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Doctor and patient discussing

In treating Social Anxiety Disorders, research shows that therapy is the most effective option. It is because therapy in Anxiety Disorders does treat the root symptoms of the problem rather than papering over the cracks when relying on anti-anxiety medication alone. Various studies have proven that one of the best therapies for treating social anxiety disorder is through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a combination of various methods, strategies and techniques that has proven its effectiveness in the past. They used this approach to help people successfully overcome their particular emotional problems. CBT aims to address the negative patterns and distortions on the way we look at the world and ourselves.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has two main components:

Cognitive Therapy
It evaluates how our negative thoughts, or cognitions, contribute to anxiety. This basically means that it is our thoughts and not our outer environment affects the way we feel. It is our own perception of how things would eventually turn out that makes us either excited, neutral, happy, sad or anxious even the event has not yet taken place.
Behavioral Therapy
It examines how you behave and react in situations that trigger anxiety. This is however the opposite of cognitive therapy. In this scenario the event has already happened and your behavior is measured on how you react to the incident that took place. For example if you have done an embarrassing thing to the party that you attended, did you left with anger, were you sad, embarrassed or did you just took it lightly and shrugged it off as if nothing happened?
As a person who have been dealing with social anxiety disorder for a long time. I admit to have this sort of negative perceptions whenever I am anticipating a social gathering. There was a time that I was invited to my high school reunion. I was happy at first thought of seeing my high school classmates again after 10 years. But I eventually chicken out because of insecurity and I felt I haven’t accomplished that much compared to them. What if nobody would care to talk or what if someone remember my embarrassing moments in high school. I just couldn’t stand all those negative thoughts, so I did not show up at the end.

Improvement from cognitive behavioural therapy requires practice, patience and persistence

Cognitive restructuring or learning to think rationally is an essential component of cognitive therapy for social anxiety disorder. However you cannot automatically shut off those negative thoughts in your head once you decide to turn it off. It doesn’t work that way, it requires a step by step process to achieve a rational and realistic thinking.

According to Thomas A. Richards, Ph.d., Psychologist at The Social Anxiety Institute, both the cognitive and behavioral therapy must be thorough and comprehensive for the successful treatment of social anxiety. Of course it would not be accomplished if not coupled with persistence, consistency and motivation, says Richards.

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jogging to reduce social anxiety

If you suffer from social anxiety then the idea of jogging around a park might seem daunting. But I’ve always highly recommended that regular exercise should be a key component of your strategy to overcoming social anxiety. It gets you out of the house and regular exercise of at least 30 minutes every day will release endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel good chemicals that can banish the negative thoughts driving your social anxiety in the first place.

And it appears that doctors would tend to agree with me. A Glasgow University survey found that jogging around a park is twice as effective at improving your mental health and sense of well being then exercising in a gym. After all, who wants to spend 30 minutes looking at the wall or watching MTV when you can be enjoying the visual sounds and smells of mother nature.

You can read more about the survey in this article in the Daily Telegraph, which also goes on to explain how exercise is recommended for treating symptoms like mild depression, insomnia, high stress and just anxious feelings that you arent able to cope.

I believe that starting to exercise every day was one of the vital keys to how I overcame social anxiety. I started off jogging and now go trekking (or bouldering to be exact), rock climbing, play football and go to the gym. So dont be afraid of starting off your exercise routine small and then building it up as you go along your path towards overcoming social anxiety for good.

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Originally posted 2012-06-20 18:04:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Taking medication for social anxiety should always be done after consulting with a doctor and fully understanding the side effects and if it's the best option.

social anxiety medication

If you suffer from social anxiety then the lure of a magic pill that can make your fears and worries vanish is highly appealing. And social anxiety medication does actually exist.

There are a variety of medications that are available to cure anxiety disorders, including but not limited to traditional anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants and beta-blockers. But before taking any kind of medication, you must first consider the fact that medication cannot cure anxiety entirely or over the long-term.

