Facing anxiety situations


#1

I have been doing the therapy series for 8 months now but I am having problems facing anxiety in a step by step manner.

One period i can be almost anxiety-free and i can talk to hard people with manageable anxiety,

but the other days social anxiety makes it hard to even talk to my parents.
On this days I get really self conscious when i talk and i am having a hard time thinking about something to say. The shyness becomes painfully high.
Its like i have a huge brainfog. Even writing a text here will lead to high anxiety.

I have made one friend during the last year, (acutally the only friend ive made since secondary school)

He is a very very VERY outgoing kind of person and he ALWAYS takes the initiative and i find it a bit strange that he wants to hang around someone who goes totaly mute when there is more people around or even when i am alone with him,

On good days i can talk and have fun with him without high anxiety, but those days are not that common unfortunately…

Now i am facing another dilemma, he have invited me to a lot of different stuff in the summer,

-one concert weekend with him and his other outgoing friends,
-workers union gathering with plenty of people and socializing.
-2 week trip to USA(i live in norway) with just us two.

I am feeling bad for saying no, he doesn’t know i have an anxiety disorder.
I have said yes to the trip to USA because its only us 2.

Now i feel a bit of worry that anxiety will make that trip a living hell, i am trying not think about it much tho, cus i wont make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. IT can go well.

Anyone else dealing with situations like this, how do you manage it?,
once you start making friends on your good days and they invite you here and there, and they dont know about your problems…

You shouldn’t flood yourself with anxiety the therapy series says, but on some days even talking to my dad or a friend feels like flooding for me, and it always lead to a setback. it makes it hard to step by step approaching anxiety.


#2

Hi again,

Nice to see you post again. Sorry I didn’t see the post sooner!

Good job on doing the series for 8 months, and for still doing it. Obviously you’ve gone through the series more than once. I’m sure most of us need to go through it many, many times before seeing the type of progress we would consider fully overcoming social anxiety. But, still, even in the beginning, you feel and see the progress, like some of the things you’ve described.

I believe it’s in Session 4 where Dr. Richards begins to talk about how we move our therapy strategies into the “real world” by always looking for the easiest thing to do. Stepping it up, then, bit by bit. We practice something new in as low level anxiety situation as we can find, to start. Then, we move it up bit by bit. Of course there isn’t some clean, perfect way of doing this. Just go about this naturally and with the situations you have to work with.

Your post here reminds me of our group members. They come to the group, they begin to do things they never thought possible. I see them doing such a great job. We go out and do some amazing stuff together. And yet it can still be hard to encourage them to come out to events the next time. When they come, they usually are so glad they came, the “doing” helps to break down the anxiety. Yet, they are still working to change the tendency of avoidance and anxiety. Again it takes time.

The one thing we do have here is the group, so we can practice the therapy together. So, my first thought is, can you find someone there to perhaps begin discussing the therapy with? Perhaps post in some kind of meetup group that you would like to know if there are others, simply others who want to work on social anxiety, or, then, others using the series. I know it’s hard to find even that, but I’m trying to think of how you might find at least one other friend/person to work with together. You may find a lot of help in moving the activities up and out together, and just talking about it.

My next thought is about what you write. I’m sure you know already - you are feeling better and it is when you are not worried about anxiety that it isn’t a problem. If only we could stay in this mood all the time! But then thoughts have a way of creating our feelings. Other times you feel anxious. You feel like you don’t even know why or what is making you anxious on those days. I would argue that you are still having some thoughts on those days, thoughts that you let go unchecked, ANTs that are still being allowed to create a mood without being stopped. Apply the same fundamentals to all the ANTs and ANFs.

When you’re in the situation with your parents, even, on “bad” days, use the statements from the therapy. Don’t settle for these feelings and the moods or you will get the result of irrational thoughts. Even though you are feeling anxiety, IF YOU MAKE THE EFFORT TO APPLY THE THERAPY, then you are making a difference, long term. It is exactly when you feel anxious that if you do choose to still apply the therapy, say it to yourself, that you are at that moment signalling to your brain that you will not allow that way of thinking to go on. You’re making the rational, calm neural pathway more possible for the next time.

I feel like I don’t know enough about your life and your situation to give suggestions about what exactly you could be doing. I do feel like you may know how you can continue to move the therapy into your real world situations, or to find and create situations to practice the therapy behaviorally. I feel like you have a solid understanding of the cognitive therapy but that you may need to DO things in a structured way to help that feedback cycle of thoughts to feelings back to thoughts again.

You just cannot allow the anxiety to get expanded and go into spiralling ANTs. When you are talking about or thinking about these situations with your friend or upcoming events, you do need to just stop it. Stop the worry part, emphasize the rational part, and always stop it. By allowing the thinking about it, you feed the anticipatory anxiety side of things.

How can we get you a partner to do therapy with? How can we get you a coach, a teammate? No matter the country or the culture, about 7% of the population will suffer from social anxiety disorder. So, you are not alone there.


#3

Where does the feeling starts in your body ? start.
What does it feels like: turning, squeezing, pushing, pressure … ? moving up down ? clockwise … ?
Where des the feeling goes to after … ? direction
For a feeling to exist it has to move, How does it moves to the start place in your body ? loop.
What colour would you give this feeling ? colour


#4

How are you doing now ?