None of the SA advice makes any sense - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 08:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travo
Exactly. I remember times in my life I didn't "suffer" so much from having SA. I was still DEFINITELY a very sensitive and retiring person, but I felt 100% comfortable with friends and had no anxiety with them, and even was somewhat a public extrovert with friends. Amazing how much things can change, how self esteem can collapse over a period of not having real friends anymore.
If you lost all these qualities, then doesn't it stand to reason that you can regain them?

I've always been a sensitive person too, and always had difficulties in a lot of situations, and I don't ever expect to be cured of all my sensitivity. I'll always harbour a lot of social fears, regardless of what I do.

But, let's say, you have a social skills scale, 1 to 100. I'll never reach 100 in the sense that I'l be completely relaxed around everyone. I know that. But wouldn't you rather hit, say 65 rather than 40? Put a real effort in and you might get to 75.

I'm reading this thread, but with the majority of opinions here it seems apparent that you've all given up altogether. Why settle for the poorest option?



Ok. There is a lot of truth in what's been said. But quite frankly, the negative bias here is unbelievable. Actually, that's a lie, it's completely believable coming from a group of natural negative thinkers. But let me balance it out a little for you...

CBT works.

It's no small feat and takes a lot of time, energy and courage, but if you can learn to balance your thoughts and behaviours you will naturally begin to think more positively, and essentially you'll begin to achieve that natural flow that you talk of of, without having to think what you're doing. That said, a therapist can't do anything for you, it's all on your own back, which is why it often fails. The attitudes in this thread will contribute to that.

It has been shown through research, that the physical structure of the brain can be changed through time and practice. We may be disadvanteged in this area, but we don't have to settle for the lowest option. We may never have super social schematics, but we can at least get half way there.

It's also true that we learn most of our social skills early on in life, and if we missed out on that, then again we're disadvantaged. But that says nothing of social anxiety. I know people with real speech impedements or little social skills yet they're not socially anxious at all, in fact the opposite.

Of course, you don't want to be concentrating on this stuff all the time. Being introverted we have a tendancy to concentrate on stuff all the time. That's part of your SA and that needs changed too.

I can't be bothered to say any more...
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 11:00 AM
 
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Re: CBT works.


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Originally Posted by pjam76
While I agree with many of the things the above poster stated, the fact is it's impossible to say that "CBT works. " in a general sense.
Depends how you take the question. If it is applied properly, then it will do something...

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Maybe it worked for you. Maybe it worked for many people.
But therapy is what it is. It all depends on the person and the therapist.
I agree. A good therapist can help motivate and give the right advice. If you've got a crap one, go see someone else. Essentially everything from there is down to the patient.

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Like I said before, I worked at an addiction rehab center where 85 percent of the people wound up using again within six months. A place that had a variety of therapists.
That really doesn't surprise me, sounds pretty accurate.

But, I'd be willing to bet that in most cases this is a lifestyle/habitual problem. Unfortunately, the clinic isn't going to deal with that thouroughly. Some of these people may have made massive achievments in the clinic, but once back into their routine lives, around their routine buddies and general lifestyle it becomes very easy to slip back into the original problem.

A well known succesful case is Jack Osbourne. He made some massive lifestyle changes, without which he'd be sitting jacking up heroin right now. And no clinic can make these lifestyle changes for you. Which brings me back to my original point: It's down to the patient.

The actual therapy is only a small part of it.

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THis notion that it's "you didn't try hard enough" or "you didn't work this and that" is bull to me.
I do almost agree with some of what you say. But the problem I have is the way it's addressed in this thread. I mean, I could go to therapy now, and it may work, but maybe I could have went this time last year and it wouldn't have worked. Therapy will not always help you. But it never will, you have to help yourself. That said, you're not always in a position to help yourself either. Sometimes you just need some good influence for you to go out and really put your heart and soul into it.

If you find that right time, then you'll get something out of it.


Quote:
But like the above poster and I stated before, you have to find something that does work then.
Fact is, with the attitudes in here, CBT won't work. A slight shift in attitude, and it may work.

And yeah, you can always find something, it's your own journey. With a negative attitude, you'll only get negative results.

That's enough babbling for now...
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Genome
Everyone thinks that if they can just raise their self-esteem or think positively enough, the SA will subside. This may work in some cases, but for many of us, it does nothing.
Self-esteem is the starting point. You have to understand that you are not here to be judged by others -- you are here to enjoy life. Acceptance is a big part of self-esteem. Accept yourself as you are -- foibles and all.

