hI Mitch thanks For sharing your story, it's amazing that we all feel much or less the same,
I've had this anxiety since I think before my teens,
In school when I was about 11 or 12 when the teacher would call my name I would freeze and if I was asked to read I would shake.
but I knew there was something wrong but didn't know what and couldn't tell anyone not even my family, I suppose I always felt a bit ashamed in having this, even though I know now that there is nothing to be ashamed of, it's not our fault we have this.
I remember I worked in an office when I was about 20, I just stayed on my own, there was about 7 of us, but they would sit around talking on there break, but I would sit on my own, they must have thought I was a freak, I felt a freak.
( Even thought inside I felt a social and outgoing person, this think I had inhibited me )
I never went out much,
I went through my life always had a job cause I suppose I am a survivor.
I did go to a doctor in my 20s and tried to explain but he said I was depressed and suggested medication, but I don't like taken stuff so I didn't.
I had a lot of failed relationships because of this anxiety.
I did get married and my husband was quiet, and didn't really notice. As we cover it up quiet well, but I was suffering and struggling. I do have 5 children.
I didn't have anxiey around them as children, but as they got older, I couldn't even talk to my children. Again I went to a doctor he thought I was depressed, but he also mentioned social phobia, and it fitted me to a T.
I started on medication, and thought to myself it would be great if a pill would take these feelings away, but I was wrong they made me feel worse,
I mean I was only depressed because I suffered with this.
Anyway 10 year ago I stumbled on Dr Richards therapy on line,
I feel cognitive behavior therapy is the way to go, and felt really excited that there probabaly there was a cure for this I always suffered with eye contact, I would always hide behind my hair, my hands,
When I read Dr Richards story he could have been describing me. I ordered the therapy,
And within a short time, I didn't have a problem with eye contact,
Because I was working I didn't give it a 100% , but I have made a lot of progress,
I think people with social anxiety, we all have different degrees of it and areas where we need to work on. But we are all the same, I think we all have a greater sense of awareness, we are over sensitive, we are perfectionist, we feel it's ok for other people to make mistakes, but not for us,
I found while working on the therapy you learn a lot about yourself,
I've made progress with eye contact first, that's gone
I suffered a lot with self consciousness, centre of attention,
But the slow talk and relaxing, really made a difference, the slow talk gives you a sense of relaxation,
I think if you tease it out, like why are we always worried about being judged, evaluated, this is the anxiety in side you that makes you feel this, and as DR Richards says if you look around you will see that no one is really looking at you. This is how I got rid of my self consciousness.
( if other people are not worried about what I think of them or being evaluated or centre of attention? then there is no rational or logical reason why I should worry about what they think of me. It's an irrational thought it not happening,
if we just stop aiming for perfection, like there no perfect way to look or act, there no perfect conversation, like it's ok to make mistakes, we can only do our best, and straight away this lifts the pressure and your able to relax, it's been a tough road for all of us, hope it's a better 2018 for all