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  • #14764

    zombie
    Participant

    Hello my name is Andrew. Before i ask anything let me say few words about my condition. I suffer from social anxiety which makes my life very difficult. I don’t have a job and I avoid social situations of any kind. I try to improve the quality of my life by using relaxations, affirmations, cognitive – behavioral therapy created by Dr.Thomas A. Richards. All techniques i use give results but my main problem is blushing. Fear of blushing stops me from going out but if i have to i am under so much pressure that i cannot think clearly. I am looking for a job but I haven’t been successful because of blushing. I decided to get help and my question is: can my GP prescribe any pills for social anxiety? He will probably refer me to a psychiatrist but it may take few weeks before I get an appointment and i am so tired i cannot wait. Another option is to go to privately to a psychiatrist but it’s 80 euro + pills (medical card not accepted). If somebody could give some advice, because i am not Irish and i don’t know how it works here in Ireland. Thanx

  • #14765

    zombie
    Participant

    anybody????

  • #14766

    Pete
    Participant

    Hi Andrew.

    Good to meet you. :) I’m Pete one of the forum moderators.

    Sorry to hear things are a bit tough at the moment. First off. well done for making the moves forward these are usually the hardest ones. Going for interviews are difficult at the best of time, so more power too you for taking this on with your SA.

    In relation to you request.. as I’m not a professional myself, I can only offer the advice I may have in my limited knowledge.

    I think what you are seeking is a temporary solution. No doubt there are pills available to make your anxiety less prominent, however if you get a job, would see a possible dependency on the pills to make it though each working day? There is no known medical cure or magic pill (as yet) to solve Social Anxiety all they offer is a temporary solution to either mask the thoughts that guide SA or mask the physical/emotional effects of SA.

    Have you been professional diagnosed with Social Anxiety ? Are you based in Dublin ? Have you registered for the Mater Group as yet?

    Having gone though the Mater Group myself and unlike any of the books or self help tapes… There is nothing like real life experience to make and lasting impact.. The support and interactions you get to engage in as part of the group provided unforeseen results which really help deal with personal interactions. I would have blushed/perspired allot in these situations but I have notice a massive change in my though patterns, thankfully I don’t blush half as much as I used before taking part in the group.

    ‘Overcoming Social Anxiety & Shyness’ by Gillian Butler (Robinson Publishers) This book is an excellent support also as provides a tangible approach to dealing with SA. There are excellent techniques and solutions to making it though the day, it also provides as close to near fit of the Social Anxiety Person. What we go though and how we can see things for what they really and solutions to dealing with them at a levels that suits the reader.

    There are others which we’ll be putting online in the next few days.. I’ll post the links here soon as they go up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTWm83dCr7w Here a little video .. truth in this.. Exposure is key.

    There is a key statement that has stayed with me since leaving the group is ” You Become Your Behaviors”
    So basically the more you avoid doing something due to SA the more confidence your give the beliefs that the particular situation is a threat.. When in most cases I’ve experienced the though of the situation is actually more of a threat than the situation itself.(if that makes sense).

    What is the worse that could happen if you blush at an interview..? Or is it the fear of blushing that is worse.

    Have you looked at diet or lifestyle changes to try reduce the anxiety down to normal levels?

    Also possibly try one of these free services, I’m sure they can offer further information. http://www.aware.ie/ or http://grow.ie/
    Finally http://www.hse.ie provide a map to search for services in your local area.

    Let me know you thoughts on this Andrew. As happy to help where I can.
    All the best for now.
    PeteWink

  • #14767

    Noel
    Participant

    I agree totally with Pete i have attended the Matter Group also and that in itself was one of the biggest game changers for me. After a few sessions i was even looking forward to the days when i went to the group! Smile Just wish their was something in Galway cos i really want to meet more people with anxiety now as they were all so nice and understanding in the group. Its gentle exposure also as everyone is their for the same reason.

    I have tryed everything for blushing, it used to be worse when i stayed inside alot of the time i became very pale skinned so it was more prominent when i blushed. It seemed to be the top of the mountain when i was in public and blushed then the avalanche started . ..oh god im blushing . . . do they notice. . they have to notice …im sweating … i cant breath . .GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!Embarassed

    I wish i could be like i am with my family as they never really make me blush and if they do they know all the story so it just clicks in my head its ok and it goes away.

