anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety? - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #21 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


just because people havent fully recovered doesnt mean they arent very much on their way. optimism is a much easier way of finding the loophole out of SA than is pessimissm. if you think in a negative way towards your social anxiety you may as well have already have given up. the key being an outlook not so surrounded by negativity but one balanced with the other. Rational thought has to take place before SA is done with and when i mean done with i mean within reason of having a life not constrained by other peoples opinions. Like ross said we all have social anxiety from time to time. alot of people i know say they manage just fine around people but get the awkward feelings as well around people. Emotion between people can be very contagious. so someone whos happy and confident that is talking to a morose and anxious person can very well feel the uncomfortable feelings the sad person feels. the confident person may be happy and SA free but he will still feel other peoples anxiety. so obviously we are never removed from our anxiety and because its an emotion found in everyone.
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post #22 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 10:50 AM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


There's social anxiety and then there's social anxiety disorder. Not everyone experiences the latter.
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post #23 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Recluser
Keep it real.
What is Real? Everything just IS. The way you perceive it becomes what it becomes. Actually even any rational thought that one tries to explain experiences through come from our own subjective lens.

I believe that all "disorders" that are under conscious control can be brought back to normal. Even OCD can be brought back to normal. Its just a case of does one want to or not?.... badly?
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post #24 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 02:34 PM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Hi Smiles

Course you can call me Ross! Its better than "3 yeah" or "yeah x 3", which is what people call me when they want to tell me I suck, usually! I agree with what you said up there and Im really glad that you are seeing results! Its especially cool when you realise its all because of the hard work YOU PUT IN, isn't it

To some of the other posts here:

There's not a psychologist, spiritualist or healer out there that can 100% 'cure' anxiety or depression - and nor would they claim to. The human condition naturally includes some element of all of these.

I think the difficulty some folks get into is thinking that a 'cure' means "becoming smooth, charming and sophisticated and picking up models every night of the week". Some people blame society for not granting them this right, or of taking it away from them, and some demand that the medical services or pharmacological companies solve their problem. Doctors become like surgeons of the soul who we resent for not giving us salvation. Perfection becomes the obsession and this can keep us stuck. How do I know? because thats exactly how I thought - my attitude was wrong and it kept me hurting no matter what I did. There are still others who feel so utterly helpless that they are utterly stuck. It is especially these guys that I hope SAS gives just that little bit of hope to to start on their own journey.

There isn't a 100% guaranteed 'cure' then, and if you're waiting until one comes out before you can be bothered to start on a journey to recovery, then you are keeping yourself at a level of pain that is unecessary. If you could make a gunshot wound go from 'permanently excruciating' to 'occasionally painful', wouldn;t you take it? Or would you say 'don't give me anything until someone invents a tablet that pulls out bullets, seals the wound and leaves no scar' ? I'd go for the analgesics every time.

There are many things you can do which have a HIGH PROBABLITY of easing a lot of your pain. As I an many folks here have discovered, the amount it can be reduced by, the things you can enable yourself to do, and the myriad unexpected benefits that a gradual journey of recovery can bring, are astounding.

Long term anxiety and depression are as much spiritual and philosophical problems as they are medical and psychological. They can calcify us and make us lose hope and become cynical. The only way to get the old glow and flexibility back is to just allow yourself, even for a moment, to believe that you can get better. The first step is having just enough faith in yourself to make the first steps on your own personal journey.

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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post #25 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


learning not to take it so seriously, i feel is the most important step to recovery or for treatment. this i feel is what has had the most influence on my improvement.
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post #26 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 02:42 PM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Gass, when did you take anything seriously anyway?

J/K ....

Missed ya dude!

Ross

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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post #27 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 02:45 PM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


emphasis mine
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmoragan
just because people havent fully recovered doesnt mean they arent very much on their way. optimism is a much easier way of finding the loophole out of SA than is pessimissm. if you think in a negative way towards your social anxiety you may as well have already have given up. the key being an outlook not so surrounded by negativity but one balanced with the other. Rational thought has to take place before SA is done with and when i mean done with i mean within reason of having a life not constrained by other peoples opinions. Like ross said we all have social anxiety from time to time. alot of people i know say they manage just fine around people but get the awkward feelings as well around people.
So you know "the key"? You know how to be "done with" SA (disorder)? How did you acquire this knowledge?

I've had a wide range of attitudes in the 7+ years that I've had crippling social anxiety. I've been through optimism, pessimism, cynicism, hope, religious delusion etc..

Careful before you say something works in curing social anxiety disorder. (By "curing", we of course mean leaving us with a 'normal' amount of social anxiety.)
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post #28 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 02:58 PM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Hi recluser

I read alot of posts from you which have a lot of anger in them. Thats cool - if you've suffered from this for a long time, then its understandable to be angry.

I;d like to know what you have done, and what you have tried as I don;t think I have read about it in the past (forgive me if you have). If you have tried different therapies and meds for long lengths of time and have not found even the lightest relief, then is it possible that your doctors and helpers have not truly identified whats hurting you?

This is just a thought and I hope it will not offend. There is a branch of emotional disturbance that can cause many of the 'usual' (i.e. axis IV) disorders but have much deeper, hard to eradicate roots. These are the personality disorders.

In the UK I have read that there are many undiagnosed cases of Personality Disorders. These are VERY hard to treat with 'regular' psychotherapy and meds. For example, I have been reading about Borderline Personality Disorder recently. Why is it called 'Borderline'? Because its just on the cusp - the point of flip over from neurosis to psychosis - not quite on or the other. It was considered that this could not be touched by any known form of therapy and that very few meds could touch it. Those that could responded only after 4-6 MONTHS. Its very, very painful for the person who suffers from it. Now it is rare and its diagnosis is under contstant discussion - but its also a possibility and one worth looking into if you have truly tried everything.

If you have been through years of face-to-face therapy and meds, and nothing has changed, i think you have every right to ask your doctors to look deeper for you. Its possible that SA is just one of a number of painful sysmptoms you experience as a result of something that troubles you more deeply and I would like to see you start to feel happier - no-one deserves to suffer for that long. Have you chatted to your doc about looking deeper into it? Borderline Personality Disorder has shown to be highly responsive to two new types of therapy - Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Schema Focused Therapy. Its not that well known in the UK, but there are folks out there that use it. You might want to try reading a book called The Angry Heart - I have been reading it and I think its very human, very well written and helps to deal with deep, painful emotions.

In addition there is Dysthymia, which I am diagnosed with. A lifelong, chronic depression / anxiety, the favoured (and the only way that worked for me) approach is Meds PLUS CBT at the same time. Either alone was not quite up to the task. Together they were turbocharged.

Again just an idea. Good luck dude.

Ross

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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post #29 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 03:23 PM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkations
Quote:
I would assume those who have fully recovered from social anxiety do not frequent this board as they are feeling better.
Very good point. Don't get discouraged by people on this board who say that they can't fully recover from social anxiety. The ones that have had moved on and don't want to frequent this forum anymore.
In terms of JUST SA I consider myself 90% better. I have some goals I want to achieve that are currently hard for me, but I do not experience anything like the panic, avoidance and fear that I used to. I have been through periods of self harm, suicidality, hopelessness and total, all-consuming depression and rage. Now I look back and feel glad that just one person helped me on the way to finding my own path to happiness.

So, why am I still here? SAS has been a friend for me for nearly a year. There are many many folks going through exactly what I have been through. I've lost many years of my life to anxiety and depression (it really kicked in when I was 14 and I'm now 30 and it has coloured just about every situation I have found myself in). In a way, I feel like if I can help someone to get on a helpful path to the start of their journey to overcoming their pain, saving them some of those years, then that will make up for the years that I lost. If I help just one person then that is supremely rewarding for me - so I stay here.

On top of that SAS has tons of cool people!

Ross

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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post #30 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


I aquired my knowledge to eradicate my SA disorder by self reflection during my moments of anxiety. i listenes to my natuaral thinking and saw my problamatic thinking process. i reassed my thinkin process and replaced it with a mindset that was attained from learning to aquire a peaceful mind.

The "key" being a different mindset. the difference between someone with depression and happiness is only a mindset,even if they have had emotional trauma and a disposition to depression, the one thing that holds them back is a mindset based out of problamatic beliefs. I believe its not a matter of being able to change or not being able to change, i believe its believing the most beneficial information and that would be the information that provides you with whatever you seek out in life. I know that what i have written is a cure because it worked for me. i understand your concern for saying to be careful about giving a cure but you also dont have to believe what i say to be a cure.
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post #31 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


ya my vacation was a disaster, so i decided i'd drop by again for a long extended stay!!! Muahahaha
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post #32 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


My brother has, he use to be really shy to talk to anyone or even order food from a resturaunt . Now he has graduated college and has a internship to be a software desginer. He is a very talkitve person now.
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post #33 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


I know a few. And they did a quick turnaround by becoming religious. Not a way I would travel but it makes sense from a CBT-perspective. I figure that becoming religious/having a religious experience can completely change your internal mindset by replacing it with for instance the mindset of the bible (in one of its many interpretations).
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post #34 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 06:09 AM
 
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yeah_yeah_yeah
Worked for me: ... letting my emotions out and acknowledging them, being honest about my weaknesses - even the ones I was too ashamed to really admit, focusing on intimacy and closeness instead of social excellence.


Ross
I agree with this statement. I remember years before I listened to a music, one verse went like this : "It's ok if you don't know everything". The song hit me, because I always had to know everything and be perfect in any/all situations. Then I thought that maybe it was my super high standards that just made it harder for me. Unfortunately today, i still continue to have high standards and expect excellence
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post #35 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 07:45 PM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


I believe there is a cure for it depending how engraved it is in you and how hard you fight it. I've always struggled with it but not to an extreme degree. I found exercise was the best and most number one thing that helped me relieve my anxiety, along with anti-depressants. I also began Cognitive behavioural therapy and continued with that for a good length of time. My therapist taught me a lot of great things about challenging my negative thoughts and that is the most important thing. I suppose slowly as you challenge your thoughts you slowly get better (although lately I am finding this is a very slow process). All in all, you need to take medication, exercise and eat right, and partake in therapy, and I can guarantee that huge improvements will be seen. Right now I am not eating right, exercising, or continuing with my therapy, so granted it has gotten worse.

I actually used to have a really low self-confidence (not so much SA). but that has improved dramatically.

but really the beginning step is challenging your thoughts. Ie you go into the supermarket and see a cute cashier and catch yourself turning away. Stop yourself and think, what is really the worst that could happen? The cashier sees a bagillion customers a day, your just another customer. he or she will not judge you and probably wont think twice about you passing through. It's this persons job to be a cashier and ring people through, why whould you turn away in fear? Are you doing anything wrong?

I pretty much do this in every situation I am faced with and have caught myself doing a lot of negative things that I am now stopping, ie avoiding a person I know by walking in the opposite direction.

anyway.. lol

I work and forever try, But I'm cursed so nevermind
Better times seem further and beyond
The top gets higher the more that I climb
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post #36 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 05:58 AM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Quote:
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but really the beginning step is challenging your thoughts. Ie you go into the supermarket and see a cute cashier and catch yourself turning away. Stop yourself and think, what is really the worst that could happen? The cashier sees a bagillion customers a day, your just another customer. he or she will not judge you and probably wont think twice about you passing through. It's this persons job to be a cashier and ring people through, why whould you turn away in fear? Are you doing anything wrong?
Lots of people like me have tried this - again and again. No results so far.

Quote:
I pretty much do this in every situation I am faced with and have caught myself doing a lot of negative things that I am now stopping, ie avoiding a person I know by walking in the opposite direction.
I would find it too embarrassing to start walking in the opposite direction, so I just grit and continue - with all the anxiety that involves.

I wonder how you can be so confident that you know what will work - even while it's not working as it was supposed to even for you. From where do you get your belief that there is a cure?
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post #37 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 06:05 AM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Hi Recluser

What approaches have you tried, and for how long with each one? I tried to ask you this question in another thread but I guess you missed it. There was some info in there about personality disorders and things.

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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post #38 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 06:21 AM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yeah_yeah_yeah
Hi Recluser

What approaches have you tried, and for how long with each one? I tried to ask you this question in another thread but I guess you missed it. There was some info in there about personality disorders and things.
Ross, I don't want to make this topic a discussion of the methods I've tried and for how long. You seem to be a confident supporter of the CBT treatments. Relevant to this discussion would be the rates of successful treatment of social anxiety disorder from CBT and medications - if you have those statistics.
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post #39 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 07:38 AM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Hi dude

The reason I am hounding you a little is not to prove you wrong, or to prove CBT 'the best' or to show that I am god or anything like that. From your posts it seems clear to me that SA makes you hurt - A LOT. Its also clear that you are an intelligent guy and that you are rightfully sceptical about what you read. Just as I did, you want some answers and they don't always seem so easy to come by. Its especially annoying when you're feeling dreadful and you see someone gleefully announce "hey I've got the solution! Just do this and you'll be cured! WHEEE!". That would drive me nuts too. So on this level I can totally relate to where you are coming from.

The reason I am writing to you is because you have been hurting for 7.5 years. That is a HUGE length of time to be in pain, and personally I find it painful to hear of someone feeling like that - simply because I have been in the same place. I know that feeling like knives tearing at your brain, that sinking, crushing feeling that seems to envelop your skull when yet again, it all goes wrong. I know that sense of impending fear, the heart pounding, the tunnel vision and the shortness of breath when entering a room. I know that feeling of black misery when yet again I seem to have been rejected, laughed at or rebuked. I know the feeling of blind rage that comes along with it.

I am asking you what you have tried so I can get an idea of where you are in terms of recovery. A lot of experience with therapy and no response would suggest (simply from the many psychological treatment books I have read) that you are suffering from something deeper than just SA. If you have tried meds and nothing worked, then you have every right to be angry that no one can help you.

If you haven't tried CBT yet, either in book form (bibliotherapy) or face to face, then I would be interested to know why you are so dead set against it. You are right that it doesnt work for everyone - the figure I have is 75% recovery at 6 month follow up. 25% of people it does not work for, or they drop out or they don't do the exercises. BUT - Three Quarters of them "no longer meet diagnostic criteria" for SAD. Now that figure is old so I have emailed a professor of psychiatry in the US so i can let you know what the latest figure is. I will PM it to you when I get it.

But even 75%. You have been in pain now for nearly a decade. Thats a lot of time to lose and its heart rending to hear. I lost a similar length of time and I know I can never get it back. But the people I know here that have applied what they learned in CBT books such as Gillian Butler's have reported changes and progress. They now know that in some way their future doesn't have to be like the past - it seems brighter and they have some hope and faith in the new tools and skills that they have learned. Its gradual progress I admit - there is no 'light switch' apart from benzos, but we know the drawbacks to those. CBT done on a self-help basis could take several months to get to a stage where you feel happy most of the time. This is in itself off-putting I agree - but what you will experience is week by week, SMALL shifts. Its those little shifts that give you the sense of achievement, and that keep you going. Soon you are months down the line and things look so different you are surprised.

The alternative is to do nothing and wait and see if a quicker, better cure comes out. You may well wait those several months you could have spent on the CBT (with a 75% chance of feeling better), and still be in the same place, waiting. Still hurting, still angry. Even if CBT were only 50% effective - when you compare CBT with 'waiting to see what comes out' - you have an effectiveness of 50% vs 0%. Can you see how it might be to your advantage to try? When you add the multiplying effect of medications to therapy, the odds become even better.

A book will cost you £7 from amazon.co.uk. (its the second link in my sig but you'll need to go to the UK site). It may take a week or so to read it through - which you will need to do. Then all your investment will be about 20 minutes in the evening and any behavioural experiments you do, working from chapter to chapter. The thing is - the experiments can be fun. They are EXHILARATING when they work and you feel a sudden internal shift. Some people actually get quite addicted to this feeling - and at that point the therapy is self sustaining, like a snowball. 20 minutes each evening with that potential payoff. I think it sounds like a good deal - but to know you have to try it yourself. Its hard to understand just how effective it can be until you've FELT it. Thats why people often only start therapy when they have absolutely reached the end of the rope - otherwise depression makes it seem hopeless. Finding just enough drive to try it, to be a scientist and carry out an experiment, is the first step.

I would really like to see you make it and begin feeling better - and I honestly mean that.

Best wishes

Ross

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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post #40 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 09:05 AM
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Re: anyone has fully recovered from social anxiety?


Over the past 3/4 years I've read both of those well-known books in your signature, as well as a few other CBT books like the 'for dummies' one. I've also read other social anxiety books like dying of embarrassment. I've had a few face-to-face therapy sessions - none of them enjoyable, none of them helping. I've practiced probably all of the CBT exercises I've read over the years and I've been on meds - and still am - for half a year with no help. I've never had any fun doing any of it.
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