Next, if you have good social skills but your problem is just that you're anxious in social situations, CBT and exposure therapy can help a great deal. Many of us with SAD never really developed good social skills and that could be a big part of why we're anxious in social situations. Those skills can be developed by forcing yourself to get into social situations, but then you run the risk of making a fool of yourself. An alternative is to find a therapist who will help you build your skills, or if you're lucky, there's a support group in your area where you could work on it.

Getting over SAD requires a great deal of effort and determination. There's no silver bullet. You have to be your own therapist and determine for yourself what you need to do to get over it. Therapists can help, but most of what they tell you, you can read in books and teach yourself. You have to use them to help you help yourself.

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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rawr
What my pschycologist told me that "would help me" didnt really, it was dumb tricks like looking in the middle of the forehead instead of the eyes. I didnt want tricks, i wanted to overcome it, so i left. :3
I agree that tricks don't work. I've had two major areas of anxiety - driving and performing. I still experience some anxiety with performing, but in both what helped me did not involve any tricks or self-talk or thinking this way or that. It was simply figuring out how much I could push myself to do (however small) and do that. And keep doing that. Each time pushing myself just a little further. For me it wasn't some theory, but making choices and doing.
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
CBT works.
Only about 50% of the time and it has a very high rate of relapse. You can look up the psychology research which states this.

It may work for some, but its not a magic bullet that is guaranteed to work, and if it doesn't, its the patient's "fault".

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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 02:23 PM
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Since there is always a claim that some of us posters are always being negative in these types of threads, I'll ask a question I've asked many times before over the years.

Is there anyone here who has made substantial progress against life-long SAD?

I have only gotten one positive response from this question -- the person felt they had recently recovered (somewhat out of the blue), I'm not sure if they still feel this way.

I do think those who began experiencing SAD later in their lives (adolescence and on) have a chance at recovery.

For those of us who have lived with this in some way our entire lives, I wouldn't call it being negative. I would say I am simply being realistic. I would be living in a fantasy world if I thought one day, even with all the hard mental work in the world, I would be able to live a normal life.

The most that I can expect is more of what I call 'false progress'. I am able to go to the store, talk on the phone, make small talk, appear 'normal' to people. Many of these things I couldn't do in the past. But this is simply out of survival -- I still have to over-process all these situations that 'normal' people don't even think about. I have to hide my SA from the outside world. Most people would assume I have made substantial progress against SA. But that is false. I have no real personal relationships, no way of truly connecting with people -- the important things in life.
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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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I agree with pjam76, it is how we deal with obstacles not our obstacles that matters in the long run.
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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 02:42 PM
 
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pjam

Completely agree with you.

I'm not defending the clinics or therapists. They offer no magic cure, that's for sure. And once they've got your money most of them won't care less.

But this is our problem, and it's our choice to do something about it. And if you make the choice to do something about it, then these people (if they're a good therapist) can help guide you. I completely understand that sometimes we just can't do it, otherwise I would've been cured years ago. But when you can do it, it's up to you to suck these resources dry and take whatever it is they have to offer.

CBT is a very simple concept. If used properly, it will help you. Maybe not just now, but when the student is ready, the teacher will appear...


Not trying to be patronising, but I never said it was the magic bullet. It's a very useful resource with practical exercises. It's there for you to take advantage of. If you find a better way....come and tell me about it

Most people go in with the attitude that it will cure them. It won't. It only gives a handful of tools to help you along your way. What you do with them is up to you.

Quote:
Only about 50%
That's higher than what I would expect. In fact I expect that figure to be a bit of a white lie, I've spoken to loads of people and they've done sod all with their CBT...

Quote:
a very high rate of relapse
As I said, it's a lifestyle change. Most people after a few weeks will go 'Oh, I feel better, I can stop now...' and there you go slipping back into your old lifestyle.

You're right, CBT on its own is a crock of ****. Doesn't make it useless.

Anyways, I've laboured this topic enough trying to get my point across (not very well). How you want your life to turn out is up to you...
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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I really appreciate the comments about living with obstacles. I definitely have certain "holes" in my emotional make up. It is like living without a leg or something. I think that is why it helped me so much to just accept myself with my flaws and focus on always pushing myself just enough to move forward with my limitations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Genome
Is there anyone here who has made substantial progress against life-long SAD?
I haven't been diagnosed with SAD, but here are examples of levels of anxiety I have dealt with in the past.

