensive but it has helped me. I think that they can help but you if you choose that route you will just need to find someone who aligns with you. Not every Dr is good for everyone. No pressure I just want to to hear that they aren’t all scary ?
    Evy I hear the pain I your words , stay strong , just one foot in front of the other and you will feel relief again. Just remeber the books and the acceptance of fear.
    Rik so glad to see you stillin here with your kind and comforting words for all. I hope you begin to feel more breaks of relief. You know that they will come and you will be able to feel yourself again.
    Thank you all for sharing your stories and your fears.

  475. Milu 20th February 2016 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I had my first big episode at 23 then post partum Balt with my second at 30, two years ago and now. They have been different and the one two years ago was when I started digging in to find out causes. Although I have an episode this time it is improved for example I am sleeping fairly well whereas I never had before . Improvement 🙂

  476. Rik 20th February 2016 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I am happy to help Milu. I can only offer advice based on my own experience and if it helps someone then that is great. I am having a really hard time at the moment. I seem to be suffering mainly with mental symptoms. Heaps of DP which just makes me feel wierd and disconnected all the time. How nice it would be to just forget my obsessive thoughts and feel integrated and at one with my family again.

  477. Debbie 20th February 2016 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Honey iwas 12 years old now iam 55 but i had a big gap of no anxiety for 20 years.
    Rik iam with u with mental symptoms i get dp also alot of intrusives not the norm all dreams or movies ive seenalso every thing i see has to remind me of something very weird or scared to even look at something.

  478. Chris 21st February 2016 at 5:52 am - Reply

    Thanks for the support everyone, god it’s been rough. This is literally an obsession I have here and I can’t seem to break free from it. My mind has been on it all day, and I’ve decided to just let it be there. However it’s really bringing me down.

    When I did my awful google search (sorry if this scares anyone, in fact please don’t read on if you’re in a sensitive state, seriously I don’t want to give others something to worry about.), it even mentioned that anxiety and depression can cause damage to the brain. When I read that I was like oh great, more fear awesome. This is my own fault. I thought I learnt my lesson but obviously I didn’t. I’ve read wayyyy to much into this, one again my own fault.

    I still did accept for most of the day, and I definitely let the thoughts be there. At the moment I’m in another hellish spot, and that’s when I’m most vulnerable to the thoughts.

    I honestly would love to move on from my obsessive fear, then I could actually focus on what matters and I’d feel alot more hopeful. Maybe this is just something that needs time to heal. A long time perhaps.

  479. Tasnim 21st February 2016 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Does a weakened immune system have any relation with anxiety? I’ve noticed that around the same time I was impacted by the anxiety, my throats been hurting and I’ve been developing a scratchy throat. But also it is cold weather where I live too. I’m not truly bothered by this as it isn’t a full blown cold right kow, but I just wanted to know if there was a correlation. There’s not much I can do with it, as it’s a cold, but it just feels uncomfortable.

  480. Tasnim 21st February 2016 at 6:12 am - Reply

    I also wanted to note today was a very good day. It was my younger sisters 12th birthday, and we had some family friends over. I spent a lot of my day just mingling, rather than alone with my thoughts. My anxiety bothered me little today, and I was able to not sulk over my thoughts. There were a couple moments I felt down, but they passed. I know not everyday will be as easy as today, but nevertheless wanted to share it. Tomorrow will be tiring as I have so much school work to catch up on!

  481. Chris 21st February 2016 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Wow, sometimes I realize that I’m completely identifying with the story that I am creating. Maybe many of us are guilty of doing this.

  482. laxmi 21st February 2016 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Hello all can anyone help me . My thoughts are always sbout eating food when the thoughy comes I have yo eat my food immediately otherwise I get scared my life has been restricted because of this I amnot able to go anywhere freelyfear fear what will happen how fo I deal woth thoughts pl help

  483. Rik 21st February 2016 at 9:55 am - Reply


    The stress if anxiety can certainly cause us to be run down. I know I have been. Ive felt like i have had a cold coming on and off for a while.


    You know what you need to do. Have you considered some kind if ERP for your obsession? The goal of ERP is to expose you to your fears until your mind gets that bored of them that you stop getting such fear reactions to them and in time it just stops coming up so much anymore and you are no longer afraid of it. One form of this is to keep writing them down over and over.

  484. Chris 21st February 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Hi Rik.

    Nah I haven’t. I’m wondering if that would be a good idea to constantly expose me to this fear I have. When I read about it I don’t really get a fear reaction until like the next day when my mind has a chance to ruminate. I guess I could look into it.

    I just googled in and I’m not sure if they have it in my city (I’m from New Zealand). Most of the therapists here either use CBT or mindfulness.

  485. Rik 21st February 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

    ERP is encompassed with CBT so someone who does CBT should have knowledge of it. It did work for me with harm obsessions.

  486. Chris 21st February 2016 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Ok maybe I’ll look into that. I’m going to see a doctor tonight so I’ll try get a referral. I’m also going to try get a referral to get a brain scan, just to help give me piece of mind, or maybe this will reinforce the fear?

    I’m probably going to consider temporary medication too. I definitely need something to take the edge off. My body needs a rest, it’s literally 24/7 hell right now.

  487. Evy 22nd February 2016 at 1:44 am - Reply

    Thank you for your kind words , it amazes me how were here helping out each other , and some of us are still in anxiety state , but with positive affirmations and acceptance is all we need , we are beyond blessed to have Paul and his site and all the wonderful people here 😉 I am so happy I am not alone , this week I’ve been ignoring my dp and anxiety to the point were at some moments I get lost in the real life that I forget I even have anxiety , but at soon as I remember ” wait ” your not feeling weird , is when whammy it feels the worse , that’s the part I’m struggling with right now , but I know what it is , it’s a tired mind yearning for relaxation , it’s a tired mind holding in so much fear for no aparent reason ! It’s no wonder we are here ! Our mind needs rest

    Cheers to many more years with no fear

  488. Rik 22nd February 2016 at 9:18 am - Reply


    I think even if you did have a brain scan and it came back clear you would still find a way to doubt the results. That is how anxiety works. By all means though if you genuinely think it is necessary and will help then see what your doctor says. Likewise if you genuinely feel like you need a break from your symptoms then don’t be ashamed to have medication. Just don’t rely on it to take it all away and be aware of any side effects etc.


    I can relate to that. This morning I had a brief few moments of just being but then as soon as I realised that it all came flooding back. I know with 100% confidence that if I can keep accepting and trying to just carry on with life as normal that normality will come back again. As you say, it just takes time and patience and for our minds to finally calm down and come out of the stressed state that it is in. Once it no longer feels the need to protect us the DP will fade and we will feel like ourselves again.

  489. Tim 22nd February 2016 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Hey Chris, I agree with Rik I really wouldn’t worry about the brain scan. Yes, there is science that shows anxiety causes damage to some parts of the brain. I know it sounds logical, but I could almost guarantee to you that 95% of all your problems are due to your worry. Just think about how scared you are regarding this fear of brain damage, its bound to have a negative effect on you. You are bewildered and confused, that’s all.

    Trust me, i’ve been there. I feared myself broken from a drug called propecia for years. Brain fog, poor sleep, sadness, memory and vision problems (all seemed logically related to propecia). They are all anxiety issues too. I also feared that post masturbation (POIS) its called was causing my issues. Yet it was the thought itself doing 90% of the damage. If your brain is a bit wonky from years of anxiety, just think about all the research regarding neuroplasticity. Eat less sugar, do some aerobic exercise, meditate and accept your anxiety and your brain will likely bounce right back in time.

    Its all this trying to figure it out and fix yourself that Paul warns us about.

  490. Jacob 22nd February 2016 at 7:01 pm - Reply


    Your post caught my eye. I also took propecia and then ended up with the whole mess of issues: cognitive problems, anxiety, anhedonia, depression, loss of social abilities. I used to be extremely confident and had 0 issues at school but I cannot even function now.

    How are you dealing with it?

    Cause for us what else could be the cause other than Propecia? Most people get anxiety from life. I mean studies out there constantly point to neurosteroids and hormonal abnormalities. Ive even had some wacky blood tests but its unclear how to fix it.

    Paul on this fb page talks about the “cause”. But if the cause was something physical then what? I dont think I would get these issues out of thin air right? It has to be propecia otherwise what else could it be correct? You wouldn’t “think” you were broken if there were 0 symptoms right so the initial symptoms had to have come from something right. So how is the “thought” doing the damage exactly? I got symptoms way before the actual thought. I dont think one can think themselves into this.

    Also @chris regarding MDMA you might also want to get the hormone tests done. Some people get low T/cortisol after MDMA also–I had a friend where this happened. He recovered easily with treatment.

    We cannot discount the biological aspects cause obviously they exist for some of us where this was not caused by life stress…..

  491. Tasnim 22nd February 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I know I’ve brought this up before, but its the only thing that keeps coming back to me. I’m still constantly obsessing over schizophrenia. There have been periods where I thought I got over it, but the thoughts come back again. I always find a new “reason” to convince myself I am developing it. While one part of me knows that I’m overreacting. The other part of me is still obsessing over it, and is clouded by these thoughts. I wish I never learned about it in class. I’m not sure how to get past it. I know I can’t constantly look for reassurance. I feel like I can’t think completely straight.

  492. Tim 22nd February 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Hey Jacob. Thanks for your post. I took propecia for 11 years. I definately agree that propecia is bad, it causes a host of symptoms. You are right, I finally found the forum because i had horribly symptoms. I used to post on propeciahelp.com a lot. In truth, i do suspect that i have a fair few problems directly as a result of it. Yet the utter crippling despair and pain i suffered, was mostly from the thought that propecia had ruined my life. I would never have a sex life, id always be brain fogged etc. Its led me to be unhappy for years.

    But im convinced my thoughts are strongly involved. What if anxiety was caused by propecia yet continued by my own fear. I lift weights, try to keep busy. Since ive come to realise my own part to play in this ive had peace. Ive been to many social events with zero fear. A feat literally impossible for 10 years previously. My libido is low, but ive had sex successfully. So im trying to desensitize myself to anxiety and find where it starts and propecia ends. Who knows, perhaps im deluding myself. But worrying about propecia sure wasnt doing me any good. Look at the people here. Most of them havent taken propecia yet look at the states of distress they have reached.

  493. Chris 22nd February 2016 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks Tim and Rik.

    Maybe you’re right. Tim do you know if the studies say that the damage is completely reversible or permanent? This really sends me into a tailspin whenever I have anxiety or depression now (most of the day). My thoughts say “you are damaging your brain by being in this state” and it honestly freaks me out so much. It’s adding so much more fear to the state I am already in.

    Oh man, I regret reading that study so much, I wasn’t even looking for it as I was looking up studies on neuroplasticity at the time, it’s def an obsession. I guess it’s pointless to keep beating myself up for it, but I’m in such a bad place now it’s made acceptance that much harder.

    My main fear of ‘brain damage’ is that it’s going to make the anxiety and depression worse, and it’s already unbearable as it is.

  494. Tim 23rd February 2016 at 5:10 am - Reply

    Hey Chris, I don’t really know anything about neuroscience to be honest. In fact id hazard a guess that even the experts have a lot to learn. All you can really do is act in ways that try to relieve your stress / promote recovery. Exercise and meditation have both shown to promote neurogenesis. All I can say to make you feel better is that I actually took a drug that is suspected to cause permanent / long lasting damage plus, ive basically been anxious for a decade now. Yet my anxiety has subsided and I do feel a lot better. Just know that worrying about it doesn’t do any good. I know its only a small solace, but I truly have been do that deep dark place many times mate.

  495. Jacob 23rd February 2016 at 5:53 am - Reply


    Yea I mean I see what you are saying. That is one approach and it certainly is better than thinking that it didn’t do any damage at all. As of course some form of alteration had to have occured otherwise why would your mental/physical state suddenly change. You are basically not feeding into it. Its just sort of hard cause its essentially like we feel this way for no real reason at all–its just some unknown biochemical stuff going on. So there is the ongoing question of “how come my libido is low” or “how come I feel so depressed”. Paul says its all the overanalysis but the one thing I don’t get is what triggers the mood in the first place….

    I mean it is unlikely to get anxiety out of thin air with no concrete stressors unless something physical in the body got thrown off as is the case with drugs like Propecia which depletes allopregnenolone or maybe even the drug that Chris is mentioning–sort of assumed it was MDMA as so many people suffer with that.

    The neuroendocrine system is pretty complex. Thats probably why Paul’s method works to an extent since you just let the body return to normal without feeding it.

    I still think people should get the right tests done though and go to the right doctors as sometimes things are considered “normal” when they aren’t. Out of curiosity did you ever pursue that route? One of these days there will likely be a pretty relatively quick cure.

    My biggest problem is thinking how long this is going to last. Like how am I supposed to pursue my dreams/goals if I feel this way. I tried doing school but im pretty much flunking out and its extremely agitating since I was an A/B student before. So I keep comparing to my old self.

    The problem is it feels like these “thoughts” are coming as a result of how bad I feel and if I felt like myself I wouldn’t even be thinking this stuff in the first place! Almost anybody would think negative feeling like this and people don’t realize how lucky they are not to suffer with this their whole life. I’d rather have almost any physical illness over PFS

  496. Tim 23rd February 2016 at 8:30 am - Reply

    Hey Jacob, Yeah I also see where you are coming from haha. I’ve always believed Propecia is the devil, I still do. My question I suppose is how much healing has my body done over the years. I cant tell due to the constant anxiety. Plus, resolving anxiety means androgens flow better, you get better sleep – perhaps better libido etc. Anxious and depressed people often have low libidos. Ive tried every cure I could think of short of more medications, Vit D, running, more sleep, intermittent fasting, meditation, lifting weights, drinking broccoli water etc.

    When you ask what triggers the mood in the first place, claire weeks would suggest its oversensitization or ‘nervous illness’. Our nervous system is programmed to react very poorly to stress and to be constantly activated.

    Its true I agree people should get checks. I did get plenty of checks yes, full blood panel etc. Nothing was found to be wrong. Obviously I know doctors don’t really know as much as we would like and it could be deeper.

    What symptoms primarily do you have? The funny thing is when I fully accept my anxiety, I have moments where I feel perfectly calm. Very close to my old self.

    One thing that does interest me when you look at recovered Propecia stories is how diverse the cures are. Some took arimidex, test, others did weight lifting etc. Could it be that they all believed they were better?

    One final thing I wonder about is remember propecia sufferers have one thing in common. We all started going bald. I started at 15. How this affected our sense of self / confidence could be more than we think. Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to downplay propecia, but this route is fruitful for me at the moment so i’ll give it a red hot go 🙂

  497. Steve b 23rd February 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Tim. Yes. They all believed they were better.
    I shovelled more coke up my nose than most addicts over the years and had terrible spells of anxiety as a result. Thing is, I never “knew”about anxiety. It was before the Internet etc and I didn’t like doctors. I always gave it a set amount to feel better after stopping. After roughly 6 months I believed it would exit my system hey presto after 6 months I felt better. Normal.
    This episode no drugs are involved. I know about anxiety now and I have a “condition” can I get rid of it..no! 1 year and counting…
    In my humble opinion. For all of us. It’s all made in our heads.

  498. Belgian 23rd February 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply


    You are so in love with this guy. Why else should you bother fighting so hard for your relationship?

    The fact that you are continuing this war is prove that there is love in this relationship.

    But my dear girl, you’ve got it all wrong. It is you fighting that is making this experience so hard. If you’d stop fighting, you would regain energy and would create room for emotions other than anxiety.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know how difficult it is to let the fight go and accept whatever feeling presents itself to you. Especially with regards to relationships. Being in a relationship is by nature scary. It’s all about vulnerability, surrendering and uncertainty. Of course, an anxious person will feel anxious about it.

    The only remedy is true understanding and acceptance of this.

    In many ways these feelings of anxiety are a blessing. Some might think that love is a feeling we can take for granted. Well, it isn’t. It’s extremely fragile and unbelievably strong. It’s soft and hard. It comes and goes. The most important trademark is that it’s continuously changing. It’s often something completely beyond our conscious control.

    People who are not sensitized don’t feel this ever changing feeling as strong as people who are sensitized. Like you. You are tired and stressed out. That is why all these normal shapes of love feel so unbearable.

    Here lies your challenge and your hope. You have to confront your emotions and anxiety in order to move beyond them. You confront them by going towards them and feel them through and through without trying to change them. Again and again. By doing so, in time you’ll gain a knowledge and wisdom others will seldom experience.

    My anxiety has the same focus as yours. My relationship with my beautiful wife. It has already been an unbelievably hard journey, but I don’t regret a minute being and staying with my wife through this hardship. And although I know that I love her, sometimes the feelings still lag behind.

    Where in the past I would panic, I now know that this is temporary and it’s without significance for my current relationship. A lot of these feelings have roots a long, long time ago. My choice was and is still to look at these origins and I personally feel that a lot of my anxiety in general actually can find ‘an explanation’ there.

    But even if you choose not to dig into your past, you still can overcome this. The only thing you would have to do is not to hide from your fears and anxiety, but accept them instead.

    I wish you all the luck and love you deserve!

  499. Bryan 23rd February 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply


    I don’t know or care to know what “study” you read… but anxiety will not “damage” your brain. It’s a normal biological mechanism geared to protect the body. It’s like saying being happy too often will cause happy damage.

    Scores of people have had anxiety disorders for decades and returned to completely normal living. Our understanding of the brain is limited, as evidenced by the fact that doctors have no clue about treating anxiety and most meds are useless or harmful. But there is no evidence that normal emotional states “damage” the brain.

    You can find a study to support just about anything even if it is ludicrous.
    My advice? Stop reading studied and recover like the countless others who have.

  500. Belgian 23rd February 2016 at 3:52 pm - Reply


    ‘most meds are useless or harmful’ is a statement which is a personal view on the matter.

    Not everyone has the same opinion on this.

  501. Jacob 23rd February 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply


    I have some symptoms besides anxiety as well like the low drive but even worse than all that is the ridiculous depression combined with cognitive stuff. Its hard to enjoy anything. I wasnt on it as long as you though~a fee months last year. And I also havent been suffering as long as you–hasnt even been a year.

    And yea the cures people tried are diverse but at the same time people get affected biologically in different ways. The reason its not all in our head would be its not like we are making it up. Even anxiety disorders arent all in someone’s head–propecia could have just been a huge stressor to the body and messed with these pathways. I know claire weekes says sensitization but the initial sensitization has to be caused by something.

    I know people tried all the different things but at some level they probably did work and reset things. Not everybody got better trying a certain protocol. Though belief probably does play a role some people even get worse or are completely unaffected by the treatment. Not dwelling on it I suppose just lets the body’s healing mechanisms happen faster.

    Time is like the sure thing but who has time for this stuff right. At the end of the day we want to be living our lives to the fullest but its impossible with severe symptoms.

  502. Tasnim 23rd February 2016 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    I think I might be in a setback, which sucks because I was so close to recovery. I just can’t help but feel doubtful again. All I keep hearing is that I’m just going to have to cope with my anxiety. My own psychology textbook says that people with anxiety usually only find short-term relief. I feel that I’ve only suffered for a month, yet my recovery is taking longer than my actual period of suffering.

    Also, does anyone find themselves hard to focus? I am constantly thinking about this whole schizophrenia fear and anxiety that I feel that I can’t concentrate on stuff. Someone will ask me a question and I’ll stare at them blankly for a few seconds because I guess I’m still in deep thought, and have to ask them again. Or when I say or think something I have to check to see if it was crazy or not (even when its something I would normally say). I feel on edge a lot too. Sometimes I think I may have OCD because my anxiety is more so based around my obsessive thoughts. Should I still be treating this the same way. I’m not really facing any physical symptoms. Is this a normal way to feel?

    I know I’ve been making some desperate posts, but I just wish I could feel myself again. It’d be nice if someone could help me out on this, and maybe my last post too please.

  503. Chris 24th February 2016 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Hi Belgian, I didn’t make that comment, Brian did 🙂

    Thanks for the reply Brian. I’ll keep that in mind, this fear is absolutely ruining me, it’s really hard to move past it because the doubt and despair I’m experiencing is at an all time high.

    I seriously don’t know how to move on from this fear I have, I know I keep on going on about it and I’m sorry, but it just makes me feel so hopeless. I can barely get out of bed everyday at the moment, it really has ruined me. Maybe I should just move forward with a ‘whatever, if I’m damaged then so be it’ attitude.

  504. Chris 24th February 2016 at 1:58 am - Reply

    This fear I have, it’s absolutely pointless. Really what is the point in even worrying about it? I’ve decided today that I’m going to move on from it and focus on what I can do in my life.

    I have acknowledged that this will take time, as I feel like this has traumatized me somewhat. Maybe even months, might even take a year. But whatever, I know that my quality of life isn’t improving by constantly googling this fear I have, it only makes it worse.

    I have made a little sticky note on my computer reminding me that this is going to take time, and that to NEVER search the internet in relation to my fears again.

  505. Tasnim 24th February 2016 at 2:40 am - Reply

    I think my problem with this is, that I do get other intrusive thoughts but they don’t make me think about my behavior. When I get thoughts about schizophrenia or even now, OCD, I start to evaluate my behavior. I feel I like sometimes I am actually TRYING to make myself think like a schizophrenic. Like I will say maybe I do believe that the world is out to get me (even though I don’t) or maybe I do think delusions. It’s like I try to connect schizophrenia with everything I do or think. I don’t know why I keep convincing myself of these things. I was doing well, and then when I got sick and had a fever, I got a pretty vivid intrusive thought, and got scared, and it put me back in this place. I just get concerned at the way this effects my thinking.

  506. Tim 24th February 2016 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Chris – Well done mate. This is the right attitude. I honestly have faith you will start seeing good days now 😉

    As you said it will take time, and you will still have anxiety. Don’t fall for the bluff. It may make you wonder if you’re insane, damaged, weak etc. Accept that its anxiety. I think its fine to come here and read Pauls posts when you need as they are a real help.

    Good luck!

  507. janie 24th February 2016 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Hello all, i have written once before on this blog but did not hear back so I am going to try again, I would really appreciate some feedback on the following, and Nolan if you are reading then your take on it would be really helpful as I know you have had similar experiences.

    I have experienced bouts of insomnia and anxiety for most of my adult life. Insomnia is a massive anxiety for me and I am currently experiencing difficult thoughts around sleep because I have songs going round in my head on repeat all the time and this keeps me awake at night, sometimes all night. I get really anxious before bed and worry that this will be forever and that I will never sleep again (This anxiety was not helped when I heard a comment on an yoga clip on YouTube about dying from not sleeping – I won’t give the details of that particular comment because I don’t want to exacerbate anyone else’s anxiety around sleep – but if anyone has any reassuring thoughts around this then thank you). How do people cope in life with so little sleep on top of the anxiety? How do people cope with work? I have been off sick for a while but went back to work this week and I feel awful but I know that I need to keep going and try to push through this time. I also know that I have not reached the stage of acceptance yet and need to work on that. I am finding the above issues so difficult and would appreciate anyone’s support and help.

    Many thanks

  508. Doreen 24th February 2016 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Janie – no one has died from not sleeping. Believe me. Everyone sleeps for some of the time even if it feels like they haven’t. It may not be the deep and rewarding sleep you are craving but you will not have been awake all night.

  509. Rik 24th February 2016 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Just checking in. Ive had a better few days. Been truly accepting everything and have had periods of forgetting myself and being much much better. Feel a bit worn out now after beung so busy for a few days but going to continue to accept and move on with my day. I know i can come through this and yet again it is pauls and claire weekes teachings of acceptance that are starting to bring peace. I didnt believe i could ever improve a few weeks back, as many of us do when in the throes of anxiety but i feel my persistence is beginning to pay off and new good habits are bing formed.


    That is the attitude you need. Resist the urge to reassure online and also dont reassure yourself. Just let the thought come and go. Give it no respect.

  510. janie 24th February 2016 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Thanks Doreen, common sense tells me the same thing, my anxiety of course wants me to believe the disaster scenario.

    One other question to add to my earlier post regarding songs constantly on repeat in my head at all hours – do people think these are just thoughts in another guise, and so just to accept they are there for the time being like other thoughts.


  511. Rik 24th February 2016 at 11:03 am - Reply


    Yes. Your anxiety will always play on what bothers you the most. It is sadly just the way it works. Complete allowing will not only make it far easier on you but will also have the side effect of reducing the frequency of such things. Over time you will firm new good habits and begin to sleep better etc.

  512. honey 24th February 2016 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Do you ever wonder whether acceptance is what causes us to feel better or whether the disorder would be more settled that day regardless of how we accepted or not. My anxiety peaks and flows and it tends to do this by itself whether I accept or not. Just like during periods of recovery and acceptance we get random setbacks? I find this all so confusing. I came so close to recovery. I don’t avoid anything now but still feel like shit at times. I wonder if just accepting I’ll always have this is the only way to move on from constAnt trying to fix the way I am. If I just accept that this is me forever and that there’s gonna be good days and bad ones and just get over it? It’s all this fight that’s so time consuming. Can’t just enjoy the moment gotta spend all night googling even though it never works. Gotta find reassurance even though I never listen. Problem is when I accept I’ll always be this way I get depressed and hopeless and that’s totally unmotivating! Everyone that’s recovered Sat’s they still have anxiety years after accepting. And I’m talking inappropriate anxiety here. Recovery isn’t what I thought it was anyway. It’s just a different attitude and a different way of coping and just managing anxiety. Totally sucks.

  513. Tasnim 24th February 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    If someone could help me out here, I’d really appreciate it. I feel like I’m going crazy.

  514. janie 24th February 2016 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your comments Rik, I feel I have a long way to go with acceptance and allowing, but I do believe that it is the right way so that is a start. Going back to work has been very hard for me so has caused me additional stress, but hopefully that will ease with time.

  515. Bryan 24th February 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply


    I know what you are feeling is strong and seems too intense to overcome but you have to remember it’s actually very common and really stress disorder 101. Have you read “Nothing Works-A letter to myself” the blog/story by Chris who sometimes posts here? If not its mandatory reading. You can do this. It has to start with baby steps and you need to stop looking so far into the future or past. We can handle right now… and build on that success.

  516. Jacob 24th February 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Technically I think the way SSRIs work has to be through restoring the HPA axis. I think this stuff can be measured to an extent–I don’t take the meds but ive done saliva cortisol tests and they have come out low. My doctor told me that when I recover the saliva cortisol would be normal.

    Its a personal decision anyways

    Imo What acceptance does is just take off the additional pressure so that things like cortisol or other hormones/neurotransmitters can recover to homeostasis.

  517. Rik 24th February 2016 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    I agree with jacob regarding the way our bodies work and why acceptance works for those whose primary issue is not an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism. Our bodies want to get back to homeostasis but cannot do this while we continue adding further stress as this keeps us totally off balance. It is no secret that anxiety is triggered by stress and an inability to cope with it. Only by accepting do we stop further tipping the scales and allow our complex systems to right themselves. Of course i am no medical professional but this is just logical and explains why acceptance works. Acceptance also teaches us a better way to live that allows us to become better at coping with stress or negative experiences both external and internal in our minds.

  518. Chris 24th February 2016 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Thanks Bryan, I’ve had a read of it but I haven’t read the whole thing. Maybe I’ll have another read though it tonight, I’ve been recommended it by other people too.

    Not even going to read the SSRI comments by the way haha, they give me anxiety when I’m in this state! Actually almost everything gives me anxiety in this state, the only fear I don’t have is a fear of dying. I was only on a full dose for 12 days though then weened off so I shouldn’t worry about it?

  519. Evy 25th February 2016 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Belgian 🙂
    Just wanted to ask you a question with a symtom I’ve been having , I get memories playing. In my head about something that happen many years ago , not nesassarlity anything bad , just really long time ago things , for example when I was 15 , I’m now 33 , of me being at a certain party or when I went to a trip with my family , they happen without me even thinking about those days ! It doesn’t really scare me , i just want to know is this due to the imbalance in my brain !? Kind of confusing and a bit annoying ! Thanks for taking your time

    I notice you talk a lot about dp
    Have you ever had this before and overcame !? This is actually one of my biggest symptoms that I find hard to shut off ! 5 years ago I had it and went away once my anxiety got better and it’s back again ! I have good days along with bad ! Let’s hang in there and know it’s a tired mind ! The gym really helps me with that symptom , as I get so lost with exercise that after 1 hour I think oh man I haven’t thought of it !

