I take 1 pill about 30 minutes before presenting and it works great! I've really learned a lot about giving good presentations and would eventually like to become a good speaker without the aid of medication. I would suggest going to your doctor and explain your symptoms.
Thank you, that is comforting. Yeah, I went to the dr. I am going to pick up the same prescription tomorrow myself. We shall see what it does. What I am hoping, since I don't like drugs anyway, is that after I experience what it does feel like to speak without my heart racing and pounding out of my chest a few times, I will get "used" to it so that I can try it without the drugs.
Basically, the professor calls on you without any warning and then proceeds to question you about your answer and then ask more questions. It was a living he'll when I first began, but now I am perfecting a method.
I feel slightly more at ease when a prof asks me a question directly if he/she has called on me it's easier (though I still have trouble bringing to mind something to say). It's not a great feeling, but it's a bamillion times better than having to read from a text (especially my own) or the thought of actually raising my hand!
First, and most importantly, over-prepare. If you know what information you will be discussing ahead of time, learn it very well- writing about it will help. If you are confident that you know the material, it follows that you will be less nervous. Similarly, respect your own abilities/opinions.
I have to work on self confidence for my own thoughts sooner or later. Bringing my thoughts to words is difficult enough it its own right. For me, most of my classes won't really have anything you can prepare for. And as for my workshopping classes, we are reading new material we've written, and then commenting on that of others'. It's the direct reading that's really bothering me right now. And often, depending on the prof, I will have a harder time invoking the confidence I need to make a peep about somebody's writing. Aside from the physical inability to read out loud from a written text, my next main issue is confidence in my own ability to speak articulately, and have something worth sharing. I am a very critical thinker, but I can't think on the spot, and if I am thinking on the spot it is so fleeting I can't muster the nerve to say it before the thought leaves.
I know this is intended to be helpful, but it is...um...not. So your advice is for this person to "stop the original anxiety". Do you have a proposal for how to do this? Also, your assumption in the first paragraph is that there is some rational root cause of the anxiety, something specific that triggers the anxiety. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Once your body becomes accustomed to reacting a certain way to certain situations, it's no longer about rational processes and specific fears. It's just an anxiety response.
Yeah, I was kind of thinking the same thing. I don't think it was a poor attempt at being helpful. But, yes, Dashman has a clear understanding of the problem here, and that is the fear of the PHYSICAL symptoms of anxiety. I was born with social anxiety, and generalized anxiety, EVERYTHING causes me to be anxious. Lol. It's not specific things in this case which can truly be isolated in a practical matter. Yes, a lot of it is the confidence in front of a group of people whose thoughts I am unsure about, and whose judgments I will second guess. But it works as much more of an INSTINCTUAL reaction, than an effect from some more ... fixable cause on a psychological level. Our nervous systems are quite complex, and to say that we can have full control over it with a flick of our wrist is an extreme oversight. You cannot say that just by changing thought patterns your nervous system will function perfectly. A lot of my anxiety is actually biologically genetically inherited, although a lot is also acquired (from the day I was born).
It's the anticipation that triggers the anxiety for me.
I feel you there. I don't raise my hand just because of how extreme the physical symptoms are. I have to focus so much energy just calming my body down, and it doesn't pass until the moment has passed and I can no longer raise my hand on that point. I wish I could be more like you, and volunteer myself first. I suspect I will try so in the future however. But I know, if you are among the first to go, it's like bliss listening to the rest of your peers speak, knowing the worst is over!
My main anxiety with speaking in class is that it used to be something that happened so rarely, I'd get way more attention than anyone else when it actually happened since it was so abnormal.
Yep, that's something I'm afraid of. I really have to start working on that in other classes. I find sitting near the front helps a little too, but I rarely do. Another thing that is hard to do, is raise your hand knowing that other people want to speak and you know they have better points, lol.
Also, is it perverse of me to suggest that we need to go through this. We need to have our voices shake, to blush and sweat and say stupid things, for as long as it takes before we just say **** it and start not giving a **** what anyone thinks.
I think you bring up a great point. I often ask myself "when am I finally going to reach rock bottom and just give up my concern for how the world perceives me?" I feel it won't be for many many years if it ever is able to happen. But sometimes I just want to tear off my skin, you know? Just be fully exposed entirely and make as many mistakes as amazing feats. It's sick to be so repressed and completely hide the "outer person" deep under our skin, terrified of that person, afraid it's not "who we are", when really everybody is the same. But I do think the ability to reflect on yourself when you have extreme social anxiety is beneficial in the end. But I couldn't tell you exactly how yet.
(Oh, and you sure as hell can be a writer. Some of the best of the 20th century would only have been able to do a reading after a bottle of scotch!)
Thanks! That's a great comfort actually. Damn! I wish I could have a bottle of scotch before class! Unfortunately I'd be afraid of acting out if I were buzzed or intoxicated, as I tend to show my personality too much wish alcohol, and that's quite frightening, the thought of saying anything "inappropriate". Damn, I envy people who lack inhibitions.
In front of a group, i feel like i'm having an out of body experience. I blush, shake, and my voice sounds like i'm about to cry. Gawd help me when i have to speak at my upcoming conferences. Think i will look into medication as well, i will make a fool out of myself.
Do you get that feeling where you're almost numb to your body, and you feel out of alignment from it, or like you're in some kind of peculiar bubble or something? Your head feels odd. I used to get that all the time as a kid. But I haven't in many many years.
Yeah, I was reading out loud and I sounded emotional, but I wasn't! That was soooo embarrassing. I sounded like I was like in a frantic emotional state or something. lol. Ah well. There is no use thinking about how you sounded in the past huh?
Good luck at your conferences though! Do look into beta blockers. I will post back when I start using them to see how they are working for me.
Thank you everybody so much for the replies! It's good to know I'm not the only one. I just wish they had some kind of special help for people with social anxiety in a university setting. I've tried the school counselor, but I did not belong there, talking to them. I was not in tune with their methodology. I wish there was some other support. But at least there is the internet! It helps more than nothing.