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Suffering from Social Phobia. Advice Needed.

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posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 05:55 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111

Wellllllllll, Dear Heart . . .

Do only as you see fit doing.


It's BETTER to slow down a bit and take things a bite-sized step at a time.

I throw so many things at you

EXPECTING you to pick and choose--and to do what's comfortable--not ideally lazy comfortable but just slightly above your historic comfort zone.

Also, I mention so many ahead of time so you CAN become desensitized to them in your mind. You can begin to do some mental work of CHOOSING the ones you think might be THE MOST [color=3399CC]!FUN!

Of course, if you get excited and pick a huge LEAP of a task--maybe like the jam thing--GREAT.

HOWEVER, SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. Avoid trapping yourself in any negative kind of way. Avoid anything you are not




BREATHE IN 6-8 SECONDS AND BREATHE OUT 6-8 SECONDS for 30-90 seconds. FOCUS ONLY ON your breathing or maybe visualizing a peaceful mountain or beach scene while you are breathing. That helps change your brain chemistry toward relaxation and away from FLIGHT/FIGHT.

You can stop anywhere along the way in any exercise and close your eyes and focus just on your slow breathing. It does not have to be deep--just slow. It would be best not exactly shallow, either. Say a good deep enough breath slowly.

You are welcome to wear the berry thing to your psychiatrist's. However, I wouldn't if it's only going to cause you hassles. I certainly do NOT need to put you between he and I.

[color=3399CC]!!!!NOT AT ALL!!!!!

IF YOU WEAR the berry thing to your psychiatrist's the same rule would apply--NO EXPLANATION TO HIM. That could be very difficult and I wouldn't want to set you up for that difficulty. If he said anything about it, the only thing you could say to him would be something like. "Oh, Thanks for noticing." or "Oh, you're right." Then change the subject.



You could also take such a shirt with you in a plastic shopping bag and stop somewhere on the way home and wear it.

I think it would be most fun . . . to leave your psychiatrist without a clue of your new adventures until a month or two later when you were already well past many hurdles enough to tell him very confidently that you disagreed with his "live forever with the problem" edict because you were already well past that. LOL.

That you are actually mentally successfully seeing yourself do such things



[color=3399CC]I'm eager to hear your soaring anthem! I assume you can email it as an MP3 file.



edit on 19/3/2012 by BO XIAN because: put a line back where it was supposed to go.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:10 PM

Originally posted by Alexander1111
reply to post by BO XIAN

It's very difficult. Only the thought of doing all these makes me so anxious. I will try tomorrow to wear two different shoes and maybe wear a T shirt that has a hole at a visible place.

Thank you again!

You are exceedingly welcome. This is fun, for me.

I suggest that you start

[color=3399CC]REDEFINING YOUR REALITY and rewiring your brain by the word choices you use.

BANISH from your vocabulary: "makes me" PARTICULARLY "makes me so anxious."


[color=3399CC]HAS THE POWER TO




[color=3399CC]If you realize you've given up that power, TAKE IT BACK!

Either you will begin to rule your emotions with your WILL,


your emotions will continue to batter you around like a ragdoll.

You can use the breathing exercise to get on top of the pressing bodily sensations and emotions of anxiety.

Beat those sensations back by your choices,



I speak from personal experience. I lived for most of 30 years with my emotions battering me around like a ragdoll.

And, I was terminally shy. Even in my BA program at college and later in the Navy, if someone would look at me harshly, I'd go hide somewhere too often, and cry.

That's partly why I know you can leap out, at least walk out in tiny steps--of your prison.

Besides, I've helped maybe 100-300 students and a number of clients do it.

Anyway--you're making great progress and I hope our sense of fun overtakes your sense of anxiety.


YOU CAN CHOOSE to focus on fun aspects and on surprising people in fun ways instead of focusing on the spiral downward that constitutes the anxiety sensations etc.


edit on 19/3/2012 by BO XIAN because: color emphasis doesn't like "!"

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111

Maybe I can help better with an illustration . . .

better at tuning out--the anxiety sensations and focusing on higher constructive priorities and images, goals.

Imagine that you are at a symphony. Sitting next to you is a child with the sniffles.

You COULD sit there and fume over the kid ruining the whole experience for you.


You COULD sit there and tune out the sniffles sounds and focus on the muslical instruments ONLY.



You can let the sniffles 'hypnotize' you--or the music--YOUR CHOICE.

You can let the anxiety sensationis assault and hypnotize you as though you were a wet noodle of helplessness.


YOU CAN overcome them resolutely by ignoring them and focusing on higher constructive priorities, fun images, being a clown in a healthy way, bringing joy to yourself and others etc. etc. etc.


posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:19 PM
reply to post by BO XIAN

Yes, I agree. I believe I got carried away with my over-enthusiasm. I really wonder why my psychotherapist never told me to do any of these exercises, by the way...

I can post the mp3 here, too, if you'd like so that other people can hear it as well.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:22 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111

I have had exactly the same thing as you from about the same age maybe younger. I am 46 years old now.
I have ups and downs and presently going through a major down.
I have been helped Immensely by two things. One set your self very small but for you challenging goals.
If you achieve a goal be proud of that. Don't try to be the life and soul in one flying leap, you will fail and feel miserable.

The other thing that practically saved me is a drug called Escitalopram 20mg presently on 10mg and probs going back to 20mg for a while. I have been taking this medication for 10 years , sometimes i wish i didn't need it, but this is an acceptance thing, but i do need it and without i regress quite quickly.

It will change your life in a very good but subtle way.

Good luck young Skywalker , may the force be with you.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:24 PM
reply to post by BO XIAN

Ok, you are right. I am not anxious because circumstances or people make me feel so, but because this is the way I choose to respond to them. I know that to a degree it is automatic so in in the beginning I will have to convince myself I am not anxious, fake it or instantly try to change my attitude. Thank you!

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:29 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111

Totally your choice on the MP3. I would also like it in email, if you're willing.

Would be great for others to hear your skills.

Psychiatrists typically have a very different model--of mental illness as well as whatever routes to 'health' that they buy into.

For some folks, it's probably quite nice to have someone truly listen--if psychiatrists do that any more--for 3 hours a week at $250/hour or whatever.

For those who listen for 10 min and represcribe the meds only . . . I should probably keep my mouth shut. I'm not fond of that model, at all.

One of the major tenants of most psychiatrists' models is that they do

not per se

intervene--except medically with meds. Their model is to passively listen and interpret and sometimes reflect back . . . in the believe that after maybe 10-15 years, the patient will have wandered into health on their own--so to speak.

I think life's too short for that sort of . . . uhhh . . . model.

And, a lot of mental health professionals of all types are just not very creative at problem solving or offering solutions or offering constructive educational exercises. They may be wonderful at other things but not that.


DON'T LAY IT ASIDE NEEDLESSLY. Just don't chain yourself to it ruthlessly.


Could you give me a bit of feedback on some of the rest of my above points to you--not necessarily every one--but any that you might have a question or really feel like latching onto and running with?


Thank you for the fun.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:36 PM

Originally posted by Alexander1111
reply to post by BO XIAN

Ok, you are right. I am not anxious because circumstances or people make me feel so, but because this is the way I choose to respond to them. I know that to a degree it is automatic so in in the beginning I will have to convince myself I am not anxious, fake it or instantly try to change my attitude. Thank you!

Let's put it this way . . .

You are literally rewiring your reflexes and your brain.

You don't need to feel guilty and berate yourself for where you are. That just does NOT help.

Merely cultivate a different perspective, a different habit, a different focus, a different training.

Yes, now it IS automatic.


YES, ACTING AS THOUGH you have already acquired the NEW SKILL SET DOES HELP YOU


However, there is a dysfunctional/counter productive way to do that and a healthy functional way.

A small child can whistle by the grave yard late at night pretending they are not scared and all the while DENYING wholesale their feelings etc. That doesn't tend to help a whole lot.

Or, the child can say, "I'm not real thrilled to have to walk this way. I'm going to sing BLESSED ASSURANCE and focus on those words and on God's power to protect me and ignore the dark shadows."

One is a shallow phoney effort awash in denial.

The other accepts the reality of their fears but changes the focus--earnestly DOING SOMETHING ACTIVE ABOUT THE SOURCE of their concern--not in denial--but changing the focus.



But not in denial--just an EARNEST EFFORT--GOOD-FAITH way of putting on some new shoes, some new glasses, some new gloves and handling the situation in some new ways.

I think you grasp the difference. Let me know, please, if you do not.

There's NO NEED TO TRY and convince yourself that you are NOT anxious.

Admit you feel some anxiety, if you need to. THEN LAY IT ASIDE AS INCONSEQUENTIAL.


[color=3399CC]ENOUGH OF THEIR !!!!TYRANY!!!!

That's where you invest your thoughts and focus. ... ON LAYING THEM ASIDE AND INVESTING IN ANOTHER CONSTRUCTIVE OBJECT OF ATTENTION. Focus on anything else BUT the anxiety feelings.

