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"We don't have to be in danger to feel afraid" - Dr. Dave Carbonell. We have a very exciting episode for you today on The Panic Pod, as I am joined by someone I hold in very high regard, Dr. Dave Carbonell. Dr. Dave and I cover two topics in this episode - rumination and the fear of going crazy. Dr. Carbonell offers some incredible insights that will resonate and benefit so many of my listeners. We touch on the truth behind anxiety, which is that we aren't often afraid of the trigger itself, we are actually afraid that our response to the trigger will be out of control and this is what truly scares us. Doctor Carbonell is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders as a therapist, author, and teacher. He offers exposure based treatment of fears and phobias in Chicago; is the author of four anxiety self help books; and teaches workshops for therapists who want to learn more about the treatment of anxiety disorders He is the author of four self-help books:  Panic Attacks Workbook (2004) and Fear of Flying Workbook (2017) are both published by Ulysses Press. The Worry Trick (2016) and Outsmart Your Anxious Brain (2020) are both published by New Harbinger. You can find out more about him on his website - Enjoy!
Language and Goals

Language and Goals


The language we use in anxious recovery is so important and yet it is one of the things I see clients not giving the attention it requires. The language you use to describe yourself in anxiety, or yourself during recovery, is so crucial to your progress because the brain is always listening. I often need to gently remind my clients to look at how they are speaking to themselves and ask them to reframe their words in a more positive and helpful way. One of the main pillars of my teaching is wilful tolerance. Recovery is the wilful tolerance of anxiety, and it's a skill that we must practice. If we constantly criticize the inevitable blips in the road, if we dismiss the small victories, we aren't giving ourselves the best possible support we can give. And so the language we use around our recovery is so important. And that is what this episode is dedicated to today. Please enjoy!
Dental anxiety is a big topic of conversation among The Panic Pod and School of Anxiety community, and for understandable reasons. Today on the Panic Pod we are joined by guest expert, Dr Niall Neeson a.k.a The Calming Dentist. Niall has a wonderfully empathetic approach to supporting those of us with dental anxiety to navigate our experiences in the dentist's chair. Niall offers up some great tips and ways of communicating with your dentist in order to have the most comfortable experience possible. We discuss why dental anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of and that open communication between you and your dentist is the best way to ensure a calming experience. Your dentist wants this for you. You can find Niall on Instagram @thecalmingdentist. Enjoy this much needed conversation, we hope it makes your next trip to the dentist that much easier.
This week, we are joined by Dr Henrik Nordahl and Dr Lora Capobianco. Both guests today are experts in the field of metacognitive therapy. We often discuss a range of different modalities and treatments on the Panic Pod, yet metacognitive therapy is still a lesser-known form of therapy (especially in the UK). Metacognitive therapy (MCT) is a psychotherapy focused on modifying metacognitive beliefs that perpetuate states of worry, rumination, and attention fixation. In today's episode, we discuss what metacognitive therapy is, why it's useful and how it differs from other popular anxiety treatments such as CBT. If you have tried other popular modalities without success, you might find this episode enlightening. Please enjoy! If you have any questions, you can contact us here:
Is It Trauma?

Is It Trauma?