Social anxiety medication is at it’s most beneficial when combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy to address the underlying thoughts driving social phobia. This is because social anxiety medication can offer temporary relief to the symptoms so that it’s easier to put the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy into practice when trying to overcome social anxiety disorder.

Side effects of social anxiety medication

Just like any other over the counter drugs, antidepressants and other social anxiety drugs have their own share of side effects. These drugs are not safe for everyone even when used with precautions. They can lead to complications when combined with other substances, especially when you are using them for a long period of time. That’s why it is important to weigh carefully the pros and cons before taking any social anxiety medication, which must only ever be taken after speaking to a doctor and getting a prescription.

If you think you are considering taking medication for social anxiety disorder then there are five things to think about:

1. Be patient. The effects of anxiety medications is gradual, it would take time until you can feel their full therapeutic effect. It can often takes time and patience to find the drugs that works best for you so you will have to work closely with your doctor to find the right dosage and evaluate its effectiveness.

2. Avoid Alcohol. Avoid dangerous drugs interaction, do not mix alcohol with any anxiety medications. The after effect is lethal, even in less toxic doses it can cause poor coordination and impaired thinking, increasing the risk of motor vehicle incidents and other injuries.

3. Monitor your medication response. Everyone has varying reactions to medications that’s why it is important to keep a record of your reaction to your anxiety medication, these includes the physical and emotional changes that you are experiencing after taking the medication. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery if you are taking benzodiazepines like Valium, Xanax and et al., wait until you know how the drugs affect you. Always remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has weighed the benefit to you is greater that the risk of side effects.

4. Talk to your doctor. Be open and honest about side effects your anxiety drug is causing. Don’t be afraid to discuss problems or concerns. And while you should never stop your anxiety medication without talking to your doctor first, ultimately the decision is up to you. If you’re unhappy with how the pills make you feel, ask your doctor to help you taper off.

5. Continue Your Therapy. Medication can control the symptoms of anxiety, but it doesn’t treat the underlying problem. Therefore, it’s crucial to pursue therapy or some other form of anxiety treatment. Therapy can help you get to the root of your anxiety problem and develop better coping skills.

So before taking any kind of social anxiety medication, think carefully about these five points and then consult a doctor, psychologist or other medical professional for further advice.

Disclaimer

All advice on this site is merely advice. I am not a trained psychologist and you should always consult a doctor or other medical professional is social anxiety is adversely affecting your life and you have reached the stage where you are considering whether to take social anxiety medication.

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smiling

[Photo courtesy of Ferdinand Reus]

Since embarking on my voyage into understanding what causes social anxiety disorder and its effects rarely a week passes without hearing news on how it can be treated. From everything I’ve heard I believe that popping ‘happy pills’, such as Prozac, on their own are not the answer. Drugs can help cushion some of social anxiety and depression’s harsher symptoms, but you have to change the way you think and behave for long term recovery.

In the UK’s national news today the findings of research by Professor Jane Plant and Janet Stephenson (National Health Service psychologist) were announced, which are described in their new book: ‘Beating Stress, Anxiety and Depression’.

With 2.4 million Brits estimated to suffer from anxiety and one in six expected to experience depression at some stage, the two experts’ constructive suggestions, based on scientific evidence, have been well received.

Their advice is to change your diet, behaviour and appearance to improve your self esteem and sense of well being. Relying on a prescription from the doctor alone to solve your problem is not the answer (although a visit is always recommended on your road to recovery).

