Dr. Claire Weekes – Anxiety Superhero

Many of us spend days, weeks, or even years looking for a person that will point us in the right direction.

A person that will not only explain our anxiety disorder in clear terms, but also how we can cope with it without going broke.

There are so many great ways to cope with anxiety, but unfortunately many of them require a lot of moolah.

Dr. Weekes on the other hand, provides inexpensive resources that can actually make you feel better.

Now, Dr. Claire Weekes ( 1903 – 1990) is not a caped crusader. She was a medical doctor and writer from Australia that spent over 40 years helping people like me and you.

Dr. Weekes is an anxiety superhero in that she also suffered from what she called “Nervous Illness,” but never allowed it to rule her life. She designed a basic program for recovery that was focused on overcoming what she called the three main pitfalls of nervous illness (anxiety disorder).

The pitfalls are sensitization , bewilderment (confusion) and fear. For Dr. Weekes, these are the three reasons why you are the way you are, and why you stay this way.

She describes sensitization as a person’s body being in an elevated state of sensitivity so that almost anything can trigger the sympathetic nervous system, which leads to things like panic attacks.

Dr. Weekes stated that this was the reason why you are jumpy, and prone to the over production of adrenaline, which ultimately causes all the nasty physical symptoms you encounter.

The second pitfall is bewilderment. She believed that because most people don’t understand the physical basis for a panic attack, or other anxiety related symptom, they become confused and “stuck in a maze.” It’s the confusion that keeps you anxious and may even worsen the condition, since it tends to rob you of hope and direction.

The last pitfall is fear. Dr. Weekes argues that after a while you’re simply afraid of your constant state of fear. This also contributes to more sensitization and confusion.

Dr. Weekes also thought of chronic anxiety as a cycle, a set pattern. A pattern that could be figured out and defeated.

Best of all, recovery from chronic anxiety according to Dr. Weekes is not rocket science. Her method of recovery is this: accept, float, and let time pass. She states over and over that if you do this you can get better.

Dr. Weekes wrote five books in total and also made several radio and T.V. appearances. Of all her works however there are two that I have relied on for peace and comfort when things got tough.

1. Hope and Help for Your Nerves . This relatively short book is her first, and it’s packed with useful information and self help tips on how to cope with your anxiety. I read this book on a regular basis to help me understand things more clearly. It is broken up into short chapters, which really makes it a great reference. She also talks about many of her patients and how anxiety manifested itself in them, and how they figured out creative ways to cope.

2. My all time favorite however is her audio CD called Pass Through Panic: Freeing Yourself from Anxiety and Fear . This CD is a an absolute life safer. To hear Dr. Weekes’s voice in times of need was really indispensable. She has a way of “cracking the whip” on you and making you realize that you are, in fact, not crazy. And, that this anxiety disorder of yours will not kill you. It comes in both CD and cassette.

I wanted to introduce Dr. Weekes to you because I had gone over five years with anxiety disorder without ever hearing her name. She is really is a giant in this field, and her contributions to helping people that suffer from anxiety disorder really can’t be overstated.

She explains things very simply and clearly, and gives you the sense that she really understands not only anxiety disorder, or “Nervous Illness,” but your personal struggle with it. I used to keep her audio CD in my car and the book in my home.

I have gained a tremendous amount of support and hope from Dr. Weekes. Much of what I believe to be effective coping strategies I adopted from her work .

Although I still incorporate other methods into my personal coping strategy, Dr. Weekes’s views and opinions still guide much of what I do and think with respect to my anxiety disorder. I strongly recommend that you look up her work and see if she can’t help you as well.

 

 

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    also.. just on a side note.. why is this not the method of choice by GPs, psychologist and psychiatrists.. is it because it is all too simple and will put them out of business??

  2. Connie says

    Hi Anonymous,

    You bring up a good point about psychiatrists. I don’t know where you live, but in this part of the USA they do nothing but drug management now. No talk therapy or serious work with behavioral therapies. I find that shocking.

    I do have a situation that I’ve been having trouble facing and I’m very aware of that, although the anxiety started before the “event.” I have for more than 10 years had an illness that somewhat disables me. About a month and a half after the anxiety started, I was prescribed two drugs for it that conflicted with what I take for my illness. (The prescribing psychiatrist knew about my illness and what I took. He just didn’t bother to check for interactions.) My husband heard me “rambling on” about 2:00 am and tried to wake me. He couldn’t. He took me into the ER unconscious from the drug interaction and the whole thing severely exacerbated my illness. I am now more disabled than I was before, and I was in some denial for a while. I may be still be in some denial and working through it. It can be so hard to tell when things begin and end.