Today we welcome a special guest, Seerut K. Chawla onto the podcast. Seerut is a fellow psychotherapist and self-confessed Lord of the Rings nerd. She has amassed a following of over 235,000 on Instagram for her straight-talking and IG-therapy busting content. Seerut works using an integrative model (which means incorporating different therapeutic styles) depending on the client and the circumstances. Her main modality is psychodynamic psychotherapy which is derivative of the psychoanalytic tradition. In this episode, we take a deep dive into the modern-day 'trauma trend' that has taken social media by storm. Unfortunately, the meaning of the word trauma is quickly becoming a diluted term and is often misused.  This is one of the most important discussions we have had on The Panic Pod. We explore what genuine trauma actually is, and precisely what it is not. We discuss the misuse of the trauma label in modern-day society and social media, and the consequences of the trauma trend. It may appear like a controversial conversation that we have today that very much goes against most of the content and advice we see across the internet at the moment, but this discussion is more necessary and relevant than ever. Please enjoy.
Today on the Panic Pod, Josh is joined by counsellor, Louise Tyler to talk about anxiety and sleep. It comes as no surprise that many of us who suffer from anxiety, also struggle with sleep. And in true anxiety style, before we know it we are not only having difficulty sleeping because of the original source of stress but because we are now ruminating on our lack of sleep. It's a tough cycle to break and a loop that is easily strengthened by the belief that a lack of sleep is dangerous and harmful to our health. But in this episode, Josh and Louise discuss an alternative perspective that is more helpful in allowing us to live happy and healthy lives regardless of the amount of sleep we manage each night. If you've ever heard experts out there hammering home the notion that a lack of sleep is the absolute worst thing imaginable where your health is concerned, this episode is for you. Advice like this may come from a well-intended place but, for anxiety sufferers in particular, it only adds pressure and panic to our nighttime routine - which ultimately results in less sleep and heightened stress and anxiety. We offer to you a fresh perspective and a different approach that will relieve the angst and pressure surrounding sleep so you can feel perfectly capable of functioning regardless of how many hours you get each night.
Joining Josh on the podcast today is Zohara Nguyen, one of the very first students to sign up to Josh's popular course - Stop Fearing Fear.  In today's episode, Zohara takes us through her own personal struggles with anxiety, what motivated her to join the program, and the incredible progress she has made in her anxiety recovery since completing the course. In this in-depth and delightful discussion, Zohara explains how her fear of panic was impacting her life. She explains how she has been able to implement the tools from the program to make huge positive changes in her life and make outstanding progress in her anxiety recovery journey. Zohara is a great example of how it is possible for all of us to live a life that is in our control. If you would like to join the program you can sign up here: If you have any questions, pop us an email at
**CORRECTION: The biggest killer of men under 50 is suicide and depression** Today, Josh is joined by one of his all-time favourite people, Drew Linsalata. Fearing emotions is the topic discussed in today's episode. One that may not fit so cleanly into the category of anxiety or panic but, during their time helping clients manage their anxiety disorders, both Josh and Drew have noticed an overlapping theme that's worth a mention. And that theme is the fear of our emotions. Or perhaps we should say, fearing emotions that we feel we 'shouldn't' be feeling. Being able to express and feel our emotions freely and without judgement is a crucial part of the anxiety recovery process and of course, life! Unfortunately, social conditioning has taught us that certain emotions are to be feared. We are taught that negative emotions are inherently 'bad' and 'unhelpful' which becomes an unhelpful perspective in and of itself. When we believe these things to be true, it's understandable that we may fear our emotions and wonder what they might mean about us. Today Josh and Drew debunk some myths and explain why we might fear our emotions, how that impacts our lives and what it means to express ourselves without judgement. If you enjoyed listening to The Panic Pod, please do leave a review and let us know your thoughts on Instagram @thepanicpod or by emailing us at
Driving is a responsibility that should be taken seriously, but what happens when the heightened sense of alertness for driving becomes a tense white-knuckle ride while battling one's own fear? In this episode, Josh and Ella discuss driving anxiety in the context of both post-traumatic incident driving and generalised anxiety disorder (i.e the fear of having a panic attack while driving). When was the last time you heard of someone losing control driving while having a panic attack? Although the fear of this is common, in reality the chances of it happening are extremely low compared to those who get into accidents related to factors like increased speed, impairment from drugs/alcohol, or from fatigue. Getting back behind the wheel after a long time away can be unnerving, but using graded exposure and a good helping of self-compassion, it is possible to overcome the irrational anxious feelings around driving. Do you enjoy listening to The Panic Pod? Let us know by emailing, or by interacting with us on Facebook and Instagram as @thepanicpod.
