Social Anxiety Phobia/Disorder - boards.ie
Boards.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more x
Post Reply  
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
13-08-2009, 16:17   #1
Starfox
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dublin
Posts: 258
Social Anxiety Phobia/Disorder

Hi folks,

I hope all is well, first off i am hoping if any admin reads this would you mind making this thread a sticky if even only for a few of days, i am trying to make as many people aware of this phobia as i can because im sure there are so many people out there that have this and dont realize it, just like i was up until recently!

Social Anxiety Phobia! I have it, and ive only just realised this recently thanks to the internet and all the info you can get, you tube too!

It sucks to be honest, its a phobia, think of shyness x 1000! All my life ive been so unbelievably quite around people (other than my immediate family) and i mean quite. In primary school i was basically a mute, i would not talk to anyone and because of that i got depression, but like alot of people i had to deal with that by myself because i couldnt tell anybody and to be honest i didnt know what was wrong i simply thought i was quite.

What happens is when im around someone i constantly keep on thinking that the other person in the room is thinking bad of me, looking down on me, judging me. I wont say a word because i close up inside and get so anxious, i cant think properly its unreal. here are more examples and a read, info from the net...

A woman hates to stand in line in the store because she's afraid that everyone is watching her. She knows that it's not really true, but she can't shake the feeling. While she is shopping, she is conscious of the fact that people might be staring at her from the big mirrors on the inside front of the ceiling. Now, she has to talk to the person who's checking out her groceries. She tries to smile, but her voice comes out weakly. She's sure she's making a fool of herself. Her self-consciousness and anxiety rise to the roof...

Another person sits in front of the telephone and agonizes because she's afraid to pick up the receiver and make a call. She's even afraid to call an unknown person in a business office about the electric bill because she's afraid she'll be "putting someone out" and they will be upset with her. It's very hard for her to take rejection, even over the phone, even from someone she doesn't know. She's especially afraid to call people she does know because she feels that she'll be calling at the wrong time -- the other person will be busy -- and they won't want to talk with her. She feels rejected even before she makes the call. Once the call is made and over, she sits, analyzes, and ruminates about what was said, what tone it was said in, and how she was perceived by the other person....her anxiety and racing thoughts concerning the call prove to her that she "goofed" this conversation up, too, just like she always does. Sometimes she gets embarrassed just thinking about the call.


A man finds it difficult to walk down the street because he's self-conscious and feels that people are watching him from their windows. Worse, he may run into a person on the sidewalk and be forced to say hello to them. He's not sure he can do that. His voice will catch, his "hello" will sound weak, and the other person will know he's frightened. More than anything else, he doesn't want anyone to know that he's afraid. He keeps his eyes safely away from anyone else's gaze and prays he can make it home without having to talk to anyone.

A man hates to go to work because a meeting is scheduled the next day. He knows that these meetings always involve co-workers talking with each other about their current projects. Just the thought of speaking in front of co-workers raises his anxiety. Sometimes he can't sleep the night before because of the anticipatory anxiety that builds up. Finally, the meeting is over. A big wave of relief spills over him as he begins to relax. But the memory of the meeting is still uppermost in his mind. He is convinced he made a fool of himself and that everyone in the room saw how afraid he was when he spoke, and how stupid he acted in their presence. At next week's meeting, the boss is going to be there. Even though this meeting is seven days away, his stomach turns raw with anxiety and fear floods over him again. He knows that in front of the boss he'll stammer, hesitate, his face will turn red, he won't remember what to say, and everyone will witness his embarrassment and humiliation. He has seven miserable days of anxiety ahead of him -- to think about it, ruminate over it, worry about it, over-exaggerate it in his mind.......again and again and again.....

A student won't attend her university classes on the first day because she knows that in some classes the professor will instruct them to go around the room and introduce themselves. Just thinking about sitting there, waiting to introduce herself to a roomful of strangers who will be staring at her makes her feel nauseous. She knows she won't be able to think clearly because her anxiety will be so high, and she is sure she will leave out important details. Her voice might even quiver and she will sound scared and tentative. The anxiety is just too much to bear---so she skips the first day of class to avoid the possibility of having to introduce herself in class.

Another young man wants to go to parties and other social events---indeed, he is very, very lonely---but he never goes anywhere because he's very nervous about meeting new people. Too many people will be there and crowds only make things worse for him. The thought of meeting new people scares him---will he know what to say? Will they stare at him and make him feel even more insignificant? Will they reject him outright? Even if they seem nice, they're sure to notice his frozen look and his inability to fully smile. They'll sense his discomfort and tenseness and they won't like him --- there's just no way to win --- "I'm always going to be an outcast," he predicts. And he spends the night alone, at home, watching television again. He feels comfortable at home. In fact, home is the only place he does feel completely comfortable. He hasn't gone anywhere else in twelve years.

In public places, such as work, meetings, or shopping, people with social anxiety feel that everyone is watching, staring, and judging them (even though rationally they know this isn't true). The socially anxious person can't relax, "take it easy", and enjoy themselves in public.

In fact, they can never fully relax when other people are around. It always feels like others are evaluating them, being critical of them, or "judging" them in some way. The person with social anxiety knows that people don't do this openly, of course, but they still feel the self-consciousness and judgment while they are in the other person's presence.

It's sometimes impossible to let go, relax, and focus on anything else except the anxiety and fear. Because the anxiety is so very painful, it's much easier just to stay away from social situations and avoid other people altogether.

Many times people with social anxiety simply must be alone---closeted---with the door closed behind them. Even when they're around familiar people, a person with social anxiety may feel overwhelmed and have the feeling that others are noticing their every movement and critiquing their every thought. They feel like they are being observed critically and that other people are making negative judgments about them.
One of the worst circumstances, though, is meeting people who are "authority figures". Especially people such as bosses and supervisors at work, but including almost anyone who is seen as being "better" than they are in some respect. People with social anxiety may get a lump in their throat and their facial muscles may freeze up when they meet this person.

The anxiety level is very high and they're so focused on "not failing" and "giving themselves away" that they don't even remember what was said in the conversation. But later on, they're sure they must have said the wrong thing.....because they always do.

How is it ever possible to feel "comfortable" or "natural" under these circumstances?

To the person with social anxiety, going to a job interview is pure torture: you know your excessive anxiety will give you away. You'll look funny, you'll be hesitant, maybe you'll even blush, and you won't be able to find the right words to answer the questions coherently. Maybe this is the worst part of all: You know that you are going to say the wrong thing. You just know it. It is especially frustrating because you know you could do the job well if you could just get past this terrifying and intimidating interview.

Welcome to the world of the socially anxious.

Social anxiety is the third largest psychological problem today. This type of anxiety affects about 5% of people. Unlike some other psychological problems, social anxiety is not well understood by the general public or by medical and mental health care professionals, such as doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and counselors. In fact, people with social anxiety are misdiagnosed almost 90% of the time. People with social phobia come to our anxiety clinic labeled as "schizophrenic", "manic-depressive", "clinically depressed", "panic disordered", and "personality disordered", among other damaging misdiagnoses.

Because few socially-anxious people have heard of their own problem, and have never seen it discussed on any media, such as the television talk shows, they think they are the only ones in the whole world who have these terrible symptoms. Therefore, they must keep quiet about them. It would be awful if everyone realized how much anxiety they experienced in daily life. Then what would people think about them? Unfortunately, without some kind of education, knowledge, and appropriate treatment, social phobia/social anxiety continues to wreak havoc throughout their lives. Adding to the dilemma, when a person with social anxiety finally gets up the nerve to seek help, the chances that they can find it are very, very slim.

Making the situation more difficult is that social anxiety does not come and go like some other physical and psychological problems. If you have social anxiety one day......you have it every day for the rest of your life.....

The feelings I described to you at the beginning of the article are those of people with social anxiety disorder. That is, their symptoms apply to most social events and functions in almost every area of life.

As with all problems, everyone with social anxiety has slightly different secondary symptoms. Some people, for example, cannot write in public because they fear people are watching and their hand will shake. Others are very introverted and they find it too difficult to hold down a job. Still others have severe anxiety about eating or drinking in the presence of other people. Some people with social anxiety feel that a certain part of their body (such as the face or neck) are particularly "strange looking" and vulnerable to being stared at. Others experience a muscle spasm (usually around the neck and shoulders) and it becomes the center of their focus ---"it's so embarrassing that if someone sees it I will be humiliated forever!"

One thing that all socially anxious people share is the knowledge that their thoughts and fears are basically irrational. That is, people with social anxiety know that others are really not critically judging or evaluating them all the time. They understand that people are not trying to embarrass or humiliate them. They realize that their thoughts and feelings are somewhat exaggerated and irrational. Yet, despite this rational knowledge, they still continue to feel differently.

It is these automatic "feelings" and thoughts that occur around social situations that must be met and conquered in therapy. Usually these anxious feelings are tied to thoughts that are entwined in a vicious cycle of negative expectations and negative appraisals. It is a catch-22 situation: there is no way out without the appropriate therapy.
Here comes the good part.

How can social anxiety be treated? Many therapeutic methods have been studied, but cognitive-behavioral therapy is the only modality that has been shown to work effectively. In fact, treatment of social anxiety through cognitive-behavioral methods has the capacity to produce long-lasting, permanent relief from the anxiety-laden world of social anxiety.

Social anxiety responds to relatively short-term therapy, depending on the severity of the condition. I have seen significant progress in just twelve individual sessions, although most people respond better with sixteen to twenty-four meetings. To overcome social anxiety, completion of a behavioral therapy group is also essential (when people feel ready for this and not before).

What socially anxious people do not need is years and years of therapy or counseling. You can't be "counseled" out of social phobia. In fact, socially anxious people who are taught to "analyze" and "ruminate" over their problems usually make their social anxiety and fears much worse, which in turn leads to depression, which just reinforces the fact that "I will never get better". (Shudder...this statement does NOT have to be true.)

THERE IS A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL PEOPLE WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY. Without treatment, social anxiety is a torturous and horrible emotional problem; with treatment, its bark is worse than its bite. Add to this that current research is clear that cognitive-behavioral therapy is highly successful in the treatment of social anxiety. In fact, the people who are unsuccessful are the ones who are not persistent in their practice and who won't stick with simple methods and techniques at home. They are the ones who give up.

If a person is motivated to end the years and years of crippling anxiety, then cognitive-behavioral treatment provides the methods, techniques, and strategies that come together to lessen the anxiety and make the world a much more enjoyable place.


Many of us have been through the crippling fears and constant anxiety that social phobia produces -- and have come out healthier and happier on the other side. You can too...

