Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I Suck At Updating My Social Anxiety Blog!

Hey guys.. as always, I'm sorry that I suck so bad at keeping this blog updated. I really really will try harder from now on. Whenever I've thought about updating the blog I've always been put off as I couldn't really see what benefits it had. I think my problem was that as I run quite a few websites with the aim of making money, I had plans to do the same on this site too - it just seems to be a natural thing to do with a blog in my eyes. But I realise that it shouldn't be about money when it comes to social anxiety disorder. I should be using this blog solely as a place to vent my feelings and to try and help out other anxiety sufferers, so this is really what I need to start doing from now on.

So its been about 9 months since my last post here... its been quite a busy time and generally with me thats a very good thing. I've discovered that whenever I have too much time on my hands, or am by myself for long periods, basically whenever I'm bored and such, I seem to always feel down and depressed. I find by keeping active and keeping busy this is the best way to stop myself from feeling depressed, and even with regards to some of the social anxiety if I don't have time to stop and think about things then all the better - I just get ahead and do them without worrying. Its when I have the time to worry and listen to the thoughts in my head that I start to over-think things and then feel anxious.

In the time since my last post on the blog I've managed to complete my first year of college - which I managed around mid July, and I later found out that I passed my first year which I was really pleased about. I had to take a few exams and I've never been keen on revising but I actually enjoyed a lot of it this time around, and still passed without doing loads of revision - definitely a plus! The revision and exams were all tough but it actually felt like I'd learned more in those 2 or 3 weeks then I'd learned in the whole year of college... I don't know if thats a good or bad thing, I know I enjoyed it, but I think I need to apply myself a lot more next year if I want to get a good grade. Its just a 2 year course after all, so I'm going to try my best to knuckle down. I need to sort myself out an agenda so I can balance my work and my study, with an emphasis on the study.

When college finished I was left with a gap from mid June up until around the 20th of September - about a 3 month gap, which caused a bit of a dilema as I pretty much had nothing at all planned for summer, and really didn't fancy the prospect of just hanging around for that whole time - I was going to get so bored, and therefore so depressed and fed up! Luckily my housemate was in the same situation as me, and we're both really good mates with similar interests and so we decided to take massive risks (well, massive in terms for us), and do a bit of travelling. So we ended up spending nearly 2 months in places around the mediterranean and had an amazing time! It was definitely one of the best things I've ever done, and at one place we went to we did some volunteering at a camp and met so many amazing people from all over the world - one of the best things about being away. I was still shy and awkward at times but I still loved it all and have definitely got the travel bug so will be looking at doing this again, maybe after I've finished college! I think this may be worthy of a blog post in itself so I'll consider writing up a bit about my travels in more detail later on...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

You Look Like You're Somewhere Else...

One of the things I've been managing to do quite regularly since starting university is to get exercise. I get quite a lot of walking done to and from college, and over some quite hilly roads, and also have started to work out a little bit from my new home, but also I play football with other college guys which is pretty fun, definitely a highlight of the week for me. It wasn't a serious game, just a match between 2 groups of people, but they've entered a team in a 6 a side league which I play in too, which is quite competitive but which I still really enjoy.

Some days when we play just a kick about I enjoy it more times then others - perhaps the teams may be a little unfair, or a bit unbalanced, or sometimes you may feel like you aren't really that involved in the match. I don't really feel that anxious when I play, but I don't talk whilst playing and rarely call for the ball, although I've been told many times that I should do. The only real time I feel a bit anxious is inbetween playing the game, making small talk with the other players etc.

Today I was playing football and during the match, when the ball had been kicked out of play and people were just waiting around, someone on my team asked if I was okay as I seemed to be elsewhere. This took me by surprise quite a bit, but the same guy had asked me if I was okay before, after a game, I think just out of politeness really. It didn't really affect me that much today, I just was a bit suprised. It made me wonder if I look like I'm distant or look like I'm elsewhere a lot of the time in general, or during football, but I'm pretty sure its something that must happen quite a lot. I guess a lot of the time I am elsewhere, as I'm thinking things to myself, and not really participating in much talking or doing anything much. It made me feel a bit anxious that I may look elsewhere all of the time now, and that someone that is a bit troubled would stand out that much to everyone. Social anxiety is something that you'd want to hide from view from other people, and to not make it public, yet if its that obvious that you've got things on your mind then maybe it isn't that easy to hide your problems.