Root causes of anxiety can be traumatic events that cause us to change our behaviour in response to triggers. A root cause may also be something very minor but calcified over time to seem much worse than the first “event” that set things off. However, the idea that anxiety always has a narrative such as this is overused, and doesn’t help people who just want to untangle and understand their anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety does have a root cause, but when it doesn’t – which Josh says is the vast majority of the time – the “root cause” narrative doesn’t actually help a clients’ progress. Using the analogy of a house fire as a panic episode, josh says “When a fire brigade is called, their aim is to put out a fire, and then maybe investigate how the fire started, but definitely not the other way around.” Do you enjoy listening to The Panic Pod? Let us know by emailing, or by interacting with us on Facebook and Instagram as @thepanicpod.
This episode is funny and empowering. Some of the subject matter can be shocking for people with emetophobia, but ultimately the goal is graduation from exposure, as Kimberley will explain. Emetophobia is a clinical term which describes an extreme fear around vomit or nausea. As Kimberley says, “nobody likes to vomit,” but this phobic behaviour can cause anxiety in people's lives which can present different behaviours. It can even stop someone from doing things they love for fear it might make them vomit or be around people who vomit. Even if this isn’t something you think you are affected by, have a listen to this episode and you might learn something new about anxiety through this interview with Kimberley Quinn. And check out her podcast! Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast  You can find her on instagram as @kimberleyquinlan Don’t forget to subscribe, and if you’re a regular listener, we thank you for considering leaving us a review! Or just tell us what you think on social media. We’re @thepanicpod on Instagram and Facebook.
In this episode Josh asks the question "where is your attention at?" and talks about the importance of attention with special guest, Drew Linsalata of The Anxious Truth. They draw upon some great analogies to help you understand why attention is important and what you can do with it when you're anxious and also when you're not!
It helps to remove yourself and re-centre for a moment before you start mentally justifying why you are anxious. There’s a lot of wellness narrative around “listening to your body” but when we’re experiencing disordered anxiety then somatic experiencing isn’t easy. Say you’re at therapy and your therapist is trying to get you to notice what some subtle sensations in the body are telling you about how you feel talking about something. A chronically anxious person may have to respond with, “As much as I’m trying to do what you say, I’d like to experience my body when my anxious response isn’t firing at all cylinders with cortisol and adrenaline.” Not trying to deter anyone from slowing down and listening to their body, this conversation between Ella and Josh attempts to unpick where “body scanning” and “mindfully assessing the body” are two very different activities for people with chronic anxiety - when the body is in a hyper-aroused state, body scanning (where one assesses their own physical comfort for harm) tends to replace a mindful examination of the internal sensations we all experience. Josh’s advice is to catch and notice your nervous compulsions before you try to notice other sensations in the body. Things we talked about: Dr. Clare Weeks Video: Untangle Your Anxiety - by Joshua Fletcher and Dean Stott: We appreciate you leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to this podcast. Thanks for listening to the Panic Pod! Reach out to us: or @thepanicpod on facebook and instagram.
In this episode Josh is joined by special guest, Ben Aldridge, who is the author of the popular book, How to be Comfortable with being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird and Wonderful ways to build a strong and resilient mindset. Josh and Ben discuss how being uncomfortable can push us through to feelings of empowerment and freedom, particular from the clutches of anxiety disorders. Ben shares some absolutely fascinating achievements he has done, too (which are really quite inspiring). Josh on Instagram is @anxietyjosh Ben on Instagram is @dothingsthatchallengeyou