    Thanks for your comments and caring,
    Connie

  3. Connie says

    For everybody who suffers from anxiety, I’d like to offer this quote from Elizabeth Kubler Ross:

    “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

  4. Anonymous says

    that is a great quote Connie :)
    I’m a kiwi but I live on the Sunshine Coat in Queensland, Australia.. I have never been to a psychiatrist, and was only on anti-depressants prescribed by my GP for a short time (they did absolutely nothing for me except make me extremely tired).. I saw a young GP when I first got “sick” who was very pro counselling, CBT etc.. but I know most of them will just throw drugs at you. Hopefully times are changing. I think modern drugs have a time and a place but I personally have only used them as a last resort. Hopefully you can get on top of things.. all the best, Alice

  5. Anonymous says

    that is a great quote Connie :)
    I’m a kiwi but I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.. I have never been to a psychiatrist, and was only on anti-depressants prescribed by my GP for a short time (they did absolutely nothing for me except make me extremely tired).. I saw a young GP when I first got “sick” who was very pro counselling, CBT etc.. but I know most of them will just throw drugs at you. Hopefully times are changing. I think modern drugs have a time and a place but I personally have only used them as a last resort. Hopefully you can get on top of things.. all the best, Alice

  6. AlexJ says

    Hi all

    Just wanna assure you that there,s hope in
    getting rid of anxiety disorder. There,s methods and tools that pioneered by Dr weeks
    so many years ago and now so called CBT
    with acceptance and commitment works
    wonders. Take my words for it. After 12 years
    of panic disorder that lately went as bad as GAD and agrophobia, I realised that as long as you resist sysmptoms ans scary thoughts,
    as long as you try to protect yourself from
    panic and anxiety by avoidance or using safety crutches, you will not make any improvement no matter how much CBT or
    how much you float. I have floated 5 years and I got thru the panic epidodes but I was still
    anticipating next one. So what missed was the
    point that as long as I see panic as danger instead od discomfort, I just go in vicious cycle. You need change uour attitude towards
    your thoughts and sensations. You should accept thoughts and feelings as discomfort instead of danger. You should give up safety crutches and saftey behavors. I was told billion times but i didn’t listen and I chose comfort instead of freedom. So I became prisoner of my scary thoughts and sensations.
    I changed that for first time and I started to see freedom and taste of it. It’s hard and hard work but if i can do it you can do as 1000 others have done since time doctor week era untill now that CBT have been improved greatly. There ‘s hope. There, s solution. There is mo solution for death, but that doesn’t matter anyways.

    Good luck

  7. Ally says

    I have Panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, I am 22 and anxiety tore my life apart 4 months after my 21st birthday. I am now in the process of getting off of medication as I have tried 3 different types and they all failed me, I am giving myself a chance to see how I will do without, but im scared because its been 3 weeks since tapering 10mg of celexa to 5mg ( i am sensitive to meds and couldn’t handle a higher dose then 10mg) and I am getting increased anxiety, although on a positive note I am no longer emotionally numb and am able to cry again. I was on the celexa for 8 months then I started getting racing thoughts Intense anger irratibility and more panic, I was scared for my life the meds worked good enough then just stopped at the 6 month mark.. i had literally thought i was going crazy, I was scared i was going to go beserk and hurt someone, since the 3 weeks of tapering i now have dizziness and head pressure, tense neck, and emotions are scary.. but im assuming its normal to feel intense emotions after the meds supressing them for 8 months I have some racing thoughts but more of the feeling like Im having them but their not there, like my minds running but its not when i stop to pay attention ( if that makes any sense)lol…, Anyone have any success who has panic attacks daily that was okay after getting off meds? I need some hope as i am not sure if its the meds or me thats causing these feelings. I am still taking 5mg until my psychiatrist tells me sometime this month to either quit or taper to 2 1/2 mg, before the meds i didnt have racing thoughts i only had the fear of my panic attacks only because no body explained to me what was happening, if i would have known then what i know now, i probably would have been okay a long time ago and wouldn’t have to be experimenting with meds = (

  8. Avril says

    Hi there everyone, you are all amazing people to be so honest and open about the suffering you are experiencing but also for giving people hope! Hope is really important to connect to when at all possible to give you the bit of courage to carry on and battle Anxiety! Peace to you all! Avril

  9. Connie says

    It’s good to see you guys on the board, Avril and Ally. It looks like Avril is doing pretty well. Terrific! Congratulations!

