• Register
  • TOS
  • Privacy
  • @NeoGAF

Prez
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:34 PM)
Prez's Avatar
I've had social anxiety for most of my life. In the last two months I have quit everything that helped me deal with it (smoking, energy drinks and the medication I've taken for 3 years). Since then I've been getting anxious more frequently. No problem when I'm in busy places but as soon as I have to talk I get frightened. Even worse when someone starts talking to me, I just freeze and don't know what to say. This hasn't been as much of a problem when I was taking medication.

I no longer want to be dependent on meds and drugs, so I'm looking for natural ways to reduce anxiety. Therapy hasn't helped much so far and my next therapy session isn't until August. Alcohol is a big no no as well.

Does exercise make a big difference? Any foods that help reduce anxiety?
Emily Chu
Banned
(05-04-2012, 10:36 PM)
Emily Chu's Avatar
stop masturbating

I'm serious

within day 3 I got myself a gym membership and started running.
.GqueB.
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:36 PM)
.GqueB.'s Avatar
Do one thing every day that scares you. I've heard this helps.

I'm too scared to try though.
woober
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:37 PM)
woober's Avatar
Exercise and eating a good healthy meal may help.
WoodenLung
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:38 PM)
WoodenLung's Avatar

Originally Posted by Emily Chu

stop masturbating

I'm serious

within day 3 I got myself a gym membership and started running.

This is not true. Maybe you can combine them however, masturbate in the gym shower or something.
vicissitudes
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:38 PM)
vicissitudes's Avatar
Stop stabbing people.
DrFunk
not licensed in your state
(05-04-2012, 10:38 PM)
DrFunk's Avatar
Have you asked yourself "why am I anxious around others?"
dralla
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:38 PM)
dralla's Avatar
I have no idea if this actually works - http://specials.rediff.com/getahead/2007/jun/04slid1.htm
aliencowz7
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:39 PM)
It kind of varies from person to person by try to find anything that makes you even the slightest bit more comfortable in public. Some of the stuff I do is if people talk to me I don't look at them I try to fixate on something behind them and its easier to at least respond in short bursts.

Also a good idea to find something to distract you from thinking about stuff while you are out, can really be anything that gets the job done for you. Mine is numbers and applying them to everything around me but once again you would have to find your own thing for it to be helpful.

Other then that I don't know as I've been dealing with the same thing my whole life so I also am a work in progress.
Centurion
Banned
(05-04-2012, 10:40 PM)
Centurion's Avatar
make it a habit to have those little mundane chats with anyone. Cashiers, person in line next to you, whatever. And if the conversation sucks, or someone gives you attitude, don't let it discourage you.
Borgnine
MBA in pussy licensing and rights management
(05-04-2012, 10:40 PM)
Borgnine's Avatar
Try to forget the fact that everyone is judging you, and make no mistake, they are.
Dilly
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:42 PM)
Dilly's Avatar
It's a slow and hard process.

First of all you really have to work on believing that you are a great and interesting person, build some self-confidence. This is very hard and can take a long time. Pick up an interesting hobby, do something you think you're good at and make it a part of your life.

The social awkwardness gets relieved a bit if you feel good about yourself, but you'll still need lots of practice. Putting yourself in social situations that you're not comfortable with and push yourself to feel comfortable in them. Don't feel bad if it doesn't work out in the beginning, small steps at first but it will get better from there.

Then again, all people are different, this is what helped me a lot in a nutshell but it might not for you. I don't think there's a straight forward answer to your question, however, you can always try.
Mononofu
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:43 PM)
Mononofu's Avatar
Have you tried L-Theanine?
Valnen
Banned
(05-04-2012, 10:43 PM)
Valnen's Avatar
Life forcing hard situation after hard situation on me eased me up a bit on it, but it never goes away completely.
salva
Más perro que Dios y Jesús combinados, más machín que blue demon y más famoso que el santo
(05-04-2012, 10:44 PM)
salva's Avatar
Stop giving a fuck. Worked for me :)
Slevin
Junior Member
(05-04-2012, 10:46 PM)
Slevin's Avatar
I find that exercise can be a big help in overcoming anxiety since all those endorphins put you in a feel-good mood.

The biggest way that has helped me fight anxiety was to force myself to get into situations that caused anxiety. When I was 16 I was scared shitless of driving on the freeway and actively avoided them for a long time. I finally forced myself to take the freeway as much as possible. The more and more I faced that situation, the less anxiety I had each time. Same thing with parties, bars, awkward family get-togethers. It's the last thing you might want to do, and yes your brain can literally convince you to back out. But if you can concentrate on potential benefits or how much you hate anxiety, you can hopefully push through it.