Their suggestions include:

  • Smile – even if you feel the weight of anxiety pushing down on you, at least appearing happier and more approachable will improve how people respond to you. This in turn can help lift your mood and improve how you interact with others.
  • Eat fish packed with omega-3 fatty acids for breakfast and porridge at night to help you sleep.
  • Make lifestyle changes to be more active such as going out dancing (any form of regular exercise is highly recommended if not essential)
  • Treat yourself to a new hairstyle or clothes to improve your self confidence (I’d suggest this is more of a temporary measure and relying on ‘retail therapy’ to improve your mood poses its own risks)
  • Avoid living a materialistic lifestyle or getting sucked into celebrity culture – everybody has their strengths and weaknesses and you shouldn’t regard touched up images and glamorised lifestyles as a yardstick for valuing yourself as a human being.

I think any book that uses scientific evidence to show that you need to change the way you think and behave in order to overcome depression and social anxiety disorder is a welcome addition to any bookshelf.

You might have to find your own path to a happier, more fulfilling life, but there’s are plenty of helpful information on the web and on bookstore shelves to help you find the way.

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Originally posted 2008-07-28 13:21:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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social anxiety quotes

Try remembering some of social anxiety quotes which you can refer to whenever you need some motivation and to lighten your mood

Ever have those day’s when you wake up the following morning feeling completely blanked out and lethargic? I felt like that this morning, probably because it’s a Monday. I just didn’t want to get up, and just lay there on my bed staring at the ceiling. My mind was telling me to get up to start my day but I couldn’t seem to escape the feeling of being tied to my bed.

I think it was because I was lacking the motivation, and my social anxiety was acting up again. In any case, I decided to look up some uplifting social anxiety quotes to help find some energy and focus.

I often avoided social interactions growing up, I felt awkward whenever I needed to introduce myself to someone or my sisters introduced their new friends to me. I kept on thinking how come I feel these weird uncomfortable feelings over and over again? When I am in doubt of myself and anxious of what people might think of me, I always remember these few lines from the poem Desiderata:

“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons that yourself.” “Speak your TRUTH QUIETLY & CLEARLY, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story.”

If you are having self-doubt and want to lift your spirits and feel more positive, try using some of these social anxiety quotes to help lighten you up and inspire you to approach the day in a new light.

Social Anxiety Quotes

1. “All too frequently, anxiety crushes not only your spirit and your potential, but your ability to take care of your mind and body.” ~Jonathan Davidson and Henry Dreher, The Anxiety Book: Developing Strength in the Face of Fear.

2. “Worry, doubt, fear and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die.” ~Attributed to Douglas MacArthur

3. “Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for God is already there.” ~Author Unknown

4. “Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.” ~Author Unknown

5. “We experience moments absolutely free from worry. These brief respites are called panic.” ~Cullen Hightower

6. “Worry is a complete cycle of inefficient thought revolving about a pivot of fear.” ~Author Unknown

7 “To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.” ~Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved

8. “Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else.” ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

9. “Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.” ~André Dubus

10. “The shy and the extroverted have this in common — that they both fancy they are the center of attention.” ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com

11. “When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.” ~Author Unknown

12. “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

13. “If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.” ~Dale Carnegie

14. “If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?” ~Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

15. “Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” ~Theodore N. Vail

16. “People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross.” ~Author Unknown

17. “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.” ~Glenn Turner

18. “There are two days in the week about which and upon which I never worry… Yesterday and Tomorrow.” ~Robert Jones Burdette

19. “If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all thinking, damages his personality and makes him a landlord to a ghost.” ~Lloyd Douglas

20. “Other people’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” ~Les Brown

21. “You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
~Dr. Seuss

 

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[photo courtesy James Jordan]

The brain is a complicated muscle, but one we’re learning more about all the time. Most people aren’t adversely affected by the changes in the weather as summer draws to a close, whilst some feel moody, drained and depressed with the arrival of cold winds and gray skies.

In the news recently the results of research was announced that identified a biological reason why two million people in the UK suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

Scientists from the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, conducted brain scans of 88 adults. They discovered that those who experienced low moods and depression in winter had a higher level of a specific protein than those who were unaffected by seasonal changes.