And now back to me
So much of this applied to me, the first day that i realized i have this my mind was a mess and i was confused of what to do next, but to be honest im pretty much on the right path all along. 3 years ago i started a job in a call centre, i needed work and any job would have done but the sole reason i chose a call cantre before anywhere else was to force myself into an athmosphere full of people all day long, and the fact i would have to openly TALK all day long was a reason too, you see i was so sick and tired of not talking to anyone because of the anxiousness and that can be so depressing its not even funny, and i know alot of people i know think im just arrogant, because im able to talk to some folk but not others, and thats confusing to some and seen as arrogants to others and then again other people just think im fairly weird.......or is this just me thinking this? ya get me!

I can now talk with people so much better but ive so far too go still, but theres one more thing that i need to point out which has helped me unbelievably, i cant say how good this is but for the past 5 months ive been practicing Transcendental Meditation, its basically curing my SA. Im still pretty anxious but ive lost my fear of being around anyone, even though i never have anything to say i dont really care. To give you a summary of TM see below.

Transcendental Meditation is a type of meditation which is practised twice daily for a period of 15-20 minutes. The technique primarily involves sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. Each student is given a mantra and is instructed in inducing relaxation through use of the mantra. It is estimated that in the last 40 years, over five million people around the world have learned TM. During TM the body becomes more relaxed. The person's awareness settles down to a state of restful alertness.
TM can have a number of positive effects including

An increase in energy
An inprovment in health
A reduction in stress and anxiety
An increase in creativity
Your memory gets so much better
You basically get smarter! look into it more, you tube it its fantastic!

Anyway thats all i really have to say on this i cant really think of anything else but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask and ill try answer you
other than if you think you have it you can get help! but this is the hard part, get up and look for it! You can get more info at http://www.socialanxietyireland.com

Last edited by LadyJ; 13-08-2009 at 16:38.
Starfox is offline  
Advertisement
22-08-2009, 13:44   #2
ww00
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
Starfox, fantastic thread and great idea.

I believe i have social anxeity- Im actually quiet confident in mysef..im just not so confident presenting myself to other people. Certain individuals cause me to panic...be that groups of individuals in one room or members of the opposite sex who i am attracted to.In certain situations, particulary any form of public speaking or figures of authority, I am intimidated to a degree that is far from the norm. Ive done presentations in school where my voice was shaking, even reading in school terrified me.

Throughout college ive chosen subjects that do not involve presentations or speaking in groups. I have done quiet well for myself career wise but i have reached a point where I can no longer wish/hope/pray for this anxiety to disappear.

The ironic thing is that I used to Love public speaking and would often put myself forward. I was never nervous..actually got a sense of satisfaction from it. But now ive done a 360. ..And so almost ten years later Ive finally taken the first step and had my first counselling session today. And the relief i feel is unreal. Im excited about the future and I feel so much more optimistic already because ive finally taken the first step...and it actually wasnt as daunting as i thought.

I really hope and pray I can combat this..but i already feel so optimistic and that in itself is such a plus
ww00 is offline  
02-09-2009, 18:41   #3
Beevus
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9
What a fantastic description of social phobia.I definetly have it and its a curse.I dread the normal social occasions that other people look forward to eg weddings; christenings; dinners with work colleagues etc.It has got worse in recent years .While I was working I dreaded meetings where I had to talk and eventually hardly spoke at all.I cannot order my thoughts while speaking in public.I get panic attacks at Mass if I am in my local church.I feel its a chore for other people to sit beside me at social occasions because I cant lighten up .I went to a counsellor but I found it too painful talking about my life and possible reasons for it The doctor gave me Xanax tablets to take when I feel I need them. Im nnot sure if they help or not.I have no problem going out with my family or very close friends.
Beevus is offline  
02-09-2009, 18:49   #4
tommym037
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 15
I can certainly relate to that. I'm in the airport at the minute. Sweating like a pig. Everyone is looking at me.

Maybe I should have left my underpants on...
tommym037 is offline  
03-09-2009, 12:03   #5
Beevus
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9
Thats a very helpful comment Tommy I feel better already
Beevus is offline  
Advertisement
04-09-2009, 12:46   #6
tommym037
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 15
Hi Starfox,

Glad I could do some good today. Hope you have a nice weekend.
tommym037 is offline  
02-10-2009, 18:25   #7
ugliest
Registered User
 
ugliest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: bray
Posts: 89
"Others experience a muscle spasm (usually around the neck and shoulders) and it becomes the center of their focus ---"it's so embarrassing that if someone sees it I will be humiliated forever!""

-not sure if this is off topic or not. But I've had this exact twitch since I was 12 years old (basically the start of secondary school), and I'd never heard of anyone else having it ever. I got teased for it and everything...which probably didn't help

After reading that I'm wondering if I've been misdiagnosed...doctors always did seem reluctant to give me a label...

Really informative post, thanks! x
ugliest is offline  
13-10-2009, 02:48   #8
powerzjim
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 146
iv got this as well, it was much worse when i was younger

when i was 18 i worked in retail that helped me alot speaking to customers
powerzjim is offline  
21-10-2009, 02:13   #9
oldschool09
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1
all phobia's are fear's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starfox View Post
Hi folks,

I hope all is well, first off i am hoping if any admin reads this would you mind making this thread a sticky if even only for a few of days, i am trying to make as many people aware of this phobia as i can because im sure there are so many people out there that have this and dont realize it, just like i was up until recently!

Social Anxiety Phobia! I have it, and ive only just realised this recently thanks to the internet and all the info you can get, you tube too!

It sucks to be honest, its a phobia, think of shyness x 1000! All my life ive been so unbelievably quite around people (other than my immediate family) and i mean quite. In primary school i was basically a mute, i would not talk to anyone and because of that i got depression, but like alot of people i had to deal with that by myself because i couldnt tell anybody and to be honest i didnt know what was wrong i simply thought i was quite.

