Hopefully the last time you'll be worrying about SA - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hopefully the last time you'll be worrying about SA

Hey guys, my name is Dave and I've suffered from Social Anxiety. Notice I used the word suffered? Let me explain my story, and perhaps some of you too can relate and hopefully overcome this disorder.

Growing up, I personally had a number of issues that I was self-concious about. I am still concerned about some of them, but the road has become much easier. My problems were (are) as follows:
  • I was obese.
    I have a missing front tooth.
    I have a small penis.
    I suffer from premature ejaculation (double whammy, I know).

Now I realize that some of you are probably thinking to yourselves "he didn't just say that, did he?" I did. You want to know why? Because I'm comfortable with it. I've learned to live with it. I've learned to live with it because I'm exaggerating my problems, as I'm sure most of you are as well. The conflict lies in coming to realize that. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll realize that you don't have SA.

I was obese (until recent years) and had an older brother that would torment me with words such as "fatass" and the like. On top of that, no girls ever liked me.

What did I do about it? Nothing- I played videogames to escape from my false reality. Some turn to drugs- Some to alcohol- I played videogames. They never judged me.

When I was eight years old, I went outside with my brother and a golf club to hit rocks. I stood close behind my brother on one of his swings, he swung back and knocked my front tooth out as well as cut a slice of my lip. Unfortunately being poor has it huge disadvantages, so I never got proper dental treatment. Bam, I'm still toothless until now (which I might add has actually gotten worse because of my teeth shifting).

Now on to the ackward situation. Do the math- Obese kid+no girlfriend=porn. Lots and lots of porn. What did that do to me? Well, seeing well-endowed guys have sexual intercourse with beautiful women made me believe that my average-sized penis was small. Sure, we (males) would probably feel better with a massive pecker, but when you come to realize that it's about quality and not quantity in sex, you'll find that penis size is (for the most part) irrelevant. I'm sure the ladies will vouch for me on this one.

As for my PE problem- Well, I've only had sex once, so I can't really confirm if this problem even exists but I will say that even if I ejaculate quickly, I'm proud to say that I have an high sex drive- Meaning I can entertain the ladies all night (pm me if you're female and live in the Los Angeles area ).

We all have our high days (where we feel comfortable sharing our deepest secrets) and we all have our low days (just staying in and being by yourself).

I realize that some of you may have a more difficult time dealing with this issue than others. As a result, you become mad at yourself. You'll find yourself asking:
  • "Why can't I be more social?"
    "What do people think of me?"
    "Why do I feel shy or embarassed in social situations?"
    "Why can't I get a relationship?"

The list goes on.

The point is, we all need to learn to laugh at ourselves when we can. To avoid making bumps appear as mountains. To realize that we as humans are all on this journey here together.

What did I do to overcome social anxiety disorder?

I found a new hobby- I LOVE working out at the gym. I decided to start taking risks and being more honest.

Just today for example, I decided to be up front with my brother about something I would normally find awkward sharing with anyone. A few nights ago, I was sitting in my chair looking up something to do with god. As I sat in my chair, I tried to envision what the website was suggesting. Suprisingly, I felt like my body was shaking- My heart rate sped up and I felt like the room was spinning. As I closed my eyes, I saw Eddie (the mascot from Iron Maiden and a bunch of other demons). It was a weird religious experience to say the least. Anyway, I told my brother about this and how I didn't feel too comfortable sharing it with him when it happened. His response was totally the opposite of what I expected. I thought he would laugh and call me retard. Instead, he laughed and called me retard for not feeling comfortable sharing such an experience. It was an eye-opener that you, under no circumstance should build a flawed belief in how people view you.

Another example today-

There is this cute Japanese girl in my English class. She asked me to meet up with her at lunch and read her essay. Normally, I'd run to my car and give her some BS excuse about finals later(which would have been a strong, valid excuse). I forced myself to go. I've never had an easy time talking with girls or strangers, but I somehow managed. Now I have a date set with her (that I actually look forward to) sometime this weekend.

Damn, I have a whole list of stories now that I think about all of this. I think I've gone on far enough with promoting myself though.

I know a biggie that most of us have is the dreaded "ackward silence." Can't keep a conversation going, eh? Neither could I. I felt as if I simply didn't care what others thought, or that others didn't care what I though. Wrong! You can actually keep a conversation going. Just find something dear at heart. Something you can relate to with the other person. Easier said than done, right? Not really. I'll post up a few things a little later on this very subject.

