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Social anxiety - my therapist wants to discharge me


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Hi there. Just wanted to know if anyone can come up with some useful suggestions. I might be panicking a bit, but it seems to me that I am far from cured.

The therapist and psychiatrist mainly focus on people with psychosis - which in my case has been successfully dealt with even without medication.

The problem I have now is the same thing I have suffered with before and which indeed led to my psychosis. In effect I have really bad anxiety issues in social circumstances and especially when it comes to intimacy and relations with the opposite sex.

In recent weeks, I have been able to attend numerous social events and have even managed to break through anxiety producing moments. Today, however, I had plans to go Salsa dancing, but when I arrived at the dance class, I just couldn't bring myself to enter the building. I felt that my awkwardness and discomfort would project and that no one will not want to dance with me. I don't really know how to proceed as the flight response is so strong. I am unable to analyse the triggers or go through an internal CBT type process. I am quite frustrated, as this is what I felt throughout during social situations at university. Indeed I feel that I may never get rid of these feelings.

I will go to the Salsa class again in 2 weeks after the holidays, but this time will try to get rid of negative anchors by undertaking incantations and using meditative techniques. If this doesn't work, then I will get hammered. I feel I need to do something to progress!

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I think it is a good step that you already enrolled salsa classes. Even though you experience awkwardness.

I struggle with social anxiety, and all I can say, is that exposure is what has helped me. I still feel anxiety everytime I have to face a social situation, but I think the more you go out the more secure about yourself you would be.

 

What I do when I am minutes away from a social situation is to breath really deep and slowly many times. And tell myself it is all in my head. People are not really paying attention to me, I am the one who think they are.

 

I think it is great that you got to manage your psychosis without meds.

 

I hope this helps

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crtclms, I think that the OP is scared that, as they as discharged from their psychosis-treating programme, what brought about the psychosis (social anxiety centring around women/girls) will rear its ugly head and cause a relapse.

For example OP wanted to go dancing but was too scared to enter the building despite using CBT.

I think the OP is looking for insight or tips on what to do if the CBT doesn't work, and OP is fearing a relapse of their social anxiety. 

 

OP, if I'm wrong, let me know. But I think that that's what you're asking?

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I think one thing to consider is that you have had several successes before this last attempt. You are always going to be a little socially awkward, most likely, I know I will. I think if you look at messing up once or twice as a temporary set-back, and not a collapse, it might make it easier for you to remain on an even keel.

 

You still have been successful more times than you have been unsuccessful. Maybe looking at the entirety of your social life, instead of looking at each interaction as isolated, might help?

 

And give your self points for getting as close as you did. You of course are more stressed out if you have left a therapist. That probably made you feel even more stressed out for that salsa class.

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You're kind of right Winter Rosie, although now I'm far less likely to fall into relapse as I have more tools and artillary under my belt. Also I have a better idea behind what makes me tick.

I have since seen some good you tubes with regards to social anxiety and will use this together with NLP and Tony Robbins conditioning techniques to try the Salsa class again in 2 weeks time.

The trouble I face is that most women are put off by shy submissive males. I will work hard to portray the opposite. It is also worth remembering to love yourself .... That is the most important thing. Consequently I refuse to put myself entirely on the plate as I usually would have. Relationships should be 50 50. My wants are just as important as theirs.

I'll keep you guys updated on how things go!

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The trouble I face is that most women are put off by shy submissive males. I will work hard to portray the opposite.

 

Can I offer a suggestion?

 

How about work on portraying yourself as your self... not an image or character you think "women" like. Some women prefer quiet men. Some prefer assertive men. Most women prefer men who are comfortable with who they are instead of trying to be what they "think women want".

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have you tryed visualization techniques?

im not the best at describeing them.but theyve been proven to be effective

one basic one is you first use deep breathing to relax your body,which shouldhave the affect of relaxing your mind then you visualize your self, in your mind,doig the think your afraid of,in this case salsa dancing with a girl,and you lmagine your self to be relaxed ,happy and enjoying your self

your basically trying to turn somthing that triggers anxiety,into something that triggers relaxation. it is possible and can at the very least reduce anxiety.but again you can find much better description of the techniques if your interested

hope it helps

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@wooster . Yeah you're right, it's important to be yourself .... I believe that comes once you deal with your insecurities. Body language, general frame of mind helps to achieve this even where your anxieties (usually from past experiences) try to hijack your present successes. In my case I am trying to connect with my inner child who is forever curious, passionate and on the whole outgoing. Unfortunately submissiveness, insecurities are learnt behaviours and IMHO can be unlearned.

Bob hope.... You're absolutely right. In my case I'm going to try to reframe anxiety into excitement. I listened to an interesting YouTube video today pertaining more specifically to public speaking, that suggested this can be easily done. Indeed the author said he'd be more concerned if he didn't feel anxious before speeches because that would suggest indifference. To captivate your audience you need to care.

Guys thanks for your input! It is important to be yourself, but I believe you owe it to yourself to be the best you possibly can!

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@wooster . Yeah you're right, it's important to be yourself .... I believe that comes once you deal with your insecurities. 

