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How To Cure Social Anxiety

Therapy For Social Anxiety: Case Examples

Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder

References:

  • Bhandari, S. . What are the treatments for social anxiety disorder? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/treatments-social-anxiety-disorder
  • Bögels, S. M., Wijts, P., Oort, F. J., & Sallaerts, S. J. M. . Psychodynamic psychotherapy versus cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder: An efficacy and partial effectiveness trial. Depression and Anxiety, 5, 363-373. doi: 10.1002/da.22246
  • Dallas, M. . For those with social anxiety, acts of kindness may be therapeutic. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/07/10/for-those-with-social-anxiety-acts-of-kindness-may-be-therapeutic
  • Jacobs, A., & Antony, M. . Social anxiety support. Retrieved from http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/disorder/#treatassess
  • Treating social anxiety disorder. . Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/treating-social-anxiety-disorder
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    Avoid Coping Strategies Like Alcohol Or Marijuana

    Coping with your social anxiety is a bad idea generally.

    Specifically, there are two major problems with the coping strategy approach:

  • Treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause. When you focus all your time and energy on coping with the feelings of anxiety, thats all time and energy youre not spending addressing whats causing the anxiety in the first place.
  • Treating the symptoms makes them worse in the long run. When you try to fix or avoid your anxiety by coping with it, youre training your brain to believe that feeling bad is bad. This means in the future, your brain will respond to worry and anxiety with even more worry and anxiety, creating a vicious cycle of ever-increasing anxiety. The solution, as we discussed earlier, is to treat your anxiety with compassion and acceptance, rather than treating it as a bad thing, a problem to be fixed.
  • So, whether its impulsive deep breathing exercises, going to your happy place, or taking shots of vodka, the whole attitude of coping with your social anxiety is self-defeating in the end.

    But more specifically, two of the most common coping mechanisms people use to manage their social anxiety are alcohol and marijuana.

    If you really want to overcome social anxiety in the long-run, its not about never feeling anxious its about building up your confidence to do important things despite feeling anxious.

    And youre never going to build confidence if youre always relying on booze and drugs as crutches.

    Be Accountable To Someone

    You may stay in your rut forever if nobody knows you are trying to move past your social anxiety and you are not accountable to anyone. Choose someone you trust , and tell them about your plans to make changes in your life.

    This works very much like having an exercise partner the other person keeps you honest and keeps you from giving up when the road seems to hard and long.

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    Take The Focus Off Yourself

    Try shifting your attention to whatâs happening around you instead of whatâs inside your head. You can do this by really listening to the conversation thatâs happening or reminding yourself that other people probably canât tell how anxious you are just by looking at you. People appreciate when others act genuine and interested, so focus on being present and a good listener.

    What Are You Avoiding

    The Social Anxiety Cure : Defeat Shyness and Anxiety ...

    The behavioral problem for people with social anxiety is the tendency to avoid anxiety-provoking situations. When a socially anxious individual anticipates going to a party, she becomes quite anxiousbut, then, decides not to go and the anxiety immediately decreases. This reduction of anxiety with the decision to avoid the party reinforces avoidance . This simple reward for avoidance maintains the fear of negative social evaluation even when the person does not experience humiliation. For example, if I feel anxious thinking about approaching someone and then I decide to avoid talking with them, my anxiety immediately drops. This immediate decrease in anxiety teaches me, In order to feel less anxious, avoid interacting with strangers.

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    Start Staying Hi To A Neighbor

    Do you scurry for your door every time your neighbor appears? Next time, try to make a concerted effort to say hello, wave, and be friendly. Although this might feel out of character and anxiety-provoking at first, over time this new habit will become second nature.

    If you are feeling really bold, try a behavioral experiment: Invite your neighbor over for coffee at a time when she is clearly busy. Seek out rejection and learn that it is not so bad! At some point down the road, you might even find you have made a friend out of a neighbor.

    Medication For Social Anxiety

    Psychiatrists may prescribe medication along with therapy for social anxiety. These could include antianxiety medications. An antidepressant could also be prescribed.

    However, medication is shown to be less effective than therapy for social anxiety. This may be the case especially when medication is taken alone.

