ADVICE COLUMN....


'What was given to us as pain may also be to our gain'

 

Here's a snapshot of some of the questions answered in The Mind Works 'Advice Column' sections. The book has now also been updated since 2007/9 with the success stories from these sufferers, along with new Advice Columns. The following are these contributers 'first' questions centred around panic attacks, phobias, 'prolonged' anxiety, depression or obsessive, addictive behaviours etc.  

 

Whilst people are at different stages in their recovery, please don't be fooled by 'miracle cures'. This is ALL about learning about yourself and how 'you' work. All I will do is show you how our minds ALL operate in a particular way. Once you understand this, you WILL see the 'wood for the trees' and improve your understanding to such a point that you will be able to apply the final stage in your recovery - a full 'awareness' of flow.
 

Some of these contributors wish to remain anonymous, but thankyou for giving others the chance to benefit from these questions/answers.

 

Hi Will, I am finding the book to be very helpful in my understanding - I now do recognise that it is my inability to believe that whatever 'symptom' I am suffering will eventually go and… what is causing it…that is my problem. I have realised that whatever symptom it is and over the years there have been so many, that once I find an acceptable 'reason' or have watched myself come out of it, things dramatically improve - but I then got into the cycle of holding onto good moments (MORD pt 4!) by repeating these 'good' thoughts - until something else would pop up and I would have to search again… Over reaction to any pain or health issue, as this seems to be the thing I have fought to gain control over - a long story but from reading your book I 'see' so much and understand so many instances in my life about me long before I became frightened of myself. Now, I feel I understand a lot more than I ever have - I have for years tried to follow Claire Weekes’ method, but although I accepted the concept of 'acceptance', I was stuck in controlling the acceptance, through reading the book and lurching through life from one fear to the next. Since coming across Paul's site my understanding has grown and with the help of your book my deeper understanding is coming.  The hardest thing I find (this is probably the same for many) is that although I am starting to realise that 'self belief' is the answer - how do you actually stop yourself going over the edge into forced reassurance. I can understand that now, once my fears come in, because 'I feel ‘awful' about one symptom or another - can be head pain, mouth biting or a number of things - how do I not react… by consciously telling myself that it will all be ok? I know I must not 'search' for answers, but not quite grasping the cut off, does this happen automatically? In other words, do we let the negatives have their say until they get fed up? Sorry to sound as if I'm not getting it - I am, but somehow I am missing 'the fine line'.

 

The book is enlightening, and I thank you for taking the time to put this together, such a frightening condition and yet when people like yourself and Paul are prepared to tackle this and share it - you are helping so many people. Thankyou - if you want to use the email that's fine - can you put me down as Teresa, cheers. Kind regards

 

Will, My name is Nick Watts. I have had anxiety proper for about seven months, it started off not trusting my thoughts, then I got to the point where I was questioning everything. By the way your site is great, it has helped me though and I am now much better. I can now turn the worrying off at will, (excuse the pun). Your method works!  I have isolated the process. :-) The question I want to ask  is: I can always feel the need to go into the secondary process, but I CAN stop the secondary process, but sometimes I slip up, slightly then afterwards the temptation is much greater to go back and explain, I sometimes feel that I am going, back. Did you have these incidences in your recovery, what did you do about them and how long did it take you until the temptation went away? Is it just a case now of putting up with that temptation until it goes? For instance last week was really good, sat on top of the temptation all week and as the week progressed it got easier, started to think to myself this is now sorted. Waking up in the morning with a clear head. Great. Then one thought popped into my mind, ( I think it was out of my control (primary), not sure though, then the temptation that night was much greater, went to bed, the next morning the temptation was big, back four steps. Did you have these spells in your recovery? What shall I do. :-   

 

