The Anxiety Guy shares his personal story

FEATURE IMAGE the anxiety guyWritten by Dennis Simsek

I am a professional tennis player who suffered for six years during the prime of my career with increasing anxiety levels that depleted my energy, relationships and finances. My anxiety, mainly due to my fear of being judged while engaged in social interactions, heightened my inability to put the necessary time into my ‘phenomenal gift’ (which was what my overzealous father and coach coined my aptitude for tennis) for playing and teaching as a professional. I was utterly exhausted by the anxiety and was very literally at the end of my rope. I was contemplating suicide. It was from that point of no return that I found an answer.

Embodying some hope, I began to compile information on a scientifically proven natural approach to this issue. With consistent effort and incredible tenacity I achieved a dream – not of being the number one tennis player in the world, not playing Davis Cup for my country, but simply to be able to call myself a professional tennis player and achieve the elusive single ATP tennis point. Having let go of the fear of having an anxiety attack, I now play tennis for the love of the game and my life is forever changed.

What I’ve come to realize is that we are all led by our emotions, and our emotions are what create the experiences we have in our lives. By living in a constant state of fear― whether it’s fear of being judged by others, fear of leaving the house or fear of driving half a mile to your work―us anxious folks start to condition a state of continuous fearful and unfulfilling emotions. Emotions such as regret, unworthiness, overwhelm (how common is this one in today’s world), hopelessness just to name a few.

The most important thing I needed to do before taking part in the new chapter in my life that revolved around natural recovery from health anxiety, was to make a decision. To make a decision that I wouldn’t go another day of my life just coping with and running from my anxiety, to make a decision and come to the realization that I was much better than who I have been for the past 6 debilitating years, trying to come to grips with my fears. Once that decision was made, and I became fed up enough with my condition, the world started to become a little less scary, and recovery was inevitable.


Dennis Simsek is a former professional athlete and passionate CBT practitioner with the #1 health podcast (The Anxiety Guy) for people struggling with GAD/health anxiety. Dennis uses his debilitating 6 year struggle with generalized anxiety as well as proven cognitive behavioral therapy methods to help others heal from their internal struggles. Dennis’s drive is to become the best version of himself so he can help improve the lives of many others worldwide. You can find how more about Dennis on his web site at where you will also find his links for his social media sites.

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  • David Nelson

    I thought I was looking into a mirror as I read your words. For I struggle wondering if i am good enough, if others will like me – once they get to know me. I wonder if I am worthy of love and being connected even to my inner child, to another human and to the universe. Sometimes I think I am not worthy of being connection and don’t like to make myself vulnerable. One day, may I find the courage to be imperfect and the compassion to love myself. Maybe then I shall stop trying to be perfect. Many days I feel shame and fear to feel worthiness. I am a success at everything I do, except feeling a sense of accomplishment. Thanks for your post

    • Dennis Simsek

      David as humans we all must manage our states and do whatever it takes to fuel the states we want to be in. Having 10 experiences, 8 being good, 2 being not so good, many perfectionists or people in low vibration states see the 2 negatives. But then there are those that are clear about who they want to become, consciously step in when their unconscious fear based mind takes over, and begin seeing the 8 positives. I’ve been there, and can say I now see myself as conditioned differently than before.

    • Jo

      Aggressively looking for work and scared I might get an interview lol.

      Shame, fear, worthlessness, I had that day today!

      “Courage to be imperfect” and permission.

      I love that!
      Thank you David.

  • Ann Mandel

    Dennis one of the biggest things that I like is how you give out advice that people don’t normally hear. I can think different and have the tools to approach the challenges: thank you for being real and relatable to others. I share about the podcast and website so much! You are such a great mentor!

    • Dennis Simsek

      One success story over anxiety can trigger a drive within many others Ann. Thank you.

  • Sandip Nayak

    To be able to understand the role of emotions in creating our experiences and taking full responsibility of that fact leads to proper understanding of Anxiety and face it as an warrior. Your story really illustrates that. Thank you so much for helping others realizing this.

  • Dennis Simsek

    Very welcome Sandip thanks for connecting on Twitter my friend.

  • JC

    Dennis, I was lost and on the verge of depression until I found your podcast and website. I did not want to go down the path of medication. Not only was I scared of it but I knew deep inside I could dig myself out but I needed a push. You’ve provided that. Keep doing what you do.

  • Dennis Simsek

    You have the resources within JC, all I had to do was provide the green light for you to turn a victim into a warrior. See you on Twitter.

  • Rich Parsons

    Hi Dennis,
    I have listened to many of your podcasts and YouTube videos and have enjoyed them very much and they have been very helpful.
    I have never heard you mention EMDR. Are you from Milyer with this therapy tool and have you experienced it ?
    This type of therapy has really helped me to sort through traumas that go way back into my childhood .
    Exploring this type of therapy may be helpful to many others as it has help me very much .
    Thank U for your hard-working dedication helping people deal with their anxiety issues .

    • Dennis Simsek

      EMDR is a great physiologically based therapy that works for many people Rich and so happy it worked for you. Keeping to my mentor/coaching ways my methods ares based around CBT but will definitely spend some time on this amazing therapy in the future. Thanks for following my friend truly grateful.

  • Cathy Kelly

    Dennis, Have you found that frequent urination has been a symptom of anxiety. This is destroying my family. my husband doesnt know what to do with me and my daughter is tolerant because she is going into the field of social work. I am tired of getting up everyday and having anxiety about anxiety.

    • Dennis Simsek

      Cathy this important video will share my experiences as well as others with these particular symptoms of anxiety:

      • Cathy Kelly

        Dennis, I have seen many Drs for my bladder. some days I urinate normally, other days i go about 15 times a day. I have not had a cystoscopy yet. that is the only way of truly looking inside of my bladder making sure I do not have tumors in there. My Dr. did give me medication for nervous bladder, but he thinks i go according to what i drink or because I am anxious. He only gave me the meds to make me feel better. I havent taken the medicine because there are as many good days as there are bad. I make the assumption that if there truly was a problem, i would not have good days. I journal every time I urinate and journal how much i drink. Do you think keeping track of it is helping or hurting my anxiety? Please help I am desperate

        • Dennis Simsek

          I believe your routine of journaling isn’t so much a positive habit as it is a nervous and obsessive one Cathy. I hope you and the doctors will get this under control, but in my own experience I realized that the association in my head between drinking something meant I had to go to the washroom immidiately. I pretty much built it up to be a trigger, and the speed in which I did things everyday didn’t help.

  • Mao

    Hey Dennis, how you came up with the Daffy Duck idea? I was wondering who were your mentors back then when you decided to begin the coaching system for overcoming your anxiety?

    • Dennis Simsek

      I began understanding the fact that the subconscious will accept any suggestion, and reaction equally. Because of this I took the opposite approach (ridicule the thoughts) of my original thoughts patterns that reflected high levels of respect and focus for each limited thoughts (where Daffy Duck came from). Mentor wise my personal mentors choose not to be recognized at the moment publicly, but I had many from ancient teachings including Marcos Aurelius and Seneca.

  • Mauricio

    Hey Dennis, i’m really enjoying your program.

    I’ve been diagnosed with GAD after struggling with anxiety on a daily basis for months,
    Recently my first child was born and besides all the wonderful things that come with having a babe, the lack of sleep is one big topic for me, i feel like is adding more mental and physical fatigue. How did you manage the lack of sleep when you had your child while suffering from GAD? Is the recovery possible if I can’t get enough sleep?

    Wish you the best,
    love, Mauricio

  • Dennis Simsek

    Hi Mauricio,

    I’m excited that you’re enjoying the program first off. To answer your question, I don’t believe it’s possible to do good logic/rational work in moments of external challenges without adequate sleep. The full list of components that need to be in order for change work to be successful is as follows:

    H – Hunger (types of foods and amounts)
    A – Anger (repressed emotion, anger from passed experiencing that a person still carries with them, or frustration over current results)
    L – Loneliness (level of connection with others)
    T – Tiredness (rest and replenishment)

    Getting back to your question of how I managed the lack of sleep when I had a child, my answer is I set time aside during the day, partaking in different routines to make up for my sleep debt. I found napping, meditation, and nature time to be very valuable actions towards finding balance in my internal world. This helped in building good daily routines for myself once my sleep got better, and also I found myself becoming much more clear and able to focus for extended periods of time.

    I would highly suggest studying my podcast episode on circadian rhythm here: as it will give you much deeper insights on where to turn next.

    Mauricio, I can tell you now that it gets better in time. Just keep up the same curiosity towards finding the knowledge that will make all the difference in your life, and apply with patience.


  • Deb

    I recently found you and so glad I did. I’m working on the 21 day affirmations.
    Thank you for all you do for so many!

    • Dennis Simsek

      So very welcome Deb, enjoy the podcasts and YouTube channel. ❤️🙏

  • Babs

    I’m struggling terribly right now. I have an eye infection meds x 3 days from clinic NP. No improvement. Eye MD switched meds and when asked if it would get better he said “ I like to be an optimist”. I am terrified that my eye will not get better and I’ll have to deal with this forever. I SO WANT to seek reassurance. I know I’m not supposed to. Please tell me how not to sell this reassurance I so DESPERATELY want

  • Dennis Simsek

    Reassurance seeking is a vicious cycle which comes with temporary benefits in feelings. This is an opportunity for you to recognize the beliefs within that are causing the physical body to react the way it is. The mental and emotional you, will dictate the physical you, and your life can change in a moment when you can see the pain of seeking reassurance and see the pleasure in digging deeper into the roots of your anxiety. Studying the vital content at for steady progress. Sending love.

  • Carin

    Hello Dennis!
    Going to purchase your anxiety program
    I was wondering if it helps overcome shallow breathing symptoms because that is a major factor for me and its ruining my relationships with people, and overall just living my life.


    • Dennis Simsek

      The program follows the CBT framework Carin and has been proven consistently to overcome the root causes of a persons physical symptoms, therefore alleviating them as well.

  • Amira B

    Hi Dennis,

    I follow your YouTube videos frequently. I suffer from GAD and panic disorder. I have had it bad since January 2018. I’ve seen psychiatrists, done CBT sessions twice ( about 35) and am currently seeing a psychologist. I can say that I 100% relate to EVERY single thing you say. Sometimes, the information itself triggers my anxiety- as I begin to reflect on how much my childhood messed me up. I have been on Escitalopram for a bit over a year, I honestly have not seen a huge improvement besides gaining 40 lbs and not having panic attacks as much. My question is, will this be over!? I do have better days, but the anxiety is almost always present. And the physical symptoms, the waves keep crashing in. I have reduced my medication to 5mg, hoping to be off soon as I honestly don’t see benefits . I think I have benefited more from dailyPMR and meditation. As a teacher, this profession had let the anxiety surface. I fear going to teach- I think it’s an issue with perfection and not being able to control the classroom. I just want this to be over! Help!

  • Ryan V Ingram

    Dennis you are a true hero. Having anxiety is like being a prisoner in your own head. I’ve been merely coping with health anxiety since it first manifested in 2009 as physical symptoms… but from watching your podcasts daily for the a past 5 months I realized that for me it goes back much further into my childhood. This is the first year that I have not resorted to drinking my fears away, taking prescription medications, using my will to meditate or running to the gym to get outside of my own head. This year I have practiced true self compassion, by speaking with my inner child, forgiving myself, and listening to my intuition. And for the first time I feel there is hope for recovery, where i used to think I was forever stuck with the issue. By no means has any of this been easy, and I still catch myself falling for old habits, but much like recovery from any addiction, i know that it will take time, consistency and maintenance. Anyway, I truly cannot thank you enough brother. I think i noticed that you had a Pisces tattoo, if so we are good peoples man, us fish folk stick together.

  • Kate

    Thank you Dennis for your videos on YT I recently found them and they’ve been helpful, however I’m desperate for more as I’ve suffered (and continue to) from severe health anxiety for years. It is all-consuming and it’s made me an emotional wreck and hard to get through the day. I’m about to take a step I never thought I would but as I said I’m desperate. My adult son has a friend who also suffers extreme anxiety & depression and though he’s been in therapy he needed more help. He has started taking pot to help calm his nerves. He goes to these (legal) pot shops and gets weed brownies and says it’s helped him calm down. He’s going to give me some too. How do you feel about this? As I said, I’m desperate for some relief from these paralyzing intrusive thoughts of doom and gloom I experience daily!

  • Donna Bozman

    I am experiencing post acute withdrawal from going off AD
    effexor/trazadone too quickly was on two years. My central nervous system is highly tweaked. Help!!

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