Asking For More Information About Anxiety

Sometimes we find ourselves asking for more information about anxiety, or about specific symptoms, fears, or anxiety related struggled. We’ve read multiple books, listened to many podcasts on the topic, seen all the YouTube videos, and follow all the social media posts, but we want to ask for even more. This can be a trap, so lets talk about that.

Are You Subscribed To My Newsletter?

Recovery tips. Updates on recovery resources. Encouragement. Inspiration. Empowerment. All delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here FREE.

More Ways To Listen/Watch My Podcast:

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on Amazon Music | Watch on YouTube

Helpful Recovery Resources:

My Books | FREE Resources | Courses and Workshops | Disordered (with Josh Fletcher)


YouTube player

The Highlights

  • Anyone that is new to this approach to anxiety and recovery needs to ask questions. Lots of questions. That’s OK.  Its normal. Its expected. Its healthy! There’s lots of information to gather and process, so if this is all new to you, ask those questions!
  • In fact, good therapy will generally start with psychoeducational material that explains the basic principles and answers your initial questions. We all need that.
  • Sometimes, as we go down the road to recovery, we can find ourselves stuck in a rut where we’ve heard our questions answered many times in many formats, but feel compelled to ask for more information and more answers.
  • This is a thing I see every day in our community when someone listens to four podcast episodes I’ve done on sleep and sleep related anxiety, but still asks if I can talk more about sleep or insomnia (for example).
  • When you’re in this situation, where you’ve heard your specific concern or fear addressed again and again, and you already kinda know what I’m going to say when you ask me to talk more about it, that’s a clue that it might be time to make a small adjustment.
  • If you find yourself wanting to ask for more information on a particular issue that’ve you’ve been over before, stop. Take a moment. Consider what you’re hoping to get and what you’re really looking for.
  • Sometimes asking me to talk more about a topic you’ve heard me cover repeatedly is a form of reassurance seeking. That old podcast episode answered questions for you and made you feel better for a few days, but now you’re full of doubt and fear again so you might be looking for more words that will assure you that you’re OK. Assurance is important. We all need it. Seeking reassurance again and again becomes a trap in recovery.
  • Sometimes asking for more information about your scariest symptom, thought, or challenge is a way to try to change how you feel BEFORE you act. You might already know that you have to face that symptom, thought, and struggle, but you’re afraid and reluctant. That’s normal.  That’s a normal human response for anyone. You might be hoping that I’ll give you extra words that will take some of that fear or reluctance away, or that I’ll make you feel good or brave so you can go face your fear. This is – in most instances – backwards. Trying to not be afraid so you can do hard things will be frustrating. We do them while afraid. First, we practice being afraid, then we can be less afraid.
  • In some instances, asking for more information about anxiety is an attempt to find magic words that will fix things or make this all easier on you. This is an understandable thing to want, but if you ask yourself how long you’ve been searching for those words and consider why you still haven’t found them, this can be helpful.
  • You might also be seeking more instructions on exactly how to do hard things. At some point there are no more instructions. No steps to follow. No technique. No tips or tricks. It’s common to keep insisting that you need step-by-step instructions, but this is rarely productive in recovery. If you ask for step-by-step instructions on how to ride a bicycle, at some point after you are told to push your feet down on the pedals, you have to do it. There are no more steps or techniques to hear.

Strategies for Breaking The “More Information” Cycle

  • Before asking for information on something you’ve already learned about, take a break for a few minutes.
  • Ask yourself why you need more information.
  • Ask yourself what you are hoping to get this time?
  • Ask yourself how many times you’ve asked for this, then ask yourself what the probability is that you’ll get exactly what you are hoping to get this time.
  • Consider if asking for more information is moving you closer to recovery, or if its delaying the action that might move you closer to recovery.
  • Consider that asking for clarification or initial instruction can be productive. That’s a good thing! But also consider how many times you’ve asked for clarification or additional instruction.
  • You may want to re-frame your query so that you ask for something more specific like encouragement or inspiration. Those are never bad things. Rather than asking for another 25 minutes on the topic you fear most, consider asking for some words of encouragement instead. That can be helpful.

Ultimately, this is a subtle, nuanced part of recovery. Every part of recovery is full of nuance and detail and as always, you’re going to have to learn as you go and through experience. In most cases, the need to ask more questions begins to decrease over time. You’ll start to recognize that the question you think you need to ask probably doesn’t need to be asked. You’ll begin to anticipate the answers to those questions, which is a good thing, because then you apply the answers without even asking.

Be patient. Do not get down on yourself because you “can’t seem to get it”. Everyone struggles with the concepts of recovery and especially with applying them.

Links of Interest:

Is The Anxious Truth A Recovery Program?

Instructions, Or Principles?

Assurance vs Reassurance

Sally Winston on the Trap of Reassurance



Are You Subscribed To My Newsletter?

Recovery tips. Updates on recovery resources. Encouragement. Inspiration. Empowerment. All delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here FREE.

Helpful Recovery Resources:

My Books | FREE Resources | Courses and Workshops | Disordered (with Josh Fletcher) | Join My Instagram Subscriber Group

Podcast Intro/Outro Music: "Afterglow" by Ben Drake (With Permission)






Founder and host of The Anxious Truth podcast. Therapist-in-training specializing in anxiety and anxiety disorders. Author. Podcaster. Educator. Advocate. Former anxious person.