Hi Will, Thanks for your reply...... I think I’m really starting to understand this fully. I think my initial over-reaction to silly thoughts in the primary is caused by my underlying anxiety (which is subsiding too), but the real damage is, as you say - in the secondary thinking. Today, I was faced with one of my old thoughts due to a situation I was in, now normally after it I would forcibly ponder it over in my mind trying to get it right... however I didn’t do that this time. I left it alone, I thought “well, I over react to silly things”, as I have Generalised Anxiety and then left it at that. Eventually, my mind moved on from the thought naturally and when I did remember thinking it a while later, my perspective had changed... I could be more subjective/rational and let things go. I guess for a while I was concentrating on dealing with the repetitive thoughts, but what it boils down to is the cause of what makes us think repetitive - reading into thoughts and feelings that can resolve themselves subconsciously if you don’t interfere. It’s the process of trying to get something right that isn’t in the 'now' - it was silly of me to ever try get things from the past right, or anticipate future things and get them right too. Staying in the moment is a much better place to be eh. Thanks Candie 

 

Hi Will, 
I have been following your advice for a month now and I know its the right way because of the improvements I have had. Despite feeling as though the attention has still been on me I have felt less depressed and overall less anxious. Up until the last couple of days. I feel I may have gone off track again! I feel almost like Im back to how I was before. I dont like talking to people again and the connection with my girlfriend was getting stronger seems to of just vanished! I wonder If im trying to hard again. Its just because i thought I had grasped the message and was on my way and all of a sudden I feel like I have gone backwards. 
I have been reading your book to try and make myself feel ok again but I think I have started to force. It all made perfect sense last week and then I seem to of lost the message again. Is this common? Apologies for this as it must get frustrating for you when you are trying to get a message across which I know deep down is simple. Please feel free to use any of my emails in your book. John T

 

On Wed May 23 17:49, ‘Nick Watts’ sent: Hello Will How are you? I’ve been a lot better of late, since I put down all the reasoning and concentrated on avoiding the fighting. Now I am getting better. The thing is when you start to think “What is the fight?” you’re back fighting! I do find visualising a boxing ring (Chapter 2) and then seeing the temptation to start fighting. When the questioning thoughts fly though my head I know not to dig as they ARE the temptation to fight. When I get these prolonged periods where I feel anxious and questioning thoughts start to fly, I just know NOT TO FIGHT I like to call these periods as “ Ringside” or, as you like to call it “breaking the chain”. I now understand that you cannot banish these thoughts. Otherwise you WILL LOSE! All you need to do is not to fight/dig further. Anyway nice one Will for you help.

Hi Will, Hope your well. Making progress slowly, but making progress none the less so all good. I was in the gym today, and admittedly I wasn’t feeling so good, but I reached what I feel was a fairly good ‘analogy’ for what we/people can suffer from. See what you think, might allow the penny to drop even easier for some people. Imagine you are doing your day to day stuff when suddenly, you have an itch on your leg. You have had a lot of itches in the past, and, they are all very normal, but this one is really tickling. . . you scratch it. As you scratch it though, you make it actually more itchy, and not only that, your finger is getting sore too. So, you itch it some more as it’s really tickling now, but you end up making your finger so sore, that you end up drawing blood, not only on your leg but also your finger. Now you’re in a right mess, with blood everywhere not knowing what you’ve done… as you can’t scratch it anymore, you give up, but something amazing starts to happen, both the leg starts to heal and also the finger… and what did you do, nothing… it took care of itself. Now, replace the ‘finger’ with ‘your brain’ and the itch on the leg as an initial unacceptable thought or feeling. The more you actually ‘scratch the itch’, trying to soothe it with your ‘scratching’, the thing your actually using to scratch it with (your brain) gets into a state where, it’s not even able to be used to scratch the itch anymore, and becomes part of the problem (confusion/loss of perspective). Your mind can become so ‘overloaded’ that perspective is lost, and things take on more importance than they usually do, but, this only occurs when you have been doing this ‘forced’ secondary thinking. As you say, it’s the lack of understanding that ‘itches can take care of themselves’ that make people think they need to be scratched… annoying as they can be, they do go away. Itches come and go… I guess you can liken them to ‘testing times’. When you mind starts to become ‘frayed’, it is the time when you have to just ‘let go of the reigns’, and actually let nature heal you, akin to letting positive primary thoughts come in and draw you out of the feelings. I know it’s not a perfect analogy, but the ‘getting a sore finger’ bit that I’m trying to put across, and I can see how a number or disorders can start this way. Everything people feel is genuine, but it’s the fact that your mind can lose perspective that I feel is important due to this secondary thinking. When you get like this, it certainly takes a giant leap of faith to take the first step to recovery. Your parallels to Claire Weekes still amaze me. Have you managed to grab her book yet? Many thanks S.

