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 Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question

Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
40019946
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello,I have social anxiety sometimes when I enter a new class

Customer Question

Hello,I have social anxiety sometimes when I enter a new class or go to a social event or
something I feel stressed for no reason.Also I have been experiencing a weird thing,
for exemple sometimes I am embarassed to drink or eat in front of people because
my throat is making a lot of noise...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help you. Social anxiety is officially called Social Phobia and is an anxiety disorder, and fairly common.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Fear of eating or drinking in front of others because of noise embarrassment is quite typical.

Customer:

I can not see a therapist right now ,could you give an advice please

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Why is that?

Customer:

sorry my computer was bugging I didnt see your full answer..

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Does that include not getting medications?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You said you cannot see a therapist right now and I asked why and then I asked if that included getting medications from your MD.

Customer:

I mean I dont think I have something very bad ,mayve its coming from the fact that I care too much about what people think

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You don't have something that is too bad. Do you want to get rid of it or just live with it?

Customer:

I can eat and drink in front of people,the problem I am scared to make too much noises like for exemple,my throat makes weird noises,sorry I know thats crazy...

Customer:

I can do it,its just I feel embarassed

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is one of the symptoms of the anxiety disorder called Social Phobia, which you seem to have.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Would you like me to recommend to you a wonderful self-help book?

Customer:

deep inside of me I know that I shouldnt care about that

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


Here is the book

Customer:

thank you I will check this book

Customer:

but how can I do to eat or drink in front of people without being embarassed of the noises i make?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


There are techniques to use use in the book. Most people just spent a few sessions with a therapist and learn how to overcome this. There is also a social anxiety drug to take as needed called propranolol, which is safe and used only AS NEEDED, while you are training yourself. It is a good circuit breaker.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Here are the official diagnostic criteria for Social Phobia and you can see how it fits.

Customer:

I dont want to see a therapist because in my area its too exepensive

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


Diagnostic criteria for 300.23 Social Phobia


(DSM IV - TR)


(cautionary statement)


A. A marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be humiliating or embarrassing.
Note: In children, there must be evidence of the capacity for age-appropriate social relationships with familiar people and the anxiety must occur in peer settings, not just in interactions with adults.


B. Exposure to the feared social situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposedPanic Attack. Note: In children, the anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or shrinking from social situations with unfamiliar people.


C. The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Note: In children, this feature may be absent.


D. The feared social or performance situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety or distress.


E. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.


F. In individuals under age 18 years, the duration is at least 6 months.


G. The fear or avoidance is not due to the direct physiological effects of asubstance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Panic Disorder With or Without Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, or Schizoid Personality Disorder).


H. If a general medical condition or another mental disorder is present, the fear in Criterion A is unrelated to it, e.g., the fear is not of Stuttering, trembling inParkinson's dsease, or exhibiting abnormal eating behavior in Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.


Specify if: Generalized: if the fears include most social situations (also consider the additional diagnosis of Avoidant Personality Disorder)


 

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Then use the book to help you.

Customer:

I dont like to read...

Customer:

lol

Customer:

im jocking I just want to talk to someone

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

LOL

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is a process to release yourself from this disorder. It will take time.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It will not happen overnight.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

But it will happen.

Customer:

ok but just give me an advice

Customer:

I eat or drink in front of people all the time,but I feel embarassed

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Choose foods that will go down quietly. Something that you don't have to chew, like a milk shake.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Eat the noisier foods when you are on your own.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Go to noisy places to eat, ones with loud music and echoing interiors.

Customer:

I thought I shouldnt care about the fact that people will hear the noises i make...

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Social phobia IS caring. It is an anxiety disorder which you can either:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

ignore

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

go to therapy

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

take medications

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

or

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

use a self help book

Customer:

I came here to talk with someone

Customer:

I know books

Customer:

the books that will help me

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

There are some MP3s that might help but I don't know them.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :



and there is a pretty good DVD, I just recalled.

Customer:

do you think its bad what I have

Customer:

have you had therapy with people experiencing the same thing?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

No it is not bad and very curable.

Customer:

people just told me that I shouldnt care

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes. We practiced eating and getting embarrassed and laughing a lot about it and it went away.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

About 4 sessions.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

People who tell you that you shouldn't care do not understand how you feel or suffer because of it.

Customer:

I dont really suffer from it

Customer:

I force myself eating and drinking in front of people

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


They can tell you not to care about a toothache.

Customer:

I have a question

Customer:

if you had a weird throat that makes too much noise,would you be embarassed to eat or drink in front of people?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You suffer discomfort and you do not feel yourself. It is slight emotional suffering but it is not what you want, or is it?

