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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have had social anxiety all my life its in the family. i also think i have general anxiety. i always get an upset stomach if i have to do something out of my comfort zone. like have to go some places or driving sometimes.

i dont belive that therapy can help me because i was born this way and i don't really like to be told what to do.

i work 5 days a week so i am always around people and so is my anxiety. always quite, shy, awkward.

over the last year i noticed that i am sick of everything. i think this could be slight depression. i also have no motivation to do much. tired a lot as well.

my question is if i see my doctor what would he more likely prescribe? would you have to end up taking medication for ever?
what about side effects

i know i could do nothing and waste another 20 years but i should not have to fell like a prisoner when i should be able to go and do what i want.

do much people with anxiety actually use medication? any help would be great.
 

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I think it is likely you would be prescribed an SSRI and/or an antihistamine such as hydroxyzine to start with. The SSRI is more of a long term treatment helpful for depressions, anxiety etc while hydroxyzine helps for some people to take the edge off the anxiety in the here and now. Then if it isn't helping you would be switched to other medications.

All medications comes with side effects.. they vary quite a lot depending on what you take and so it is hard to summarize what side effects there are, not to mention everyone reacts differently to medications. A lot of people do use medication and no, you don't have to be on them for life. However some meds are harder to quit once you start using them.. benzodiazepines for instance because they are very addictive. Generally speaking you should never stop instantly but get advice from your doctor and taper on them.

There are lots of people on here with more experience/knowledge than I in this department so maybe they can give you a better answer. I think you must do what feels right for you. If you exhausted more natural ways of treating it and feel like it has a big impact on your life, maybe medications is your answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok thanks. what sort of difference would you notice when on them and would personality change much? would people you are around a lot notice a change. like work colleges and family?
 

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Knowing whether if you need medications or not really is simple in my own humble opinion:

If your anxiety is too severe to interfere your life functioning, you need medications.
If you can function even through you have anxiety, then you don't need it.

Hope this helps?
 

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ok thanks. what sort of difference would you notice when on them and would personality change much? would people you are around a lot notice a change. like work colleges and family?
If they are working well on you, you might notice very positive differences. Less anxiety. Feeling more energetic and confident. SSRI's takes some time before they start working though and you usually go through a stage where the symptoms gets worse before they start subsiding. But as mentioned there can be a lot of side effects too. Drowsiness is common with a lot of meds for anxiety. Other side effects like insomnia, a lowered libido, gaining weight and so on can also occur.
 

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Yes medication is your answer. Therapy is useless, because social anxiety is a physical problem. A chemical imbalance in the brain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
back here again. i still did not go to the doctor but trying too make my self go before the end of the month. main reason is i have to go to college the end of march and i know i am not ready for that the way i am now.

another stupid question i have will the doctor start talking about having to go to therapy? or will he give me a few months on the medication and see how things are going and if there is any big improvements.
 

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i am on the same boat i can function for the most part but anxiety and other crap do interfere i cant drive anymore i cant speak to people unless they are fam or friends
guess i finally realized i do need some extra help which isnt a bad thing we all need help at one point or another my biggest issue is pride i never thought i would have to resort to meds to help me
but i guess we have to admit we have an issue and get help
 

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another stupid question i have will the doctor start talking about having to go to therapy? or will he give me a few months on the medication and see how things are going and if there is any big improvements.
Not a stupid question at all and a serious worry I'd have too. Due to a change in insurance, I have to pick a new pdoc unless I want to pay more and I fear that he'll dare to suggest therapy. My prior docs didn't bring up the issue. Perhaps they just somehow knew my answer would be "No way in hell!"
 

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I read a lot of crap here... I'm sorry but no one can tell that he is born with social anxiety. It has much to do with the environement. Some scientists think that some genetic factors can play a role, and i think they're right. But some people can have genetic predisposition and not become social anxious.

You cannot know if you're born with social anxiety. You cannot remember how you were when you had two, three or four years... And still these years are very determinant; what you experienced during these years will contribute to shape your futur personality. Your education, the way your parents behave, how well integrated you were at school, etc... All that counts too.

Therapy is not useless. Meds are not useless either. I advise you to consider a mix of the two. The psy will not tell "what to do", he will help you to see what you do wrong. I'm sorry, but at one point, you'll have to change your behaviours, your ways of thinking. This work on yourself is very important, don't let you be blinded by misplaced pride. Granted, you can work on yourself alone, but that's more easy with a psy. There is no shame to seek help. The more important for you is to get better to get a happy life, so consider what is the most effective. The med alone will not change you completly. If you have such expectations, you'll fail.

If you don't want to "be told what to do", you can work on yourself, alone. You'll need some knowledge, actually a lot of knowledge, about you, about what you do wrong because of you're anxiety, about how social anxiety works and how to beat it.

Think a lot, write a journal, describe on the paper some of your everyday situations, write which thoughts are associated with a given social interaction, try to destroy these thougts, try to realize these are most of the time pretty stupid, etc... To sum up, find some strategies to beat anxiety. Meds will help you to think more rationaly about your bad behaviours and thougts, that's why they're so useful.

I advice you to read some books about social anxiety. "overcoming social anxiety, step by step" by Dr. Richards is not too bad.

Good luck

ps: sorry if i made a lot of mistakes, english is not my native language and i wrote this post pretty quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One thing I do known is I was shy throughout my life and it just got worse over time. I always taught I would grow out of it but it just followed me everywhere. Childhood,school,work ect. I have cousins that are kind of the same. Some people get Sa by being bullied or something that changed them but I cant find a reason for mine.

I know once that I take the step and go to the doctor I won't feel as bad and that will be the most progress I made ever. I tried fighting this battle on my own but lost so now its time to call for backup. I really think now is the time to tell my anxiety to go and f**k itself! As its not going to waste another 21 years of my life.
 

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One thing I do known is I was shy throughout my life and it just got worse over time. I always taught I would grow out of it but it just followed me everywhere. Childhood,school,work ect. I have cousins that are kind of the same. Some people get Sa by being bullied or something that changed them but I cant find a reason for mine.

I know once that I take the step and go to the doctor I won't feel as bad and that will be the most progress I made ever. I tried fighting this battle on my own but lost so now its time to call for backup. I really think now is the time to tell my anxiety to go and f**k itself! As its not going to waste another 21 years of my life.
For most, SA has not one cause but several. It can be a number of little things. Were your parents shy ? Have they shown you enough that they loved you ? Enough for you to feel confident ? Often, people with SA had a very distant/absent father. It's relatively common. These factors are pretty obvious but there can be less obvious ones.

Again, if you want to tell your anxiety to **** itself, well you should consider doing a cbt while taking the med, alone or with a psy. And one more time, a psy doesn't tell you what to do, i think you have a wrong image of what a consultation is. There is a dialogue, your psy cannot make you do things you do'nt want to. You'll agree on a plan of action. And if you're not satisfied with a psy, you can tell him or even go to an other. They re not always competent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
well i went to the doctor because i had a sore ear so i told him about the anxiety anyway and i think it was a waste of time.

he was telling me to try and aim for therapy which at the minute i have no interest in. i don't have the money either. he said that he does not really like to give younger people medication but i think he said it was my choice at the end of the day.

i have to go back friday to get my ear syringed so i will try and see if i can get medication to get stated and look at therapy in the future.
 

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I kind of liken meds to diet pills. Sure it will help you lose weight but you also need to make changes to your diet and need to exercise too. Antianxiety pills like benzos (xanax, klonopin, etc) help keep the anxiety at bay but you can't rely on it long term. A combination of meds and CBT/exposure therapy worked the best for me.
 

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I kind of liken meds to diet pills. Sure it will help you lose weight but you also need to make changes to your diet and need to exercise too. Antianxiety pills like benzos (xanax, klonopin, etc) help keep the anxiety at bay but you can't rely on it long term. A combination of meds and CBT/exposure therapy worked the best for me.
I wouldn't compare them to diet pills. Diet pills are crap. If you want to lose weight, just eat less, better and do some sport. No need to take more meds than necessary.
 

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well i went to the doctor because i had a sore ear so i told him about the anxiety anyway and i think it was a waste of time.

he was telling me to try and aim for therapy which at the minute i have no interest in. i don't have the money either. he said that he does not really like to give younger people medication but i think he said it was my choice at the end of the day.

i have to go back friday to get my ear syringed so i will try and see if i can get medication to get stated and look at therapy in the future.
Telling you this right now, you will have social anxiety for another 21 years of your life if you do not get therapy.

IMO, Social Anxiety should be called Social Phobia because it works exactly the same as Arcachnidphobia or Claustrophobia or any other phobia. In short, you became irrationally scared to death of something when you were young and impressionable. Then your amygdala in your brain said, "Woah this guy's mind is really saying that people are dangerous, we should help him out by installing an automatic danger warning system to help him survive those dangerous people and social situations via a massive shot of adrenaline every time people talk to him."

Then as you got older, your mind realized that your social fear is irrational, however your amygdala system hasn't got the message yet. Like how a pond takes a long time too cool off once summer ends.

Your amygdala and your adrenaline system, your unconscious mind, doesn't realize that people shouldn't be considered dangerous. It doesn't matter if your conscious mind knows better. It is like if you had a dog that was beat by Asian men as a pup and then learned to growl whenever he sees them as a fully grown dog. While it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, it can be done. That dog can be trained to not fear Asian men. But the dog doesn't have a conscious mind. Funny that.

You have to train your amygdala, which lacks self-awareness, just like you would train your self-awareness lacking dog. Through exposure therapy.

You should try and get some meds though, but as a tool and not as a crutch. Reason being that no drug fixes social anxiety 100% and for long term. SSRIs either with a very tiny effect, or with no effect at all. And almost always with guaranteed side effects of getting fat and losing your ability to get an erection. So if you think getting a girlfriend would help your social anxiety, you might as well forget about Anti-Depressants.

Benzos are the best medication to use for SA but only as a tool to facilitate exposure therapy. Reason being that you build tolerance to them really quick.
 

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Telling you this right now, you will have social anxiety for another 21 years of your life if you do not get therapy.

IMO, Social Anxiety should be called Social Phobia because it works exactly the same as Arcachnidphobia or Claustrophobia or any other phobia. In short, you became irrationally scared to death of something when you were young and impressionable. Then your amygdala in your brain said, "Woah this guy's mind is really saying that people are dangerous, we should help him out by installing an automatic danger warning system to help him survive those dangerous people and social situations via a massive shot of adrenaline every time people talk to him."

Then as you got older, your mind realized that your social fear is irrational, however your amygdala system hasn't got the message yet. Like how a pond takes a long time too cool off once summer ends.

Your amygdala and your adrenaline system, your unconscious mind, doesn't realize that people shouldn't be considered dangerous. It doesn't matter if your conscious mind knows better. It is like if you had a dog that was beat by Asian men as a pup and then learned to growl whenever he sees them as a fully grown dog. While it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, it can be done. That dog can be trained to not fear Asian men. But the dog doesn't have a conscious mind. Funny that.

You have to train your amygdala, which lacks self-awareness, just like you would train your self-awareness lacking dog. Through exposure therapy.

You should try and get some meds though, but as a tool and not as a crutch. Reason being that no drug fixes social anxiety 100% and for long term. SSRIs either with a very tiny effect, or with no effect at all. And almost always with guaranteed side effects of getting fat and losing your ability to get an erection. So if you think getting a girlfriend would help your social anxiety, you might as well forget about Anti-Depressants.

Benzos are the best medication to use for SA but only as a tool to facilitate exposure therapy. Reason being that you build tolerance to them really quick.
Social anxiety -> people are anxious around others. Social phobia is a exacerbated kind of social anxiety. Shyness is also social anxiety (a shy person is anxious around other people), but it is less crippling.

IMO, for social phobia, benzo can help. But for people who are social anxious but not social phobic, AD are the way to go (with therapy/work on yourself).
 

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Social anxiety -> people are anxious around others. Social phobia is a exacerbated kind of social anxiety. Shyness is also social anxiety (a shy person is anxious around other people), but it is less crippling.

IMO, for social phobia, benzo can help. But for people who are social anxious but not social phobic, AD are the way to go (with therapy/work on yourself).
IMO Social Anxiety implies an illness that is like an offshoot of general anxiety, i.e. with panic attacks.

I definitely have some sort of social fear disorder but it is mild and I do not have any panic attacks. I prefer the term phobia.

Additionally, it is well understand that all phobias can be cured 100% with exposure therapy.

Whereas General Anxiety Disorder isn't a phobia but a chemical imbalance that indeed really does kind of require anxiety meds.

Calling our social fear problem Social Anxiety gives the wrong impression. It gives the impression that it is like GAD and requires popping benzos all of the time and that hard work can't fix it. Social Phobia instead sounds much nicer. It gives the sense of a very fixable disorder that is a psychological problem and not a chemical imbalance.

IMO for major Social Phobia, what you call Social Phobia, I feel Benzos and/or Anti-Depressants is the right method, as it is more of a long term problem that might need a lot more help than exposure therapy can provide on its own. At least for the short term.

For mild Social Phobia, what you call Social Anxiety, I feel occasional Benzos with exposure/CBT are the best route. ADs I think are a bad choice since it has your mind altered 24/7 so you can't really learn. Benzos are only short-acting so you can use them as needed and then just as quickly put them aside when you want to try on your own.
 

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IMO Social Anxiety implies an illness that is like an offshoot of general anxiety, i.e. with panic attacks.

I definitely have some sort of social fear disorder but it is mild and I do not have any panic attacks. I prefer the term phobia.

Maybe, but you're not universal. And terms have meanings.

Additionally, it is well understand that all phobias can be cured 100% with exposure therapy.

Nope, i'm sorry, but it's way to categorical. Unless you have some studies that could back this statement ?


Whereas General Anxiety Disorder isn't a phobia but a chemical imbalance that indeed really does kind of require anxiety meds.

Nope again. No studies have shown this kind of distinction. You can have your theories but don't be so categorical. This is just your opinion.

Calling our social fear problem Social Anxiety gives the wrong impression. It gives the impression that it is like GAD and requires popping benzos all of the time and that hard work can't fix it. Social Phobia instead sounds much nicer. It gives the sense of a very fixable disorder that is a psychological problem and not a chemical imbalance.

I think you're missing the point: it doesn't matter if such or such word seems "nicer". What matters is too find accurate terms. Social anxiety refers to the anxiety that is provoked by social interactions. This term is neutral, it doesn't give any impression. The impression you describe is strictly personnal, this term doesn't imply it at all.

Anxiety is something that can be fought in many ways, and you can't say that it's only due to chemical imbalance, because you doesn't have a clue.

IMO for major Social Phobia, what you call Social Phobia, I feel Benzos and/or Anti-Depressants is the right method, as it is more of a long term problem that might need a lot more help than exposure therapy can provide on its own. At least for the short term.

For mild Social Phobia, what you call Social Anxiety, I feel occasional Benzos with exposure/CBT are the best route. ADs I think are a bad choice since it has your mind altered 24/7 so you can't really learn. Benzos are only short-acting so you can use them as needed and then just as quickly put them aside when you want to try on your own.
I don't think you've understood the distinction i made (which doesn't come from me, it is commonly agreed):

social anxiety refers to anxiety provoked by social interactions. Shyness and social phobia are subtypes of social anxiety.

Some years ago, social phobia was the commonly agreed term but it was replaced because it was not accurate. The term "phobia" was misleading:


"In 1994, with the release of the DSM-IV, the term social anxiety disorder (SAD) replaced social phobia. The new term was used to describe how broad and generalized fears are a part of the disorder. The disorder was defined as a "marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or possible scrutiny by others.""
 
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