Share your Personal Story of Change! - Page 3 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #41 of 156 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 07:44 PM
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I ran across a person today, with whom I had worked a few months ago. He is a very friendly guy. It was about 8pm. He had started work earlier in the day, at 5am. He said with an exhausted smile that he had only another 2-3 hours left before he could go home. I envy these people. Not only do they have great personalities, they work hard and are positive. How does someone become like this? What keeps them ticking?
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post #42 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 03:52 AM
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getting through just enough


This might be all over the board.

When I didn't have friends I would be sad and lonely and then want them, Then when I would make them and have them for awhile, I didn't want them anymore. It takes a lot to maintain friendships. And I think each one just takes a lot out of me. They can be demanding and stressful to me. Right now i'm my life i'm just trying to cope and accept my SAD. In a strange way I like the way I am. I like to make friends too but only like 1 or 2. I may like sitting at home and not being invited anywhere or called bc its comfortable for me and its what Im used to. I always use the excuse that everyone has their own lives and so not everyone can go out all the time. When I finally do I find myself venturing away, literally from the social circle. In the end I leave feeling a little insecure bc of being out of practice of being in a social setting. I cant form words and my thought fly out of my head as easily as they come. And then so I get insecure about what i'm trying to say. They may think Im uneducated. but I look at it as just something to get through each time I go out. At the end of the day, Its comfortable for me to be this way, I just get through the little hurdles. This is the way I am so I'm trying to live and accept it.

I feel that it helps also for me to go out with a friend (the one friend that I have) or my supportive husband.
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post #43 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 11:58 AM
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I have posted on here how much being at uni has helped me.

Today I came back after the 4 week long easter holiday.
i was nervous about interacting with housemates agian, but we had pizza this evening in the kitchen and I contributed to conversation, then the last flatmate came back and she knocked on my door to say hi, which was nice. We chatted an afterwards I looked in the mirror and said "did you see that SA??? **** you!"
The interactions made me a bit nervous but it seems that the more univrsity time I complete, the more confident I become.
Now just got to trick a girl into making a move on me so I can have a girlfriend..... hmmm....

"People are tantalizingly close physically, and yet spiritually, mentally, morally- they manage to remain infinitely remote from each other" Zygmunt Bauman

- "You know the only thing that has made the whole thing worthwhile has been those few times that I was able to truly connect with another person."
- "I had a hunch you might be a real romantic."
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post #44 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 04:50 PM
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For years I didn't have any friends. I mean, I had boyfriends, but only a few that didn't last very long, but no friends. I dropped out of high school because of my bipolar disorder. My social anxiety was so bad that when I went places I just hung my head down, frowned, and alienated myself from everyone. I was getting my GED, and I was in a program for people who dropped out, and everyone there was over forty, I was nineteen, and the youngest person there. Of course everyone was bitter or jealous because they never had a chance to get their GED until they were in their forties, and they picked on me because I didn't talk just because I was a kid. It doesn't help that I look a lot younger than I actually am also. I am twenty-one, and people think I am 16. When I got my GED results, it said that I failed the math part, so I went to go get tutoring in the GED room. My tutor was such a *****, but she quit thank God, and I got tutoring from someone else. There were women in the GED room who really liked me, and they thought I was so sweet. I always wanted to be there friend, but I never had the guts to say hello. Everyone wondered why I always came in the room with circles under my eyes and my head down, not looking at anyone. I had no friends. I thought I was an idiot and a reject that's why. I was depressed and sad. One day I decided to just get some guts and get my GED done with. They put me in a separate room ,and then I woke up the next day early because the ladies from the GED room called me and told me I passed. I went to go see them and they were all crying tears of joy. I took a Reading class the next year, and failed at first, but quickly picked up with a B+ in two weeks. I had no friends until this year two semesters later when I was twenty-one. I finally spoke to those girls in the GED room two months ago, and they took me out to a movie. It took two years to talk to them, and even more to talk to everyone else. I made more and more friends later on. I've been single for a year, but that's ok. All I need are these friends, even though I have very few. I am so happy. I still have SA, but it's not as bad.

