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Whatever you give energy to, persists. After 20 years with SA and related complications, this is all I have in the end. Years of self and professional diagnosis, it has come to this. To me this is the key. We give it so much energy and thought. No wonder your worn out, it consumes you. The fact is that we have a compulsive disorder, so drawn to harbour on thoughts, dwell on feelings and analyse the stuffing out of any strange thought or inclination we deem to be slightly out of whack with what we percieve to be normal. So its all perfectionism, fasle perceptions and latching on to something that somehow we find so incredibly interesting and addictive, yet so terribly destructive. Your high intelligence and curious mind have taken you hostage. Yes, stupid is peace and happiness. I still know which one I would take in a handout. I try to occupy my mind with other things, exercise cannot be overated and above all, recognize and dismiss intruding thoughts for what they are and chuckle at your brains amazing efforts and ability to try and distract you. Its almost playing a game, and we take way to much notice. Ahhh, I know its not this simple but there is a key element in here somewhere. Somehow, somewhere, sometime, we took it all to seriously and we forgot how to stop it. Even so, I still suffer, athough I am a lot better than I was 20 years ago, thats for sure. Peace to you my intelligent friends.
 

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Good post, I think a lot of that is true and I've thought about it before. I'm glad you made progress, that gives me some hope.
 

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yeah this is very true you said it really well ! its a vicious cycle really, especially if you keep feeding it. i think its a vicious cycle because even if i do know this, what you just said, id try and catch myself in a situation an point out my perfectionism but then i always spend to much thought on NOT thinking it. if that makes sense , im trying to think not to think it lol which takes even more thought because the more you try to push something out of your head even with logic, it will just gradually creep back in, and then theres everyone around me who seems to naturally not think about it which i am honestly jealous of. if thats ignorance then i really wish to be ignorant because yeah ignorance is definitely bliss
 

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So much of my SA occurs from worrying about imaginary events that have not occurred yet. Practicing mindfulness helps me to stay grounded and gives me a sense of purpose.
 

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Great analysis of SA. A lot of what you've suggested rings true with my own experiences, especially recently as I've been improving somewhat.

It is kind of like a habit in many ways. If you try and break it it does seem to diminish over time.

Perfectionism. That really speaks to my life. Almost everyone I've ever known has noted this about me. I'm never satisfied with anything I do. It's a double edged sword of course, perfectionism can be a strong motivator so I don't think I'd ever trade it away if I had the choice.

There is a really good book called the "Power of Now", by Eckhart Tolle. In the book he basically says that thinking becomes like an addiction for many people. He teaches how to live in the moment and have periods of "no mind" and achieve greater consciousness.
I picked this up a few days ago. Haven't got around to starting it yet though. Interesting to know that it's helping you with your SA.
 

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Thx for comments kid a, I like them. :) trying not to think about a certain thing never works, try thinking about nothing, no future commitments, what day it is, anything. As soon as a though comes in shut it down. That is one thing I do sometimes and it works for me. (by varying degrees!) Strive on. x 49erjt, I have read that book, about 6,7 years ago, and your right. Its a great book. It wasnt mine so its moved on, but I really should by it. I felt so much better for a little while everytime I put that book down. It really is an awesome read, and a great book of advice. Too much going on in this world! And CL, yep, thats my experience too. Its almost like life is too boring without the drama and stresses we impose on ourselves, like an adrenaline junkie. Its obsessive. I really do think this is in the mix somewhere, because I am a little impulsive and obsessive, always have been. I think its important to realize that this is someways is our genetic disposition, and not something we did terribly wrong, or thought terribly wrong. We had the same thoughts as most people, we just latched onto them strongly and they didnt. Perfectionism all the way. We fed and fed it, because there ws something in it for us. An excuse. An excuse to ourselves that we are not perfect. How could we go through life, all pistons firing and still fall humanly short. We cannot cope with that failure, so we need something to sabourtage our efforts, something to explain our faults and fears. We always do a good job CL with things and we did a number on this! thx 4 comment. :)
 

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Oh totally, the negativity just perpetuates itself, unless you step back and challenge it.

All the reasurance we seek, in whatever form. Is akin to trying to fix together the shards of a poorly constructed social identity. An egoic delusion. This is how I put it to a friend of mine recently.

Great book by the way, It's really eluminating. I highly recommend that you read it or listen to the audiobook.
 