    Ally, my problems are not at all the same as yours, so I cannot answer your questions. What I can tell you is that you are going to be okay. As the saying goes, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. Did you read this article about Dr. Weekes? I am absolutely sold on her and would encourage you to get her book “Hope and Help For Your Nerves,” as well as her CD “Pass Through Panic.” There is a world of wisdom and help for you there. It’s often very hard to do what she tells us we must, but dig in your heels and be determined. You will succeed. She does have answers.

    The only other thing that I feel helped me is acupuncture, but it can be expensive as it takes a minimum of 8 to 10 visits, and maybe many more, to see any results, and there are no guarantees. I went 11 times and combined with Dr. Weekes’ methods, I have improved dramatically in a short time. Acupuncture isn’t for everybody, but if you consider it, try to find someone in your area who has used acupuncture for anything at all and can tell you the name of a really good doctor, preferably one who studied in China.

    Keep us posted on your progress. We care. Bless you.

    Connie

  10. Ally says

    Connie thankyou for you nice words = ) they mean allot really. I have read from “panic to power” by lucinda bassett, and I have been going through “The Anxiety & phobia workbook” by Edmund Borne several times a month I use that book as my guide, I am in therapy and I do actively use progressive muscle relaxation as well as abdominal breathing, Those things do seem to calm me down for the time that im doing them but the constantly on edge/irritability wont go away. The next books I plan on getting is “Hope and Help for Your Nerves” as it seems allot of people have benifited from it, along with “When Panic Attacks” by David Burns. The only things that make it the hardest to get through for me is feeling irritable (im a nice person its so uncomfortable to feel on edge and irrate 80% of the time)feel like I could lash out but I don’t want to and know I wont, Also feeling the fear that my minds going to race because I really do get quite the racing mind about worries of me going crazy, or ending up in the institution or that I could stay this way forever. I fear my mind racing the most because it makes me more irrate along with sad and feeling vulnerable. And I have tried asking myself whats the worse that can happen but that don’t work because some of my thoughts are about hurting people close to me and if I really did go beserk its something that I could not handle, so that trying to percieve the thoughts differently is not working and bothers me allot. Anxiety is messed up, but I am very happy to know that some of you had made it out the other side, It does give me hope! I do have my good days and even though they are few I do hold on to them and remember how good I felt with hopes that I will someday get back to that feeling good permanently!

  11. Alice says

    Hi Ally, I can relate to what your saying.. my biggest fear was that I was going insane, and guess what I didn’t! I also took an SSRI, its brand name is Efexor here in Australia for about 6 months, I was up to 150 mg/day and it did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Except for making me incredibly tired and lethargic. I strongly advocate doing this without prescription medication, I know the feeling when you feel like you have no option left but to use a pill but I firmly believe its not the way out. If anything its just a mask. I also at my worst, took diazepam in small doses, which I stopped fairly quickly due to the intense hangover feeling the next day. Obviously I have a sensitive body to match my sensitive mind. I’m still not cured, but my good days outweigh my bad and I’ve recently made the connection between feeling unhappy and consequently the anxiety will start (seems obvious but to me it wasn’t until now).. so I try to keep my mind relatively active, and have recently started doing artwork.. Its been tough while going through a break up but I’ve managed and I think if I can stay relatively anxiety-free through a break up I will be OK!
    In regards to the meds I was on.. I tapered off super slowly, over the course of 3 months I think.. because I read horror stories about withdrawals.. and even with doing it so slowly I still got a massive headache and felt dizzy for a few days when I finally stopped completely. I tapered down to the lowest dose and once on that, I alternated day on, day off, before stopping completely. I also read a alot about this condition, I think knowledge is power, and you are doing the right thing.. just don’t get too wrapped up in it, and make time for other non-anxiety related activities because this is when your mind will really heal (I think so anyway).. all the best, Alice