Hi Will Thanks for your book. I have started reading it. I may record my progress for my own benefit and if you wanted to, to add to it? I already have one question - your writing is great by the way (that was a compliment, not the question): although I am very alike you - not many men admit they panic. However, in addition to over thinking practically everything in my life and beating myself up over anything and everything, I also suffer from panic attacks. I can often be sick, shallow breathing etc. I know you will know what they are but when you refer to "panic" are you referring to something else? Best wishes Rob (*please also see book for flighter ‘panic attack' sections).

 

Hey Will, this is a really stupid fear I just got, but it's confusing me, and I just wanted to clarify. I read the part in your book where you talk about relationships and how it is something people with anxiety tend to have a lot of trouble with. Reading about that just made me feel kind of uneasy because I know I could never have a relationship right now. I am way too distant with other people and have a lot of trouble communicating. It just makes me feel that my anxiety is different from everyone else's because it seems like so many people with anxiety still have relationships. I just don't understand how someone could even have a relationship with anxiety. It just makes me think that my anxiety is worse than other people's and scares me a little bit. You really don't have to respond to this, as I know this fear is dumb and will probably burn itself out. I just wanted to get all this stuff out. I'm just going to keep reading the book and I know I'll feel better. Thanks for listening. Jeff

 

Hi Will Thanks a lot for your previous reply and taking the time. Im still getting to grips with things and Im just emailing for a little reassurance (sorry). The first few days seemed a easier to grasp the message yet from your previous journals I assume it can be a little hit and miss early on, particularly in the early days. Is it normal that i should be resisting the temptation all day as that is how it is for me. Anxiety and my condition is at the forefront all day long. I managed to go to a wedding in Wales over the weekend and I have been playing golf more so there must be improvements, (even if i am not enjoying it as much as i should be). Anyhow, i just feel that sometimes i still cross over the subtle line you mention. Like if i have a strange, scary thought i will say ' its okay dont fight, dont listen to your thoughts'. Perhaps there is still an element of forcing going on? Thanks Peter

 

Hi Will, Many thanks for sending me your book, I'm just about to start on Chapter 3 I've had these things going on for about 3 years now, and they sound very similar to what you described. Last weekend I had a particularly bad time, and have been at my sisters for since Tuesday to try and get some rest, and some help. I have been for acupuncture twice which I found amazingly relaxing and also stopped any anxious thoughts. I also went for a couple of sessions with a Human Givens therapist which was very good. The problem seems to be maintaining belief in myself, and not getting stuck in the loop of thoughts which make me think there is something else wrong, and also that I just can't cope, which obviously makes matters worse. I can see your point, and I'm certain that if I could just let these thoughts go, I would be absolutely fine. In fact I have periods where I feel absolutely fine, and have a feeling that everything can be well again. These always seem to give way to negative spirals of thought, where I feel totally hopeless, and scared of the whole thing. I was wondering, did you have periods where it just felt all to overwhelming, and do you have any tips for getting through these periods. I leave my sisters tomorrow, to return to Jersey, and while part of me just wants to get back to normal ( I have a great life, and there's nothing I'd want to change), the anxious part of me is saying that things are getting worse and I just can't cope? I also have trouble with a feeling of unreality from time to time, which is very

disturbing, did you experience this? Many thanks Dave ps I don't mind if you use any of this on your site, but request that you only use my first name. Many thanks Dave

 

Hello Will, I am getting there will its slow progress, but my understanding is getting better all the time.  I am now trying to leave the answers come to me, rather than the other way round. Would it be fair to say the difference between primary/secondary thinking is answers coming to you and you looking for answers. Primary: its only you, or its ok, (statements).or as you say mulling over things ,explaining how you feel etc. etc.. Secondary: What about this? Is that ok? Was that ok???? etc,etc  (Questions).I can see the point where I recognise my thoughts is the exact point where I would question them, and I can see how that is my cut offs. At the moment I am trying to holding off the questioning, (without over-complicating things).  I still do slip up, and start to question my thoughts even though I cant see myself doing anything wrong at the time. I sometimes still think I need to check. Then I realise afterwards “you’re doing it again”. Is it just a case of getting these spells less and less??? Thanks N.