  • #14768

    zombie
    Participant

    Thank you guys for your advice:) I will look into the option of group therapy. I live in Dublin north so it wouldn’t be that far to get there but everything depends on finding work. Blushing during an interview sends mixed and confusing signals. People interpret it as lying or lack of self esteem which in both cases disqualifies my in my opinion ( i haven’t been successful so that may be the case). During an interview everything is boiling inside me i can’t talk or I mix words which looks very bad. I am never relaxed but it’s better than it used to be before I started CBT at home so i know it works. I know there is no perfect pill to make my phobia disappear but I want to get something to decrease this adrenaline rush in stressful situations like some beta blocker for example. I heard that propranolol may help. I am going to continue the therapy either it’s in a group or at home because i know this is the only way to overcome the phobia permanently. I have an appointment on Monday with my GP and i will ask him to give me something if he can’t do it i will ask him to refer me to a psychiatrist. Btw i was diagnosed with social anxiety few years ago in Poland but back then i didn’t do any group therapy because i come from a small town where there was no group. Since then I’ve been using relaxation and affirmations to change my negative approach to life. It helped to some extent but blushing makes the progress very very slow and painful that’s why i think i need some additional help. Propranolol is a medicine targeting high blood pressure which I also have due to constant mental tension, it works by reducing adrenaline release so it may also reduce the symptoms including blushing.
    Thank you guys once again and have a good weekend:)
    Andrew

  • #14769

    Noel
    Participant

    I’ve just sent an application for the group therapy but waiting list is very long and even if they accept me it will take something like 12 months before it starts. This is another reason to do something about it right now because i can’t live like this for another year…
    BTW my Liebowitz test result is 104…:((

    Good on ya Andrew taking the big step you will enjoy and learn so much from it!

  • #14770

    Pete
    Participant

    Hi Guys
    Just on another possible option.
    I’ve just completed an assessment for http://www.biobalance.ie its a nutrient and mineral based treatment for psychological issues.
    I’m still working on the group work however I’m aware that having SA depletes my body of vital mineral nutrients and vitamins.

    This has to have an impact physically and mentally. Also as the study for genetic / hereditary markers for SA are still unsure.
    Maybe there is something in there being a chemical imbalance being a factor in SA.

    The studies are still ongoing but some results have shown serious results in cases. If the testimonials are anything to go by…

    http://www.biobalance.ie
    http://www.biobalance.org.au
    Also read: http://www.biobalance.org.au/articles/10

    Again I’m no medical expert but willing to try what makes sense to me.
    I’m happy to post progress with this treatment, however it takes about 2-3 months to being to take effect.
    There are stories of positive results soon than that though.

    Please judge for yourself and possibly it’s another option to consider while waiting for your place on the group.

    “Group is still the key to understanding SA and developing tools to get to a normal level of anxiety. By no mean would I suggest this as a replacement for the Group work.”
    They hopefully will work in tandum with each other to get to the finish line. Wink

    Any questions or comments please feel free to ping me.
    All the very best for now.
    Pete

  • #14771

    zombie
    Participant

    Yeah Pete SA and stress deprives the body of mineral nutrients and vitamins for sure. I take vitamins and minerals in tablets also try to eat veg and fruit when i can. But to be honest i want to try something stronger something that could give results faster. I tried to avoid medicine but at the moment i think i have no choice. I have to find a job and get back on my feet again. My GP gave me EFEXOR 75 and i will continue the CBT at home until i start the group therapy. I was also referred to a psychiatrist and my doctor said that they may also give me some contacts where i could go to do a group therapy faster so i will see what happens.
    Andrew:)

