The Podcast: Anxiety, Emotions and PTSD

Hi Folks,

Apologies for a long-winded question ahead, which is probably aimed at @ambermalika, but happy for others to chime in.

Is there a chance that you could cover the topics of anxiety, emotions and PTSD in one of your podcasts ?
This I believe is something that a lot of athletes experience. Whether it is a fear of failure or a reaction to external factors, it can all affect us in different ways.

To give you an example, seven years ago, this athlete was hit by a strong cross wind while riding at high speed on an open road, which resulted in a severe speed wobble that almost thrown him off the bike.
Ever since then, whenever there is an even slight push on a front wind, “he” goes into a full panic mode, tenses up and … surprise surprise, gets that dreaded speed wobble again.
So, the stress goes from zero to one hundred with nothing in between.

As it’s been such a long time, I strongly suspect that the emotions that I associate with riding in windy conditions had turned into a full on PTSD as I dread on getting on the bike and riding outside,

Would love to hear your experiences on that topic, particularly those who’d been around high-level athletes and how they were able to overcome that.

Love the podcast and thank you in advance.

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This is a great question I’d also like to see. It was covered a bit in episodes 55 and 127 (possibly one more), but I’d love a deep dive on it!

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I have shared your same experience, plus breaking my right hip twice, and having to deal with severe post traumatic stress after these incidents. The
way I successfully dealt with the fear, was directly confronting it. That means
you have to get on the bike, the fear provoking factor, and train yourself to relax on the bicycle. In regards to the high speed wobble, I suffered the same situation, and could no longer descent. I finally over came the fear by realizing that I needed to relearn loosening the tension in my arms and shoulders. Letting your shoulders drop, loosening the death grip on your
handlebars, relaxing your breathing. Also revisiting descending techniques letting a leg rest against the top tube, staying light on the saddle, all brought me back to normal. All my traumatic incidents were over come by my love for the bike, and the desire to not live with fear. It takes constant exposure to the incident that provokes fear, and learning how to relax while confronting it. I hope this helps you, I too have beentraumatized to the extent, that when I resumed outdoor riding, it was not fun, but using the above, was able to succeed. I wish you the best.

Thank you. Unfortunately, I’ve tried all of the above on and off the bike with no effect, as my anxiety levels go from zero to 100 within milliseconds with no room to wiggle.
I’ve already spoken to my GP and will be seeing him later this week.
Thanks again.

Not sure if this helps but you may want to sit an visualize the experience and slow it down.

Put your bike on the trainer, close your eyes and rehearse the feeling of the wind coming blowing across your front wheel. You’ll tense up and get that sense of panic. But that’s ok. You’re on a trainer. Learn to expect the feeling, learn to keep the feeling with you, and then also learn to command yourself to relax and let it pass over you.

It’s like meditation in a way. Take like 30 minutes just to repeat this slowly again and again. And you’ll practice and get used to how you react and control the situation.

Obviously I’m not a doctor or PTSD specialist/psychologist so I’m sure they would have better real scientific advice.

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Update: My GP put me on Aropax (Paroxetine) last week.

So far, the feeling is pretty crap (sleepy, a bit dizzy and generally off), but according to the corresponding papers, these type of side effects are pretty normal.
I am also supposed to start feeling better in about 2 weeks or so.

What sucks is that I not feeling well enough to train… not even indoors.

Hi there

Now I am not a medical professional, and your GP is, but I was put on anti-anxiety medication to deal with some work issues I was having. I lasted 5 days before coming off them. My view, they are just plastering over the issue, they are not dealing with it. I find it disturbing how readily powerful anti-anxiety/anti-depression medication is prescribed. The side effects are often horrible (I couldn’t sleep, had restless limbs, felt like my chest was constricted, amongst other things).

I ended up seeking professional help. I paid for it out of my own pocket. It was the best thing I did.

I am never going to tell you to come off medication prescribed to you. That would be reckless and negligent. However, PLEASE look at getting some therapy. This sounds like the kind of thing that CBT works very well for. What you are experiencing is a series of thoughts that contribute to a feeling of a lack of control and an assumption that the worst is going to happen. CBT trains you how you can divert those thoughts resulting in a different assumption at the end. I hear what you are saying about the 0-100 in a millisecond, but there is still a thought process in that time that, with the correct help, exercises and practice, can be changed for the better.

Back to the original point, a deep dive into this on the podcast would be very welcome!

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Thanks mate.

The idea was for me to go on the medication and then start seeing a psychologist.
That way, my anxiety levels are down which will hopefully allow me to work through this.

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That’s great. I really hope that you find something that works for you. My only other advice is to don’t be afraid of changing psychologist (if you can, of course) if you don’t feel they are right for you. So much of the process is about trust and that ‘feeling’. It will not work if you don’t connect with the person you are speaking to.

The best of luck to you

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I’ll triple down on the therapist. Definitely do that. Tho I will say the SSRIs helped me as well. That was my experience with them tho.

I honestly have been struggling with anxiety for many years. I know that it is a lot less taboo then it has been in the past and that is very important. I have spent a lot of time struggling alone with it. I have been going to the therapist and he has been helping me so I have been feeling a lot better these days. I still have times when I am so anxious I cannot get out of my house let alone go to work. When that happens I usually try so sort of medication. I have tried the traditional anti-anxiety medication but it didn’t feel right. My doctor suggested I try marijuana or kratom as an anti-anxiety drug. I did a lot of research and settled on a kratom white because it seemed like it would fit me better. I have been using t for the past few weeks and I really like it. My doctor noticed the difference almost right away. So what I have to say is that if you are struggling do seek help. Trust me you will than yourself better in the long run.


Just completed the Thrive program, highly recommend it. Whatever your going through Thrive will show you how you can control your emotions, thoughts or reactions to life. Not life controlling how you feel. Happy to talk off line :v::+1: