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Social Anxiety
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Suicidal Thoughts

Unable to tell anyone what you are going through? Fear their reaction? Don't panic you are not unique.

 

The most common criticism of suicide crisis lines is that anyone determined to kill themselves is not likely to use one. This observation - whilst being partially true - disguises the fact that unknown millions of us live with issues regarding other people, whch could preclude us from using suicide crisislines.

Put simply, individuals experiencing  social anxiety  are often not able to discuss personal matters with other people. Whilst medical professionals would speak of a lack of 'emotional resources' etc. The fact remains that untold millions of us feel ourselves unable to use a crisis line.

This is a valid point.

Those of us experiencing Social Anxiety experience a sense of fear, apprehension, dread or worry about being watched and judged by others in any number of social settings and situations.

Obviously, as with so many things, the actual degree of the anxiety - and the situations which trigger this anxiety -  varies from person to person. 

Social Anxiety is a recognised Phobia. 

Any of us experiencing this condition are excessively self conscious in general everyday social situations.

Common feelings associated with this phobia involve paranoia. A nagging, persistent, intense, and chronic fear that we are being spied on and judged by others 

Consequently, we are often  acutely embarrassed or humiliated by our own actions. The feeling that others are judging us creates an uncomfortable need to run away or hide.

Given the fact that this phobia can become so intense and damaging that it significantly impair our lives. It can virtually be the ruin of every aspect of our lives; work, school, social life, everything.

Whilst those amongst us battle with social anxiety acknowledge that the fear of being judged by people is excessive; Anxiety is an  extremely difficult condition to overcome - but not impossible!

The physical symptoms which often accompany social anxiety, include profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and stammering. Panic attacks may also occur under intense fear and discomfort.

A common coping strategy for (undiagnosed) sufferers is to self medicate with alcohol as a means to reduce fears and inhibitions at social events etc. There SIMPLY has to be a better way.

Mental health professionals will insist that an early diagnosis will help in minimizing the symptoms of the condition – and reveal other issues such as depression – which can then be addressed. In other words = go see your doctor. This does make sense, but it takes a very, very brave person to do this.

Coping with Social Anxiety

Experiencing social anxiety can…

       make going to work or school extremely difficult,

       make  interacting  with other people a nightmare,

       make it virtually impossible to visit the doctor or use a suicide crisis line.

Notwithstanding the above obstacles, we must all surely recognise that maintaining and strengthening our existing relationships - and building new ones - is essential to help us cope with any (so termed) mental disorder

Apparently, it is also important for us to understand that treatment requires time. This being so, (with time)’ treatment’ can help us relax in the presence of other people

In the meantime we are strongly advised NOT TO USE ALCOHOL OR DRUGS to cope with situations with triggers our anxiety,

Some positive coping methods include:

   Banishing negative thoughts about yourself

   Practicing relaxation exercises

   Adopting stress-management techniques

   Reaching out to people you do feel comfortable around

   Engaging in pleasurable activities, such as exercise or hobbies, when you feel anxious

   Getting enough sleep

   Eating a well-balanced diet

   Setting realistic goals

Human contact being all-important it makes sense to at least consider joining a support group - especially a peer support group.

Given the nature of social anxiety, the thought of joining any group can fill us with a sense of overwhelming dread strangers, But  peer  support groups do introduce us to others who understand and can closely identify with our situation. These groups are a good source of support, advice, coping strategies etc which work for them.

The hardest obstacle we need to face is actually coming face-to-face with whatever situation it is that is triggering our anxieties. To overcome, and not to avoid the painful situations which trigger our symptoms

       Regularly confronting these unbearable situation, we'll continue to build and reinforce our coping skills.

Over a period of time, this approach can help us to control our symptoms. We should also learn to remind ourselves that we can get through anxious periods, that our anxiety is fleeting, and that the negative, bad consequences which we fear will cause us pain and shame hardly ever happens.

The purpose of this page is to signpost people to access further information, contacts, coping strategies, support structures etc.
















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