Doug Wildman, M.A., M.F.C., B.A., B.G.S. - Anxiety Coach/Consultant
Doug specializes in coaching/consulting for:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Panic Disorder (PAD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Communication issues/inter-cultural issues
- Conflict resolution
- Marriage and Family coaching
- Suicide signs/prevention
- Life transitions
- Personal development, self-esteem
- Interpersonal relationships
- Pastoral counseling
Doug experienced the following symptoms:
- Couldn't catch my breath
- Cracking joints
- Depressive mood/thoughts of death
- Dry mouth
- Extremely jumpy
- Fear of losing control
- Imagining the worst
- Muscle tension
- Muscle twitching/spasms
- Night sweats
- Night terrors
- Obsessive thoughts
- Occasional depersonalization ( i.e. looking at my extremities and feeling that they weren't mine, certain common words seemed odd) This was quite infrequent.
- One spot (about the size of a silver dollar) that was numb on my back
- Pictures would flash in my mind of terrible scenes that I couldn't shut off.
- Racing, pounding heart
- Severe pain in lower back
- Social anxiety/withdrawal
- Tingling/numb/cold hands and feet
- Vision problems (i.e. seeing dark spots, eye fatigue, going cross-eyed)
Doug Wildman knows the pain and anguish of uncontrollable anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, and feelings of incompetence. For years he struggled with the symptoms and consequences of anxiety and depression.
At an early age, Doug questioned his value, self-worth, and sanity. Consequently, his grades plummeted, he felt isolated and misunderstood, and thought that he was “flawed,” defective, unacceptable, and a failure.
There were many negative influences around Doug during his teen years. These influences caused even more disruption and questioning. His thoughts became obsessive and intrusive, and his depression deepened. Over time he was convinced that there was something seriously wrong with him.
No matter how hard he tried to get better, his internal voice insisted, “You will never succeed. You are different from everyone else. You are incompetent and stupid. You are marked for failure.” Doug’s condition worsened.
In 1989, however, Doug began his journey toward freedom from anxiety and depression.
In May 1989, Doug volunteered with Youth Development International in San Diego helping young people in crisis. He then moved to Timisoara, Romania where he worked with the Romanian people who endured through the anxiety and oppression of living under a communist regime. Doug also worked with gypsy street children who suffered under the influence of substance abuse, societal disregard, and past parental abuse.
In 1992, Doug and his fiancee, Ingrid (they are now married) returned to Canada. Unfortunately, Ingrid began to experience post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from her overseas experience in travelling to refugee camps and orphanages in Croatia and Romania. Ingrid was struggling with nightmares, increased anxiety and stress, and detachment from people around her. She was reliving stories she had heard from refugee children living in camps. These stories were punctuated with sporadic gunfire she heared nearby. She had developed a diminished interest in activities that used to give her pleasure, became detached from others, struggled with her feelings, and had a depressed demeanor. Doug was able to help Ingrid through this difficult time and she began to experience freedom and joy again.
In May 2000, Doug was on his way to a weekend youth retreat with a van full of young people, when the driver lost control of the van causing it to plummet over a ravine and into icy water. The crash was so serious that the emergency personnel who attended the accident couldn’t believe that anyone had survived such a terrible accident.
This event caused Doug to personally experience post-traumatic stress disorder. He began to be plagued by nightmarish panic attacks, he couldn’t drive as a passenger without getting feelings of tightness in his chest, accelerated heart pounding, and feelings of not being able to breathe (it felt like he was having a heart attack). He experienced periods of “reliving” the accident in his mind only to be suddenly jolted back into reality by a pounding heart, labored breathing, sore muscles, profuse sweating, and heightened senses. He also experienced nightly nightmares about the experience, which made him hyper-vigilant and always fearing the worst about those around him. Every day was filled with foreboding and underlying anxiety.
Finally, after a year and a half, Doug began to conquer his condition. Over time, his anxiety, fear, and the intensity of that experience faded away.
Doug is now completely anxiety and depression free.
Doug Wildman, M.A., is a coach that specializes in anxiety disorders, depression, and marriage and family issues. He has his Master of Arts in Counselling from an accredited post-secondary institute.
Doug has a deep desire and passion for helping those who are suffering through issues of anxiety/panic and depression. His personal experience with, and victory over, anxiety and depression, coupled with his gentle character and understanding nature, make Doug an effective coach.
I would like to say some words about
my experiences with Doug Wildman, anxiety, and anxietycentre.com.
I can't express enough gratitude for the amazing help I have received through Doug Wildman and the resulting transformation I have been going through with assistance from the member's area of the anxietycentre.com website. My life has changed forever and I am finally turning into the person that I always wanted to be...and the person I never thought I could be.
