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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Perseus Offline
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Social Anxiety - October 24th 2011, 10:38 PM

So yeah, I have really really bad social problems. I'm almost an adult, and I haven't had any friends for a really long time. I've never been in a relationship, while people my age have been in several. I really do feel like the biggest loser ever because of it. I'm seeing a therapist, who I've talked about it with, but all he did was spend an hour teaching me stupid breathing exercises while I touched pressure points and said "I love myself" over and over again...so it was bullshit and didn't help at all. He told me I have to pace myself, go little by little and get over it.

When I started high school, I was kind of popular. I SOMEHOW met so many people and got them to like me. People always talked to me in the halls or in class. The teacher was always telling me to be quiet. I never had social anxiety back then, but I avoided uncomfortable situations like crazy. I never hung out with people after school, or went to parties or anything like that because I didn't drink (which I really regret now), so I eventually fell out with everyone. Even people I had been friends with for years, I had anxiety around. I think I let things get really bad, but I didn't even care back then, since I liked being alone most of the time. Obviously all I do is regret it now.

Now, when I sit in class, my chest gets so tense to the point where I lean back and try to stretch to make it go away. I try to be social little by little, but the tightness in my chest causes my voice to crack, and thats not including the fact that my mind go's blank constantly. I think I over think things. I have one embarrassing, awkward situation after the other, I've just stopped talking to people. I avoid, or dread anything social even though I know it only makes things worse. I never talk in class to other people, or during a class discussion. I fail a lot of my classes because I never talk to the teacher or ask for help. I can't even apply for a job, because I can't stand being around people. My social problems are ruining other parts of my life. Wow I used the word social a lot. I just want things to go back to the way they were. This really is the biggest issue I have in my life. I don't know what to do.
   
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Re: Social Anxiety - October 25th 2011, 04:43 AM

I know it seems like therapy was a waste of time - but honestly, I'd give it another try, either with your previous therapist or someone new. One of the components of treating anxiety symptoms includes breathing exercises, relaxation/meditation techniques, etc. You said you can feel a tightness in your chest - well, with time, those "stupid breathing exercises" may come in handy. If you can catch yourself becoming tense, you can catch yourself and focus on your breathing. Once the physiological symptoms begin to fade, you can focus on whatever task is at hand. Therapy can take 3+ months, easily, because it takes time to perfect these exercises/techniques and learn how to implement them in your every day life.






   
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Re: Social Anxiety - October 27th 2011, 06:00 PM

I don't see how that can help at all though - how often am I going to try meditation and breathing techniques in the middle of an (attempted) conversation? I've done a meditation session that made me incredibly relaxed...but it did nothing mentally, I still couldn't think of anything to say . It's like my brain just shuts down when I'm talking to someone. I understand you don't over think things, you just say them, its instinct. I can't for the life of me do that. When I spend 3 hours of school trying to think of things to say, and I only come up with a yes or no question, how is that going to change anything? I feel broken.

Do you think I need medication?...
   
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Re: Social Anxiety - October 28th 2011, 10:12 PM

Anti-anxiety medication could be beneficial for you... but that's something to discuss with your doctor, not with me or anyone else on TeenHelp. Some people need anti-anxiety medication in order to get them to a point where they can process their therapy sessions. Other people just need to practice, practice, and keep practicing those therapeutic techniques, until it feels more natural for them and they can move on to the next therapeutic technique.






   
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Re: Social Anxiety - October 29th 2011, 02:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Random99 View Post
... but all he did was spend an hour teaching me stupid breathing exercises while I touched pressure points and said "I love myself" over and over again...so it was bullshit and didn't help at all.
^Well, yeah, I can understand your discouragement there.

Listen, there are as many techniques of therapy as there are therapists, many people don't realize (or care) about this, but there's more than one approach to addressing a problem. You found someone whose approach didn't work for the person you were, regardless of the efficacy of the treatment on the actual symptoms. You've learned an important lesson there about being a consumer of psychotherapy: The therapist has to treat you as a person, not just the symptoms you present! You'll know better for next time.

Go back to therapy, but this time, find someone who's approach feels right to you, someone (based on your ability to speak here) that will listen to your history and your experiences and your feelings and use that to determine what went wrong (you obviously had those social abilities once before) and what needs to be addressed to restore that which you once had.


PM me with the link of the post you'd like me to respond to.
   
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