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Sorry to hear of the situation. Before I proceed can you provide some more detail on the kind of counseling you have received? Did it have a name? How many sessions? What happened during sessions?
Hi Donovan, thanks for the extra information. I have a few more questions I'd like to ask, it's help clarify your situation for me.
Firstly, have you experienced and significant trauma in your lifetime? For example, assault, motor accident, etc. You mention family counseling and anger management when younger, did you have the misfortune of being a victim of some sort when younger?
Second, you mention that your were having trouble with pervasive(?) worrying. Can you give me some examples of the kinds of things you used to worry about?
Lastly, can you give me some examples of social situations you've become highly anxious in? How long has the social anxiety been a problem?
Thanks Donovan. Yes you're right the drug use, caffeine etc does complicate the situation as all these things impact upon anxiety in a profound way.
The current caffeine use will play havoc with your anxiety and if I was to give you one piece of straightforward advice it would be to stop consuming it. Easier said than done and something you already know......but I thought it important to emphasize it as a goal.
What is clear is that you describe diffuse and complex anxiety problems.... probably not surprising given some of your life history. Trauma has a powerful impact upon anxiety and we see people who have been victims of trauma become highly vulnerable to developing other anxiety disorders. I would presume that your early experiences have likely left you susceptible to the kind of difficulties you are having now.
Roughly speaking it seems that you have been experiencing difficulty in two anxiety areas: generalized anxiety (pathological worrying) and social anxiety with Panic Attacks. Both of these disorders/problem areas can be effectively treated using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and in fact CBT is recommended as a core part of the treatment of both of these problems. I usually describe specific treatment options foe both of these sets of problems but given that your situation is quite complex i think this is a little pointless. What I would strongly suggest is that you consult with an experienced CBT clinician who can conduct a detailed assessment of your anxiety processes and develop a tailored treatment plan. Suggesting you pursue treatment for only social anxiety (for example) at his stage would be pointless as the generalized anxiety and trauma will also be impacting on this area.
CBT is usually provided by Clinical Psychologists (although not exclusively) and you can contact the American Psychology Association (APA) for assistance with locating a Psychologist; take a look at the APA locator service here. You can use this to find Psychologists in your area and there is a phone number you can contact if you want a referral arranged for you. Also, take a look at an article published by the APA here. It's an interview with a senior Psychologist and covers some of the things you should consider when you looking for a Psychologist. I'll pause here and wait for any response you may have so far.
Did you still want my assistance with this question?