I have suffered from social anixety for over 10 years. Its especially worse at work and I can feel really on edge and uncomfortable with people. My confidence really takes a knock on a regular basis. I go red at a drop of a hat when talking to people and can feel my heart beating fast and my mind goes blank.
Has anyone got over this? I have tried the mater hospital course while it was good the effects wear off. Im on the waiting list for a CBT therapist and am currently going to a psychotherapist. I dont feel any better yet and have been going to him for a bout 6 months.
Any positive stories out there? Was thinking of trying toast masters, NLP along with the CBT. Really want to get rid of this, its controlling my life and my career.
Im open to any suggestions, would like to try medidation again also, feel I need something to calm myself down. Find it very hard to switch off my mind.
Are you taking medication?
It might be the fact that you are taking drugs that are not issued under a doctor's prescription.
Depending on the medication you take, the pills could make you feel drowsy. Either this or they might be the cause of your anxiety.
Sorry I don't really have a success story to tell on "how to get over" social anxiety. I have that problem myself.
Mainly I just try to steer away from the people I am not friends with. Know the people you are close to and talk to them about your worries.
I think this is the best way to conquer stress without, doing anything that might be dangerous to your health.
i suffer/suffered from SA for about 10 years as well. i had pretty much the same problems as yourself. i finally decided to tackle the issue cos it was holding me back so much. didn't even know what i 'had' was a disorder. unfortunately i went down the hypnotherapy route which was a complete sham. then after that failed, i heard a lot of positive stories regarding cbt. so i gave that a shot and it has been very effective in helping me overcome my SA. i wouldn't say i'm 100% over it yet but i certainly made huge strides and i have a lot more control over my anxiety then i used to. thats pretty impressive considering i only started treating my SA just over a year ago. i can now handle certain situations a lot better then i used to....i know its only a matter of time before i completely overcome it. i'm currently attending a behavioural group in Smithfield with about 5 or 6 other people where we work on situations that cause us difficulty in the real world. pm me if you like and i can tell you more. i wouldn't be too eager to try medication as they do have bad side effects....they can be helpful though if you have a one-off event coming up which would cause you a lot of anxiety.
Hi thanks for replies.
No the doctor put me on antidepressants I was very reluctant, I tried them and then ended it after a month as Im quite health conscious and enjoy running and being active so didnt really like the idea of putting chemicals into my body. I had to really push to be put on a waiting list for CBT, here over 6 months later I am still waiting to be seen.
I heard something about the Smithfield meet up. Could you tell me more about it? Is it run by people with SA? Just feel I need some major confidence boost, can feel really low about myself. Theres very little help out there for someone who doesnt want to take medication.
Has anyone tried NPL or meditation (not medication!) ?
good stuff man the antidepressant thing is not the road to go ,side effects etc.
I used to have severe social anxiety I used to run out of the room when any strangers would come ino the house ,I used to get panic attacks in crowded rooms and I had claustrophobia and I have them now conquered after an awful lot of work .I even did a speech last week , i went to visit underground caves .I was extremely nervous but I was able
to do it. , Its still there ,but I'm in control ,I'm still very introverted but to the outsider I appear extrovert.
Meditation or any kind of stilling the mind should improve your present situation.What worked for me was what is called in NLP anchoring .I didn't ever read about NLP but when I did study up on it I realised it was using it. I still get panic attacks but I can stop this very quickly. Anchoring means getting yourself in a relaxed or any kind of state and using some kind of trigger to set it off ,in my case I breathe extremely deeply ,when nerves set in There are many ways of anchoring ,but this is what works for me.
How would I start that, is there a book you recommend? Or can you just do it yourself. Was thinking of going to a NLP therapist but maybe I dont need to?
hey again, ok, we meet up every tuesday for 2 hours from 6 till 8. we talk breifly about how we've been getting on over the past week.....situations that caused us problems, etc. the main part of it though is the behavioural experiments. for example, doing a short speech, etc....whatever area you find difficult. we use a camera to record us and then watch it back. the reason for this is because people with SA exaggerate in their mind how nervous they look but in reality its no where near as bad. everyone at it suffers from SA....we're all at different stages of recovery. they guy who runs it is a past sufferer of SA. most people in the group have studied the dr. thomas a richards cbt audio series. whatever cbt you choose, you need to hammer this into your mind before you start doing the behavioural experiements.
I had SA when I was much younger but managed to grow out of it. I realise I was lucky and that others find it more difficult to get over SA. If you're interested in meditation here's a CD with a guided meditation that I find really good. There's two meditations on it, one 20 minute one (start off with that) and a 45 minute one. It's Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation by Swami Janakananda. You can get it on Amazon. Good luck.
