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Is anybody familiar with Albert Ellis and his REBT method. It is basically CBT but he was one of the pioneers of training the mind to think rationally, because, let's face it, all of us SAD sufferers are effected by irrational, delusional views of the world. I am not trying to get in my high horse and say that I am enlightened but through my therapy I have learned that the reason why I have SAD is because much of my emotional maturity has not advanced far past the childhood stage. What do those with SAD usually complain about? The anxiety that others will and are judging them. That we are the center of attention when we walk into a room. That if someone were to act like an *** and insult us then that would just be soooo terrible that we just can't deal with it. Really? If some screwed up individual actually took the time to insult you or treated you unfairly (according to your own view of how the world SHOULD work and the way people MUST act towards you), then give me a good reason why you should give a sh**. Are you going to go home and sulk about someone who is no better than you, no matter who he is or what his status or position is, and beat yourself up over what HE thinks? The reason why we get upset is because we hold people up so high above us as if they were some supernatural being that knows all about you and couldn't possibly misinterpret who you are. In addition, we ACCEPT their criticism as the truth. So, we need to ask ourselves why we feel insignificant, stupid, weak, etc. and realize that we may have these faults BUT we can help train ourselves to improve these faults. It is not the end of the world but merely an inconvenience and a pain in the ***. The distortion is that we have learned to catastrophize our social inadequacies as if they are insurmountable and we continue to hide using safety behaviors. We continue to self-doubt and therefore not even try to face our fears. Yes, repetition and exposure can work but not when you spend the entire experience wanting nothing else but to leave. Realize that you don't have to impress anyone. No one is better or worse than you. Everyone has the right to make a mistake and do something that might make you angry just have you done before. This is all part of life and we all have our own unique weaknesses. I know we can get through this if we understand that if someone does you in, so what? Is it really that important? Is it really going to help the situation if you sit around an sulk over it for hours and days and months and years? The answer should be obvious. Its time to repeatedly tell ourselves in a loud and assertive tone what the reality is and to stop acting like a two-year-old. I don't mean to sound like I don't do this. I do. I just wrote this because this is what I am just beginning to learn and I feel I am making tremendous progress with this philosophy. I am not trying to lecture and I am sure many of you have heard all this before. I would recommend going on youtube and watch and listen to some of the Albert Ellis clips or just read a little about his therapy. You may find that it can help you begin to find your way out of this mess.
 

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Long post:
I agree with you 100%, even though I'm not familiar with Albert Ellis. I used to post here when I was wallowing in my own negative thoughts and caught in SA's clutches, most of my threads were depressing and self-pitying.

I listened to Dr. Thomas Richards SA CD series, he uses CBT, now I can talk to anyone. I even go up to people in parking lots :roll, without even realizing it. I saw someone last week with the same car I had, and started a conversation with him out of the blue about the car's performance, parts, etc. We had a good conversation, laughed, and I got back in my car and drove away. It hit me like 10 minutes later: "Last year, I would just look at that guy and wish I could talk to him."

I think CBT is the only way to go, SA is the result of believing all your negative thoughts. On the other hand, this forum is called "Coping with SA", it makes sense that most people would want to just purge all their negativity here on this forum.

Before CBT, I would think to myself "I hope no one notices I'm deficient in this way, that way, etc." Now I think: "I'm really awesome, I'm hilarious, I'm a fantastic person". I don't force any of these thoughts, they just come out of this feeling I have about myself. Sounds egotistical, but you have to have these thoughts just to get through the day.

I just wish I could go to everyone here and change their minds, literally. There's NOTHING wrong with you, nothing at all. You're just working against yourself right now. I could post a million examples from my own life,
 

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I have a book about albert ellis' REBT. I like the other CBT better. The problem with SAD is that we FEEL this way through we actually KNOW it better!
 