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You said it perfectly. I came to the same realisation a while ago but it doesn't make it any easier to cope. :/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally it was this simple bobthebuiler, but I found after many years other factors come in to play, depression, low self esteem etc It more and more intwined as we let it go on. I agree that a simple aproach to it is the best though, dont worry about the past at all. Its about now, not what happened before. I know some people have had terrible experiences in the past that have fueled what the are today. It's all about letting go. :)
 

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Knowlege is power cruisin. Every bit you know will help mate....you just got to keep reminding youself of these things. Positive self talk is everything bud. :)
 

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And JDRC, I think your on the mark. It is all about a resulting identity crisis. The really disabilitating and devastating feeling I found, apart from the panic and fear, was the feeling of disassociation with the world. It scared, confused, sickened and angered me to no end. Living in a bloody dream world, nothing seems real. I still get it. Physically in pain, or in a real moment of danger I do not get it at all. The world demands my attention. Some part of me pulls back from the world, like the real me is too scared and unable to cope with things. It makes me feel like a 5 year old sometimes in an adult world. Hey, I like to stay mentally young, but not that young. :)
 

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This is some what true. And i do see your point that you are trying to make. What i get from you is that you should just accept yourself the way you are (stupid is peace and happiness). To not focus all of our life's in seeking an answer. but i actually don't believe the problem is that we are trying to find answers (to something that is very complicated that even professionals can't seem to figure out). The problem is that we can't find an answer to something that feels wrong i.e. make that wrong stop... which makes our brains go in circles. This continuous seeking eventually will consume us and affects us in a negative way. This can happen to anyone though... It can happen to any one who feels troubled. Like to a female who can't figure out why her boyfriend keeps on cheating on her, for example. Or to a female who can't seem to understand why she has divorced 4 times. There are actually true answers to these troubled females... all one has to do is notice that this does not happen to all females. Same with SA...

More over, i really don't necessarily believe this over thinking is perfectionism or that this over thinking we find interesting. A perfectionist is not one who thinks and thinks and thinks with out finding answers... an actual perfectionist is one who wants to be perfect all of the time. A perfectionists does not have a problem of not finding answers to a problem.... quite the contrary, a perfectionists finds the answers to a problem but goes a step further. Being a perfectionist is really not a bad thing to be (well in some cases yes)... lets take nature for example.... our bodies are some what perfect. our hands serve our purpose. we eat to refuel... our skin heals..etc. When something in our surroundings does not function well with our bodies, nature tries to fix to make it perfect again. nature is actually in pursuit of perfection. in conclusion, perfectionism does not play a role here. Though i do believe that some naturally born perfectionists suffer from SA.

Also, this seeking of answers does not have anything to do with finding it interesting.... cus to find something interesting is to find something admirable and not finding an answer to a problem is not admirable.

I will go ahead and say that i may be different than your average joe (maybe a true perfectionist) because i actually do not believe that SA is that hard to figure out for each individual. Though it seems to be that you have found your answer.
 

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I havent found my answer fully. Isnt trying to find answers to everything a type of perfectionism? I realize and have posted that sufferers are very intelligent and curious, (as are a lot of alcoholics and drug addicts) The inability to find reason in oneself is something that bothers us. Running away either mentally of chemically seems to be a common thread here. Ideally perfectionism is a good thing, but not when you knock yourself down continuously for failing to reach your idea of it. Do you use it to motivate or use it as a unrealistic goal that creates hatred and self loathing for not attaining it. Its all about perception. I would think most people on here are the latter. In my experience, the quicker you get on top of things, the less complicated the mental web you've created. It becomes a stronger habit and has complex side issues the longer you live it. :)
 

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Isnt trying to find answers to everything a type of perfectionism?
it is something that perfectionists do but that is not the definition of a perfectionist.... if it is, then that would mean that everyone is perfect. a perfectionist is not trying to find answers... a perfectionists wants things to have no errors. lets take a perfectionist architect in consideration. the point of an architect is to draw on paper the floor plans and make a small model of the actual building for visual reference. that is the main goal... a perfectionist will ignore the main goal but would want everything to be perfect. by that i mean things like the lines of the floor plan have to be really straight. or the house model has to be professionally made. if the floor plan drawings have a line that looks slightly fat in the middle (believe me this can be achieved even with a .5 mechanical pencil) or if the house model has a little micro smudge on one wall... it would bother a perfectionists. "trying to find answers to everything" does not bother a perfectionists.

