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Discussion Starter #1
I think this is the great paradox of social anxiety disorder: To get help, you must be able to talk about your condition, yet to talk about your condition, you need help.

How am I supposed to explain about social anxiety to my GP? GPs are not by nature understanding people, in my experience, and my anxiety reaches new heights when I even contemplate discussing it with anyone...nevermind a doctor.

Yes, yes, I could write things down...but I can't bring myself to go in there and just hand him a bit of paper and sit in silence...I must say something - but what?

I have lived with this disorder, alongside dyspraxia, for so long I have always assumed it to be a natural thing, I did not know it was a recognised pathology...so I have trouble explaining it in terms of "symptoms" - I do not know what a normal life is like, so I cannot very well contrast my current state against normality to illustrate the problem.

I can't even think what my opening line might be, the only suggestion I can conceive is "I think I have social anxiety disorder..." - but I cannot say that, because I know from experience that if you go to a medical proffesional with a name for your condition, they assume you are a hypochondriac and treat you horribly. They seem to have an intense dislike of patients who use medical lexicon.

So what do I say? How do I even talk, with the anxiety choking me and causing my to hyper ventilate?
 

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The empty one
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The doctors are there to serve you not the other way around. If you need something its their job and duty to see you get the help that you want. That being said you don't have to go into details at first about your anxieties. You can start by being vague about your symptoms, and if you need to go into details when they need it. It might help to not look at the doctor as another person with their own agenda but to think of them as machines or vending machines, you manipulate them in the way you need to get what you want.
 

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Registered
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If you detach them as a person, it might be easier.

Or have someone go in with you. I was really young when I first had to see someone, so my mom went.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Or have someone go in with you.
Except by merit of having social anxiety disorder, I have no friends - or indeed any other social contacts. Otherwise, I would gladly embrace this option.
 

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Your Assumptions
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When I saw the GP, instead of naming the disorder, I remember saying that I had been experiencing intense social anxiety for many years. You could make it even more subtle by saying you've been experiencing intense anxiety in social situations for many years. Just a short sentence will do to get started.

I then told him that I'd listed my symptoms in writing, at which point I handed him my paper. I've never met any GP who did not appreciate having things in writing. Most are impressed and grateful because it's an efficient way of communicating. They can ask any follow-up questions. After reading about the symptoms, they usually suggest treatment options.

If you have difficulty explaining the symptoms, prepare beforehand by using the diagnostic criteria and other descriptions as guides and apply them to certain situations and mention any physical symptoms (trembling etc.). Also list how the anxiety has impacted your functioning in various areas (e.g., occupational, social, living independently, using the phone, driving).
 

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Why are you mentioning this to your doctor? Do you want medication? Do you want a referral to a psychiatrist? You could always say "I want ____, because I'm feeling really anxious," and they will question you further.
 
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