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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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Hi,I have had very bad social anxiety for the past few

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Hi, I have had very bad social anxiety for the past few years. I am 22, male, live at home, supported by my mother. Currently trying to start an ebay business. I live a very secluded life. I often stay in the house 23 or 24 hours a day. I only leave to shop or the occasional errand. I have no friends, or close relationships. I am not depressed though. When if ever a situation where I have to talk to someone I don't know I get very anxiety ridden. I medicate myself with distraction. Mostly using the computer and TV. My goal would ideally be to be as outgoing and 'me' as I want, I don't need a lot of friends but a close few would be nice. But above friends I would love to be able to talk to women. And one day find a girlfriend. I won't take any medication as I want a real solution to my problems. My question Is This: What are my options as far as resolving my social anxiety? If you need more information just ask, I am an open book. Thanks


Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, thanks for your question.

Customer:

hi


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello! A big first step is identifying the problem and reaching out for assistance- Good job!

Customer:

thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the first time i've done anything to try


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

The research out there tells us a combination of therapy and meds is most effective.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

There are self help options too that one can try. Social anxiety is also considered social phobia.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

A therapist would work with you on learning to think more realistically

Jean N/20pluscounts :

This therapy is called cognitive behavior therapy CBT

Jean N/20pluscounts :

With anxiety our intense and extreme thinking creates a physical response- your mind sends signals there is danger- when there likely is no danger.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's understandable one would hold up at home with this discomfort

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Learning these skills with cbt would help you to begin to venture out more

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Here is a link for self help ideas http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/social-anxiety-disorder-treatment/2/#selfhelp

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It takes hard work and committment to learn and practice these skills on your own. May be more effective to seek out therapist to assist you.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are not alone in this anxiety- it is common- I work with anxiety a lot in my practice

Customer:

What happens in a CBT session and how long does it take to take effect? Does CBT ever normalize people?


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Anxiety can run in the family also-causing one to be more prone or vulnerable to it. Cbt is done individually or in group- if it's structured and educational may be 6-8 week program attending weekly.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Cbt is often educational- learning skills- give you homework in between

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It helps you first id the distortions in thought and you learn how to "put a lie" to neg. thoughts, or untwist one's thinking.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Psych central is a good on line resource for more info.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

The meds help calm the body and the mind-but you can learn skills to relax and calm your mind-again more challengling doing it on your own. There are workbooks also.

Customer:

I dont want any meds


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I understand- cbt may be best option-key with any new thing- takes practice

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It is treatable

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are young it's good to look at this now

Customer:

what is the success rate of CBT? and what type of professional should I go see?


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It is the best treatment we have for anxiety disorders- but like I said lots od studies state combo of cbt and meds-does not mean cbt won't be successful on it's own.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

See a therapist masters level or psychologist who specializes in cbt

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Psychology Today website can help "find a therapist"

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Psych Central is also great resource. If therapist recommends meds you can say you prefer to try therapy and not meds

Customer:

ok. What kind of homework and people given in between CBT sessions?


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You sound motivated that can help lots to get better. Homework involves documenting thoughts, id the distortion, and begin replacing with more realistic thinking.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You may also be asked to take steps to venture out with the skills learned such as relaxation-learn ways to manage anxiety when in social situations.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

In a session the therapist will discuss the discmfort- you feel the anxiety and therapist will assist you to learn skills to reduce it.

Customer:

ok thank you. I believe that's all I need to know, unless you have any more you'd like to tell me


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are welcome- let me know if I can help again-best of wishes in your recovery! If you would be so kind to rate my answer ok or above so I can get credit-much appreciated.

Customer:

ok no problem. thanks.


 

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