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Re: Antipsychotics for Social Phobia

Posted by bleauberry on November 19, 2008, at 17:38:36

In reply to Re: Antipsychotics for Social Phobia Michael Bell, posted by Racer on November 19, 2008, at 8:51:26

I would like to agree with Racer that lifestyle efforts need to be made to combat social phobia, in addition to meds. Meds can help get the comfort and confidence to do that.

Some of the best times to retrain your mind however are when your symptoms are the worst. I had the worst massive phobia, but I had no choice but to enter the huge group of crowded people at a convention; and I had no choice but to walk through 300 people to get up on stage at church to play my guitar...and in both situations I had blown right past plain social phobia into near panic attack.

Anyway, I did my best, I did a fake job, it was hard, it was a determined effort, literally one 5-second segment at a time. Extremely unbearably uncomfortable and extremely draining.

But, after all was done, I realized nothing bad happened. All the social phobia was for not. Sure, it feels real as can be, but it is not based on reality. It is based on some genetic or neurotransmitter flaw. Or an exaggerated form of shyness. Or a mild flavor of paranoia, or a mild flavor of schizophrenia, or a mild flavor of bipolar, or something. Doesn't matter. All that matters is that it comes from somewhere we cannot point to, but that we can force ourselves through it. Aint fun, but we can do it.

After it is done, there is obviously a huge sense of relief. But in addition to that, there is a slight sense of accomplishment. A slight boost in confidence. So the next time around, it will still be terrifying, but a tad less terrifying than the time before. Over time with these repeated purposeful exposures, symptoms can be cut in half, and things can be much more tolerable, and we can at least have some control over the feelings, even though we can't make them go away by will.

Medications that do the job, awesome if you find the right one. But even with the wrong one or an unsatisfactory one, do not wait for a cure to begin curing oneself. Force yourself into those uncomfortable situations and retrain. It really works. I agree, it aint easy, but whoever said life was. It does however make a better and stronger person out of you, a person less controlled by the invisible illness, a person who says to the social phobia monster, "I am the boss of you, you are not the boss of me."




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