“I need help for my anxiety.”
“Will anxiety make me lose my mind?”
“Anxiety is ruining my life.”
“Does anxiety mean I am weak?”
If you are here visiting The Worry Games, then you or somebody you love probably has these thoughts on a regular basis.
And if that is the case, there is something I want you to know. If you only take this one bit of information away from this blog, I will consider it a success. Even if you never come back and read another page or another blog post, please know and remember this one very, very, important thing:
YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.
YOU ARE STILL YOU.
THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH YOU IS THAT YOU ARE MENTALLY EXHAUSTED, STRESSED OUT, AND LIVING WITH SOME BAD THINKING HABITS.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT?
ALL OF THESE THINGS CAN BE CORRECTED.
Many times you may have wondered if the old you is gone forever. Have no fear. You are still the same you that you have always been. You probably feel like you aren’t in your right mind half the time, but you are. You might fear having a “nervous breakdown” and being carted off to a place called “Shady Acres” and put in a padded room, but you won’t be. You might feel like there is something wrong with your brain – that it doesn’t work as well as everybody else’s – but it does.
The whole point of The Worry Games is to let all of my fellow anxiety “sufferers” know that WE ARE NOT LOSING OUR MINDS. Our brains are not sick. In fact, our brains work pretty darn well and I would go so far as to say that they work even BETTER than the average person’s brain.
20 years ago, I had anxiety symptoms as bad as anybody could have them.
I had daily panic attacks. I had horrible intrusive thoughts about some bad, bad things that I was too afraid to tell anybody about because I thought they would have me locked up. I have lived with compulsive worry, health phobias, choking phobias, and constant fear over the safety of my children. I lost my ability to drive, to go to the grocery store, and to go out with friends. Anxiety literally ran my life and it was HELL. I truly believed that one day I was just going to go “crazy”……if I wasn’t already.
I don’t live that way anymore.
I got my life back. I know that I wasn’t crazy, or mentally ill. And that is what I want you all to know as well. You aren’t sick. There is a logical explanation for every single anxiety symptom you are having, and every one of those symptoms can be controlled – no matter how bizarre or strange you might think it is.
Through this blog, I want to show all of you – all of you who I consider to be “my people” – the people who truly get me and who are like me and who understand what goes in my head the way nobody else possibly could – I want to help all of you get to the point that I am at today.
I want to help you sort out all this noise that is going on in your head and help you figure out why you have anxiety and what you can do to make it better. I want to show you how to feel like you are in control of your life again. And also, I want to give you a little glimpse into my life today and show you how a person can have an anxiety disorder, raise children, be happy, and feel in control and “normal”.
Please click the links at the top and bottom of this page to get you started on your journey to a new you.
These pages are where I discuss my beliefs about anxiety, and the information you find there is the foundation of the anxiety recovery method that I used to get my life back.
I cannot guarantee that the advice I give will work for you because like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. And there is also the chance that my particular beliefs about anxiety just may not “click” with what you believe about anxiety.
I don’t expect, nor do I want, anybody to just simply believe what I am saying about anxiety because I happen to be writing a blog about it. Educate yourself and trust your instincts. And if you don’t believe in what I am saying, I highly recommend you keep looking until you find the anxiety information and advice that DOES make sense and motivates you. Never give up because there is an answer for everybody – you just have to find YOUR answer. But if you are reading through this blog and it makes sense to you, and it gives you even a little bit more hope than you had before, then stick with me because I think there is a great chance that we can get your worry and anxiety under control.
The reason I was so successful with my recovery “philosophy” is because I believe in it 100%. It took a very long time and a lot of introspection and learning and talking to other anxiety “sufferers” to come up with my ideas and beliefs about anxiety.
Trust is not an easy thing for me to come by, but I trust what I have learned over the last 20 years. I trust what makes sense to me. And that trust in everything I have learned is what has gotten me through a thousand moments when I wanted to give up and succumb to my fear.
When my anxiety disorder first erupted 20 years ago, my life blew up into a thousand pieces.
Getting my life back was like solving a jigsaw puzzle one piece at a time. Only I didn’t know where the pieces were. I had to search for them. And every idea and every bit of information that I share with you here, is one of the pieces that I found.
Eventually all the pieces started fitting into place and my life slowly started coming back together, and I honestly believe these very same ideas will work for almost everybody with anxiety, IF they believe in them.
Some exceptions would be for people who have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or people whose anxiety is caused mainly by hormonal or other medical issues.
