Darren’s Derealisation Recovery Story

Hi my name is Darren and I overcame Derealisation


The earliest I can remember feeling anxious was in my primary school days. I remember how the feeling of fear would come over me. I had no idea why I was scared, it was most confusing. My anxiety increased when I started secondary school when there were a couple of kidswho gave me a bit of a hard time. I became terrified of going to school and would stay up as late as I could on school nights to try to make the most of the freedom before I had to go back to school. I would regularly pretend to be unwell so I could stay home.

Over the years the number of different anxiety related symptoms increased. It went from a general feeling of anxiety to OCD, heart palpitations, derealisation and dizziness. I never had a clue that all of the symptoms, thoughts and sensations could have been caused by anxiety. I didn’t even really know what anxiety was! Even once I started to understand more about the condition, I still found it hard to accept that all these different things could all be due to my underlying anxiety condition. I was convinced for quite a while that I had a cardiac issue which was causing some sort of arrhythmia (even though I’d had quite extensive tests done on my heart including a 72hr ECG and detailed imaging of my heart)

I suffered with general anxiety almost all of the time. Through Primary school, secondary school, through college and into my working life. Sometimes the levels where lower but others they were a lot, lot higher.

In 2011, I was living and working in Southampton. I worked in a busy operating department at one of the largest hospitals in the UK. I had quite an important job. Some days were ok but others were incredibly difficult. Some mornings, I felt so scared that I didn’t feel I could leave the house. I wasn’t scared of anything particular, my job wasn’t scary, it was very interesting and I loved it. I started to experience quite bad episodes of panic in certain situations or during certain kind of operations. As a result, I’d do all that I could to try and avoid these situations or to work in a different operating theatre on the day that I was booked to help with the same operation that I was helping with last time when I experienced a panic attack!

During the panic attacks, I’d experience a very hard/thumping heartbeat. It felt as though it could jump out of my chest. I’d also feel dizzy and would have tingling in my hands and face.

Even though I’d had the reassurance that my heart was healthy, I was convinced that something terrible was about to happen to me.

One of the symptoms that bothered me the most was de-realisation. It’s very hard to accurately describe it but it was almost as if I was watching everything around me on a TV screen rather than actually being there! I used to focus a lot on this and how I was feeling and I actually know now that the more I focused on it, the worse it would become. I started to think that I must be going crazy, “maybe this is how insanity begins!” Of course, it wasn’t. The de-realisation was simply a sensation caused by my anxiety and the more I focused on it, the more credibility I gave the anxiety and worse it became! It was a real vicious cycle that I really didn’t think I’d be able to end.

Camilla, my girlfriend at the time did a great job to put up with me. We’d only been together for a few months before she regularly used to help me though some of my most anxious times. The death of my Father seemed to fan the flames of my anxiety in 2011 and she helped me though this most difficult patch. I knew how important she was to me and I became worried that she’d have enough of me and leave. Luckily though, she didn’t. In fact, it was through her that I was introduced to the Linden Method. She was a nanny for a lady who also suffered with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. She asked my girlfriend to come with her to one of the Linden Residential Retreats.

Whilst at the retreat my girlfriend had met Charles Linden and spent some time speaking to him one afternoon, she explained my condition and told him about some of the feelings, thoughts and sensations that I was experiencing. Charles explained to her why I was experiencing these symptoms and how the anxiety actually manifests itself in that way. It made so much sense!

I’d visited my GP on several occasions beforehand. In fact, I used to visit regularly sometimes, I think, just for reassurance. I was always sent away with a prescription of some variety. I was prescribed, Beta blockers, sedatives and an anti-depressant on one occasion. Whilst my GP seemed to understand that I was suffering from anxiety he only every talked about me “managing” my condition.

In addition to the prescription medication I’d also tried various herbals remedies, relaxation techniques, Osteopathy, Anti-anxiety diets. I spent a lot of time researching my condition, my symptoms and was willing to pay for all sorts of products and potions that claims to be the cure for anxiety.


I decided to try the Linden Method and ordered the home learning programme. 
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the Linden Method because I’d tried so many other things before. Unlike everything else I’d tried previously though, The Linden Method worked!
I found the information extremely easy to follow. I started to notice some improvements in the way that I felt within the first couple of days. I continued to implement the method fully and things improved day by day. I honestly can’t stress enough, how much it helped me and how simple it was to follow

“I started to notice some improvements in the way that I felt within the first couple of days”


A couple of years ago Camilla (who’s now my wife) made the decision to move to Sweden. It was a difficult decision but I’m absolutely sure I wouldn’t have even considered it before I recovered. The “What if” questions alone would have prevented me!

I can now deal with situations that used to make me very panicky such as parties, crowded places and flying. I used to struggle a lot with the weekly trip to the supermarket too.

With so many websites, books, herbal remedies, therapies and diets all available on the internet claiming to be the cure for anxiety it’s incredibly difficult to know which are genuine, which don’t necessarily work form anxiety but perhaps do for other conditions and which of them are nonsense altogether.

I just wish I’d found the Linden Method sooner!

If you have struggled like I did and really don’t know what else you can do, then please just try The Linden Method or go to the retreat.

You do not have to suffer anymore; you can get your life back. I did and it was all down to TLM.


Hi, my name is Beth, I am director of Linden Tree Education.

You will receive unlimited, qualified support from amazing Recovery Specialists when you start the courses.

If you wish to receive guidance or support, please contact the support team through the TLM  Members Portal

If you wish to book a course, please contact beth@thelindencentre.org Beth is director of Linden Recovery and course director of the Anxiety Recovery Retreat programmes.

Beth Linden. Director.
Linden Tree Edu.