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Hello all, this is my first post to the forum. I've been shy for most of my life, but since I started university last year I've realized my social anxiety has made my life utterly miserable. I went through a period of denial and hoping it would just fix itself but obviously that isn't the case.
Anyways I found out about a counselling service offered at my university and finally forced myself into making an appointment for this week(took me forever to work up the courage to make that phone call). Now the thought of actually going and talking to someone face to face about my SA which I have never really discussed with anyone makes me want to vomit. I'm shaking right now thinking about it.
Sorry for the lengthy post; I just wanted to vent a little and see if anyone has any advice for me?
 

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Good job being able to set up an appointment. Just be honest and up front about everything you feeling. Try writing everything you want to talk about down and bring the sheet of paper with you then give it to the counselor or use it as a reminder.
 

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You did the hard part and took the first step, you should be proud that you're working up the bravery to confront your anxiety! It feels even better when you get through your first appointment knowing that you're doing something about what's making you miserable.

I know it seems impossible, but try not to worry too much. Therapists and counselors are there to help you, and always patient, understanding, and nonjudgmental. And it's such a massive relief to know that your problems can be fixed!
 

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If you've read much on SAD, you'll probably know more than they do. They are unlikely to be trained to treat SAD and are generalists. If this is the case either consider moving on or use their support to face your doctor and request a specialist in your condition who uses evidence based techniques.
 

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I was in the same boat. It's really scary the first time and you'll probably still feel awkward after a couple of appointments, but its worth it. You'll feel safer and have a sense of relief knowing they are listening to you and trying to help you. =) Just stick with it and don't lose hope, you're deserving of happiness like everyone else.
 

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I was really scared of my first appointment too. In fact, my second one is coming up next week, and I feel anxious about it still.

I was avoiding calling to set one up for over a month because I was so afraid. I eventually forced myself to go to the wellness center by picking the director of counseling to interview for a speech class assignment. It turned out, he could read my anxiety and shyness during the interview and invited me to set up an appointment with him. I couldn't ignore such a personal recommendation, so I called a few days later.

When I actually went to my first appointment last week, I was so tense and nervous the whole time. In the waiting room, I was so anxious I felt slightly nauseous and wanted to just leave and go back to my dorm, but I stayed.

I've just started getting help but I think I may actually be able to change for the better soon. Don't worry about what they may think. Just tell them how you feel and what bothers you. They are supposed to help you by being nonjudgmental and understanding.
Good luck to you and good job for taking that first, difficult step! :)
 

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I don't think I have the level of SA that some of the people here have, but after years of trying to fix myself with only small improvement I decided to set up an appointment with a professional. The doctor was really nice asked me some questions and gave me some short advice. The first few times they are really just trying to do an evaluation, after that comes the real actions. I can't wait for the second session as the advice he gave me the first time is already helping.

Since you seem deathly nervous here's some of the stuff they'll probably ask:
-Have you felt hopeless
-Have you felt sad
-Have you had suicidal thoughts
-Tell me about your problem and give a few examples
-Tell me ideally how you would want to be after fixing these problems
-Give me a summary of your life so far
-Were you always like this or do you remember some event or time where it started

After somewhat evaluating my answers, he told me a little about social anxiety, which he said comes in three parts (I dunno if this is in general or just how it applies to me):
-Before a social event you are nervous and sick about going
-At the event you feel anxious, isolated, awkward, lonely, etc
-Afterwards you're always overcriticizing yourself, second guessing what you shouldve said, done, etc
In a way, you are trying to control what people think about you which is physically impossible. He told me to focus on making other people feel comfortable and happy instead of trying to "control what they think". For example, say you are at the cashier checking out and it's getting awkward. Don't think "man he/she must think im really awkward I need to talk", think "he/she must feel really awkward, why dont I say something to make them feel better".

So this past week when I went out or when I was at work, I just tried to make people feel the way I would like to feel: -make them feel funny, make them feel interesting, happy, important, etc. It went well and I now have a new viewpoint when interacting with people.

I've gonna totally off point now, but I guess you can see i'm pretty enthusiastic about it, and the session was very helpful. If anything, you wont feel like SA is a hopeless thing that you will never get over. If these university counselors you go to see are a little too generic and amatuerish such as odd_one_out is saying, I would strongly suggest that you go try at least one appointment with a real doctor that specializes in social anxiety.
 

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... He told me to focus on making other people feel comfortable and happy instead of trying to "control what they think". For example, say you are at the cashier checking out and it's getting awkward. Don't think "man he/she must think im really awkward I need to talk", think "he/she must feel really awkward, why dont I say something to make them feel better". ...
That's a fantastic piece of advice right there! :clap This is why a good psychotherapist is indispensable. Don't be afraid, OP, it's always good to have someone to talk to, and you'll feel relieved afterwardsl
 
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