In those cases, I firmly believe that a medical professional is needed to give a proper recovery plan and this is why I strongly recommend that anybody who suspects they may have an anxiety disorder, be diagnosed by a doctor or mental health professional, first and foremost, so that it can be determined if there is a cause related to past trauma or some other medical condition or diagnosis. And additionally, regardless of the cause of your anxiety or whether it co-exists with another diagnosis, I feel it is always best to start any treatment plan with a professional’s opinion and then work from there.
But if you are dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Chronic Worry, or Panic Disorder that is unrelated to a medical condition or past trauma, and you are still trying to solve the anxiety puzzle, I would love to try to help you! I want to share with you the best of what I have learned and figured out over the years and phrase it in a way that is less “clinical” and easier to relate to. I want to take the “scary” out of anxiety and make it friendly and comfortable to read about and talk about.
But there is more….
My blog entries will consist of my experiences as a person living with anxiety. I am more than able to laugh at myself and some of the situations I find myself in and I would love to share them with you all so that you can see how its okay to laugh at yourself too, and just be the wonderfully unique and “quirky” person that you are.
I am blunt, and I tell it like it is, and I do not leave any room for self-pity or “victim” talk.
You are not a victim. You are a strong person who can handle anything and your number one priority needs to be to remember that. I am here to help you, but always in a way that teaches you how to help yourself, because YOU are the only person who can turn this around. Nobody can do it for you.
I believe that all of us with GAD and Panic Disorder have more power and control than we give ourselves credit for. I believe that we all play a role in the development of our own disorders and that it is important to take responsibility for that role and “own our anxiety”. I believe that we all have control over our behavioral and thinking choices, despite having GAD and/or Panic Disorder, and that we need to spend a lot of time looking inside ourselves to see exactly how our choices are allowing our disorder(s) to flourish.
Many people living with anxiety have very strong opinions and/or are sensitive about the subject and take it very personally, especially when it comes to the matters I mentioned in the previous paragraph.
That is understandable….anxiety disorders are about as personal as it gets.
However, my blog may come across as offensive to those who believe their disorder is strictly a medical issue that is out of their control, or who believe they aren’t in control of their reactions, behaviors or choices. So please keep that in mind before clicking on any of my posts or pages because I would hate for anybody to leave feeling offended.
This is not a “medical blog”. In fact my blog has nothing to do with anything medical, other than the topic of the “fight or flight” response. This blog is strictly about self-improvement and your emotional health.
I respect everybody’s choices and beliefs when it comes to anxiety.
I will never tell somebody they are “wrong” for believing what they believe is the cause of their own GAD or Panic Disorder.
The truth is that there is no concrete evidence that can 100% identify the cause.
All anybody can do is give you their opinions. Doctors and therapists give you the opinions of their years of study and medical research. Anxiety bloggers and coaches such as myself will give you their opinions based upon years of personal experience living with anxiety.
It is up to you to familiarize yourself with all of these various opinions that are out there so that you can decide what makes the most sense to YOU about your own anxiety.
It is MY belief that GAD and Panic Disorder do not stem from some type of mental illness or great mysterious “force”. I don’t believe that GAD and Panic Disorder are serious conditions at all. They just FEEL very serious, and those feelings happen to be the loudest thing going on in your head right now.
I will teach you how to quiet those feelings down. I will teach you how to see anxiety in an entirely new, friendlier light.
For more information on my history with anxiety, check out my video Introduction to The Worry Games.
You can find a page menu at the bottom or top of this page depending on the device you are using, that will guide you through what I believe are the fundamentals of anxiety recovery. To kick off anxiety recovery, I think its best to go with the basics, so I recommend starting your reading with Part 1: The Truth About Anxiety. And you can find a large selection of blog posts on various anxiety-related topics here. Be sure not to take in too information at once, however, because you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and you want to make sure that everything you learn has a chance to take root.
If you would like personal support from me for your anxiety issues, please click here.
Good luck to you and stay strong. You ARE going to be okay. No matter how bad your anxiety is, this is totally do-able.
The Worry Games uses affiliate links to support the operation of this site. For more information on affiliate links, click here.
already recommended your blog to some one.
