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Hi there :) I'm new here, and I joined because I really need some help. I have really bad social anxiety. Like, even just the thought of having to do something public like acting or presenting something public like that can send me into a panic attack. Usually I find a way to deal with it in school, but now I have a problem. See, the new semester just started, and now I'm in a drama class. I don't know anybody in my class; they're all upperclassmen that I've never spoken to. I'm literally terrified when I walk in there every morning. :afr

The problem is, our teacher expects us to get up in front of the class and make up little skits to do. Normally I would just try to find a way around it, but in this class, participation is eighty percent of our grade, and since I've been too nervous to actually do anything my grade has suffered. I've tried to explain my social anxiety to my teacher, but she thinks I'm just being lazy. I also tried to talk to my parents about it, but they only tell me to do whatever I have to to get the good grade. (They're the type of people who expect nothing less than perfection.) They just don't get it!

It's really getting to me. I know it sounds silly, but all the pressure is keeping me up at night and all my grades are dropping because I'm all worried about this class!

Basically, what I'm asking is, what are some things I can do to get over my anxiety and start to participate in the class without tearing my nerves up? Even if it's just a simple little tip, please help. :(
 

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Sorry to say but if you're doing Drama then that is a bad choice for someone with SA. I find it really hard doing presentations (and I'm taking History, which I assumed wouldn't involve a lot of that kind of stuff) so if I were to chose something like Drama then I know I'd have a lot of anxiety problems.

Maybe switch courses??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry to say but if you're doing Drama then that is a bad choice for someone with SA. I find it really hard doing presentations (and I'm taking History, which I assumed wouldn't involve a lot of that kind of stuff) so if I were to chose something like Drama then I know I'd have a lot of anxiety problems.

Maybe switch courses??
Thanks for the reply, but I've already tried that. I never signed up for the course, it was just the only thing left so they stuck me in it :afr I talked to the schedule maker but after much begging on my part she insisted that there was simply no other available classes, so I'm stuck. :doh
 

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Well I feel sorry for you :( I know how it feels to have everyone stare at you in class and it seems like they know exactly what to do and aren't nervous yet you yourself feel really scared to talk in front of everyone.

I'd seriously complain about this as you could end up even more anxious. Surely the lecturers could be more understanding? Just explain you have social anxiety and need another course. IT is pretty sweet imo because you should be left to your own devices. I heard that's a good course for keeping to yourself.

btw plz can you make a comment in my thread I made about my room-mates in my thread 'A Good way to handle SA?' :)
 

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Taking a drama class is something you can do to challenge yourself. I took a drama class and it was a great opportunity for me to break out of my shell. Acting can be liberating for someone with anxiety. For one, you don't have to be yourself. You also don't have to worry about what to say. Even if you still find yourself nervous, people understand that it's normal for anyone while trying to perform in front people. People don't bat an eye at someone nervous while up on stage. It's not only ordinary, but a credit to that person for trying. Unlike the social anxiety, public speaking and stage fright are things people will easily relate to and empathize with.

You may be worried about having the confidence while up in front of people, but you shouldn't be expected of anything. You've never acted after all. The most embarrassing performances come from overconfident actors that clearly take their bad acting very seriously.

Drama class in high school is sort of like little league baseball. Most kids aren't that great of athletes, they're just there to goof around and have fun. Some might take it seriously, but they probably have no idea of what they're doing.
 

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I understand what you're saying F1X3R, but imo having social anxiety and being in drama class would make (excuse the pun) stagefright even worse than for someone without anxiety problems. I think you made some good points though :) I just think the OP should (if this is making her life miserable) ask the lecturers (or even approach the Dean) if they would allow her to change courses if possible.

I can relate to this as I myself had a really hard time in drama class when I was at school and only when I had gone to the head of the department and explained my SA, did he agree I could switch courses. Thats just me though, each to their own I guess, I just try to give good advice where I can.
 

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Yeah everyone's anxiety manifests in different ways. Being forced into doing something usually isn't helpful either. Maybe your school counselor could help in this situation?

Also, about your parents expecting perfection, do some searches on the problems that demanding parents and being a perfectionist can cause.
 

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Hi there.

I would aim to stay in the drama class if you can find ways to get through it. We give up enough because of social phobia and life passes you by and regrets set in. Have a go, even if it's scary. Just have a go and you can't say you never tried!! :D The key in that situation is to be able to make a fool of yourself and not care about it. Maybe ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? Even if the worst does happen, can you handle it? Will life end? Does it really matter? Can you choose to laugh it off? Could I just decide to have fun instead of taking it so seriously? If you can affirm these questions over and over again, your a big part of the way there. You need to mentally take the heat off the situation. So what if I make a dick of myself? Does it really matter? WILL I DIE? No, but I might do a good Shakespearean death scene!!! (SHAKEspearean in fact) :teeth

Do you have an understanding Doctor? I have been prescribed Valium for anxiety previously. It is not a long-term solution but can get you through one-off urgent situations until you build enough confidence to go without. Sometimes half a tablet is enough to relax. The important thing is to not become dependant on it. Building other skills for managing social phobia can take some time so start on those as well. Things like controlled breathing methods to keep the heart-rate calm and even (inhale to the count of 3, exhale to count of 3, steady breaths, not too deep or shallow); cognitive behavioural therapy to keep your mind in a calm and rational state; meditation and some kind of physical activity and stretching like yoga, that release physical tensions and help you develop body awareness.

You can google any of these things and there is a lot of information about.

Anyway... I would go see a Doctor about it. If you can get a referral to a psychologist, even better.

Good luck with it. Drama is fun! :)
 
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