6 Treatments for Social Anxiety That Actually Work
Imagine that every move you make was on a stage, with the most critical people in your life as audience and they are all scrutinizing your every move.
Laughing, mocking, berating, at every little movement you make, every little thought you have, every breath you take…
This scenario plays out in the minds of millions of people who suffer from social anxiety, even while they do something mundane such as getting up in the morning and going to the bathroom.
Every one of us has this small corner of insecurities, fears and anxiety that sometimes affects our mood and behavior – this is normal.
But people with social anxiety feel stifled and choked by the constant negative thoughts that run in their own mind. So much in fact that it makes it very difficult for them to function normally in society. This strong feeling of anxiety turns into depression as well.
Something like a meeting in the afternoon at work can be a terrifying test for people with this kind of disorder. They begin to feel extremely uncomfortable in the presence of other people and think that everyone in the meeting is watching them and critiquing their every move.
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The fact that over 40 million people are suffering from anxiety in the US alone does not seem to correlate to public awareness of the problem.
Sadly, even today, most people think that the sufferer has just to ‘man up’ and it will go away. Worst cases, people like this will be made fun of, and so afflicted people stuff their ‘illness’ still deeper into a defensive wall which no one can breach and neither can help.
What Does it Feel Like?
You are walking down the street on a bright, sunny day. It’s been ages since you’ve got out of the house, but still you want to do it.
If only to look at yourself in the mirror triumphantly when you get back, thinking “Hah, see? There’s nothing wrong with me!”
It All Seems to be Going Well
“This was a fantastic idea”, you think to yourself. Then out of the corner of your eye you notice a girl, laughing and talking to someone over the phone.
Immediately your mind begins to race “Is she talking about me? Is it my hair? How I walk? Or is it the color of my pants? Maybe my pants are torn and I wore them without noticing?”
…flood into the frail, tranquil, frame of mind which you’ve just constructed before you got out of the house.
You began to stiffen up. Your breathing becomes heavy and labored.
You begin to notice many eyes peering at you, looking through to your very soul.
You Must Get Away, Must Find Shelter.
As you stumble awkwardly trying to head back to your house, you can hear the cacophony of laughter, rising in pitch and decibels until it becomes unbearable.
You finally get to your house. You get in and shut the door. Then you slowly crumble to the ground, sobbing. There’s a note on the table and scribbled on it with your handwriting, “I will do it today!”
Imagine if this was every day of your life…
Social anxiety symptoms manifest in different ways: some happen in the body, some in the mind, and others in the way they chang