The Power of the Subconscious – Anxiety

Hi! Just a quick post because I came across something that might be useful for anxiety. The other day I was browsing in a bookshop and I came across a book called The Power of Your Subconscious Mind: One of the Most Powerful Self-help Guides Ever Written! by Joseph Murphy (also available in the USA – click here). Like many self-help books it promises the world, almost literally. It is not specifically aimed at anxiety sufferers, more at people who are unfulfilled and unhappy. I was intrigued, as I am interested in how we manifest our life and how what we believe and what we are conscious of effects our reality. And also of how what we are unconscious of is reflected on those around us.  I have heard it said that we can achieve what we want by focusing on it.

I didn’t buy this book, because I have kind of vowed never to buy another self-help book again. If they are worth their salt they are probably available in the library anyway.

As luck would have it, I googled around the idea of the power of the subconscious and found a site where, presumably legally, they are giving away the same Joseph Murphy book as a free download. The site is, and you do need to register before they email it to you. But still, it’s probably worth it if you want to save some cash – and as i say, it’s presumably a legal download!

Is this book any good for people with anxiety and phobias? Well, I must admit that I haven’t read it yet…but getting more of what those people who "seem to have it all" get is probably a good thing. And maybe the book will work for that!

Anyway, it’s free!

Relationship Anxiety

I recently received a comment on a blog which I think needs to be dealt with in some detail. The comment was on a blog post from some time ago which dealt with the effects of anxiety on sexual health, intimacy and impotence (especially performance anxiety). You can read the full post and the comments, entitled Anxiety, impotence, Male Sexual Health and Performance by following this link.

The comment I am referring to is the sixth one from the top. To summarise: a relationship has developed in which a man is pushing his partner away in terms of intimacy, saying that he "can’t give love" and worried about "the loss of freedom" that a relationship brings with it.

These problems, it seems, are not that uncommon. What’s more they are common amongst people who suffer from anxiety and depression and also common amongst people who are unhappy in life even if they aren’t really aware of their emotional situation. I would argue that this goes far beyond sexual performance anxiety, it is far more complex than that. A man may well feel unable to perform or unconfident in bed as part of an anxiety disorder, but this seems to be about a fear of relationships, not a fear of impotence.

Why would someone fear a relationship? Especially someone who has issues involving anxiety and/or depression? Well, the reasons could be many-fold, but the truth of the matter is that there are many many people out there that can not handle the idea of committing to a serious relationship. Of course there are those free spirits who want to play around and not settle down, but this is a different thing; such people seldom shy away from intimacy, instead they seek it and then move on with no pretence of relationship longevity.

What I am talking about more is people who get stuck in anxious ambivalence. Wanting a relationship but not thinking they can cope with it. More often than not this is likely have its roots in past relationships both romantic and familiar. It has been mooted that people whose parents got divorced and who felt neglected can go on to have great difficulty committing to a relationship. Likewise those who have been treated badly by a previous partner can have equal difficulty. It is not that surprising that people with a history of anxiety and depression can have difficulty forming attachments and committing for various reasons.

Firstly, they are people who are likely to have been hurt. Anxiety and depression are almost synonymous with low self-esteem, low self-worth and negativity. They are also conditions that make it hard to meet people and that tend to put off potential partners. This then contributes to a feeling of great loss when relationships fail. Also, people with anxiety and depression might have attachment issues, making breaking up that much harder. Either consciously or unconsciously that person might well seek to defend themselves by not committing to a relationship, refusing intimacy, pushing a partner away or being ambivalent, emotional distant and detached.

So what can you do if you or your (potential) partner is in this bind? The answer is to tread very carefully and to be as open and honest about feelings as possible. Some people may need to discuss past events with a trained professional, some people might benefit from relationship counselling. What a lot of people might need is space and time, especially if their relationship anxiety is based on bad adult relationships. 

The first goal is for the person to recognise they have a problem, from that point onwards relationship normality and satisfying intimacy or completely achievable.