You need not deny them. They are reality. THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE THE !!!CONTROLLING!!!! REALITY.


edit on 19/3/2012 by BO XIAN because: an addition

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:40 PM
reply to post by rigel4

Thank you for your suggestions, rigel4 and for your encouragement!

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:42 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111

Please reread my last post or 3 after edits.

I would appreciate knowing that I'm communicating succesfully on those points.

Thx in advance.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:45 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111

Allow me, please, some time to reflect on all that you said in your previous posts and I will get back to you with any remarks or questions. So far, everything that you have said has been extremely helpful. I only wish that the thread would receive more flags so that more people could notice it and be benefited from it.

Expect to have the mp3 in your email in a couple of hours from now. It's already a bit late here, but I want to finish the composition before calling it a day.

Till later!

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:45 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111

ACTUALLY, I didn't have any help in any professional sense walking out of my shyness prison.

I just looked around at people I admired and who were skillful in the kinds of social situations I wanted to become skillful in . . . and I earnestly copied in my own unique version . . . what they did.

That was it. It worked wonders fairly rapidly.

I realized quickly that I could enjoy helping folks enjoy a situation or teach more freely and robustly etc.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:46 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111



You're in the driver's seat.

Congrats on your composition. There's no deadline, BTW, As you see fit is fine.

Thx thx.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:52 PM
reply to post by Alexander1111

BTW, the exercises do NOT come out of any book or course I took.

Over the course of the last 30+ years, and really from the beginning, I started immediately to give clients practical things they could do to begin to crawl or walk out of their dysfunctions. I just prayed and depended on practical ideas. God was always faithful about that.

The ones I'm offering to you are

'off the top of my head and prayers' tailor made for you. I think you can tell that they are connected with elements you've offered in your email and posts.

The only one I've used from before is the blackberry jam one.

And the first time I tried it, the wealthy socialite was too proud and locked in her mentality to try it and she never came back. LOL. I failed at helping set her up and assumed I had more respect from her than I did. LOL. With her, I was trying to help her overcome her Obsessive Compulsive prissy personality habits. LOL.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:54 PM
reply to post by rigel4

There's no silly rule that prevents you from trying any of the things I'm suggesting to Alexander.

I don't know that I have the time to tailor so many things to you and your situation, personality etc. but I'm willing to try and come up with a few IF you would like.

No pressure whatsoever. Just wanted you to feel free to appropriate in your own way and version any of the things I'm posting.

That goes for anyone.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 08:51 PM
reply to post by BO XIAN

FYI only for those seriously interested

Psychoactive drugs has arisen as a topic related to anxiety disorders e.g. from the Original Post . . . some references for folks to consider on the topic:


JAMA Antidepressant Meta-analysis Reveals 22 Years of Deception
Thursday, 07 January 2010

Twenty-two years after the US marketing of Prozac, which changed the marketing, prescribing and widespread
consumption of psychoactive drugs--a meta-analysis of six large studies published in the Journal of the Medical
Association (JAMA) confirms that industry's blockbuster drugs, SSRI antidepressants were unable to outperform
placebos for moderate symptoms of depression. Just like the older, much cheaper tricyclic antidepressants, SSRIs show a clinical value only for severely depressed--i.e., clinically dysfunctional--patients.

In other words, antidepressants are worthless for most of the people for whom they are prescribed.


Neural Network Rewiring: You can achieve it if you believe it

Submitted by meroberts on Thu, 04/08/2010 - 9:52am
Biology 202 Web Paper 2

This topic is particularly intriguing to me in the context of the debate regarding the efficacy of clinical psychopathological treatments. Currently, this debate has created a division amongst psychologists. Some prefer psychotherapeutic therapies to treat mood disorders, others believe pharmacological treatments to be the most effective form of therapy for these same disorders. A great majority of the literature regarding treatment methods, however, will tell you that combining both treatments is the most effective way to lessen symptoms of mood disorders. But what makes these treatments effective? While I was researching this topic, I assumed that pharmacotherapy was only effective because of the chemical interactions that occur after administration of the drug. I admit that I was a little biased in my assumption that pharmacological agents only acted as a “quick-fix” treatment. I further hypothesized that certain forms of psychotherapy, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (hereafter CBT) would be more effective because more patient participation is required in psychotherapy.


Dr Breggin is one of the best on the topic with tons of court cases to his credit.