  12. Ally says

    Alice, Thankyou its good to hear that other people have been in the same boat as me, although I really wish none of us had to go through it, I had the headaches from cutting back the meds for the whole first week, then I had gotten extreme lasting dizziness then after that passed for another whole week I had head pressure, I am feeling better over the last couple days, I am thinking my body is finally adjusting to the 5mg loss lol. I have also had blood work done and it was all normal except for my vitamin d it was 14 and Its supposed to be between 30 and 100 so they put me on a megavitamin 50kiu but I had called my doctor a few days after taking it because I was not sure if my dizziness was due to that or tappering my meds. Also had wierd muscle and bone pain, so they advised me to stop taking the 50k iu and start taking 1000iu vitamin d per day, which sounds more reasonable as I am just a little thing lol. I hope all is going well with everyone, This is the first forum that actually has people that respond that I have been on, so its kinda nice to hear from people going through simular things! I am hopeful some of my anxiety could be caused by the lack of vitamin D, in some sense I believe that because irritability and Fatigue are symptoms of the deficiency my anxiety could be helped if i wasnt so run down and exhausted everyday, they say a relaxed mind cannot exsist in a tense body, I tend to find this true as there are days when I am not so tired and have a nice calm mind. Also, anyone with anxiety find that thier symptoms dramatically get worse near monthly? I think I am starting to see a pattern with racing thoughts only happening about 10 days before it…hmm…

  13. Mary says

    Hey everyone, it’s been a while since I posted, but I need your support right now.

    Here’s my problem in a nutshell: Last november I had a relapse that started small but kept growing until February, when I went on a trip that I had anticipated a lot and was really excited about; however, a few days before the trip my anxiety grew inmensley because of the thought that I would be away from home, from my “safe place” so to speak, and obviously, the more I tried to reverse the situation, the more anxious I got. It got as bad as me not being able to eat almost anything during the trip because of the tension, and I barely got any sleep even with medication. I didn’t enjoy the trip at all!

    Now, to celebrate my first wedding anniversary, my husband and I are travelling to NYC for a week. We’re leaving this Saturday. I have also been anticipating this this trip a lot, planning a lot, I LOVE to travel, but memories of my last trip in Feb. keep coming back to haunt me, saying “what if I feel horrible in this trip as well, what if I don’t enjoy it at all, you’ll be away from home, what if you can’t handle it?”

    I have been trying to relax, I’m actually seeing my doctor today, but I’d really like your input guys, you’ve been so helpful in the past and I trust you to give me the best advice possible.

    Reading back on some comments I find this one from AlexJ really helpful:

    “…as long as I see panic as danger instead od discomfort, I just go in vicious cycle. You need change uour attitude towards
    your thoughts and sensations. You should accept thoughts and feelings as discomfort instead of danger…”

    I have had GAD for some years now and I KNOW in my mind that all the “what ifs” are a direct result of sensitized nerves, but it’s really hard not to have a physical fearful reaction to them.

    Any advice or comments or support would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    PS. Last year on my honeymoon I was away from home for 3 weeks and i had no axiety at all, so I know it can be done, but at the same time I don’t want to make comparissons, like Dr. Weekes says.

  14. Susan says

    I have had the exact same experience upon discovering Dr. Weekes work. I listen to her almost daily. She has allowed hope and joy back into my life. I discovered her on my own though. For some reason doctors are unaware of her which is a shame.

  15. Avril says

    Hi again everybody! was on holidays and the anxiety was a bit high and it was hard without the usual routine but it is calming again. Nutrition can be very helpful, sunflower seeds, turkey etc. is all good for calming! Also I love massage as its very calming and http://www.self-compassion.org has lovely guided meditations. You all inspire me, Avril

  16. Cathy says

    Mary

    Am wondering how your trip went! I know how difficult it can be to leave the ‘safety’ of home and venture elsewhere. Then the ‘whatifs’ really do their worst. Tomorrow I’m going with some schoolchildren and colleagues on an overnight trip seventy miles away. Am very anxious. I will practise Claire Weekes’ advice; I do come back to her when things get bad.

  17. Alice says

    Has anyone here tried positive affirmations for anxiety? I recently started reading Louise Hay’s book “you can heal your life”.. she says every “illness” in our bodies stems from either emotional fear or anger.. Her affirmation for anxiety is something along the lines of “I love and approve of myself, I trust in the process of life. I am safe.” seems to be working for me. I also find my diet really affects me too.. If I have junkfood I feel terrible the next day.

  18. Susan says

    Alice….Thanks for the information on Louise Hay. Her words are very comforting.

  19. Mary says

    Dear Cathy,

    My trip went great! Thank God!! Like I mentioned, I saw my doctor days before leaving and he told me that most of his patients who have anxiety tend to suffer high anxiety BEFORE a trip but normally the trip goes well.