It’s believed that the identified protein soaks up serotonin (feel good chemical) in the brain, causing an adverse effect on people’s mood. It’s long been known that depression is accompanied by low serotonin levels, so the research further emphasises how important a healthy mind and body are for your sense of well being.

With anxiety being such a complicated and deep rooted issue I’d suggest that other factors are probably at play along with the higher levels of a certain protein. However, the fact that scientists are now able to identify some of the biological reasons why the brain behaves in a certain way emphasises the strides being made in understanding anxiety in all its forms.

Full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2666173/Winter-blues-Causes-of-SAD-revealed.html

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Originally posted 2008-09-02 16:26:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

getting over social anxiety

Are you tired of always worrying, feeling uneasy when trap in social situations and getting nauseous and agitated for no apparent reason at all? I know what it feels like to have social anxiety because I was living with all these excessive uneasiness ad apprehension all my life. Until I woke up one day and decided that I needed to find a way of getting over social anxiety for good. I needed to do something different to drive my life into a new direction, I wanted to try something exciting and challenging that I know I get scared of doing before. I hate that feeling of having no grip on everything that’s happening in my life.

I always set goals for myself but there are some things that hinder me from doing what I am suppose to do. There are so many “What If’s” in my head until I decided to set my mind to pursue them no matter how much it would cost me. That was the time that I realizes that not finding a way of getting over social anxiety was  holding me back from living a fulfilling life.

Getting over social anxiety is not easy, however if you follow these simple habits then maybe you’ll get a chance of taking control of your life?

Getting Over Social Anxiety Tip 1. Acknowledge your Social Anxiety

This is the first step and perhaps the most important step to overcoming anxiety. Do not pretend it’s not there, by acknowledging it you are opening yourself to an opportunity for treatment. Accept that you are suffering from anxiety and you need help. Share your anxious feelings with your loved ones, family, friends and relatives. You can also seek for a professional help to guide you on what you are going through.

Getting Over Social Anxiety Tip  2. Learn some simple steps on how to deal with your Anxiety Symptoms

After your acceptance, it is time to make an action plan on how to cope up with your anxiety. There are a lot of step by step processes online on how to manage your anxiety. The National Institute of Anxiety and Stress has also made a downloadable audio and workbook exercises that would help you on how to deal with anxiety symptoms quickly, using a simple three-step formula to stop intense anxiety and a guide on what you need to do when you are having a panic attack. These easy to follow steps can be found here: http://www.conqueranxiety.com/Anxiety_Pyramid.htm.#sthash.DgFNiUke.dpuf

Getting Over Social Anxiety Tip 3. Use “Power” Language

Words is a powerful tool and when you use it the right way it cannot only change one person’s perspective but can be a big influence to those people around you. Most people who have anxiety disorder are fond of using negative words that can destroy their self confidence. They always see themselves as victim and a few negative words that can be heard from them include; can’t, always, never, and should.
Learn how to beat anxiety by changing these negative words into “power” language. Power language is words that boost your self-esteem and personal power. Instead of saying “I can’t control my anxiety” you can change it to power language and it will become like “I can control my anxiety, and I’m learning skills to conquer it.” Practice this daily and you will be amazed how it can change your life for the better.

Getting Over Social Anxiety Tip 4. Tone your Inner Power Daily

Just like what the popular adage say, “Practice makes perfect” Practicing a healthy life strategy everyday would eventually increase your capability to overpower your anxiety. Start doing today what you couldn’t do yesterday, make this a habit and it will eventually become automatic. This is how you create lasting freedom from anxiety.

Getting Over Social Anxiety Tip 5. Finally get into a realization that “Now” is the perfect time to start feeling better.

Don’t wait another day to start a change in your life. The thing is, if you always postpone change would never happen. Don’t make excuses, if you can’t tackle your anxiety right now then when? There is no such thing as a “perfect time” you will end up waiting a lifetime for changes to happen.

