Social Anxiety Disorder is a Psychiatric disorder that attacks one out of every eight Americans. Those who have the disorder can become physically sick in social situations. This disorder can devastate more than your self-esteem, it can destroy your marriage, finances and many other aspects of your life. The disorder is characterized by fear of social situations.
There is help for people suffering from this disorder. If you seek treatment, you will be able to obtain medications, counseling and support group information to help cope with this psychiatric disorder. After seeking treatment, there are things that you can do to help alleviate stressful social situations and ways to begin to reacquaint yourself with friends and family members.
First, read everything you can on the disorder. Visit your local library and check out books on the subject. Then, check out books with topics on building self-esteem, positive thinking, public speaking, anything that you think will empower you to gain more confidence. You can not just “snap your fingers” and have this disorder just disappear You need to read everything you can on the subject and subjects that will help you re-build your own self-worth.
2) Start and maintain a daily, weekly, and monthly journal. In the daily journal write down where you are right now in your life. Write about any and all social situations. How did you feel in those social situations? How do you think other people reacted to you and how did you react to them? Did you feel sick today when you were in the social situation?
At the end of the week, summarize your setbacks and itemize your progress. At the end of the month, write two pages in your journal. The first page should summarize any difficult situations and how you overcame the situation, or how you dealt with it. The second page should summarize the social events and social situations where you felt comfortable and why you felt comfortable. How did you feel overall? While this may seem to be a waste of time, the journals will help you face and overcome your fears.
3) Set social goals for yourself and follow through on them. If you are extremely uneasy at the mall, then go to the mall and walk in. Then walk out, immediately. If your social anxiety seems to attack you when you are in the middle of a crowded building, walk to the center of the crowd, and immediately turn and walk away. Take small practical steps at the start and them move on to the more challenging issues you may have.
Finally, always talk to your Doctor openly and honestly. Take your medication and try to overcome your social anxiety so that you can experience the life that you deserve to live to the very fullest. Stressful social situations happen to everyone at some point in their lives and one out of every eight people know how you feel to be living with something much worse than ‘one social situation’, you are not alone at all and though there is little comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone, do know that you are understood.
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