Unlike other types of anxiety responses, derealisation and depersonalisation are stress responses which can make you feel like you are having an out-of-body or not-fully-lucid experience. Since anxious responses affect both the mind and body, experiences vary from person-to-person or relate to the situation you’re in. They are a result of stress, hyperventilating, or over-breathing over a long period of time. When something triggers an anxious response, it makes blood flow attend to the large muscles of our body (think fight, flight, freeze response behaviour in animals). There is increased blood pressure in the brain and blood oxygen levels. Derealisation means things may feel and look weird, and you can recognise your environment but it doesn’t feel like you’re there. You might even feel off-balance or have temporary tinnitus. Depersonalisation is when you feel like you are in a dream. You may “hear” your own voice louder, and have existential thoughts. Both derealisation and depersonalisation are harmless though the feelings that arise from the body’s response can feel scary. Dissociation is a response to trauma. People with PTSD may dissociate when they feel like they are back in their traumatic situation. This reaction is our minds’ way of experiencing less trauma by blocking out the experience we find ourselves in, even if the situation is only triggering a memory. Dissociation may be when we have a flashback whether we want to or not. As discussed in this episode, vasovagal syncope is a similar but different body response. Similar to a panic episode like derealisation, depersonalisation, or dissociation, vasovagal syncope can happen simply by being triggered by a conversation or image. In some circumstances it can also be triggered by dehydration or constipation, and it may cause people to faint. Unlike derealisation, depersonalisation, or dissociation, vasovagal syncope decreases blood pressure in the brain, opens blood vessels in the calves and lower body, and is unique in that it is triggered specifically by the sight or graphic description of blood or injury. If you feel like it is coming on, your only injury may come from fainting, so it is advised to sit down or stabilise yourself against a wall. We hope you found this episode informative and encourage you to share it with a friend you know who has experienced a dramatic body response, especially if they are unsure what it was. Thanks for reaching out to us at or following us on instagram @thepanicpod or facebook @thepanicpod. All our episodes are available at
Could procrastination be a symptom of your anxiety? Is it really procrastination or a nagging feeling that's guilting you for not enjoying yourself when necessary? Did you ever consider that the disordered thinking that occurs when we’re anxious is because of the low level threat response occurring in our bodies? Generalised Anxiety Disorder (or GAD) is the diagnosis of chronic anxiety. Every human on the planet has felt anxious, but anxiety disorder is when our threat response runs out of control like a faulty fire alarm. Having “I should…” thoughts or self-criticism can be healthy in small doses, but when that thinking gets out of control, it can just lead to more confusion. It’s not good to be self-sabotaging your decision making like a well-intentioned but overly critical family member. There are even times when the feeling of being in control of your life can become addictive, and the evidence is seen by our friends and family when darker behaviours like depression, addiction, over/under-spending, over/under-eating, or angry outbursts emerge. It doesn’t cease so long as we continue to validate an anxious response by responding to the feeling of being threatened. It can take some experimenting along your own personal journey to find what works for you among the long list of solutions: exercise, meditation, diet, medication, removing yourself from external situations like an abusive partner, friend, or family member, or changing your own habits with the help of a therapist. In this episode, Josh and Ella chat about Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). We mentioned: Having an addiction to cortisol: Living in SURVIVAL vs. Living in CREATION - Dr. Joe Dispenza - YouTube Reach out to us for questions or comments at You can also follow us on @thepanicpod instagram and facebook. Thanks for bringing us to Season TWO!
Josh's dog represents the adrenal response by being hyper-vigilant for part of the discussion and completely tiring out by the end. This episode is about anticipatory anxiety! Have you ever been more tired out by the dread of doing something that scares you than the actual act of doing it? How can a smaller queue on a giant roller coaster be less scary than a long one in the eyes of someone who's scared to ride? If your wise mind knows that the cortisol and adrenaline are going to mess with you, then it's better to jump straight into “it” without giving yourself too much time to let those emotions destroy your confidence. Anticipatory anxiety is the stress that we feel when we have to do something that has stakes attached to it. Mix a little anticipatory anxiety with the ability to procrastinate, and the feeling of ”I don't want to leave this state of anticipation" becomes an addictive cocktail of worry. Hope isn’t far, in fact, in may have been in front of you the whole time, but with a little support and self-compassion, you can rip the plaster off and see what healing lies on the other side. Learn more about CAS - Cognitive Attentional Syndrome Reach out to us for questions or comments at You can also follow us on @thepanicpod instagram and facebook. Thanks for bringing us to Season TWO!