I still think I suffer from the social anxiety when it comes to playing in important football matches. If I feel there is pressure on, that people are watching or its an important game, then sometimes I can get pretty breathless and this really affects me as obviously you don't want to be running out of breathe during a game of football. However, all in all I really enjoy playing and I'm loving all of the exercise that I've been getting since being at university. Many people have said that doing exercise is one of the best ways to beat depression, as it releases endorphines in the body, and its something that most people can do even when they feel pretty bad about themselves.

It would be really interesting to know if other people who suffer from anxiety of some sort have been told before that they look like they are elsewhere, as I'm sure it must be quite a common occurance. I think the guy that said it is just a pretty straight and honest guy, just checking up on me really. Even if I had admitted that there was something on my mind, its quite a tricky subject to approach, so I just said I was fine. I think during the game today I was just a bit frustrated with the teams and felt a bit lost on the pitch, so I may have looked more like I wasn't concentrating on my game much.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Another Update To The Blog - April Onwards...

In my previous post on the blog I mentioned what I had been upto for the past year, or since posting on the blog, and I went up to April of 2010. I mentioned getting in trouble and receiving a curfew, which took up quite a chunk of time and was quite a negative thing that happened to me, although to be honest it didn't really affect me that much - I had an excuse not to go out so much, but I was still able to get on with things during the day and to carry on as usual. It was a bit stressful if I was out and I would be worried about getting home in time, and it also became a bit of a nuisance because of some of the plans I had made - I decided that I wanted to go to university to study something.

I'm not entirely sure why I wanted to get back into education... I'm 23 and most people went to university straight after sixth form, but back then I didn't feel like I wanted to down that route. It felt a lot like everyone was just going through the motions - they got told to go to school, to stay on at sixth form, and then to go off to university. I didn't really feel motivated to learn back then, hence getting a job then getting laid off then becoming self employed. I was self employed, and still am, making money from a network of websites that I created from scratch. But after about 2 years or doing this I started to get a bit bored, and I felt that I did want to learn things again, to meet new people and mainly to challenge myself. I was quite interested in conservation, and I've always liked most things related to the sea, so a marine conservation course was what had interested me.

So I started university in September and so far things are going well, but I do feel like its a bit of a struggle at times too. This is probably why I've come back to the blog to update it recently, as a way of venting my feelings in a way which (at least in my eyes) is more productive then just writing them down on paper for no-one else to see them. The content isn't too much of a struggle, well it is slightly as I've never done very well in Science related subjects at school and some of my modules can be quite involved, but mainly I feel a bit like I struggle with the social side of university. As I'm writing this my housemates are out drinking in town, and although I didn't go simply because of my anxiety, I feel a bit relieved at not having to go, which is annoying because I don't want to feel this way. I want to feel upset that I've not gone out, I really crave the enthusiasm that so many people on my course show when they talk about going out partying.

Anyway, think I've digressed again. Since the curfew ended in April, and up into university started in September, I don't think I was up to too much. I was carrying on working on my own websites, occasionally seeing friends, playing football, and so on. When I was on the curfew I tried giving some new things a go, I ended up going on an introductory sea kayaking course which I really enjoyed (kayaking is definitely something I want to get into) and this was quite awkward to do as my electronic tag wasn't allowed to get in contact with sea water as it can corrode it (was told I would be breaking the law if I did this) but I did it and it was fine as it didn't end up getting wet. I also went on an introduction to bee-keeping course which was interesting, but a bit boring and I felt a bit awkward as I was by far the youngest person there and didn't really feel comfortable going up to older strangers to make small talk. I don't really think I did too much else before starting university, I guess I was just quite busy preparing to move and so on.

The curfew was also annoying because when it came to the university open days, the curfew wouldn't allow me to go because as they were quite far away I wouldn't be able to travel there and back in time - so I ended up having to have about 2 other seperate court hearings (specifically just for me) to allow me to have special permission to break my curfew by attending these open days. Again, I really think this was pretty pointless and a waste of the courts time/my time. Sometimes I had to wait hours to get into court (if it was on a Monday apparently there are lots of arrests during the weekend which get pushed in ahead of me) and I would only in court for a minute or 2. I also had to travel to the court to get a form to fill in in order for them to review my request to break the curfew, which meant having to travel there etc. This may sound a bit moany, especially considering I did break the law, but just feel the whole system is a bit rubbish. Other people on curfew may have been put off even applying for university and attending these open days when they are aware of the amount of extra effort they had to put in to allow them to break the curfew.

Anyways, apologies again if I have sidetracked a fair bit in this post. Just trying to cram in as much info for the past few months as possible, hope it wasn't too boring! As I've updated the gaps for the past few months I'll now be able to add more social anxiety relevent posts, which will be shorter and more to the point (hopefully!). Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Blog update

Right, this is the second attempt at updating the blog. I tried a few days ago but my post disappeared, was quite lengthy so I was pretty annoyed! As you may have noticed, I've not posted here since about October 2009 - over a year ago. A fair bit has gone on since then, I do still have my social anxiety but I'm pretty much trying to get on with things and to not dwell on it. I'm going to try and spend some time in the near future reading more social anxiety help books and general depression support books, just because I do still suffer from the anxiety, but I also find that keeping myself busy is probably one of the best ways to cope, and I've been pretty busy recently.

I'm not completely sure why I've not updated the blog in so long, I can hazard a guess that it was because I'm pretty lazy at times... I don't think many/any people read the blog so I wasn't really convinced theres much point making these posts, but I'm hoping if I try and post more regularly that might change. Looking at the date of the last post which was October 09, that was quite a stressful period. I'm a bit worried about going into detail here because of incase someone finds out who I am by reading this, I mean if a friend happens to stumble upon this site. But I think I may be being quite paranoid as that situation is likely to actually happen. So anyway, the event which caused me quite a bit of stress and worry was when I got in a bit of trouble with the police. I was on a night out with friends, I drank way too much, and ended up in a fight and getting arrested. I had to go to court, where I pleaded guilty to the assault, and then was given a curfew as my punishment (and small fine).

Its not really the first time I've acted stupidly, and anytime that I have done anything like this it has been when I am drunk. I never ever start trouble or go looking for trouble but if someone does something to me when I'm drunk then its very unlikely that I'll just let them get away with it, I guess its because I know I let people get away with all sorts when I'm sober as I lack the confidence to stand up for myself... and when I'm drunk I have that confidence and I want to use it. But anyway thats my own "analysis" of myself, and so I've tried to avoid getting drunk ever since. I'll only ever drink again when I feel that I am not going to act silly, when I feel less anxious etc.

Usually when I go out clubbing with friends I feel that I have to drink a lot to get over my anxiety, I would never ever dance or anything like that if I was sober, so I tend to avoid going clubbing at this moment in my life. It gets quite awkard trying to avoid it though, as I'll probably explain in a blog post later... When I was out at the night that I got in trouble I drank a stupid amount, I don't know if this is anything to do with the social anxiety but when I'm drunk I don't know my limits and just keep on drinking - most people feel drunk and stop, because they don't need to drink more.

When I was told I would have to go to court because of the assault you can imagine I was pretty worried and very anxious. I was scared at the thought of what might happen to me as my punishment, and scared at the thought of going to court. I didn't cope or deal with it well at the time, and failed to speak to my family about it, who are always really supportive. I ended up telling my mum about it on the day of the court date, and then she ended up turning up at the court for my hearing.

In the interview after being arrested I mentioned my social anxiety as I thought if it could help me at all then I'd be silly not to mention it. I explained that I feel I have to drink quite a bit to stop feeling my anxiety, and I'm not sure whether or not it helped but I was desperate and was scared at the time, thinking I could end up going to prison. In court they mentioned my social anxiety, which is the first my mum had ever heard of it, so this wasn't the ideal circumstances for her to find out! But in a way I was glad she knew, but the reason I didn't tell her about me getting into trouble, or my anxiety, is because I think she's a bit of a worrier like me, and I didn't see why anyone else should have to suffer my own issues. That might sound a bit strange but its just the way I feel really, that its my problem and that I should have to deal with it - I was stupid enough to get in trouble in the first place, so I should have to suffer the consequences. I also realise the saying its good to talk, and that its not healthy to keep things inside or to yourself, so maybe this is something that I need to work on as well.