 

Will, I just want to know where to go next, I have been ok over the last few months, but I'm now probably the worst I've ever been. I’ve tried medical help/medication, which has helped at times. My main problem is relationships. I don't know what to believe in my head and I can't see anyway out. I've never been diagnosed with anything and feel that unless I get a grip, it’s going to ruin my life. My boyfriend doesn’t know about this and I’ve spent a lot of time reading a lot of other people’s experiences on other sites. I think I'm going mad and don't know if I'll ever recover. I think "Is he right for me?", "am I better away from him?" etc. How did you do it? I understand what you're saying, but really don't know how to let go, even though I agree with your reasoning. Like you said - it's a never ending questioning process, which tears me to pieces. These thoughts become very worrying at times as I wonder if there's an underlying message I should be taking notice of. I have a good career and know that it's affecting my life at work and also socially. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks

 

“Dear Will, Thank you for all your efforts with your site, you really have given a ‘piece’ of yourself here which takes some courage. I have read what you have to say, but would still like further clarification of how you ‘order’ the steps to recovery to this illness, for example, ‘relaxation’ etc is a ‘resulting’ benefit. I know you arrive at this conclusion, but could you elaborate? I have felt relief by not ‘fighting’ as you say and I really want to pursue this, but I would still like confirmation!” Yours S.Armstead  Telford UK

 

Hi Will,

This is great stuff - I'm a little confused about the thought process, though. What if I keep having the same thought over and over again? I have a lot of body symptoms and I am so aware of them. Mostly tension, and burning and trembling. I am so skinny now and I'm losing weight because of lack of appetite. I feel like a wreck. Thanks so much for your time! Liz:)

 

Hi, I started having panic attacks for about two years now. I had heart palpitations and thought I was having a heart attack to realize it was only panic attacks. Seems like stress also triggers it as well. I went in to hospital but all was ok and this is when the panic attacks started. I take xannax when I feel panicky and it helps with my blood pressure to help me to relax. Sometimes I think when I am having a panic attack I feel like I am going to die. I really need help here, can you advise?

Thankyou.

 

Hi Will, my name is Michael, I live in Munich, wondering if you could help me I suffer with really bad tension, in my shoulders and a band around my head, was on tranquillisers for 15 years and been off them now two years, all the other things I have been able to deal with, but this I now am doing myself how can I recover from this, hope you can help.

 

Hi Will, Thanks for this again. I think the difference here is that you say we have 'stay with' what's spontaneous, and that this actually includes natural controls, as well as our initial thoughts?   Sam D

Following my response:- Yes, I thought so. I realise that our initial controls don't have to be 'double-checked' and, instead, accepted first time. Last time, I felt stressed out/panicky reading your Journal (ref: Journal 1) as I think we all have our 'set' ways for dealing with this illness. However, after reading it - I tried 'not fighting' this feeling and gave it a go. I can see that 'at the exact point' of recognising my stress, I was actually subconsciously controlling/coming out of this. This is real and workable - I am 'passing through' my panic now like never before - no issues made. I hope this helps others - thanks again Sam D.  Dec '05 

 

Will, My sister has suffered with obsessive anxiety for years. She is a compulsive checker and has a real problem with ‘contamination’. I’m wondering if you could 'throw some light' on this situation as I have read your site and see a difference in the way you have approached this. Many thanks Anon

 

Will, this is a very interesting interpretation of 'how our minds work' - I've not picked up on this anywhere before and yet totally agree. I credit you for keeping your solution extremely simple and actually, breathed a sigh of relief when you based it 'all' on reasoning and understanding. There are so many jokes out there and also therapists who comment, but have never been 'in it' like we have. This should go further, as it's changed my life in a matter of months and has a message there for us all  Anon

Following response:- Thanks Will, so when I find myself thinking ‘Oh I shouldn’t be thinking like this – then it’s just a case of not trying to ‘fight’ this feeling – as I am actually at the very point of ‘coming out of it’?