Psychiatric drug dependence (addiction) and withdrawal reactions

All psychiatric drugs have the potential to cause withdrawal reactions, including the antidepressants, stimulants, tranquilizers, antipsychotic drugs, and “mood stabilizers” such as lithium. When the individual’s condition grows markedly worse within days or weeks of stopping the psychiatric drug, this is almost always due to a withdrawal reaction. However, misinformed doctors and misled parents, teachers, and patients think this is evidence that the individual “needs” the drug even more when what the patient really needs is time to overcome the drug’s contrary effects on the brain and body.


A Harvard-trained psychiatrist and former full-time consultant at NIMH, Dr. Breggin's private practice is in Ithaca, New York, where he treats adults, couples, and families with children. He is the author of dozens of scientific articles and more than twenty books including Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime (2008).
. . .

In the early 1990s Dr. Breggin was appointed and approved by the court as the single scientific expert for more than 100 combined Prozac product liability concerning violence, suicide and other behavioral aberrations caused by the antidepressant. In 2001-2002, he participated as a medical expert in a California lawsuit whose resolution was associated with a new label warning for Paxil concerning withdrawal effects.

Another list of links available at Dr Breggin's site above:

Judge Concludes Prozac Caused Teen to Murder, Confirming Dr. Breggin's Testimony.

Dr. Breggin testifies before Congress in 2010 on antidepressant drugs causing increased suicide, violence & mania in the military. See the video here.

Medical Expert in Legal Cases: criminal, malpractice and product liability suits involving antidepressants, tranquilizers, antipsychotic drugs, mood stabilizers, stimulants, children and ADHD, electroshock (ECT), and psychosurgery

Important New Article on Drug-Induced Chronic Brain Impairment (PDF)

Read Dr. Breggin's New "Guidelines for Empathic Therapy"

Psychiatric drug adverse reactions (side effects) and medication spellbinding



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 09:05 PM
reply to post by BO XIAN



Neural Network Rewiring: You can achieve it if you believe it

Submitted by meroberts on Thu, 04/08/2010 - 9:52am
Biology 202 Web Paper 2

. . .
In the case of psychotherapy, individuals have to recognize their own negative thoughts and perceptions and change their mindset to a more positive one. Several new techniques have developed within the psychotherapy field. Among these are Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Mood Management. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy “is a blend of two very different approaches- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)… and the meditative practice of mindfulness” (Renaissance Therapy Clinic, n.d.). The website further explains that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy “is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors” and thus “we can change the way we think to feel or act better” (Renaissance Therapy Clinic, n.d.). As we have learned in class, our realities are constructed by the brain, or mind. If our brain/mind creates thoughts which alter our perceptions and behaviors, we should in turn be able to change the neural network of our brains to better manage our thoughts. This concept has direct implications to clinical psychological treatment methodology.

Another relatively new method of CBT focuses especially on adolescents. This approach is called Mood Management. Dr. Carol Langelier of Rivier College explained that “Mood Management is a skills-building program” to help adolescents cope with “negative emotions that interfere with their ability to function effectively in academic, vocational and social settings” (Langelier, 2005; Langelier, 2001). Dr. Langelier believes that teaching young adults to think about their own emotions will allow them to effectively change their perceptions and behaviors. The adolescents actively engage in a five-step model to assess their emotional triggers, thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and their physiological responses when they are experiencing distress. Once the teenagers were aware of their own emotional processing, they could create new neural networks by consciously altering their reaction to emotional triggers. This method combines research on neural networks and psychotherapeutic treatments, like CBT. Mood Management could potentially be a valuable tool for clinicians in the field today. However, psychotherapy alone may not be enough to effectively treat mood disorders through neural network rewiring and structural reorganization.


New Research: Antidepressants Can Cause Long-Term Depression

It has been apparent for many years that chronic exposure to SSRI antidepressants frequently makes people feel apathetic or less engaged in their lives, and ultimately more depressed. In my clinical experience, this is a frequent reason that family members encourage patients to seek help in reducing or stopping their medication. SSRI-induced apathy occurs in adults and includes cognitive and frontal lobe function losses. (See Barnhart et al., 2004; Deakin et al., 2004; Hoehn-Saric et al., 1990). It has also been identified in children. Adults with dementia are particularly susceptible to antidepressant-induced apathy.

A recent scientific study by El-Mallakh and his colleagues reviewed the antidepressant literature and concluded that any initial improvements are often followed by treatment resistance and worsening depression. They compare this problem to tardive dyskinesia, caused by antipsychotic drugs, and call it tardive dysphoria, "an active process in which a depressive picture is caused by continued administration of the antidepressant." Based on rat studies, they hypothesize that "dendrite arborization" -- an increased branching growth of nerve cells -- caused by chronic antidepressant exposure, may be the cause.

