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Gina P
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
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I suffered from moderate depression at the end of last year,was

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I suffered from moderate depression at the end of last year,was referred to a councillor, but stopped going after a few sessions as i started to feel better.I also experienced anxiety with the depression which hasnt ever gone away, ive recently read up on social phobia and i do relate to most of the symptoms, how would i know if this is what i have? I also have very irregular periods,sometimes only have 2 or 3 in a year,could this all be related?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Gina P replied 4 years ago.

Hi, Anxiety is a symptom of depression, but can also be a diagnosis on its own. Many times the anxiety and social phobia are related, in that the social phobia creates anxiety, which can also exacerbate the depression.

Some of the symptoms related to social phobia include many fears: these fears usually always relate to being scrutinized by people in new situations or situations that involve meeting new people such as at parties.

Some signs of the anxiety and social phobia physically will include rapid or increased heart rate or blood pressure, sweating palms, "tunnel vision" (feeling as if you are looking through a tunnel with black on either side, etc.

Some mental and emotional signs will include inability to think clearly, being only able to be self conscious about your own behaviors, harsh self judgements, anxiety provoking thoughts before or during the actual dreaded event, etc.

This is easily treated with a combination of medications for the anxiety or social phobia and in retraining the thought process to think and believe differently. One method used is systematic desensitization. In this treatment you learn to relax through deep breathing. The mastering of this behavior is vital to perform the remaining. You must learn to train your body to do as your mind tells it, meditation also can help with this. After this is mastered you imagine the social situations that create this stress, working from the least fearful to the most fearful. After you master this in vitro, you can practice these in the real-life situations on a gradual basis. This helps you become masterful at handling most situations that could arise. First because you have learned to control your heart rate through your breathing and second because you gain confidence in your ability to handle situations which also reduces the stressful emotions. These exercises can be done on your own or with a counselor who can help you evaluate what the next step may be, and to assist you in obtaining medications until these behaviors are mastered.

You might also want to do exercises on self esteem. Increased self esteem will help you to feel more confident in yourself and not be as self conscious about what others may be thinking or saying about you.

 

I hope you will seek some assistance or work on these yourself. Having these type of symptoms puts you at higher risk for abusing alcohol or drugs, because they simply make you feel more comfortable in strange situations and with new people. This is one reason bars are so popular for meeting new people! "Courage in a bottle"

 

As for the mentruation, if the physician has given a clean bill of health, you should be okay. Menstruation can be emotionally related to stressful situations and anxiety as well. Hope this helps. Gina

Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience: MSW, LCSW, PIP
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