To thine ownself be true.

‎"People are afraid of public speaking ...In fact, most say it's their number one fear. Death, apparently, only comes second." ~ Jerry Seinfeld.

Last edited by DesertStar91; 04-22-2012 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Punctuation
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post #45 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 03:40 PM
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bout 2 days ago i went to a psychic of all places. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

but i did have a massive change directly after the reading. i accepted something about myself. im ok with people being offended by my stature/i dont have to hide the fact that i am a confidant man. the block was i was afraid of scaring people with my masculinity.

John
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post #46 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 06:53 AM
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musings from a reborn SAP



I briefly introduced myself back in the spring I believe, experiencing true SA in university setting, having returned at 49 years old. I am studying behavior of all things, and it was then that I first ever learned about this and I MOST clearly have it, even though I haven't gotten an official diagnosis. That's not the nature of this message.

First it is to thank the members of this forum, especially those who reach out to SAPs like me and other new members.

Second, to impart that I have learned amazing things about myself, and the exciting research being developed to treat this truly disabling disorder. I hope to be part of that as I continue my scholarship. After a most anxiety filled year in school, I have made contact finally to my new road to recovery, I believe.

I hope to continue this road by really participating in this forum. What I have learned is changing my life, and I intend to help others even as I continue to study and learn. After 50 years I have finally found hope.

It has been through the amazing program of study in behavior analysis. I have started desensitization training, or dose exposure therapy, actually in vivo in the classroom. It is turning out to generalize across settings outside of my greatest fears of communicating in class, and public speaking. It is changing my behavior in so many dimensions I am drunk with joy.(I hope I'm not manic But this is the truth. I was resistant because of the strength of my behaviors over many years. I hope to have finally understood my patterns of safety behaviors, or avoidance, redirect my self-focused attention, and put that garbage on EXTINCTION! (spoken like the newly budding behavior analyst that I hope to and now believe with my heart that I will become

I just wanted to thank those that help here, and let those that are new know that you are sensitive and valuable people for whom there is most definitely help! And the world needs you. Stick with it and don't lose hope.

Anyway as I continue to learn, I will share my experiences here. And I hope I have something developing through my studies and research that can have an impact on those of us sufferers.

Because for the first time EVER in my life, I can say that I feel happy, joyous and free. Hello world, I have social anxiety. That's all I've got for today, thanks for listening, I am truly glad to be here!
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post #47 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 01:30 PM
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It's not so big a change but I called and spoke on the phone three times today. I didn't give myself any time to stress myself just picked up the phone and called. I feel good, I'll be riding on a high for a long time now lol.
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post #48 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 03:56 PM
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I MAY HAVE ALREADY POSTED THIS.

The best thing I ever did for myself was to get into university. Living on campus really forces interactions out of you. I am completely different now from how I was 2 years ago.

I remember once at work, I was so nervous about screwing up; I spilled 1/2 a blood bag, after a guy had given to the blood bank. The blood donor wasn't too please; and my supervisor was embarrased.
My only saving grace was that the assistant supervisor was kinda antisocial like me, so he always encouraged me, even through the worst of my panic attacks. He would tell me of mistakes he used to make when he was in my position.

My advice is, even if many people don't have patience for the socially anxious; try to reach out anyway, because when you do encounter (PHYSICALLY, IN REAL LIFE) people who have had SA like yourself; it is like lifting the world off your shoulders.

Apart from my experience at university... I have to thank the assistant supervisor of the blood bank at the lab where I worked. He had SA as a young man, still does -- and was the first person I ever met who I could really sit down with and chat about my anxieties without feeling like a weaklin.