    On my past trip, the one that went really bad, I had been accumulating anxiety for months, without therapy or medication, so the trip was simply too much for me.

    Now, on this trip, I had been seeing my doctor since february and taking meds, so the thing that was causing my anxiety was actually the anticipation of the trip and not much else.

    I’m feeling a lot better now, keep having small anxiety moments, but I am certain that I’m in the right track with therapy, meds and of course Claire Weekes. :)

  20. AlexJ says

    Dear Mary

    I was glad that you found my words helpful specially during your
    trip. I have come long way so you can do it too. Anticipations about
    trip or comming events that may cause some anxiety are pretty normal.
    When you anticipate, you don;t think about what’s happening now rather
    about ”’what if” in future. Your imagination runs high and it gives you
    all kind of scary thoughts and pictures. But really if you look at, what’s
    really going to happen???? will I go crazy?? Will I cause scene? will I die??? what’s happening to my body and my mind???? Look at your past…

    How many times you paniked or felt anxious??? How many times did scary thought actually happen??? Did you lose control??? did you die?

    Panic and anxiety is like a trick.. It tricks you that you’re in some kind of danger. In fact you are as safe as you can be…Nothing bad is going to
    happen….Your body’s prime job is to protect you not harm you..

    When you know the answer to these question by heart, when you know by heart
    that your body is merely trying to protect you and all scary thoughts
    are just symptom of anxiety and nothing is true about them.

    You realise that the answer to all ””what if”’ is only one thing…..

    SO WHAT…..it’s as simple as that……

    There are diffrent rules about our outer and inner world…

    Outer rule tells us when we face danger, we fight, resist and try to save ourselfes.

    But inner rule is diffrent. When we face discomfort by physical,emotional
    state, it is opposite to outer world. Instead of resist and fight the
    symptoms and thoughts, accept the discomfort…. remember when you have
    panic attack, you can be absolutely sure that you’re safe….It’s ok to be scared in absence of danger…..You have to remember that…what are you facing…..Is it Danger or Discomfort????? If it’s danger, you fight, resist
    and save yourself….if it’s discomfort, you accept,hang out and wait for
    anxiety and panic to end….don’t try to force yourself to relax because it makes you only more tensed….

    I hope my words could answer some of your questions about the truth about
    anxiety and panic…

  21. Lou says

    Hi All… New here… but terrified. I have had panic and anxiety since my late teens. It has interfered with my whole life. Right now I seem to be in a bad state like years ago. I have over the years attached myself to certain people as support and suffer from terrible seperation anxiety. I was like that with so many people, who changed over the years, my parents, who have since passed away… miss them terribly and they were so supportive but fearful for how it would affect my life. They just wanted me happy. I had many supports, but many have passed away now and I rely heavily on my sister and one friend. Both are very active and when I am alone or know i cannot reach them or have to be alone I feel I will go crazy. I know you don’t I guess, but I have really been contemplating suicide.. i am so tired of living this way and those around you get tired of it too. My sister has been away off and on for a few weeks (she doesn’t understand this illness at all and is not supportive) yet if I know she is home or around me I feel at ease. Funny… I just feel so so alone and isolated. Crying and anxious… please please I need some words of comfort.. I just can’t take it anymore I really can’t. I know how it sounds. Very selfish and self absorbed… which I hate about myself and this disease. I’ve been taking a lot of Xanex lately just to get through the days.. just not a way to live.

  22. Connie says

    Lou,

    You’re so right that it’s important to have support. My sister sounds like yours. I’ve tried explaining anxiety to her, and she has a computer, so could learn about it on her own, but she chooses to think that I’m simply being dramatic when I have a bad spell. I find her toxic at times.

    But you need support and someone to talk to. If you can afford it, I urge you to get into talk therapy. If you can’t, call your local town/city or county. At some level, they will probably have a department of mental health or something similar, maybe even a support group. My town, for example, has someone I could be seeing for free, if I were not already in talk therapy with someone to whom I feel very close.

    I think a lot of anxious people feel suicidal at times, but you must hold on. It sounds like your parents were very supportive. Try to remember how much they love you. And don’t forget that you’re never all alone. Everybody at this site is in the boat with you and we’re all pulling for one another.

