Anxiety Support
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Vicious Cycle

Intrusive thoughts led to anxiety which led to depression. This is my cycle, and finding where to break it is becoming ever more difficult. I've had some small wins on the way, and there were signs of real progress, but I've recently been hit with insomnia and the cycle has grown ever stronger. Every day has become a battleground in my mind and performing the most simple tasks is s very hard.

5 Replies

hi Paul,

every small win shows me it is possible to lessen it. I found that once I found an anti-depressant that worked, things got more manageable and that even when I do have dark times I know first hand that I can come through it. I used to be terrified of crying, of going with my feelings, in case I went so far down I'd never come back! - wrong!

I used to fight back and bottle up my feelings - I was so "I'm Fine" it was almost tattoed on my forehead!

The saying "unexpressed emotions never go away, they just wait around until you least expect them" is true with me -

*I laughed unexpectedly at some quip on the tv and the floodgates opened.

*I knocked the tiny knuckle on my little finger and wept -I couldn't cry for how bad I felt or for all that had happened, but I did for hurting my little finger!

*I have found myself quietly weeping in the middle of the supermarket, or whilst using the computer - only noticing when the neck of t-shirt feels damp!

I now "honour" my feelings and have even gone from deep silent tears to loud sobbing and then come out the other side - not cured! - exhausted, sleepy, but I survive!

Intrusive thoughts :- I always tell myself that though they feel real they are not, they are my mind trying to find a reason for me feeling so rotten - just as with bad dreams. I might still have them but they do lose their power.

someone, who has helped me enormously, explained my feeling "low" as the "new baby instincts" that we are born with and need for survival:-

* am I hungry?

* am I uncomfortable or scared?

* am I lonely or overwhelmed?

[I can't remember any more as I'm tired but hope they help.]

I recently posted a reply to "stars" and explained how 10 minute tasking helps me to manage simple tasks, if you can't find it I'll post them in a message to you.




hi Paul , here it is.

I have found myself that only planning for the next 5 or ten minutes works.

just plan 10 minute tasks and no more, then rest or do something nice for 10 mins.

if you finish in time - well done.

if you don't then you just underestimated the task, ok stop and make the rest part of the next task.

if you finish early - well done, add the time left to your free time you earned it!

this removes any pressure from doing the tasks and you will start to manage with practice - one of my early tasks was to go fill the kettle, rest, then make a cup of tea, in my rest period I got to relax and drink it!

don't be tempted to just go on to the next task, the r&r is important as we can get too ambitious, overwhelmed and unable to do anything, it's not about a race, it's about pacing and allowing yourself to relax and to be YOU.


Hi Paul1975. Sandra is right, as always. One thing at a time and the R&R is important. There's only one thing I would add. You say "every day has become a battleground". Now think about this!! What is a "battleground"? It is full of people FIGHTING. What sort of state are they in? Full of anxiety, fear, frustration, anger; they have an "enemy" they must get at and kill, or at least, subdue. Now apply this to yourself. Are you full of all these things? You are in an anxiety state and the last thing you want is to be in CONFLICT with yourself. This creates more anxiety more fear and the old "fight and flight" syndrome clicks in. More adrenalin more fear, more anxiety etc. Try and ACCEPT how you feel. Do not engage in combat with "IT" There is no enemy out there doing this to you. It is difficult to explain acceptance but, believe me, it does work eventually but IT TAKES TIME. I sympathise with you. We have all been there. Read again what Sandra says. It is good sense. All the best. jonathan.


Hi Guys,

Many thanks for your kind words and advice. I have read lots on intrusive thoughts and acceptance of Anxiety and spend months trying to implement various strategies to help. I have had some success but it all came crashing down last week and I'm struggling to get back on track. I have had some counseling (seven sessions) and I have organized another one the day after tomorrow. For the first time though I'm thinking of making an appointment to see my GP and talk about possible medication to help me.

I will definitely work on the acceptance, and breaking down tasks into small chunks and hope the small wins return soon!


You should all try a thing called "Binaural Beats", these computer generated sound files are said to massage your brain and produce all sorts of effects, and are excellent for stress/ depression/ anxiety disorders. A binaural beat is created by playing a different tone in each ear through headphones, and the interference pattern between the slightly differing frequencies creates the illusion of a beat. It's completely safe and scientifically proven - google it!!

If you search the Internet for "binaural beats" you'll quickly find there's a whole industry built on the idea that listening to binaural beats can produce all kinds of desired effects in your brain. It can alter your mood, help you follow a diet or stop smoking, get you pumped up for a competition, calm you down, put you to sleep, enhance your memory, act as an aphrodisiac, cure headaches, and even balance your chakras;-)


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