I used to shake uncontrollably when trying to give someone an injection. Then one day, Mr. R (let's call him that) came to me and just said, "look, take a blood sample from my arm, I want to test my sugar." that was the first blood draw I did smoothly.
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post #49 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 07:40 PM
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few years.. your kidding me! why not tomorrow??
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Mine is so minor compared to everyone else, but to me it was a HUGE step. I walked out of my dorm and i passed this girl and i said hi. It was the first thing i said to anyone in college. I also said hi to another girl yesterday and since then have no spoken a word. But that's two hi's so i'm proud of my tiny steps towards getting better. Tiny steps to recovery.
My goal is to strike up a conversation with some stranger, but i think that'll be a few more years......
thats bigtime! keep it up!
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post #50 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 07:41 PM
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I ran across a person today, with whom I had worked a few months ago. He is a very friendly guy. It was about 8pm. He had started work earlier in the day, at 5am. He said with an exhausted smile that he had only another 2-3 hours left before he could go home. I envy these people. Not only do they have great personalities, they work hard and are positive. How does someone become like this? What keeps them ticking?
I found my anxiety made work difficult because of the adrenaline would expend my energy so quick. I think practicing being calm is the trick and then maintaining calm throughout the work day. I am not there yet but that is the dream.
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post #51 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 07:45 PM
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First Off, I must mention that all your stories are touching to me. It is so hard dealing with anxiety and I am so happy for all the little and big successes in everyone's life.


I am in the beginning stages of regaining control of my life and I must say that I have never, even before my severe spout of depression and life spiral 5 years ago, felt so comfortable being me.

It is so nice to have techniques to deal with my disorder rather and relief from the guilt i used to carry for not acting the way I wish i could.

Cross your fingers for me guys!
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post #52 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 08:05 PM
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Hm why have I never seen this thread before?

My life story in sum

I've been a social retard since age 1, I remember even in the crib feeling like something was holding me back, I've always been the follower/the observer. Age 5, preschool, teacher scolds me for accidentally kicking someone in the face, I'm traumatized, and I refrain from playing with the others for the entire year, beginning of elementary school, I got bossed around a lot by the loud girl/the bully, people would ask me "Why are you so quiet" "are you dumb", "are you mute" "retarded" etc, switched schools, I hung out with the loner girl who had some kind of mental disorder, I had friends though, always feared going to class and participation, fast forward to middle school, again my teachers critiquing me for being so silent in class, also 7th grade, girl comments that "I would make a nice serial killer cause I fit the profile' fast forward to high school, I was extremely unconfident and extremely unpopular, but still had friends and used all my time for school work and whatnot, but in general, not so content with my life. Really shy, REALLY REALLY SHY, cannot emphasize this enough, I blame it partly on my lack of care in myself, my lack of 'grooming', fast forward to college, I really begin to get into things like makeup and fashion and hair, but I'm still shy.

And now.....

I love to talk to strangers on the phone
I love male attention, I cannot get enough of it
I like to carry on conversations with people and have genuine interest in other people's lives
I have confidence in myself about 75% of the time
I can be loud, extroverted, funny, witty
I'm not afraid to just say what's on my mind, that thing that was holding me back is slowly slipping away
I love holding eye contact and really delving into people's souls and have an honest talk with them
I love driving
I'm not afraid of confrontation with people, verbal confrontation
I'm optimistic. A true optimist

The answer to it all is
+Having confidence in yourself
+Exposure
+Positive feedback from others

this is only from ONE year ago. ONE year can make a difference. It's all in receiving positive feedback, and doing it RIGHT. I mean

WHAT is the thing that is the cause of your anxiety? FIND IT AND PINPOINT IT. Is it a case of UNRESOLVED family trauma? Is it your appearance (physical self)? Is it your health? Identity crisis? Fear of abandonment? Childhood stress?

For me, it was ALL about improving my physical image. Before age 20, I was afraid of people looking at me. I had low confidence. Now, 21+ I've been receiving extremely positive feedback on myself. Not for being someone different but for being me.

