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    Hey - I'm 21, M and recently I've started suffering from the most awful panic attacks. I've finally come to terms with the fact that I have social anxiety and consequently am depressed. I've been denying it for a couple of years now and I've managed to hide it by lying to myself and my friends and family. But, since these panic attacks have started I feel I can no longer keep this a secret and need to accept and deal with it. I've spoken to Mum and she said I should try counselling but for some reason I'm a little skeptical as to whether it will be effective or not. I'm also extremely worried that people will judge me for seeing a counsellor which triggers my social anxiety and makes me not want to go even more.

    Some advice/experience would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks so much


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    i suffer from anxiety, which i know is different from social anxiety, and recently started counselling to help manage it (and my depression too).

    the first session was helpful because i spoke about my problems and it felt great getting it all off my chest, especially having not spoken about them to anyone for literally years. we discussed how to deal with them through cognitive behavioural therapy (basically relearning healthy behaviours, you can read about that here) which i find really hard. 5 or 6 sessions in, i'm still struggling with my behaviours but that's natural. i also had to keep a mood diary for a week, but i don't know if you'll have to do that for social anxiety.

    in my latest session, i was given a sheet that helps identify triggers (of my anxiety or depression) and negative behaviours caused by those triggers. to accompany this, i was given a sheet in which i had to fill whenever i experienced a trigger and how i dealt with it. my counselor and i went through positive things i could do like going for a walk, talking to friends, playing my ukulele or doing some art in order to lessen the negative impact of the trigger. when i experience a trigger, i have to do one of those things in order to prevent or lessen any negative habits the event may induce.

    this is the kind of thing you may experience at counselling, of course i don't know for sure because it'll be different for social anxiety.

    personally, i'm quite comfortable talking about my counselling with my close friends, family and one or two teachers. i don't feel judged for seeing a counselor and talking about it helps the people around me understand how significant my problems are, which is a bonus.

    overall, i can't say counselling has had a huge impact on my life, but i have only been going for about 6 weeks. for me, i see this as a starting point. if my problems worsen, there are options of further counselling or medication or group therapy etc. but for now, it's a good start and i recommend you try it at least, because it might just help.

    hope things work out!
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    As a sufferer of a major depressive disorder for roughly 8 years, and seeing 3 counsellors at one specific time in my life, I never found it to be effective in aiding my recovery. This being said, even though it was not effective on my mental health, it's a matter of the individual in themselves. People tend to find certain kinds of therapy better than others, and roughly 1/10 people are unaffected by all forms of therapy.

    Each counsellor spoke with me about different kinds of therapy which I could use, including cognitive behavioural therapy, a form of hypnosis and one had attempted free association to find any subconscious issues leading to my current state. One counsellor requested for me to keep a record of ways in which I coped when suffering with one particular episode, however the list was very short.

    Despite the negativity of the post, generally, you should seek counselling and take part in it for a while. If you feel it to be ineffective to your recovery, there's always an option to discontinue the programme. Other forms of recovery could be using drug therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy, but those are all decisions for you to make.

    I wish you all the best in your recovery.
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    As a start i think just talking helps a lot. Who you talk to also makes a difference. There is stuff you can talk about to people you dont know, that you would not disclose to a friend or family member for example. In the confusing of mental illness it isnt always easy to see the light and often trained professionals or others can help you see more clearly.
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    Yes counseling help. I have seen people who have come to normal life after counseling. Thought it does not help all, but it helps.
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    (Original post by *Incognito)
    Hey - I'm 21, M and recently I've started suffering from the most awful panic attacks. I've finally come to terms with the fact that I have social anxiety and consequently am depressed. I've been denying it for a couple of years now and I've managed to hide it by lying to myself and my friends and family. But, since these panic attacks have started I feel I can no longer keep this a secret and need to accept and deal with it. I've spoken to Mum and she said I should try counselling but for some reason I'm a little skeptical as to whether it will be effective or not. I'm also extremely worried that people will judge me for seeing a counsellor which triggers my social anxiety and makes me not want to go even more.

    Some advice/experience would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks so much


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    It kinda depends on the person and the counselor. I'll be honest I thound counseling didn't help me but that was before I really knew what I was dealing with and I think i had a bit of a poor counselor tbh. She told me i didn't have OCD when I mentioned it and a few weeks later I got a diagnosis of OCD from a psych.
    That's just my one experiene though and I don't think I was very open to it. She lost my trust quite a lot.