 

This is ultimately a 'game' of self-trust.

 

Will, Thanks for that e mail you sent me has cleared up a few things, but there is one thing I forgot to ask you. Is it ok to think about the anxiety? I think about the anxiety most of the time, thoughts run through my head consciously, but NOT to the point where I panic, is that ok? Is it fair to say that is ok providing I don't panic? Sometimes after I have been thinking about it for a bit, I get the urge to stop thinking about it, then I feel the temptation to explain or panic. Before I tried to blank it all out but got anxious when I could not. Which I think is again the cause of the problem. Nice one Will. Sorry to be a pain in the *rse. I thank you again.

 

Will, I have nearly sorted this. Once I know I am totally correct and I am doing everything correct I am away. I still feel like a pain though. Will have to give you a donation for helping me, so that you can continue to help others. More people like you the world could do with. Someone who is willing to help others on his/her own accord. Anyway, Will , all week I feeling good had a negative thought, I thought I was fighting/ (self doubt in the process) when I was not, afterwards the temptation was big to enter the fighting process. I did not fight and after about ten main I was ok again. Have I done something wrong to get to that stage. i.e. to obtain total recovery I should not get panicky, is panic too far _*or is that ok providing I don't fight after*_. I think I am correct but confirmation of this fact will confirm once and for all that I am getting better. I thank you again will, If you want to put any of out correspondence on your journals, please feel free. Many thanks NW

 

Dear Will, Thanks for your book/solution, which I am trying to implement, with still some difficulty as I believe that I am unable to let go and not practised enough in it as yet. My main problems have been depression for many years and latterly for 5 years bad anxiety which occurred in a panic attack whilst driving on the motorway shortly after my mother's death. For some bizarre reason since that time I have become overly pre-occupied with my own self and fear of impending doom/death and I cannot seem to rid myself of it from morning when I wake the thoughts/feelings are with me constantly whether indoors or out. I don't know whether anyone else has experienced these stupid thoughts or sensations, but it is very difficult to concentrate on other things when these thoughts are constantly in the back of ones mind creating fear all the time. Many thanks Mel

 

Hi Will, I am a sufferer of panic attacks and I am a natural worrier.  My main problem is that I suffer with stress rashes on my neck and chest.  Until recently they would only appear when I was in a stressful situation, but now I can simply be talking to a friend and suddenly I start to get this warm feeling around my chest/neck. I then think about the rashes appearing and the next thing I know they appear.  The more I think about them the more they come.  I found the information about secondary thoughts very interesting and I want to go on to read the related journals. The only thing that has helped my anxiety/rashes is a beta blocker called Propanolol. I haven't taken these tablets for about 6 months.  I do Yoga twice a week and I try to lead a healthy life, so obviously 'popping pills’ is not something I really want to be doing. Without going into too much detail I have experienced a lot of problems that I am sure have caused me to be a worrier and an anxious person.  I really want to overcome this as I feel like my mind is taking over me sometimes. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.  It is good to read your story as it gives me hope that I can overcome my problem. Many thanks, Amy R

 

Hi Will,I have just come across your site and and started reading some of it  although this was difficult in the first instance to read the actual words about panic, anxiety etc some of the sentences made real sense to me. I'm 22 year old male and have suffered from panic attacks initially then extreme anxiety for about 4 years. I am getting more and more problems because of the way I deal with anxiety i.e. avoidance and association. This is very debilitating. The past year has been parrticularly difficult and I am in need of some support from a fellow sufferer.  I have purchased your journals and look forward to reading them. Would you mind if I sent you an email about what problems I am having so that you may be able to give me some advice.  Any help would be most appreciated.  Hope to hear from you soon. Laurence 

 

