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This may sound a little self-explanatory, but bear with me.

I've seen several mental health professionals in the past, all of whom have asked me to describe what I actually feel when I'm in a social situation. And for some reason I've always had considerable difficulty articulating the feelings of paralysing terror and utter inadequacy into words, other than describing them as feelings of paralysing terror and utter inadequacy.

I have a CBT appointment coming up in a few weeks time. I would like to be better prepared for this deceptively tricky question, should it arise.
 

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Yes it's difficult to put "the feeling" into words, the terror, dread and the thoughts. I have tried speaking to a coucillor before and couldn't....its like it's too big to explain with words, but she managed to know what I was saying anyway. Just do what you can and he/she/they will most probably understand, if they're any good at their job.
 

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This may sound a little self-explanatory, but bear with me.

I've seen several mental health professionals in the past, all of whom have asked me to describe what I actually feel when I'm in a social situation. And for some reason I've always had considerable difficulty articulating the feelings of paralysing terror and utter inadequacy into words, other than describing them as feelings of paralysing terror and utter inadequacy.

I have a CBT appointment coming up in a few weeks time. I would like to be better prepared for this deceptively tricky question, should it arise.
If he/she doesn't understand the feeling of
"paralysing terror and utter inadequacy" as you put it... Then you my friend need a new therapist ;)

But I get what you mean. There are so many feelings that go through ones head when suffering a serious case of SA it's hard to put in to words.

Maybe writing a list of feelings would help?

Write how you feel during bouts of SA in the following categories.

Physical
- Avoiding eye contact
- Shaky leg syndrome
- Looking down

Thinking
- Focusing attentuion on yourself
- Thinking about what may go wrong
- Worrying about what others think of you

Behavior
- Rehersing what you are about to say
- Speaking slowly, quietly or just way to quickly
- Holding things tight
- Saying nothing that might be challenging ro controversial

Bring the list with yourself to the therapist and show him how you feel.

GL
 

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This may sound a little self-explanatory, but bear with me.

I've seen several mental health professionals in the past, all of whom have asked me to describe what I actually feel when I'm in a social situation. And for some reason I've always had considerable difficulty articulating the feelings of paralysing terror and utter inadequacy into words, other than describing them as feelings of paralysing terror and utter inadequacy.

I have a CBT appointment coming up in a few weeks time. I would like to be better prepared for this deceptively tricky question, should it arise.
Gah, I know exactly what you mean. This is the exact reason I find it hard explaining my personal SA to anyone, nevermind just a therapist. It's like, you try so hard to put it into words others will understand; but it just comes out all wrong.

I know the feeling and you know the feeling; but I fear others that have no experience with SA have no clue what I'm on about.

It's an indescribable feeling of exactly what you mentioned: 'utter inadequacy'

There is simply no other way I can think to describe it. :stu
 

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Yeah, I have the same problem being able to describe my anxiety. Don't worry you will probably be doing activities when you start CBT to better understand what you are feeling/thinking during situations that cause you anxiety. One thing I had to do was write down what I was thinking/feeling at the time. He made me walk around town specifically for this purpose. If you try this, try to write about any quick thoughts you may have no matter how silly you might think they are. Also if you have physical pain, it's good to note that too. Later you can go back and read it. I know when reading my journal, I was surprised at some of the things I was thinking and how irrational they were.
 

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1) Start with the thesaurus. (www.thesaurus.reference.com)
2) List all the related words that describe your feelings and say no more.
3) Let the professionals piece them up for you (its their job).
4) You evaluate how close they're finding the real you (its your job as paying client).

Then goodluck to your next step(s)...
 

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Gawd, this is extremely hard. I have never been asked this and I feel like I'm being asked all the wrong questions. But I haven't been able to confide and her and completely trust her which is completely irrational but I always have the feeling that I am being watched or listened to when we talk. Like even right now as I type this I feel like there's people who are seeing exactly what is on my computer screen. They're judging me and laughing at me. Ugh. I'm crazy.

So like I said, I haven't been able to express the most crucial things.
 

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The song is called Phobia by Outkast and the intro is how i describe S.A. to people that don't have it.