What happens is when im around someone i constantly keep on thinking that the other person in the room is thinking bad of me, looking down on me, judging me. I wont say a word because i close up inside and get so anxious, i cant think properly its unreal. here are more examples and a read, info from the net...

A woman hates to stand in line in the store because she's afraid that everyone is watching her. She knows that it's not really true, but she can't shake the feeling. While she is shopping, she is conscious of the fact that people might be staring at her from the big mirrors on the inside front of the ceiling. Now, she has to talk to the person who's checking out her groceries. She tries to smile, but her voice comes out weakly. She's sure she's making a fool of herself. Her self-consciousness and anxiety rise to the roof...

Another person sits in front of the telephone and agonizes because she's afraid to pick up the receiver and make a call. She's even afraid to call an unknown person in a business office about the electric bill because she's afraid she'll be "putting someone out" and they will be upset with her. It's very hard for her to take rejection, even over the phone, even from someone she doesn't know. She's especially afraid to call people she does know because she feels that she'll be calling at the wrong time -- the other person will be busy -- and they won't want to talk with her. She feels rejected even before she makes the call. Once the call is made and over, she sits, analyzes, and ruminates about what was said, what tone it was said in, and how she was perceived by the other person....her anxiety and racing thoughts concerning the call prove to her that she "goofed" this conversation up, too, just like she always does. Sometimes she gets embarrassed just thinking about the call.


A man finds it difficult to walk down the street because he's self-conscious and feels that people are watching him from their windows. Worse, he may run into a person on the sidewalk and be forced to say hello to them. He's not sure he can do that. His voice will catch, his "hello" will sound weak, and the other person will know he's frightened. More than anything else, he doesn't want anyone to know that he's afraid. He keeps his eyes safely away from anyone else's gaze and prays he can make it home without having to talk to anyone.

A man hates to go to work because a meeting is scheduled the next day. He knows that these meetings always involve co-workers talking with each other about their current projects. Just the thought of speaking in front of co-workers raises his anxiety. Sometimes he can't sleep the night before because of the anticipatory anxiety that builds up. Finally, the meeting is over. A big wave of relief spills over him as he begins to relax. But the memory of the meeting is still uppermost in his mind. He is convinced he made a fool of himself and that everyone in the room saw how afraid he was when he spoke, and how stupid he acted in their presence. At next week's meeting, the boss is going to be there. Even though this meeting is seven days away, his stomach turns raw with anxiety and fear floods over him again. He knows that in front of the boss he'll stammer, hesitate, his face will turn red, he won't remember what to say, and everyone will witness his embarrassment and humiliation. He has seven miserable days of anxiety ahead of him -- to think about it, ruminate over it, worry about it, over-exaggerate it in his mind.......again and again and again.....

A student won't attend her university classes on the first day because she knows that in some classes the professor will instruct them to go around the room and introduce themselves. Just thinking about sitting there, waiting to introduce herself to a roomful of strangers who will be staring at her makes her feel nauseous. She knows she won't be able to think clearly because her anxiety will be so high, and she is sure she will leave out important details. Her voice might even quiver and she will sound scared and tentative. The anxiety is just too much to bear---so she skips the first day of class to avoid the possibility of having to introduce herself in class.

Another young man wants to go to parties and other social events---indeed, he is very, very lonely---but he never goes anywhere because he's very nervous about meeting new people. Too many people will be there and crowds only make things worse for him. The thought of meeting new people scares him---will he know what to say? Will they stare at him and make him feel even more insignificant? Will they reject him outright? Even if they seem nice, they're sure to notice his frozen look and his inability to fully smile. They'll sense his discomfort and tenseness and they won't like him --- there's just no way to win --- "I'm always going to be an outcast," he predicts. And he spends the night alone, at home, watching television again. He feels comfortable at home. In fact, home is the only place he does feel completely comfortable. He hasn't gone anywhere else in twelve years.

In public places, such as work, meetings, or shopping, people with social anxiety feel that everyone is watching, staring, and judging them (even though rationally they know this isn't true). The socially anxious person can't relax, "take it easy", and enjoy themselves in public.

In fact, they can never fully relax when other people are around. It always feels like others are evaluating them, being critical of them, or "judging" them in some way. The person with social anxiety knows that people don't do this openly, of course, but they still feel the self-consciousness and judgment while they are in the other person's presence.

It's sometimes impossible to let go, relax, and focus on anything else except the anxiety and fear. Because the anxiety is so very painful, it's much easier just to stay away from social situations and avoid other people altogether.

Many times people with social anxiety simply must be alone---closeted---with the door closed behind them. Even when they're around familiar people, a person with social anxiety may feel overwhelmed and have the feeling that others are noticing their every movement and critiquing their every thought. They feel like they are being observed critically and that other people are making negative judgments about them.
One of the worst circumstances, though, is meeting people who are "authority figures". Especially people such as bosses and supervisors at work, but including almost anyone who is seen as being "better" than they are in some respect. People with social anxiety may get a lump in their throat and their facial muscles may freeze up when they meet this person.

The anxiety level is very high and they're so focused on "not failing" and "giving themselves away" that they don't even remember what was said in the conversation. But later on, they're sure they must have said the wrong thing.....because they always do.

How is it ever possible to feel "comfortable" or "natural" under these circumstances?

