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Re: ****SOCIAL ANXIETY****symptoms, diagnose, advice?? becksA

Posted by JonW on August 7, 2003, at 22:34:05

In reply to ****SOCIAL ANXIETY****symptoms, diagnose, advice??, posted by becksA on August 5, 2003, at 23:09:09

> Hey, this is my first post, bear with me. All in all I am somewhat happy but when it comes to interaction with people i tend to freak out. Today I worked at a volunteer project and had to sign people in as they walked into the project I was working at. I constantly went over in my head exactly what I was going to say to these people about signing in when they would walk in, etc...Also when I have one on one conversations with people I find it hard to look into their eyes, find it difficult to freely smile, feel that they dont want to talk to me, think lowly of me, etc etc etc. Any bit of anger or "making fun" towards me even for a quick second deeply affects me for a long time after words..
>
> Sound familiar to anybody? Advice or stories please post..Thanks

I have severe social anxiety disorder and depression... dropped out of high school because of it and left my last job because of it. I can definitely empathize with what you describe, and it sounds like you have it pretty bad yourself.

Anyway, don't rule out Cognitive Behavioral Therapy -- studies show it at least as effective as Nardil with far fewer side-effects. If you are more oriented toward treating your problems with meds, Nardil or the SSRIs are the best. Perhaps with the exception of Nardil, though, most meds for social anxiety can be rather disappointing. If your symptoms aren't very severe, an SSRI might be all you need. However, if the problem isn't too severe, it's hard to justify the side-effects. Personally, they rob me of my emotions, my memory, and any chance at a decent sex life.

I would encourage anyone to try CBT before medication for Social Anxiety Disorder if they are capable. It's very important where you get treatment. If at all possible, the AACT at Temple University in Philly is the best place in the country. CBT and medication are not necessarily at odds with each other, and are synergistic for many individuals with social anxiety disorder. Meds work fast, but the gains usually don't last when you stop them. CBT is slower, but the gains last. Combining them can be the best of both worlds. However, relying on meds can possibly prevent someone from fully commiting themselves to a CBT program. This would be counterproductive if the intention is to ultimately live medication free.

There is nothing wrong with taking medication indefinitely if that is what you decide to do. We all have different chemical makeups that are more or less limiting than others. Medication may be essential for some people, but don't underestimate the impact you can have on yourself and your life. Brain chemistry may be largely responsible for your problems, but that doesn't mean drugs are the only solution. However, they may be the best solution for some people. But then again, they may not.

Sorry, didn't mean to be so long-winded and preachy... :)

Jon


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poster:JonW thread:248454
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20030807/msgs/249165.html