    Blessings to all

  520. Doreen 25th February 2016 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Chris – in answer to your final question – no. you shouldn’t worry about it but as you so rightly recognise in yourself at the moment is that you have the potential to worry about anything. And strange as it may sound, that is in fact the ‘thing’ that should comfort you as it shows that your problem is with anxiety and highly unlikely to have any physical origins.

  521. Rik 25th February 2016 at 9:06 am - Reply


    I find it hard to remember whether I had bad DP last time but i almost certainly would have done. This time it seems to be my most prominent symptom which is likely because I know that the thoughts are just anxiety. I did originally find DP rather hard to tolerate but I think I am doing better with that now which is helping. I am also carrying on working and doing other things rather than just sitting around and focusing on it. I noticed yesterday that it was worse and I had not slept as much for the last few days and had had a bit more stress so that is likely why. I didnt question it and just let it be there.

  522. Rik 25th February 2016 at 9:10 am - Reply


    What you are talking about there is called checking or testing. It is a common trait in anxiety based thoughts. This is more of a compulsion because you are wanting to see what your reaction is to the thoughts you are having. This is the kind of behaviour that keeps the thoughts coming and keeps giving them importance in your mind. If you catch yourself doing this just decide to not take it any further and refocus your attention on something else. Allow the thoughts you don’t want to just come freely if they must and give them no further attention.

  523. Chris 25th February 2016 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Thanks Doreen. I’ll keep that in mind.

    Today was another difficult day. I swear my mind is on this fear of mine 24/7, my mind just goes over and over and over it, never giving the whole ‘brain damage’ fear a rest. These thoughts aren’t important in the slightest, yet this is all my mind thinks about, day in and day out. I’m trying to let the thoughts be there but they are really crushing my soul here. Sorry about the poor me rant, it’s just quite hard to cope with this. Really been feeling the depression hard in the last few days.

    I always have the thought ‘if only I had a time machine, I could go back in time to the start of this setback and warn myself not to google’. It’s either rumination or the fearful thoughts.

    Sorry to go on like a broken record, I’m just having an absolute horrible time.

  524. Rik 25th February 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply


    You aren’t accepting any of it at the moment. It is clear from your post. If your mind wants to go over and over it let it. Just allow it truly. If you know these thoughts don’t matter then simply let them be there and in time your fear reaction will slow down as your brain catches up and realises you aren’t scared of them any more. You need to develop that so what attitude. It doesn’t just happen overnight. You have to put the work in yourself by cultivating the attitude. It may take weeks to see improvement but you have to be willing to allow that. It may take days. Who knows. If you don’t allow time then you are not accepting at all and are just going to keep going round and round and will keep being on the lookout for thoughts. This is a cycle that YOU are continuing by not doing what needs to be done in order to move on from this and free yourself from the chains of anxiety and obsessive thinking. If you are looking for certain thoughts you can be 100% sure they will continue to be there. The very act of thinking you dont want to think something means you must think about it to remind yourself not to. If you are scared of something your brain will remind you of this too. It is actually pretty simple to understand. Try not to think of a bunch of grapes for 1 minute and I mean try as in tell yourself you dont want to think about grapes or pictures of grapes. I bet you that is all you can think about and all you see in your minds eye. This is the same as what you are doing right now with your thoughts. All day every day you are wanting to not think about it and checking if it is still there. Then if it automatically comes up, which it will from time to time, you then despair instead of just noticing it, ignoring it and carrying on with your day.

    I hope that doesn’t sound harsh but I think you really need to buckle down and start accepting how you feel right now and accept that your mind will regurgitate these thoughts over and over until you truly accept their presence.

    It is not easy. Not by a long shot but with persistence you can overcome this. 100% you can. But it has to come from inside you. You have to step up to the plate and push on no matter how loud they shout and how bad they make you feel. Let them be there. Let them scare you and don’t add anything further.

  525. Tasnim 25th February 2016 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Yeah I try to just let them be, but I get scared. I start to question myself like “is what you thought rational?” “Are you thinking right?” “Did anyone else see that?” I get scared that if I dont question them then my I wont know if my thinking becomes delusional. I feel like I can’t think clearly. This is the only symptom I have now. Is it normal to think like that, and will I get back to a point where I don’t question my thinking?

  526. Tim 25th February 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Hey chris and tansim. I agree with rick. What you feel is extremely normal. Your thoughts of brain damage, thoughts that others will notice, thoughts that you are irrational. Someone up here said they were worried they didnt feel love for their partner anymore. Claire weeks in her book uses this exact example. Its just a tired mind and a fatigued nervous system.

    You may and probably will still feel like shit. I went to uni orientation the other day and i felt anxious. Even felt dp. It wasnt pleasant, and i had trouble accepting. Yet i let it happen, didnt worry about it after and by that night i went out and felt fine. It may take time, be patient.

  527. Evy 26th February 2016 at 12:36 am - Reply

    Hi Belgian

    I know your probably busy , if you can read my previous post , will surely appriecte it 🙂

  528. Doreen 26th February 2016 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Chris. I am not sure how much good it does you describing your feelings over and over again on the blog. As others have said, you realty do need to ‘bite the bullet’ and get on with living a life that I agree sounds s… For you at the moment. But by continually describing how awful it is, you are reinforcing the thoughts that scare you, not relieving yourself of them. Why not take a break from the blog maybe?
    And although I know the advice I am going to give you will not be a route everyone will agree with, but I do think that maybe seeing a CBT type counsellor might help even if only to give you a space each week to work out how you are going to move on. Then you might be able to see that as your time to work on your anxiety and be able to let the ‘worrying about the worrying’ go for the rest of the week.
    Regarding the thought about physical/mental (which causes which) I suggest that anxiety does cause TEMPORARY physical changes to our body chemistry eg. stomach churning, heart racing but they are a result of the spike in adrenalin. Even my vision was affected, blurred and hazy so it would have been easy for me to believe anxiety had damaged my eyesight. But once the anxiety subsided those physical changes did too.
    Please consider taking a very deep breath each time you want to post how awful you are feeling cos it certainly doesn’t seem to have helped. Concentrate on reading the posts which describe how this is something you can beat.

  529. Rik 26th February 2016 at 9:58 am - Reply


    I agree with Doreen on the CBT. I think you need a little help in gaining some perspective on your thoughts in order to allow you to see that they are just produced by anxiety and your fear of them. CBT was developed for a reason and that is because it does work. I had CBT last year for my harm obsession and it changed my life at the time and allowed me some insight on what was going on and how I could move past it. It really did help. I thought I was broken beyond repair but I came through it. I have since become anxious again and had numerous symptoms but that was because I still had an enormous amount of stress going on in my life. My brain had had enough so hit me hard with DP.

    Another way I will back Doreen up is that she is absolutely right that when the anxiety goes there are no lasting effects. When my anxiety was gone I was completely ‘normal’ again. No headaches, nausea, blurred vision, obsessive thoughts or anything like that. I just slotted back into normal living and more importantly for me normal thinking.


    Yes you will, absolutely. But only if you start to allow yourself to trust that you don’t need to address these thoughts any more. Your fear and attention is what keeps these things alive. Show your mind you are not scared of these thoughts any more and will just ignore them and over time it will stop presenting them as often. In time you will then relax, your body and mind will find balance again and anxiety’s symptoms will be but a memory.

    I have some really bizarre thoughts at times due to my DP and my anxiety but I am learning again to just let them be and realise that by ignoring them it does not mean I am believing them. It just means I dont see them as important and I am assigning them to my anxiety as I should.

  530. Belgian 26th February 2016 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Evy,

    In my view remembering scenes from the past is not something extraordinary nor anything that has its cause in some kind of imbalance. I believe everybody has the moments you describe from time to time.

    It always comes down to the same thing. In our sensitized state, we are so focused on what is happening to us internally that we:

    – gradually lose our interest for external events
    – become pre-occupied with every change in emotional feeling, every image that pops up inside our heads

    It is your heightened attention and attitude towards this that makes it ‘weird’, but I assure you it’s not something that has the potential to harm you in any way.

    As you go on your own road to recovery, you will have more attention for things happening around you and you will lose gradually your interest for the ever changing stream of thought that lives within you.

    You are perfectly normal 🙂

  531. Tasnim 26th February 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the support. Even though I am still struggling with these fearful thoughts, I can say that I define tell made progress from a month ago. I don’t have anymore physical symptoms, other than what I assume is DP (I don’t know if it’s physical or not?). I think I would be in a worse state if it wasn’t for this site and the people on here. I think it’s the DP that makes me unable to think as clearly as I used to.

  532. Mark 26th February 2016 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Hey guys, been a while since I’ve posted here. Glad to see so many of ya making good progress.

    My concerns always seem to revolve around existential issues and it seems that every time I make good progress I fall back on certain beliefs such as ‘is this mostly biological’ Having read in Paul’s book that all of us begin life with an equilibrium of emotional well being. But I’m just not convinced this is true, people are born with terrible unfortunate issues we can’t explain. So my question (or really just getting my thoughts out loud) is surely if defects in other areas of the brain can be present, surely the same could be true of emotional issues. It just leads me down the route of thinking we ALL don’t really have choice or free will.

    It makes me sad to think this. Back to accepting right away, it’s the only thing that has worked for me in the past. Wishing everyone strength in there recovery.

