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Disordered: Anxiety Help

Josh Fletcher and Drew Linsalata

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Disordered is the podcast that delivers real, evidence-based, actionable talk about anxiety and anxiety and anxiety recovery in a kind, compassionate, community-oriented environment. Josh Fletcher is a qualified psychotherapist in the UK. Drew Linsalata is a therapist-in-training in the US. They're both bestselling authors in the anxiety and mental health space. Josh and Drew are funny, friendly, and they have a knack for combining lived experience, formal training, and professional experien ...
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This is a safe space to present questions and have a casual dialogue about life. I am not your expert. Only you can be that. Here, we share our triumphs and challenges together as we embrace all of our humanness, and address the real problems everyday people face. “Is That SOO?” is a double entendre, in that it has two meanings. “Is That SOO?” represents the School of Outliers and the practice of equanimity, or the practice of developing inner peace. This show invites on Guests who have made ...
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When working through the process of chronic or disordered anxiety recovery many will find that at some point they are fixated on or have become a bit obsessed with monitoring and evaluating their mood. This week on Disordered Drew and Josh take a look at why recovering and anxious people tend to get stuck in "mood monitoring mode". Generally speaki…
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How does one approach recovery from chronic or disordered anxiety when grief is part of the picture? Do the same principles apply? Do we use concepts like acceptance, surrender, or willful tolerance when handling grief? Grief is a powerful thing that will almost certainly impact not just anxiety recovery but all aspects of life and even daily funct…
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This week on Disordered we're looking at anxiety focused on relationships, specifically a form of OCD known as Relationship OCD (ROCD). ROCD - like all forms of OCD - will glue itself to things that really matter to us. In this case, being in loving, secure, successful relationships with people we love and who love us. Someone with ROCD even when i…
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WHAT ABOUT NOCTURNAL PANIC ATTACKS? HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THOSE? Nocturnal panic attacks are scary, disturbing, disruptive, and often feel like they are different from any other kind of panic attack. Anxious people will often insist that they are special, they can't possibly be approached with an attitude of tolerance or surrender, and that there mus…
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WHAT DOES "VALUES DRIVEN RECOVERY" MEAN? Anxiety recovery can be seen as one long journey away from fear driven behavior and toward behaviors that support the things we really value in life. This week Josh and Drew are talking about what values driven recovery mean and how your values - the things that matter to you and make you who you are and wan…
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BUT WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU'RE TENSE AND SORE? HOW CAN YOU HANDLE THAT? This is one of those questions we get asked all the time. In this episode of Disordered, we're taking a look at how tension, soreness, twitches, and feelings of muscle weakness fit into the anxiety and recover picture. Anxious, scared bodies are going to anxious, scared body things…
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"I know I'm not supposed to focus inward or engage with my anxious or intrusive thoughts, but what am I supposed to think about?!" This week Josh and Drew answer an excellent question from a listener that hasn't really been asked before. What do you do when your anxious thoughts keep coming even when you don't want them to come, and when you insist…
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WHAT RECOVERY LENS ARE YOU LOOKING THROUGH? This week Drew and Josh take a bit of an unexpected turn to explore ways that CBT and exposure-based approaches to recovery can fall short. Recovery can't always be about facing, accepting, exposures, and Claire Weekes. While we might not look to other models to unearth deeply hidden root causes for an an…
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MY NERVOUS SYSTEM IS DYSREGULATED! This week Drew and Josh get up close and personal with "nervous system dysregulation". This is a term that might have some benefit when dealing with issues like stress management or general wellness, but goes straight off the rails into the unhelpful zone when it comes to anxiety disorders. Declaring an anxious st…
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This week on Disordered we're taking a grand tour around the OCD loop! Josh and Drew talk about pure-O, somatic, and "traditional" obsessive compulsive disorder subtypes. While not every possible theme and subtype can be covered in a short podcast episode, the guys touched on some of the more common themes found in the community, taking care to add…
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What Is Your Therapist Thinking While You're Talking? Therapists are people too. They have feelings, opinions, insecurities, fears, and personality quirks. And they - like you - sometimes have an inner dialogue. If you ever wanted to know what goes on inside the mind of an anxiety therapist, this week Josh and Drew dig into this a bit, including a …
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This is the one-year anniversary episode of Disordered! We've been at this now for a full year, and we cannot be more grateful for all the support you guys have provided along the way. What better way to mark a year of Disordered than with an episode dedicated entirely to celebrating the community surrounding this podcast? If you need some encourag…
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What about all this "neuropathways" talk? What does it mean in anxiety recovery? Funny that you asked! This week on Disordered Josh and Drew are talking about neuropathways, anxious habits, and how the concept of "building new neuropathways" applies in the context of anxiety disorders and anxiety recovery. Let's start by acknowledging that even cou…
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OH NO! IT'S COME BACK! The habits we develop and the neuropathways that get created by a disordered state of anxiety mean that even long into recovery, an anxious person might be re-triggered by life events, stress, memories, or any number of expected issues. This is normal. If this happens, we can feel things again ... anxiety, anxiety symptoms, a…
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BURNOUT! Running out of gas and being emotionally, physically, and/or mentally drained can happen to any human. This week on Disordered Drew and Josh explore how an anxious mind can twist and distort the concept of burnout. In many ways, the fear of burning out, and the catastrophic interpretation of what that might mean, can be worse than burnout …
