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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I never thought I'd be posting this in here, but I no longer have social anxiety :) :) Just wanted to post so that ppl realize not everyone with SA has it their entire lives. There is a lot of hope for getting over it and I am proof of that.

I developed it as a young teenager and had it about 8 years--seemed much longer to me though since I was so young when I got it. I had been shy as a kid, but at 13 the blushing, trembling, inability to look people in the eyes started. Life was h***. High school was painful, I didn't have any friends at a time when I desperately needed them and needed to be forming relationships and building my social skills for later on in life. It hurt me emotionally which I am still recovering from. I just missed a major stage in my emotional development b/c of this. Spent many lonely days and nights crying and sank into deep depression. Went thru a period of about 2 years where I only spoke with 2 people (my parents).

I can now do all of the normal things ppl do and SA does not inhibit my life at all. I can meet new ppl, form business relationships, talk in person or over the phone, join clubs, sit in class, present in front of groups of ppl, etc., etc. etc. There are only a couple things that are still relatively hard for me, but I can do them, I just feel a little uncomfortable. Oddly enough sitting around a table in close range to other people (especially if they are right across from me) still is uncomfortable. But I've realized no one really cares if I look shy and I've messed up in the past and moved on enough times that I know it doesn't affect what ppl think of me. The other thing that is still uncomfortable for me is buying things at a store lol so weird I know but I'm just not sure how to act when I'm standing there in line waiting for a long time. I've figured out that it doesn't matter how you act in such a situation, but it still makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

When I'm really tired I have a few problems with my social behavior, though it's not really SA. I just tend to avoid ppl more and am not up for longer conversations.

In my case, the SA gradually lessened so that when I was about 20 it became more manageable. Not gone by any means, but when it lessened I started trying new things socially and getting myself to do things I was anxious about. I did enough things and had enough experiences that I started to feel more comfortable. Then I realized I could have a little SA and no one would notice so I started doing all the social things I had ever wanted to do. Nothing bad happened and the SA became much less when I realized this and the pressure to not show any symptoms of SA was off me. That's how I gotto where I am now.

Hope this encourages some of you who have just gotten SA or who have had it a long time and are not convinced you will ever get over it.

Forgot to mention, I tried about 7 different anxiety and antidepressant meds and non of them worked. The only one that kinda worked was clonopin and that has to be taken short term. I know that often meds work for ppl but that wasn't the case with me.
 

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congrats,luck you :clap

but im pretty sure im stuck with this for life..im 19 and thats entirely too old to be changing in my case :(
 

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I don't quite understand.

So you started doing social things spontaneously? Where did you find the courage to do that?
 

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The Phoenix
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congrats,luck you :clap

but im pretty sure im stuck with this for life..im 19 and thats entirely too old to be changing in my case :(
Nah dude, I'm 19 (almost 20) and I'm just about over it! Wasn't easy, but I got lots of help and just tried to remind myself that courage is built by overcoming fear. Though difficult, it IS doable.
 

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way to go!!! way to go!!
 

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im sure 19 isnt old enough to tackle it. im 16 and about to start therapy, but that dosent mean other people who are much older cant beat it.
 

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im sure 19 isnt old enough to tackle it. im 16 and about to start therapy, but that dosent mean other people who are much older cant beat it.
Indeed, I'm 25 years old and it is just now that I'm making progress thanks to both CBT and REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy). I was able to go to several appointments (including a jury summon) and called to a not-for-profit organization to applied for volunteering - all with very minimal anxiety! Plus, one time a visitor and her kid came to my apartment (I live with my mom and younger sister) and I was able to stay in the same room as them without feeling any anxiety and without hesitation. I'm not over it just yet, but I'm definitely making progress!
 

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Forgot to mention, I tried about 7 different anxiety and antidepressant meds and non of them worked. The only one that kinda worked was clonopin and that has to be taken short term. I know that often meds work for ppl but that wasn't the case with me.
I don't believe medication is the key some of the common psychological disorders, if they might be termed that.

Most people I know in the same age group have strange habits or thought patterns due to the very strict education system of my generation before parents and teachers stopped placing exam results as the number one priority for students. As you say, emotional development is very important for a teenager and an environment of cutthroat result-oriented backstabbing and deception really does mean that the less competitive pupils do not get the recognition they deserve.

Yes, there is the factor of survival of the fittest, but I believe in the XXI Century we can do better to give these people a chance. And so society does - those who don't do well in the mainstream of education become very valuable to society later on, pursuing alternative pathways to tertiary education.

Many of these "late bloomers" suffer from SA, believing themselves "failed" somehow to make the fast track to university and need some guidance on how to proceed forward. However there does not exist a support function for us that doesn't involve forcing people to take medication and/or spending very humiliating time in a mental institution - there are some who were healthy and wrongly diagnosed and end up unable to live independent lives. And do you think a 16 year old can say "No" to anything if he were brought up on very restricted traditional Asian values? No. That's why people turn out cold and calculative after being on the receiving end of irresponsible decisions made by others.

But, give everyone a chance - meeting people of similar walks of life, sharing experiences and supporting each other under high stress conditions, we end up gaining strong advantages over the mainstream because people who have fought oppression (from starting off with low grades) and isolation (cast away as hopeless) gain tremendous survival skills and are generally willing to help others go through the challenge of finding one's niche when growing up. That desire to help others is the foundation of successful leadership.

And through those specialised skills and unique talents (whatever they are) we have learnt to like human contact because they are now of a collaborative, and not hyper-aggressive unnecessary competition to the point of discrimination like it was.

If I did take my psychiatrist's advice and went under medication I would probably not be able to type out this post or enjoy pursuing my ambitions. I would have been living in fear knowing that I have some mysterious psychological disorder that someone I don't know slapped on my medical file.

That is the flaw of the current medical system here. It does not give hope.

Sometimes that's what all a person needs, a note of appreciation no matter how small or silly. Once SA is factored in as a temporary limitation of our ability, something that age and experience can adapt to, the person, from my experience, is usually on the way to recovery.

A lot of people out there, even far older than me, exhibit behaviors related to SA. Some just act weird, but some go on the verge of losing control. It'll be up to us to help them, as people who knew what it was like. Having SA is never debilitating to anyone - it just reminds us to slow down and find ourselves again. Some would call it a natural reaction to stressful situations, just on a different scale.
 

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Well I'm glad you got over it, but what did you do to make it gradually go away? I haven't really heard of anyones sa just going away on its own so I'm curious about that.
 

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my psychiatrist doesn't really schedule things and i only see him once every 6 months or so...

but I'm on meds already so do i go to the psychologist or the psychiatrist for advice? I don't really have a psychologist tho :D
 

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trying to heal
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congrats,luck you :clap

but im pretty sure im stuck with this for life..im 19 and thats entirely too old to be changing in my case :(
hey, im 22, and had SAD my entire life, but i know i can beat it ;-) so u can too, just be optimistic and try every thing that u can to overcome SAD, be patient with urself, there is no rush:)
 

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breaking free
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Congrats on overcoming SA! I bet you are loving your new life.

And for the people asking about age and recovery from SA, I am 17 and recovering from it (without meds or therapy). I am not completely recovered yet (though I am a million times better), but I just want to prove that recovery can be done at a young age. If you want something bad enough, there is no such thing as an obsticle.

Again, congrats on your recovery :)
 

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well for some people, meds are the key to beating SA. i take nardil plus clonazapam, and i don't have SA anymore. i stopped eating fast food, soda, candy, etc.. and stopped smoking about 2 weeks ago, and my mood has been elevated. i feel better generally about myself. SA like most things is a biological predisposition in our genes, and it gets triggered through environmental factors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't quite understand.

So you started doing social things spontaneously? Where did you find the courage to do that?
Not spontaneously. I started doing more and more social things, it was more gradual than that. Then I got to the point where I felt more comfortable b/c of all my experiences and I started doing even the things that made me feel really socially anxious but always wanted to do. The anxiety went away as I built up more of these experiences and realized I was doing fine and no one cared that I was socially anxious (or they didn't know or whatever).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I'm glad you got over it, but what did you do to make it gradually go away? I haven't really heard of anyones sa just going away on its own so I'm curious about that.
I don't really know exactly. I had been holled up in my house for a few years when this happened so that probably played a part...I had a lot of time to think things through and kinda realized I was making a bigger deal of my SA than other ppl were and maybe I shouldn't worry so much about all my symptoms showing. I thought thru a lot of experiences during that time.

But I think growing up helped a ton. A 20 yr olds mind doesn't think the same as a 13 yr olds. I finally started seeing things accurately b/c of this I think.

It didn't totally go away until I started doing social things, though, it just kinda lessened a bit. Just enough so that I had the encouragement I needed to start going out and doing things.
 

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I think your progress is awesome for someone with sa and didnt find the anxiety to back fire, I tried to be social and worked on my inner self but got worse.
 

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Fitting In Here & There
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I'm happy for you! :clap

It sounds like your plan was:
Hierachical exposures to social situations (behavioral) and at the same time PURPOSELY noticing how you felt inside (not as bad as you had anticipated?) and how others were REALLY reacting to you (not as negatively as you thought?)
And then all of that COMBINED into a gradual mental/emotional/behavioral change.

It's kind of what I am trying to do now, but sometimes I take a little xanax to get over the hump in order to do the exposures.

Anyway, I'm glad to see it actually works! :D
 

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I don't quite understand.

So you started doing social things spontaneously? Where did you find the courage to do that?
if you do decide to ever try and expose yourself to social situations, this is the way to do it. people without SA never think about whether or not they should join a grp or make a comment in a conversation. they just do it. for people with SA, they make a big deal about the situation before it happens, which puts a lot of unneeded pressure on you. Theres no courage involved. Just do it. If you feel nervous or second guess yourself, u didn't do it right. just try again.
 
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