It all started in 2006 when I got my first panic attack. I had been highly anxious since I was a young child but I did not become seriously symptomatic until I was 38 years old. That first attack set in motion an intense fear of my symptoms until the point where I was paralyzed in fear...intense fear, panic attacks, feelings of gloom and doom, crazy thoughts, sweating, heart palpitations, racing heart, tingling sensations, depersonalization, shivering, shaking, muscle twitches, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. I also encountered terrible insomnia. At its worst, I didn’t sleep for a four-day stretch. To say I fell apart would be an understatement. I was convinced that my life was over, that I was going to lose my family, and that I was going to end up in a mental hospital.
My doctor prescribed antidepressants, which I took for a year. After getting SOME relief...with emphasis on SOME, I went off of them. Six months later I was back on them after another panic attack hit me out of the blue. I thought my life was going to be a lifelong struggle with a disorder that I could not control and that I would be on medication for the duration of my life.
I searched websites, went to a psychologist, and purchased books...I tried everything. I finally found a program that gave me some optimism that this condition could be eradicated but I quickly lost interest when I wasn’t getting immediate relief. Sound familiar??
My life changed dramatically in March
of this year when I found anxietycentre.com. It sounded great
so I purchased a membership and began to read the site. I
was absolutely floored with the amount of information the
site provided. I knew I had found the best anxiety information
on the net. I started putting the information into practice
with respect to recovery strategies and was slowly starting
to notice improvements. I followed the advice closely.
I started to feel better, a lot better actually, but I still wasn’t feeling like I was on my way to complete recovery. I still had periods of bad anxiety mixed with feeling “ok” at best. Still, it was a lot better than before.
Then I started to read about personal
coaching on the site. I became interested in the underlying
factors of anxiety after reading about them on the site,
because I could relate to them. I noticed how poor my mental
habits were and how it was contributing to my anxiety and
resulting depression. I made my first appointment with Doug
Wildman in May of 2009.
I was instantly at ease with Doug and he made me comfortable from the beginning. It was so refreshing talking to somebody who had been through the same crippling anxiety that I had. Here I was talking to someone who was just like me, and beat the condition. If he could do it, maybe I could too. I was also shocked at how well I could relate with him on how I felt and thought. For the first time, somebody “gets me”...understands me. Honestly, it was like talking to a mirror, because the problems that I thought were unique to me were just classic anxiety symptoms and issues that he lived through and defeated himself. I was not crazy after all...I finally had hope!!
I was skeptical at first that I could achieve complete recovery like Doug. That’s not unusual, because I think many of us anxious people think our condition is worse or more entrenched than the other person. “Sure, they could do it, but I won’t be able to because my condition is worse and I have had it longer than they have.” But I was dead wrong on that thought. More on that in a moment.
I have been working with Doug since May on my underlying factors, and it has been the most eye-opening experience of my life. Not only are my anxiety symptoms no longer a significant issue, I have learned incredible life lessons and tools to cope with everyday life. I’m happy, motivated, calm, and content. Quite frankly, I’m already feeling better now than I can ever remember in my life...even as a child. I’m not tense or irritable any longer either. I have learned to be comfortable with myself and live life the way it was supposed to be.
I still plan on working with Doug into the future because I still have a lot of learning to do. I’m still in recovery mode, although anxiety is no longer a significant issue for me. For all of you anxiety sufferers, I can’t emphasize enough how important personal counselling is...and Doug is top notch. Great person and a great counsellor. He’s my mentor.
A few important words for the anxiety sufferers out there. Take these words to heart because I’m a living, breathing example of someone who has lived it and conquered it:
• YOU CAN BEAT IT. It’s
not easy, but consistent application of the advice on anxietycentre.com
and working with a counsellor WILL fix your disorder.
• IT TAKES TIME. You will have days where you question whether you will get better or not. You will have ups and downs and it will test your patience and confidence. Hang in there friend, and don’t give up...I felt like giving up over and over again and I stuck with it even when I felt down. I now reap the benefits and have defeated it.
• YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN OTHER ANXIETY SUFFERERS. Your disorder will go away if you apply the strategies. You are NOT a hopeless cause and your condition is BEATABLE, despite how poorly you feel. Take that to the bank.
• YOU ARE IN CONTROL, NOT THE DISORDER. And in time, those obsessive thoughts that were giving you trouble (those thoughts that you never thought you could control) eventually go away. Take comfort in that.
My life is better than I could have imagined. My renewed confidence is going to take me places in life that I never dreamed would be possible. You could feel like that too...just give it a chance.
By the way,
I’m also now medication-free!