Hi Will, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I suppose I better start from the start and give you a bit of background info first before I get to the problem. Basically I started having panic attacks roughly about 4 years ago. These started as mild but progressed to be not very nice. The reason I was getting the panic attacks was that i was living in a 2 bed houses with three people and didn't have anywhere to call my own. I'm someone who needs space anyway and the lack of it caused me to think that it was me who was making me feel bad. I came to realise that the best way to deal with the panic attacks was to let them pass by not giving them any attention. This seemed to work well until I started getting anxiety problems. My response to these were to run away (flighting) from any problems that arose instead of standing up and dealing with them.  I began to associate places, things and people with feeling anxious and therefore avoided any of these.  This all got on top of me and led to me having a breakdown which was a nightmare. In so many ways i feel so much better in that I have got a part time job again and overall am feeling lots better.  However recently I have had more problems and am in need of some advice. The root of my problem came from the way I dealt with the anxiety. I would really try and avoid anything that gave me any form of anxiety. I have come to realise that a certain amount of anxiety is healthy and that by facing up to the anxiety is the proper way to deal with it. The problems now are that because I dealt with things in the wrong way in the past I feel I have become unbalanced in my thought processes e.g. my initial reaction to something is nearly always negative.  Thanks to your journal I am coming to understand that by trying to stop having the negative reaction in the first place  is actually causing me more problems, and that by not fighting the negative thought natural control takes over and a positive one takes over.  This is great. However, my problems are deeper than that.  Basically, I am very aware of the way I function. Just because I am aware of this function though doesn't lead to problems. The problems come because my brain tries to interfere with these processes i.e. I'm aware of the way I remember something my brain tries to interfere with that process. The problems don't stop there the next thing that happens is that I then create an association (a negative one) - I don't want to create an association it just seems to happen. This becomes even more unhelpful because every time I see that object, thing, place I then get the interference again.  Lastly, the association isn't just with the object itself but with its energy.  This is creating even more problems. I know this sounds a lot but my thinking is that most of this stemmed from my previous reaction to the anxiety, which has led to bad thinking habits developing. It seems to be my initial reaction to things (almost always negative) is what causes the problems and for some reason I keep creating more which means I can't carry on with a normal life. It would seem that if my initial reaction was a positive one I would be able to lead a normal life.  I have been unable to go to work this week.  Please can you give me some advice on some possible reasons why I keep creating this interference with processes in the first place and then why I keep creating associations after that.  I would be grateful for any advice that you could give me. If the last paragraph doesn't make sense I can explain in more detail if needed! Thank you very much. Hope to hear from you soon. Laurence

 

Will, how did 'you' stop worrying? I understand all that you're saying, but cannot stop the urge to panic all the time. Many thanks  D.Talbot 

 

Dear Will - this is truly a fantastic site that has given us a real insight into the workings of the 'anxious mind'. My son has developed a really bad stammer and no matter what we do - he seems to get worse. Can you shed any light on this as we, like any parents, just want to help him, as we can see the frustration 'mounting up' inside him. We've tried all avenues so far. In hope!  Many thanks C&M Asp.

 

Will, this is a great help and the simplification that I needed. Can you give me any other info/examples as to 'how' we know when we are in 'primary or secondary' thought?  Many thanks   DM   

 

Hi Will, Having read your site, can you tell me if your journals cover the 'range' of thoughts we can have? This makes so much sense to me - I have copied your M.O.R.D to keep with me. The reason I ask this is I understand you can have a negative thought and then 'cut-off' from it, but can you have a mixture of 1. and 2. for example? I find that I often have a negative thought followed by a positive 'correction' - but 'don't' believe enough in myself to follow this through - and think that you're saying we cut-off from these positive thoughts also? Many thanks Neil Al.  (Yes this is covered in 'Ch 3' - full answer to this question is also in Ch 4).

 

Will, Chapter 3 really 'struck a chord' with me - especially your article for the 'Anxiety Conference' - I often find I have 'perverse' thoughts- do these ever go away as I find this really difficult to deal with? Anon 

 

The following is the start of a long discussion with a young lady, who is obviously 'in the depths' of what I would call 'cumulative anxiety'. It's interesting to see how she eventually starts to 'get to grips' with understanding this illness and the fact that she's not mad!

 

Hi Will, my name is Anna and I recently joined your site however I would rather you reply to this one as the other address is shared with my partner.I just wondered if you may be able to offer some advise really, will try and keep it as short as possible! I have suffered with anxiety (or as you very well described it mental knots!) for over 12 years now and probably longer i can't remember. However when it first started to take over my life i started havig irrational fears about anyone spiking my drink, then that i was a paedophille, then my parents would kill me etc etc.. in my heart of hearts i knew it wasn;t true but i felt like once i had thought it and it stuck in head i couldn't escape the mental toture of it.anyway so for a few years in my late teens i began seeing a psychologist. She was lovely, but ctually was quite bad advice she gave me now i think. she taught me that whenever i had a thought that i didn't like/ was anxious to say "stop" or " go away". I was doing this for years till last year i started seeing a CBT therapist. she has been really helpfull in some ways, has been trying to teach me to accept how i feel etc, however does keep telling me i will probably always be anxious which depresses me really. Anyway recently she has been trying to teach me a mindfulness tecnhique, so that whenever i have an anxious/scary/horrible thought  then i am to stay with it and jsut say to myself "oh theres an anxious thought again" and almost take a curious stance when it comes in my head, but not to get involved in trying to explain it. however in theroy sounds great buit can't really get it to work for me. when i came across your site it was so comforting to hear you write about so many thinks i have in common. many sites on anxiety go on about physical side effects, although these aren't nice it is the mental side that is runing my life. In especially struck a chord with me when you talk about confusion/ need to explain how i am feeling as that is me all over and i believe the core of my problem. anyway so as i have said i have had these fears over time, and also a general feeling of unease, constant worry/ anxiety about anything and everything. a few months ago i was so scared i was going to come psychotic that it took over my life. however it changeda  while ago. about two months ago i began feeling really down and more confused i guess really. i kept thinking all the time, what is wrong with me, how can i explain this to anyone. it then began to really  scare me that i couldn't explain how i am feeling and keep thinking who am I etc? &nbsp Its like i am just trapped in introspection constantly and can't get out my body, if i do for maybe ten minutes then i am straight back inside thinking how do i feel, what are my emotions, what is wrong? it is driving me insance. I am also trapped with constant doubting thoughts, such as am i jsut self obsessed? do i have a personality disorder? am i a really horrible mean person? whenever i think these thoughts i always seem to get memories that come back from my past that probably are completely innocent but seem to act as evidence at the time. Take yesterday... i woke up just feeling anxious and because i didn't know what about i kept trying to find a label for my anxiety such as "i can't explain " or who am i even though i don't know if that was what i was anxious about. then I began to get scared oh how i should be thinking, like my cbt says i should do this, and im trying to understand from your website how you advice to stop themental torture. Then i keep thining, how can i explain how im thinking? if i try and write it down to explain it and go back tp what the first thoughts were then i feel a bit better, but then it only lasts a short time. its as if my fear now is just the term " i can't explain it" and then i feel lke im going to go mad/noone can help me. i am also always tied in mental knots about every day things. like i will come in from work and think right i need to do this this and this, then i think god why am i getting so stressed about this and then feel really angry and irritable. or another example,someone will be talking to me that i don't want to speak to but i feel like i should, its as if there is two voices arguing in my head and i feel my head will explode! i am sorry this is so long, hope you haven't fallen asleep by now. just i have read your website, and it does seem the msot logical and best way yet i have seen out of this misery. however i just cna't get my head around it. by know means is it an insult to you, i think i am " trying too hard" . so for example, if i wake up thinking "i don't know whats wrong with me" or " i can't explain it" or "i can't stop thinking" how should i deal with this.? also what kind of fears did you have, was it just anything and everything? i just feel so full of doubt, like i am writing this and thinking, is this what i really mean? am i explaining myself properly, it does just feel like a downward sprial constantly that i can't get out of. one more question... did you used to suffer feeling of depersonalisation? I haven't had it for years yet it has been really bad last few days, prob cos stress levels are so high, i just feel like when i am talking i am acting a part, like someone else speaking and someone has taken me away. if you did suffer with this how did you handle it in regards to primary, secondary thinking? will thank you so much for taking the time to read this, sorry i do babble just i realy think your method could get me out of this hole? many thanks, Anna ps- please if possible could you reply to this web address  

 

 

 

*All responses are based on my own experiences and recovery

from this illness.

 
 
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