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Anyone dealt with Social anxiety disorder?


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Hey all,

 

Its been awhile, but i'm just getting over a really bad time.Just got diagnosed with this and am just starting to use bio-feedback as a method of therapy.It is very promising but was looking to see if anyone may have some advice or just some links that may help.

 

Thanks

 

Midimonk

I cannot be bought, and I cannot be threatened. But if you put them both together then I'm your man!"
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ironically i stepped into a church for the first time in 15 yrs last week :cry:

 

made worse by the fact the i erased everything in a mood swing :mad:

I cannot be bought, and I cannot be threatened. But if you put them both together then I'm your man!"
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My 14-year-old son has this.

 

He was more anxious on Paxil than off Paxil, so, from my unscientific study, drugs aren't right for everyone. He is happy being by himself, playing video games, not having any close friends, but I (and his mother) encourage him to learn the social skills he will need to establish an independant life - and he seems to be improving at that.

 

Biofeedback/prayer/meditation can be a great hook to learn more about yourself and your connection to the universe, so please continue on this quest.

 

Religion/drugs/sex/gambling/whatever can also be a hook that robs you of your individuality, so be carful about diving into anything (anything but music!) headfirst at the expense of the rest of your life.

 

Faced with this new knowlege, you can proceed with your life knowing that everything you do is a choice. You will be making choices with a little more self-awareness, and that's a good thing. Also know that you can choose your life according to your needs, not anyone else's expectations. I put myself into social situations where I wouldn't expect to be comfortable, and I'm not dead yet (and I encourage my son to do the same).

 

The music will happen when it happens, so don't let a dry spell discourage you disproportionately.

 

Hang in there!

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Here's what WebMD has to say about Social Anxiety Disorder

It's a good overview.

 

Here's the skinny:

"Social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia) is an anxiety disorder that causes intense, unreasonable, and persistent fear of being judged by others or being embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. Daily social situations that require you to perform a task or interact with other people causes extreme anxiety and panic." Some folks may experience a specific fear of only one situation, such as using a public toilet or eating in front of others or public speaking.

 

Although therapy is a bit different for "general" and "specific" socially anxious individuals, the basic theory behind social anxiety is that people sometimes develop irrational beliefs (e.g., "I'm not good enough to be with these people," "everyone's going to judge me") which then causes anxiety. This expectation of being embarrassed or being judged, or just having an "anxiety attack" further develops the fear, until it builds to the point of interfering with their life.

 

The therapy process is to:

1. help the client work through irrational beliefs about social situations (e.g., "I will be judged by everyone.") and themselves ("I'm not worthy."),

2. provide social skills training (individuals with SAD may be having a temporary case of social anxiety related to recent negative experiences (such as a messy divorce) but more individuals have pervasive fears that may involve difficulties interacting with others)

3. teach relaxation techniques to alleviate anxiety in social situations, and

4. provide exposure to the feared situation to counter the belief/feeling that social situations are strongly anxiety-inducing.

 

I'll add that biofeedback seems an unusual choice as the treatment focus, although it is occasionally used to help the patient learn relaxation exercises. The usual treatment is called something like "cognitive-behavioral treatment" (like that outlined above), which includes individual and often group therapy as well. The group therapy is very important- it allows clients to support each other, practice using relaxation, practice social skills, and test how we think others view us (e.g, "People think I'm ugly.").

 

I'll add that for anyone seeking treatment for any anxiety disorder, it is important to find out what treatment the therapist uses. If the therapist cannot give you a treatment strategy up front, that's a problem. Although many therapists provide treatments that are less effective or not supported by research trials, there are several methods (especially those that fall under "CBT") that have been shown to be effective in research studies. On a note about using drugs (like Paxil) to treat SAD, they work well in the short-term, but psychotherapy (e.g., CBT) is more proven in long-term improvement. And with psychotherapy, clients typically report more satisfaction through benefits of learning new skills for coping with stress and slef-exploration.

 

Good luck, Midimonk!

Scott

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Midi...

 

I would say that you will probably find a "gut-feeling" reaction as to the path that you should take. Some good, honest self-searching and meditation on the subject will be very helpful. You can listen to everyone else, from friends to professionals...but, ultimately, when something comes along that you feel peaceful and at ease about, that might be the direction that you should take. As long as it's not destructive, mind you. Listen for the still, small voice...

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Thanks all,

 

I just needed a more musical point of view, its amazing how many friends kinda leave you in the dust when your down.I really do wanna beat this cuz the last few days have been a living hell emotionally and it is time to face the piper for 16 yrs of hard living.

 

again thanks for the kind words, :wave:

I cannot be bought, and I cannot be threatened. But if you put them both together then I'm your man!"
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I've worked with dozens of people with anxiety disorders. The main thing to remember is that this isn't something you're necessarily going to be able to deal with in therapy - talking it out doesn't control the symptoms very well in most people.

 

You have a condition that has a biological cause and needs to be treated as such. By biofeedback I assume you're talking about EEG biofeedback (also known as neurofeedback). If so, this can help although it may take a while, so be patient. The good thing about neurofeedback is that it can produde long-term changes that stick (this is because you're training your brain to work differently). There are a couple of other approaches that can do this too (sometimes with less time and expense), so you might want to check around for some other options as well.

