Couldn't bring myself to make the CBT appointment, missed deadline. What now?

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
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A while back I finally forced myself to make an appointment with my GP. I was initially interested in medication as I was sceptical about how well therapy would work for me (I'd be far too nervous to open up to a complete stranger). He advised me to try CBT before trying any kind of medication and really bigged it up. I wasn't really convinced, but agreed to it anyway since I'm about as assertive as a damp rag.

He referred me to a CBT place where I had to ring up and make an appointment, and I just couldn't physically do it. The deadline passed, it's been a few months, and I'm not sure what to do next.

I'm extremeIy reluctant to visit my GP again as I feel as though I wasted his time (it was bad enough going the first time), and even if I did go I wouldn't know what to suggest.

As I am now, there is no way in hell I could bring myself to go to therapy, so that leaves me with medication. Medication for social anxiety seems to only consist of SSRIs, beta blockers or benzodiazepines.

SSRIs seem to have a whole host of awful side effects (I'm especially concerned about loss of sex drive and weight gain), beta blockers seem to just help with the physical side of panic attacks, and benzodiazepines are essentially blacklisted in the UK (I have had some success self-medicating with them, but this is not really an ideal situation).

So basically I feel stumped and would love to hear any suggestions you guys might have (as long as it isn't "do the CBT"!).
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Venam
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Report 6 years ago
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"He referred me to a CBT place where I had to ring up and make an appointment, and I just couldn't physically do it."
This was the result of a symptom of your anxiety disorder, he'll understand that.

"
I'm extremeIy reluctant to visit my GP again as I feel as though I wasted his time"
This is also the result of a symptom of your anxiety disorder.

If I'm not allowed to say "do the CBT", I'll instead suggest you push yourself to visit your GP again and have him convince you to do the CBT.
If CBT is still going to be out of the question, SSRIs really aren't so bad. The most noticeable side effects will be encountered in your first 1 - 4 weeks of taking the drugs, and then it will get easier for you... but don't assume from that there will definitely be any very noticeable side effects. All medicines 'can' have side effects, including SSRIs, but no side effects have been extreme or common enough to outweigh the benefits of the medicines in regular usage.
If you do start to encounter a side effect which is absolutely unbearable, contact your GP immediately. You won't be wasting their time, they want you to feel comfortable, and any problem having serious effects on your working or social life, your happiness, or your general functionality, is definitely not 'too small' to be important.
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belis
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Report 6 years ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)

So basically I feel stumped and would love to hear any suggestions you guys might have (as long as it isn't "do the CBT"!).
I'm still going to say CBT as it does have the best evidence base for treatment of social anxiety. You may find it reassuring to know that you are not really expected to 'open up' with the therapist. It's more about practical problem solving and gradually building up your confidence to deal with situations that you find difficult. You build up a therapeutic relationship over time and after a couple of sessions they are not a complete stranger any more. It may be beneficial to combine SSRIs with CBT.

You are not wasting your GP time. They are there to help you out with this problem. If it got to the point when you are self medicating with benzos I would strongly encourage you to go and see your GP. Those things have a nasty tendency to get a bit out of hand quite quickly and before you know it you have another problem on your hands (there are very good reasons why GPs are reluctant to prescribe benzos).
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