It has been an eventful seven years since Josh experienced his nervous breakdown whilst at work. He was horrified, embarrassed and thought he’d never find a way back:
“I honestly thought I’d broken my brain. I had never heard of the term anxiety. I also thought the term panic attack was some form of hyperbole that people used. It hit me like a battering ram from seemingly nowhere.”
In 2013, Joshua experienced a prolonged anxious episode that lead him to the brink of suicide. He claims today that this wasn’t depression, but wanting an escape from “living every day in complete and utter terror.”
“From nowhere my reality felt like it suddenly inverted,” Fletcher explains, “everything felt strange, things looked strange, I didn’t feel like me, people’s faces looked weird. It was horrifying. I now know that this is something called derealisation and depersonalisaton. I had wave after wave of panic. I couldn’t sleep and was stuck in my own mind. I didn’t think it was sustainable and contemplated unthinkable things.”
Soon after, Joshua was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder, which he now claims he has overcome and has his sense of normality back. Today he recounts his journey and wrote a short but incredibly powerful self-help book for people who have ended up in a similar situation. Anxiety: Panicking about Panic has been a UK best-selling self-help book for years and continues to dominate the Amazon charts. It has been inundated with heart-warming reviews claiming that the book provides much needed hope and reassurance. Since its release, Joshua trained to be a psychotherapist and released a follow up book, Anxiety: Practical about Panic, which was published by Hachette.
Joshua runs his own private practice called The Panic Room which is based in Manchester. He also hosts a popular podcast called The Panic Pod, as well as his own radio show on Wellbeing Radio called Notes on Anxiety. He’s recently been featured on BBC Bitesize giving advice on anxiety related topics.
“I find such joy in providing reassurance for others who are anxious. So many people are becoming more and more excessively anxious every day, whether it’s about their health, their relationships, their sanity, their careers, you name it. Providing understanding, education and relief for people suffering makes all the suffering I went through 100% worth it.”
For more information you can explore Joshua’s sites: