Anxiety Support
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Hi all new to site, pls read, like, what else you got to do anyway, by the time you finish it your anxiety will be gone or your be asleep

in looking for people with the same problems as me, it appears i have found some (loads). which in a strange way is helpful sorry! however, i am really sorry that anyone has to suffer with this illness, i know we are not meant to get angry with our anxiety but i do, i hate it, i hate the way i am, always avoiding or making excuses. a little about me first, and my difficulties, briefly ha! briefly yeah right look down the page. i lost my mum when she was only 53 which i did not deal with properly at the time,but rather chose not to think about it at all as we were very close, then my wife became unwell with progressive ms, and it seems to me that what these things have in common is that they were out of my control, and thats where my problem maybe. things came to a head when i got stuck in a massive traffic jam, and spent about 3hrs in a state of panic. i was medically retired from my job as an operations manager for 20 years. i am 45 and have had anxiety and panic attacks for around 10 years now, i take enough meds to rattle when i walk 150mg sertraline, diazepam, amitriptyline, propranolol, atorvastatin, omeprazole lol yep! thats it, i have been through cbt, even got myself into hospital over night thinking i was on me way out, only to learn that this was my new best friend that was going to be with me where ever i went mr anxiety, currently back with resource therapy, south essex mental health team and mind, though mind are excellent, there are no people there with my illness which im looking for, dont worry i cant stalk you i cant get out. i'm not currently going out, i did have a small bubble that i got around in, but that has reduced somewhat, however, i am going to change that, im feeling up for a challenge. im feeling really anxious at the moment, and it has moved to a level that i now get anxious not just with things i have to do, but also if any of my family are going out, this is really a problem and most annoying to say the least, people understand for a short time but soon get fed up, if i think i have lost all means of contact with them i get in a real state.

i took on an open uni degree course 4 years ago, which i am in the last year of, but i am really struggling at the moment, as its difficult to study and be anxious at the same time, its like i have a good me and a bad me on each shoulder, but that little git bad me works out and always wins. anyway thats a little about me, i am happy to chat with anyone that wants to have a chat about anything really, i am also looking for people who would like to try to move forward, im fed up with being like this and i want to chat to others that want to work to progress, setting goals or targets or something, i promise it can get better, i have got through this before and had a somewhat fairly, what id call normal life, but i let it creep back up on me the sneeking git, would be great if another nutter like me lived close by as we could arrange to meet up, and niether of us would turn up lol oh and i do go on a little, ok a lot! possive right! well if you bothered to read this far you must be pretty positive, i would have got bored just looking at it all and clicked on. i just had a thought, we could write a book by all us anxious people, it would be the best fictional book ever writen, i get so knacked just planning what isnt going to happen. we all read the same things about breathing, and diverting your mind, yet when your anxious that all goes out the window, i love the days when you have it all the time, walking around in doors with so much anxiety, fight or flight right, well i couldnt fight coz im sweating like a piggy and feeling like im going to be sick, and i couldnt flight coz im on the loo, so hows that a natural feeling thats useful, yeah right to who exactly? i used to work off one theory given to me of 'whats the worst that can happen' but the going to the loo so many times put an end to that one, you have to joke a little about it though and remain positive, i know its easier said than done, i understand what anyone with this bloody horrid illness is going through i really do, i know quite a bit about it now, read all the books you know, remember it isn't going to kill you, nobody dies from too much anxiety, you can cope, the best way of confusing mr anxiety or mrs is to distract your mind keep busy, we are only here once (depending on what you believe in) see how i didnt offend any one there, we do have to look for even the smallestof possitives, be strong, i mean it be strong, because if you are coping with anxiety you are some of the strongest people there is, my best wishes to you all, and if you wanna chat just drop me a line, but we must talk positive not too much on the down side ok, ill shut up now, wow i just wrote an essay,

10 Replies

Hi Vincent

Welcome to the site, you'll find lots of support here!

Really enjoyed your "essay" ;) One thing i can totally identify with is needing the loo - my loo is my best friend - well, it must be, I spend so much time in there ;)

About the "fight flight" syndrome - they have now added - well, some therapists, though at least one had never heard of it when i suggested it - is "fright" or "freeze" - anyway, to return to our syndromes, the fight-flight-fright" syndrome stems from what i believe they call the "reptilian" brain - the most basic bit of the brain, over which we have virtually no control :( You say you couldn't fight or "flight" - cos you're sweating and/or sitting on the loo and/or being sick. Well, I know, I've sat on the loo throwing up into the bath at the same time before now - fun, isn't it? The point is, this primitive bit of brain has ONE function - to get us out of danger. It stems (literally - brain stem?) from when we were more prey than predator, and if we came face to face with a sabre-toothed tiger, there wasn't time for a nice "homo sapiens sapiens" discussion of Oh, there's a sabre-toothed tiger; he probably wants to eat me; I don't think I can fight him; I'd better run away - woops, too late!" So the instinctual bit of the brain takes over, in micro (milli?)seconds, to decide whether to run, fight, or freeze - if i stand very very still maybe he won't see me? this bit of the brain does a lot of things in a very short time; it craps (sorry, but it does!) to lighten our bodies for flight; it shuts down the digestive system (vomits if necessary) - no point digesting your last meal if you're about to be someone else's! It take blood away from the skin and all the "non-vital" bits, to concentrate on heart, lungs and muscles - so we can run faster, or hit harder. It also, strangely, changes our perception of time - people who have survived disasters talk of everything happening in "slow motion" when in fact the train crash or whatever lasted only seconds.

Now, having sorted that out, this is fine and dandy if we're running away from a sabre-toothed tiger (I wouldn't recommend fighting it, unless you're a sabre-toothed tiger too) - all that adrenaline this primitive little bit of brain releases is used up by running for your life -literally - and, frankly, if you're running for your life you don't really care if there isn't a public lavatory in the vicinity ;) (Serious point - men going "over the top" during the 1st World War regularly soiled themselves.)

UNFORTUNATELY this bit of brain hasn't evolved enough to know that, if the boss is in a bad mood, or the kids are playing up, or the traffic isn't moving, the fight-flight-freeze isn't particularly helpful. You can't kill the boss - well, not recommended; you can't run away from the kids - well, you probably don't want to; and as for the traffic jam - well, your frozen anyway, so the "fright" reaction is a bit useless - particularly if it means you're going t be late for a meeting which will make the boss cross but you can't (legally) murder the boss and you can't run away from the boss and you can't hide from the boss ...... well, unless they're a different sex, when the loo is a good hiding place ;)

So - why does it happen? Well, frankly, i don't think anyone, even the "professionals" (especially the professionals?) really know. It's fear in the wrong place/time, they say - well, yeah, but that's a description, not an explanation! Why do some of us have it and not others? Dunno!

Probably teaching my mother to suck eggs here, but there are techniques that may help - some suit different people. Relaxation exercises - no not slobbing out in front of the box, proper relaxation techniques - there are some brilliant ones on here:-

Exercise (says the 63 yr old couch potato!) - if you can't go out, get a punching bag and hit it till you can't hit it any more.

You say " i used to work off one theory given to me of 'whats the worst that can happen' but the going to the loo so many times put an end to that one," - yep, been there, done that, but - okay, so you're stuck in the loo - what IS the worst thing that can happen? You have to stop eventually ;) and, forgive me if I'm being too crude, no-one ever died (to my knowledge) from defecation! Keep a book/magazine/crossword puzzle in the loo - I regularly take my mobile phone in, and play solitaire on it ;) I have even been known to sit on the loo talking to the Sams on my mob - that was erm.. interesting! But the simple fact is, that a panic attack CAN'T kill you. Believe me, i went through years thinking "this is it, I'm going to die" - I'm still here. Sometimes I find thinking "This will pass" helps. My panic attacks usually happened at night, and when it got to like 4 am, I'd start thinking of milkmen and such like getting ready for their rounds, the "normal" day starting - and that helped.

You might find an organisation called No Panic helpful - they have telephone volunteers, tapes books and other resources which I've found good in the past - go to:-

Finally, may I say how much i admire you for doing an OU degree whilst going through this - incredible!!!! DO make sure the OU know of your problems - I've had some dealings with them, and they are very helpful and supportive of students with health problems, so do tell them.