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Because of a recent event, one of my parents has been telling people that I'm "sick." I have an "illness." I really hate that, but I can't do anything about how they describe SA. I've just been thinking about changing my behavior. I realize that many of the thoughts that I have are irrational; they're the result of beliefs that I've formed over a long period of time.

Just the other day I went for a walk, and I saw a group of people. It's really hard for me to approach a group of people, by the way. I was tempted to cross the street to avoid them, then I thought they might think that's rude (lol). So, I kept walking towards them. It's strange - the first thing I thought was, they'll probably laugh at me. They'll probably look at me funny. Well, I passed them and one of them smiled, so I smiled back. So, that was a lesson. You never know what people will do. Some people have laughed at me, others have not. In the future, other people may laugh at me...or they may not. Either way, I'm teaching myself to say: so what? If someone laughs, it might feel bad in the moment, but it shouldn't affect the way I live my life.

Some people may take issue with the title of the thread, but I recognize that I've been stuck in this strange mode of operation that's a bit less than mature.
 

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The reason why we get upset is because we hold people up so high above us as if they were some supernatural being that knows all about you and couldn't possibly misinterpret who you are. In addition, we ACCEPT their criticism as the truth. So, we need to ask ourselves why we feel insignificant, stupid, weak, etc. and realize that we may have these faults BUT we can help train ourselves to improve these faults. It is not the end of the world but merely an inconvenience and a pain in the ***. The distortion is that we have learned to catastrophize our social inadequacies as if they are insurmountable...
This is a really good point that I'm sure just about everyone here can relate to. I had never watched any videos of Albert Ellis before, but his teaching is VERY applicable. Thanks!
 

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Is anybody familiar with Albert Ellis and his REBT method. It is basically CBT but he was one of the pioneers of training the mind to think rationally, because, let's face it, all of us SAD sufferers are effected by irrational, delusional views of the world. I am not trying to get in my high horse and say that I am enlightened but through my therapy I have learned that the reason why I have SAD is because much of my emotional maturity has not advanced far past the childhood stage. What do those with SAD usually complain about? The anxiety that others will and are judging them. That we are the center of attention when we walk into a room. That if someone were to act like an *** and insult us then that would just be soooo terrible that we just can't deal with it. Really? If some screwed up individual actually took the time to insult you or treated you unfairly (according to your own view of how the world SHOULD work and the way people MUST act towards you), then give me a good reason why you should give a sh**. Are you going to go home and sulk about someone who is no better than you, no matter who he is or what his status or position is, and beat yourself up over what HE thinks? The reason why we get upset is because we hold people up so high above us as if they were some supernatural being that knows all about you and couldn't possibly misinterpret who you are. In addition, we ACCEPT their criticism as the truth. So, we need to ask ourselves why we feel insignificant, stupid, weak, etc. and realize that we may have these faults BUT we can help train ourselves to improve these faults. It is not the end of the world but merely an inconvenience and a pain in the ***. The distortion is that we have learned to catastrophize our social inadequacies as if they are insurmountable and we continue to hide using safety behaviors. We continue to self-doubt and therefore not even try to face our fears. Yes, repetition and exposure can work but not when you spend the entire experience wanting nothing else but to leave. Realize that you don't have to impress anyone. No one is better or worse than you. Everyone has the right to make a mistake and do something that might make you angry just have you done before. This is all part of life and we all have our own unique weaknesses. I know we can get through this if we understand that if someone does you in, so what? Is it really that important? Is it really going to help the situation if you sit around an sulk over it for hours and days and months and years? The answer should be obvious. Its time to repeatedly tell ourselves in a loud and assertive tone what the reality is and to stop acting like a two-year-old. I don't mean to sound like I don't do this. I do. I just wrote this because this is what I am just beginning to learn and I feel I am making tremendous progress with this philosophy. I am not trying to lecture and I am sure many of you have heard all this before. I would recommend going on youtube and watch and listen to some of the Albert Ellis clips or just read a little about his therapy. You may find that it can help you begin to find your way out of this mess.
I completely agree with everything you said.. Why do we care?? Often I ask myself that question and realize how paranoid I am for thinking that others are judging me when they are probably not even thinking about me. I realize everyone has problems too and not just me. Thanks for posting this. It gave me more motivation.
 

