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
Hello, thanks for your question.
Hello! A big first step is identifying the problem and reaching out for assistance- Good job!
thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the first time i've done anything to try
The research out there tells us a combination of therapy and meds is most effective.
There are self help options too that one can try. Social anxiety is also considered social phobia.
A therapist would work with you on learning to think more realistically
This therapy is called cognitive behavior therapy CBT
With anxiety our intense and extreme thinking creates a physical response- your mind sends signals there is danger- when there likely is no danger.
It's understandable one would hold up at home with this discomfort
Learning these skills with cbt would help you to begin to venture out more
Here is a link for self help ideas http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/social-anxiety-disorder-treatment/2/#selfhelp
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.
You are not alone in this anxiety- it is common- I work with anxiety a lot in my practice
What happens in a CBT session and how long does it take to take effect? Does CBT ever normalize people?
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.
Cbt is often educational- learning skills- give you homework in between
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.
Psych central is a good on line resource for more info.
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.
I dont want any meds
I understand- cbt may be best option-key with any new thing- takes practice
It is treatable
You are young it's good to look at this now
what is the success rate of CBT? and what type of professional should I go see?
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.
See a therapist masters level or psychologist who specializes in cbt
Psychology Today website can help "find a therapist"
Psych Central is also great resource. If therapist recommends meds you can say you prefer to try therapy and not meds
ok. What kind of homework and people given in between CBT sessions?
You sound motivated that can help lots to get better. Homework involves documenting thoughts, id the distortion, and begin replacing with more realistic thinking.
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.
In a session the therapist will discuss the discmfort- you feel the anxiety and therapist will assist you to learn skills to reduce it.
ok thank you. I believe that's all I need to know, unless you have any more you'd like to tell me
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.
ok no problem. thanks.