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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The biggest problem I have regarding social anxiety is getting enough sleep the night prior to the "event." Event can be defined as a party, a speech, an important meeting, etc.

If I don't know about the event, then I sleep fine and have very little problem interacting in the situation. So, it is not the actual interaction that creates the anxiety, but the anticipation of the event.

I would like to hear from others who have experienced this and how they have learned to get a good restful night's sleep prior to the event.
 

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I also get anticipation anxiety before a big social event which can disrupt my sleep. No real advice other than try not to overthink the event or the sleep.

In my experience the more I dwell on my sleep the less I usually get. It's one of those things you can't force. I usually just prop my head up on an extra pillow and stare at the clock and eventually that gets so boring I fall asleep.
 

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Have you tried reading/watching/listening to something in bed that distracts the anticipatory thoughts out of your mind? Personally I find it helpful listening to radio drama or comedy in bed before I sleep to make sure I can't think about other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have tried reading or watching TV. Sometimes they work but I find that they can serve to distract for the time that I am doing it but as soon as it goes off or I set the book down, my mind clicks back to "high alert." It is bizarre. I can be falling asleep watching TV, go to bed and be wide awake. Another thing that is really weird is that sometimes I can forget that an "event" is taking place the following day and go right to sleep. Other times I will be just about asleep and then I all of a sudden remember "I should be nervous" because of the "event" the following day. I know how strange that sounds but that is the way it happens to me.

We just had a party last night. I hardly slept the night before. Maybe got an hour of sleep. I did fine. No problem during the party but the drag is I cannot really enjoy the party and the socializing because I am beat. I don't think anyone knows that is the way I am feeling but it would be so much more fun if I were fully rested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't want to rely on medication. I have read some posts regarding Xanax and some other things but it seems like a downward spiral. Initially the effects may be great but then you come to depend on them.
 

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I don't want to rely on medication. I have read some posts regarding Xanax and some other things but it seems like a downward spiral. Initially the effects may be great but then you come to depend on them.
I tend to agree with the pills advice. You don't have to go down the Xanax road. Codeine can make you sleepy if you're not accustomed to using it.

But I really empathise with your anticipatory anxiety. How about saunas? Swimming? anything that makes you physically tired. Also saying to yourself "what is the worst that can happen?".....so somebody laughs at you, is it the end of the world? so you fail? so what? you can't succeed without failing
 

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I don't want to rely on medication. I have read some posts regarding Xanax and some other things but it seems like a downward spiral. Initially the effects may be great but then you come to depend on them.
Well, I was on SSRIs and the dependency was very less and I got out of them without much of a struggle. Maybe talk to a doc who is qualified in this area before making a decision?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I tend to agree with the pills advice. You don't have to go down the Xanax road. Codeine can make you sleepy if you're not accustomed to using it.

But I really empathise with your anticipatory anxiety. How about saunas? Swimming? anything that makes you physically tired. Also saying to yourself "what is the worst that can happen?".....so somebody laughs at you, is it the end of the world? so you fail? so what? you can't succeed without failing
Yes, I think that is some great advice. I do swim 3 or 4 miles a week to try to take off the anxiety and, for the most part, I think it works well.

You are so right, what is the worst that can happen? I ask myself this and wonder if that is even the essence of the anxiety. Just to give you an example. I played golf with a friend today. He called me yesterday to see if I was able to hit. I said yes. Because of this I couldn't get to sleep last night. Crazy. I have played golf with this guy many times. No expectations. No performance anxiety that I can imagine, yet my sleep is impacted. I can't make sense of it. I am 30 years his junior and score considerably better than he does and yet a call to play golf the next day affects my sleep. Go figure. Had he called me today, the day of, I wouldn't have worried at all. I ask myself what in the world am I worried about, why I respond this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I was on SSRIs and the dependency was very less and I got out of them without much of a struggle. Maybe talk to a doc who is qualified in this area before making a decision?
This is sound advice. I know this is what makes sense but I am probably too afraid at this point to consider using SSRIs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I tend to agree with the pills advice. You don't have to go down the Xanax road. Codeine can make you sleepy if you're not accustomed to using it.

But I really empathise with your anticipatory anxiety. How about saunas? Swimming? anything that makes you physically tired. Also saying to yourself "what is the worst that can happen?".....so somebody laughs at you, is it the end of the world? so you fail? so what? you can't succeed without failing
The other thing is I think I can overthink these things. I have been reading a book by Scott Stossel lately on SAD. This guy seems to have felt every imaginable psychological ailment known to man. Maybe he is using the Tony Robbins approach, saying he has experienced all there is to experience. If you think you have it bad, just look at me, kind of approach.
 

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He called me yesterday to see if I was able to hit. I said yes. Because of this I couldn't get to sleep last night. Crazy. I have played golf with this guy many times. No expectations. No performance anxiety that I can imagine, yet my sleep is impacted. I can't make sense of it. I am 30 years his junior and score considerably better than he does and yet a call to play golf the next day affects my sleep. Go figure. Had he called me today, the day of, I wouldn't have worried at all. I ask myself what in the world am I worried about, why I respond this way.
Sounds like you may suffer from obsessive thought patterns (which I can relate to as well)...kind of a variant on OCD (but don't quote me on that:))
You may be addicted to a certain routine and any interruption is a kind of huge disturbance..just guessing though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like you may suffer from obsessive thought patterns (which I can relate to as well)...kind of a variant on OCD (but don't quote me on that:))
You may be addicted to a certain routine and any interruption is a kind of huge disturbance..just guessing though.
Yes, we are all wired so uniquely. I have definitely had a tendency toward OCD. At one point, abruptly, I just said I can't do this anymore and stopped doing it. That has been a relief. For quite some time I had to make sure everything was arranged or aligned in a certain way, all over the place.

Same routine, could be. The element of the unknown, I suppose.
 

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I have read that guanfacine or other alpha agonists are good non-commital in a brain damage sense meds for rejection sensitivity. They are hypertension meds I think, so if you are afraid of SSRIs (I kind of am) these might be easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have read that guanfacine or other alpha agonists are good non-commital in a brain damage sense meds for rejection sensitivity. They are hypertension meds I think, so if you are afraid of SSRIs (I kind of am) these might be easier.
Thank you. I will check into this.
 
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