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People usually are judging you.
Everyone does it, if you saw a naked man with a bushy beard sauntering down the street , you would immediately judge him as a lunatic wouldn't you?
Most people judge you, just not the the extent that most S.A'ers think.
 

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I agree. I know I'm stuck emotionally at 5, so a lot of the time I have an egocentric view, (which isn't the same thing as selfish/arrogant), where I think everything is about me, the spotlight is on me, people's bad moods must have been caused by me, etc. Me, me, me, LOL.

Also, in my case the "irrational belief" that I am defective came from trauma that happened at 5 yrs old. And I've been believing it so long that it's more like a "fact of life". I now "know" I'm not defective, but I still "feel" defective.

They say thoughts cause feelings, but when you've felt defective for a few decades, you can't come up with a whole lot of nice thoughts about yourself...isn't that what counselors are supposed to help with?

But yeah I hope I can grow up and feel normal someday. :yes
 

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I don't agree with this. If we were simply immature in our emotional development, we wouldn't cry at funerals, laugh at a joke, etc. Plain and simple? SA is an illness. It is a chemical imbalance in our brains. Something is wrong up there, and one day we wont just grow up and be normal. You make it sound like everyone else out there left us behind in child mode or something, when rly it isnt anything like that.
 

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While the anxiety that SA sufferers experience are largely based on "delusions", this does not trivialize the disorder. SA seriously affects behavior, much like other mental and personality disorders. It's not a matter of "growing up"; people with SA may well be in fact mature and responsible adults, but they just have certain irrational fears and issues with aspects of everyday life.
 

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...I just wish I could go to everyone here and change their minds, literally. There's NOTHING wrong with you, nothing at all.,
This popped out at me. I like it.
That's the thing--there isn't anything wrong with us. It's our attitude that's not healthy.

I told my ex counselor in frustration one time, "You know, I didn't come here to change into someone you like or want me to be. I actually don't think there's anything wrong with me. I just needed help to be able to feel that I am OK." :mum

It's like when the chips are down, there's some part inside that knows I'm OK and I come to my own defense. If only that would stick.
 

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...If we were simply immature in our emotional development, we wouldn't cry at funerals, laugh at a joke, etc...
Um, since when do children not know how to laugh at jokes, or cry when someone dies?!?
 

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Um, since when do children not know how to laugh at jokes, or cry when someone dies?!?
maybe it was not your post, but someone said something about our emotions being like a 5 year olds. 5 year olds don't understand what a funeral is. they might be sad about the loss of a loved one, but they wont understand the emotional state they should be at a funeral. they wont laugh at adult jokes, etc. Emotional immaturity can be directly connected with a lack of intelligence (relative to a normal adult). On the other hand, children do not worry what other people think. their brains are not developed in a way to feel self conscious or anything of the like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When it is referred that those with SAD have immature or child-like emotions that have not matured at a proper rate, I believe it is referring to the way we perceive the wrongdoings of others. As children, it is normal when a parent or an authority figure tells us in so many words that we are bad or no good, we tend to think that they must be right. We held these grownups in such high-esteem then. We now may be able to think differently but not by much. In addition, when we were teased by our classmates, or peers, who were on the same level, we would still take it very hard. Yes, it is human nature, even for us SAD guys, to mature from that very vulnerable point in our early life, but I believe we mature at a slower rate and still retain much of the same tendencies as we did as children. Why else would we look at criticism from our boss or our peers and feel soooo terrible about what they said like they are god-like and are able to make such judgments? Eventually children learn to understand that they can look at their peers in a more equal footing and the teasing wouldn't matter that much. Criticism from authority figures can be more difficult to overcome but many learn to get over that as well. Personally, I think that for whatever reason, I got stuck along the way and my emotional maturity got stunted. Otherwise, I wouldn't have a severe problem with social anxiety and a anxiety in general. In my heart, I just can't get around the notion that I do not have a chemical imbalance either at all, or at least not severe enough to require me to take medication in order to deal with it. I could be wrong but... that's for another thread.
 