Talking; The feeling of being 12 years old and waking up in the middle
of the night and somebody in yo room.
Yo heart starts beating so fast
you can hear it pumping.
The veins in yo temple pulsate as you stare at the intruder.
Then after a few minutes you realize he ain't moving.
So finally you let 'em hang and
turn on the light and
the killer turns into
yo coat throwed over the chair.

The feeling of sitting at the red light early in the morning and two or
three mother****ers cross the street.
Yo senses heighten, reflexes
sharpen vision's enhanced adrenaline flows as they rush across the
street you leave the print from the heater grip in yo palm then yo heart
rate and breathing drag back to normal as you realize these ****** just
goin' to the store.

Many of us mistake Phobia for true fear. Whereas fear is a gift from
God to be used for self-preservation. Phobia are obstacles strategically
placed in society by opposers of positive existence. Through
stereotyping, innuendo, false documentation, and glorification they'll
turn your fear switch to a permanent on. We can change this by changing
the small truth within' the lie. Death is a small price to pay for
respect. Death is a small price to pay for respect. You know who it is.
You know what it is. Peace out.
 

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Sometimes in public I feel that if people see the real me I will be destroyed. Not by their violence, I will simply go poof and disappear. And I will be completely gone, my soul will not live on in any way, I will be gone forever. But if I get hit by a car crossing the street my soul will live on to something more.
 

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Physical
- Avoiding eye contact
- Shaky leg syndrome
- Looking down

Thinking
- Focusing attentuion on yourself
- Thinking about what may go wrong
- Worrying about what others think of you


Behavior
- Rehersing what you are about to say
- Speaking slowly, quietly or just way to quickly

- Holding things tight
- Saying nothing that might be challenging or controversial

GL
This is like...exactly what happens when i get in one-on-one social situations.
I hate every second of it. The worst part is, is that i also crave it.

DAMN YOU CATCH-22!!
 

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I am impressed by anyone that can find it tolerable to see a professional about this disorder. Hats off to you for getting yourself help.

I have seen psychologists in the past, and I find that my anxiety is at it's very worst when I'm trying to talk to them. I shake. My voice, my hands, my legs. I feel inadequate and I feel like I don't belong there.

In other situations (especially interactions I was not prepared for) I feel that my breath catches in my chest. I almost feel excited, but in an extremely nervous way. It is a very difficult thing to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it.

Also, redtogo72, I am going to try your suggestion of writing down my thoughts throughout a day, as an experiment. I'd like to read them later and see how rational or irrational they seem while I'm in the safety of my own home. Thank you for mentioning that.
 

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God I hate it when my therapist asks how I feel in certain situations. She wants me to be more specific but I can't describe it better. That's not the only reason but I usually feel more frustrated after a therapy session.
 

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Can I ask a question? Do any of you find that since you are shy you get turned on really easily if someone is in your personal space? How do you deal with that?
 

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I agree with Zwick. Think about how it affects you in different domains such as physical and behavioural.

I have the same difficulty because I'm a bit alexithymic. It helps to write it down and/or prepare in advance. If they insist on you articulating feelings constantly, then it might be worth considering a different type of therapy or therapist.
 

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Can you think of a specific example e.g. what comes to mind, is it a specific situation or images? I sometimes think of something random from childhood. By describing/probing into this it might come out. Saying what is on your mind might help e.g. I am completely blank and can't answer and I'm like this when I am out might show the therapist first hand what you do. I wrote down stuff as struggled to come up with anything actually in therapy.
 

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Interesting... my boyfriends most common words are - I can't explain it... I'm just uncomfortable, and I can't do it (whatever it is at the time, coming to my house, going somewhere, kissing, etc...). This thread has helped me a lot. Thank you.
 

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The "feeling" i get is the worst feeling ever! Similar to the scared to death feeling you'd get if you heard someone trying to break into your house! Just your hearts stops you can't breath you're frozen you can't speak you panic you want to run away!
 

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Gosh, that's a tough one! I've tried explaining it to people in the past and all I can explain is it's like all your senses are heightened to such an extent that you get a 'white noise' in your ears and as though all colours become stronger so it's almost blinding - you can't make out shapes to such an extent that you can't make out what's in front of you.
Obviously all the other 'sensations' and feelings that have been described above by others, but if I'm trying to make it short and not so sweet for people that's what I say.......of course this inevitably results in complete confusion on their part, but it's so difficult to explain!
Good luck
 
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