Social Anxiety Forum - View Single Post - Understanding is key, right?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 01:17 AM
SAS Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Age: 42
Posts: 4,713

Re: re: Understanding is key, right?

Originally Posted by leppardess
Understanding why you have SA is only half the battle, if that. You need to learn methods of coping too.

Originally Posted by starblob
In order to impact on our SP/SA we need to constantly expose ourselves and confront our fears on a daily basis.
This might work for some people but I worked the same job for almost 10 years and every single day, I experienced the same level of anxiety.
Hi Leppardess

As you are my favourite mod (sorry other mod people) I have broken my promise to myself to only post in the positive boards.

Exposure is a structured thing. Beforehand you write down what you expect to hapen in the situation that will be bad. You identify behaviours that you always do 'to keep you safe' (but which act to reinforce your SA) and you decide to not do them. Then you go into the situation, and try very hard to look only for evidence that goes AGAINST your original prediction. You stay away from those safe behaviours and instead see what happens when you just let stuff 'happen'. You stop your inner focus drifting onto your sensations of anxiety and instead force it outwards onto others and your surroundings. Whilst it sounds simple, it is in fact the polar opposite of what happens during an SA experience.

If you go to work for 10 years and always go with the same fears and behaviours, you cannot get the message deeply through to your brain that the situation is not scary or that you can behave differently and be ok. Your mind looks for evidence to confirm your fear. That is why 'just do it' is a simplification of what real exposure is. This works for phobias such as heights etc, but SA is one stage more complex, so you are right - just putting yourself in the situation is not enough - in fact, it can reinforce your SA. It must be done in the right way to be effective.

If you like, PM me and I would very much like to talk some more with you about it.


On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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