Several years ago, I developed pretty bad and annoying tinnitus. I too had an unsuccessful visit with an ENT, who told me that the ringing was just the brain’s way of filling the void left by hearing loss. The ringing, like your thumping, is annoying beyond belief. A few years into the ringing, while at the dentist to have a cavity in tooth #4 on the side of the tooth facing tooth #3 (upper right side of my mandible) filled, I noticed that immediately after the 3rd novocaine or septocaine (procaine) shot, that the ringing in my right ear was virtually gone. The relief was so unimaginably positive. Wirh the ringing gone, I could hear normally again. And the resultant reduction in anxiety was staggeringly relieving. The ringing has since come back, but not anywhere to the degree it was before the shots. The left ear still rings the same. My unofficial conclusion is that the shot “dampened” the TTTS. Since then I have been trying to find any research done on treating TTTS with nerve block. I am convinced that treatment with procaine could eliminate the ringing, if only temporarily. I wonder if you’ve come across any research on this or providers who’ve treated tinnitus this way. I’d love to know about them.
Thanks for you blog And informations
I suffer from axiety And the worst is my symptome i did all the test They find nothing i feel i cant breath And sometimes Chock it’s pretty hard on me And thats what makes me anxious my symptomes
Love to read. Thank you for sharing this.
Hi everybody you are all truly inspirational! I have created a website around mental health as it is something very close to my heart too, it offers plenty of help for people suffering have a look if you’d like to see more http://www.successwellbeing.co.uk
Love your non-victim philosophy with regard to anxiety. This is my approach, as well! No one has to suffer with anxiety symptoms. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog! You’re clearly an inspiration to those in need.
How long did you have an anxiety disorder?
I have lived with anxiety for 30 years.
As a mental health professional for over 20 years, I find the information on this blog extremely accurate and useful. Great work!
Very great and extensive blog, thanks for sharing. I think one aspect to consider about worrying is the comparison game. Which social media doesn’t help. But I find we worry more about the accomplishments we need to have in life based off what we see online. I found when I actively unfollowed and monitored my social media consumption as well as the type of accounts or information i was consuming, I worried less because I choose better information to be surrounded by. Therefore, I compared my self less and felt less guilty.
Where can I find more info on relaxation techniques and how to learn how to worry less as you said above? I’m sorry, I can’t find it.
Other than this site, I also post a ton on subjects like worrying less and more!
Feel free to check out my site at https://www.dilysediaz.com/
Anna Lisa, quick question for you. In step 10 you discuss your position on by paying constant attention to your anxiety, you keep it alive. This position is finding solutions, problems, symptoms etc. But, in a previous step you talk about reading as much as you can, books, positive blogs etc. Me personally, I find relief in books and reading your blog has been a huge help!! Is there a happy medium here? I am just a little confused, I would love to not think about this stuff but I love knowledge and research and the more I read, the better I feel. But, at some point I need to stop! Right?
Hi Turk, thanks for the comment. There is a HUGE difference between focusing on your anxiety in a negative and a positive way. A negative way to focus on your anxiety is to obsess, dwell, question, “What if?” and analyze your situation repeatedly out of habit. This is a huge waste of time and only serves to keep your anxiety “alive”. A healthier, more positive way to focus on your anxiety is to educate yourself, read books, blogs, and informative articles to try to understand why your anxiety is there and to familiarize yourself with it. I completely understand how reading helps you. It does the exact same thing for me and is one of the biggest tools I used for my recovery. Best of luck to you and if I can help you in any way, please let me know!
What an awesome post. Glad you overcame the anxiety issues and living a healthy life now. All the best for your future endeavours.
Thanks for the inspiration and having some great blogs with amazing content and information here looks amazing
I have the same dam story…and I’m trying to move forward and open up the dialogue too. I aspire to be a mental health journalist and publisher. This is valuable work…I still have a long way but I don’t miss not being able to leave the house.
Thanks for the comment and good luck to you on your journey! Its full of ups and downs but it is so rewarding when you realize you got where you wanted to be. Just don’t give up!
inspired by your story and reclaiming mental freedom. what a wonderful and creative post.
Thank you for this, I can definitely relate to the worries!
this is our story and you’ve delivered it well 🙂
Yours is the best anxiety blog ever. Detailed and accurate. Thanks so much.
Thank you for taking the time to tell me that. It means a lot.
Thanks for sharing on how to get through this, condition. Well said
Thanks for sharing info on how to get over this condition
Thanks for stopping by Yani.
I am a complete layman … not a doctor or therapist or any such thing. I am MERELY a moderator of an online forum for Depression. It is such a wide spread subject, we get abuse victims, suicidal people, bipolar patients, … just about everything one can imagine. I have been at that duty for about 7 years now … maybe more (lose track of so much time). I feel I can ‘spot’ all sorts of people with somewhat specific mental health problems and what can be categorized to some degree. I have not delved deep into your Blog, but after reading this first page, I want to say what an excellent job you do. Your approach, demeanor, constitution are excellent, and for those who present to me with anxiety complex, I will CERTAINLY refer them to you. I am VERY impressed. Thank you for your work.