    I did find that group therapy helped a lot though and it isn't all that different. That was after diagnosis and antidepressants, but I think it's what actually made difference permanent rather than being a temp fix like the meds.

    I'd try it. If you don't think it is helping then try somebody else or something else. It is important to be open to the process and to trust the counselor you are with. If it doesnt work once that doesnt mean it will never work.

    You could go to you doctor. They can tell you about good counselors and suggest other options too. It's all down to what you feel comfortable with so getting more options is always good. It may also end up cheaper as they might be able to find you a cheaper service or refer you directly.

    Don't worry about what others may think, especially since you are considering it so you will be able to not be bothered by others. Anybody who actually does judge you for it is wrong and should care more about what sort of person they are. Yeah some people may find it a bit unusual or not really know what to think, but I doubt they will think any worse of you or judge you for it. You're taking a (pretty brave actually) step to help yourself and that's brilliant. Do what you need to to help you.
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    No. It's made everything worse.

    My therapist actually suggested that I set up the events leading to me being sexually assaulted on purpose.

    He barely talks to me and when he does it's to undermine me or disagree with what I'm saying.

    However, I have friends who have also been in therapy. Some have had positive experiences and others have had similarly bad experiences. I think it depends on your luck.
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    (Original post by IFoundWonderland)
    No. It's made everything worse.

    My therapist actually suggested that I set up the events leading to me being sexually assaulted on purpose.

    He barely talks to me and when he does it's to undermine me or disagree with what I'm saying.

    However, I have friends who have also been in therapy. Some have had positive experiences and others have had similarly bad experiences. I think it depends on your luck.
    Your therapist is **** and you should stop seeing him x
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    If you go into counselling ready to work on your mind then its just wonderful i have had 4 counsellors, only one was no good but the others really helped!
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    I've been through counselling three times in my life: first when I was 13 for bereavement and adolescent depression through St. Andrews Hospice, the second at 15 with the NHS once again for adolescent depression, and lastly now at the age of 18 with a private counselor whom I pay to see. I haven't told my family that I see this counselor. I don't feel like I could tell my family how bad things have gotten in my head again. I'm a compulsive liar, and there's something about seeing a counselor which makes all that fall away from me. I don't have to pretend I'm okay or hold up some pretense of normality. It's okay that something's not right in my head.

    I have always benefited hugely from the counselling I've received, but I do believe I've been lucky to find that my counselors have always been very good. However, that didn't stop me from being ashamed of it. For my first course, I would go for the hour and feel so much better, but whenever my dad asked how it went, I'd tell him it was terrible and I hated it. I always felt so guilty that I could trust a random stranger more than I could trust my own father.

    You should also bear in mind that different counselors take different approaches. Mine have always focused on the personal, no cognitive therapies or anything like that. It's just genuinely about getting to the bottom of your own thoughts and feelings, rather than deciding on a healthy way of dealing with something. Sometimes, I thing counselling is more about getting yourself in gear to sort yourself out rather than a direct way of planning how to deal with your issues.
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    I've had 2 courses of CBT and it really helped me.
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    (Original post by IFoundWonderland)
    No. It's made everything worse.

    My therapist actually suggested that I set up the events leading to me being sexually assaulted on purpose.

    He barely talks to me and when he does it's to undermine me or disagree with what I'm saying.

    However, I have friends who have also been in therapy. Some have had positive experiences and others have had similarly bad experiences. I think it depends on your luck.
    your therapist is an *******! do you pay money for that ****? I would complain and get my money back and find another one ¬_¬
    I'm sorry about his ****ty behaviour :console:
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    (Original post by z33)
    your therapist is an *******! do you pay money for that ****? I would complain and get my money back and find another one ¬_¬
    I'm sorry about his ****ty behaviour :console:
    No. It's on the NHS. I need to be in therapy though, so idk what to do.

    Dw, it isn't your fault. Thank you :hugs:
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    (Original post by IFoundWonderland)
    No. It's on the NHS. I need to be in therapy though, so idk what to do.

    Dw, it isn't your fault. Thank you :hugs:
    Awhhh that sucks
    How much is therapy if it's not on the NHS is it expensive? Can't you ask to be put on a waiting list for another therapist in the meantime? I do recommend raising it up with the people in charge if it makes it worse instead of better - I mean I'm no expert but even I wouldn't say that to someone who's suffered such horrible circumstances :/ Hopefully they understand and can help you.

