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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a Doctor's appointment for tomorrow, and I intend to tell him about my SA. I've been suffering from depression recently (or rather for the last two years on and off), and I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago to him about that and how my SA was causing it. However I couldn't open up about it and ended up just saying "oh yeah I've just been having trouble sleeping", but in truth it's much worse than that.

I want to tell the doctor that I've had SA basically as long as I can remember, but that I've reached the end of my tether with it. Only problem is, my normal plan of action when talking to anyone, especially a doctor, is to turn bright red and stumble my words and just try and get out of there. :afr

Has anyone been to a doctor about their SA, and if so what did you say? I need to try and plan what I'm going to say and rehearse it, so that I can calmly relate my story to them. I can't sleep tonight because I need to try and lay down the battle plan.
 

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being honest with people about SA is hard but it's very important. you might end up crying but that helps, so don't fight it. out of all the people you could tell, the doctor is probably the best one.
 

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It's OK to be vulnerable and talk about your issues like anxiety and sadness. I have trouble sometimes expressing these thoughts sometimes because I have automatic thoughts that say that having these problems is unusual or strange. Actually, these are normal feelings to have and normal thoughts to have. So it's OK to talk about them with people you trust, like your doctor. In fact, it's better than OK because the doctor may be able to help you get better.

I talked to a psychiatrist and the usual questions are "How are you, or what's been going on?" These are general questions to get the ball rolling. I talk about physical sensations, things that happened recently, emotions, and behavioral changes. It helps me to write down what I want to say on a note card or piece of paper. If I forget what I wanted to say, I pull out that paper and go through the list of stuff to tell the doctor. You can also bring whatever questions you may have as well.
 

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If you're very nervous that you won't be able to mention it, you could print out a sheet about SA, highlight the parts that apply to you (or not), and hand it to your doctor with a, "I want to talk to you about this." That'll at least open up the conversation, and it would put your doctor in the position to then ask questions, instead of leaving it to you to come in with a ready explanation that you're afraid you won't be able to get out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should be asleep lol, (its 5am here) and my appointments in like 4 hours. Rather than sleeping I've been running through it all in my head.

One thing that may help is if I say to the doctor "look, you can see how red and nervous I am, this is how I get whenever I talk to people and this is why I need help."

You see normally when speaking to people, I'm so concerned about being red and shaking that I can't think of what to say. I also am aware that the person I'm talking to is aware that I'm nervous, and that the person I'm talking to is probably thinking I'm weird and the nervousness is kind of the 'elephant in the room' in the conversation. But if I come out straight away to the doctor and say "look, this is how I get with people" and furthermore use it as direct evidence of my condition, then it might make the conversation flow a little easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I went to the doctor this morning (much to the annoyance of my mom I've been in bed all afternoon because I couldn't sleep last night; my sleeping patterns are all messed up, I think I'm operating on Eastern time rather than GMT+1 lol).

Unfortunately it didn't go as well as might have been expected.

I've never seen this particular doctor before. He was a nice, friendly, young Asian guy, who had a grave, sympathetic face which put me at ease a bit. I managed to tell him how I'm uncomfortable in public places, and how I tremble and panic when talking to people etc. He then went on to ask if I was bullied.

However, all he has done is refer me to councillor/therapist; whose sessions won't be able to begin for about two months. This isn't practical, because I'm supposed to be going back to University in less than that. He just said, you've got low self esteem. Which is very true, but I don't think he quite understood that it's ruined my life.

Also, I'm really struggling at University because of my SA (I'm uncomfortable sitting in lecture theatres for instance), which has resulted in many failed exams, my life's in tatters in many respects. I would have liked to have asked the doctor for a medical note, so I can explain my situation to the University and get help there, but I was too nervous to ask him for one.

I'm quite upset now, because by going to the doctor, I was seeking the most direct course to change my life for the better. I can't get any more proactive in trying to get rid of my SA than what I did today. But even that was fruitless. So now I feel somewhat dejected. :rain
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've decided the best plan may now be to finally tell my parents about this, or at least my mom.

I think my problem is, that because I keep all problems to myself, whenever I encounter difficulty as I did earlier at the doctors, I end up feeling completely desolated. If I tell my parents, maybe I can offload some of the worry, and they can also help think of solutions. I shall call it 'organic parallel processing' rather than 'speaking' lol.

I need to go away and formulate what I'm going to say to her. Before I tell her I think I'll post my planned dialogue on here, for constructive criticism and debugging.
 

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Same here when it comes to talking about non-physical problems with doctors. Anxiety has been really affecting my education and at some points I've had to get a doctors note for missing work/classes..but I've always just said it's sleeping problems. I missed so much work this year that I was worried I was gonna get kicked out so I signed up with the uni's counselling service. Maybe your uni has one? I figured at least then if I had to appeal to stay there I'd have someone to back me up. They offer it over skype and it got started about a week or two after I signed up which wasn't bad.
I'm not at a stage where I'm ready to tell anyone, other than my counselor, about my problems so can't offer much advice there other than coming up with a way to explain it that you're comfortable with. I would suggest looking in to the support your uni can offer you though. It's made me feel a lot better about my problems there knowing there's someone within it who can support me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
^Yes I felt guilty when talking to the doctor, because my problem is that I am just shy. Extremely shy perhaps. But still at its heart it's shyness. It's not exactly Yellow Fever. In truth this is one of the reasons why I am always reluctant to ask for the help I desire.

Yes, my University does have a counselling department. But I already went to it last year. I attended one session then got too embarrassed to go back; therefore it makes it awkward to contact them again. :eek:

It will be such a shame if I get kicked out of University for failing my resits next week. I study Physics and I'm very interested in it. I got all A's at A-level, and I thought the success could continue at University. If I get kicked out, I will be getting kicked out without the University ever having properly know about how I've been struggling.

I could live with myself if I failed University because of not being clever enough, but that's not the case and I will always have to live knowing the truth. I won't be able to live that way. Then I will be truly alone.
 

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I know it's terrible to think what you could have achieved if there was nothing holding you back =/
Maybe you could give the counselling another go? If you felt able to be really honest and open you could go back there and try and explain why you went to the one session before and why you didn't go back. It might put you at more ease then to continue talking about those feelings and not feeling so embarrassed about not sticking with it last time. If not you could try and find another service and see if there are any you can do online.
You shouldn't feel guilty seeking help though. Maybe instead of saying you're shy (which makes it seem less serious) instead say you can relate to some of the symptoms of social anxiety and its having a negative impact on your studies and life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just need to pluck up the courage and directly tell the University, that is to say go straight to the professors. And I need to do it quickly. It's all been playing on my mind a lot recently, and I'm not getting proper sleep because of it. Hence why I'm still awake at 3.50am.
 

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If you're going to tell the university then also look up their disability services and send an email. They cover all sorts of conditions including anxiety. You will be able to have such difficulties taken into account during exam time and they can liaise with professors in future if you wish.

Next time you describe your problems it's best to be very straightforward and use the term social anxiety disorder. It's no good being vague, as you've learnt. You could even fill out the LSAS questionnaire to show them what you score. If you tell people in writing, use bullet points to list how your symptoms are affecting you.

If you need immediate help with resits and don't have enough time to get them to take your difficulties into account, send me a message about any practise questions you're stuck on (concentrate your revision on past papers).
 

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Hey I had a doctors appointment today and it was the first person ive talked about face to face my social anxiety. I wrote a letter and gave it to him pretty much straight away after that I got really nervous and had a little cry so he knew I had a real problem. I'd really reccomend the note idea I just wrote down all my symptoms thought processes anxiety provoking situations and he recomended I give the same letter to the psychologist I'm going to see next week as he said 'it really gives the scope of what we're dealing with' so yeah highly recomend writing a letter as it will force you to open up if you don't feel like it.
 

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However, all he has done is refer me to councillor/therapist; whose sessions won't be able to begin for about two months. This isn't practical, because I'm supposed to be going back to University in less than that. He just said, you've got low self esteem. Which is very true, but I don't think he quite understood that it's ruined my life.
Thats EXACTLY what happened when i went to the doctor last week. I have low self esteem and about two months to wait to see the councillor.. I dont think he understood how bad it really is either. :/ 2 months feels like a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Next time you describe your problems it's best to be very straightforward and use the term social anxiety disorder. It's no good being vague, as you've learnt. You could even fill out the LSAS questionnaire to show them what you score. If you tell people in writing, use bullet points to list how your symptoms are affecting you.
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Yes, I am considering trying to tell my parents and professors in writing. Well, turn up in person to see them, but then just hand them a piece of paper.

Does anybody know of a good website which features a decent description of what SA is, so that I could print it off and give it to them? I think giving them a written description may be better because I found myself being deliberately vague and downplaying everything when telling the doctor about it, i.e. not telling him quite how it's affected my life.
 

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One thing not to do is bring up any technical terms with them. They hate that. If you can't get out the door for fear then just say that.

I went in once and said I think I have a semi systolic click followed by a murmer at the apex and the doctor was like **** you I'll tell you if you've got that, don't tell me what you've got, I'll tell you.

And of course he was correct, that's not what I had at all and the Echocardiogram showed he was right.
 

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Yes, I am considering trying to tell my parents and professors in writing. Well, turn up in person to see them, but then just hand them a piece of paper.

Does anybody know of a good website which features a decent description of what SA is, so that I could print it off and give it to them? I think giving them a written description may be better because I found myself being deliberately vague and downplaying everything when telling the doctor about it, i.e. not telling him quite how it's affected my life.
I agree. It's really hard to describe how the SA makes you feel because it's so personal. I'm going to see my doctor for a check up in about a week and I plan to ask him if he could refer me to anyone.
A good site for a description of SA is : http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/social-anxiety-disorder/DS00595

PS:
Nice avatar! :D
Turretcube FTW!
 

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Does anybody know of a good website which features a decent description of what SA is, so that I could print it off and give it to them? I think giving them a written description may be better because I found myself being deliberately vague and downplaying everything when telling the doctor about it, i.e. not telling him quite how it's affected my life.
There are a couple of short, simple ones I found around but I don't necessarily agree with all they have to say. You decide. You could just paste the parts you want. Wikipedia might also help. I've told docs outright I suspected a couple of conditions and they had no problem with it. They just referred me on.

http://www.*******************/what_is_social_anxiety.shtml
http://www.social-anxiety.org.uk/

You can also point out or highlight the parts that apply to you.

Other links were very US centric, saying America this, Americans that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
^ Thanks for the links. I wish there was some mention of it on the NHS website, to make it feel a little more official. Wikipedia does indeed seem helpful. Unfortunately, as you say, some of the more definitive sites are very U.S. orientated.
 
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