We’ve been posting our Instagram prompts for the end-of-year hashtag #itsjustanxiety to the Panic Pod Community since the 21st of December. Please go on and share your own answer to your instagram story for other listeners to read. Let’s help each other and share the knowledge we’ve gained about anxiety. 💪 Going into 2021, the world is going to look and feel a lot different. Even when we are aware of challenging nature of what we face, anxious feelings arise. When we haven’t done something that is moderately fearful for a long time, those anxious feelings can be even more escalated. We ask ourselves, “How do I prepare?” Anxiety’s whole purpose is to make you doubt - especially anticipatory anxiety, which is the particular anxiety that comes from knowing that a challenge is in our near future and doing what we can to prepare for it. When it’s been studied, anticipatory anxiety has been found to derive from a different place in the brain than performance anxiety. Many people remark after-the-fact that the anticipatory anxiety they felt before an event was worse (or made worse) than the anxiety that they felt in the act of doing something challenging (delivering a speech, during a performance review, traveling on an airplane, etc.) This is because anticipatory anxiety can still trigger a threat response: palms get sweaty, we disassociate, we can’t sleep, and we keep thinking about the threat. The primal parts of our brains haven’t grown in tandem with the rest of our brain. Therefore, judgement, disapproving looks, failure, or even the idea of a panic attack cause our bodies to respond as though the threat was as real as a lion. Defining what we are threatened by can help us not to feel so much anticipatory fear. We are so grateful for your kind words, follows, and feedback! Keep in touch with us to know when we upload new episodes! @thepanicpod on Instagram and Facebook Ella is @ellaofthenet and Josh is @anxietyjosh Email with a question or feedback.
Starting out this week’s episode with a bit of slam poetry, Josh and Ella discuss anxious relapse. It’s a term that can evoke the feeling that anxiety is a vice that we fall back into or succumb to but, as we know, anxiety is not a wanted or enjoyable experience. On the other hand, we can consider anxiety an addiction to reassurance. It can manifest in our behaviour as safety behaviours: carrying first aid kits, emergency snacks, or other tools with us when we fear our anxiety will resurface, seeking out people that comfort us, or avoid things that challenge us. These are the compulsions that frame our anxiety. So long as we live in the loss of confidence in our ability to tolerate anxiety, we are still “in” anxiety, which is sometimes felt as a “relapse”. Ella’s background with addiction and recovery sheds a little light on how actually the stress of anxiety and the substance abuse cycle can link up to create a cycle of bad behaviour. Josh redefines “anxiety relapse” with a phrase that’s as self-compassionate as it is accurate about what’s actually happening to us. We are so grateful for your kind words, follows, and feedback! Keep in touch with us to know when we upload new episodes! @thepanicpod on Instagram and Facebook Ella is @ellaofthenet and Josh is @anxietyjosh Email with a question or feedback.
When you have a panic episode, adrenaline floods the system in a way that was biologically developed to help our survival. As chronic anxiety sufferers know, this adrenal flood happens when there is no tangible threat around us, so it feels like a biological response that is "out of control". Cortisol is another hormone that makes us feel stressed, but it operates differently. Cortisol flows in the morning, which helps regulate our sleep schedule, but it is also a hormone scientists believe serves a greater self-regulatory purpose: it reduces the amount of adrenaline we need to produce in order to survive. It’s a stress response that helps us to guide our attention to potential threats around us. If this served a purpose in our primitive days as humans, it might have been the hormone which helped to remind us that the bears come out to eat at dusk, so we need to do our berry-picking and hunting beforehand, lest we become their food. Now that you know cortisol’s role, you have the opportunity to use it in a way that feels balanced for you! Note on the audio: Thank you listeners for putting up with the steady beeping that was coming from Ella’s side of the recording. New recording space caused some issues! We apologise if it annoyed you throughout the episode, but we have resolved the issue for episode 25 and onwards! We are so grateful for your kind words, follows, and feedback! Keep in touch with us to know when we upload new episodes! @thepanicpod on Instagram and Facebook Email with a question or feedback.
Comments (2)

Lisa Mogs

Really enjoying these podcasts. Great content and thank you both for doing these,

Apr 11th

Tee Cleere

would love to hear about agoraphobia.. especially how a person with a chronic health condition can overcome agoraphoboa..x

Jun 26th
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