  23. Susan says

    Lou,

    I understand your anguish totally. What has helped me through those times is remember that old saying “this too shall pass” because it will if you hold onto that hope. I have found another superhero on anxiety that I think may help you too. It is a book written by Dale Carnegie and it is entitled “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. It was written in the 1940s but his philosophy and advice certainly have stood the test of time. He offers many perspectives and suggestions for overcoming anxiety. Also, try taking a vacation away from your familiar surroundings. It will help to dull the daily memories of anxiety in your present location.

  24. Zendra says

    Hi Lou & everyone,

    I could relate to your post. I found my partner to be very helpful with my anxiety because I had no other help. The problem is he has BPD.

    In case you don’t know about this condition or how it manifests from individual to individual- a very simple explanation: He is very empathetic (contrary to some false info on the condition) caring and considerate. He has lots of patience and supports me where others have thrown up their hands and given up. Then he suddenly has what I call a Borderline moment or mood swing. Without warning his patience is lost, mood is foul tempered and suddenly my safe person dissolves.
    It goes from “it’s ok, stop worrying, you can do it” to “I’ve had enough of this crap”, “oh jesus you worry too much”, “just stop complaining!” etc or at worst of times “shut up” etc
    Those moments are rare but cause more anxiety because even my safe person might suddenly throw up their hands and attack me verbally drawing attention to me in sometimes public place.

    I get huge separation anxiety and often feel lonely when they are away. I don’t want to be this little puppy that always needs hand holding and this crushes my confidence to be so dependant on others.

    It is a vicious cysle with all of it feeding into other phobias etc.

    The treatments or taking a breath don’t work for me in panic situations especially while trapped or away from home. I can’t lie to myself and say everything is ok when it’s not. My panic attack manifests in sweating hands and nausea. I just feel dreadfully sick.

    Because my partner has BPD (suddenly cold and unloving) and I have little friends I often don’t have anyone to hug. i’m like a little kid that just wants to be held often.

  25. Ally says

    Zendra, I really feel you hit close to home for me… My husband doesnt have any anxiety disorder such as myself but he does get impatient and has his days where he bickers and tells me not to worry etc.. he doesnt get that I just cant stop worrying! I have panic disorder.. makes allot of bodily symptoms and I feel so much more is wrong with me then just the disorder itself..I fear having a brain annurism or tumor or cyst because I get sharp head pains dizziness etc etc.. Its really complicated.. I also get allot of depersonalization/derealization… makes me feels so odd and like im going crazy. I think we all wish we could go back to normal.. but even when I get a glimpse of feeling normal dp kicks in and makes everything feel unreal.. Its like my mind doesnt want to deal with reality I understand your pain with wanting to be held. There are days myself where I feel so lonely and I want to be held but at the same time I dont want anyone to touch me because I am panicky… I think with time all will get better. I try to stay positive I am really interested in going to a anxiety panic depression support group..Think it would help to relate to people in person.. so far I can only relate online lol makes it kinda hard to take in that other people are really going through the same thing unless I can physically hear them relate to what I am going through.. I think it would help allot.. I’d still be stuck with what can I do to make it better since I cant tolerate meds… But atleast I wouldnt feel alone! Hope things gets better for you, take care and hang in there!

  26. Zendra says

    Dear Ally,

    Thank you for your kind reply. The support group sounds like a good idea. I would suggest going to a support group that you feel comfortable in. As well as the support group join a group or hobby that is completely unrelated to anxiety. Use the anxiety group to help with feelings of being alone and going crazy. If it’s guided by a trained councillor or therapist they could direct the group in a positive direction. The hobby group is for making more friends, spending time with different people and connecting on a different level. These people who share the same hobby will connect with you for all the things going right. They will both hopefully reduce some of the feelings of loneliness. But I have found my loneliness is never cured by people I cannot deeply love or hold. It can only be cured by a consistently loving and supportive partner.
    Sometimes deep anxiety or lonliness can come from rejection from family or some root cause that always leaves the person with a hole in their heart. If we found the root cause and dealt with it the anxiety would start to heal.
    We will get there. Take care! :-)

  27. Marlis says

    I am glad to have discovered this site. I hope it is not shut down since there have been no entries since 28 June….
    Like all of you I am fighting against anxiety. Fighting is probably not the right word as that’s not what we should be doing. Since I have come across Claire Weekes books I know that is the right way to overcome anxiety but I am struggling all alone which is hard. I have given up explaining to my husband what anxiety is and how it affects me. Somehow I can understand that it is difficult to graspe. I feel completely alone in this apart from comments from other sufferers which of course give me great comfort. I don’t want to go to a counsellor unless he/she uses Claire Weeks principles and here where I live I think she is (unfortunately not known). I am past just having conversations even though it would be nice to just be able to talk to someone. Well that’s all I want to say. Maybe I just have a bad day and feel sorry for myself.
    Marlis