  • #14772

    Odhran
    Keymaster

    zombie said

    Thank you guys for your advice:) I will look into the option of group therapy. I live in Dublin north so it wouldn’t be that far to get there but everything depends on finding work. Blushing during an interview sends mixed and confusing signals. People interpret it as lying or lack of self esteem which in both cases disqualifies my in my opinion ( i haven’t been successful so that may be the case). During an interview everything is boiling inside me i can’t talk or I mix words which looks very bad. I am never relaxed but it’s better than it used to be before I started CBT at home so i know it works. I know there is no perfect pill to make my phobia disappear but I want to get something to decrease this adrenaline rush in stressful situations like some beta blocker for example. I heard that propranolol may help. I am going to continue the therapy either it’s in a group or at home because i know this is the only way to overcome the phobia permanently. I have an appointment on Monday with my GP and i will ask him to give me something if he can’t do it i will ask him to refer me to a psychiatrist. Btw i was diagnosed with social anxiety few years ago in Poland but back then i didn’t do any group therapy because i come from a small town where there was no group. Since then I’ve been using relaxation and affirmations to change my negative approach to life. It helped to some extent but blushing makes the progress very very slow and painful that’s why i think i need some additional help. Propranolol is a medicine targeting high blood pressure which I also have due to constant mental tension, it works by reducing adrenaline release so it may also reduce the symptoms including blushing.
    Thank you guys once again and have a good weekend:)
    Andrew

  • #14773

    Odhran
    Keymaster

    Sorry but having some technical difficulties here!
    I have Inderal (beta blockers, also known as propranolol – (if my spelling is correct – the spell-checker suggested “lolipop”!!). Anyway jokes aside I found it invaluable. I only take them in stressful situations and for me they are magic. They stop the butterflies in your stomach, the racing heart and they calm you down so that you can think straight instead of being in a total muddle. They are non-addictive and not very expensive. You only have to wait a half-hour – ish for them to work so they are perfect, I think, for a quick fix until you find a long term solution.
    I hope you’re feeling better and hang in there, you’ve taken the first steps and the only way is up!

  • #14774

    zombie
    Participant

    Hello Nightingale:) happy to hear that you found something that helps. I spoke to my doctor about propranolol because i heard it may help to reduce blushing but he said that it may dangerously lower the blood pressure and i will be like zombie sleeping all the time. I have raised blood pressure but he decided that its caused by stress and that’s what we have to target. He didn’t actually want to give me anything because according to him the only way is the therapy, but i told him i signed up for the mater group and the waiting list is very long. I also told him that i need to find a job but it’s hard to go through an interview without blushing and shaking and he decided to give me EFEXOR. I hope it will help…
    Andrew

  • #14775

    Odhran
    Keymaster

    Hi

    I just found this site tonight and I really understand where you are coming from. To be honest, I find I am getting worse as the years go by instead of better so I really have to try and get to grips with this. I have been on inderal for years and I only take them when really necessary e.g if attending a meeting and so on. I also need to take them when meeting my close friends as I blush and shake very easily. If you met me though, you would never guess the level of anxiety that I go through on a regular basis and if I didn’t have the inderal, I could imagine becoming agrophobic as this happened to me when I was pregnant and couldn’t take any meds.

    I have been through one session of counselling but I find that counsellors and the medical profession don’t really get this condition and it’s really encouraging to see that there is a group available.

    I hope the medication works for you as it’s really tough to find a job in the current environment and it’s made far more difficult battling a red face, shaky hands and blurred concentration

    Ali

  • #14854

    albert
    Participant

    I found out in the last 3 years that I have this it took near 20 years am 38 now. What a head twist to realise people don’t think your odd but you think they think you are, which can cause you to act odd, a complete self inflicted prophecy. I found one resource and I did Gillian’s book and another workbook. But I bit torrented dr. Richards program with the ANTS automatic negative thoughts not advocating piracy but was desperate. Found it very good ,lived it, walked with it on mp3, did it before work after work. It improved my life 50%. Still need to do the visit to someone but so much more in my life I can do, always avoided promotion, avoided taking authority. Still have bad days , but they just bounce off me now. Still have few eye contact problems, but hey I’m a perfectionist, anyone with this usually is. Good journey

  • #15124

    JamseySull
    Participant

    Sorry for hi jacking this thread but I dont know how to create a new topic. Just need to vent and if anyone has any advice it’d be more than welcome 🙂

    Ive done tests (online, not with an actual counsellor/physcologist) for Social Anxiety Disorder and came up that I have a severe case. Its not a case where Im locked in my room but public inter action and public attention terrify me!