Update to Anxiety 2 Calm Free Programme – Root Cause


After years of procrastination I am finally sorting out the free programme that I mean to put online ages ago, and has been partially online since summer 2006! I am so lazy and I am sorry.

Anyway, today I uploaded the first of the new pages which will suggest exercises to do. This page is all about exercises and advice for discovering root causes of anxiety.

Some people believe that finding the cause of anxiety and releasing any emotion attached to the original trigger event is the only way of truly recovering or curing yourself of anxiety. Other people, most notably current psychological opinion, suggests that finding the root causes is not necessarily helpful at all. The argument will run and run.

If you think you might have a past cause of anxiety to deal with, it’s better to start now than wait for science to come to some kind of consensus!

For the main page of the Free Anxiety Programme – Click Here!


Hunger Hormone Ghrelin has antidepressant anti-anxiety effect

The BBC today reported some interesting research from Nature Neuroscience which suggests an important link between Ghrelin (a hormone produced in the stomach to tell the brain to produce feelings of hunger) and depression and anxiety.

It is quite hard to tell from the report whether having higher or lower doses of this hormone might help:

"Our findings in mice suggest that chronic stress causes Ghrelin levels to go up, and that behaviours associated with depression and anxiety decrease when Ghrelin levels rise," This quote by Dr Zigman would seem to suggest that being hungry makes us calmer. Problem is, a lot of anxious people actually comfort eat and other certainly use foods like chocolate and ice cream to calm themselves down in a crisis.

Like the antidepressant Celexa, a side effect of raised Ghrelin levels would be somewhat liable to lead to wight gain, as it induces hunger. Maybe that is something that could be remedied before any potential product came onto the market.

Like all of these stories, the research seems to promise a lot but whether the product will actually ever be realised  is another matter. Often these things sink without a trace (there was a similar Cortisol story a few years ago). At any rate, it would take 10 years for research and development.

Furthermore, are drugs really ever going to be the answer to psychological problems? The debate goes on!

Hypnoanalysis for Anxiety – The clinical, empirical proof and evidence

UPDATE 21-10-08 Please reas this post in conjunction with this post: Hypnoanalysis.

The fact of the matter is, there is no proof hypnoanalysis works for anxiety. That is to say that there are no rigorous scientific studies that have used acceptable research methods to prove that Hypnoanalysis is better than a placebo therapy or one of the other therapies available like CBT when it comes to treating anxiety disorders or panic attacks.

Does that mean you should avoid hypnoanalysis like the plague? It is after all expensive and won’t there be some strange man messing around in your head?

Actually, I wouldn’t say that at all. For while there is no evidence that Hypnoanalysis works, there is no evidence that it doesn’t. The statistics have never been crunched, the experiments have never been done. It is difficult to do such research as there are many different approaches to hypnoanalysis. That said, a university psychology department that had the inclination and the funding could conduct a trial using one of the mainstream hypnoanalytical methods. It would also make sense for one of the larger hypnoanalysis organisations (that no doubt charge their members an annual fee) should pay for independent, rigorous research into the efficacy of hypnoanalysis on anxiety. These organisations tend to say things like “why should we organise research into something we know works?”. This is a very silly argument indeed.

Research into anxiety treatment through hypnoanalysis would validate the treatment, lead to more clients for hypnotherapists, better recognition for the intervention and of course cure more people of anxiety – if the therapy proved to be successful. If it doesn’t work then at least people know.

Also, research needs to take into account the level of efficacy. For example we are often told that CBT helps 80% of patients, but helps them how much? If, for example, hypnoanalysis cured only 25% of patients, while CBT helped 80% of anxiety sufferers to cope with the basics of day to day life then the one in four chance of a complete resolution through hypnoanalysis would like like an avenue worth exploring for most anxiety sufferers. (This is based on the claim that through a psychodynamic approach hypnoanalysis removes the cause of the anxiety, as it claims to do).

So, more research please!

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