This has been the only for sure thing that has worked for me. I've been on 5 different anti-anxiety medications previously and none of them worked as well for me.
Valnen
Banned
(05-04-2012, 10:46 PM)
Valnen's Avatar

Originally Posted by salva

Stop giving a fuck. Worked for me :)

Actually yeah. Once you realize that other people really don't give a fuck about you it becomes easier to deal with. I always try to be super accommodating to people anyway a lot of the time though :X.
Angry Fork
Spelling is Hard
(05-04-2012, 10:47 PM)
Angry Fork's Avatar
My anxiety stems from no longer being witty/funny. I used to be when I was younger and people liked me for it but then I became introverted and lost that. I think way too hard now and it's not organic. I don't have a problem just talking normally to people but I'm often dry as hell. It doesn't help that you have to know your audience and even if you think something is funny they may not so I end up shutting up for fear of them not getting it.
TheTowel
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:48 PM)
TheTowel's Avatar
Start drinking.
bangladesh
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:48 PM)
bangladesh's Avatar
Conquer your insecurities.
jon bones
hot hot hanuman-on-man action
(05-04-2012, 10:49 PM)
jon bones's Avatar

Originally Posted by salva

Stop giving a fuck. Worked for me :)

this is excellent advice. maybe try some xanax to help you get there.
MiniBossBattle
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:49 PM)
MiniBossBattle's Avatar
Exercise, sleep and keep a schedule. Other than that try not to care/stress about too much.
Prez
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:49 PM)
Prez's Avatar

Originally Posted by .GqueB.

Do one thing every day that scares you. I've heard this helps.

I'm too scared to try though.

I've been doing this so many times for years. Talking to someone at the store already scares me, but I do force myself to say hi, thank you and goodbye every time. I've been doing these kind of things every day for years and it still scares me as much.

But I've done so much more than that. I've studied to be a teacher for two years and I've had to teach for an entire month. I did the full practice and I did a damn good job at it, but I failed (because I was too nervous apparantly, even though I felt at ease). I had to quit the teacher training because I realised the anxiety will never disappear and teaching full-time would cause too much stress.

So it's not like I haven't tried! I've done so much to battle the anxiety and it's still there. My meds have helped me with conversations and such, but I've never been able to make and maintain friendships. My loneliness is in turn making my anxiety worse :(
RELAYER
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:50 PM)
Put yourself in situations that you are fearful of.
Work your way up, don't be afraid of failure, keep trying.
Eventually gain perspective and realize it isn't a big deal and there isn't anything to be afraid of.
Zebra
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:51 PM)
Zebra's Avatar
I had to take a bullshit public speaking course for college a few years ago.

It turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done for myself because it got rid of the majority of my social anxiety. I still remember the exact speech I gave when i realized what was happening. It is a defining moment in my life.
NH Apache
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:51 PM)
NH Apache's Avatar


Babysteps.
Insane Metal
Received Internet Coal
(05-04-2012, 10:53 PM)
Insane Metal's Avatar
I've been trying to do that my whole life. Still haven't figured out how to. =(
Cubsfan23
Banned
(05-04-2012, 10:53 PM)
I have zero social anxiety now


pstec.org to get rid of negative emotions attached to your negative beliefs. It's free and works really fast


then you can do this NLP technique to install positive beliefs.

Pacing and Leading Affirmations

If you know anything about NLP, you know that pacing and leading is a way to build rapport. Well you can use it to build rapport with yourself too. Pacing statements are what you know to be true and your leading statements what you want to believe. The pacing statements are building a rock solid confidence in what you are saying and then you sneak in what you what you want to believe and your mind will accept it as fact. You need at least 4 pacing statements but you don't need more than 6 or 7. I can't tell you how fast you can change a belief that's up to you but to try it out for 5 minutes. Read the I believe list 3xs then the I know list for the rest of the 5 minutes.

So, it would look like this.

