How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Michael Your Own Question

Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
28397935
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Michael is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi. In the last year, Iv developed a real anxiety problem

Resolved Question:

Hi. In the last year, Iv developed a real anxiety problem when I am speaking to a person or people that I perceive as a authority figure. I first felt this during a Phone interview i did 10 months ago for a job i was applying for. As the interview began, I found myself with a dry mouth, difficulty talking ( couldn't get my words out, sounded like( felt like) I was going to cry), getting shaky and very uneasy. After a few moments and trying to answer a couple of questions, my anxiety began to pass, and i felt myself return to normal and was able to do the rest of the interview without a problem. Since then, I continue to feel the same symptoms anytime i try to speak and any authority, or when i try to voice my opinion or get my point across at any sort of meeting. Iv never had this problem before in my life. Why did this start, and how do i get it to stop?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue. The one main hypothesis that comes to mind is that this could be something called social anxiety or social phobia. It involves: 1) someone who is predisposed to experiencing strong anxiety reactions to situations that for most people, wouldn't be nearly as anxiety-provoking; 2) learning or conditioning of the anxiety response to situational cues in the environment. So the cause is a combination of biological vulnerability or anxiety-prone 'temperament' and the right learning or conditioning experiences. The person basically learns to escape or avoid the trigger or cue situations that cause the anxiety to occur and they become less and less able to face the anxiety situation.

Because I suspect you are generally anxiety-prone, I would suggest an excellent form of therapy for this that really works quite well called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It was developed at the University of Nevada by a clinical psychologist named XXXXX XXXXX. It is being specifically tested for a number of anxiety conditions e.g., obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety and general chronic anxiety conditions.

I'm going to pause here and solicit your reaction to this. Have you been in therapy before with a cognitive behavioral therapist or with one who does the (above) ACT therapy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Iv never been in theorpy before, and iv never considerd myself an anxious person
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
If you have never felt you are anxiety prone, never have been an anxious person then this is quite a good thing because it suggests you wlll have an easier time solving this problem. If you want to get started on something by yourself, here is one workbook on this general topic that is pretty good----far cheaper than seeing a therapist for a single session. If you take the activities quite seriously, it will probably help. One thing I tend to do to coach people is have them PRACTICE in advance, in front of a stranger or authority figure, having an interview, giving a talk or presentation---going through two trial runs before the actual task with the authority figure. This nearly always instills a good deal of confidence. Incidentally, have you seen the movie, The King's Speech? Not applicable to you but same principles are involved i.e., lots of pre-practice and rehearsal helps the actual task when it comes.

http://www.amazon.com/Anxiety-Phobia-Workbook-Edmund-Bourne/dp/1572248912/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330735351&sr=1-10

Now some 'experts' might suggest you try a prescription of medication to take just before one of these critical events. I'd not recommend this because it can take the edge off of your mental sharpness, ability to really think on you feet, etc.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
Dr. Michael and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education