Actually, it comes before you can effectively deal with your insecurities, at least in my case. It's important to be comfortable in your own skin then it will matter less what others think and more what you think. You will never get rid of all your insecurities. It's like chasing a rainbow.

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I guess if that's if you identify yourself with your insecurities. Personally I find this disempowering. In my opinion you are more than the sum of your past experiences. The future is yet unwritten ... And that should be exciting!

I never said anything about identifying myself with my insecurities. I thought I was saying the opposite.

 

With regards to the salsa dancing ... what exactly are you afraid of? Rejection? Humiliation?

 

I just have the feeling that you are seeking immediate answers to things that must be learned by experience. You have to experience rejection (probably, many times) in order to learn how to handle it. Everyone is rejected at some point in their lives, I mean there is not a way around it as long as you are alive. Even the most confident people have experienced rejection at some point.

 

Similarly, we have all been embarrassed at some point. Again, it is how you handle it that's important. And you must learn how to handle it by experiencing it. You may be a great salsa dancer or you may fall on your face. Nobody here can promise you that you won't be rejected or humiliated. But if you treat any outcome as a learning experience, even an utter failure will be useful. You can analyze this until you are blue in the face, but you must take action, you must do something, to learn. And with learning comes confidence.

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Don't you have to overcome your insecurities to truly become yourself? Otherwise you try to become what you perceive others expect you to be.

When it comes to Salsa dancing I fear people will see through my insecurities and reject me either through their own discomfort or otherwise. I have been rejected and humiliated throughout my life - but I now see that has been due to my "people pleasure" attitude. The most important thing is to maintain self respect.

I agree with your suggestion that you need to continuously get out there and execute. Otherwise you do not learn from your mistakes and grow as a person.

My fears come from negative anchoring from the past where I anticipate humiliation, rejection etc. this is something I need to battle with, because my subconscious here is my worst enemy.

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Don't you have to overcome your insecurities to truly become yourself? Otherwise you try to become what you perceive others expect you to be.

When it comes to Salsa dancing I fear people will see through my insecurities and reject me either through their own discomfort or otherwise. I have been rejected and humiliated throughout my life - but I now see that has been due to my "people pleasure" attitude. The most important thing is to maintain self respect.

I agree with your suggestion that you need to continuously get out there and execute. Otherwise you do not learn from your mistakes and grow as a person.

My fears come from negative anchoring from the past where I anticipate humiliation, rejection etc. this is something I need to battle with, because my subconscious here is my worst enemy.

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People will always have insecurities for our entire lives. That is part of being alive.

Where the difference is is how we cope with them. 

 

I go out and do things regardless and in spite of feeling insecure. And I do that because I will always feel insecure about something. I will always feel poorly about something, even if that something changes on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. But why should that let me stop me from living my life?

 

If you don't live your life now - when will you? And how else, other than living, will you learn the skills to help you grow around and beyond your insecurities? Therapy is a part of life. It cannot replace living. But it can help us process the stumbling blocks of living. I wish I could remember how my tdoc explained it to me. Something about how we can't put our lives on hold while we heal because part of the healing is learning to be out in the world with it. And she's there to help me with that, but she's already gotten that figured out for herself. So now I need to figure it out for me. And the same applies to you.

 

I'm curious why you say that it's important to maintain a sense of self-respect; you couldn't get yourself through the door. Wouldn't the self-respectful thing to do be to go regardless of that moment of fear to see what happened? After all. Humiliation is a feeling and, while it is awful to feel, it's a feeling. And it passes. And self-compassion can help it pass.

 

It's great that you know where your fear comes from. I have no clue about a lot of mine and I quite frankly don't care. That knowledge doesn't benefit me. Instead the question is what will you do with the fear to prove to it that you are the stronger?

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Not sure I agree with you there Rosie. My aim is to become entirely secure in who I am, and in the process help others.

With regards to you doing things in spite of insecurities, I find that commendable. It reminds me of a TED talk where the therapist advised listeners to fake it 'til they make it.

Interesting thought about me not being able to make it through the door. I guess my fear of rejection and what that would do to my self esteem was greater there, in any event, the emotion was just too strong there. I will continue with this endeavour until things become more manageable.

My main problem is that of intimacy, and I'm seriously considering seeking "professional" help even if that goes against my religious and moral convictions.

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Not sure I agree with you there Rosie. My aim is to become entirely secure in who I am, and in the process help others.

With regards to you doing things in spite of insecurities, I find that commendable. It reminds me of a TED talk where the therapist advised listeners to fake it 'til they make it.

Interesting thought about me not being able to make it through the door. I guess my fear of rejection and what that would do to my self esteem was greater there, in any event, the emotion was just too strong there. I will continue with this endeavour until things become more manageable.

My main problem is that of intimacy, and I'm seriously considering seeking "professional" help even if that goes against my religious and moral convictions.

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Persevering in spite of insecurities is not "fake it until you make it." Everyone has insecurities. Even the most confident and competent people have insecurities. But we cannot let ourselves be eaten up by those insecurities. And we cannot sit down and analyze each one to death before we do anything otherwise we would never do anything. Instead we acknowledge our insecurities and persevere.

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