To the person with social anxiety, going to a job interview is pure torture: you know your excessive anxiety will give you away. You'll look funny, you'll be hesitant, maybe you'll even blush, and you won't be able to find the right words to answer the questions coherently. Maybe this is the worst part of all: You know that you are going to say the wrong thing. You just know it. It is especially frustrating because you know you could do the job well if you could just get past this terrifying and intimidating interview.

Welcome to the world of the socially anxious.

Social anxiety is the third largest psychological problem today. This type of anxiety affects about 5% of people. Unlike some other psychological problems, social anxiety is not well understood by the general public or by medical and mental health care professionals, such as doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and counselors. In fact, people with social anxiety are misdiagnosed almost 90% of the time. People with social phobia come to our anxiety clinic labeled as "schizophrenic", "manic-depressive", "clinically depressed", "panic disordered", and "personality disordered", among other damaging misdiagnoses.

Because few socially-anxious people have heard of their own problem, and have never seen it discussed on any media, such as the television talk shows, they think they are the only ones in the whole world who have these terrible symptoms. Therefore, they must keep quiet about them. It would be awful if everyone realized how much anxiety they experienced in daily life. Then what would people think about them? Unfortunately, without some kind of education, knowledge, and appropriate treatment, social phobia/social anxiety continues to wreak havoc throughout their lives. Adding to the dilemma, when a person with social anxiety finally gets up the nerve to seek help, the chances that they can find it are very, very slim.

Making the situation more difficult is that social anxiety does not come and go like some other physical and psychological problems. If you have social anxiety one day......you have it every day for the rest of your life.....

The feelings I described to you at the beginning of the article are those of people with social anxiety disorder. That is, their symptoms apply to most social events and functions in almost every area of life.

As with all problems, everyone with social anxiety has slightly different secondary symptoms. Some people, for example, cannot write in public because they fear people are watching and their hand will shake. Others are very introverted and they find it too difficult to hold down a job. Still others have severe anxiety about eating or drinking in the presence of other people. Some people with social anxiety feel that a certain part of their body (such as the face or neck) are particularly "strange looking" and vulnerable to being stared at. Others experience a muscle spasm (usually around the neck and shoulders) and it becomes the center of their focus ---"it's so embarrassing that if someone sees it I will be humiliated forever!"

One thing that all socially anxious people share is the knowledge that their thoughts and fears are basically irrational. That is, people with social anxiety know that others are really not critically judging or evaluating them all the time. They understand that people are not trying to embarrass or humiliate them. They realize that their thoughts and feelings are somewhat exaggerated and irrational. Yet, despite this rational knowledge, they still continue to feel differently.

It is these automatic "feelings" and thoughts that occur around social situations that must be met and conquered in therapy. Usually these anxious feelings are tied to thoughts that are entwined in a vicious cycle of negative expectations and negative appraisals. It is a catch-22 situation: there is no way out without the appropriate therapy.
Here comes the good part.

How can social anxiety be treated? Many therapeutic methods have been studied, but cognitive-behavioral therapy is the only modality that has been shown to work effectively. In fact, treatment of social anxiety through cognitive-behavioral methods has the capacity to produce long-lasting, permanent relief from the anxiety-laden world of social anxiety.

Social anxiety responds to relatively short-term therapy, depending on the severity of the condition. I have seen significant progress in just twelve individual sessions, although most people respond better with sixteen to twenty-four meetings. To overcome social anxiety, completion of a behavioral therapy group is also essential (when people feel ready for this and not before).

What socially anxious people do not need is years and years of therapy or counseling. You can't be "counseled" out of social phobia. In fact, socially anxious people who are taught to "analyze" and "ruminate" over their problems usually make their social anxiety and fears much worse, which in turn leads to depression, which just reinforces the fact that "I will never get better". (Shudder...this statement does NOT have to be true.)

THERE IS A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL PEOPLE WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY. Without treatment, social anxiety is a torturous and horrible emotional problem; with treatment, its bark is worse than its bite. Add to this that current research is clear that cognitive-behavioral therapy is highly successful in the treatment of social anxiety. In fact, the people who are unsuccessful are the ones who are not persistent in their practice and who won't stick with simple methods and techniques at home. They are the ones who give up.

If a person is motivated to end the years and years of crippling anxiety, then cognitive-behavioral treatment provides the methods, techniques, and strategies that come together to lessen the anxiety and make the world a much more enjoyable place.


Many of us have been through the crippling fears and constant anxiety that social phobia produces -- and have come out healthier and happier on the other side. You can too...

And now back to me
So much of this applied to me, the first day that i realized i have this my mind was a mess and i was confused of what to do next, but to be honest im pretty much on the right path all along. 3 years ago i started a job in a call centre, i needed work and any job would have done but the sole reason i chose a call cantre before anywhere else was to force myself into an athmosphere full of people all day long, and the fact i would have to openly TALK all day long was a reason too, you see i was so sick and tired of not talking to anyone because of the anxiousness and that can be so depressing its not even funny, and i know alot of people i know think im just arrogant, because im able to talk to some folk but not others, and thats confusing to some and seen as arrogants to others and then again other people just think im fairly weird.......or is this just me thinking this? ya get me!

I can now talk with people so much better but ive so far too go still, but theres one more thing that i need to point out which has helped me unbelievably, i cant say how good this is but for the past 5 months ive been practicing Transcendental Meditation, its basically curing my SA. Im still pretty anxious but ive lost my fear of being around anyone, even though i never have anything to say i dont really care. To give you a summary of TM see below.