Thank you so much. I truly appreciate you taking the time to say that.
Thank you for posting this. I’ve been off work this week due to having extremely bad anxiety. This week was worse than others and I’ve really struggled to believe that this feeling won’t last forever. Feels like I’m stuck in a tornado of emotions and nothing is clear. Everything’s a mess. I can’t think straight. It’s really felt like my whole life is falling apart and I’m not in control of anything. Today I started feeling better and realised that all of those feelings are just temporary. Your blog and everyone elses comments are a nice reminder that I’m not alone and I’m not crazy!
Many times we can start to worry of things we have no control over. I think it is good when we know how to make the distinction. Can help with anxiety.
I agree John.
Yeah having healthy worry can be good. But many times we can worry of things we have no control over. I think it is good when we know how to make the distinction
Hello, your blog is amazing and helpful as well 🙂 I have severe anxiety and depression and it is challenging for me because of school and having to deal with my classmates who make jokes about it. But reading your blog makes me happy and I can’t wait to read more. Thank you!
Thank you Matteo, I love that it makes you happy! Never forget that having an anxiety disorder means you have some very special things about you. Its like we have subtle little superpowers. We just need to learn how to use them the right way.
I have followed you.Plz follow me back so that I have a constructive feedback in future.Thanku in advance
I know there is a good sense of worrying and then there is bad sense of worrying finding that balance is key
Right on Jessica!
Anxiety is a big, heavy, dark cloak. It is not part of us. It is separate from us. And because it’s not part of us, it is removable. This analogy and thought process is what gets me though the day.
Another thing is knowing there are other people out there who are living in this state, just like I am. Anxiety doesn’t have to be lonely.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for over 20 years, and can totally relate to everything you’ve written. I haven’t delved too deeply into your blog yet, but I am starting today! 🙂
If you want, visit my site: http://www.hashtagpanic.com 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. I am glad to hear you have found a way of looking at anxiety that works for you. My own anxiety philosophy tends to work off of the opposite way of thinking. I recognize my anxiety as 100% a part of who I am. I see it as being my personal response to stress brought on by my personality traits, way of dealing with stress and external stressors. It is always my hope that people continue to search for an anxiety theory that makes sense to them, whatever it is mine or anybody else’s. Different theories click for different people, so I am glad to hear there is another “voice” out there for people to consider when deciding what makes sense to them. Good luck with your blog.
You pretty much have just saved my ass.
Thank your for writing this. All of it. Every damn letter.
I’ve had axiety for my entire 30 years of existing. I was diagnosed at 26. Now I’ve developed TTTS. I’m not crazy.
Thank you Sara, I am glad it helped. No you are not crazy. You may be a sensitive, stressed out over-thinker with thumpy fluttery ears, but you are not crazy. Those of us with anxiety have some pretty special personality traits that individually are quite cool. They just create quite a drama-fest when we use them all at the same time. (Which we always do.) Once you learn how to use them in a healthier way, you will start to feel much more in control of your life again. The TTTS part? I am still waiting for a hero in that department. 😉
I am definitely the type of person that worries about everything! I have tried to stop but can’t seem to get control of it. I have also been battling Multiple Sclerosis for 16 years. I started my blog a month and a half ago and it has been so wonderful! I look forward to reading more of your posts!!
Thanks so much for the comment, I will be checking yours out as well. I wish you well on your MS journey and good luck to you with your blog. Blogging is a fantastic way to focus you energies on something productive.
You are welcome! I couldn’t agree more with you about blogging. It has been so amazing!!!
I look forward to following you and learning from your experience.
Thank you Ali!
Such a well written post! Can’t wait to read more 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing! I can so relate to this ??
Hi, thanks for stopping by.
This is really an attractive post! Feels happy after reading
Thank you for this wonderful blog! Because of you, I’ve started one of my own and hope to help one person one day. We’re not crazy after all!
That’s wonderful, I am so glad for you! Follow me on Twitter at @TheWorryGames and tag me your posts and I will be happy to share. Good luck to you and don’t give up.
What’s up everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this site, and post is really fruitful in support of me, keep up posting such content.
Really interesting post!!
I have dear friends who cope with anxiety. I’ll be sharing your blog with them.
Thank you Peggy.