Anyway, I was given the curfew for what happened, which I thought was pretty ridiculous seeming as I'm not exactly a repeat offender and that I'm not exactly a menace to society. Also the fact that my social anxiety was brought up in court, you'd have thought they wouldn't have given me an excuse to stay indoors! But thats the criminal law system for you, I was glad to get what I got as I realise it could have been worse. I used the time to try and get more work done, and carried on with my CBT stuff. The court or police didn't offer any sort of advice regarding the anxiety, I thought it would have been nice if they did, or whether they said anything about consuming too much alcohol, or suggested some sort of counselling to stop me from acting the way I did. Not saying any of that would have helped, its just that so many people behave in this way, and by giving them a curfew I don't think that will exactly deal with the problem in the long run.

I think this post has probably digressed somewhat from what I had in mind, but its updated a fair chunk of the past year or so. From December until April 2010 I had my curfew, so I'll try and update the other parts of the year in some future posts on the blog. Appreciate any reads/comments from anyone, thanks!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Meaning Of Social Anxiety Disorder

The term "social anxiety" is a general term that is applied to feelings of apprehension and fear in social situations. A person with this mental disorder may have a certain amount of uneasiness around others, be it strangers or those familiar to them. A certain amount of it is a normal part of a child psychosocial development.

Social anxiety can take many different forms. Examples of it include being afraid of public speaking, performance anxiety, shyness, stage fright. Given these examples, it seems some level of social phobia exists in each of us. The anxiety most certainly exists on a continuum for every one...ranging from small amounts of timidity to debilitating clinical phobias.

Social anxiety that continues and worsens during adolescence and early adulthood may be a sign of Social Anxiety Disorder, or also known as Social Phobia. It is specifically difficult to diagnose given the generality of normal anxieties in most everyone. The credibility of it being a "disorder" has even been challenged by some professionals. The American Psychological Association has, however, included it in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders since the 1980 version. Although some argue about the relevancy and specificity of the diagnostic criteria, it is generally agreed that the descriptive definition and criteria are improving with each revision of the highly revered and noted publication.

Diagnostic criteria for social anxiety in children require that the symptoms of the disorder be present for a minimum of six months time. For adult, it does not have to be present that long to be clinically diagnosed, but a differential diagnosis will be made from patient reports of intense fear of being in social situations, fear of being judged, worry about being humiliated, fear that others will see that you are anxious, panic attacks, and developing avoidance of situations where one will have to speak to people or be the center of attention.

Clinical levels of this disorder can be reclassified into one of two sub categories, General Social Phobia and Specific Social Phobias. The more general the symptoms and triggers, the more likely that the disorder will fit in the former category. Just as one can have a wide sweeping array of general social phobias, one can exhibit extreme social phobias about specific instances-riding in elevators, speaking on the telephone, or being in a crowded shopping mall are all examples of specific social phobias.

There are numerous treatments for those with extreme levels of social anxiety disorder. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, talk therapy, and behavioral therapy. These types of treatments can be used successfully alone or as a repertoire of therapeutic treatments. Whatever the case, it is important that one recognizes the anxiety and seeks help before the phobias begin to take over your life. Untreated it can be a debilitating and troublesome condition for adolescents and adults. Seeking treatment is the first step towards successful rehabilitation and the ability to face your fears head on.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Suffering From Social Anxiety

Are you suffering from social anxiety disorder and fed up with visiting different therapists? Or, worse, scared to go to see a therapist? What can you do from the security of your own residence that may help you to work on your inner feelings, ideology and emotions, so enabling you to have the inner confidence to get out there among others, feeling cushty in your own skin?

Social stress Disorder has been handed a lot more attention by the medical profession in the last ten years. If you be afflicted by it, you know what it feels like and how it has effects on each area of your life. It causes considerable trouble and pain as the subject worries about what other folks may think about them. This fear of being judged and fear of becoming embarrassed can be extremely devitalizing. For some this fear is only experienced in certain circumstances, with certain triggers, maybe only when in the area of "people in authority". For others it may be sure places which act as the trigger to their inner chaos ; perhaps a weekly essential trip to the supermarket or simply having to stroll down the road is sufficient to get palms sweating and heart palpitating. For some, just the concept of having to leave the house will set this uncomfortable ball rolling.

