Anxiety and The Jekyll and Hyde Effect

Anxiety Stress and Panic Attacks

anxiety and the jekyll and hyde effect - hypnotherapy in ely and newmarket


Anxiety and The Jekyll and Hyde Effect – Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket

You are more than likely already familiar with the story of Jekyll and Hyde. In many ways the theme of the story can mirror the experience of anxiety. Certainly when I used to struggle with anxiety and social anxiety, I often felt like I was split into two people, like I could be two seemingly contrasting personalities in the situations I encountered. Sometimes I would be calm, relaxed and comfortable in myself. And yet in other situations I would seemingly transform into a tense, withdrawn, anxious shadow of how I perceived myself.

In the famous novel, which is certainly worth a read, Dr Jekyll is a successful and well respected man. Through his experiments he produces a concoction that transforms him into the evil, unscrupulous Mr Hyde. Ultimately, the Mr Hyde aspect of his personality becomes the stronger and more powerful aspect of his personality. It’s a theme and story line that has been repeated many, many times in various movies and books.

Now, with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde there is a battle between good and evil, right and wrong. With anxiety, the battle comes between the calmer, clear thinking side of you and the anxious side of you that can overwhelm how you feel.

When you are in a place or situation where you feel comfortable, you can be calm, relaxed and positive as you think clearly and logically. And then, sometimes predictably and sometimes unexpectedly, your anxiety takes over and you may try to avoid or escape the situation along with experiencing all sorts of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. You can start to worry about your anxiety happening again and you may dwell upon how bad you feel in those moments when you are anxious and uncomfortable.  Because anxiety feels so bad, you can start thinking about what if it happens again, perhaps especially during important moments or when around others.

Anxiety works upon habit, pattern and repetition. When you go into a place or situation where you have been anxious before, your brain tends to repeat the thoughts and feelings that you had the last time you were in that similar situation. Sometimes this is helpful, other times less so. With anxiety, your mind becomes primed for your anxious thoughts and feelings to kick back in. And because your mind works on patterns, anything that is perceived to be anything like a previous anxious occasion or thing, will lead to your anxiety striking again. You logically know you are safe and okay yet your ability to think clearly gets swamped by your physical feelings and urge to get away.

Your anxiety can seem to spread into more and more areas of your life as all the worry, anxiety and stress become attached to more and more people, places, environments and situations.


Anxiety and The Jekyll and Hyde Effect

I’ve written before about how I used to struggle with anxiety, social anxiety and low self esteem. I would worry about all sorts of things that seemed like massive things in my head yet probably weren’t. I would imagine worst case scenarios, avoid uncomfortable situations and dwell upon my own perceived shortcomings. I blamed myself for getting anxious and carried around a sense of failure about me as a person. There were many occasions where my anxiety was so overwhelming that I could be in tears trying to force myself out of the front door to face the day.

Amongst all of this there would be many times where I would feel totally calm, relaxed and comfortable in myself. When I was at home I felt calm and safe. Around certain people I was close to I would be what I considered to be the normal, happy me. There would be lots of situations that would be just fine.

Yet, in contrast to this, there were the times when I could feel anything from a little anxious to having a full on panic attack. Some situations were predictable such as presentations, big gatherings, meeting new people and meeting senior people at work. Any situations where I felt trapped, in the spotlight or where I could be judged by others was a huge stumbling block. Of course, even in these moments no one else knew what I was experiencing and what was going on inside my head.  I would worry about saying too little, saying something stupid or making an idiot of myself. And I would negatively replay and dwell on every tiny aspect of a situation afterwards.

Inexplicably to me at the time, sometimes a situation I thought I would be anxious in turned out fine and I felt ok. And sometimes even around people I knew well I could be anxious. There were times when I honestly did feel like I had some sort of split personality, like I was two people and unsure which part of my personality would be at the fore at any time.

When I felt anxious I would struggle to access the calmer, more relaxed, clearer thinking part of me. It seemed inaccessible to me when the anxious me took over. Instead I would overthink and think the worst. I would get lost inside my own thinking and could sometimes lose track of things going on around me. I would be tense and uncomfortable and I would withdraw and go quiet.

If you struggle with anxiety, social anxiety and/or low self-esteem then a lot of this may seem very familiar to you. Just as with Jekyll and Hyde there is that split in who and how you are depending upon whether you feel calm or anxious. And as befalls Jekyll in relation to the evil Hyde, you can start to fear and dread the unwanted part of you with all the anxiety and discomfort it entails.


Overcoming Anxiety

As mentioned above, anxiety works upon patterns. Your brain matches your present situation to previous experiences and you end up pretty much thinking, feeling and doing things in the same way as before. Only anxiety spreads as your mind starts to perceive more things as being like those anxious things and so tries to protect you and keep you safe from the perceived threat. And so the anxious thoughts and feelings take over.

If you were faced with an actual external threat then the anxiety/fear response is incredibly useful. Yet most of the threats you struggle with are perceived threats within your own thinking and imagination, or they are faulty patterns that you learnt at some point and that just repeat.

Fortunately it is possible to overcome unwanted anxiety so that you can feel better. You can understand how your anxiety has been keep itself going and then change it to something more positive, helpful and empowering. Hypnotherapy has a strong evidence base to support its effectiveness in helping with anxiety. You can learn more about the research over in this article: The Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy as a Treatment For Anxiety

And, of course, you’ve probably already checked out the many reviews and testimonials about hypnotherapy for anxiety from people who used to suffer with anxiety. If you haven’t seen the reviews and videos from people do take a look here, it really is possible to feel better: What People Say 

If you are seeking to tackle anxiety, I’ve covered many strategies and concepts around how you can challenge anxious thoughts in these previous articles:

Two Stage Thinking Process – Anxiety Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

Break Down Anxiety and Worry – Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket

Suppressing Negative Thoughts To Improve Mental Health

Putting Anxious Thoughts on Trial – Hypnotherapy Ely and Newmarket

Disputing Your Irrational Anxious Thoughts

Boost Your Well-being and Reduce Negative Thoughts and Feelings

Developing a Positive Mindset: Turning Negative Thoughts To Positive

Anxious Thoughts – From What-If To If-Then

Anxiety – How To Deal With Anxious Thoughts

Controlling Unwanted Thoughts

Challenging Anxious Thoughts – Anxiety Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket

The Physical Sensations of Stress and Anxiety – Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket

If you want even more resources than this then do scroll through my articles and be sure to download your free copy of my Rapid Relaxation hypnosis audio too.

Anxiety has a Jekyll and Hyde effect. In the book of Jekyll and Hyde, it is the unpleasant, evil Hyde who becomes more and more present and powerful. With anxiety, the anxious thoughts and feelings can take over and start to dominate your life. In contrast, with hypnotherapy you can find relief from the anxious part of you and find yourself, instead, increasingly calmer, happier and more confident.

To your health and happiness, 

Dan Regan

Award Winning Hypnotherapy for Anxiety Ely & Newmarket


Struggling with anxiety, stress, worry and fear and need some help? Find out how I can help with a Complimentary Hypnotherapy Strategy Session. Learn more here: Appointments

Find out what dozens of other people have said after their anxiety hypnotherapy sessions with Dan: Hypnotherapy Testimonials

And check out these powerful hypnosis downloads that can start helping you right away to tackle anxiety, boost confidence and more: Hypnosis Downloads



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