I believe that 2+2=4 (pacing)
I believe that I live on Earth (pacing)
I believe that it is January (pacing)
I believe that I am alive (pacing)

I believe that being social is simple, fun, and easy (leading)



I know that 2+2=4 (pacing)
I know that I live on Earth (pacing)
I know that it is January (pacing)
I know that I am alive (pacing)

I know that being social is simple, fun, and easy (leading)


You can fill in whatever you want for the last line. (and the first 4 lines, you can personalize)



It's that easy.
shadowsdarknes
I'M STILL A JUNIOR
(05-04-2012, 10:53 PM)
shadowsdarknes's Avatar

Originally Posted by Stabbie

I've had social anxiety for most of my life. In the last two months I have quit everything that helped me deal with it (smoking, energy drinks and the medication I've taken for 3 years). Since then I've been getting anxious more frequently. No problem when I'm in busy places but as soon as I have to talk I get frightened. Even worse when someone starts talking to me, I just freeze and don't know what to say. This hasn't been as much of a problem when I was taking medication.

I no longer want to be dependent on meds and drugs, so I'm looking for natural ways to reduce anxiety. Therapy hasn't helped much so far and my next therapy session isn't until August. Alcohol is a big no no as well.

Does exercise make a big difference? Any foods that help reduce anxiety?

Try and talk to random strangers on the street, in a cafe, wherever. But be honest about your anxiety. Start off by saying hello, and what your doing. For example, if you see someone interesting in Starbucks walk over to them introduce yourself and tell them you are approaching them because your doing an experiment to help you conquer social anxiety. Be upfront and honest about your fears. Just start talking about what you know most about; your problem being sociable around people. Give your best effort to be light about it. After awhile you may become accustom to the conversation. That's the best advice I have.
Vermillion
Member Formerly Known as JokerOfSpades
(05-04-2012, 10:54 PM)
Vermillion's Avatar

Originally Posted by salva

Stop giving a fuck. Worked for me :)

Originally Posted by RELAYER

Put yourself in situations that you are fearful of.
Work your way up, don't be afraid of failure, keep trying.
Eventually gain perspective and realize it isn't a big deal and there isn't anything to be afraid of.

It's difficult when you realize you can't speak for shit, or that conversations that you DO have are basic and boring.

Or if your social circle is full of assholes who interrupt you anyways to say some other shit.
Seraphinianus
Banned
(05-04-2012, 10:56 PM)
--exercise
--putting yourself in social situations (go to a cafe, make small talk or don't, but just be there to hang out and do your gaf browsing or whatever)
--don't beat yourself up over perceived mistakes in social interaction

these are just the first steps, but the most important because if you do them, you won't have to come back and ask what else to do.
hey_it's_that_dog
benevolent sexism
(05-04-2012, 10:56 PM)
hey_it's_that_dog's Avatar
This advice is vague, but I'd say practice. You need to experience successful social interactions so that you can unlearn the association between socializing and anxiety. Of course, if your anxiety actually causes you to perform badly in social situations, than you'll just reinforce the connection, so maybe you want to stay on the meds and gradually lower the dose as you become more comfortable socializing.

I used to have a lot of social anxiety (though I don't think I'd have met clinical criteria) but now I can speak publicly, and well, in front of hundreds of people. 7 years ago I never would have believed it, but I'm very comfortable with it and practice/experience was a big part of that.

You also need to ask yourself what you're afraid of, and if you notice that you have lots of negative thoughts about anticipated interaction, or after an interaction, you need to counteract them with positive thoughts. Are your negative thoughts really warranted? Or are you making things out to be worse than they really are? Basically, convince yourself you aren't being rational. Read up on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and see if that sounds like it might apply to your situation.
ceramic
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:57 PM)
Are there any particular reasons that the therapy has not worked? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (I assume this is the type of therapy you are receiving) is said to be very effective for social anxiety.

I know there are many people who recommend online CBT solutions like MoodGYM (http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome) though I haven't used it myself.

I suffer from this as well, in that I have a paralysing fear of approaching people, like work colleagues from different departments but particularly randoms on the street (some people talk about approaching people in supermarkets etc but this would feel overwhelmingly awkward for me). I have the overwhelming feeling that I'm bothering people and can't think of anything interesting to say that would be a good enough excuse to start a conversation.

I was thinking of trying out therapy but now I'm not so sure. The information I've read about it talks about drawing attention to your irrational thoughts. I already know that my thoughts are irrational, but it doesn't help.

Also, exercise does nothing for me.
Last edited by ceramic; 05-04-2012 at 11:00 PM.
snoopeasystreet
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:58 PM)
snoopeasystreet's Avatar
I have a little bit of social anxiety that I need to get over. I'm grand talking to strangers if I have a friend with me but on my own (and sober), I'm way quieter.
Prez
Member
(05-04-2012, 10:59 PM)
Prez's Avatar

Originally Posted by Dilly

It's a slow and hard process.

