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Terrible Social Anxiety watch

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    (Original post by missaphrodite)
    OP, could you take a train without a panic attack if there was no one else sitting on it?
    I'm not sure to be honest. Most of the time, the panic attacks/anxiety don't seem connected to anything in particular...

    Also, cheers to whoever gave negative rep :confused:
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    OP what sort of therapy are you having? If it's psychotherapy then this probably won't help much with your particular issue. Ask about 'cognitive beahvioural therapy' as this actually tackles your thoughts and feeling during difficult situations and teaches you how to deal with uncomfortable emotions in order to cope better.
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    (Original post by StressReliever)
    OP what sort of therapy are you having? If it's psychotherapy then this probably won't help much with your particular issue. Ask about 'cognitive beahvioural therapy' as this actually tackles your thoughts and feeling during difficult situations and teaches you how to deal with uncomfortable emotions in order to cope better.
    I'm doing CBT but it seems that my therapist doesn't do it with me anymore. Or she just asks me to look over situations I've been in: my thoughts, evidence to support the bad thoughts and evidence against it, then write a more balanced thought. But I just don't feel it helps me at all
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    (Original post by missaphrodite)
    I totally and UTTERLY understand you.
    I suffered from this, to the point of agoraphobia at one stage, for about 3 years. Now I'm almost completely recovered, but I do have the occasional panic attack.
    I can only tell you what helped me, and how I got out of it. I only recently came off Sertraline myself, and it helped me a lot, but it's not the be all and end all. As much as my psychologist helped me- she got me from not being able to leave my bedroom to being able to get trains to unknown cities etc, again, I don't think this is the be all and end all either. I assume you've been having cognitive behavioural therapy? This helped me a lot. And just having someone to talk to who helps you understand why you're feeling the way you do.
    Panic attacks are really the most horrible things, I know. It sounds like you have generalised anxiety rather than social anxiety, or maybe even agoraphobia (fear of having a panic attack in a place you cannot escape), but I'm not a psychologist (yet ).
    Two things that really helped me were Bach's rescue remedy, and Kalms. It sounds silly, because they are just herbal remedies, but for me they were great. I still take some Kalms with me if I'm going on a long journey. Learning special ways to breathe can also be amazingly helpful. So with these things combined, you have a little "panic attack toolbox".
    Whatever you do, don't give up on going out there and doing things you want to do. At first, don't do anything alone, always take along someone you trust, take your "toolbox" with you, and do small things like going on a short bus journey, going bowling etc, building up slowly until you do things out of town and take trains.
    Persist with the sertraline and with the CBT, because they really DO help. But gradually integrate the above steps into your life as well. Whatever you do, don't let yourself become afraid of going outside, and then gradually so afraid all you can do is lie in bed. I've been there.
    And please don't be ashamed because you're "16 for gods sake". I'm 19 on the 28th and I'm only just coming out of this and getting off the medication.
    And I'm starting uni on friday, when at one point I didn't think I'd be able to finish my GCSEs at school
    I hope this helps you in some way, and good luck x
    Thanks for the reply It's very informative. Pos rep coming your way.

    What I have does sound quite like agoraphobia and generalised anxiety upon looking them up. I'm not sure though. I just used social anxiety as it's what my therapist refers to it as.

    I've tried the breathing exercises but like... I get really freaked out at my breathing. If I concentrate too much on it, it feels like I have to make a conscious effort to breathe and makes me feel I'm not doing it properly or taking in enough air etc.

    Well done on overcoming it though, and I wish you luck at uni. Uni is something that terrifies me at the moment: the thought of it at least.

    Also, to anyone that wants to know: I didn't go to lasertag. I'm stuck at home Feeling loserish as usual.
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    You have friends who invite you to do stuff, that's a lot better than some people.

    Tbh you just have to keep practicing I think. Yeah it's horrible and yeah it feels horrible but if you don't force yourself into situations then you'll probably never be able to get over it. Do your friends know? You could try telling them and they might be able to help. Maybe start small; meet at your place and go for a walk round the block. Next time go for coffee nearby. Etc. That might help.
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    (Original post by missaphrodite)
    In my experience, being labelled with something generally doesn't help you.
    As soon as I began to think of myself as a normal person, just like everyone else, I recovered much faster. After all, if you tell yourself you have social anxiety, you're going to act socially anxious. It's a big issue with diagnosing psychological problems.

    (My god I'm such a psychology geek.)

    THIS x a million!