    There’s nothing more scary than the thoughts of things like being in a room full of strangers and me being the one speaking. I know people hate doing things in groups but whenever I have to do something like this I start to panic and think of ways to desperately avoid it. I have been in meetings in work and if Ive a question I wont ask it in for the fear of looking stupid, and these are just basic questions, nothing major. The thoughts of people looking at me while I speak is killing me. Ive often been in training in work and wouldnt even go to the toilet if it meant getting up in front of people and having to walk out. I just hate the eyes on me. I also blush at any ting when I feel people looking at me

    I work for a large multi national company and in the last few days I was given the job of managing a new team. Now this should be a very happy time (massive jump in wages aswell ;D) but all I can think about is having to lead meetings and new team members looking at me while I have this sort of introduction meeting. Now this is a straight forward meeting where I just want to explain a bit about me and what will happen on the team but I cant sleep the last few nights thinking about actually being in the room speaking at length with everyone looking at me.

    The stupid thing is, Im not one bit worried about doing the job itself, I know im more than capable. Its just the thoughts of all things like this are killing me at the moment. I think I could be fine once I actually get in and do these things and it will help with my issues having to do these things and deal with them but at the moment its killing me and I just feel like if I even talk to someone they’ll just dimmiss it since its so stupif owrrying about somehting like this.

    Its something I really struggled with in in the last 10 years. I dont know how I came to this, when I was younger I loved being centre of attention and used to do plays and stuff in school where I would be in front of hundreds of people narrating etc. I used to be the most confident of kids up and im the complete opposite these days.

    About 2 years ago I got really depressed since I wanted to advance in my job but the thoughts of doing stuff like interviews and doing something new were just too much for me. In the end it was just too much and I pulled out of many interviews for different roles. In the end I justr had to muster up the courage to “go for it” and it worked out OK. I think in the last 2 years since Ive gotten better but I still have anxiety when it comes to anything like I mentioned above. Ive tried hypnosis and even reading the likes of Steve Peters books but I just cant get these mental thoughts out of my head about being judged, looking like a fool and meeting new people. When I have to go to people I dont really know I just get so tense and panic in a major way.

    I know what I am worrying about is nothing but I just cant seem to “re-wire” my head to not worry about all these stupid little things. Its wrecking my head! I have major problems sleeping aswell worrying about all these things and have to take Xanax (non prescribed, I know I shouldnt be doing that either) to get to sleep sometimes. I just always think of what could go wrong and how ill look in front of people when that happens and then the panic kicks in.

    It also wreaked havoc on me playing sports as the years went by. Worrying about the people watching me. I could never “enjoy” 11 a side football since Im constantly battling with my thoughts and worrying about me fucking up. I prefer 5 a side where theres no crowd and there’s less time to think about about what to do and its all reactive.

    I just hate my mentality when it comes to everything and don’t know how/what to do to change it. It really gets me down sometimes and I can never relax sometimes and constantly on edge worrying about nothing

  • #15175

    Karn11
    Participant

    Hi there,

    I’m not sure that a previous post was updated to the site. I can relate to a lot of the feelings shared here and how hard life can feel for you. It’s not possible for me to go through CBT at the moment. I’m pretty sure I have some degree of social anxiety, my score on the Liebowitz scale was 88 but the questions were so general I’m not sure how accurate that is for me. I was wondering if someone could offer advice on the best place to start in getting a diagnosis. I was doing well until very recently and am afraid of relapsing into old habits.

    Best of luck to everyone here who lives with this.

  • #15186

    Rebel
    Participant

    Hello!

    Can people tell me how to start a new topic here? I have some helpful literature, basically it’s a self help course that guides you thru it, has a 30 day itenerary per booklet, each day is set out for you and it has exercises. It’s really helpful and anybody i gave it to has been greatly helped. I’ll put an electronic version of it on here but i want to give it it’s own thread with an attention catching title. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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