  533. Chris 27th February 2016 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Thanks Doreen and Rik.

    I guess it’s just all the studies I read that reinforced the fear. I’ve been practicing surrendering to the thoughts in the last few days and I am feeling a wee bit better for it, as previously I was fighting them a bit. I think this one is just going to take time. But the goal I have realized is to not reassure myself, it’s to move on from this nonsense my mind creates. I am doing hypnotherapy next month and I will also consider CBT, thanks for the suggestion, and sorry if my posts have gotten anyone down, depression has hit me hard these last few days, although I was in a good mood last night which was nice (probably because I had a couple of whiskeys in town haha).

  534. Evy 27th February 2016 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Belgian 🙂
    Thanks for your words ! So soothing , reminds me of Paul’s !! I’m pleased to say that today 80% I felt my old self 20% at times felt the dp!! But I can’ honestly say I accepted every discomfort 2 days ago , with intense and u mean intense scary thought and images !! And as much as my mind wanted to run and get scared I didn’t !!! I did not run I sat there an allowed it , which makes me believe that by having a horrible day , you earn a good day , lol in sure I’ll get some tough days along the week , and that’s ok , because I know the good days will override the bad , one thing that has been helping me a lot is I’ve been forcing myself to take naps on my lunch break , as I know my mind needs rest rest rest and more rest !!! I also have been eating really clean and exercising a lot !! I’m on the right track , I might still have months or even 1 year but I know I can do this , anxiety and negative thoughts are like demons trying to get you down ! And after 10 years on and off , I think it’s time I’ve won the battle !
    Blessings to all ! And most importantly Faith

  535. Tim 27th February 2016 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Glad to hear you are in a good mood Chris 🙂
    I’ll be honest, i’m not a huge fan of CBT, at least for people like myself. I went to see a psychologist about 5 months ago (mind you ive actually studied psych myself). I was really in the doldrums, I mean the worst id almost ever been. I told her I wanted to try ACT and she insisted on CBT. This psych was running rings around me intellectually and I couldn’t keep up. My mind was shattered. She almost seemed to be playing an ego game with me, and didn’t realise how tired I really was.

    Anyway, CBT was simply too complex and detailed for me at that point. I tried to do it and I couldn’t I felt worse. I needed something simple. There is value in it for certain, but I would not recommend it for people who are extremely anxious. In fact this recommendation is shared by a lot of experts.

    Making the connection between your maladaptive thoughts is really valuable, but actively challenging them is a bit too close to “fighting” for my liking. CBT is in some ways the opposite of what Claire weeks/Paul teaches. It might be useful later down the road to clear up some of the junk floating around in my brain, but I doubt i’ll ever embrace it. That being said, its all down to your personality.

  536. Marie 27th February 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Nolan it’s Marie again, I just wanted to ask you a quick question with your sleep did you set a sleeping schedule like go to sleep and wake up at concern times?. My sleep is a little better last night I slept barely but like you said a big so what to it. I am feeling a little sorry for myself today but I can’t change that.

    Thanks Marie.

  537. Colin 27th February 2016 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Hi chris
    Glad to hear you had moments of happiness. I am considering some cbt also . It’s not because I am back where I was a few years ago . It’s for my own curiosity! I have 95% recovered from my anxiety:) but still have this small worry about returning to that state . This isn’t a major worry . But I think some cbt would carry me through to 100% ? I have always just accepted my anxiety and done all of what Paul says . This got me this far ! I have read lots of your posts mate and really feel for you . It’s a horrible feeling is anxiety . But through this acceptance and doing wag at you did yesterday , these are the fleeting glimpses to your recovery !!! Good luck mate and keep believing.


  538. Julie W 27th February 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Just wondering if anyone can answer a question on acceptance? I have been working on letting the intrusive thoughts be there and not worrying about my intense self focus. I have been living my life like normal but really don’t think I have made much progress since the beginning 18 months ago. I have been seeing a therapist who teaches acceptance, and he told me the other day i have to accept that I may be like this forever and if I only enjoy 5% of life from now on, that’s the way it is and I have to accept this. Is this what I am doing wrong? I have been working on accepting thoughts, feelings in the hope that eventually it will go away. He says to accept it because this may be the way it always is. That’s a hard one to accept. I kinda feel my life is over if I have to live this way forever. Any thoughts?

  539. Doreen 27th February 2016 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Tim – I was trying to find a word to describe what I ament by CBT type therapy and was struggling as I too am not sure straight forward CBT is helpful in anxiety. Too much focusing on and monitoring of feelings which is not a good idea for people who are already trapped in that mode. However, what I was really meaning was something warm, respectful and supportive where anxiety is understood and baby steps are applauded. Hope that makes sense.

  540. Mark 27th February 2016 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Julie you’ve answered your own question. ‘Since the beginning 18 months ago’ So there was a beginning? You felt different before? You can do it again. you have just been made aware like the rest of us what anxiety issues feel like because our attention is firmly on anxiety. i believe for the most part it’s learned behaviour, that’s certainly how I developed chronic anxiety, through google and in turn, to what I read and believed from Google.

    Everything changes. What your therapist, I would presume is attempting to do, is simply what Paul and other people try to convey to everyone, to accept, no matter what. Feelings and thoughts will change in time.

  541. Ves 28th February 2016 at 3:31 am - Reply


    It is not necessarily that you are not accepting.

    You are asking ” Is this what I am doing wrong and How do I do right?” It is urgency that naturally creates question “How?”and then that creates another question: “What do I need to do?” Urgency is another name for impatience.

    We cannot force to happen before their time.
    Spring will come and flowers will blossom but we cannot force the spring. We have to be patient and the beauty is that more patient we are the quicker the coming of spring is. If we can be absolutely patient this very moment spring can come since all our urgency is dissolved.
    Urgency creates an invisible wall and we project with our mind that we somehow have to go through that invisible wall.

  542. Tasnim 28th February 2016 at 4:16 am - Reply

    So I’m still working at these schizo thoughts. When they come I try not to linger on them, though sometimes I’ll find the occasion when one of the thoughts become really convincing.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve had trouble concentrating and remembering. I find myself skimming over long paragraphs and rereading stuff because its so hard for me to focus, even when I’m not getting anxious thoughts. Also someone will say or do something, and I’ll have to ask them to repeat it (it’s been happening a lot). My memory is so bad right now, and I get confused easily. It takes twice as long for me to process something. Sometimes I’ll have small, very realistic dreams, and then I can’t remember if what I remember was a dream or something that happened.

    Is this part of DP? I just get concerned because I don’t consider myself to have really bad anxiety. My only consistent symptom is the thoughts. Yet my cognition and memory is so bad.

    P.S. Sorry for so many concerning posts. It’s just that my focus has been so bad that its started to affect my conversations, work etc.

  543. Chris 28th February 2016 at 4:21 am - Reply

    Thanks again Tim. Hmmmm, maybe CBT isn’t a good idea then. I can almost imagine that challenging the thoughts would be too exhausting, and challenging them would be giving them too much respect. This almost does seem like fighting you’re right. I’m a bit confused on whether I should give it a go or not.

  544. Tim 28th February 2016 at 6:15 am - Reply

    No worries mate, I was just thinking about it and I think in a way it depends where your anxiety is coming from. CBT is great for challenging irrational thoughts, and there is no doubt we both have heaps of them. Psychology would argue that it is those irrational thoughts that are causing anxiety, and that’s definitely partially true. Thoughts about being brain damaged, going mad, fainting, dying etc etc are all irrational and they make anxiety worse.

    However for me the real fear is of fear itself. I have trouble standing the sensations of anxiety. It creates a very strong physical response and the preceding thought that leads to it can be tiny and almost instant. The type of thoughts that I have are “man I feel like shit, i’m acting weird, they can tell i’m acting strange, i’m standing wrong, what can I say, why am I stupid? why do I always feel like this, how will I cope with today”etc. Its my resistance to this feeling that makes it worse. If I tried challenging each thought, I end up in this neverending mess of watching myself and trying to fix myself, which is the problem.

    Paul’s way has you accept and move through the feeling. You systematically desensitise and expose yourself to the fear. By doing this what actually happens is 90% of those shitty thoughts just go poof out of nowhere when i’m relaxed. I’m not irrationally fucked up as CBT and the deficit model of psychology would suggest. I’m just exhausted. The thoughts that arise that are silly when I am relaxed I just brush off like a fly. Without anxiety, i’m pretty much fine.

    Id be willing to hear someone else’s suggestions regarding CBT as i’m really no expert, but I just don’t think its needed. I think CBT is useful for addressing really persistent beliefs you have of yourself eg “I think i’m not good enough”. Id hazard a guess its a lot more beneficial for people with depression. Perhaps by using CBT all the time you become so good at it you can perform it instantly. It apparently does work for some people. I think for me, CBT was never going to work because I didn’t believe.

    I think if you feel you want to see and chat with someone, you should. The right therapist really can help you sort through and get perspective on our thinking. Even though I didn’t really like mine, she actually was instrumental in my progress. Sorry about the rant, I actually just find it interesting.

  545. Dominic 28th February 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Guys
    I haven’t been here for a while and I generally don’t stay for very long. I have my own business which is very demanding and two extreamly demanding children.
    You will notice that I pop back every now and again to give a bit of advice or share my own experiences with you all.
    First of all to Mark R
    Well done for giving yourself a break. As much as this blog is amazing it can also stop you from getting life back.
    I noticed your post on your setback. I was exactly the same as you. After 9 hellish months of anxiety I started to recover and went 3 years totally anxiety free. I did not give a hoot how I felt. I was flying. I started my own business, we had another child, life was amazing.
    I hit a setback some time in September and it crushed me to start with. Why was it back? I’m stuck like this forever etc. the thoughts and feelings were all back. All the original symptoms.
    The only thing however that didn’t change was my attitude. You may notice on my posts back in September how I was dealing with it.
    After the original shock, I soon realised that setbacks were part of this process and soon got my attitude back. My ‘so what’ attitude was back in full swing. ‘Oh I’m stuck like this forever, so what!’
    The thoughts told me I was useless, that’s what’s the point in working, what’s the point in going to the cinema or out with friends. But I ignored them all. I carried on when all I wanted to do was stay in bed. I went out with friends when all I wanted to do was cuddle up with my wife on the sofa. I did it.
    Our trip to New York! For months prior we were so exited about now filled me with dread. But I went and had an amazing time. I didn’t feel great but had awesome time. All the irrational fears were faced and life was lived. It was hard at first but it got easier. I feel bad sometimes now but I get on with things and anxiety is just there in the background to the point I hardly notice it.
    Setbacks will come and of course ,after feeling so good, you will be thrown. But soldier on and you will feel better.
    Let it all be there and carry on. It is the only way. I could have gone back into that pit of dispair but I had enough knowledge to know what to do. We all know deep down, it’s just the anxiety that tells us different.
    Hope that helps a little.

  546. Evy 28th February 2016 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Dominic 🙂
    Thank you so much for even taking the time to give feedback , as I know when anxiety is out of the picture , I rarely even thought about the site , if ever ! You are completely right , it’s your approach to the feeling , to be honest I never thought the dp or thoughts would come back , as I knew I would deal with the physical symptoms off and on ! I’m not going to lie , this setback after 5 years if a lot different ! I know so much because of this site, and I have way more advice to help with all the nonsense !! It’s just at times it can get so bad that I want to give up ! But even that wouldn’t make a difference because it’s just anxiety !! Nothing more , I love the fact that you carried on despite all the negative thinking , as a matter of fact I got invited on an awesome day at the beach to do obstacles kinda like a spartan race ! I know before this came back I would have been thrilled ! It’s 6:30am in America! Lol I was contemplating going as my negative thinking was full forced , but I will stop typing because I need to get up and go to the event , however I’m feeling ! Because I know the deal Evy would of been thrilled to go a few months back !!! Again Dominic thanks your words go a long way ! Who would of known they would help me this moring as I am going to do something fun ! You pushed me right to it
    Blessings 🙂

  547. Alex 28th February 2016 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    A question to Rik!
    You have Been through ocd harm thoughts. Was wondering what is keeping them coming and why they feel so damn real? And does anyone else feel “strange ” in the head and some strange feeling behind the eyes or shall i just put all of it under anxiety?

  548. Paul 28th February 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    I’ve just read both of Paul books and really agree with all he says, I’ve suffered anxiety for a few years now but not bad anxiety like some people suffer,I’ve ever had one panic attack which frightened me to ,death luckily Ive had no more since.
    My problem is since Christmas my anxiety got bad after my ibs flared up and I got some bug or other aswell which made the anxiety go mad which is were u lost my appetite completely, it has come back at times and I’ve been ok fir about a week then bang it’s there again no appetite I’ve now been like this for just over 2 weeks, not sleeping or problems getting to sleep everynight, I try to eat bits and normally lately it’s early hours I eat bits like this morning about 3 o’clock I had a chicken and mushroom slice and some cooked gammon I also have complan shakes aswell, bits like an apple of crisps aswell

    What made things worse was I was worrying about not eating I’ve lost just over a stone since Christmas obviously I know this worry and stress of not eating just feeds the anxiety more which makes eating a nightmare, if only I’d have knew before things got bad about this maybe i wouldn’t have lost so much weight I’d have seen what was happening and been able to do more about it then I have done regarding feeding the anxiety

    If I put Pauls help ie let the thoughts just come and don’t react will this in turn help me get my appetite back as I’m not feeding the anxious thoughts of why I’m not eating and loosing weight etc, normally I’m pretty good and just get on with things keeping busy but this spell of anxiety has knocked me for six like Paul says I normally get on do things I enjoy and pay those thoughts no attention as I’m doing something I enjoy I don’t think about them but due to weather and other things I’ve not been out as much and done the things I like so it has been a vicious circle sat in the house, obviously now I’ve read Pauls books and see what I’ve been doing hopefully I can get back to normal and be prepared if it happens again.

    Is this what I should be doing any help would be much,appreciated

  549. Nolan 28th February 2016 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Marie,

    I did originally try things like sleep restriction. But, I eventually ditched all of that.
    I did whatever I wanted to do with sleep.
    When I didn’t have this ‘issue’ I never had to do any sleep schedules. So, I wasn’t going to do one anymore.

  550. Jacob 28th February 2016 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    My issue with CBT is basically that what if there is nothing directly making you feel anxious or depressed.

    Then its not really of any use challenging the thoughts. Like I myself know that my negative thoughts are coming from the way I feel. I cannot just “think positive” if I feel so bad if you know what I mean. Most of my thoughts are “why do I not feel like myself” anyways and getting agitated about it.

  551. Dominic 28th February 2016 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Go and enjoy your life. You may feel like not doing it but you will not regret it at all. I remember getting a phone call about a new contract for my business. This was in October when I was pretty bad. My heart raced, I was fearing taking a new contract as I may have to travel, stay away, how would I cope. I can’t do this I have anxiety etc. all the silly thoughts anxiety brings up.
    One of my biggest things was sleep issues. I was scared to take this contract as it might affect my sleep.
    For the past three years when I was anxiety free I travelled to the states from the UK. I had jet lag, overnight flights with no sleep etc, I never gave sleep a thought. I just loved the travel and opportunity.
    Now I had anxiety again all these sleep related fears and thoughts came flooding back. What I could have done was not taken the contract and therefore restricted my life and let anxiety control me or faced these irrational fears and take the contract. You can guess what I did.
    There was no way I was going to turn it down. I faced my fears and it’s not an issue now.
    One big fear for me was having to get up early for work, like 5am. Even before my anxiety I would get little sleep the night before. I never bothered me before but all of a sudden it was a huge thing. Its funny how anxiety feeds on this silly little thing.
    I’ve seen a few posts on sleep. This was also huge for me. Recently around Xmas time I hit a real bad couple of nights. Like zero sleep. Such intense feelings of fear. I couldn’t lay there with it as it was that intense on the first night. So I read a book, watched a bit of TV then laid there till it was morning.
    I got on with my day, went Xmas shopping etc.
    The following night I knew I wasn’t going to sleep so I just stayed downstairs and watched a film. Again got up and got on with my day.
    I basically accepted that I’m not going to sleep but it’s fine.
    I went out with a friend that night and went home and had the best nights sleep ever. I felt great the next day and had the most peaceful day over Xmas.
    Had I stressed and researched and added more fear them I’m sure things would have been different.
    I had let all the built up energy leave me, albeit unfortunately when I should have been sleeping! Once it left I felt great.
    So those having sleep issues, give yourself a break and let it be. It’s not that bad really, it’s only what your anxious mind tells you.

  552. Tom Marshall 28th February 2016 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Alex,

    I know you asked Rik the question but I thought I would jump in on that and try and help you amigo 🙂

    First of all I hope you are doing ok, I know harm thoughts tend to crush the soul, especially when the content is around someone you love. The reason why they keep coming back is because you keep answering the questions your mind is throwing at you on a day to day basis. ‘I just had a thought of hurting someone, does that mean X+Y=Z?’ and at this point we usually start to panic cause the last thing we want is to spiral out of control and hurt somebody so the minds logic is to keep analysing, ruminating, checking and engaging in any sort of activity to prove that you are definitely not going to do what you just thought and the devilish thing about this whole game is the belief that if you could just get certainty it would all just go away! I know the feeling but unfortunately my dude its a never ending cycle and everyone of us have been caught in this same trap.

    I know how you must be feeling right now, anxiety can create an extreme sense of urgency to fix these thoughts to prevent anything from happening, but the best thing for you to do right now is try and let go of the need for certainty and to get rid of the thoughts. Its tough I know because your mind will quickly talk you out of this when you attempt to get on with life ‘Oh no! wait if I don’t do something about these thoughts doesn’t that mean that i’ll do the horrible thing?’ The short answer is no you won’t.

    Imagine this like a tennis ball machine. You’re stood there at one end of the court and Mr Brain is at the other end putting balls in the machine for you to keep batting. The more balls you hit the more the machine fires out at you because your good friend Mr Brain thinks you’re having a fantastic time reacting and hitting the balls away so he keeps putting more and more in. He doesn’t realise at this point you are completely exhausted and wanting to stop. So you say to yourself.

    ‘If I just keep hitting them eventually he will run out’

    Uh-oh…. He only went out and bought a life time supply so the game is on!

    What do you do now?

    My advice is drop the bat and walk away, sure he might hurl some abuse at you for stopping and maybe fire some more at you. But eventually he has to stop and follow you cause he’s your brain and you would be kinda fucked without each other.

    So leave the court my friend and take Mr Brain and his tennis balls with you. Go see your good old friend Life cause I’m pretty sure you’ve missed him tremendously.

    I wish you all the best mate.

    Ps: I haven’t posted on here in months so I thought I would pop in. I hope everyone is doing well and I’m glad to see people still sharing their words of wisdom to help and empower others through these hard times.

  553. Alex 28th February 2016 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    Thnx for explaining. Love the tenniscourt example ??. So all the strange feelings in the head like your’e loosing it is just anxiety?
    Thank you very much Tom for your encouraging words!

  554. Peter 29th February 2016 at 3:16 am - Reply

    Hey Dominic,

    Have you gotten through your setback?