Transcendental Meditation is a type of meditation which is practised twice daily for a period of 15-20 minutes. The technique primarily involves sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. Each student is given a mantra and is instructed in inducing relaxation through use of the mantra. It is estimated that in the last 40 years, over five million people around the world have learned TM. During TM the body becomes more relaxed. The person's awareness settles down to a state of restful alertness.
TM can have a number of positive effects including

An increase in energy
An inprovment in health
A reduction in stress and anxiety
An increase in creativity
Your memory gets so much better
You basically get smarter! look into it more, you tube it its fantastic!

Anyway thats all i really have to say on this i cant really think of anything else but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask and ill try answer you
other than if you think you have it you can get help! but this is the hard part, get up and look for it! You can get more info at http://www.socialanxietyireland.com
Hi, I am a new member, I do know all phobia's are fear based. From my own experience, stress seems to trigger of the phobia. I do think that young people should be given, every help possible to address any fear! and to understand their body's reaction's to their fear or fear's. When I avoided my fear's! they grew and grew, till my smallest fear got to be a problem, I created my own cycle of phobic madness.

regards

Oldschool09
oldschool09 is offline  
Advertisement
06-11-2009, 11:27   #10
Lugus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4
First off i'd like to say Excellent post starfox. It's so comforting to know that there are other peolpe that feel as strongly as i do about this situation. I too used to suffer extreme social anxiety due to my insecurity that was brought on by years of bullying in one form or another. I first seeked help when i went to college as i could barely speak to class mates due to the fear of what they thought of me/ were thinking of me along with the constant fear that i would not fit in. I was prescibed medication(Paxil) whiched helped alot initially but realized that it only masked the problem and numbed alot of emotions both good and bad. Although i know medication can and has helped alot of people i found that the linden method by charles linden has given me alot of understanding about my situation/condition and given me the ways and means too overcome my phobias. I only started this program recently and i find the techniques so helpful.
Has anybody tried this method and if so how did you find it?
Lugus is offline  
Thanks from:
06-11-2009, 11:58   #11
a4775
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 42
man its funny reading those examples because some of them are exactly what i am thinking
it is like they have read my thoughts

my social phobia has really messed up my life
i was decent in school, but i couldnt handle college at all and i soon dropped out
now i am in a crap job with no way out of it
if anyone has had this and overcome it, then please let the rest of us know your secret
a4775 is offline  
07-11-2009, 21:52   #12
Sigma Force
Registered User
 
Sigma Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,917
Only just thought of checking out this section, I have posted in the speech forum before but it's not a speach issue that we're dealing with it's a social anxiety disorder.
Our 10 year old has Selective Mutism and it is classed as a social anxiety disorder, she cannot speak in school and only last year started to whisper to her teacher. It's so frustrating for everyone including her but we and the school are all working on it.

Selective mutism seems to be more common than once thought, it's not shyness our kid is far from shy some call it an extreme shyness but it's much more than that.

She just cant speak to people or class mates her face goes blank and for the first few years she would stand in the playground pretty much frozen in place.

Selective Mutism can be missed so easily esp. in larger schools some kids are just classes as quiet or stubborn or defiant and they are none of these they simply can't help how they feel. If not caught and if not treated many kids end up growing up with no help and it can lead to depression and in some cases severe depression or worse.

It's still not widely understood.

Our kid speaks perfectly at home, she was always 'by the book' a lot of kids with this disorder are brighter than avereage or very good at maths or art or music. She's very clever, good at maths and art and never shuts up talking at home. Even if I leave the room she still waffles on.

She used to speak in playschool when she started juniors she gradually stopped but she started regressing in playschool, they were also obsessed with kids being well behaved and quiet and she took this much more to heart than most kids would.

She only speaks to her grandparents, her parents, one friend and her mum at times depending and only if noone else is around. Noone else.
If she's around strangers she knows don't know her and I'm talking to them she will sometimes interupt me and come in on the conversation because she knows they don't know anything about her but she won't look them in the eye and speak to them directly.

We've tried everything from shrink (who had to leave and was never replaced so heard nothing for 2 years) to bribery to subtle things like spending time in the class room when noone else is there etc. Only thing that seems to have helped outside of school is when she turned 10 she was promised a pup and when taking him to classes she started to speak indirectly to other people because she is so into dogs and was so excited about being around the other dogs and her new pooch she almost forgot herself and it gave her confidence.
So he's doubling up as a therapy dog and it is helping.

It's going to be a long term thing though, she's in 4th class so won't be long before she's heading to secondary school and this is what we're dreading. We've kept her in a small country school where they know her and she's not forgotten about of course with the cut backs she has no class room assistant now which is maddenings because that's how she started whispering to her teacher. She got a new classroom assistant last year and because she was new she started whispering to her and by some miracle then the very same day started whispering to her teacher. She still whispers to her teacher but no longer has the class room assistant.

No idea where we go from here she had come a long way but so much further to go. So many kids get forgotten about or thought of as just overly shy when they have a social anxiety disorder it's much more than shyness and being embarrassed.
Sigma Force is offline  
06-12-2009, 03:16   #13
Starfox
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dublin
Posts: 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guineapigrescue View Post
Only just thought of checking out this section, I have posted in the speech forum before but it's not a speach issue that we're dealing with it's a social anxiety disorder.
Our 10 year old has Selective Mutism and it is classed as a social anxiety disorder, she cannot speak in school and only last year started to whisper to her teacher. It's so frustrating for everyone including her but we and the school are all working on it.

Selective mutism seems to be more common than once thought, it's not shyness our kid is far from shy some call it an extreme shyness but it's much more than that.