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I think you are right to say that SA is intrinsically connected to our emotional development. We are hypersensitive to criticism and fearful of negative scrutiny. You can't get more "textbook" emotional than that.

When it comes to emotions, though, I think it's important to remember that no amount of "thinking" can really get at the root of the problem. In a contest between our rational brains and our emotions, our emotions will generally win. So, we can't "out-think" anxiety ... where does that leave us?

I've made substantial progress with my SA in this past year, and paradoxically, much of this progress has come from accepting that certain things are simply out of my control. No amount of thinking, planning, or analysis will make me less anxious, so what is there to do except give up? And ironically, it is when we give up that our true self finally has the freedom to express itself.

In the end, don't beat yourself up. Unfortunately self-criticism is something we get really good at when we deal with SA.
 

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Eh maybe but what about people that have it as a learned behavior? I don't think anything when I get into a situation that makes me anxious, I just have fear and if I try to fight it, it feels awful. Like dying. I used to have a lot immature thoughts I would blame others, feel the world and society was terrible and blamed the problem on them, blame my parents etc. but have mature considerably since then. Changing your thinking dosen't always help.
 

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I don't agree with this. If we were simply immature in our emotional development, we wouldn't cry at funerals, laugh at a joke, etc. Plain and simple? SA is an illness. It is a chemical imbalance in our brains. Something is wrong up there, and one day we wont just grow up and be normal. You make it sound like everyone else out there left us behind in child mode or something, when rly it isnt anything like that.
That may be true for some of us, so if it IS true, doesn't that mean that it's even more important for us ta learn to deal with it? We only have two options, we can sit here and cry, or we can try to do everything we can regardless of the pain and fear.

A lot of the threads here we talk about a lot of things and try to relate to each other well. While that's awesome, as it helps us realize that we're not total aliens and incapable of being human, we have to take the next step after that: we know that something's wrong with us, now how can we overcome it?

Anyone that doesn't believe that it's possible to overcome is free to believe that, I think thoughts like that every day. If it is impossible to overcome, then I will take everything else that it hasn't completely disabled from me and I will live with it, it's better than giving up and letting it destroy the parts of my life that I CAN control. If it IS possible to overcome, then we need to find out how to do it.
 

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See, I find this 'theory' rather offensive. Much like people who just say "why do you care? Nobody cares what you are doing" and they believe it is really just that simple. That if I simply tell myself that, I would be fine.

For me it isn't. Logically, I fully understand how absurd my feelings about being around people are, but that doesn't change that I still feel it. I can tell myself a million times that I will be fine, no one cares, I can handle it, etc (as I learned in therapy... pfft) but it doesn't change how my brain thinks about the situation.

Add to that somebody saying "Oh yeah, you are basically just a little kid who can't grow up"... well that's just another person who has NO IDEA what this is like. In my opinion anyway.
 

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See, I find this 'theory' rather offensive. Much like people who just say "why do you care? Nobody cares what you are doing" and they believe it is really just that simple. That if I simply tell myself that, I would be fine.

For me it isn't. Logically, I fully understand how absurd my feelings about being around people are, but that doesn't change that I still feel it. I can tell myself a million times that I will be fine, no one cares, I can handle it, etc (as I learned in therapy... pfft) but it doesn't change how my brain thinks about the situation.

Add to that somebody saying "Oh yeah, you are basically just a little kid who can't grow up"... well that's just another person who has NO IDEA what this is like. In my opinion anyway.
I can understand that. This theory doesn't apply to me either.

The problem with these threads (and there have been a lot of them), is that they try to apply their theories to everyone. One thing this website has made very clear to me is everyone is different.
 
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