1. General shyness and feelings of rejection. On my first date I could only stare at the floor, couldn't speak or move while we were in the restaurant. Once when preparing to teach a class with some students with negative attitudes, my heart stopped beating and I almost passed out.

2. Had to habitually pull over to cry when driving two-lane roads because of visualizing a head-on collision with each passing car. Also felt intense nausea when driving a simple divided highway to work.

My one biggest accomplishment is to finally be comfortable driving in the city I live in. I'm in my mid-30's and my extreme driving anxiety caused me to pass over good opportunities in the past. It took two years of pushing myself to do as much driving as I could stand. I still have to keep it up or I start to fall back into my old pattern of anxiety.

I am still shy, but managed to marry and can conduct myself professionally. I do have to choose to avoid certain environments because they simply tax me too greatly. I can't be all things in all situations, but with continual effort and choices I can manage enough to earn a living, have happy moments, and self respect.
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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 07:02 AM
 
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It seems that everyones basic problem is the same, but it's still there own indivdual problem. Each person must handle there issue in there own way. For me things like CBT, therapists, self help books, just doesn't make any sense. Now for you that might be your answer. Over the last 6 month or so I've made huge progress just by making a few friends at work. So find your own fix, take each persons words with as thier two cents. Eventually you will have a savings to help you out.
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post #31 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 07:14 AM
 
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I agree with a lot of what you say clocktower, you do have to find your own way.

But you say you've improved by making friends at work.....that's pretty much CBT.
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post #32 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 07:35 AM
 
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The difference here is usually CBT is very structured very intentional. For me I can't wake up and say "I have SA I'm gonna go deal with it". Cause the problem doesn't even make sense to myself really. I can't climb the mountain if I don't understand the rope. Making friends has just helped to push my sorry butt into the world a bit a realize how much of it's all in my head.
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post #33 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 07:48 AM
 
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Yeah, I'm agreeing coldwater.

This seems to be your perspective of CBT, and the way you see it it's not working for you. But you're essentially doing thre same thing, but in your own way.

This is what I mean, CBT works, but you have to find your own way with it, a therapist can't do that for you. The exercises are there, and they work.

You've just given those exercises to yourself in your own way.
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post #34 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Genome
Since there is always a claim that some of us posters are always being negative in these types of threads, I'll ask a question I've asked many times before over the years.

Is there anyone here who has made substantial progress against life-long SAD?

I have only gotten one positive response from this question -- the person felt they had recently recovered (somewhat out of the blue), I'm not sure if they still feel this way.

I do think those who began experiencing SAD later in their lives (adolescence and on) have a chance at recovery.

For those of us who have lived with this in some way our entire lives, I wouldn't call it being negative. I would say I am simply being realistic. I would be living in a fantasy world if I thought one day, even with all the hard mental work in the world, I would be able to live a normal life.

The most that I can expect is more of what I call 'false progress'. I am able to go to the store, talk on the phone, make small talk, appear 'normal' to people. Many of these things I couldn't do in the past. But this is simply out of survival -- I still have to over-process all these situations that 'normal' people don't even think about. I have to hide my SA from the outside world. Most people would assume I have made substantial progress against SA. But that is false. I have no real personal relationships, no way of truly connecting with people -- the important things in life.
This is how I feel. Maybe I have "functional" social anxiety, or I simply don't try hard enough. The way I see it is that it's become ingrained in me. I'm just prone to feeling anxious because of brain chemistry and all of those complicated things that I can't explain. I've been "shy" since before I was 10. It really started to kick in around 12-13, maybe earlier.

I have to say, and I don't want anyone to take it personally, but I personally find the relationship/dating advice pretty flawed. The whole section is plagued with generalizations about the sexes and in different ways I see gender roles being reinforced, by both sexes. We don't know what the poster's crush is like, if that person is the type to approach the opposite sex or to approach themself, etc. I keep reading over and over "women want this, talk to them this way" and then the classic "you have to love yourself first", bla bla. Frankly, that stuff just bores me and makes me sick, and I give up on the whole thread.

I really don't take too much advice on this forum personally. It's hard to survey someone's individual experiences and the world they live in, so most of the time I don't have much to offer. This is a place for me to go and kill time, share experiences, and get a broad scope of anxiety in different people. Some people can work high-pressure jobs and have their masters, yet are terrified on a daily basis. Others are almost complete hermits and dread leaving home.
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