    Np :hugs: I hope you get better
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    (Original post by z33)
    Awhhh that sucks
    How much is therapy if it's not on the NHS is it expensive? Can't you ask to be put on a waiting list for another therapist in the meantime? I do recommend raising it up with the people in charge if it makes it worse instead of better - I mean I'm no expert but even I wouldn't say that to someone who's suffered such horrible circumstances :/ Hopefully they understand and can help you.

    Np :hugs: I hope you get better
    Really expensive - I can't afford it and my parents wouldn't pay for it because they don't think I need it (they don't know what I've been through). Last time I changed therapists I was on the waiting list for ages and ended up suffering panic attacks more often and not meeting my uni offers, so idk how good an idea that'd be to do again 👀

    :lovehug:
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    Personally I never felt comfortable with the idea of counseling mostly because the idea that someone is getting paid to listen to your problems, but I think that's the anxiety inside of me talking. It's a big step to take, and I wish you all the success, admitting you have a problem is the first step and you've done that, so congratulations. I don't know you and from what you've described yourself as you don't give a lot away, but i wish you all the best on this journey. Please keep us informed with how it goes.

    Best wishes x
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    I am currently about 4 weeks into counselling and it was awkward to begin with but it's getting better. I have bad anxiety as well. I'm not sure if it will help or not but I would recommend counselling because, well, not going counselling isn't going to help but going counselling may or may not help so it's worth the try if you have the money, luckily I get mine for free.
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    (Original post by IFoundWonderland)
    Really expensive - I can't afford it and my parents wouldn't pay for it because they don't think I need it (they don't know what I've been through). Last time I changed therapists I was on the waiting list for ages and ended up suffering panic attacks more often and not meeting my uni offers, so idk how good an idea that'd be to do again 👀

    :lovehug:
    Awhhh you poor thing you're very brave you know... I wouldn't be able to cope
    I wish you the bestest of lucks and I hope you'll make it through and maybe one day you won't need therapy
    Do you think that you can get some kind of funding from the university you go to/ will go to for this kind of thing? Or maybe they have their own set of therapists/ counsellors... do look into that because it doesn't sound like your therapist is doing miracles :/

    You're very brave, stay strong :hugs:
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    My experiences have largely been tragic. Much better off on my own.
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    (Original post by *Incognito)
    Hey - I'm 21, M and recently I've started suffering from the most awful panic attacks. I've finally come to terms with the fact that I have social anxiety and consequently am depressed. I've been denying it for a couple of years now and I've managed to hide it by lying to myself and my friends and family. But, since these panic attacks have started I feel I can no longer keep this a secret and need to accept and deal with it. I've spoken to Mum and she said I should try counselling but for some reason I'm a little skeptical as to whether it will be effective or not. I'm also extremely worried that people will judge me for seeing a counsellor which triggers my social anxiety and makes me not want to go even more.

    Some advice/experience would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks so much


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Hi, I felt exactly the same way as you did when I was first turned to counselling over a year and a half ago now!
    I suffer from depression and body dysmorphia and was referred to talking therapy initially, which I had for almost a year. I found that this counselling can really help particularly in cases of talking about anxiety, as the counsellor will often help you to learn to tackle things you find induce your anxiety - you can tell them situations you find difficult and they will help you find ways and strategies to deal with them and ways of thinking about situations that can reduce your anxiety. It can also be nice to just speak to someone with no connection to you who understands. You should not have to suffer alone!
    A friend of mine had severe anxiety a number of years ago that consisted of frequent panic attacks and constant fear of throwing up - he would never go to school because of it and missed out on getting good grades as a result. He had therapy and combined with medication, he has now never been better and rarely experiences anxiety anymore!
    I am about to embark upon CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for my body dysmorphia which is also supposedly amazing at treating anxiety.

    In short, I would say counselling would definitely be of at least some help, particularly when it comes to your anxiety. You can go to your GP and try and get a referral (although in my experience this does take a little while, but worth the wait) or try a private counsellor (usually costs money) or there are alternative places which offer free counselling that you can find in your local area with a quick look on Google.
    I hope this has been helpful and that you manage to find help and feel better soon x
 
 
 
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