 

Medication can also help, but it'll be temporary - once you stop the meds your anxiety will return. You'll also need to monitor the meds closely because even ones that work can mysteriously stop working for you.

 

Diet can help. Check out the Feingold program. It's mostly used for people with ADD and autism but it often works for people with a variety of similar condtions including anxiety disorders. Diet, like, medications only works as long as you keep up the plan. Change your diet and your symptoms will come back.

 

There are some homeopathics that can help. I don't rememvber off-hand which ones are best for anxiety disorders though. Check with a homeopath.

 

Acupuntcure has been known to help some people and can actually produce long-term improvement. But, like with neurofeedback, it can take a while to get your symptoms under control. Chances are you have a good acupuncturist in your area.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Jeff

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I'm the poster boy for social anxiety. :(

 

I'm working with a shrink, and I have made some progress, but the facts are that I spend 60% of my day indoors, alone. :cry: I do a lot of my socializing on websites such as this message board, but I don't socialize at school like I want to. People don't seem very friendly and I'm afraid of just starting up a conversation with a total stranger, especially with the females. :(

 

The struggle continues...

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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I just needed a more musical point of view, its amazing how many friends kinda leave you in the dust when your down.I really do wanna beat this cuz the last few days have been a living hell emotionally and it is time to face the piper for 16 yrs of hard living.

 

Yes unfortunately, it's hard to find friends to talk to about this sort of thing. I think mostly they just don't understand or have a realistic idea of what you could be going through (because they've never experienced it themselves). It doesn't mean that they are bad people, just that they're ill-equipped.

 

That said, as you read along here, you should at least see a bit of empathy, and that you're not alone at all. There should at least be some comfort at that.

 

My dad suffers from social anxiety. Not necessarily the same way, but mainly he doesn't like public places with large crowds. My parents live up in the mountains in a semi-secluded sort of way. He spends a lot of time at home (it *is* a beautifully peaceful place to be) but i think some of it is a "crutch" to avoid going out. It's gotten a little better on its own (he doesn't seem to want to treat it much) but as you see there are ways to treat this.

 

I myself suffer from anxiety disorder and depression, and have for about 13 years. Once again, not entirely the same thing, but the same category of thing. The good news is that right now, you're probably seeing the worst it will ever be. With treatment and with time, it will become much easier to manage or may even be completely cured.

 

good luck

Dr. Seuss: The Original White Rapper

.

WWND?

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Midi,

I'm dealing with this now and have been saddled with one version or another of it all my life (52 yrs). It is now quite ugly and is interrupting everything I do.

 

I'm seeing a psychologist who knows that there are two possible sides to this stuff: the bio-chemical side as mentioned before, and the mental-emotional component.

 

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the latter as it is widely accepted that childhood trauma very often causes deep wounds that we carry into adulthood. The catch is that as we age, we forget the incident(s) from so long ago

but we continue through life with a distorted perspective that was learned very early.

 

Anyway, it really sucks dealing with this shit as adults. The biggest challenge is that we stubbornly cling to our learned behavior and fight

our own healing. This is where the 'drugs' come in. The CORRECT medication will put out the ongoing fire and give you a chance to deal with specific issues, without feeling that intense hopelessness.

 

In my case, both methods are the ticket. It could be the same for you.

Good Luck,

Bill

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Actually, Barbara Streisand suffers from this disorder, and only recently returned to live performing because of effective medications.

 

But then she's a pussy.

 

So, there you go.

 

I don't want to appear insensitive. I want it to be outright known that I'm insensitive.

 

I recommend jumping into the fire. That's just me, though. Instead of medication, I suggest that the afflicted individual "talk" about it with someone, and realize that some fears are unfounded, and accept that everyone in the audience is "equally" anxious, and then run with the performance.

 

I really didn't understand the concept until my dad threw me into the lake. Once I made my way out of the burlap bag, rose to the surface, and saw the full moon, I knew that I could play guitar in front of people -- under any conditions.

 

That's just me, though...

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There's been some very good advice posted so far, so rather than repeating it, I'll just say good luck Monk. Hang in there, and remember that you certainly have the intelligence and willpower to conquer it. If you truly BELIEVE you can overpower the symptoms, you will.

 

your friend,

Jeebus

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I could talk about this for hours.

 

I think it stems from a person having a low self esteem and thinking that, because he's down on himself and judges himself too harshly, that other people will also do this.

 

Its a bastard to deal with. Try to find things you do well and praise yourself rather than always criticising yoursef.

 

This way, you'll be able to get some confidence back so you can walk into a crowded room and not feel like climbing the walls :)

"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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Rog,

You are a wise man!