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jogging.jpg

Yet again, studies and research have proven the how relaxation activities, such as yoga and work out exercises, help in the treatment of social anxiety. The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE and headed by Adam Heenan, a clinical psychology PHD candidate at Queens University in Canada. Heenan said that workout and relaxation exercises are able to change people’s perception of the world, thus reducing threatening and negative feelings.

The participants in the study were between the age of 17 to 29, which composed of both male and female. They give no information on their state of mental health at the time of the study and their level of social anxiety was solely assessed by some of the tests the Heenan’s given them.

The test asked participants to view a point-light display of a person walking and asked whether the figure was approaching them or not. A lot of them said that the figure was walking towards them. Heenan concluded that this was a sign of social anxiety and intimidation, with rates higher before their relaxation exercises than after.

“We found that people who either walked or jogged on a treadmill for 10 minutes perceived these ambiguous figures as facing towards them as the observer less often that those who simply stood on the treadmill,” says Heenan.

As a person who had suffered the stigma of social anxiety disorder motivating one’s self to do a simple exercise is a challenge itself. Everyday, I always promise myself to do an hour of jogging the next morning. But when I wake up the next day, I feel unenthusiastic and anxious that I might see my high school friends, an old crush or even my neighbor’s scrutinizing eyes. It’s hard to convince myself that it’s all good and that every uncomfortable thoughts were just in my head.

But when you manage to change those negative thoughts into positive ones then nothing is impossible. Any means of exercise is good for the body, soul and mind. When I started to take control of myself and took care of my health I found new goals and aspiration to live with.

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Originally posted 2014-07-22 13:32:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Anxiety is a complex and annoying mental condition that many people the world over suffer with, especially those in the UK. What with low unemployment rates and Christmas fast approaching it’s not a surprise that
more people than ever have had experience with it in some form. It can be hard for those around them too as a number of individuals don’t know the ins and outs that well.

The people at Klearminds have come up with a handy infographic detailing who suffers from it, what triggers it and how to cope with it as well as a bunch of interesting stats and facts. For instance, were you aware that two in every five workers experience anxiety? Why not have a look to see what you can learn:

Anxiety In The UK

Created by KlearMinds

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botox treatment for depression

Botox is used to medically treat muscular conditions and cosmetically remove wrinkles by paralyzing the muscles. But the question is, how can it cure depression? Dr. Eric Finzi, a Maryland dermatologist, has suggested it could be used to treat depression. In his study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research,  Dr. Finzi observed a reported 52 percent reduction in depressed patients injected with Botox, compared to 15 percent in the ones who received the saline placebo. One of his patients who had undergone the Botox treatment revealed that the paralyzing effect of the Botox on her facial muscles enabled her to lightheartedly approach every problems she comes to face, making her feel less happy and unaffected with those people who surround her.

With smiling alone believed to improve happiness and reduce social anxiety, it could be that Botox also helps by numbing the muscles in the brows that create expressions of sadness, anger and fear. But making your outside expression seem joyful doesn’t really reflect what you feel deep inside. After a while the effects of the drugs subside and let you go back to your old self, as the paralyzing effect of the drugs on your face began to wear off and you start to feel the other half of your face.

Depression is a mixture of sad feelings that you feel inside you. Botox may help you cover up for your real emotions but it doesn’t erase those depressive feelings. That feeling of worthlessness will still remain and after four months when the Botox effect has all gone you are back to your old depressed self again. There is no short cut in treating depression.

Instead, deal with your depressing realistically; acknowledge the things that are failing you. Make a daily schedule of what you want to accomplish for the entire day. Exercise and eat healthily as regular exercise seems to encourage the brain to re focused in a more positive way, which also helps to reduce social anxiety .

Take responsibility and challenge those negative thoughts in your head. Depression is a mental state, if you can devise a way to shift your negative thoughts into something positive and life enriching  then there you can achieve a happy and fulfilling life ahead of you.

 

 

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Originally posted 2014-07-17 11:03:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter