I'm Optimistic that CBT will work. How about you? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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I'm Optimistic that CBT will work. How about you?


Hi anyone, I have SA and its at a peak after 4 years of fighting. I have fought and denied that this is an issue for years and now what I tried to hide in the closet cannot be contained, it controls my life. But I wont give in. I'm a hardcore blusher, I blush at the drop of a pin. Around Co-workers, friends, even family...its degrading and destroys my ability to take in any conversation past hello...but you keep going.

I failed and I failed countless times to overcome my condition and even went to a Psychologist (who, in all honesty, really didnt care about me) but I just started seriously applying CBT on my own using a book my psychologist gave me and I am feeling optimistic. I am currently breaking down my mind and thoughts for evaluation to be rebuilt and continue to be optimistic that it will lead to positive results.

For anyone else out there that is going through what i am, I know it is a living hell but our brains are capable of so much. If you are currently going through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with patience and a burning desire to conquer your fears then please share your experience with me. I'd love to hear positive results regarding CBT.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 01:03 AM
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I recently purchased Dr. Richards audio and book course "Overcoming Social Anxiety Step By Step"
I haven't started using it yet but I plan to use it like you are.
I've heard of great success resulting from cbt and wish you success.

"Nothing Changes When Nothing Changes"
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 01:11 AM
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The most important aspect of CBT I feel is ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention). Persistent exposure is the only thing that allowed me any progress. It's like exposing your hand to abrasion: eventually you'll develop callouses or a thicker skin.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thats awesome Tooljunkie, if you end up sticking with the audio and book course I hope it helps you progress to having a life not controlled by SA. Also interested to hear about your results.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by joolz View Post
The most important aspect of CBT I feel is ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention). Persistent exposure is the only thing that allowed me any progress. It's like exposing your hand to abrasion: eventually you'll develop callouses or a thicker skin.
That is very interesting to hear. Was extensive blushing part of your SA joolz? I have gone through persistent exposure on a daily basis for a month but have not noticed any improvement on controlling or reducing my SA. (Keep in mind I had no game plan...no knowledge of "response prevention and I still dont".)

How are you now joolz? How extensive is your "progress"?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 08:26 AM
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It doesn't work for me and social anxiety.

However, it probably helped me to think more rationally about a lot of things. This is a good thing.

But CBT does appear to help a great many people, so stick with it. It will take time to recondition your brain (which I think is what was lacking in my own attempts), we are talking about almost rewiring how your brain works, and how you think has taken many many years of conditioning.

I suspect CBT is a long game, keep plugging away at it and try to monitor your progress somehow over time, as changes will likely be subtle.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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It doesn't work for me and social anxiety.

However, it probably helped me to think more rationally about a lot of things. This is a good thing.

But CBT does appear to help a great many people, so stick with it. It will take time to recondition your brain (which I think is what was lacking in my own attempts), we are talking about almost rewiring how your brain works, and how you think has taken many many years of conditioning.

I suspect CBT is a long game, keep plugging away at it and try to monitor your progress somehow over time, as changes will likely be subtle.
Thank you splendidbob, I very much agree with you. I was playing drums today and I just had an epiphany... I could easily play a certain beat with nearly no thought process but years ago it took me extreme focus and constant dedication to nail the beat. Constant repetition and it will become second nature.

I'm sorry CBT did not have much effect on your SA. I have gone through it before but I lacked the dedication to stick with it so I did not notice much either but now I'm very much so trying to stay determined. How are you coping now?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 07:13 PM
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Thank you splendidbob, I very much agree with you. I was playing drums today and I just had an epiphany... I could easily play a certain beat with nearly no thought process but years ago it took me extreme focus and constant dedication to nail the beat. Constant repetition and it will become second nature.

I'm sorry CBT did not have much effect on your SA. I have gone through it before but I lacked the dedication to stick with it so I did not notice much either but now I'm very much so trying to stay determined. How are you coping now?
heh avoidance, tbh - not something to be recommended.

I am (hopefully) on a waiting list for more extensive therapy here in the UK, but its notoriously flaky here for long term therapy.

For me there are several factors that seem to mess up CBT. Firstly I suffer from pure O OCD (though this is fairly mild now). It makes it very troublesome doing things like though challenging because this kinda prods the beast, so it isn't something I particularly relish doing. I also have pretty bad motivational problems, so its sortof a catch 22 for me.

Your observation is correct about the drums I think, and I think part of the problem with CBT as it is applied here is there isn't emphasis on the long term nature of the treatment. Adjusting your thinking is likely going to take a long time to do. Thinking of this in terms of re conditioning yourself (rather than simply 'altering thoughts') I suspect is a more useful perspective.

At some point I do intend to devise my own form of therapy, but as always, its getting round to it

I wonder if there is some kind of easy to complete self assessment quiz you could fill out on a weekly basis or so, just to keep an eye on progress?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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I could only imagine OCD making it even more challenging. I haven't really considered the long-term nature of CBT but my book mentions that patients that were given treatment through CBT still had positive results and were benefiting from treatment 4 years later.

My book has a self assessment sheet which is pretty basic but to the point. It has you put down a specific situation that causes you anxiety and from a scale 1-10 what number are you at regarding anxiety. It encourages you to keep trying similar scenarios (which is far from easy but you have to be brave) and logging where you are at on the scale. Very basic but it works for me...at the moment.

Fortunately and unfortunately I am thrown with scenarios in my job that involve extensive eye contact and prolonged conversation and focus all day...and with SA...I don't even know how I still have the job. I blush every conversation like I'm gonna pass out. I'm on edge all day...but I am really putting faith in CBT. I'll keep you updated (if anyone is interested).
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 08:19 AM
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Reading the self-help books has certainly helped me. I wish you all the best!

Always happy to talk to folks!
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