Social Anxiety Institute's CBT Series log - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #21 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 10:50 PM
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Keep it up. Im happy to see there's somebody who puttin up a log on it. Also, im using this tape too, im on my 13th week. I hope you keep it up. Imma keep my eye on this thread.
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post #22 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Keep it up. Im happy to see there's somebody who puttin up a log on it. Also, im using this tape too, im on my 13th week. I hope you keep it up. Imma keep my eye on this thread.
Congrats on making it to week 13! Keep it up! How's it going? Are you finding it helpful?

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #23 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 02:07 PM
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Congrats on making it to week 13! Keep it up! How's it going? Are you finding it helpful?
Thanks. Yea, it's definitely working. I think more positive and I am WAYYY more confidence. You can hear it in my voice and I act more like myself. I used to shutter sometimes. Now, very very rarely. Iknow I still got a long way to go since I had this since I was like 9 year old. So, yea I see improvement. There's times when I do not feel like doing it; however, I fight thru it. I try to keep this quote in my mind: "successful people have developed the habit of doing what unsuccessful people dont FEEL like doing." Just keep that in mind. Free feel to msg me if you got any question about the program.

Btw, how long do you read? I read for about 30 mins everyday with a timer.
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post #24 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Yea, it's definitely working. I think more positive and I am WAYYY more confidence. You can hear it in my voice and I act more like myself. I used to shutter sometimes. Now, very very rarely. Iknow I still got a long way to go since I had this since I was like 9 year old. So, yea I see improvement. There's times when I do not feel like doing it; however, I fight thru it. I try to keep this quote in my mind: "successful people have developed the habit of doing what unsuccessful people dont FEEL like doing." Just keep that in mind. Free feel to msg me if you got any question about the program.

Btw, how long do you read? I read for about 30 mins everyday with a timer.
I try for 30 minutes a day too, but it usually ends up being like 20.

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #25 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Week 7

Sunday and Monday

Week 6 Review:

“Last week we started with the handout Attitudes. We wanted to practice saying and feeling these attitudes so that when we find ourselves in an anxiety situation, these short attitudes statements will pop up automatically into our minds. Here are some of the attitudes statements: SO WHAT?, WHO CARES?, WHY AM I DWELLING ON THIS? … When we dwell on our old, automatic negative thoughts we want the WHY AM I DWELLING ON THIS STATEMENT? to pop into our minds.”

“Part of our problem with social anxiety is that we have not seen ourselves realistically in the past. We have had a lifelong tendency to put ourselves down, beat ourselves up, feel guilty about things we don’t have any control over, take things too personally, over exaggerate situations, and to see ourselves as being less important than other people. As a result of all this irrational thinking, we naturally expect our future to be as bad as our present.” SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY

New Strategies:

DE-STRESSING STRATEGIES HANDOUT


“These are factual statements we want to get into our minds to cut down on our old habits of over exaggeration, blowing things out of proportion, and escalating our cycle of anxiety. Through this handout we want to slow down, move in a more peaceful frame of mind, take a few steps back, and reassess what is going on around us.”


THE SOCIAL ANXIETY “AUTOMATIC” CYCLE HANDOUT


“If I think others see me as being nervous, then I TRY not to be nervous. That’s more pressure I’m putting on myself. The more we TRY not to be nervous, the more nervous we get.”

“SO WHAT ARE WE ACTUALLY DOING TO OURSELVES? We are beating ourselves up over our own internal anxiety—many times that no one else notices anyway. This may, in part, explain why it is so difficult for us to explain our problem to other people—and why other people, including therapists, have such a difficult time understanding social anxiety. We look normally, we talk normally, and no one usually notices our fear and anxiety.”


TURNING THE TABLES ON ANTS, PART ONE HANDOUT


“You are not responsible for having social anxiety. But, you are the only one who can be responsible for your healing.”

“If you’re worries about a situation, TURN THE THOUGHT AROUND: “This is not as horrible an event as I once feared. This is an event I’ve had difficulty with it the past. But I’m a different person now. This event may still cause some anxiety, but it will be a little better than it was before.” But I must take it slow; I can’t go from having anxiety to not having anxiety. It’s a step-by-step process that gets a little easier after each situation. Sometimes it’s good to start with neutral statements. For example, this weekend I’m going to a wedding—This may not be a fun event, but I am doing better at it than I used to think.


ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT


“We are not accepting our social anxiety, but it is important that we accept ourselves as people—human beings who make mistakes and know and feel there is nothing wrong with us. We are accepting ourselves so that the social anxiety will have no negative energy to keep it going. The more we can accept ourselves and stop beating ourselves up, the more we move away from social anxiety.”

“Acceptance is a powerful process. When I accept myself, I have opened the door for change.”


Goals this week:

Slow Talk
ANTS HANDOUT read everyday
ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT read everyday
FIGHTING PARADOX HANDOUT glance at everyday, constantly remind
TURNING THE TABLES ON ANTS, PART ONE HANDOUT read, remind
Review DESTRESSING STRATEGIES and ATTITIDES

Tuesday


Very depressed; didn’t work on CBT, in other words.

Wednesday to Saturday


I read the ANTS HANDOUT and the ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT in slow talk and glanced at the other handouts each day.

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #26 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hey- I just wanted to say that I'm struggling a bit right now with depression due to a wedding I went to over the weekend, so I haven't started on week 8 yet. I hope to start tomorrow, as long as I feel better. Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up to those following this log.

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #27 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 09:53 AM
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Hey- I just wanted to say that I'm struggling a bit right now with depression due to a wedding I went to over the weekend, so I haven't started on week 8 yet. I hope to start tomorrow, as long as I feel better. Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up to those following this log.

Hope everything is ok. I know you were doing so good. I know we can get off track and need help to get back on. You are doing so great! Keep going. I know some down time might be good now too. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

Laugh Loud!
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post #28 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 09:54 AM
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Week 7

Sunday and Monday

Week 6 Review:

“Last week we started with the handout Attitudes. We wanted to practice saying and feeling these attitudes so that when we find ourselves in an anxiety situation, these short attitudes statements will pop up automatically into our minds. Here are some of the attitudes statements: SO WHAT?, WHO CARES?, WHY AM I DWELLING ON THIS? … When we dwell on our old, automatic negative thoughts we want the WHY AM I DWELLING ON THIS STATEMENT? to pop into our minds.”

“Part of our problem with social anxiety is that we have not seen ourselves realistically in the past. We have had a lifelong tendency to put ourselves down, beat ourselves up, feel guilty about things we don’t have any control over, take things too personally, over exaggerate situations, and to see ourselves as being less important than other people. As a result of all this irrational thinking, we naturally expect our future to be as bad as our present.” SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY

New Strategies:

DE-STRESSING STRATEGIES HANDOUT


“These are factual statements we want to get into our minds to cut down on our old habits of over exaggeration, blowing things out of proportion, and escalating our cycle of anxiety. Through this handout we want to slow down, move in a more peaceful frame of mind, take a few steps back, and reassess what is going on around us.”


THE SOCIAL ANXIETY “AUTOMATIC” CYCLE HANDOUT


“If I think others see me as being nervous, then I TRY not to be nervous. That’s more pressure I’m putting on myself. The more we TRY not to be nervous, the more nervous we get.”

“SO WHAT ARE WE ACTUALLY DOING TO OURSELVES? We are beating ourselves up over our own internal anxiety—many times that no one else notices anyway. This may, in part, explain why it is so difficult for us to explain our problem to other people—and why other people, including therapists, have such a difficult time understanding social anxiety. We look normally, we talk normally, and no one usually notices our fear and anxiety.”


TURNING THE TABLES ON ANTS, PART ONE HANDOUT


“You are not responsible for having social anxiety. But, you are the only one who can be responsible for your healing.”

“If you’re worries about a situation, TURN THE THOUGHT AROUND: “This is not as horrible an event as I once feared. This is an event I’ve had difficulty with it the past. But I’m a different person now. This event may still cause some anxiety, but it will be a little better than it was before.” But I must take it slow; I can’t go from having anxiety to not having anxiety. It’s a step-by-step process that gets a little easier after each situation. Sometimes it’s good to start with neutral statements. For example, this weekend I’m going to a wedding—This may not be a fun event, but I am doing better at it than I used to think.


ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT


“We are not accepting our social anxiety, but it is important that we accept ourselves as people—human beings who make mistakes and know and feel there is nothing wrong with us. We are accepting ourselves so that the social anxiety will have no negative energy to keep it going. The more we can accept ourselves and stop beating ourselves up, the more we move away from social anxiety.”

“Acceptance is a powerful process. When I accept myself, I have opened the door for change.”


Goals this week:

Slow Talk
ANTS HANDOUT read everyday
ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT read everyday
FIGHTING PARADOX HANDOUT glance at everyday, constantly remind
TURNING THE TABLES ON ANTS, PART ONE HANDOUT read, remind
Review DESTRESSING STRATEGIES and ATTITIDES

Tuesday


Very depressed; didn’t work on CBT, in other words.

Wednesday to Saturday


I read the ANTS HANDOUT and the ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT in slow talk and glanced at the other handouts each day.
I love the quote: “You are not responsible for having social anxiety. But, you are the only one who can be responsible for your healing.”

I know i have been trying this week.

Laugh Loud!
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post #29 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Hope everything is ok. I know you were doing so good. I know we can get off track and need help to get back on. You are doing so great! Keep going. I know some down time might be good now too. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
I'm doing better and am back on track. I started week 8 yesterday!

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #30 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 12:02 PM
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I'm doing better and am back on track. I started week 8 yesterday!
That's good to hear.
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post #31 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 10:43 AM
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I'm doing better and am back on track. I started week 8 yesterday!
Good job. Dr. Richards knows what he's talking about. I went through the program a few years back and it does work if you are dedicated and persistence. Change is a slow process. You have to give yourself time for progess. Keep up the good work and don't give up.
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post #32 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Good job. Dr. Richards knows what he's talking about. I went through the program a few years back and it does work if you are dedicated and persistence. Change is a slow process. You have to give yourself time for progess. Keep up the good work and don't give up.
Thanks! So, did you find it a constant struggle, too. When did change come for you? During, after?

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #33 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 09:04 PM
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Thanks! So, did you find it a constant struggle, too. When did change come for you? During, after?
I don't remember everything since it's been awhile; like 2 yrs I think. I just listened to the tapes for the first few months then got serious after and went through the program. What's strange was I progressed really quick like doing two of the lessons in one week. But I was very determined to improve.

The key thing about the program is that it's basically brainwashing you in a positive way. The lessons are designed to change the way your emotional brain react to social situations. It does this by helping your mind to believe. Like how your anxiety reinforces your SA, by thinking positive thoughts and believing it causes a small positive change in your brain chemistry. I think the key ideas to help you are to take the program seriously and follow the steps. Gradual exposure therapy is also very important; I forgot which lesson that was in. Keep thinking positive thoughts and believe. And keep practicing and do the slow talk it helps. Having at least one friend or family for emotional support also helps. And your improvement is a long journey. You have to keep being determined to improve.

At the worst of my SA, I couldn't walk into a Wal-Mart by myself. After I finish the course, I continue using the lessons I learned to help improve my social skills. Now, I have no problem telling someone to f*** off. If I did it, you can too. Good luck buddy; I'm rooting for you.
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post #34 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-20-2010, 07:15 AM
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Hi mjhea0, I'm just stopping by to tell you that you're welcome to ask me for any help or advice. I don't hang out in this forum, but may stop by occasionally.
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post #35 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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I don't remember everything since it's been awhile; like 2 yrs I think. I just listened to the tapes for the first few months then got serious after and went through the program. What's strange was I progressed really quick like doing two of the lessons in one week. But I was very determined to improve.

The key thing about the program is that it's basically brainwashing you in a positive way. The lessons are designed to change the way your emotional brain react to social situations. It does this by helping your mind to believe. Like how your anxiety reinforces your SA, by thinking positive thoughts and believing it causes a small positive change in your brain chemistry. I think the key ideas to help you are to take the program seriously and follow the steps. Gradual exposure therapy is also very important; I forgot which lesson that was in. Keep thinking positive thoughts and believe. And keep practicing and do the slow talk it helps. Having at least one friend or family for emotional support also helps. And your improvement is a long journey. You have to keep being determined to improve.

At the worst of my SA, I couldn't walk into a Wal-Mart by myself. After I finish the course, I continue using the lessons I learned to help improve my social skills. Now, I have no problem telling someone to f*** off. If I did it, you can too. Good luck buddy; I'm rooting for you.
Thanks! Yeah, I'm just taking it one day at a time. I can feel it working a bit, but it's very subtle.

When you said you did the program, do you mean you worked through the series on your own, or did you actual go to the institute and do it there? Because I know they run a formal program there. It's something I've been thinking more about. But it is expensive. I guess I'll see where I'm at after i finish the series on my own.

Thanks again!

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #36 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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So, before I start week 8, I just want to mention that I’ve taken 3 days off. I had a horrible social experience over the week, a wedding, and I felt really depressed for the next few days after. I’m really having trouble breaking the negative thought patterns in my head. Further, I’m concerned about how change can even happen when my deep-seeded beliefs are constantly being reinforced by my actions. My mind says one thing, but my body is saying something entirely different. I’m pretty frustrated at this point.

Week 8


I need to first be in control of myself before I can be in control of a situation. How? “ By calming down, using slow talk, taking our time, and being more deliberate.”

Week 7 Review:

De-stressing Strategies: “The next time you find your thoughts drifting out into anxiety and worry, reel them back in and call their bluff. Why should I worry about something like this? I’m tired of making a mountain out of a molehill. I’m human, and we all make mistakes. I can only do my best.” Great advice, but so hard to do once I let my thoughts take control of me. After that, nothing seems to work. I would like to be able to say this before the thoughts take control. It will take some time and practice, but I’ll get there.

The Social Anxiety Automatic Cycle: “If someone doesn’t like us because they can sense our anxiety, too bad for them. We don’t want to know them anyway. It’s their tough luck. The moral of the social anxiety automatic cycle is that we never appear as anxious to other people as we think we do. And who cares anyway? The less we care, the less anxious we become.”

Turning the Tables on ANTs, Part One: “We have over-exaggerated our worries.” Process: Say to yourself, This is not going to be the most fun thing for me, but I will get through it. As my thoughts change, so do my feelings.

This Week:

TURNING THE TABLES ON ANTS, PART TWO (Or: keep turning those irrational thoughts around)

“The secret to this ‘face your fears’ analogy is that you can only face one fear at a time, and it needs to be a small fear to start with. We must always move up the pyramid or hierarchy slowly and in a deliberate, well-planned-out manner. … By taking each new step slowly as it comes along, and repeating it, I am working against my anxiety in a positive, permanent way.” It’s frustrating because I am so isolated, I don’t have small social situations. I pretty much bounce from one large group social situation to the next.

“Facing your fears does not work for social anxiety, unless it is handled in the right way. That is, we take one small step at a time and gradually move up our anxiety hierarchy. It is important we feel more comfortable and more confident at each step before we move up.”

“When we actually do something that was difficult for us to do in the past, it is very important that we notice it, give ourselves credit for doing it, and then turn the tables on the ANTs. For example: You can say, ‘Yes that was difficult for me. But I did it, and I am happy I did it. It wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it may get better each and every time I do it.’”

“By beginning to view the situation in a more realistic light, as more of a challenge rather than a fear, it speeds along the healing process.”