  28. Alice says

    Hi Marlis and everyone..
    I’ve recently stumbled upon another great anxiety author.. Bronwyn Fox. She has similar principles to Claire Weekes but advocates the practice of meditating. I think her ideas expand on what Dr Weekes taught, because the meditation allows us to let the feelings go alot more easily. I have been struggling with the letting go part and have started meditating in just the last week or so. She is also a bit more realistic in saying that we won’t be completely “cured” of anxiety, but will learn to let the panic briefly wash over us if it ever does strike occasionaly, and it will be gone before we know it.
    There is a free ebook if anyone is interested, I highly recommend it.
    http://www.panicattacks.com.au/downloads/84502pop/Power_Over_Panic.pdf

  29. Marlis says

    Hi Alice,
    Any book or advice is most welcome. Yes letting go is so difficult to do
    as it requires “doing nothing” and not forcing anything. I have tried meditating but when the thoughts are racing around in your head you need to do something about that first. There are just days where nothing seems to work – least of all relaxing. Still I do not think I will get as desperate as I used to be, no matter what, just frustrated and impatient.
    That is I suppose something.
    Marlis

  30. Alice says

    have a read of the ebook.. its not just meditating when your stressed or anxious.. its dedicating 2x 20 min sessions a day to it. So that when the panic does strike you are trained to let the thoughts go. Bronwyn really advocates that we need to commit to it otherwise it won’t work. she cured herself and has helped alot of people so its worth a go.

  31. Mary says

    Marlis,

    I too had trouble getting my husband to understand what anxiety is really like. He didn’t understand until we both listened together the Claire Weeke’s “Pass Through Panic” recording. It’s like he suddenly realized that there are thousands of people like me, feeling the same way I do, and that anxiety is not something you can just “rub off”. I highly recommend that your husband reads or listens to Claire Weeks, and I bet one he does he will understand you more.

    I think having someone close to you really understand what you are going through is vital!

    Personally, I do go to therapy with a doctor who was not familiarized with Claire Weekes, but he has also helped me a lot, and meds have as well. I know meds work very differently on everyone, but I would advise you to maybe try and talk to a good psychiatrist who is open and receptive(if they don’t know Claire Weekes you can explain her method to them)and see how that works, you won’t lose anything (except some money) and may gain a lot.

    When you say “I have tried meditating but when the thoughts are racing around in your head you need to do something about that first.” I have felt exactly the same, but you have to give meditation a few tries. I read the book “The Relaxation Response” recommended by someone here, and I found that you CAN meditate even if you are anxious. I’m looking forward to read the book Alice recommended.

    I hope this helped a little, and I wish you the best!

  32. Marlis says

    Hej Mary,

    Thanks for your encouraging words. I have heard a lot (good) of Claire Weekes recordings and I will probably get some of them for myself.

    At the moment I feel that over the years I have put my husband (and my family) through a lot due to my condition and not knowing what was going on with me. I was very self absorbed and difficult to live with. I know of course that I could not help it but I just want to live as much a normal life as possible from now on (I am not that young anymore), become a more positive person and enjoy life. So maybe I just let him be. The hard work has to be done by me anyway.
    As for a counsellor I know it is very helpful to talk to someone. They are extremely expensive here where I live and I would not be able to have many sessions. At the moment I try books as suggested by Alice, learning from comments from other sufferers, doing yoga, live healthy and give meditation another go (to get rid of all the tension in my body). Fortunately I do not need medicine.
    All the best to you too
    Marlis

  33. Kathy says

    Take heart if you are discouraged! I have been there and I know you CAN get better! After the birth of my first daughter, 40 years ago, I experienced panic attacks and everything that that involves – agoraphobia, choking sensations in the throat, feeling like I was suffocating, dizzy spells and on and on. Trust me! You can get better!! It took about a year of practice but I did get better. 40 years later I can feel symptoms from time to time, especially if life is particularly stressful. When that happens I tell myself not to be fooled, it just those old tricksters trying to convince me that I am “sick” again. Don’t be fooled! Practice your floating and engage in the self-talk until you convince yourself that you are just fine! You will be! You can get better!