The myriad evidence of social anxiety could be caused by exact fact or merely expectation of something which might or might not occur. In both cases, the symptoms experienced are similarly real. Whether the stress experienced is generalized or more express it's still terribly uncomfortable and devitalizing for the subject. The majority have major difficulty in their search to conquer it. This isn't surprising because as you concentrate on attempting to overcome social anxiety you unavoidably spend more time considering it, and what you concentrate on has a tendency to become "bigger" in your mind and thus in your life too. This is a central aspect of how your mind works. Consider it for a second. If you are brooding about purchasing a specific vehicle, for example, maybe a BMW or Lexus, you may all of a sudden become mindful of each automobile that you see which fits that outline.

All of a sudden there appear to be so many more BMW or Lexus automobiles on the road! Another "thing" which your mind does all the time, without fail, is if you try and not do something, you'll have an overpowering instinct to do precisely that which you are trying not to do. Try as hard as you can for an instant to NOT see a giraffe...What happened? Did you see a long neck, by any chance?! Applying this to your try to overcome social anxiety disorder will help you to appreciate why the task can be so hard. The more that you give it some thought the more it occurs, and the more that you try and not consider it the more it occurs as well. Added to this you have no idea why you "got it" in the 1st place. There'll be a reason why.

A symptom does not happen without cause, although you are most likely ignorant at a conscious level of what that cause might be. Your subconscious mind will however know what the cause is and has made these patterns of behavior which you no longer want to have.

How are you able to go about changing these subconscious patterns of feelings and behavior? A trip to your local analytical hypnotherapist ( please check for the one with the top level of applicable credentials and the most experienced ) will show you ways to relax in hypnosis, so accessing the workings of your inner mind, your subconscious, and then steer you to uncoil the springs of cause and effect which led straight to these symptoms being experienced. This may help you to grasp why it all occurred and will relieve plenty of the stress experienced.

But you are probably going to still need a specific quantity of mind re-training for you to feel totally cushty in social scenarios. It is a little like you know you no longer need to feel a bit like "that"...but you do not know how you should be expecting to feel either. It can feel just like you are in "limbo".

Hypnosis downloads are incredibly useful in coaching your brain to expect to feel as you would like to feel. They are cheap ( a major bonus in the present environment ), straightforward to use and fast to work.

You actually can learn an entire host of psychological talents which will permit you to feel cosy in each situation which you can encounter. I made my "complete confidence program" of hypnosis downloads for this very reason - to enable everybody to have access to learning all of the psychological talents wanted to be assured in life at terribly tiny cost.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Avoiding Embarrassment

If embarrassment is keeping you from advancing in your career or maintaining private relations, there are many paths to beat bashfulness and become the outgoing person you want to be.

List your good qualities and luxuriate in the fact that you have many good points that will help you overcome your embarrassment problem.

Pick one thing you would like to change about yourself and concentrate on that one thing till you achieve success in making positive changes. Methodically working with one issue at a time will help you become the person you need to be and overcome your bashfulness. It could be an easy thing like making eye contact with the clerk at your local greengrocer or striking up a conversation with a stranger on the bus. These are some helpful recommendations and concepts that will help you overcome embarrassment and talk up when you must to realize your goals. The things that are of the most help to some shy folks will not work as well for others. Random test and a wish to succeed are the keys to finding what works best for you. Following some easy embarrassment tips can be extremely advantageous to you in your search to triumph over bashfulness. If you suffer from extreme embarrassment, a good bashfulness tip is to elucidate the difficulty to those you run into on a constant basis. Folk have a tendency to be extraordinarily understanding and useful if you explain the difficulty in a way that simply lets them know you are shy, and not in a way engineered to gain sympathy.

There are many methods to beat embarrassment and not every idea or idea will work for everybody.

Find the tools that are the most useful to you personally and use these tools to the best of your capability. Begin gently and make little changes each step of the way. You'll be able to see your progress with each negative personality mark you change into a positive one.