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie
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post #53 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by calichick View Post
Hm why have I never seen this thread before?

My life story in sum

I've been a social retard since age 1, I remember even in the crib feeling like something was holding me back, I've always been the follower/the observer. Age 5, preschool, teacher scolds me for accidentally kicking someone in the face, I'm traumatized, and I refrain from playing with the others for the entire year, beginning of elementary school, I got bossed around a lot by the loud girl/the bully, people would ask me "Why are you so quiet" "are you dumb", "are you mute" "retarded" etc, switched schools, I hung out with the loner girl who had some kind of mental disorder, I had friends though, always feared going to class and participation, fast forward to middle school, again my teachers critiquing me for being so silent in class, also 7th grade, girl comments that "I would make a nice serial killer cause I fit the profile' fast forward to high school, I was extremely unconfident and extremely unpopular, but still had friends and used all my time for school work and whatnot, but in general, not so content with my life. Really shy, REALLY REALLY SHY, cannot emphasize this enough, I blame it partly on my lack of care in myself, my lack of 'grooming', fast forward to college, I really begin to get into things like makeup and fashion and hair, but I'm still shy.

And now.....

I love to talk to strangers on the phone
I love male attention, I cannot get enough of it
I like to carry on conversations with people and have genuine interest in other people's lives
I have confidence in myself about 75% of the time
I can be loud, extroverted, funny, witty
I'm not afraid to just say what's on my mind, that thing that was holding me back is slowly slipping away
I love holding eye contact and really delving into people's souls and have an honest talk with them
I love driving
I'm not afraid of confrontation with people, verbal confrontation
I'm optimistic. A true optimist

The answer to it all is
+Having confidence in yourself
+Exposure
+Positive feedback from others

this is only from ONE year ago. ONE year can make a difference. It's all in receiving positive feedback, and doing it RIGHT. I mean

WHAT is the thing that is the cause of your anxiety? FIND IT AND PINPOINT IT. Is it a case of UNRESOLVED family trauma? Is it your appearance (physical self)? Is it your health? Identity crisis? Fear of abandonment? Childhood stress?

For me, it was ALL about improving my physical image. Before age 20, I was afraid of people looking at me. I had low confidence. Now, 21+ I've been receiving extremely positive feedback on myself. Not for being someone different but for being me.

Thought I was reading my own story for first part of this, congrats on the change and time period.
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post #54 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:35 PM
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Thought I was reading my own story for first part of this, congrats on the change and time period.
Thanks you can do it too with some motivation and goal setting.

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie
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post #55 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:40 PM
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Thanks you can do it too with some motivation and goal setting.
I'd like to think so but things and situations change person to person. Hopefully though. and I hope your change lasts, I often go through periods of everything being great before I come crashing back down to earth down the line.
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post #56 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:55 PM
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I'd like to think so but things and situations change person to person. Hopefully though. and I hope your change lasts, I often go through periods of everything being great before I come crashing back down to earth down the line.
It's not a temporary change, it's a lifestyle. And you can tell the difference when you think back to your previous self and hit yourself and think "I was crazy irrational" and can't even fathom to think how miserable I was back then. When you do it more consistently and more often, you never want to return to your previous self. It's like learning how to ride a bike. A complicated bike.

You have to face the fear head on, and analyze it, why am I so afraid to look at these people? What is so menacing about this stranger? What are the "deadly" consequences? It's all in confronting irrational fears.

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie
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post #57 of 156 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:58 PM
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It's not a temporary change, it's a lifestyle. And you can tell the difference when you think back to your previous self and hit yourself and think "I was crazy irrational" and can't even fathom to think how miserable I was back then. When you do it more consistently and more often, you never want to return to your previous self. It's like learning how to ride a bike. A complicated bike.

