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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All the years I've known I have SA, I thought I understood myself and why I had it, but today I was thinking about it and have no idea why I feel the way I do. Everytime I'm at a store and I get anxious all I think is "it's all in your head, just relax", but why do I think this way? Why am I so aware of the people around me? Am I paranoid?

I thought I knew so much about it and I'm completely oblivious it...

I should understand it to deal with it, right?
 

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Yes, you have to take the effort to understanding why you feel the way you do if you are ever going to change. You have to figure out why other people's opinions matter so much.
 

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Understanding why you have SA is only half the battle, if that. You need to learn methods of coping too.

starblob said:
In order to impact on our SP/SA we need to constantly expose ourselves and confront our fears on a daily basis.
This might work for some people but I worked the same job for almost 10 years and every single day, I experienced the same level of anxiety.
 

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If you never experienced anxiety, would you be you?

Of course you would. But you would be different right?

Yup. You would be MORE yourself. Why?

Because anxiety is not who you are, it's something that you experience, something that appears to your mind.

To understand it further, ask yourself this question:

Where does anxiety come from, where is it being experienced?

It arises and is experienced in your mind. So, if it's 'all in our head', then why can t we just relax?

We cannot relax because we are so familiar with this state of mind, there is something incorrect about our thinking for us to experience this much anxiety over such ordinary everyday situations.

So how do we change our thinking/beliefs, make them more realistic?

We can accept how we currently see things and be patient with our present anxiety. But we have to identify the main conceptions that are core in the arising of our anxiety.

I'll mention one: The main one being 'what other people think about me' - our mind currently projects an imaginary mode of how these people are thinking about us. It's really subtle and quite well hidden and from within our mind our thoughts and actions are guided by it. So when you are at the store, this conception is fully active in your mind, like a fire, anxiety results. The mere appearance of other people will activate it, even if you just imagine them but it wont be as intense.

We change this conception, thereby lessening the anxiety in our mind, by seeing what is true of what others think and the nature of their thoughts. I have mentioned this in many posts but briefly here, what other people think is contaminated, people's minds are pretty much out of control, filled with such negativity, depression, anxiety etc. They never really see us or have a correct view of us because their minds are equally confused. Examine this carefully, what else is there to do but suffer further anxiety?

Aron
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: re: Understanding is key, right?

starblob said:
I started this behaviour around the age of 13, so i have had 15 years of repeating, reinforcing, building and strengthening certain patterns of behaviour in the neural pathways in my brain. It's hard wired. I don't know what anyone else thinks about what is happening to them, but i learned to behave the way i did when i was a kid to cope and protect myself. As far as my brain is concerned i behave this way because it is necessary to my survival. I may know that this is not true or necessary to behave like this anymore on a rational level, but as far as the deeper part of myself is concerned it is necessary. 'Charlie's' still out there as far as my brain is concerned.
Something that i got from therapy is that a few good days or experiences are really not going to amount to much. In order to impact on our SP/SA we need to constantly expose ourselves and confront our fears on a daily basis. I used to get frustrated that one good and brave day didn't 'cure' me. I used to get angry that, that one or few of those good experiences didn't make a difference and i would repeat my old ways soon after. We are working against years of learned behaviour here. It is going to take a while and we need to be persistent.
So you believe that if I go out and confront my fears on a daily basis eventually my anxiety will lessen?

Aron James said:
If you never experienced anxiety, would you be you?

Of course you would. But you would be different right?

Yup. You would be MORE yourself. Why?

Because anxiety is not who you are, it's something that you experience, something that appears to your mind.

To understand it further, ask yourself this question:

Where does anxiety come from, where is it being experienced?

It arises and is experienced in your mind. So, if it's 'all in our head', then why can t we just relax?

We cannot relax because we are so familiar with this state of mind, there is something incorrect about our thinking for us to experience this much anxiety over such ordinary everyday situations.

So how do we change our thinking/beliefs, make them more realistic?

We can accept how we currently see things and be patient with our present anxiety. But we have to identify the main conceptions that are core in the arising of our anxiety.

I'll mention one: The main one being 'what other people think about me' - our mind currently projects an imaginary mode of how these people are thinking about us. It's really subtle and quite well hidden and from within our mind our thoughts and actions are guided by it. So when you are at the store, this conception is fully active in your mind, like a fire, anxiety results. The mere appearance of other people will activate it, even if you just imagine them but it wont be as intense.

We change this conception, thereby lessening the anxiety in our mind, by seeing what is true of what others think and the nature of their thoughts. I have mentioned this in many posts but briefly here, what other people think is contaminated, people's minds are pretty much out of control, filled with such negativity, depression, anxiety etc. They never really see us or have a correct view of us because their minds are equally confused. Examine this carefully, what else is there to do but suffer further anxiety?

Aron
I'm sorry, I don't quite understand your point. :stu
 

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Re: re: Understanding is key, right?

leppardess said:
Understanding why you have SA is only half the battle, if that. You need to learn methods of coping too.

starblob said:
In order to impact on our SP/SA we need to constantly expose ourselves and confront our fears on a daily basis.
This might work for some people but I worked the same job for almost 10 years and every single day, I experienced the same level of anxiety.
Hi Leppardess

As you are my favourite mod (sorry other mod people) I have broken my promise to myself to only post in the positive boards. ;)

Exposure is a structured thing. Beforehand you write down what you expect to hapen in the situation that will be bad. You identify behaviours that you always do 'to keep you safe' (but which act to reinforce your SA) and you decide to not do them. Then you go into the situation, and try very hard to look only for evidence that goes AGAINST your original prediction. You stay away from those safe behaviours and instead see what happens when you just let stuff 'happen'. You stop your inner focus drifting onto your sensations of anxiety and instead force it outwards onto others and your surroundings. Whilst it sounds simple, it is in fact the polar opposite of what happens during an SA experience.

If you go to work for 10 years and always go with the same fears and behaviours, you cannot get the message deeply through to your brain that the situation is not scary or that you can behave differently and be ok. Your mind looks for evidence to confirm your fear. That is why 'just do it' is a simplification of what real exposure is. This works for phobias such as heights etc, but SA is one stage more complex, so you are right - just putting yourself in the situation is not enough - in fact, it can reinforce your SA. It must be done in the right way to be effective.

If you like, PM me and I would very much like to talk some more with you about it.

Ross
 

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Hoppipolla said:
All the years I've known I have SA, I thought I understood myself and why I had it, but today I was thinking about it and have no idea why I feel the way I do. Everytime I'm at a store and I get anxious all I think is "it's all in your head, just relax", but why do I think this way? Why am I so aware of the people around me? Am I paranoid?

I thought I knew so much about it and I'm completely oblivious it...

I should understand it to deal with it, right?
Yes, I thoroughly believe so.
I believe Dr. Phil says that you have to recognise the problem to be able to solve it.
Recognising the problem is the *****, though. The anxiety is in my experience just a symptom of my underlying problems.
B.
 

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beasty said:
Yes, I thoroughly believe so.
I believe Dr. Phil says that you have to recognise the problem to be able to solve it.
Recognising the problem is the b!tc#, though. The anxiety is in my experience just a symptom of my underlying problems.
B.
:agree

How can you solve a problem if you don't acknowledge it first? The next step would be to get some help - tell your doctor, and see if you can get a referral to a therapist and do some CBT exercises.
Good luck!
 

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WEL, BEING THAT PART OF THE PROBLEM HERE IS that we think TOO much, it is probably actually better to not get too caught up in what label you need to give yourself, like an anxiety disorder or what you need to know about how you got it...alkl you need to know is that you need to be aware that you have it, what sets it off, what helps it, etc....but like I said the nature of the disorder is just that we think too damn much....so doing that even more and researching and obsessing all the time about your condition will only make things worse. trust me i have been there!!
 

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Please read I think this is what of m better posts

to just go off of that, I think that it is actually not that important that we understand SA. I have been trying to analyze every single aspect of it for like the past 3 years and that got me absoloutely nowhere. I pretty much have a library of self help books stacked up in a drawer haha...that is not to say that they havent helped me at all, because they have, they have provided me with some good insight and helped me understand what I should go/given me some tips on how to try and control my anxiety levels. I really think that to deal with this problem we just have to keep in mind that it is our own selves that matters in all situations, we need to always do what makes us comfortable and what is the best option for us.

So we can rack our brains forever and research the hell out of psychological disorders and analyze it to death until we feel we have it down to a T...whcih we probably never will....because look how much we still dont know about diseases and science etc....if the scientific geniuses out there cant figure everything out, its unlikely that we will.

Also, the more I learn in life, the more I realize that life is really full of a lot of gray areas. Nothing is ever black and white. Man might make it or try to make it black and white, but by nature everything is pretty gray.

It seems like things like behaviors, sexuality, and personalities are all kind of on a spectrum. iN FACT, I read that the five characteristics that are used to measure personality disorders are nueroticism, conscientiousness, extroversion, openness, and aggreeableness. The way they determine if you have a personality disorder is if you have an extreme high percentage of one of them and low of another (dont remember which ones). Im sure there is more to it but that is the basics. Anyways, this shows you that its just all about keeping yourself in check if you are susceptible to acting or behavior too much or too little of one way (like too high nueroticism and too low of extraversion). Well hopefully I made some sense here. Let me know what you think of this....criticism included!(i can take it!)
 

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Understanding doesn't only have to be gathered by ourselves, we don't have to do this alone, there is good help out there if you seek it.
The assistance of a trained objective professional, ie psychologist completes the ingredients I've personally required to change and get better. And since it's a social anxiety, the more people involved in the healing process the better is has been for me.
All the self help books in the world are not enough but many have motivated me and provided some insights that have been helpful. Greater understanding has come from accepting my feelings and fears totally and not running from them to slip into analysis paralysis!
 

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I know exactly why I do what I do, what I should be doing and why it would benefit me. However, this has had no effect on my behavior. It's almost as if I act on instinct, apart from reason. Although I don't think it would ever be wrong to learn why you have certain behaviors, it won't necessarily fix the problem.
 

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For many people with SA, there is nothing to understand. There does not have to be any root cause beyond genetic predisposition. Many of us have been this way since our earliest memories. Our behaviors are ruled by anxiety. Focusing on methods of alleviating anxiety are most important in my opinion.
 

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Hoppipolla

Apologies for the late reply.

The only thing we should understand is that we have choice.

We experience anxiety that causes us frequent problems because we have no control over our mind.

What also should be understood is that we can gain power over our mind through training it.

Anxiety varies in strength proving it is not permanent, it can be controlled if we learn to train our mind. Currently, we cannot live in a world without anxiety because our mind is accustomed to becoming anxious.

The only reasonable and smart choice is therefore to understand that we must learn to control our mind. Else, inevitably, anxiety will continue to dominate our world.

We are not anxiety. Anxiety belongs to our mind, part of our mind. Our mind is a tool. Currently our mind is out of control and anxiety destroys our peace. Yet our mind can create such peace once we learn to view things differently, change our attitudes.

We are not taught this in school. Our parents were never taught this. This is something we must learn ourself. We come into the world confused, grow up more or less confused about things and then wonder what we are doing. All our problems arise because we have no inner control, the best understanding therefore is to understand we can gain control by training our mind.

What freedom, what choice, what peace, no anxiety, being our self all because we understood that we are actually out of control all the time.

Aron
 
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