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Are you using wellness concepts, techniques, programs, and principles as a way to resist feelings of anxiety? There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of oneself and wanting to be healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. But in a large community of people struggling with disordered and chronic states of anxiety, com…
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The default state for most humans - to varying degrees - is for the brain to launch into inward thinking and inner dialogue when there's nothing else to pay attention to. If you're struggling with chronic or disordered anxiety, this can become a real issue and a major struggle. This week we're looking at the inward compulsion. That fear-driven habi…
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"Is it normal for my symptoms, or thoughts, or my anxiety to get worse when I start engaging in recovery?" Even Dr. Claire Weekes acknowledged this experience when writing about recovery many years ago. This week on Disordered we're talking about feeling MORE when you stop hiding from anxiety. This is often misinterpreted as "getting worse" but fee…
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"What does anxiety therapy look like?" "What goes on in a session with an anxiety specialist?" "How can I find the right therapist for me?" This week Drew and Josh address these questions, including a really interesting 12-minute mock therapy session to start the episode. Josh plays the therapist while Drew is the client struggling with panic and e…
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But what about hormonal issues, perimenopause, and menopause???!!! This is a question that we are asked all the time, and rightfully so. This week we're joined by Helen Bennett, a qualified UK psychotherapist specializing in supporting people who are dealing with fertility challenges and struggling with the menopause transition. This episode is cho…
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Do you ever get anxious ... because you're not feeling anxious? This is a real thing in our community! Anxious people who begin to experience moments where anxiety and agitation fade into the background will often find themselves becoming anxious because they're not feeling anxious! This week Drew and Josh explore this confusing but all too common …
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"Healing" is a VERY popular word in self-help, mental health, and wellness circles. For many, this word resonates. For our friends struggling to overcome chronic and disordered anxiety, it can sure feel like there's healing to do. But what if recovery wasn't all about healing? What if there was as much learning as there is healing in the process? O…
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Anxiety triggered by exercise, exertion, or being in the gym is a common struggle for anyone dealing with issues like panic attacks, agoraphobia, or any anxiety disorder that places a focus on physical anxiety symptoms or feelings of shame, inadequacy, or embarrassment. This week Drew and Josh share not only a professional take on this aspect of an…
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Productivity anxiety is an often overlooked subject in our community, so this week Drew and Josh are taking a look at anxiety triggered by an obsession with productivity and the fear of "failure" as defined by not meeting extreme productivity or output goals. This can show itself almost anywhere in life. Work and career. School and academics. Paren…
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This week Josh and Drew are talking about anxiety related to the holiday season. This time of year presents extra challenges for people in our community, regardless of which holidays you celebrate, and even if you don't celebrate any holidays! Let's take a look at the added pressures of the holiday season, how that's likely to show up for an anxiou…
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This week we're discussing GAD - Generalized Anxiety Disorder. GAD generates the most confusion in the community around Disordered, so we took some time to address a few important issues: What is GAD and what isn't it? Does being anxious all day mean you have GAD? What are some of the underlying processes that drive GAD? What about worry and rumina…
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ANXIETY QUESTIONS FROM OUR LISTENERS This week Josh and Drew are answering questions sent in by the listeners. The community around this podcast is amazing! Your feedback, questions, and “did it anyway” stories are a bit part of making Disordered what it is. On this episode, the guys answer these questions: What do you do when a busy job triggers a…
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BRAIN FOG!?!?! One of the most common symptoms of anxiety reported in the community surrounding this podcast is "brain fog". That thing where your brain just isn't working the way you'd expect it to work. Maybe you're slow, have memory issues, or struggle to find proper words or names. Maybe you just feel "out of it" or like you're in a dissociated…
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Fear of losing control - and suffering some horrible consequence - is one of the top five core fears found in anxiety disorders. This week Drew and Josh delve into the fear that you may lose control and why this fear seems important and very real but isn't any different than any other expression of a misguided and misfiring threat response. We look…
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When anxious, stressed, or afraid, the gut and GI tract are almost instantly impacted. This is true for a huge number of people, anxious or not. This week Josh and Drew are joined by health psychologist Dr. Sula Windgassen to talk about anxiety and IBS. Dr. Sula specializes in a cognitive behavioral approach to supporting people struggling with IBS…
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Extreme sensitivity to sound and misophonia (yes, it has a name) is a topic that doesn't get nearly enough attention in the mental health community so this week on Disordered we were lucky enough to have Dr. Jane Gregory stop by to talk about this often under-represented challenge. Dr. Jane has struggled with misophonia since childhood so not only …
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"How can I maintain momentum in recovery when I have a setback or I don't feel motivated?" This is a very common question asked in our community so this week on Disordered we're addressing the topic of momentum in the anxiety recovery process. We relay some of our own experiences with recovery momentum and what it looked like for us, and we touch o…