You have to face the fear head on, and analyze it, why am I so afraid to look at these people? What is so menacing about this stranger? What are the "deadly" consequences? It's all in confronting irrational fears.
I know. I don't really have anxiety problems anymore just seasonal depression but thanks you have some good advice.
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post #58 of 156 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 09:37 PM
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I used to suffer very very much from social anxiety and now I can go out and talk to absolutely anyone with full confidence. I just stumbled on this forum and thought I'd share some of what I have to say, might useful. Im 19. I had a psychosomatic disorder in highschool and was very depressed. Here's what I've learned

- if anything, firstly if you want to change your going to have to have an indomitable will. Failure is not an option. Failure is learning. To succeed you must learn. I had the worst anxiety to my stomach in highschool, but I launched myself out there, embarrasing myself every single day. But Im very successful now.

-First, I had no clue what a narcissist was. If you dont know what a narcissist is, your in big trouble. Educate yourself about this order. These are manipulative people. If you dont know what manipulation looks like then you have to learn about psychological manipulation as well. Type this in google. What you will learn is some of the most charming people around are definately not who they seem. If your going to read about narcissim, then read thoroughly. Id also read 'Wolf In sheeps skin." I forget the author, type that in google . "wolf in sheeps skin pdf." it will explain some psychological manipulation. Trust me, if you dont know what narcissists are how psychological manipulation works, you could be at the dire end of somebody manipulating you, causing you to be submissive, anxious, a defer to them. Feel like you met someone that was amazing? Then after maybe a month you started to feel terrible around them, but didnt know why? Maybe you become very anxious, and you think your crazy.

- Reading on narcissim is very important. Sociopaths are 1/25 in the US (but Im canadian, anyway). Narcissistic qualities are very common in sociopaths. Thats how I figured out my dad has anti social personality disorder, something very hard to spot. Let me entice you with this... what if I suggest president Obama is a sociopath? Well, let me tell you this. If you have experiecne with narcissists , learn about them, then learn about sociopathy, you WILL see what Im saying.

- Narcissists and sociopaths could be your best friend, your neighbor, your mom or dad, you, your brother, etc. Learn.

- If your a narcissist then you will have to work hard to go the other way. its going to take a long time of readign and learning, never loose faith. For me, this was the source of my inferiority complex. I thought these people with 1000 facebook friends were so popular and awesome. Little did I know they were dark inside and hallow.

- a lot of anxieties can be caused by a state of your body physiologicallly. Brain chemisty imbalances, hormone imbalances etc. There is something called ssexual exhaustion. There is tons of information on this on the internet. Do not have overly stimulating sexual activtiy. There is scientific evidence, and this is real. Im not going to explain it, you can do the research yourself but ill give you this short analogy: if you lift weights on your lefr arm 5 days in a row, then on the 6th day your arm is weak. your arm needs tim to rest. if you constantly stimulate receptors in your brain 10 days in a row, 3 times a day, then your brain is far, far overworked. your brain will be in poor function and it wil make you body weak. Low produciton of dopamine, acelycholine, all sorts of very important neurotransmitters.

- Read stuff on philosophy, our animality. You know, we are animals, and biological creatures. We are animals that make small sounds. Learn how to love your animality. Do your best as an ANIMAL. Realize what your capable of AS AN ANIMAL. Dont be perfectionistic because YOUR AN ANIMAL. See what im saying? Our animality is something else. You gotta learn how to not be hard on yourself.

- Learn about subconscious, we are what we think etc.

- Dont try and say "im going to love myself." really what your doing is loving all the other programning others have put into you, and your forcing calmness, which is actually supression, and with the suppression effet hyour anxiety gets stronger. You also endanger yourself of narcissim. be careful.


- Turn off the TV ad social media. you have no idea how much that is mesing with your mind. after your comfortable you can approach it again, with a new perspective on happienss, and more knowledge.