    Medication for social anxiety may take 2 to 6 weeks to have an effect. Beta blockers may be used to treat temporary physical symptoms of anxiety.

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    Take An Incremental Approach To Overcoming Social Anxiety

    Keep in mind that working through a significant social anxiety habit is going to take time.

    There are no quick fixes or silver bullets, tempting as that possibility is.

    Unfortunately, many people start strong in their journey to overcome social anxiety only to have a setback or two, get discouraged, and then give up.

    There are a couple reasons why this happens:

  • Unrealistic expectations. If your expectation is that you should be able to completely free yourself from social anxiety in 7 days or something, youre inevitably going to get frustrated, disappointed, and likely self-judgmental. If you want to genuinely overcome social anxiety, its going to be on a months or years timescale, not days.
  • Relying on motivation. Feeling inspired and motivated to work through your social anxiety is great, but that initial burst of energy wont last. Which means if your plan for overcoming your anxiety relies on high levels of inspiration or willpower, youre screwed.
  • The solution to both of these issues, I think, is to foster an incremental attitude and approach to overcoming your social anxiety.

    For example, after reading this guide, homely there are at least a handful of good ideas and strategies you want to implement in order to overcome your social anxiety.

    Dont try to do them all at once!

    Instead, pick one and focus on that until you start to see some progress and it feels more automatic for you. Only then move on to implementing another.

    Proven Ways To Cure Social Anxiety

    Using Technology to Treat Social Anxiety | You Are Not Alone | KET

    For as long as I can remember, I have been scared.

    Growing up, I didnt know what the words social anxiety disorder meant. It wasnt until many years later Id find out I had it.

    • It was why I couldnt make or hold eye contact with most people.
    • It was why I felt constantly tense and worn out if I wasnt alone by myself.
    • It was why my voice was so quiet, shaky and insecure.
    • It was what made me so nervous, awkward and withdrawn around people.
    • To the point that I couldnt even hold a regular conversation or have friends like a normal person.

    Social anxiety stole over 20 years of my life away.

    Years of nervous sweat dripping down my armpits every time I spoke up in class. Years of weirdly avoiding people every day and staying in every weekend night. Not because I wanted to, but because I was afraid. Years of believing that I would never get a girlfriend and spend my life alone and unwanted.

    This page is written for people who want to cure their severe social anxiety, like I did.

    If you feel like your social anxiety has sent you into a downward spiral of self shame, depression and loneliness

    If you feel bitter and even angry sometimes when you see how most people in the world are born knowing how to easily socialize, make friends and get a relationship

    If you feel like the best years of your life are slipping through your fingers day by day, year by year

    Then I feel for you. I really do.

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    Stay Connected To Others

    Tell your family and friends what you are experiencing. Help them to understand that telling you to just relax or ignore your fears wont help. Tell them that what you need instead is their support and encouragement for you to slowly understand and face your anxiety, one small step at a time. They can also help by coming to social situations with you so you dont need to manage on your own.

    You Really Need To Pull Yourself Together

    A colleague said this to me when she found me crying in the staff toilets at an event. She thought the tough love approach would help me snap out of it. However, not only did it not help, it made me feel more embarrassed and exposed. It confirmed that I was a freak and therefore needed to hide my condition.

    When faced with anxiety, the natural response from observers seems to be to encourage the person to calm down. Ironically, this only makes it worse. The sufferer is desperate to calm down, but is unable to do so.

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    How To Reduce Negative Thoughts

  • Think back to a recent social situation in which you felt anxious. Write down what your negative thoughts were before, during, and after the situation.
  • Ask yourself questions to challenge your negative thoughts. For example, if your negative automatic thought was “People are yawning, they must think that I am boring,” ask yourself “Could there be a different explanation?” In this case, your alternative thought could be “It probably had nothing to do with me, they were just tired.”
  • Try to notice the automatic negative thoughts that you have before, during, and after feared social situations, and challenge them with alternatives.
  • Avoiding Social Gatherings Events Or Specific People

    The Social Anxiety Solution : The Proven Workbook for an ...

