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I don't often talk to my parents about my anxiety problems, it's more of a let's deal with it then forget about it sort of thing. But when I talked to my father about it a few months ago, he said something that stuck with me -

"You may never overcome your social anxiety. The important thing is to learn ways of managing it, so you're able to live without it crippling you."

And now that I think about it, he's not the only one who's said that. My new therapist, my rabbi - they both told me that I may forever have the SA, that the goal isn't to eradicate it.

Where was I going with this? Can't remember.

But it was triggered by another one of those "I Overcame SA!" :yay threads that seem to continually pop up,that always give me the crummiest feeling. I've come to understand (and accept) that everyone is different, everyone has their own path toward "overcoming." And that some of us may never overcome. And I know that though I may have more anxiety than I did a year ago, I have far less than I did three years ago. Two steps forward, one step back ...

So ... umm. lol.

Just putting it out there, I guess. That even if you haven't overcome it, even if you know that you may never overcome it, if you haven't given up hope, if you're still working on it, you're already where you need to be.

Something like that, anyway. :)
 

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Overcoming anxiety is definitely possible but I agree with you... One needs to accept and respect the anxiety, learn to live with it, do things that make you happy, and try your best to overcome it. There are no guarantees.

Great post.
 

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I don't like the idea that i have to constantly struggle with fears, worries and paranoia though. I want to be able to go any place say what i need to say when i need to say it, without the fear of the social interaction. that sounds like hell to me, one that no one can see because i manage it well. I think there are people here already that can hide how they feel around people and interact relatively well but just cant get over the thoughts and fear, or are too sensitive about them selves and what people think of them.

I read many of these "i overcame SA threads" and they all seem to fall in to 2 categories, one being positive thinking, and the other is don't give a sh!t what anyone thinks of you. It seems all those people that overcame SA didn't do it by becoming super conversationalists or improving their image etc.. it was them actually changing their mentality. I can see why they feel they over came SA, its because they don't have the thoughts that cause so much of the frustration, and the anxiety.

The problem seems to be that many of us think we have to be going to parties, hanging out at clubs and having a really active social life, i think that has nothing to do with over coming SA. I absolutely hate parties, and maybe i would rather spend my time reading or doing something else, I don't think that makes me have SA at all.
 

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Anxiety itself is part of the human condition - the fight or flight response. Ours is just out of whack.

In the long run, and I have seen this myself, we end up being the calm ones when everybody else is stressed. They end up learning from us!
 

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subtastic
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I agree with your dad. I've made huge strides in many parts of my life, and I do things that I never used to do because my anxiety was in the way. I am still anxious all the time, but I know how to respond to my anxiety better.
 

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Born Of Blotmonað
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I think many people here could benefit from the manage it mentality far more than the cure it one. I think if a cure is your main goal at this time then it's even more frustrating when you do take steps backward rather than forward. If some here set their goal as managing their SA & then once they reached that & maintained it for some time contemplated curing or completely overcoming it they might be more successful with their self improvement.

Personally I have a manage it mentality, that is my ultimate goal, to not let it hold me back even if it is still active in whatever I'm doing. I would like to be able to push through & perhaps pat myself on the back after doing so. My anxiety isn't the worst compared so some here but coupled with my poor social skills/awkward mannerisms management is a far more plausible goal than curing/overcoming SA. I feel for those in the more extreme cases management should be the priority as well
 

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HaloOfDarkness
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I have sort of a similiar theory on SA. I don't think that there will ever be a time in my life where I'm not in fear that people are judging me. I don't think I'll ever be a social butterfly but I think I've made it to that point where I can be content with everything that's going on in my mind.
 

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Yeah I think I'd be better off if I tried to manage it somehow instead of trying to cure it completely. It's much more realistic to me to manage it. Great advice from your dad!
 

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3rd SAS Battalion
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I guess it depends how we define "overcome."

Overcoming social anxiety is the ability to walk into a store and buy a newspaper without feeling like I'm a little hairy goblin with 'Loser' stamp on his forehead.

I'd like to walk in, buy a newspaper, and feel just as adequate as anyone else.

THAT I believe is possible. However, I do not think I will ever be the life and soul of the party, or that I will be able to walk into a bar as smooth as glass and pick up any girl I want in two minutes.

Just to feel as adequate as everyone else, I believe everyone here would settle for that.
 

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in SA recovery
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Yes!

I don't like the idea that i have to constantly struggle with fears, worries and paranoia though. I want to be able to go any place say what i need to say when i need to say it, without the fear of the social interaction. that sounds like hell to me, one that no one can see because i manage it well. I think there are people here already that can hide how they feel around people and interact relatively well but just cant get over the thoughts and fear, or are too sensitive about them selves and what people think of them.

I read many of these "i overcame SA threads" and they all seem to fall in to 2 categories, one being positive thinking, and the other is don't give a sh!t what anyone thinks of you. It seems all those people that overcame SA didn't do it by becoming super conversationalists or improving their image etc.. it was them actually changing their mentality. I can see why they feel they over came SA, its because they don't have the thoughts that cause so much of the frustration, and the anxiety.

The problem seems to be that many of us think we have to be going to parties, hanging out at clubs and having a really active social life, i think that has nothing to do with over coming SA. I absolutely hate parties, and maybe i would rather spend my time reading or doing something else, I don't think that makes me have SA at all.
I love this, because this is exactly how I feel about overcoming social anxiety.

I definitely think it's more possible to change my mentality (eventually) than to become a social butterfly. I'm not even sure I enjoy partying and all that bull anyway. The problem is getting my very social family to accept that.
 

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fellow human
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I tend to think that 'curing' a personality-related disorder necessarily requires that some positive traits (introversion, for example) will suddenly be taken away. Managing sounds more like accepting who you are, but also taking the necessary steps to improve on your own personal foundation.
 

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Still Running
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I tend to think that 'curing' a personality-related disorder necessarily requires that some positive traits (introversion, for example) will suddenly be taken away. Managing sounds more like accepting who you are, but also taking the necessary steps to improve on your own personal foundation.
"Accepting who you are..." is what I would be happy with achieving at this point. I can keep myself busy with life and hope to find a job soon, make casual fleeting conversation with Family and in-laws and "manage my life". My question is; is that really managing my SA and life, or just going through the motions of being the inept persona that I am?
 

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Thats some great words from your father. Personally I think, there is no cure for who you are. Introversion and shyness are completely human traits to have. I believe acceptance is the key to 'managing' SA. Learning to accept everything about you and even your faults, which is our anxiety rather than introversion or shyness, is a hard thing to do, but I believe its the only way.
 

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Yeah I think I'd be better off if I tried to manage it somehow instead of trying to cure it completely. It's much more realistic to me to manage it. Great advice from your dad!
I agree.
Definetly a more realistic view. Acceptance is key to managing social anxiety. Its part of the persona, so there is no way you can 'cure' it. Thanks for the post, and thank your dad for me!
 
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