TURNING THE TABLES ON ANTS, PART THREE (Or: your brain hears and believes everything you [repeatedly] say)

“Speaking in public is something most people with social anxiety find very difficult to do. But, if we constantly remind ourselves (and our brain) that we think it is horrible, scary, and anxiety-producing, then it will ALWAYS be horrible, scary, and anxiety-producing.” Say this instead: “Speaking to a group isn’t my favorite activity, and I may be a little nervous, but so is everybody else who makes a public presentation. It’s not that big of a deal. I will take a deep breath, slow my talking down, focus on something specific, and remind myself that I will probably do a better job than many other people.”

“If you stop saying something is scary, and replace the statement by saying the situation is challenging, eventually your brain and your behavior will come together and agree.”

“Tell your brain the truth. Turn the tables on those ANTS. Whatever you say, your brain will hear. Whatever your brain hears, it will believe.”


CHANGING BRAIN CHEMISTRY PERMANENTLY

When ANTs thoughts and feelings come:

1.Be honest. Call the intrusive, unwanted, negative thoughts and feelings what they really are: Pathological liars and bullies.
2.“When you are honest with yourself, it won’t make your unwanted negative thinking and behavior go away immediately, but it will prepare you to change your responses.”
3.“When you change your behavior, you are literally changing your brain.”
4.Do something else. When you change your behavioral responses (or the way you act) by focusing your attention on something useful and constructive, you are breaking up the vicious anxiety cycle.”
5.See reality for what it is. When you see reality more clearly, and can devalue the lying unwanted thoughts and feelings, you are strengthening your new brain pathways, and putting another nail in the anxiety coffin.”


MINGLING

This handout gives basic advice on how to handle mingling. It’s important for me to remember this—“it takes at least two people to talk. You are not responsible for ‘silences’ and there is nothing wrong with having ‘silences’. IT’S NO BIG DEAL!” And this—“No one is watching and judging your performance. They have better things to do than focus on you.”


CONVERSATIONS

Like the Mingling handout, this handout gives practical advice on handle making small talk.

Most important: “Pay attention to the other person and what they are saying. (Focus your attention externally and ignore the internal ANTs thinking”. Why can’t it be that easy?


What to do this week:

·Read Turning the Tables on ANTs, Part One, Two, and Three (think neutrally; I don’t need to be positive yet, I just have to stop being so negative)
oExamples of being neutral:
  • “I may not be perfect, but I am getting better.”
  • “This is not such a big deal. I can do this better than I once thought.”
  • “This may be a little hard for me but I’ll get through it, I always do.”
·Continue practicing Slow Talk and the ANTS Handout and any other handouts I find necessary
·Practice attitudes and de-stressing strategies



Thursday through Tuesday

I practiced each day for thirty minutes—yay! One interesting thing I came across: “MOST situations in life are not really scary: we just interpreted them that way for a long period of time and they are settled deeply in our brain.

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #37 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-24-2010, 07:46 PM
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Hi Mike

Thanks for your great post.

I accidentially chanced upon a webby at another forum to cure anxiety naturrally and am also doing something similar as you and it is great. Prior to this, I have been taking lotsa medication and after 1 year, I noticed my memory is getting short and have terrible mood swing. Should have started doing something about my condition long ago but am glad to have found help now. Hope all of you are feeling better now that we have so many valuable tips and help here.
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post #38 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 08:15 PM
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Nice job man, keep it up.

Curious, do you regularly speak fast, or just during social anxiety?

I've been constantly telling myself to start doing CBT sessions, or at least what I think a session would be like, but I don't do it for a long enough period of time. Did you just buckle down and it became a habit? And what has been the most helpful thing you learned so far?

"An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
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post #39 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 12:08 AM
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Good stuff. I might have to get it for myself.

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post #40 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Mike

Thanks for your great post.

I accidentially chanced upon a webby at another forum to cure anxiety naturrally and am also doing something similar as you and it is great. Prior to this, I have been taking lotsa medication and after 1 year, I noticed my memory is getting short and have terrible mood swing. Should have started doing something about my condition long ago but am glad to have found help now. Hope all of you are feeling better now that we have so many valuable tips and help here.
Hey, I'm glad you found something that worked for you! Thanks for reading, by the way.

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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