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Dr Weekes, and Anxiety approach

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ferndale37, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Ferndale37

    Ferndale37 Peer Supporter

    Iv made some remarkable progress since discovering Dr Sarno’s work and also the work of Dr Claire Weekes.

    Iv always feared my anxiety since I was younger, worried it was hurting me, causing me to have high blood pressure, and would ultimately make me very ill.

    After reading Dr Sarno’s work, I managed to confront some of my fears and was told my blood pressure was normal (when I was in hospital for a minor operation). In the same operation, I was also told my pulse rate was that of an athlete (despite being anxious at the time). So I finally managed to relax about the physical effects of anxiety on my cardiovascular system and began to accept that I’m pretty lucky that anxiety seems to cause me some uncomfortable feelings/sensations and some aches and pains (which I dealt with via Dr Sarno’s books). I sort of relaxed and was confident it could not do me any major damage.

    I continued to experience anxiety but was learning to desensitise myself from it, accept it as part of me and not be scared of it as much. The only thing left to deal with was the fact I still latched onto a lot of my thoughts. I recognised them as anxiety but still took them seriously, so I decided to take a mindfulness course, which is also starting to really help me.

    I’m starting to allow the thoughts and feelings and have been able to meditate and clear my mind, whilst also sitting through some pretty intense physical anxiety. This is real progress for me as Iv always been scared to feel my anxiety in the past.

    I feel like I’v had a major setback however, and it was as a result of watching one of the homework videos from the mindfulness course.

    The video went into depth about how emotions negatively effect your heart, even if your heart rate etc seems fine. It took me so long to get over fearing the physical symptoms of anxiety before, and it feels like this has taken me backwards.

    I’m back in panic mode and fearing the symptoms again, I’m starting to ruminate and I don’t want to stay in this cycle.

    It’s like I fully believed that anxiety would cause me no major harm apart from a few aches and pains, pins and needles etc, and managed to relax about it , but now I’m fearing it again and feel like I’mback to square one.

    I’m a 34 year old health male but a bit if a perfectionist. My parents were anxious as a child and my dad had some health issues. I think I dread not being physically perfect which perpetuates things. I eat well, exercise every night, and other than when my anxiety flares to this level, I don’t feel incredibly stressed a lot, its more like a low level background anxiety, that increases with life stressors and then reduces again.

    I just want to revert back to my previous thinking that all will be ok and that I’m relatively healthy. I want to go back to Claire Weekes stance that anxiety wont hurt us. If I don’t think like this, how will I ever be able to feel it without fear? Which I know is my key to success.

    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  2. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member


    I could've written this myself. I'm right there with you. I've been worried about how the way I feel affects my physical health since I was a little kid, especially blood pressure. I think this is really foundational for me. I feel like I'm aware of it every second. I really think that if I knew the feelings weren't hurting my health, then I wouldn't mind feeling them. I even think that if I could just have a meter that showed me the negative health impact of the way I'm feeling as it's happening, even if the meter reading was quite bad, I could handle it. It's this unknowable aspect to it that makes the OCD run rampant. The negative feelings seem to escalate just to scare me. With the physical pain too, I really don't think I'm that unable to tolerate the physical sensations ... instead, I'm obsessed with wondering how the stress of feeling pain is then affecting my health (particularly the health of my heart and brain). If I knew the pain wasn't hurting my heart and brain, it wouldn't scare me so much.

    Watching that video you describe would have done me in as well and sent me off on a spiral. I'm a 27 year old healthy male, also obsessed with 'perfect' health, perfect everything. Just letting you know, as someone in the same boat, that you're fine. In fact, I'd even venture to say that I think you know you're fine.

    Also, just a thought ... all of the eating well, and exercising every night ... maybe it's too much. If I do everything 'right,' i.e. eat extremely well and exercise vigorously every day, I can keep my health anxiety down at lower levels. But I think maybe that's just acting out all of the compulsions instead of actually treating the problem. And like you, I still have that background anxiety always ready to ramp up if I take a day 'off,' let alone a week. Staying active and eating well are good, but we don't need to go berserk in order to keep our hearts from bursting from anxiety. Now, I'm still very much stuck in the world of health anxiety so, I'm not sure what the way out is. I'm just thinking out loud. Hopefully someone else can jump in with some thoughts. Wishing you all the best!

    Ferndale37 likes this.
  3. Sanosuke

    Sanosuke New Member

    I'm also in a cycle, i've used smokeless tobacco for ten years and been trying to quit for about two years.

    I get stomach pain and extremly cold hands while using tobacco or drinking coffe.

    I quit tobacco and coffe only to have back pain and bloating so six months later i tell myself maby it's not the tobacco it's just tms.

    I've been trough this cycle maby six times now i just recently quit tobacco two weeks ago.
  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

  5. Ferndale37

    Ferndale37 Peer Supporter

    That's a fascinating video Eric, thanks so much for sharing . How would you go about reframing your response to anxiety when you know you're being anxious for no reason, or a daft reason. Just say thanks to the anxiety for warning me that something deeper is happening within me that I'm not happy about? Or simply just smile and affirm that I now know my anxiety won't hurt me if I don't fear it?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Do both.
    Ferndale37 likes this.
  7. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    I love this tech talk! Thank you for sharing!

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