  555. Nolan 29th February 2016 at 3:17 am - Reply

    I’m not going to bash cbt, but I just want to echo similar thoughts: for me it seemed like such a huge hurdle to clear. Challenge thoughts? These thoughts have brought me to my knees…. And the fear backing them was very real.

    If cbt works for some that’s great. It just wasn’t the thing for me.

    These thoughts had begun to dominate my life. I didn’t need any more interaction with them…. I needed to make my life bigger than the thoughts and that’s where Paul’s method helped me.

  556. Tasnim 29th February 2016 at 3:49 am - Reply

    I loved the way you put it Tom. I know that I myself have said a few times “If I just knew 100% that I won’t get schizo, then I could relax” but I know I’ll never get that assurance, and I have to just accept that. Even just a bit ago, as I watching the Oscars, something that happened on screen brought me back to a symptom I knew of, and I got scared because I thought I believed it. I realized that I was ruminating again, and just let it be there. It’s scary, but at the same time, makes me ease. Thanks again for your words.

  557. Hanna 29th February 2016 at 5:07 am - Reply

    Hey Guys

    I have not been on here in a really long time, but since I am now fully recovered I thought I would pop back in to see if i could offer any support or guidance.

    I thought I would share the final piece of the puzzle that helped me get my life back. I had delt with so many symptoms but I always got stuck on the obsessive fears of being doomed. They felt so real and I couldn’t help but believe them.

    One day it just clicked that like all my other symptoms there really was only one way to break free.

    Firstly I’d been told that thoughts are just thoughts by Paul and I believed it although my obsessions still felt real there was space around my scary thinking because a part of me was beginning to truly understand these thoughts were just thoughts and I need not take them seriously. However I kept getting involved with them and reminding myself things and because of this I just couldn’t quite get past the last hurdle because when i reminded myself they weren’t real they would feel more real…

    So here is what did it for me.

    I thought of the fear and anxiety like a cage in my mind. Anytime I had any involvement however small I was literally choosing to hop inside the cage with my anxiety…so I made the choice…I decided from that day onwards that I didn’t want to live in the anxiety cage…I didn’t want to be trapped…so I said no more, I will never ever hop in that cage again (meaning no matter what thoughts or feelings I have that are anxiety based I will not get involved) and I didn’t. Within days my mind began to clear and my confidence began to return.

    It was amazing to realise that the only thing that was keeping me stuck in anxiety was my decision to go with the compulsion to fix my anxiety (hop in the anxiety cage)

    So my friends trust me when I say you can be free.

    You must realise all anxious thoughts are not real. They are just energy being released in the mind. Then make the decision no matter how much your mind wants you to get involved that you wont. Realise that if you do get involved you are choosing to have anxiety, you are creating your own cage.

    Choose to never hop in bed with anxiety again and simply let it do what ever it wants. When you do this, you will finally be free.

    I now go towards things that make me anxious. Anxiety can not stop me from being me or doing anything I want because I realise it is just a thought or a feeling and that I don’t need to be involved and can instead simply get on and do anything I want to do.

    Hope this helps,

    I’m happy to answer any questions people have. I suffered from anxiety until I was 32 and had so many different types symptoms over the years from panic, to obsessions, to intrusive thoughts to depersonalisation, to depression….in the end they all go with the one concept which is to understand they are just energy and that you need never ever get involved with them.

  558. Evy 29th February 2016 at 5:47 am - Reply

    Thanks for your post was so inspiring , I have a question are you just carrying on !? Or are you recovered , !? By the way I’m so glad I went to the beach and had an amazing time , 3 hours of obstacle course , I couldn’t even squeeze in a negative thought lol it was so intense , for a quick second I did feel dp, but before you know it all I can hear was ” evy come on keep going ” lol so back to what I was doing !! Did you ever experience dp

  559. Evy 29th February 2016 at 5:51 am - Reply

    The that was such a great example with the batting cage ! Even made me laugh for a bit , it’s so true ! Good way to put that we are actually in charge , and even if we’re not feeling them , we tend to look for them and go back to square one ! I’m sure if we do as were suppose to , we’ll all be on the other side soon ! We will get there , because this is by far the best place to be , full of positve people , that with a great feedback can go such a long way !!


  560. honey 29th February 2016 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Hanna thanks for posting. It’s alwAys very inspiring to hear from recovered people. I have a question. What do you define as recovery? Do you think your anxiety responses are still more exaggerated than the average person? How long have you been fully recovered for? I have a big fear of recovering and then having a relapse. Also since I have been fully accepting chronic anxiety symptoms I have started having panici attacks again which is pretty disheartening because I was sure acceptance would make it better not worse. The panic attacks are mainly nocturnal but naturally I am now convinced I will have one at work and not be able to cope. Thanks

  561. Dominic 29th February 2016 at 6:45 am - Reply

    The dp just went for me. I still get it now and again. For example when driving. It comes back now and again but I just ignore it really. I’ve been feeling great for a while now.
    I’m not sure if I’ve recovered fully. I still get anxiety, it just doesn’t bother me as much really.
    My option on cbt is in line with Nolan’s also. Once the anxiety symptoms fade then so do the thoughts. So challenging them only magnifies them. I just said so what to them.

  562. Rik 29th February 2016 at 10:45 am - Reply


    I think Tom covered that perfectly. It is simply a case of letting the balls fly while you walk away. It can be easier said than done at times but it the way to do it.

    As for the other symptoms it can be unbelievable how many symptoms anxiety can cause. I had had some good days last week only to wake up this morning with high anxiety and the feelings of derealization again. It is no use me analysing it though and trying to figure it out. Really all I can do is go with it.

    The thing I find hardest is the thoughts that come with the derealization. I know that with acceptance and consistency that I will move through it all though.

  563. Rik 29th February 2016 at 12:20 pm - Reply


    Did you ever have fears or obsessions around reality etc due to DP? Also did you find it very hard to feel anything in terms of emotions or emotions towards people? If so did you deal with this in the same way?

  564. John 29th February 2016 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul

    First i would like to say thank you for the information on your blog and website, I have brought both of your books and found the information very valuable

    my question is can this information solely be applied to depression without anxiety.

    I have been depressed for many years and lost a lot of hope and just keep asking myself what is the point to life, its like its lost all meaning.
    I constantly have thoughts analysing myself and trying to fix the problem mentally and i do believe this is part of the cause of the depression creating a cycle of thoughts and emotions. I have taken a what if attitude and sometimes i get pulled in and do become identified with my thoughts and other times i can sit back and just feel the pain from a distance and although very uncomfortable this attitude has helped

    I know your information is primarily heard towards anxiety but wanted to know what your thoughts were on this being used just for depression?

    Many thanks

  565. Doreen 29th February 2016 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Re CBT. As you may have seen I modified my description of the sort of counselling I was suggesting to Chris. I was trying not to pursue the idea of something deep and meaningful just more supportive and understanding of anxiety. I agree that CBT in its simplest form may not be helpful but I know of practitioners who are well able to use the philosophy which underpins ANM thinking and give people the place to reflect on how they are doing and encourage the benefits of this approach. And sometimes having a real live human being in that role can enhance anything this blog can offer when people are very stuck and troubled.

  566. Nolan 29th February 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Great point, Doreen.
    If someone is helped with that interaction then that’s a good thing and they shouldn’t be discouraged by those who don’t use that approach.

  567. Nolan 29th February 2016 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Regarding setbacks I just wanted to say that I always had this interesting experience…. and maybe some others have felt the same thing.

    My setbacks felt like they completely leveled and destroyed the modest ‘gains’ I experienced. You’d be kind of coming out of the pit and then you wake up one morning only to be met with that profound sense of dread, despair, and loss. Your good times seemed like a hoax and the only true reality was the nightmare of the anxiety/depression and all of the symptoms that go along with it.
    You’d be certain that this is final. At a fundamental level in your being you’d simply be convinced that you’re broken and that there’s no hope left for you. This is an automatic reaction. Willfully, you have very little power over just changing that view. You argue and argue with it, try to read the same things that gave you hope at one point…. only for all of that to fall flat. The sense of despair increases even more (which you may have even thought as being impossible…. but here it is).

    The miserable recognition that “there’s nothing I can do” starts to settle in on you…. but this is actually your point of redemption. At this moment we can either wallow in our despair…. or get back on with our lives, living them independent of how we’re feeling (‘feeling’ seems like such an understatement). And, I believe it’s in recognizing the futility of fighting with the thoughts, fears, symptoms that we can really start to live regardless of our state (assuming you’ve decided to not wallow in it).

    But, then the crazy thing starts to happen: the clouds of it break up on their own. You might be alittle dumbstruck (“how is this happening? What did I do??). Your body, once you allowed it the time, starts to get back on stable footing. Now the theme doesn’t feel like Despair, Hopelessness, Fear…. now it just starts to click how you’re not actually broken. How this storm, in time, will pass. You didn’t do it by a force of will: meaning, you didn’t need to grab a broom and chase it out of your mind and body. It’s almost like peace simply found its way back to your body.

    And, almost every time I had a setback, once I came out of it, it was like a little piece of me was restored back. Something that reminded me of how I used to be.
    So, I just wanted to give alittle hope to those who are struggling at the moment.

    I’d also like to say this: at one point my anxiety and depression lead me to wishing I was no more. I had a son who had just been born and I was wishing that I was gone from the play of life. Many months leading to years I felt like I was wasting away being in this condition – but looking back on it, and if I had to do it over, I wouldn’t want to change a thing. I never thought I’d ever say this but I look back on those days fondly. It was because of those dark days that I was able to grow into a better me. More patient, understanding, and peaceful than I had been even in years leading up to those dark days of anxiety and depression.