First of all you really have to work on believing that you are a great and interesting person, build some self-confidence. This is very hard and can take a long time. Pick up an interesting hobby, do something you think you're good at and make it a part of your life.

The social awkwardness gets relieved a bit if you feel good about yourself, but you'll still need lots of practice. Putting yourself in social situations that you're not comfortable with and push yourself to feel comfortable in them. Don't feel bad if it doesn't work out in the beginning, small steps at first but it will get better from there.

Then again, all people are different, this is what helped me a lot in a nutshell but it might not for you. I don't think there's a straight forward answer to your question, however, you can always try.

These aren't much of an issue to me anymore. I'm a very confident man thanks to my great looks. I consider myself a very interesting guy as well. I've got so many hobbies I don't have much time for anything else. The only thing I'm not confident about is socializing because of my anxiety. It's completely irrational, I don't have a single reason to be anxious but I can't seem to control it.

I'll have to put myself more in social situations, I guess that's the best thing I can do. The fact that I'm wasting my entire youth sitting at home should be enough motivation.
Patrick Bateman
(05-04-2012, 10:59 PM)
Patrick Bateman's Avatar
People care less about you, then you think they do.

It may sound stupid, but always questioning oneself is really unnecessary. Most people don't listen, look at you or remember you that they would judge you.

And if you know that people don't care that much, you shouldn't care that much about them, either.
Grakl
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:02 PM)
Grakl's Avatar
1. Stop caring.
2. Start exercising.

Both do wonders for social anxiety. Exercising just helps you in every facet of your life, easily.
upandaway
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:02 PM)
upandaway's Avatar
When I went to see a specialist (I didn't even know it was social anxiety then, I just went to see him because I was forced to) all he told me was short-term options with long-term effects, like 1 month of CBT or 2 months of this medicine etc etc.

Didn't you ever get the options to do these things? They're mostly not natural but they're short-term and have pretty high success rates (I think he said something like 80%).

I wish I kept the paper listing all the things he offered me. It had a bunch of stuff, and none of them went over 2 months.

As far as ACTUAL advice, uh, dunno. See a dude about that.
All the guys saying not to care, it's like saying "be happier" to a depressed person. I definitely can't do it and I don't know anyone who could.
Last edited by upandaway; 05-04-2012 at 11:05 PM.
RELAYER
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:02 PM)

Originally Posted by JokerOfSpades

It's difficult when you realize you can't speak for shit, or that conversations that you DO have are basic and boring.

Or if your social circle is full of assholes who interrupt you anyways to say some other shit.

I was just sharing what has worked for me. Everyone's situation is different.
hey_it's_that_dog
benevolent sexism
(05-04-2012, 11:03 PM)
hey_it's_that_dog's Avatar

Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman

People care less about you, then you think they do.

It may sound stupid, but always questioning oneself is really unnecessary. Most people don't listen, look at you or remember you that they would judge you.

And if you know that people don't care that much, you shouldn't care that much about them, either.

This is a good point as well. If you feel like people are scrutinizing you, remind yourself that people really aren't paying attention to you (or anything) most of the time.
Last edited by hey_it's_that_dog; 05-04-2012 at 11:09 PM.
Prez
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:04 PM)
Prez's Avatar

Originally Posted by shadowsdarknes

Try and talk to random strangers on the street, in a cafe, wherever. But be honest about your anxiety. Start off by saying hello, and what your doing. For example, if you see someone interesting in Starbucks walk over to them introduce yourself and tell them you are approaching them because your doing an experiment to help you conquer social anxiety. Be upfront and honest about your fears. Just start talking about what you know most about; your problem being sociable around people. Give your best effort to be light about it. After awhile you may become accustom to the conversation. That's the best advice I have.

This is impossible for me. I'm ashamed of my anxiety. I don't tell anyone about it because no one understands. I've done that before and I haven't known a single person who understood and supported me.
mac
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:05 PM)
mac's Avatar
You could take medication and talk to a counselor.


Oh no wait, that would just be a crutch. You should sack up.
SpiffyG
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:06 PM)
SpiffyG's Avatar

Originally Posted by hey_it's_that_dog

This advice is vague, but I'd say practice. You need to experience successful social interactions so that you can unlearn the association between socializing and anxiety. Of course, if your anxiety actually causes you to perform badly in social situations, than you'll just reinforce the connection, so maybe you want to stay on the meds and gradually lower the dose as you become more comfortable socializing.