  34. says

    i had an anxiety breakdown thirty years ago, it was very severe. i found claire weekes’s books a great comfort. and they helped me gain great insight into my condition. i just discovered she is no longer with us, which saddened me. she was a great help to me. her work will live on in her books. a great and compassionate person.

  35. bridget says

    I too discovered Dr. Claire Weekes in the late 70’s..
    Without her help (from her books) I really don’t know what my life would have been..
    I wrote to her back then, and she very graciously replied.. She passed in 1990..
    I still have set-backs..but she still remains the one and only TRUE road to recovery.. What she said about 1st and 2nd fear is so true..
    ” Face.. Accept.. Float.. Let time pass”
    She’s my patron saint!

  36. ferotas says

    hi victoria; i should recommand a book, go see it, it will help; it is calles The fractured mind by John becket, it is on amazon

  37. bridget says

    Face Accept Float and Let time pass…
    It’s the ONLY answer..
    Thank you Dr Claire Weekes

  38. keith says

    Hi all I knew Dr Weekes after i wrote to her and she kinkly furnished her sydney number in the late eighties. Im now 53 suffering on and off since mid twenties. The last two years have been hell in regard to work bullying and unfair and now unfounded reasons for suspension. Im ashamed to admit I needed a short admission to hospital over xmas . My main current fear (more terror) is that for about a day prior to admission , i experienced very real delusional feelings that media/press were outside my parents home were I had been staying for support. I had hardly slept for some weeks using Zopiclone. I have a background in mental health work and they say a little knowledge is a bad thing. I have a sort of feeling of shame about the delusional experience and a sense that im beyong help in terms of self help and applying Dr Weekes method once one has experienced such an episode albeit very short. I was admitted on the Sunday and by monday evening after considerable sleep was fully orientated to to reality. I remember ringing my parents and saying …so there were no press outside when i was on the way to hospital. Even typing this drags up memmory . I think i was understandably traumatised. I wonder how Dr Weekes would have responded to my experience as ive descrlibed. I must state it was not the feeling of unreality she talks about , but a short period of being delusional experience. Again im feeling ashamed even describing it. I was in hospital for four weeks and am totally orientated with no further experience of that descrbied above and have been feeling better on an SSRI venlafaxine , sleeping better also.Still not back at work however.

  39. keith says

    Thank you for printing my thoughts from yesterday. Apologies for the spelling mistakes. Seeing my feeling in words actually makes them feel less abstract, and more human in a way.I do tend to over analyse and watch symptoms too closeley i know. Another thing i need to share is that i felt really well on discharge from hospital. Never having been admitted to hospital with nerves was a great shock initially. If honest i did feel remarkably well on discharge, My mood was lighter and energy levels better. Then ive hit a setback , still not working due to unresolved grievance procedures around bullying at work , i hit a setback and could harldy get through the door for a week or so. I feel ive lost so much confidnece not being in work as a social work family support worker since july. Ive pulle around somewhat and have been able to stay at my own house during the day and overnight on a few occasions. Id been staying with my elderly parents on discharge from hospital. Im not as sensitised, although i remember Dr Weekes saying a sensitised body can feel deceptiveley calm when not under stress. One is so suggestible with this illness. Good to know that other sufferers may be reading my experience and would value any feedback. Best wishes Keith

  40. Michael says

    “Pass Through Panic” is also available as an audiobook through Audible.com — you can even get your first book for free and cancel your trial membership. http://www.audible.com/pd/Self-Development/Pass-Through-Panic-Audiobook/B002V0JU2G/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl

    I often listen to it at work or while exercising. I feel like she’s talking specifically about me! I recommend listening over reading because her voice and tone is both concerned yet inspirational, comforting yet empowering. I’ve fallen in love with her!

  41. Olivia Rose Murray says

    I would be very grateful, if u could forward to me your CDs on self help for your nerves, and anxiety episodes.

    THANKYOU Olivia.

  42. Shaun says

    Thank you Claire Weekes! I have suffered with this for 30 years, and for some reason none of my therapist ever really told me the hows and the whys. I’m learning to let the anxiety flow through me and not given to that second fear. it takes practice and hard work, but it’s all worth it.
    Claire Weekes puts therapist today to shame

  43. harsh says

    Hi everyone I wanted to know how much time does it take to master the practice of not adding second fears as Claire weekes said and how does one practice not adding secondary fears

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