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Social anxiety disorder since long. What is the best treatments to get out of it?

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Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 11 Questions
I was victim of social pobia ( WWW.WWWW.WW panic attacks from my high school days. I had a very hard life of 15 years without knowing what is happening with me. The fear was in me to talk to new people , talk infront of groups , attend social gatherings. I did it many times controlling myself though I was uncomfortable many times. I discussed this with my manager once when I was working in my first company, he just thought I am a timid and loser and something he reported to higher management (big havoc there after). Discussed with friends , they just thought i am a scary guy , has no guts to face people. They just call me a useless. I discussed with the doctor about the fears I have , he just ignored it and said no wrong with you.

So far I was thinking i was just a timid and a guy with no guts to speak with people and carry out the work. Because of this i lost my self-control and till now without losing hopes trying to find out what is wrong with me and last week I came to know about this. I am really happy that it can be cured ; I really want to enjoy social life (feeling bad for ruining it in the past) and would like to XXXXXXX a doctor who can guide me to come out of this.

My contact number is 0000. Let me know when I can XXXXXXX a doctor.


Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Abhijeet Deshmukh 2 hours later

Thanks for sharing your concerns here on XXXXXXX From the description of your symptoms, it appears that -

1) You are much more aware about your situation now, compared to earlier years. And that, you wish to work proactively towards reducing your anxieties and the symptoms.

2) You may need to visit a Mental Health Professional (Psychiatrist, Psychologist) for a detailed assessment of the situation and recommendations about how to successfully overcome the challenge.

If you could let us know which part of India you are situated in, we might be able to direct you to an appropriate professional.

Until then, there are a few things you can start considering and implementing yourself. As you might have read, social anxiety comes from thoughts such as, "what if I commit a mistake and people criticize me", "people won't accept me if I make a mistake", "I am not capable of doing a particular thing", etc.

There is always a fear of being scrutinized. And this fear comes from all the above mentioned thoughts. As a general rule, emotions/feelings are results of what we think. Thus, thoughts about "being scrutinized, being criticized, being rejected" lead to an unhealthy anxiety (fear) of being not able to live life fully or the fear of committing the mistake again and again.

This gives us a clear message. We need to work on the thoughts, and not only on the feelings of fear or symptoms of anxiety. And thoughts can be modified/changed. Once you are able to identify the thoughts which are responsible for the unnecessary fear, you can modify them. Psychotherapy is a process in which you do the same, with the help of the therapist.

Social Anxiety can be reduced. Cure may not be the most appropriate word, as you will perceive gradual progress. The aim should be to minimize the emotional disturbances to such a minimal level that it can be managed easily.

Until you get to see a professional, I would like you to respond to this message with a few answers to these questions as follows -

1) Can you describe any recent event/happening when you felt most anxious? Can you also write down a few thoughts that came to your mind during that episode?

2) What are the various physical symptoms you experienced during that particular event? (examples - tremors, sweating, etc.)

3) If you think more XXXXXXX can you identify any thoughts related to your social anxiety? Especially, any thoughts about "what if I do something wrong" and then "what does it mean about me if I do something wrong".

I hope this process is helpful to you. We can carry this conversation ahead once you reply.

Take care.

Dr Abhijeet Deshmukh
Consultant Psychiatrist and
Psychotherapist (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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