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Martyr

Can social anxiety go away on its own?

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Brief summary of my situation: 

Ive had social anxiety for either 3 or 4 years (self diagnosed), started at around the same time I hit puberty weirdly, and what i have trouble with is constant swallowing (I feel as if spit piles up in my mouth rather quickly), slightly shaky hands (only noticeable if I lift them), and one that has really damaged my life is my unwillingness to socialize or even speak at all.

I definitely do not want to take therapy, just the thought of being alone in a room with a stranger, having to open up about everything personal makes me anxious. That is definitely at the bottom of my list. I've already considered pills, but Ive asked my mother far to many times and now I cant even mention it now without my mom going berserk. 

Conclusion, self therapy (Is that a thing?) or hopefully, it'll go away when Im older. Obviously, I have doubts about the last one, but I seriously wonder if it's possible. I have noticed its lessened since last year, and just last night I had a dream about socializing in a way I never had and I took that as a sign as a new stage in my life. 

Advice? Opinions? Personal experiences? Also, ways to cope? Thanks in advance. ^_^

Edited by Martyr

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How do i delete this I just realized I shouldve posted this in the social phobia forum instead of the anxiety one.:dunce:

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No need to delete. I can move it.

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I just wanted to say that i'm sorry you are going through this ... I can empathize with you, I have social anxiety also. 

Idk if it will go away on your own. 

Recently, as in last week, I found something that I wanted to do for years now (seeing a chiropractor) and it gave me hope ... I have to walk there ... but now I actually want to get out of the house to walk there, and running into someone as I walk there I really don't care about because I want to get the chiro treatments. I mean I still do care about if I run into someone, but it seems to have lightened up a little.  I guess I'll see on Tues when I have the appt.

I think the only thing that might get in the way of everything is if I fall into a deep depression ... or my mood in general might make things harder.  My mood seems to run a big part of my life.

 

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Hey, I can relate to the puberty stuff. I was pretty neurotic as a child, but it hit me hard as a teenager. Whether it gets better or not depends on how you deal with it. Tbh if you're still in school, this is your best chance to deal with it. You'll never be in such a complex social environment ever again, and if you have social issues, I think now's the time to sort them out rather than retreat into your comfort zone. My middle school was an all-boys school. I started by observing people around me. What's the correct response to this social situation? What would a normal person say? How do I make small talk with strangers? Frankly up till today I still abhor the question "How are you?" because I can never quite give the appropriate answer without a tinge of awkwardness. Then I hit high school and I suddenly had to interact with girls. That was killer. But I did the same thing and it worked out. 

The first time I got dragged to the shrink I guess it was awkward and I was mildly anxious, but I had at that point in time already sorted out a lot of my GAD, so I'm not sure what advice to give you on that end (I was mainly seeing him about my nasty PD), although if I were you, I'd do it. The good psychotherapists (the proper ones!) are very experienced, and you shouldn't feel embarrassed about opening up to a stranger, or anxious. I worked in a military psych ward at a point in time, was in consult rooms helping with note taking and everything, and honestly know this much: no one is judging you, and you can rest assured that the person in front of you has seen FAR weirder shit than anything you could confess to him/her. Hell, me and the shrinks I used to work with had patients actively trying to kill themselves, people who claimed to have lived on Jupiter for a month and psychopaths obsessed with hurting others in the most fucked up ways. Trust me, there's nothing to be anxious about in seeing a psych/psychiatrist. 

To this day I still am slightly socially anxious, but in no way that interferes with my life. I'd advise you to start being 'observant' in the manner that I previously described. Start watching body language. Start mimicking people. Find a small group of close friends who accept you for who you are. You can start off using this small group as a crutch. Go to social events with them, and when you feel things are getting too awkward, just default back to them. Occasionally they will introduce someone new into the circle, and you'll be forced to form a new acquaintance. So be it. But you still have your other friends as a crutch. Start small, that's what I did. Soon I found myself sitting around a table in a cafeteria with some friends and some strangers. Was I the leader of the conversation? No. Was I speaking at all? Maybe a few lines, just to my friends. But when I wasn't, I was observing and observing, and slowly getting more confident in myself. Just try it, soon you will reach the stage I'm at and trying to overcome. I call it the obsessing over emails and texts to strangers/acquaintances phase. I've reached the stage where I would much prefer talking to a stranger face to face or over the phone, because I can observe their body language and tone of voice etc. I absolutely hate emails because I keep getting "socially anxious" over the semantics! gawddammit. Another thing that also helps to to become articulate. Start to read more complex books. Then start to write. Then start to speak. People often are very scared about stammering and stuff, and I used to stammer (and still do, when public speaking), but you can work on it. People also think there's a big difference between writing and speaking, but from my experience, not really. When you learn to write, you learn to think 'in words'. And that makes speaking coherently so much easier. 

Here's some food for thought I guess. I always viewed my anxiety as a heightened awareness about the world around me. How anything and everything can go wrong. How anyone and everyone will be constantly judging me. And none of that is false. But I can do nothing to make my surroundings any less terrifying. The only thing I can do is make myself more courageous. Make yourself stronger instead of making the walls thicker. At first this may just seem like trying to approach 'normalcy', trying to not be an anxious mess all the time, fit in with the crowd and be a regular human being. But trust me, once you start facing your fears voluntarily, you can surpass even that. Best of luck. 

Edited by Kisuke

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I'd say it depends. A lot of factors are at play. Some cases go away on their own - others are chronic and worsen if remain untreated. Depends on your specific plethora of possible causes.

BTW did you consider online therapy? there are some options today that you can consider that even allow full anonymity (if that is something that's important to you... i know some people refrain from therapy simply cause of the shame evolved in opening up)

Edited by nxiet

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It goes away if you're more social.  As i've gotten older mine has gone away too.

Honestly the only thing that makes fears go away is confrontation.  I know, we tend to avoid confrontation as people with anxiety, but it's true.

I used to have awful social anxiety, but when I went on meds, I could easily be more social.  Slowly but surely peeled the meds away and my social anxiety wasnt as strong as before.

Luckily now we can confront them with the help of medications....You can do it without the medications, it'll just be a lot more stressful.

Edited by BrianOCD

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i haven't been able to get rid of it. no medications help so i isolate and don't talk to barely anyone. my life consists of internet and video games.. (i've had it since i was a kid) its been decades..horrible

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Posted (edited)

I believe all anxiety can go away, but you have to face it down.  

 

Edited by BrianOCD

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As I've gotten older my social anxiety had went away too. It initially was gone when I was on Paxil and I aas mr. social butterfly, yet even after getting off Paxil it is as if the drug left me permanently socially extroverted and social. I used to have extreme social phobia, treated it with Paxil, and once I decided to get off the symptoms never reappeared and still to this day I don't find myself struggling with social anxiety.

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It won't go away if you're not socialising or speaking to anyone. I've always had difficulties socialising but the more I do it the easier it becomes. Too much isolation and I become mumbly and awkward and have to relearn how to interact with people. So I don't think it can go away without some effort. Maybe you mean without meds or therapy? Perhaps, if you could overcome your anxiety and force yourself into social situations. But if that were easy then you wouldn't be here asking that question. It's not easy at all.

You sound opposed to therapy and I can understand how horrific it seems to be alone in a room with a stranger talking about yourself. It's not as bad as it seems and it would probably do you some good. I was pretty terrified the first time I talked to someone but it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. When we don't have much of a social life, or any social life at all, it can really help to have someone to talk to.

 

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