Sorry for the long read, but I was browsing through the other sections and read some of your posts in the "depressed section." It put me in such a crappy mood, I just had to start writing this thread.

I'll add a whole list of advice, as well as help anyone out who needs advice with anything ranging from social anxiety to telling me how your day was to how you should handle a situation to even a simple math problem. I'm a cool guy and I would love to meet some of you or help you out over PM. Message me if you want to talk.

Anyway, it's 1:26 am and I have work tomorrow (today). You all have a good night/day.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 09:23 AM
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Re: Hopefully the last time you'll be worrying about SA

Thanks for that, I think lol

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hopefully the last time you'll be worrying about SA

My best advice for getting over Social Anxiety is:

Just do it. Don't feel comfortable going out with friends? Just do it. Don't feel comfortable going to new places? Just do it. Don't feel comfortable talking with others? Just do it.

Golden rule is, just do it. Without a doubt, the best cure for SA.

I know exactly what some of you may write. "Easier said than done." Again, I was in your position. I felt embarassed about my problem. But when you start to "just do it," you start to build on from there.

Yeah, I can be shy at times. There can be days when I feel under the weather. But I cannot stress enough that you should Just do it. You WILL start to see improvement with you SA.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 11:42 PM
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Re: Hopefully the last time you'll be worrying about SA

sounds like the giddyness from losing your virginity :P

yea yea

But yes, your overall message there is true. You only get somewhere if you try.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hopefully the last time you'll be worrying about SA

Originally Posted by dave :o
sounds like the giddyness from losing your virginity :P

yea yea

But yes, your overall message there is true. You only get somewhere if you try.
Haha, nah-

That was over a year ago. I've just recently come to terms with this whole disorder. I let people know how I felt about myself- I decided to be more honest with people.

I decided to join these forums and meet others who feel they have it. I want to help others get over this so-called disorder. As hard as it may seem to be, it's all in your head.

Hell, even playing Grand Theft Auto helped me to some extent. You know when you could call people up and go bowling or just grab a bite to eat? I used to think people would say "wow, how unoriginal." Hence the reason I never really hung out with people. Well yeah, playing GTA helped me sort of see two things:

1. You actually can have sex with a prostitute, kill her and get your money back. And...
2. People won't judge you as much by what you do with them- There just happy to be with you.

Keeping up conversations was another weak point I had. I would say hello, they would say it back and then there was ackward silence. Then there are times when you talk with family or friends, but silence is golden. You don't mind being quiet because you're in a self-employed comfort zone. What happened?

Your mind blocked you with fear that you might say something stupid and dumb or hurtful. That's when I came to realize that people always say stupid, dumb and hurtful things all the time. This doesn't go to say that you should do that, but it does give you the idea that you can be more open.

Generally, my line of thought was just a single line of talking to people. "Hi, How are you? I'm good, thank you. Have a nice day." But when things come to it, just do what is referred to as the branch method. "Hi, how are you? Not bad, I've had a pretty busy day today. Just wondering what I should be doing...." The whole story begins from there. If you start to get ackward silence again, think of a recent event in news. I live in L.A., so the big thing here is the Lakers getting into the finals. Today I was waiting in line at a courthouse. I met a dude there and our conversation was fantastic. We talked about the BS of traffic tickets and then I mentioned the Lakers and it took off from there. I left feeling as if I made a good impression of myself.

Another thing I want to mention is I started touching people. Now in the perverted sense, mind you. More or less shaking hands, patting on the back, ect...

Not only does it make you feel slightly more close and friendly with others, but they also actually appreciate it.

Damn, I'm ranting on again, aren't I? Long story short, just put in a little effort no matter how scared you think you are. You will slowly start to feel better and it should all take off from there.

EDIT* Oh yeah, I was just joking about the 1st GTA part.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 12:13 PM
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Re: Hopefully the last time you'll be worrying about SA

Behaving differently by "avoiding avoidance" is certainly an important step. In addition though, I progress even better with a cognitive approach alongside the behavioral "just do it" part (for the full CBT). I find that exposure is far more productive when it comes after cognitively addressing beliefs, expectations, safety behaviors, etc.

I think you've nailed the behavioral part though, which is the part I think is more prone to avoidance (the cognitive part can be done alone). Follow-through is crucial.

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He ran because it grounded him in basics. There was both life and death in it; it was unadulterated by media hype, trivial cares, political meddling...It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.
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