Dear Jim Folk,
My anxiety disorder started in the middle of last year. Even though my doctor had always warned me about being anxious, I had no idea that anxiety could become a disorder. When my symptoms started, I was convinced that I was having a heart attack or serious stomach issues. It did not help that the medical professionals who treated me, including the hospital staff and my family doctor, treated me for actual physical conditions by giving me strong antibiotics and antacids (Pantoprazole). This tipped me even further into more anxiety, and I quickly spiraled down.
My symptoms escalated and I began to have burning skin and scalp, stomach problems, sleep problems, intense fears, body tremors, etc., and no medical person could explain what was happening to me. Instead, I was treated as if these were actually problems that could be solved by being prescribed more pharmaceutical drugs and with SSRIs.
Jim, it is with heartfelt thanks to God that I stumbled on your website and may you and your staff be blessed for all time to come for the work you do. When I began to read your articles, for the first time I understood what was happening with me and felt hope that I would live. You did what emergency doctors, my family doctor, psychologists and psychiatrists, naturopaths and other doctors I consulted with, could not do. That is, to explain what was happening with my mind and body. In the end, by following every word written on your website, I was able to pull myself out of this horrible condition.
I am amazed at how you were able to exactly describe the symptoms that I was suffering and how they develop and eventually fade as my body calmed down. One of the worst symptoms that I suffered was tinnitus and the deep fear that it brought with it. I consulted an ENT specialist who told me that I had tinnitus and there was nothing I could do about it. To give myself hope, I clung to your website and your advice that by bringing down anxiety, the tinnitus would improve. After six of the worst months of torment and the worst time of my life, I have seen what you said come to pass. The sounds in my ear have diminished to a level that I feel bearable and I hope that they might disappear altogether. Before my anxiety disorder, I had some slight sounds from time to time, but never so persistent and so loud. So I am hoping that it will continue to get better. I should mention that I am in my sixties and do have some slight hearing loss, which made me fear that it might not be stress related but just an age thing.
Jim, I have been to CBT workshops at the hospital and have listened to other participants’ suffering, and it hurts to think that such a travesty is happening in the medical establishment. People who are suffering from anxiety are being told that they will never really recover and that it is a chemical imbalance hence the need for medication. I have tried to put in my two cents and to try to educate people by referring them to your website, but it is a gargantuan task trying to question established medical opinions. I have recovered faster than many in my group and it is all due to your information and to God for guiding me to find you and your ministry.
Jim, I pray that your role in helping people overcome this condition becomes even greater. There is a lot of suffering people out there who do not understand what is happening to them but are medicated to the hilt, which creates even more problems for them. I pray also that there can be help for people who are suffering from depression.
I did consult with Vince for a while who was very caring and helpful. Unfortunately, since I was not working and he was not covered by my insurance (another sad situation), I had to end my consultations.
Today, I have a new lease on life. While I am still not fully recovered, I feel so joyful and thankful to be here and to enjoy God’s gifts to us. I look at the sunshine from my window and feel wonderful. Or, when I go for a walk, I feel vibrant and appreciative of every moment. With the help of your website, I feel empowered and stronger than before, and no longer fear anxiety if it does reoccur. In any case, by practicing your deep relaxation therapies, I will try to avoid falling into that condition again.
I know this is a very long email, but believe me, I don’t even think you know your value to us who are suffering this condition. I just wanted to say thanks again for all your work, and please feel free to edit my letter if you wanted to put it on your website. I know it is somewhat long winded!
God bless you and your family, and all at anxietycentre.
Abby S., Canada
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