Should I wait until I have started with the CBT Therapist? Or will the experience I have already with the Matter course in CBT do? The meet up sounds good.
Thanks also Emme, will get that CD need something to unwind!
its hard for me to accurately say judging from the limited amount of info i know about you and how SA is effecting your life. however i do know that it is important to have a good cognitive base hammered down into your brain. you sound like you do have the right attitude to overcome it though. cbt rfor overcoming SA requires a motivated and determined attitude for it to be implemented successfully.
Thanks greengiant. I will be touch soon about the meet up. Hoping the CBT therapy will be coming up soon.
Was thinking of doing toastmasters as that kind of thing terrifies me the most, feel it really is noticable at work, cant speak up at meetings without feeling my heart pounding, getting boiling hot and uncomfortable. Also did an interview there (didnt get job) feel my lack of confidence is going to affect me and hold me back for my whole life if I dont do anything about it now. A person who had only been working there a couple of weeks got the job before me as they ooze confidence and had no worries doing the interview. Agh hate having no confidence!!
Really wonder what happened me over the years, was a happy child when I was in primary no horrible experience in Secondary. Seem like my confidence is slipping away the older I get. Im now 27.
I was really insecure in myself throughout secondary but that was all down to me. Now I feel I am scared of other people, always feeling inadequate to others. My best friend and boyf cant see it and think I seem confident. But I feel Im a bit of a wreck at work especially. So hard to explain to others who dont have SA. Wish I could just relax a little when Im with people and slow down my thoughts and worries.
Really want to do something with my life and be successful but with this it is so difficult to get on with things.
Has anyone any experience of toastmasters especially someone with SA?
I would recommend feel the fear by susan jeffers .Its not a dear book and its a good starting point.
I found CBT for Dummies really good. Helped me quite a bit.
All the techniques are explained really well and there are a load of helpful references.
no worries, you and anyone else who has problems with SA is more than welcome to join the group.
i know exactly where your coming from with your frustrations.....it can really get you down! regarding how it originated in you, it could for a variety of different reasons. i know everyone in our group has different backrounds regarding how it developed with them.
the really good news though is that it can be successfully treated so try not to beat up on yourself too much. you can make a lot of progress in a short space of time once you start treating it.
as other people in this thread have mentioned, there are a lot of good books out there which are helpful. i myself recommend the 'overcoming social anxiety' audio series by dr. thomas a richards. this could be very beneficial while you are waiting to see a cbt therapist.
regarding going to a toastmasters event, i would refrain from doing so for the time being. the reason being is that cbt for SA requires individuals to face there fears in a structured and hieracrhial fashion. for instance, i started by doing a short presentation in front of 2 individuals, then when my anxiety became more comfortable i moved up to doing them in front of 3, 4, 5 people, etc. i'm actually going to be going to my first toastmasters event this week but i had to put in the ground work first.
anyway, good luck and keep your chin up!
OP you can do everything yourself dont buy into ridiculous courses for all this stuff .The self help industry is now the biggest booming enterprise out there at the moment and is designed to really not empower people .First you need to decide to make a change and learn to accept yourself as you are and unconditionally accept and love yourself no matter what.
Meditation did wonders for me because I wasn't expecting much from it. I just sat in a room in the lotus for a half an hour not thinking about much just focussing on the breathing .Sometimes it was difficult and other times it was easier ,but over a few months .I noticed huge differences ,one being increased mental acuity like actually noticing things long before other people .People say my reflexes were extremely quick but the fact is that its purely because I can see it coming before it happens ,weird.
Another thing was the voice in my head became a whisper , I can safely say I'm really afraid of nothing or anybody now .If a problem comes in my life .I find a solution.
Another thing I was able to do was dissociate which means say you are worried or nervous about something you step out of yourself for a few seconds or mins and when you do that it will have the effect of actually resetting yourself much like a computer reboots.
SA will not leave your life you'll always have it .I still have it even though I have given a best man speech for my bro when his best man got drunk with no prior preparation and I have played on stage to 4,000 people in the states.
I tend to see myself as an introvert who operates well in an extroverted world.My friends are the same.
SA is totally conquerable ,but it took an awful lot of work .I actually personally have very little fear now. i can just shut off the internal dialogue and get on with it.To tell you exactly what I did would take to long to explain .But I was extremely lucky in that that I met some extremely insane extrovert friends that were up for anything and that kind of rubbed off on me.
Op on the whole, you are not really in a bad place, because have your friends and your bf . In my case when I started I had no friends and I had no social skills whatsoever .