Lisa, this is an amazing, inspiring, encouraging intro. I have close family members who suffer from anxiety, and I could hear your heartbeat. Wonderful!
What a lovely comment Selina. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
Have you tried Monq?
Hi, yes I have..use it all the time. I wrote a review that talks about my experience with it.
Good posts, beautiful blog.
Welcome to see my creations:
Hmm nice books and blogs.
Thank you. 🙂
Good morning! I’ve nominated you for the Black Cat Blue Sea Award. You can check it out here:
I don’t see my comment. Spam folder?? Please check. Thanks.
I know Matt, and Sommer, and Nikki. I met you on her blog, at her Meet and Greet. I came to meet and greet you! You said you liked to meet new bloggers at Meet and Greets, but I came in after you, so here I am!
In response to your post, this is a great blog for people who worry. I bet many do think they are crazy. It’s great you provide support.
Maybe you can check out my blog if you need a blogging tip or two. That’s what I blog about.
Hi Janice, I am so glad you stopped for a visit. Nikki’s meet and great has had a great turn out hasn’t it? I can’t wait to get some time to start checking out everybody’s blogs and I will definitely pay yours a visit. I am pretty new to blogging and never shy away from advice. 🙂
I help new bloggers at my site! I will look forward to your visit.
I don’t have an anxiety disorder, but I live with someone that does. I look forward to reading and learning more.
Hi, thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed your blog and look forward to getting to know each other. 🙂
Very beneficial and useful blog.
Thank you and thank you for stopping by. 🙂
Another thought for you…a friend of mine Dave Carbonell, PhD (www.anxietycoach.com) just published a new book on worry that I thought you might want to have a look at: “The Worry Trick”. I read the book before Dave published it and wrote a brief recommendation for inside the book – i thought he did a great job on his book and I have already used it with good success with several clients.
That name sounds familiar…I think I may have seen press for his book? But either way, I will check it out. I love the title ..makes me want to read all about it. 🙂
Please call me Bob, Dr McLellarn is way too formal for me. Thanks for your response and you’re correct – my blog is “under construction” I’m trying to get rolling with my blog but have been rather inconsistent with posting content. Our little anxiety clinic is rather busy and there always seems to be some clinical demand that takes my time. I’m continually impressed with people (like you) who manage to post regularly. I would enjoy staying in touch and let me know if you have any tips for how to post content regularly.
Sounds good. 🙂 I am not the most regular poster but I try not to let more than a few weeks go by between post. Inspiration seems to come in waves, unfortunately.
I just discovered your blog and wanted to thank/compliment you on what you’ve done here. I run an anxiety clinic and have already recommended your blog to some of our patients. Keep up the good work. I plan to add your blog to our resource page in the near future.
Thank you Mr. McLellarn. I really appreciate that. I will definitely stop by your website and check it out.
I’m sorry it looks like you are Dr. McLellarn, not Mr. 🙂 It looks like your site is still a bit under construction but I bookmarked you and will check back. It looks like you are going to have lots of good info.
I love your post, it helps me to understand that my body has superpowers that I have to learn how to control! (LOL) I am also a mother of 3 toddlers and this is alone a different and empowering/scary experience, let alone having anxiety! You having 5 kids, I applaud you and am enlightened that there is clear skys at the end of the doorway! Keep pushing forward!
Three toddlers? Oh my goodness, you do know what my life is like don’t you? 🙂 At least I have a couple of older kids to help me entertain the little ones while I get stuff done, so that helps! Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I appreciate you stopping by!
thanks for your positive response to my TED talk about Falling UP. We are in the works of doing a documentary on the subject and was wondering if you had interest in sharing your story.
Also, please share the TED talk with as many people as you can as I know it can help others.
Thanks for the comment. I was actually going to add your TED talk to my links page and I have shared it on Twitter as well. I never thought about there being stages of adversity, but the way you described it….it really hit home for me. Gave me goosebumps actually. But yes I would love to share my story in any way that I can. You can contact me at TheWorryGames@Yahoo.com. Thank you. 🙂
Thank you so much for writing this post and for creating this blog! 🙂
Great post! I never really thought of myself as having a disorder, but I really identify with your words. It’s okay to call it what it is! (As long as I don’t call it crazy) 😉
Thank you for sharing! I am proud of you for taking back your life and I am inspired by your passion for and honesty about your methods. I am working through feelings of depression and PTSD-like reactions, so I definitely plan on utilizing some of your resources here. Thanks for being there for all of us!
Thanks @matanoiabyjess. I appreciate your kind words and I wish you well on your journey.