She just cant speak to people or class mates her face goes blank and for the first few years she would stand in the playground pretty much frozen in place.

Selective Mutism can be missed so easily esp. in larger schools some kids are just classes as quiet or stubborn or defiant and they are none of these they simply can't help how they feel. If not caught and if not treated many kids end up growing up with no help and it can lead to depression and in some cases severe depression or worse.

It's still not widely understood.

Our kid speaks perfectly at home, she was always 'by the book' a lot of kids with this disorder are brighter than avereage or very good at maths or art or music. She's very clever, good at maths and art and never shuts up talking at home. Even if I leave the room she still waffles on.

She used to speak in playschool when she started juniors she gradually stopped but she started regressing in playschool, they were also obsessed with kids being well behaved and quiet and she took this much more to heart than most kids would.

She only speaks to her grandparents, her parents, one friend and her mum at times depending and only if noone else is around. Noone else.
If she's around strangers she knows don't know her and I'm talking to them she will sometimes interupt me and come in on the conversation because she knows they don't know anything about her but she won't look them in the eye and speak to them directly.

We've tried everything from shrink (who had to leave and was never replaced so heard nothing for 2 years) to bribery to subtle things like spending time in the class room when noone else is there etc. Only thing that seems to have helped outside of school is when she turned 10 she was promised a pup and when taking him to classes she started to speak indirectly to other people because she is so into dogs and was so excited about being around the other dogs and her new pooch she almost forgot herself and it gave her confidence.
So he's doubling up as a therapy dog and it is helping.

It's going to be a long term thing though, she's in 4th class so won't be long before she's heading to secondary school and this is what we're dreading. We've kept her in a small country school where they know her and she's not forgotten about of course with the cut backs she has no class room assistant now which is maddenings because that's how she started whispering to her teacher. She got a new classroom assistant last year and because she was new she started whispering to her and by some miracle then the very same day started whispering to her teacher. She still whispers to her teacher but no longer has the class room assistant.

No idea where we go from here she had come a long way but so much further to go. So many kids get forgotten about or thought of as just overly shy when they have a social anxiety disorder it's much more than shyness and being embarrassed.

Hi Guineapigrescue,

Sorry to hear that about your girl, its been awhile since i posted this thread only looking at the replies now, have you looked into meditation? i cant honestly say enough about tm (transcendental meditation) through it ive lost my anxiety...almost, my fear factor of socializing is just about gone, most people spend their whole lives ignoring what hurts them or bottling up things that bring them down, when you meditation your addressing all the feelings inside, its like a therapy with yourself and theres nowhere for you to run. There is so many different levels to tm and what it can do for you, its 'a tool to develop a higher state of consciousness' your become a much more calmer person, more coherent with everything, you actually get smarter! ... basically everything on every level gets easy, ill dig up some videos on your tube you can look at,

here

John Hagelin ph.D in consciousness
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUSoU-pFTTU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZOFJ2r8nrQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD0aA...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsvEk...eature=channel

Film Director David Lynch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnbsboEvfoA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD7MR...eature=channel

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (the guy who brought TM to the western world)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0icNZnUxYo0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7ajE...eature=channel

Hugh Jackman and Howard Stern (on OCD)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilz0v...eature=channel

Random examples
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBrMv...eature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGijj...eature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmdVr...eature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abWlg...eature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaHdi...eature=channel

Are all meditations the same?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l41m...eature=channel

You can learn this in ireland there are a few teachers around the country, waterford, cork, dublin im not sure where else, but look here http://www.tm-ireland.org/

Hope these are of some help

Shane
Starfox is offline  
01-01-2010, 15:41   #14
jelomulawin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 34
Introversion

I hope I'm not bumping (mods), but I think some people also need to know what is introversion in direct response to social anxiety as a further information about this shy, anti-social, own world thingy, similarly as Guineapigrescue wrote about Selective Mutism .

I'm just gonna copy-paste-sh*t from some website...and wiki....

The Introvert's Personality Traits

Most of us are introverts or extroverts by nature, but we all display either introverted or extroverted personality characteristics at different times. For instance, you may be an introvert in a group of strangers and an extrovert at home with your family. However, most people exhibit stronger tendencies one way or another, towards either the introvert or extrovert side of the spectrum.

Introverts have an inward focus and aren't usually the life of the party. They have a strong sense of self that can make them feel highly self-conscious around other people – making walking into a crowded room a little nerve-wracking. Introverts have a hard time being goofy in front of the camera and telling jokes to more than a couple of people at a time, but they can be extremely witty.

Introverts process their emotions, thoughts, and observations internally. They can be social people, but reveal less about themselves than extroverts do. Introverts are more private, and less public. Introverts need time to think before responding to a situation, and develop their ideas by reflecting privately. Introverts' personality traits can be passionate, but not usually aggressive.

Introverts can focus their attention more readily and for longer periods of time, and they aren't easily swayed by other people's opinions.

Are Introverts Shy and Quiet?

Some introverts aren't stereotypically shy and can strike up conversations with anyone. These introverts enjoy talking and listening to people, and going to parties and events. But most introverts would rather be at home. Introverts can find small talk easy but tiring – and sometimes boring. They'd rather have meaningful conversations about the depths of human souls and minds, but find few opportunities (those aren't your usual conversations at water coolers or dinner parties!).

An introvert's personality traits aren't necessarily tentative or hesitant, but introverts do prefer to think before they act. When introverts are ready they take action!