I realize and have posted that sufferers are very intelligent and curious, (as are a lot of alcoholics and drug addicts) The inability to find reason in oneself is something that bothers us. Running away either mentally of chemically seems to be a common thread here. Ideally perfectionism is a good thing, but not when you knock yourself down continuously for failing to reach your idea of it. Do you use it to motivate or use it as a unrealistic goal that creates hatred and self loathing for not attaining it. Its all about perception. I would think most people on here are the latter. In my experience, the quicker you get on top of things, the less complicated the mental web you've created. It becomes a stronger habit and has complex side issues the longer you live it.
i think you fail to see the true definition of a perfectionist. the true definition of a perfectionist is not what you believe, no biggie...i just took it to heart cus i believe i am a true perfectionist... i came to realize this when i entered the work force. perfection in the work force is thrown out the window in place of getting it out the door ASAP.... they call it "quantity over quality". this made me feel "different" cus i could no longer be perfect but had to be fast and sloppy. i worked for one of the top 5 companies in my city... i just thought to myself, "how can this be one of the top 5 companies when their work is sloppy?"

though i do understand your point (not necessarily agree with it)... and that is what really matters here. if you are able to find inner peace by not letting social situations bother you, then more power to you. that is actually the cure to SA. by voicing your results will help others if it is helping you. it won't help me though cus SA affects people differently. my SA is caused due to being in long term isolation. which means all i need to do is come out of isolation. actually doing it is another story.

good luck though...
 

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Great comments guys, thx Cheeky :), zocr4t3z thx for that (I like different ideas, I can learn too) In relation to perfectionism, it really depends in my opinion to what you apply it to. I think think we can strive for it in one area and not in another. Very close to perfectionism in some things such as maths, draftwork etc is nowhere near as hard as trying to be "socialy perfect" , to say what we think is funny, smart at the appropriate times. We continually censor ouselves, choke up and analyse every social incident because we seem to have applied ridiculously high standards to our encounters with other people. Being under scrutiny :eg job interview, makes us even more aware of this. I dont propose I'm right, but I'm somewhere close to the mark in my case. Kon, I have no statistical data mate, its just from my observations, but I have known quite a few people in those mentioned brackets and they have all seemed to be very open thinkers, multi talented and able to pick things up very quickly. :)
 

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In relation to perfectionism, it really depends in my opinion to what you apply it to. I think think we can strive for it in one area and not in another. Very close to perfectionism in some things such as maths, draftwork etc is nowhere near as hard as trying to be "socialy perfect" , to say what we think is funny, smart at the appropriate times. We continually censor ourselves, choke up and analyze every social incident because we seem to have applied ridiculously high standards to our encounters with other people. Being under scrutiny :eg job interview, makes us even more aware of this. I dont propose I'm right, but I'm somewhere close to the mark in my case.
well i believe that everyone wants to do their best at what they love to do e.g. writers strive to write well, painters want to paint that master piece, cooks what to make the best meal. etc. i think this is what you are talking about and believe is perfectionism. i'm not saying that you are wrong in your whole thinking. i'm just saying that you took a wrong turn in your seeking for answers. the following further supports my statement about "took a wrong turn" - you believe that seeking answers to our SA means trying to be "socially perfect.".... when one is not actually trying to be perfect but looking for how to socialize with out feeling awkward/different/weird/..etc. we seek answers (i.e. the cure) for things like why i get red faced in social settings, why does my voice comes out faint when attempting to talk in social settings.. etc.... at least that's why i like to do... to analyze almost everything that ills me.

what i believe you are trying to say is that one should not just dwell in this continuous cycle of seeking and forget about the rest of our lives. like our health, our relationships with the few that one may have, and the few things that makes us happy. as a matter of fact, that could be the cure for some people... to just stop seeking for answers and accept it. one way of going about doing that is i could take up a religion and become a priest. or i could chose to run away from everything and become a homeless. or become a monk. or to live single and alone the rest of life. i will choose to ignore my situation but will chose not to live a traditional life.

the point that i would take from your thread for myself is that i need to take breaks. i can't just focus on fixing this SA all of the time 24/7. but i don't see the key in your hypothesis.
 
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