  568. honey 29th February 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Great post Nolan. Recovery sounds so good. I hope so much that will be all of us one day!

  569. Debbie 29th February 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I hope for that recovery also iam 75 their. The mind just feels creepy at times like its always trying to figure something out and it always in different images in my mind that pop out of no where al things ive seen in my life and than i get word pops Nolan i hope your dad is feeling better.

  570. Fleur 29th February 2016 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Belgian, thank you so so much for your response :-). I had few better days.

    You are right, I am fighting and that is wrong. Last weekend I was happy with my boyfriend, I spent 2 days with him and almost everything was normal. But now again, when he calls me I feel aversion and don´t want to talk with him. But I am starting to understand that I don´t have only this 1 symptom I have bad feelings in general. When I have better days with my partner then I am afraid of depression. SO this is proof that it is obviously not only about relationship anxiety, when I have good day with relationship I have bad day with something else.

    Yesterday happend something what upset me.
    Our profesor behaved very strange. He took off shoes all of a sudden, he pushed away a desk again and again, then he turned off and turned on notebook and said that „i am sorry i am nervous I must end up this lesson.“ Other students told us that he is wierd sometimes, he bangs on the board, it is like he forgot pills or something.

    I am scared to death that how is it possible that he was doing this :-(. What is his illness? Schizophrenia? Or is he insane? I know about him that he is maybe 55 years old and has 2 jobs – teacher at university and some great job at ministry. So I think that he had so much stress in his life. What if this or something similar can happen to me from my anxiety. What if he was the same like me when he was younger and now He hasn´t control at all. He took off shoes in front of all students.

  571. Julie W 1st March 2016 at 2:01 am - Reply

    Thanks Mark and Ves for your reply. I guess I just have to carry on, and not put any time limit or urgency on recovery. If I am broken, so be it.

    Alex – yes, I feel strange in the head too with some of my intrusive thoughts, like I am totally losing it and just holding on. I ride it out and it always subsides in time. It can last a while though for me.

  572. Chris 1st March 2016 at 3:04 am - Reply

    Thanks for the responses. I’ve always been wary of trying another approaches so I think I’ll just stick with this one, as deep down I believe it is the right way out of anxiety/depression. I’m already starting to feel a bit better. Yesterday I actually had an alright day which was surprising.

    Hanna, your post actually really helps me and I’ve had some similar insights in the last few days. Yesterday I decided, ok no more, this fear is absolutely pointless and it’s getting me nowhere so I decided to stay out of it, to not argue with the thoughts, to not even look for them. I found that for most of the day the thoughts weren’t even there, and when they occasionally did come up I made sure not to get involved. When the thoughts come up it feels as though it almost is a compulsion to try and argue with them, to prove them wrong.

    Because I was in a good mood yesterday, it was like I didn’t even need to worry about them. Of course they have come back today, but I’m just not going to talk back to them anymore. I mean really, what is the point in trying to argue or solve the thoughts, when there is literally no answer to my fears. I’m far better to just move on and leave these fears in the garbage bin when they truly belong

    I think I’m going to go with my original plan and just go out and life my life. I’ve just accepted a temp job and I’m moving cities to study in a few months, maybe it’s just what I need. Over time I should be able to get over this silly fear of mine, providing I don’t give into the compulsion to Google or go onto other forums again.

  573. Julie 1st March 2016 at 9:41 am - Reply


    Long time no see. Hope everyone is doing well.

    I have a question and wondered if someone could help.

    My anxiety started returning late last summer when I had symptoms of fatigue and weakness, slowly the agoraphobia started creeping in with it. I think it was due to the fact I felt so weak and unreal everytime I went out. By September I felt really poorly physically and during some blood tests I had a panic attack. I last posted here a few months ago when my son was struggling with bullying and became very ill. I stepped away from the group as I had to focus on him. CAMHS let us down terribly and my son became suicidal. I am so pleased to say he has gone from a 12 year old boy vomiting before school daily, calls from school all day asking me to pick him up because they couldn’t cope with his panic attacks, up to 10 panic attacks a day, terrified to go out, insomnia…. to now being a happy boy who has no panic attacks, goes to school happily each day, goes out with friends, after school clubs, goes to parks, restaurants with friends, speaks infront of class and he hasn’t missed 1 day of school in 6 weeks. At parents evening last week he was praised for his bravery and he is now aimed at As and Bs in his exams if his progress continues. I can’t tell you how proud I am. I taught him everything I learnt from At Last a Life and it worked. I talked about it in child friendly terms and he just grasped it, what an amazing boy. Thank you Paul. I was so afraid I’d lose my son things really did get that bad. I have a better version of the boy I knew, he is the happiest I have ever seen him.

    So that 3 month nightmare is over. I started suffering from worse fatigue, weakness, floor bouncing as i walked, close to collapse. I ended up with my GP visiting me 3 times in 3 months. I have now been diagnosed as having hypothyroidism, my resultss are well over range and I also have developed CFS from having it untreated for so long and a traumatic 3 months.

    I told my GP since I had the fatigue and ill health my anxiety has crept in. I don’t have high anxiety daily at all, I am infact happy and doing well. But on a day I physically feel poorly and weak (with CFS you have crash days where you can’t get out of bed) those are the days all my what if’s kick in. What if I have to go to hospital? I wouldn’t’ cope being agoraphobic, they’d lock me up seeing how anxious I am, what if they find something else wrong with me?… you get the gist.

    Since my ill health my anxiety returned. The anxiety has latched onto my physical symptoms and I have been afraid to go out. I go out to a small shops once or twice a week. I go to the park with the kids, do the school run but at the moment nothing socially with others, no big shops, no appointments even with hubby, nowhere alone really…. so it’s flared up my agoraphobia big time but I told my GP it’s all due to how poorly I have felt and doctors ignored my symptoms for 6 months telling me i was just tired. He offered therapy to talk about what happened with my son as i went through it alone as i have no support other than my husband, and he thinks it was very traumatic. I refused therapy, yes I sometimes cry when I remember the bad days I had throughout it but I don’t want to sit and wallow in it. He then asked if I wanted CBT, again i refused as the NHS wait is 18 months and I have done it for over a year privately when I had intrusive thoughts 2 years ago, so I know all I need to know.

    So my question is whilst i have these health issues and still feel ill is it possible to work on my anxiety? Other people have ill health, cancer, diabetes, MS…. but I bet the majority don’t have agoraphobia and unable to go to appointments or fear hospital treatment like I seem to. They just accept it all. I said to my husband my anxiety is coming from how weak and ill I feel. On a good day I don’t feel that anxiety but I guess I am still a little lacking in confidence to go out alone and my world has become pretty small again like it was 3 years ago when I was agoraphobic for 6 months. If the anxiety is coming from how physically unwell I am feeling, whilst i have this ill health can I really work on my anxiety? I hope that makes sense. lol! I know if the ill health was resolved my anxiety would certainly decrease alot as it only flared up again due to how unwell I felt, and i even became anxious at home just walking around my house. I would still have to work on the agoraphobia it had caused but that would be far easier without feeling weak, fatigued and like I was going to collapse everytime I stepped outside 😉

    It’s a question that’s been going around in my head and until I am properly medicated and this thyroid goes back to normal levels, and the CFS lifts I won’t feel physically well so will my anxiety about how i feel stay put. I just want to accept it all, deep down I think I am fighting it and not accepting that at 36 I have these 2 conditions aswell as high cholesterol and have found it all a shock and alot to deal with. I want to just accept this is where I am and not fear it all. I hope I will get to that stage.



  574. Jacqui 1st March 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Awesome posts Nolan and Hanna
    Hanna when an anxious thought pops into your head, what do you say? Nope not playing today?
    Nolan I want you to be my thearapist!!!!
    Jacqui x

  575. Tasnim 1st March 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Hannah, or anyone else recovered, as you went about your day do you have this itching feeling at the back of your mind? Like you are happy doing whatever you’re doing, laughing, talking etc., but there’s this weird feeling at the back of your mind saying you’re not happy or just this hint of dread. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I don’t like it. If you know what I mean, does this feeling fade as well?

  576. Paul 1st March 2016 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Hiya people

    I’m suffering with a bad episode at the min of anxiety have been since Christmas which started with my ibs amd some other bug were my appetite decreased,the anxiety kicked in which just finished off what appetite I had at all,it’s has come back for a week or so then bang I got another bug and appetite went again as the anxiety crept in again,

    Since just before Christmas I’ve lost just over a stone in weight because of no appetite, I’ve just read Pauls.books and.now see the reasons why it effects us so bad because we feed it,

    I’m eating bits at times normally silly o’clock in the morning as I’m having sleep problems at night not beeing able to fall asleep for hours some.nights no matter how tired I am when getting in bed the.mind won’t shut off thinking about anything, once I do fall asleep it’s for a couple if hours or so then I wake up again and again takes me again to get back to sleep, the.main thing concerning me was the not eating part which I know now the more I worry and fret about it the more likely my appetite is likely to come.back as such as I’m feeding the anxiety

    Can anyone help on this as I’m stuck in this rut at the moment it’s over a stone in weight I couldn’t really loose as I’m not the biggest build and always struggled with putting weight on and the ibs my weight has always fluctuated alot with bouts of it, before Christmas I was about 12 stone 10 but now down to 11-6/7 and from a 34 waist back t ,a 32

    Any help would be much,appreciated Paul m.

  577. Nolan 1st March 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul… I don’t know the conversion; but I lost 40 pounds in about a 3 weeks to a month period of time when my bout first