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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 just taken an online test and discovered I have marked

This answer was rated:

Hi I have just taken an online test and discovered I have marked social phobia. What can I do for help?

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, I would like to try and assist you with your question. Welcome!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Thank you for your post today. How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Sometimes a bit of relief comes from understanding what one has been struggling with, that there is a "name" for it, an explanation.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

There is treatment, very effective treatment for social phobia.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

A combination of talk therapy and medication is typically the best treatment.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Learning more about the thoughts and related emotions behind the anxiety is a first step.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment. The focus is on working towards making our thoughts more realistic. Our thoughts and perceptions determine our emotions and behaviors. With CBT one learns to adjust, and or change those thoughts that are not accurate nor realistic.

Customer:

I have been having these symptoms from high school days. I struggled a lot with speeches, presentations. public speaking is a big fear for me

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Thank you so much for joining the live chat- I'm glad you posted today! You have taken a big first step in identifying your struggle, doing some research and gathering more information to begin to heal.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

That is also a common fear "stage fright" often people report this anxiety.

Customer:

I do also get nervous in social gatherings. when there are too many people and if there is any attention drawn to me.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes, social situations can be uncomfortable. Does it prevent you from going out as much as you'd like?

Customer:

if I can avoid it I will, however because of my job it is becoming difficult to avoid such situations

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Being more sensitive and an introvert may lead to discomfort in social situations- wanting to be more invisible, less exposed. It's interesting how some people seem so comfortable in social situations- we are all wired differently.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Your job requires you to be more "exposed"?

Customer:

Yes. I am a health professional and I will be required to attend social gatherings at work, do presentations, attend meetings ect.

Customer:

because I am not confident I am unable to enjoy my work, I often avoid meetings and avoid presentations etc

Jean N/20pluscounts :

When it effects your job there is more on the line- can not avoid that. Yes- a big part of your job to be more visible. How have you managed so far? Do others notice or comment on your discomfort?

Customer:

well I have managed to hide it thus far by avoiding such situations and I have worked in a rural area for a long time, but now I am back in the city, working in a big hospital and in a supervisory post so no one knows anything yet. I have even declined a management position because of this fear.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Others may appear confident and comfortable but underneath they are nervous and anxious- more typical for people to feel that way when having to present, focus is on them. You are not alone in this- number one fear for people is public speaking. Most people suffer in silence- do not realize how common this is. More on the line for you moving to a city, big hospital.

Customer:

I know how common it is but I need to do something about this. I get so nervous infront of a crowd that my voice quivers and my hands shake.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You may consider in the short term talking to your doctor about a small dose of med. to treat the anxiety- while you also work on looking at your underlying thoughts that drive this. There are effective medications for anxiety as you probably are aware of in the field of work you are in.

Customer:

what medications can you recommend

Customer:

what other options are there?

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Would you consider counseling? The CBT I referred to is quite effective.

Customer:

yes

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I'm not an medical doctor- can not suggest medications-

Customer:

ok

Jean N/20pluscounts :

There are more quick acting medications that are used as needed.

Customer:

I would prefer a long term solution

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Or a daily med to help longer term

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Med plus the cbt is what works the best.

Customer:

will a life coach help

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes- they also address the thinking piece

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Address self esteem

Customer:

what about hypnotherapy

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Solution focused therapy is also effective. Some have found hypnotherapy helpful in treating many disorders.

Customer:

can you recommend life coach or hypnotherapist in durban

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Let me check my resources- and I can get back to you

Customer:

ok please e-mail me.

Customer:

I really do need help. I would like to be myself in any situation without the fear and nervousness

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I can only respond through this post, you will be notified that I posted a reply

Customer:

thank you

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are welcome!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Will reply with information asap

Customer:

ok . can I come back here if I have more questins

Jean N/20pluscounts :

of course- please do

Customer:

also please let me know if there is anything else I can do to be more confident

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes- I will provide any other info. that may be helpful

Jean and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
http://www.coachdirectory.co.za/index.asp Here is a link for life coaches in your area. I will allow you to read their bio. and see what may be a good fit for you. There is a tab on the site that can assist you to choose a coach that may be a good fit for you.

http://www.findahypnotist.co.za/hypnotherapists/kwazulu-natal/ Here is a link for listings of hypnotherapists in your area

http://www.helpguide.org/topics/anxiety.htm a good resource to learn more about social anxiety and best self help and treatment

I do hope the info is helpful. Thank you for your post and best wishes in finding that relief you seek. Let me know if I may help again.
Thank you