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Here's the Anxiety Coach® Newsletter
March 01, 2011

Simple Ways to Tame Anxiety

March 1, 2011
Volume 11, Issue 3

This month's issue of Anxiety Coach® borrows a line from a Depeche Mode song to get another perspective on acceptance.

You'll find this newsletter in your e-mail box the first week each month. I'll bring you tips for overcoming fears and phobias in each issue.

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on anyone who might be interested. If you received this issue from a friend and want your own subscription, please subscribe.

Never Again is What You Swore
The Time Before

I was listening to the radio last week when I heard this chorus in a Depeche Mode song. I've probably heard this song hundreds of times since it was first released in 1990, but this time it reminded me of something,

I've heard patients tell me this kind of thing many, many times.

It often comes up when a patient is telling me about the first time he experienced a major panic attack. "I got off the airplane (or exited the highway;left the crowded mall;got off the stage;got out of the elevator, and so on) and told myself I would never go through that again."

Some people thereafter stay away from that specific situation, and create a phobia as they try to live up to "never again". But this usually means lots of regret, and lots of "what if...?" anxiety, even though they avoid the specific situation.

Other people do return to the scene of the anxiety, but do so with the vow to "never again" feel that panic. All too often, this just invites the feelings back again.

I listened to the song again to find out what it's all about, and I'm not really sure. But I do know that there's a useful message in this particular line.

Never Again is What You Swore
The Time Before

It's a reminder that "never again" is an expression of disgust, or fear, or some other negative emotion. But it's not a plan. The swearing of "never again" is more likely to be followed by more of the same problem, than it is to turn out to be a solution. It's an expression of blame, anger, and fear, all in the absence of any plan of how to handle it differently the next time.

That's the key. Not to swear an unworkable vow to "never again" feel something unpleasant. Rather, to accept that human experience includes lots of feelings we wouldn't choose, but some of them come despite our wishes. And to find a way to work with them, not against them.

They're Singing About the Anxiety Trick

You get tricked by anxiety when you try so hard not to have it, that your efforts give you more of what you don't want.

Maybe this line from the song can help you keep that in mind. My thanks to the band! And if you haven't heard the song lately, here's the video.

Workshop for Fearful Fliers

Afraid of flying? My next workshop for fearful fliers will take place the weekend of April 17. Come fly with us!

Click for details.

Overcome Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The newest addition to my web site is a page about how to overcome OCD.

Anxiety Disorders Conference in New Orleans

The annual conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America will take place in New Orleans, March 24-27. It's three days of professional workshops for therapists interested in the treatment of anxiety disorders. I'll be presenting a workshop on treating the fear of flying.

For information and registration, visit ADAA. See you next month!


Dave Carbonell, Ph.D.

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