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Author Topic: A recent revelation...I need help  (Read 337 times)

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Offline CarrieAnn

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A recent revelation...I need help
« on: January 22, 2014, 11:58:22 AM »
So, in looking through the different boards here at AZ I was reading about the symptoms of social anxiety, then it dawned on me, this is what is wrong with me! Or one of the things at least.

The dreading weeks in advance before a big event or party. The eating out. The wanting to hide in a corner. The fear of speaking--not public speaking, just speaking to someone at a party etc.

My field of study was Fine Arts in college, and in all my drawing classes every so often there would be a critique, everyone in the class picks a piece that they have drawn (or two) hangs it on wall, and the entire class gives a critique of it. I never was self-conscious of my work, and I suppose I didn't mind a bad critique either, it was the speaking in front of everyone that gave me the heebie-geebie's. I would have the racing heart etc. every time.

Well, I have something coming up that I REALLY want to do but I have trepidations about. I was a teenager in the 80's, was a big fan of all the 'hair bands'. 80's rock was everything to me back then. Last year I began looking up all the bands I adored, on Youtube. Came across one in particular that I fondly remember because one of their songs was the song that came out the year I met my husband. I was curious about what happened to the band since then and did some research. The lead singer still performs but on a smaller level. I liked his 0409 page, and get notifications on where he will be playing next. I was shocked and elated at the same time when his 0457 page posted an upcoming date in my hometown this spring. As luck would have it, the person affiliated with the bar he will be playing at is friends with two of my friends (small world) so tickets are no problem. I am just absolutely frightened to go because I don't want to make a total fool of myself, *it's the social anxiety speaking.

I am a huge fan of this person, and this will probably be my only chance to see and meet him, how do I go through with going to see him?

And also, I think I should get help for this--it's standing in the way of my otherwise wonderful life. Does anyone know how to get help for this?

Thank You So Much! :)
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 12:33:04 PM »
Hi CarrieAnn...

It is my understanding that treatment for social anxiety/phobia, is identical to the treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Psychotherapy, specifically cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), is especially useful for treating social anxiety/phobia.  It teaches an individual different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations that help them feel less anxious and fearful.  It can also help people learn and practice social skills.  I will be beginning CBT next week.

Medication therapy is also the same, using either anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressants agents for the treatment of social anxiety/phobia.

I am a major music lover!  The concert you will be attending this spring, at a small venue, sounds so wonderful!  Prepare yourself, and I know you will have a great time!!!

As always, the very best to you, CarrieAnn!...  Chuck
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Offline AlexB888

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 12:37:28 PM »
That definitely sounds like social anxiety; it's understandable that you wouldn't be quite so stressed out in a school/academic situation because the focus is on the material and on your work, as opposed to socializing with people and talking about your personal life.

I can understand why going to parties would be stressful, since you are expected to mingle with other people to some extent, but I honestly doubt that going to a concert would involve much socializing or talking, even if you were to meet the performer(s) afterwards. Mostly people are just singing along and dancing while the show is going on, and an artist/celebrity's interactions with fans are generally pretty brief; a quick word, a thank you, maybe an autograph and/or a picture. Besides, they would be used to their fans being nervous & flustered to meet them, (totally common & understandable even for people who don't deal with anxiety) so I highly doubt that you would "make a fool of yourself."

I think going to this event could potentially be helpful for dealing with your anxiety, as you are out with other people, but in a situation where you wouldn't be expected to do much talking.
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 01:35:25 PM »
Awww Chuck, well, I've gone to a psychologist for therapy sessions in the past, but she never really addressed social anxiety specifically, she only said I had GAD and chronic mild depression. We did a bit of cognitive behavioral therapy, she also had me read a book on assertiveness. A lot of my issues were centered around family issues and pressures that I had to deal with on a daily basis, so maybe she wanted to focus on that---I think she thought that was where my anxiety was coming from (hence lack of assertiveness).

Anyway, I would like to focus on over-coming this problem (social anxiety) because I feel that if I do overcome it, I will be able to conquer the world, or my world at least :)

Yes, I would absolutely love to meet the man who once made my heart go pitter-patter :) He's still a cutie too :)
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 03:43:52 PM »
Thank You for Your reply Alex, yeah I'm not totally socially anxious...I love seeing people out and about, like when walking the dog or at the coffee shop, the neighbor over the fence, and having conversation with them. It's only places where there will be a lot of people that scares me. And I'm not agoraphobic. Maybe all these factors will make it easier to overcome this, I hope :)
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 06:14:59 PM »
Quick question for whoever may read this (I didn't want to start a new topic :) ), but since I'm not afraid of people, one on one or small groups, and I'm not agoraphobic, do you think I just have a fear of crowds---instead of social anxiety? Or is it social anxiety but a milder form?

Thank You for any replies :)
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Offline i960

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 06:41:21 PM »
Based on what you wrote, it would appear you have a fear of appearing stupid, embarrassed, or otherwise some form of shame. This is pretty standard stuff for even non-anxious people.

Ask yourself: what's the worst that can possibly happen if I make my self look stupid? 99% of people laugh about it afterward, and it's socially pretty common. Surely won't be anything that people remember a day after. Do not run away from public speaking or appearances - embrace them, because they'll heal your ailment through exposure and fear extinction.
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2014, 07:33:53 PM »
Hi i960, that is true...I might just be over-thinking this, I could just have a simple case of mild shyness :)
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2014, 05:46:12 PM »
Just a quick update on a post I had written in January.  I went to my 80's rock band singer's show!  And I shook his hand, got his autograph, AND a hug!!!  The day of the show I was a nervous wreck---heart rate was up all day, then by evening I was exhausted from being so anxiety stricken.  On the way there my mouth began to get dry, so I wanted to tell my husband to turn around and go back home, but I faced it and kept plugging away.  Once we got there (my singer didn't start until 10:00pm) I was completely ok----I think the anticipation is what got me so anxious.  Had a great time---he sang for 2 hours, all the good old tunes.  After the show I got to meet him, and that was absolutely a dream come true for me!  My husband was standing behind me when I hugged him, and he said when he pulled me in I sunk into him, and disappeared! I was engulfed in that hug----it was the best hug ever!

But, anyway, this is living proof that it is possible to do things that are scary....to overcome fears, or move forward despite them.....because I did something that I never thought I could, and I am so happy, and proud that I did :) 
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2014, 10:44:51 PM »
CarrieAnn, that's great you went to the 80s event in spite of your fear.  That is heroic.  Good for you.
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: A recent revelation...I need help
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2014, 11:33:24 PM »
Thank you so much Worldbeat for your reply!  Yes, it took a lot for me to actually make it there, but I somehow did---and I met someone I had admired since I was 18 years old!! Never thought when I used to watch his videos on MTV way back when that I would ever be so lucky to meet him, so it was  a dream come true on so many levels :)
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