God Bless Jim Folk for starting this website, and God Bless Doug Wildman for being there for me as my counsellor and friend.
I worked with Doug a couple of years back when I had anxiety issues that I could not understand and most certainly couldn’t cope with. At that time, I didn’t see any way out from where I was. Doug gave me great insight into the causes of my symptoms and advice on how to deal with them. Doug is great counselor and an extremely easy individual to speak with on both an intellectual and emotional level. Thanks for all your help, mate!
I would also like to add that Doug has most definitely “been there” and knows how it feels to feel completely helpless and have what other people would consider to be ‘Crazy’ thoughts. I felt completely at ease discussing anything with him as he could relate to everything I was going through from a personal level, having dealt with many adversities of a similar nature himself. Needless to say he was a great help and I am very glad I came across him.
Christ Q, UK
The work with Doug made an enormous difference in helping to control my anxiety levels. He was thorough in understanding my issues and consequently his counsel led to almost immediate and highly effective results. I would recommend Doug and anxietycentre.com to anyone without hesitation.
Anthony F., Switzerland
Hi, my name is Marc, and I would like to share my story about my struggles with anxiety disorder.
To make a long story short, because as people know, every day with anxiety disorder can be a full 300-page story in itself, to say the least! In my case, it was, for sure.
At the age of 31 years old, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder after several doctor visits, including a neurologist. In my case, I always lived a life with strong irrational fears, and my use of recreational drugs didn’t help. I was unlucky in the fact that I experienced close to 50+ symptoms, and every one of them were extremely intense during those awful years.
Like most people, I searched the Internet like crazy trying to find out what was going on with me. In fact, I searched so much that it became a strong obsession.
The Internet, however, was helpful because there were a lot of great websites available (I did try some techniques that I thought were good), but the intensity of my symptoms were way too strong so I thought I needed to seek extra help in a therapeutic way. This meant I needed to talk to someone and preferably someone who already dealt with the many crappy symptoms I had.
When I went to a psychiatrist, he told me that I needed to be on medication for the rest of my life! But I said, "Oh no, this will not happen to me mister," even though I didn’t trust in my own statement at that time.
After that, I found anxietycentre.com and was able to contact someone who understood my struggle perfectly. Finally I was able to start some telephone sessions.
Now let me explain. My condition was no joke! The intensity was 24/7 without almost no breaks or rest!! My most concerning symptoms were the unbalance/dizzy feelings, depersonalization, and having a strong aggressive feeling.
- The unbalance feeling was so strong that I was not able to feel straight or steady on my feet. It also felt like someone was pushing me from the back all the time, and some days the discouragement was severe.
- The aggressive feeling was a sensation in my body that is really hard to explain. I felt I needed to squeeze objects until it hurt enough so that it felt better when I released them. It was like an extreme rush of aggressiveness that needed to be released. It was horrific to say the least.
- Now the depersonalization! Another quite scary sensation. I don’t know about other people, but for me, this symptom presented itself with a succession of really weird thoughts plus a strong feeling that nothing felt normal—everything was strange like a badddddddd drug trip, and for hours and hours.
Friends, family members, and relatives were all very helpful, but nobody—and I mean nobody—got a hint of how bad I was feeling. It affected everything I did: my spiritual state, daily activities, job, etc. Needless to say, it was an awful time!
I can go on and on with everything that I went through, but my ultimate goal is to let people know that the sensations and symptoms GO AWAY with time, even if you don’t believe it now! Just because the body is playing the same old tricks again and again, doesn’t mean it will forever. I remember when I got three to four days in a row with almost no awful sensations and symptoms, it was a massive relief!! And the more I continued with everything related to relaxing, doing new things, and training, etc., the more and more those sensations and symptoms went away; all of them; from electric shock to panic attack, or anything else. They ALL completely went away (NONE OF THEM stayed).
Let me be clear. When my body returned to normal health, there were NO sensations or symptoms left, except for the regular stress that I was dealing with before my body got really overstimulated.
I understand that it’s not easy to always do the right thing. Even now (35 years old) sometimes I look at what I am doing and say to myself, "Man, I did not take care of myself recently." I continue to work at this, but it’s no longer about being afraid of the sensations and symptoms, and no more being concerned with anxiety disorder. This is in the past now and it will stay there forever ...............
Through this experience, I've learned to accept things differently in life, being more open to try new things, being calmer, and not being over responsible at my job, and many other things.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Doug Wildman and Jim Folk for their help and support. I’ve been working with them for close to three years and it was worth it. I started with an extreme 'disorder' and I’m proud of the achievement that I’ve made through all the ups and downs, and all the negativity I felt inside due to my mental state.
I hope this story will encourage others who are discouraged or who may not believe they can recover. I was in that place for a long, long time. But the body and brain are well made and recover by themselves if we calm them down and change our attitude toward our sensations and symptoms. The sensations and symptoms of anxiety are all a lie, and will always be a lie. They aren’t something we need to be afraid of.
ex-anxiety disorder sufferer
Dear Doug and Jim,
The information and counseling I received from you and your web site have given me the necessary instructions to recover from a debilitating experience with an anxiety disorder, brought on by a lengthy period of stresses I had experienced.
The first year of my anxiety condition, I was digging myself deeper and deeper into the anxiety trap, as I worried about all of my bizarre symptoms. When I finally found your web site however, the information it provided made a lot of sense to me, and helped to put my mind at ease. Although the recovery process was slow, I have finally found my way out of the trap, and have my normal life back.
I wish that I had found your web site sooner, or could have found proper help in my area. Thank you so very much.
I thought I'd share with you all how Anxietycentre.com has helped me...
I have suffered from anxiety most of my life, but a few years ago it became so bad I struggled with everyday tasks.
I was making frequent visits to my
doctor. The symptoms I was experiencing were so frightening
that I really thought I was dying or had some terminal
illness. My doctor explained I was suffering from anxiety/stress,
although he never really explained to me why all this was
happening to my body...I couldn't understand how anxiety
could cause all these strange symptoms...Oh! I should mention,
I had brain scans, heart checks, blood checks etc etc...
One night I had been looking up anxiety symptoms on the Internet, and I came across Anxietycentre.com. I couldn't believe what I was reading, "This is me" I thought. For the first time someone understands what it's like to have this condition.
I became a member, then after a while decided to try coaching as I felt I needed extra support. I was waiting on my first call from Doug (my counselor), I felt so nervous, and I remember asking myself, "What am I doing?" I was about to talk to some strange man about my anxieties from the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean that probably couldn't understand me anyway?? (I'm Scottish)...
Anyway, I had no need to worry as Doug
put me at ease straight away. For the first time in years
I felt someone could truly help me
get over this. Please don't get me wrong. It's been hard work and I've had some blips along the way. It has been worth all the effort though...
It has been a pleasure knowing such kind and compassionate people who understand what it's like to have these problems as they have experienced themselves.
Doug and Anxietycentre.com have been a Godsend to me . I will never forget them!
If you are in the anxietycentre.com website, then you are looking for something or someone to help you as I was when I came here.. Well, look no further, because if this can not help you nothing else will..
I was at my very lowest point when I came to anxietycentre.com. For FORTY YEARS I had panick attacks, and everything that came from anxiety, such as dizziness, breaking out in sweats, burning and pains in my chest, and scary thoughts. I even had agoraphobia, afraid to leave my house or drive my car.
I read everything in the member's area of this website, then looked over all the counselors. I sent an e-mail to have a session with Doug Wildman.
In just a few days, Doug called me.. That was the first day of my recovery. No matter what symtoms I had, he explained them. It didn't matter how "off the wall" my questions were, with kindness and patience he told me why I experienced them .
I am 100% better today than I was since my first session. "Thank You" to the Anxietycentre for making this website available to me...
Doug, "THANK YOU" will never be enough for showing me the way to recovery. You helped me get my life back. God Bless You And Yours.
I can't say enough positive things about the Anxiety Centre and my counselor, Doug Wildman. After having several anxiety attacks over a very long week, I searched the Internet and found the Anxiety Centre. I immediately became a member, and had an appointment to speak with Doug just a few days later.
The information on the website is so helpful. I read and re-read the symptoms and explanations for the symptoms. This alone eased my mind. My level of anxiety decreased just in knowing that anxiety was causing these strange symptoms that I was having. I have used many of the strategies discussed at the website, and I ordered the relaxation cd, which was very helpful. Learning to recognize the anxiety for what it was (mine was constant), and learning to not respond with more fear, took some time. It can be done, it just takes time and practice!
The discussion forum was also helpful because it was good to see what resources and techniques were helping others. I still use these resources because I think that they are good for you whether you are experiencing anxiety or just everyday living.
My most dramatic improvement came from my counseling sessions with Doug. He is compassionate, caring, open-minded, a GREAT LISTENER, and can relate with experiences of his own. I have been able to work through many issues that go back to childhood, and I am more confident. I am so grateful to Doug for all of his help. I am a different person now.
I would highly recommend the Anxiety Centre to anyone who is experiencing any type of stress/anxiety/depression.
You can learn more about Anxiety Symptoms, our Anxiety Coaching/Therapy option, and our Recovery Support area by clicking on the appropriate button below:
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 2015.