 

I think this statement could be a bit misleading, MusicMedicine:

I've worked with dozens of people with anxiety disorders. The main thing to remember is that this isn't something you're necessarily going to be able to deal with in therapy - talking it out doesn't control the symptoms very well in most people.
Therapy can be very effective, when it includes the components I listed above and is applied by a competent therapist. I'll add that just any "talk therapy" won't do- decades of research have been conducted to find out what particular treatments work for particular patients showing particular symptoms. Unfortunately, there are a ton of therapists out there who do not utilize treatments that are known to work, and their patients often suffer the consequences of slow if any gains. It is important to find a therapist who is trained in and uses techniques that have been shown to be most effective.

 

However, I would agree with the influence of diet on anxiety symptoms. For example, the effects of caffeine may not be noticeable under normal conditions, but once someone becomes a little anxious, it can really strengthen the anxiety or panic. Alcohol can also have bad effects. You loose sleep when you go to bed drunk. In addition, you are more susceptible to anxiety when you are hung-over.

 

Good luck BlueStrat! (You've always seemed socially competent on these boards to me!)

I looked around for a therapist in Charlotte who can treat using CBT, but have so far come up blank. I'll update this thread if I find out anything!

 

Good luck bvdd! (I don't know ya well, but keep the faith!)

BU in Boston (kinda close, yeah?) has probably the best anxiety clinic in the nation, if you are interested:

BU Anxiety Clinic

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Okay, I can definitely relate to this. People often make me uncomfortable. It's not really an issue, I wouldn't call it a 'Social Anxiety Disorder', because it doesn't really affect my day-to-day life. But it can be a pain in the ass when you want to talk to somebody but you don't know what to say. I sometimes avoid people for this very reason.

 

Some of you know that I have dealt with depression for about seven years. I would consider myself over it. That doesn't mean I'm no longer suceptible to it. And it has definitely left it's mark on me. I fear failure so bad anymore, that I'm afraid to take risks. But, I'm work'n on it. I'm about to get a little bit of counseling to help me organize a few things in my life. But, I can say that I feel like I have emerged finally.

 

I don't think enough can be said about the power of 'Self-talk'. You WILL belive the things you tell yourself. It takes time, but it will affect you. It's like fatty foods. They don't make you fat overnight, but if you give them enough time, hell, you could get up to 500 pounds! Little by little.

 

So be mindful of what you say to yourself.

 

Also, get some victories in your life. EVERY good social experience will make the next one just a little easier. So find opportunuities to find those experiences.

 

If you do medication....don't do it without some kind of counseling. Meds can only do so much. the pill won't fix you, but it might make it easier for you to fix yourself.

 

I'm glad this topic was brought up. It's an important thing to talk about. We can all help each other.

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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Another little trick that can sometimes work for me.

 

Look at this condition for what it is, what it implies. It implies that you're a tough critic, this can be a good thing in many situations. It implies that you're probably more sensitive than most people. Kinda why you ended up a musician and that's a great thing in a way. Creative people probably suffer more with this and similar conditions than other people. It's a double-edged sword but at the same time you're in a great position. Do you know how many people secretly hate the fact they they never learned to play an instrument, let alone to actually write and record music?

"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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update:

 

a psychatrist has been brought in to help , the depression got so bad the other day for no apparent reason , just bam, i was literally a mess.Now will see if a two tiered approach is more succesful.

 

so i may be offline for awhile but want to thank everyone for the support

:thu:

I cannot be bought, and I cannot be threatened. But if you put them both together then I'm your man!"
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Originally posted by m.l.p.:

i stay avoid uncomfortable situations as much as possible. i know thats not a cure, but in my mind it beats medicine.

But then you never improve, and you might even get worse. It's not an option if you want to live a normal life, and I do want to have a life. I'm probably the loneliest I've ever been in my life right now. I'm away from home, I've got a very small pool of friends that I don't see very often (and for short periods of time), and I work all the time. :(

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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A colleague at Chapel Hill sent me this link. There are several in the Charlotte, NC area, with some information about what they do:

 

http://www.ncpsychology.org/cgi-bin/referralhome.cgi

 

This page gives some basic information of what questions are helpful to ask when looking for a therapist. It also provides definitions for different "types" of treatments that therapists may use:

 

http://www.adaa.org/Public/Find.cfm

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Originally posted by Midimonk:

so i may be offline for awhile but want to thank everyone for the support

:thu:

Hang in there, dude!

 

If you need anymore support, or just want to talk, you know where we are!

 

Seriously, I wish you all the best. We all have our personal mountains to climb. There's nothing wrong with giving each other a hand.

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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I had a small triumph today. :) I spoke in front of my class for a few minutes on a topic for my term paper. I was nervous, but I went through with it and it wasn't too bad. I had some anxiety, but got it under control. :thu:

 

A small victory, but one worth celebrating. :D

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Originally posted by Super 8:

Originally posted by bluestrat:

A small victory, but one worth celebrating. :D

Maybe not such a "small victory". Public speaking ranks higher than death, on the list of things that people are most afraid of.
Public speaking has always been a stumbling block for me. One of these days, I want to get to the point where I can just say whatever I want to whomever I want to talk to, at any place and time. That's my goal. I see these people at the college that are preaching to folks as they walk by in the courtyard. I'd be too scared to do that, but they seem to love the attention. (most of which is negative, because they insult people)

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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