Where Introverts Get Their Energy

Introverts tend to get their energy from within, so being with people is draining. After a day filled with people or activities, introverts tend to feel exhausted and empty. To recharge their batteries introverts need to be alone reading, daydreaming, painting, or gardening – any solo activity fills them up again. This doesn't mean introverts have to live alone in a cave in the hills or on Walden Pond; they just need quiet time to come back to themselves. The energy source for introverts is from within.

IN SHORT:
Introverts tend to be more reserved, less outgoing, and less sociable. They are not necessarily loners but they tend to have smaller circles of friends and are less likely to thrive on making new social contacts. Introverts are less likely to seek stimulation from others because their own thoughts and imagination are stimulating enough. A common misconception is that all introverts suffer from social anxiety or shyness. Introversion does not describe social discomfort but rather social preference. An introvert may not be shy at all but may merely prefer non social or less social activities.




More copy-paste-sh*t from the internet:

Understanding the Introvert in Your Life

"Introverts need acceptance, not change".

Do you know someone who can make a show-stopping presentation to colleagues, but is never seen at the company Christmas party? Who, despite the urging of family and friends, prefers to spend time alone? Who can carry on a lengthy, deep conversation with one or two people, but seems at a
loss for words when put on the spot in a social gathering? Who would much rather complete a project alone than as part of a group? If so, you probably know an introvert.

INTROVERTS DON"T NEED TO BE FIXED: Introversion is not something that needs to be “fixed,” but ask any introvert how hard that is for the extroverts around him to understand. Extroverts have a terrible time understanding how anyone would rather stay home than go out with the crowd. How could they leave that young lady to eat alone in the restaurant? Surely, someone needs to intervene. Right? Wrong. I know. I am an introvert.

Marti Laney, a self proclaimed introvert and author says, “We’ve all grown up in an extroverted society, and there really is quite a concept of negativity attached to introverts.” I definitely think extroverts wrote the books on manners. It is perfectly acceptable to say you cannot attend a function if you are ill, but considered very rude to decline simply to spend time at home alone. Therefore, introverts get good at making excuses, or just not showing up.

WHAT IS INTROVERSION? Take the famous Myers-Brigg personality test and the first category you it defined is introversion or extroversion. Introversion is not a phobia. It is an orientation, one that is shared by at least 25% of the population. Introversion is not the same as shyness. Shy people tend to get nervous or anxious around others. Introverts are not usually anxious. They just prefer their own company to the company of others.

The majority of the population feels recharged by spending time socially with others. The introvert feels drained of energy being with others, but give them some alone time, to reflect and enjoy the quiet, and they will be perfectly content. Introverts need lots of quiet time. My own
experience has been it usually takes me three hours alone for every hour in a social situation, sometimes more, before I feel like I want to come out of my room and join my family. Introverts tend to focus on the “inside world” rather than the “outside world.”

In my own life, I tried for years to make myself be social, thinking that in doing so, I would “fit in better” and be happier. For many years, I tried to fit into that role, and failed miserably. I also found myself exhausted most of the time. My family begged, pleaded, bribed, and schemed to “get me out of my shell” only to find I would crawl back in it given any opportunity. It wasn’t until I faced my fiftieth birthday and decided to go for some therapy to help me “become more like normal people” that I found someone knowledgeable enough to tell me what introversion really means. I wasn't "withdrawn" because people who isolate frequently are experiencing depression. I wasn't depressed. I was perfectly happy spending time alone. That's what introverts like best.

Recognizing myself as an introvert meant I was not crazy, not a recluse, not anti-social, and not shy. It just means I am like the “other normal” part of the population, the part that is very misunderstood. The therapist suggested I read Marti Laney’s book, The Introvert Advantage, and in those pages, I felt like my own story was written. I am normal. I am OK. And if you are introverted, please know you are normal, too!

ADVANTAGES TO BEING AN INTROVERT: There are some advantages to being introverted. Studies show that many of our world’s geniuses were introverted. Introverts make great researchers, as many love the methodical thought process a good investigator needs to have. Most introverts love
details. They also love to ponder, so they make great philosophers, spiritual mentors, teachers, and writers. They also can be great at making speeches, but not so great at the impromptu questions afterward. Although they know what they think, some introverts experience a difficult time putting words to their thoughts when called upon. However, introverts usually make great listeners. Famous introverts include Stephen King, Sissy Spacek, Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol, Robert DeNiro and many others. Introverts can be very creative, but rarely give interviews or make public appearances unless it is necessary to their careers to do so.

ACCEPTANCE: Book stores are full of books giving how-to information on becoming more outgoing, overcoming the need to be alone. If you believe you are introverted, take one of the free Myers-Briggs personality tests online to find out. But if you are, don’t feel you have to change. Rather, accept yourself just as you are. If you want to become more outgoing, then learn those skills, but don't do it to make yourself what others want. Give The Introvert Advantage to your family to help them understand it is nothing personal if you bow out of their invitation. Introverts should not be changed to extroverts, any more than short people should be forced to change to being tall.

Last edited by jelomulawin; 01-01-2010 at 15:58.
jelomulawin is offline  
(3) thanks from:
03-01-2010, 12:05   #15
dublinrep
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1
What a great thred :)

I have been suffering from generalized anxiety and social phobia along with deppression all my life... im currently on 45 mils of zispin and xanax(not recommended as it can be very addictive and a tollerance builds up) I recently done cbt and it really helped alot, I still get some social anxiety and some panic attacts but i am learning to controll it.

I would recomend to anyone to try mindfullnes as it helps no end with social phobia and anxiety.
dublinrep is offline  
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Share Tweet