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This week we're taking a look at social anxiety, which is the anxiety disorder that belongs in that classification, but also kinda doesn't because it can often be more complex than related forms of chronic and disordered anxiety. Social anxiety is often misunderstood as "extreme shyness" or "fear of being judged", but there can be much more to it s…
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This week on Disordered we examine the somatic trauma narrative in relation to anxiety disorders. This is a tricky topic. We ALWAYS want to validate and support our friends who are struggling to work through trauma. That struggle is real and cannot be minimized or dismissed. In the right context for someone working through trauma, somatic conceptua…
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This week Josh and Drew tackle "monophobia" - the fear of being alone. This is VERY common among people with panic disorder and agoraphobia. It presents most often as an intense fear and avoidance of being left home alone without safe people nearby or as always needing safe people with you before you can do exposures or go into areas where your anx…
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I'm having problems with my sleep and I'm super anxious about it. HELP! Anxiety focused on sleep and sleep problems is one of the most common complaints in the Disordered community. Often, anxious people experience sleep disturbances or even periods of insomnia and wind up extremely anxious and afraid over this issue. Lack of sleep gets attached to…
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This week we have our first official guest on Disordered! Our friend and highly respected anxiety/OCD expert Kimberley Quinlan is here to help us explore and understand the role of self-compassion in the anxiety recovery process. Kim literally wrote the book on self-compassion when it comes to OCD recovery. There's nobody we know that speaks more k…
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Are you a worrier? Overthinker? Can't stop ruminating? Do you use thinking as your go-to problem-solving and protection tool, then hate that you can't stop thinking? This week Josh and Drew tackle worry, overthinking, and rumination. This is a topic near and dear to many anxious people in our community so it's high time we talk about it. We'll talk…
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This week Josh and Drew do a deep dive into this million dollar question: "What would non-anxious you do?" The concept of "non-anxious you" and connecting to the way you would live your life if you were not accommodating the fear of fear is powerful. Josh talks about this all the time, and for good reason! Today we take a look at why acting like no…
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This week on Disordered we kick off a new feature. From time to time we'll do episodes that are entirely community-based, showcasing "did it anyway" stories from listeners. In this episode we take a closer look at a few of these stories, examining exactly what made them into big wins. We had a great time with this one and we hope you find it inspir…
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White knuckling. What is it? Why do we use that phrase all the time in the context of anxiety recovery? This week Drew and Josh talk about what "white knuckling" means in recovery, why it's a natural and expected part of the process for almost everyone, and how to kindly and compassionately take small incremental steps toward letting go of your tig…
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This week on Disordered Josh and Drew address the topic of setback or relapse. What is it? Does it even exist, or is a "setback" just another experience along the way to recovery? Of special note is the concept of "reversion" which frames this issue not as failure or return of some anxiety monster, but as a return to hold habits. Did you get trigge…
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This week on Disordered Josh and Drew tackle the topic of distraction. Trying to find ways to distract yourself when anxious is a common and popular strategy, but is it a good strategy? The answer is no ... and yes! In this episode, we look at how distraction is almost always going to be part of the equation no matter what we do, why intent matters…
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Depersonalization and Derealization - AKA "DP/DR" This week Drew and Josh get into the nuts and bolts of this most common anxiety and stress response. This is the sense that you're not real, that you're detached from yourself, or that the world around you suddenly feels unreal or out of reach. As scary as this experience is, and as much as it is di…
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I'm obsessed with anxiety and anxiety recovery! This week on Disordered Josh and Drew examine what happens when we become obsessed with anxiety and then obsessed with anxiety recovery. This is a thing that happens to many in this community, so it's worth examining. As usual, we share our own personal experiences with anxiety and recovery, then we t…
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DRIVING ANXIETY! This week on Disordered, Josh and Drew take a look at a very common concern in the anxiety disorder community - driving anxiety. Many many people that suffer from panic disorder, agoraphobia, OCD, and other anxiety disorders often experience intense anxiety or even full-scale panic attacks when driving or when driving under certain…
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This week on Disordered, Drew and Josh tackle the topic of health anxiety. Health anxiety is an obsession with one's physical or mental health that drives a continuous series of compulsions designed to soothe the fear, uncertainty, and worry about well-being and safety. The episode covers intolerance of uncertainty, repetitive compulsive checking a…
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Accepting anxiety and acceptance are two of the most difficult to grasp and misapplied concepts in the entire anxiety recovery sphere. This week on Disordered, Josh and Drew dig into the idea of acceptance. What is accepting? How do I accept anxiety? What happens when I accept? What things are most certainly NOT acceptance? As usual, this episode c…
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My Loved Ones Don't Understand My Anxiety This week on Disordered Drew and Josh talk about how anxiety disorders have impact not just on the person struggling to recover, but on the people close to them. When your loved ones want to help you, but just don't understand or "get it", this can cause frustration, conflict, and even anger and resentment.…
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This week on Disordered Drew and Josh look at the ways that anxiety and depression are tied together. The guys examine depression, how it is and isn't connected to anxiety, and the very important difference between being depressed and developing a fear of becoming depressed (this is very common in our community). We talked about rumination and the …
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