How to find a solution for social anxiety?

For example: agoraphobia, claustrophobia, social phobia.

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WestonCB
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:40 am

How to find a solution for social anxiety?

Postby WestonCB » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:43 am

Hi,

I stopped drinking one month ago. It was very difficult to stop. After that, I had problems like anxiety and hallucinations. It was very difficult to control. I even thought of ending my life. Then my friends suggested undergoing anxiety therapy.

I consulted an anxiety therapy treatment center. They suggested medication followed by cognitive behavior therapy. I'm not so sure about all this. Can anyone share some solutions?

Thank You!

Spleefy
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: How to find a solution for social anxiety?

Postby Spleefy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:40 am

Hi WestonCB,

Congratulations on your stopping drinking alcohol, despite the difficulty.

What is it about medication and CBT that you are unsure about?

There are definitely other solutions that are just as effective, if not more. This, of course, depends on the individual, as what works for one person may not be as effective for another person.

I had severe social anxiety in conjunction with severe clinical depression. The combination was debilitating, that’s for sure.

The anxiety was so severe that I even struggled to check the letterbox. Big shopping centres were too overwhelming, so I was fortunate to have the small local store. However, it would still take me hours just to leave the house to walk 13 minutes to the corner store to get groceries. There were times I would just go hungry because the anxiety was so severe that I couldn’t leave the house to get food.

I have used medication and therapy (including CBT) to no avail.

Formal therapy can be useful and effective. However, at the end of the day, we still need to put in the time and work when we are alone. In other words, with or without therapy, we still need to do the work ourselves.

A therapist, however, can give you the motivation, tools and knowledge to use at home. But if you are like me and research everything yourself anyway, then it is possible to get results in a fraction of the time. Also, everybody's experience and background is different. A therapist may be a good idea for you to start with. After several sessions, you can always ditch the therapy and get the job done yourself, as I did. Give it some thought, and perhaps give therapy a trial run to see if you like it.

I’m a proponent of behavior modification, as it is what I did to overcome my own depression and anxiety. This is why CBT can be great because the therapist can help you to modify your thinking AND behavior.

Positive thinking on its own won’t help us to overcome depression or anxiety, as we need to put our thoughts into action (behavior) to get results. Furthermore, often times, just acting without the thinking part is highly effective, as too much thinking can lead us to talk ourselves out of doing something.

I basically just behaved my way out of anxiety by doing what I needed to do. Everyday I would make it a routine to leave the house. It took me literally a few hours just to muster up enough courage to walk 13 minutes to the corner store. I would hype myself up. Once charged, I would quickly open the door and go for it. After a while, I stopped thinking about and just did it because too much thinking can backfire and we talk ourselves out of doing something, especially those things we are afraid to do or don’t want to do.

When I got back from the shops, I would feel proud and a sense of accomplishment. The positive experience gave me encouragement and made it easier the next time. I just kept taking small, manageable steps at a time to continue building up positive experiences and confidence.

Of course, I still had anxiety when I was in the public domain, but I got better at managing it the more I forced myself out of the house to do what needed to be done.

After a while, I would add more challenges, from spending more time out in public (as opposed to rushing there and back) and to talking to the shop owners and customers. Eventually, I promoted myself to big supermarkets and crowded places. It was very overwhelming to do this. My heart would race, and I would always go tomato red in the face :lol: I'm so glad I don't have that issue anymore, what a relief. But I still forced myself to do it because I knew it needed to be done.

This is an important step to overcoming anxiety (or probably anything for that matter). You need to keep pushing the boundaries and take it one step further the moment you start to feel too comfortable. Getting out of our comfort zones is the only way to make progress and to move forward.

As an adjunct, you could also use lavender. Lavender may help reduce your anxiety and stress. Chamomile tea can also induce mild calming effects, as do other herbs. When using calming herbs in combination, these can produce powerful results. This is easy to research. These won’t cure the anxiety, but they can alleviate it and give you some leverage when you do the behavioral modifications.

I have essential oils and always keep lavender in my kit, mainly because I love the scent. I like to fill 10 ml roller bottles with essential oils. I use lavender oil neat (no carrier oil, such as jojoba) and just roll it on my temples and pulse points. Great stuff!

Social anxiety can be debilitating. But if you make it a routine to do something social, you’ll overcome it soon enough or, at the very least, be better able to manage the anxiety so it is no longer debilitating.

Something else that you could add to overcoming anxiety (or any life problem) is to pray to God. I find a lot of comfort in the pages of the Bible and by praying to Jehovah God. If you have the right heart condition and you are teachable, then turning to God can be life changing and have unparalleled outcomes.

I will leave you with a few scriptures that I find comforting...

"Throw all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you".--1 Peter 5:7.

"Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus".--Philippians 4:6, 7.

I will also leave you with a link that covers topics related to anxiety and how to deal with it. There are many more articles on anxiety and other topics that you may find useful. It is a great place for research that is based on Bible principles.

https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines ... /#?insight[search_id]=bc3b07b3-f32f-4919-a167-1101e6cc65c7&insight[search_result_index]=0

All the best.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18


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