And keep posting - I found your post fascinating, and could really relate. Oh, and Mr Anxiety does NOT have to be your lifelong companion - you can give him the heave-ho. Not easy, not quick, but possible. Oh, another book you might find helpful if Susan Jeffers "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" - brilliant!

Oh dear, i seem to have written an essay too ;) Must be catching :-D

All the best, and keep posting





Hi Rose, thank you so much, i really enjoyed reading your extremly informative reply, it did make me giggle, god if we were in the same house i hope it would have two loo's. 'feel the fear and do it anyway' aint that the truth, thanks for that Rose i think i'll give that a read. when i first got this wonderful illness i went through a stage of buying every book there was, even importing books from the states, though some made me feel worse, i gave them all to the cancer research shop, except the ones that were about as much help as a locked toilet, ah toilet humor is there anything funnier. one more with regards to the toilet and i promise not to mention it again, the therapist that told me 'whats the worse that can happen' well i wanted to finish that off last night but i didnt want to say too much because im new here and dont want to offen anyone, but anyway i cant help myself, 'so your out and you need a toilet, whats the worst that could happen', my answer to her was 'well i'd sh!t myself wouldn't I!' she gave me an odd look but no answer to that. thank you for your reply and very kind words Rose, do you know i felt a little better today after reading about so many people with the same difficulties. Oh and one more thing i went out this morning to get my meds myself, only a short distance, but i was out. bye for now Rose x VV


Why not look at your degree as a focus point? I am in my 3rd year at uni and was looking at it with dread and failure now I am focusing on with just about all my attention and effort, keep on top of things and set goals :) we don't realise what we r capable and it's good to be proud of yourself when h have completed a goal! :) hope that helps in a small way


HA! What a pair LOL! Think you have both written a play ( would love to go and see it if I dare go out ). Well I m going to have to read these over again, but not yet! I will give it an hour or 2 first. Congratulations on getting rid of that lot, hope you feel a little better : )

Love Ya xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Ha EB, you just want in on the loo dont ya we are not sharing oh ok then but make it quick for gods sake, if Rose and i put on a play i think we'd call it 'the something really hit the fan', however, if we advertised it on here i dont think it would be a sell out somehow, no one would turn up! lol

I did get out today, i went down the road not far, but still take the positive right, something i really struggle with im an all or nothing person, and usually nothing is my safe option, why do something today when you can avoid it or make an excuse not to do it. its not the fear its self that is always the problem its the fear of the fear isnt it, perhaps the play should be a frightener, though what scares us wouldnt make any sense to others, thank you for your reply EB be strong VV x


LOL, Ellabella - think the "play" would have to have a loo centre-stage! ;) Hope you're okay, hun!

Love ya back

Rose xxxxxxxxxx


I think there would be more people that understand than we could ever imagine to be honest. I think it would be great with 2 loos. Both of you sat on them doing a sort of monologue ....would be a sell out xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Yep, i believe your right EB, though it sometimes feels like your the only one in the world that feels those feelings and thinks those thoughts, it does feel good to know there are others like me, im so glad i found this site,



Well, Vincent, if it's any consolation, needing a loo to ourselves puts us n VERY select company - the Royals, no less!!! :-O I was at Uni years ago when one of the Royals was visiting; first, they cleared all the paths that the Royal feet would tread of all the goose droppings - the rest of us slithered and slid over it most of the time ;) Then, one loo in one college was DESIGNATED as THE Royal loo!!! NO-ONE was allowed to use it beforehand - or, and I find this really weird - afterwards, for about 24 hours! What DO they get up to in there? ;) (No, don't answer that!)

Oh, and if we shared a house, we'd need THREE loos - one for you, one for me, one for everyone else - and NO i'm not sharing mine! :( I really should have started reading War and Peace when all this began - I'd have finished it by now and be on to Das Kapital! ;)

Well done for getting out - I'll read your separate post about that.

Oh, thought of a snappy title for our play

"And you thought YOU had a crappy day?" ;)


Rose xxx


Hi Rose, your making me smile again, thank you, and you wouldnt wanna use a toilet for 24hrs after me either, however, a great story Rose, whats that all about hey.

Oh, i tried reading Das Kapital it was hard going, im a bit a of 'CHE' at heart you see

love the name of our play,



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