    I get really anxious as well, but for me it's just about relationships - if I enter one I just freak out and end up dreading seeing the person whenever we organise to do anything, I have no idea why when I know I really like them. BUT! If I just put on a brave face and act like everything is normal instead of admitting that I am actually really nervous I start to get better and feel normal again. If I tell myself that something's wrong and keep focusing on the anxiety it just gets worse! I think adding labels to yourself can be detremental, it just reminds you of your problems even more and just exacerbates the situation.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    You have friends who invite you to do stuff, that's a lot better than some people.
    It's VERY rare that I'm invited to do things. That probably doesn't help because my friend group isn't the most sociable, so when I AM invited to go out I'm terrified. It's unlikely we even go out together once a month, which is.... bad...
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    (Original post by LonelySoul193)
    It's VERY rare that I'm invited to do things. That probably doesn't help because my friend group isn't the most sociable, so when I AM invited to go out I'm terrified. It's unlikely we even go out together once a month, which is.... bad...
    Once a month better than once a year :dontknow:

    Anyway, if they're not sociable then invite them round yours, watch a movie or play games or whatever, then go for a walk after. Of course things aren't going to change if you're not practicing at it. Or even find a new group of friends.
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    I suffer from the same thing. Just throw yourself in there and you'll get better over time. :wink2:
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    Once a month better than once a year :dontknow:

    Anyway, if they're not sociable then invite them round yours, watch a movie or play games or whatever, then go for a walk after. Of course things aren't going to change if you're not practicing at it. Or even find a new group of friends.
    Inviting people to mine is very anxiety-inducing for me. All I can think about is how they're probably not enjoying themselves etc. There's no one else in my year of school that I get on with particularly well - making friends is hard for me too.
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    I've found the best way to start getting over this is to set yourself little goals. For example, going to the corner shop on your own, going to post a letter in the post box down the road, saying hello to the cashier when you next buy something etc. You can pick ones that are to do with what you find scary and start gradually building up the difficulty. You'll find that you become more confident once you realise that nothing bad happens and that you can cope.

    Other than that, you just have to force yourself to do things, keep in mind that your fear is completely irrational and that there is nothing actually wrong with you, you'll survive and you'll keep getting better.
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    (Original post by LonelySoul193)
    Inviting people to mine is very anxiety-inducing for me. All I can think about is how they're probably not enjoying themselves etc. There's no one else in my year of school that I get on with particularly well - making friends is hard for me too.
    Ok so what about local places? If getting on a train is difficult then try to do things closer to home. Yeah laser tag is awesome fun but it can be fun watching sports in a quiet bar, or drinking coffee and talking or stuff like that.

    When I was at school I had the problem that even if I was invited somewhere I found it very difficult to go, so yeah, similar to you, but if the thing was close to home it was easier because I could just walk home if I felt too bad. So maybe that might help if you do stuff like that.

    I wouldn't rely too much on the medication either, I tried that route and had absolutely no luck, probably only good for a placebo for anxiety I reckon. Breathing stuff can help a bit but that needs a bit of practice first when you're not panicking to make it stand any chance of working when you are panicking.
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    (Original post by LonelySoul193)
    It's VERY rare that I'm invited to do things. That probably doesn't help because my friend group isn't the most sociable, so when I AM invited to go out I'm terrified. It's unlikely we even go out together once a month, which is.... bad...
    What pretty much ruined high school for me is that at the end of year 9, I started refusing all invitations because of my anxiety. Eventually, as lovely as some of the people were, they just stopped asking me because they 'knew' what the answer was going to be, and suddenly I didn't have a social life because everyone at school was always talking about how much fun they were having together out of school. So this is really something you need to try and avoid. That's why it's important for you to keep practising doing little things like going for short journeys, going into town, going to the shops etc. Don't feel like you have to accept invitations to go miles on the train or go to lasertag or things like that, until you feel totally ready. Try telling your close friends how you are feeling, chances are they'll understand.
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    (Original post by Antifazian)
    I've found the best way to start getting over this is to set yourself little goals. For example, going to the corner shop on your own, going to post a letter in the post box down the road, saying hello to the cashier when you next buy something etc. You can pick ones that are to do with what you find scary and start gradually building up the difficulty. You'll find that you become more confident once you realise that nothing bad happens and that you can cope.

    Other than that, you just have to force yourself to do things, keep in mind that your fear is completely irrational and that there is nothing actually wrong with you, you'll survive and you'll keep getting better.
    This is excellent advice. Don't live your life by a label, 'pretend' to be just like everybody else, and set yourself little goals, however silly you feel.
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    The folks that went to lasertag had a great time. And one of my good friends (also, my ex) said she felt more confident because I wasn't there... Because that helps me

    I just cried for like... a half hour there. Significant as I haven't properly cried in over a year.
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    (Original post by LonelySoul193)
    Inviting people to mine is very anxiety-inducing for me. All I can think about is how they're probably not enjoying themselves etc. There's no one else in my year of school that I get on with particularly well - making friends is hard for me too.
    I don't get on with the vast majority of my year as well. I have a small few aquaintaces (sp?) but I have literally no-one I would consider a proper friend which is sad (although said aquaintaces may consider me a friend of theirs and I think the fact that feeling isn't really reciprocated is sadder).

    Basically, I'm really shy too, probably not to the extremes of social anxiety but still quite bad. Even, eye contact with strangers (let alone conversation) makes me feel uncomfortable.

    I don't have any decent advice but I do endorse those people who have said pushing yourself (not too far) would help. For me, greeting a stranger while looking them in the eye is an achievement. To most people, that's nothing. However, it actually makes me feel good about myself and with that feeling comes confidence.

    BTW, your ex should have thought before saying that.
 
 
 
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