- this is my last point im going to give for now, you better now about your temperament. most 'introverts' have a diffrent kind of sensory acuity. its like sensning the world with 50 figners isntaed of 10. These are 1/5 people. If you are have high sensory acuity, your likely prone to more alone time, more emootional then the average person, sensitive to light, sounds, pain, temperature, you notiec you can 'read' people, you notice you can notice subtles, your intuitive. Not knowning this trait, which many people have, will entirely collapse your self esteem because you'll wonder and wonder why you cant handle what others can handle. Im not going to go into detail about this, this is for you to research. Google Elaine Aron.

-Careful what you read. Dont get into Eckhart Tolle. A lot of people like this guy. Be careful what you agree. I think he teaches people to suppress his emotions. I think he's disingenious and condescending, and he's all about image. I would not be surprised if he's a sociopath.

Im going to finish with this.


"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever"
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post #59 of 156 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 02:43 AM
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Well, this is my second post to this site since I joined about a month ago, but something very significant to me happened a couple weeks ago. My family and I went on a vacation and I drove myself and my boyfriend in my car the whole way while following my parents in their car. By the way, I'm 21 and it was my first trip on the freeway ever while I was driving. It was over four hours and I lasted the whole way....I know driving is an everyday task to everyone else usually, but it has given me severe anxiety since I got my license...unfortunately my boyfriend doesn't understand it at all really, so my accomplishment went unnoticed in his eyes. As well as my sister's. But, I was proud of myself. I'm starting to take my anxiety and overcome what I'm scared to do. It's still going to be a long road, but hopefully I'll be able to do everyday tasks without thinking about them one day.
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post #60 of 156 (permalink) Old 08-31-2012, 04:12 AM
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Propranolol is wonderful


Well guys I just had to register on here and tell my story as it is similar to a lot of stuff I hve been reading on the forums and feel it can and will help so many others in my boat.

I am a confident and very social 33 year old who has many friends who look to me for help and advice. At school I was one of the class clowns who made people laugh and have continued that in to later life. I am the center of attention at the pub and social events etc.
I went on to college and then on to work on the gaming sector.

One incident happened to me at school, but I had surpressed it, and it involved Publicly Speaking on a topic of nonsense in an English Class. I bowed my head and started to read word for word what was written down, I went bright Red (Blush), I started to shake, I had sweaty hands, my heart pounded etc etc etc. As soon as the speach was over I calmed down with everyone still looking at me and took questions, with no problems at all as we interacted.

It was this fight or flight response from my body from knowhere.

So I went on through life avoiding situations of public speaking until recently being promoted at work and having to give demonstrations to clients and presentations.

I was so worried I would avoid everything but it needed addressing so I went to the doc a few months back and was prescribed really low doses of Propranolol (Inderal) 10mg tablets to be taken an hour before. (max 20mg)

I decided I would try 5mg before a work meeting the other day and boy oh boy does it work. I bit the pill in half and an hour later headed in to the void.

Normally I would sit back and just listen unti lsomeone mentioned my name and my heart would pound, it's so weird cause your body expects it but your heart wont do what it wants. You stay calm, your voice doesnt crack, your blushing is not there. Your confidence grows and you begin to contribute.

Took another 5mg one month later and the same calmness, it's incredible.

What I want people to understand is this drug in small doses, not daily is wonderful at controlling the fight or flight response. You just can't raise your heart rate and as such can't panic.

You only need small small doses whenever the need arises and it's out your system in 4 - 5 hours and fully gone in 12hrs.

I am very active and play football at a high level and think my condition relates to a massive adrenaline release, which in sport is amazing but in important meetings , demos etc is debilitating.

The only side effects I have noticed is a small amount of blurred vision and feel a little tired (tiny tiny amount in both) I guess the more you do the more the side effects kick in, but doing more Propranolol won't help block more. 5mg is enough for any presentation.

If you have a Fight or Flight condition you must try this, I guarantee you will be amazed. Years of avoiding situations disappear within minutes.

Please post your use of the drug and situations that have helped you. With our shared knowledge we can help those that feel trapped, as I once did.

Love and Peace to all.

Bunnyuk
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