This is my problem. I suffer from anxiety most of the time and while I can carry a conversation and have a great time sometimes, a lot of the times I perform badly and feel bad for it. So I go back into hiding. >_> (Actually, I do the same even on this forum... lol)
Seraphinianus
Banned
(05-04-2012, 11:06 PM)

Originally Posted by hey_it's_that_dog

This is a good point as well. If you feel like people are scrutinizing you, remind yourself that people really aren't paying attention to your (or anything) most of the time.


especially if you're just sitting there quietly.

unless you're sitting their quietly giving everyone strange looks and hyperventilating...
olore
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:07 PM)
olore's Avatar

Originally Posted by Centurion

make it a habit to have those little mundane chats with anyone. Cashiers, person in line next to you, whatever. And if the conversation sucks, or someone gives you attitude, don't let it discourage you.

Somewhat this. I can talk to anyone these days. Something about not giving a flying f and just diving into conversations with people and just going wherever the talk goes. You would be surprised at how many folks who look uptight just erupt in a cacafony of words if you just nudge them a bit with an observation or just a simple "nice weather". Just talk to as many peolpe as you can. Everywhere.

And exercise your body as much as your mind. Run. Bike. Lift weights.

Do something
Last edited by olore; 05-04-2012 at 11:10 PM.
hey_it's_that_dog
benevolent sexism
(05-04-2012, 11:09 PM)
hey_it's_that_dog's Avatar

Originally Posted by shadowsdarknes

Try and talk to random strangers on the street, in a cafe, wherever. But be honest about your anxiety. Start off by saying hello, and what your doing. For example, if you see someone interesting in Starbucks walk over to them introduce yourself and tell them you are approaching them because your doing an experiment to help you conquer social anxiety. Be upfront and honest about your fears. Just start talking about what you know most about; your problem being sociable around people. Give your best effort to be light about it. After awhile you may become accustom to the conversation. That's the best advice I have.

What? No, that's super weird. That guarantees an awkward situation, at least for the stranger, and telling them outright that you are experimenting and trying to conquer social anxiety will change the way they treat you. You want to experience natural interactions.

Plenty of people without anxiety issues don't enjoy randomly trying to talk to strangers. It just seems like a weird first step, unless you don't have anyone in your life who is closer to you than a stranger.

Originally Posted by Stabbie

This is impossible for me. I'm ashamed of my anxiety. I don't tell anyone about it because no one understands. I've done that before and I haven't known a single person who understood and supported me.

This is understandable. I really don't think having unavoidably awkward interactions with strangers will help. Smalltalk is smalltalk for a reason. Strangers don't want to hear overly personal things about you.
Last edited by hey_it's_that_dog; 05-04-2012 at 11:12 PM.
SMT
this show is not Breaking Bad why is it not Breaking Bad? it should be Breaking Bad dammit Breaking Bad
(05-04-2012, 11:09 PM)
SMT's Avatar
Exercise is plenty great for reducing anxiety, it makes a huge difference. After two weeks of steady training every second day, starting with cardio and later adding muscle training, you will feel a big difference.
Exercise depletes the adrenaline levels in your system, and thus the tightening of throat or any variation of you may be experiencing will subside, gradually.
I was in your boat last summer. Persevere while randomly approaching people, you might even make friends.
SpiffyG
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:11 PM)
SpiffyG's Avatar

Originally Posted by Seraphinianus

especially if you're just sitting there quietly.

unless you're sitting their quietly giving everyone strange looks and hyperventilating...

I feel like when I'm in public I have a pretty "bitchy" expression as a defense mechanism so people won't talk to me.

Originally Posted by olore

Somewhat this. I can talk to anyone these days. Something about not giving a flying f and just diving into conversations with people and just going wherever the talk goes. You would be surprised at how many folks who look uptight just erupt in a cacafony of words if you just nudge them a bit with an observation or just a simple "nice weather". Just talk to as many peolpe as you can. Everywhere.

I wish I could one day be able to do this. Sounds like such a pipe dream.
Cubsfan23
Banned
(05-04-2012, 11:11 PM)
If you wanna have "successful" conversations, just ask people questions about themselves, listen, and acknowledge what they are saying.
mac
Member
(05-04-2012, 11:12 PM)
mac's Avatar
I'm not being a dick, I'm trying to cheer you up when I say this, but your issue is within your means to combat it. It just takes a little work and focus. In the realm of mental health problems yours is on the level of dropping 5 lbs for swimsuit season.


http://www.amazon.com/Shyness-Social.../dp/1572245530


First book I found on Amazon and it seems like a good one.

Thread Tools