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Re: Social Phobia --more thoughts

Posted by noa on July 14, 2000, at 12:49:32

In reply to Re: Social Phobia and Internet Survey, posted by noa on July 14, 2000, at 7:17:35

As I was standing in the deli waiting for my sandwich today, I made some observations. The deli was very crowded today, very busy. I noticed that I had positioned myself in a spot, partially "protected" by a shelf. And, I was anxious, and my hands were fidgety. I became aware of how anxious I was, and started thinking about the question of social phobia.

Because depression has always been my main concern, I have not focused as much on the social phobia perse. I guess in the first years of therapy, my social anxiety was a big focus, but since I am a lot less shy than I used to be, I don't focus on it as much.

I started wondering if this deli environment makes everyone anxious, or was mine more so than what the average person experiences. Then I reminded myself of how I know myself to hate crowds, and how I have avoided crowded situations for a long time. I used to worry more about my reaction to crowds, but once I started giving myself permission to avoid them, I guess I started thinking of it less as an anxiety/phobia issue, and more as one of preference. In other words, I came to respect my preference to not be in crowded situations.

So the situation in the deli today made me think of a few things. One, that I have achieved significant progress in self acceptance in terms of what makes me comfortable and uncomfortable, in respecting my own likes and dislikes and needs. Another, though, is that I probably am more anxious than the average person in some public situations like being in a busy restaurant or store, or waiting in line, but that I have learned how to deal with it sufficiently that I don't tend to think of myself as having a problem with it.

Except when it gets crowded. Then I am uncomfortable. I tend to avoid lots of public events because of this.

I guess it leaves me with the question of what is included in the definition of social phobia.




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