    If youre trying to overcome social anxiety, its important to remember that its not all in your head. And I mean that literally: While worry places a central role in social anxiety, your behavior is equally important. Specifically, the tendency to avoid potentially scary social situations.

    For example, many people with social anxiety get especially nervous and uncomfortable around new people. As a result, they frequently turn down to social gatherings theyve been invited to that involve unknown guests.

    There are two problems with this habit of avoidance:

  • First of all, it deprives you of a lot of potentially great experiences. So many new opportunities, exciting adventures, and potentially wonderful relationships simply never happen if you avoid spending time in situations that involve new people.
  • But even worse, when you feel afraid of interacting with new people, then avoid those situations, you teach your brain that interacting with new people is dangerous. This means that the next time you have an opportunity to do something with new people, youre going to feel even more anxious, and your desire to avoid it is going to be even stronger. Once again, the vicious cycle!
  • Even though social anxiety can feel like a very heady experienceworries, anxiety, nervousness, etcits crucial to learn to see that it has a strong behavioral component as well. How you choose to act is every bit as important in social anxiety as how you think and feel.

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    How Well Is Social Anxiety Disorder Recognised

    Recognition of social anxiety disorder in adults, children and young people by general practitioners is often poor. The problem of under-recognition for anxiety disorders in general has recently been highlighted by evidence that the prevalence of PTSD is significantly under-recognised in primary care . In part this may stem from GPs not identifying the disorder, a general lack of understanding about its severity and complexity, and a lack of clearly defined care pathways. But it may also stem from service users’ lack of knowledge of its existence, their avoidance of talking about the problem and stigma.

    The early age of onset and effects on educational achievement mean that recognition of social anxiety disorders in educational settings is also an issue. As well as underachieving, children with social anxiety disorder may be particularly likely to be the targets of bullying and teasing. Teachers and other educational professionals may have limited knowledge of how to recognise and oversee the management of the condition.

    In primary care many service users report being misdiagnosed as having pure major depression. Missing the diagnosis may also occur in secondary care if an adequate history has not been taken. This is a serious omission because having a comorbidity has treatment and outcome implications.

    Surround Yourself With Positive People

    If at all possible, try to spend more time with positive people people who love you, believe in you, and see the beauty in who you are despite your social anxiety.

    Spending time with these people will make you feel good and help you to weather any rough times as you try to make changes in your life.

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    Practice Acts Of Kindness

    In a 2015 study of 115 college students living with social anxiety, performing small acts of kindness for 4 weeks helped reduce the desire to avoid social situations.

    The link between kindness and social anxiety may not be immediately clear, but it makes sense, when you think about it.

    Social anxiety generally involves some fear of rejection or disapproval. But if youve just done something kind and thoughtful, like bringing a sick co-worker their favorite soup or offering to pick up your neighbors grocery order, the person you help is far more likely to have positive feelings toward you than negative ones.

    Earning this approval on a regular basis can help decrease your fears around social situations, so you might find that interacting with others gradually becomes easier.

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Social Anxiety

    Social Anxiety Disorder- What It Is And How To Treat It

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is considered to be one of the leading psychological treatments for social anxiety. All of our online courses use CBT strategies to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Click below to see if CBT can help you tackle your symptoms to improve the way you feel.

    Strategies for Managing Symptoms of Social Anxiety

    Cognitive Strategies

    People with social anxiety disorder tend to overestimate the likelihood of being judged by other people and underestimate their own worth. Theyre often self-critical, can fixate on their own flaws, and constantly compare themselves to other people. They can also be hyperaware of and embarrassed by the physical symptoms of anxiety, like blushing, sweating, or trembling.

    Cognitive strategies help people identify and challenge these kinds of thoughts, and learn new, more helpful ways of thinking. In doing so, these strategies help can people become more confident and self-compassionate.

    Behavioural Strategies

    Two key features of social anxiety are avoidance and safety behaviours. Avoidance is when you miss out on fun or important experiences because of anxiety, for example, skipping a friends birthday party or an important presentation at work because youre afraid of being judged. Safety behaviours are things you do that help you cope with anxiety, like having a few drinks before you get to a party.

    Coping With Symptoms of Social Anxiety

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