In a meta-analysis of 46 studies, Andrews et al. (2011) found the relapse rate for antidepressant-treated patients (44.6 percent) was much higher than for placebo-treated patients (24.7 percent). Andrews also found that the more potent antidepressants caused an increased risk of relapse on drug discontinuation. A 2010 Minnesota evaluation of patient care in the state found that only 4.5 percent of more than 20,000 patients were in remission at 12 months, indicating that they had become chronically afflicted with depression during and probably as a result of their treatment.


Confronting Bigots Intolerant of Alternative Mental Health Treatment


CONTINUED next post

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 09:15 PM
reply to post by BO XIAN

Dr. Peter Breggin.

reform psychiatrist

The Study of Empathic Therapy: Human Connection versus Psychiatric Control

I am best known from my critiques of biological, mechanistic psychiatry with its cookie-cutter diagnoses and brain-disabling drugs and shock treatment. Establishment and institutional psychiatry can be like a dark shadow that crowds out the light. Even as we grow in awareness of the harm perpetrated by biological psychiatry, we need more focus on the light -- on the life-giving principles that have moved me and so many others to take up the cause of reform in psychiatry and psychotherapy. These underlying principles try to capture what is good and important in human relationships beginning with empathy, love and respect for each individual's unique life.

Our new organization, The Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, has now received approval for registration as a nonprofit in New York State. I want to introduce our new Center and its basic concepts. We want to "Bring out the best in ourselves," knowing that will help us to "Bring out the best in others." We want to inspire and to give voice to those who seek to heal and be healed through ethical, empathic relationships.

There are many ways of looking at empathy. On I describe it this way, "Empathy recognizes, welcomes and treasures the individuality, personhood, identity, spirit or soul of the other human being in all its shared and unique aspects." As we are repulsed by coercive psychiatry and its "solutions" that sometimes do more harm than good, we are drawn to the best in what human beings can offer each other.

. . .


Are Psychiatric Drugs Contributing to Mental Illness Disability?

Investigative reporter Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (Crown Publishers, April 2010) is the most important book on psychiatric treatment in a generation. I have been in practice for over 25 years and have read hundreds of books about psychiatry, and I can say without question that Anatomy of an Epidemic is the most illuminating book on psychiatric treatment that I have ever read.

Whitaker is the author of four books (including Mad in America, about the mistreatment of the mentally ill), and as a reporter for the Boston Globe, he won a George Polk Award for medical writing, a National Association of Science Writers Award for best magazine article, and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. In the tradition of Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and other investigative reporters who get taken seriously, Whitaker is scrupulous, fair, and describes complex phenomena in a way that is easy to understand.

The starting point of Anatomy of an Epidemic is as follows: In 1987, prior to Prozac hitting the market and the current ubiquitous use of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, the U.S. mental illness disability rate was 1 in every 184 Americans, but by 2007 the mental illness disability rate had more than doubled to 1 in every 76 Americans. Whitaker was curious as to what was causing this dramatic increase in mental illness disability.

. . .

[later paragraphs important in this article]


Various articles:


I need to do some other things.

I'll try to get back to this issue and post some more comparisons between drugs and talk therapy.

Or, you can search yourself:

"psychoactive drugs vs talk therapy" + "research"

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 09:32 PM
reply to post by BO XIAN

COMMENTARY on the above . . .

Dr Breggin is probably one of the more accomplished, experienced, trained psychiatrists who has a good perspective on the hazards of more or less mindless application of drug therapy for psychological maladies.

Certainly, imho, there are valid indications in behalf of proper, fitting psychoactive drug therapy.

However, I do believe that the massive amount of prescriptions are largely not warranted in a huge percentage of cases . . .

IF . . . folks will investigate the parameters and criterian involved in the various maladies and drugs involved, they will likely find that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a much healthier mode of treatment for a range of problems from anxiety disorders to depression.

Certainly, in many cases, limited drug application WITH talk therapy is more powerful than either one alone.

posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 09:50 PM
Nutritional adjustments can sometimes make big changes. Find an orthomolecular psychiatrist or a naturopath doctor and ask for help in this area. Some allergic reactions to foods can cause profound brain changes. These are not allergies in the sense they are usually thought of - I'm not talking about itching or rashes or anaphalactic shock. There are other kinds. Changing what you eat and taking the right supplements can make a huge difference.

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