Customer:

if you had a weird throat that makes too much noise,would you be embarassed to eat or drink in front of people?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If I had such a throat it would mean I had a medical condition that needed to be fixed. Are you sure that it is different? Have you ever asked a doctor? All speech and sounds we make come from the throat.

Customer:

im not sure,it makes weird sounds when I am embarassed

Customer:

I mean my swallowing is not natural when im embarassed

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is because you are anxious and not relaxed. It tightens up because you have an anxiety disorder.

Customer:

just give me an advice except the book

Customer:

tell me that I shouldnt worry about others hearing my noises or something

Customer:

I just need someone's advice

Customer:

:'(

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do deep breathing exercises and meditation before you go out to eat. Sit quietly by yourself in a comfortable posture, close your eyes, take a very deep breath, and then let it out slowly while humming or saying oooooooh the full time you exhale. Does this 10 times. Practice this several times a day when you can have privacy.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This will help you relax your mind AND your throat.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is a throat relaxation exercise and good for anxiety in general.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is very effective.

Customer:

ok what happenes if someone hears me making soo much noise and judges me and thinks im weird?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is why you do it in privacy. Your entire disorder has to do with not wanting other to hear you so of course you do not draw attention to yourself.

Customer:

but the problem the more I do it in privacy the more I give my power to other people in the fact that I fear their judgment and I cant do what I want when they are with me...

Customer:

I have to eat in front of my friends because when they invite me I can not refuse to drink or eat

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It seems that you are expecting me to cure you of a diagnosable mental health disorder with a few phrases, when it actually requires either your own work by yourself using self help books or videos or tapes, or going to a therapist, or getting antianxiety medications.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot get an instant fix.

Customer:

no I know that it takes long time to cure this kind of disorder

Customer:

but I thought you would tell me to not care about it

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Not a long time, but you have to work on it.

Customer:

and tell em why I shouldnt care about it

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I cannot tell you that, because it would still bother you.

Customer:

I will feel better if someone tells me why I shouldnt care about it

Customer:

because then when I will have this feeling I will know how to release it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I will give you a good reason for you not to care about it: because if your friends like you then they don't care if you make certain sounds when you eat, and if you forget about it, nobody will notice. And it you listen carefully, every one of them makes funny sounds or has weird things they say, or vocal tics, like uh, uhm, you know, like, I mean, and so forth.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If I was eating out with you I wouldn't care or would not think it was unusual.

Customer:

yes I noticed that some people make weird noises when they eat,me even when I drink I do it and poeple look at me

Customer:

that why I became embarassed

Customer:

I am working on myself

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Go out tomorrow or the next time you eat with your friends and just make all the noise you want. They are your friends, they love you and they don't care.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Nobody cares.

Customer:

I have alast question

Customer:

a last

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Listen to everyone else. We are human animals and we make noises when we are alive.

Customer:

if nobody cared,why the other day when I drank coffee and I made noise,someone was looking at me

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Ask anything.

Customer:

ok my problem is fear of others judgments

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Maybe they looked at you because they thought you had a pretty face or lovely eyes.

Customer:

no they wasnt looking at me,and when I was drinking and making this heavy sound they suddenly looked at me

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I know that. That is what Social Phobia is about. You know your fears are unreasonable but still feel embarrassed. That is the disorder by definition.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

So what?

Customer:

basically you are saying no matter weird sound I make wether I drink or eat,I shouldn t worry about people even if they judge me

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your own internal sounds seem a lot louder to you than others because they are going on in your head and they are carried to your audio canals.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes, and I am also saying that they are not judging you. You are just afraid that they are.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

They couldn't care less.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Try something. Right now. Click your teeth quietly together. It sounds loud to you. Nobody else could here it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

hear

Customer:

my problem came from another problem,this year I would swallow my saliva every 2min because of stress or i dont know where it came from and I was also embarassed about it.then I noticed that I had social anxiety.I learned from a book that people will notice the sounds or things I do but they will choose to ignore it unless they see me stressed about it because of my body language.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have anxiety and it can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Either ignore it or tell your family physician about your anxiety and ask him for help.

Customer:

ps: im sorry,I know these things seem crazy :p

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

No, you are just a young woman with anxiety, which happens to lots of people.

Customer:

I never met someone having crazy things like me

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You do not know what people go through or keep to themselves. You are quite sane compared to most people I talk to.

Customer:

sometimes im asking myself how I come I have social anxiety and I can easily make friends?

Customer:

or give a presentation?

Customer:

I went to research what is social anxiety,they were saying that this kind of people get isolated and dont approach other people.I mean I get stressed before seeing people I never saw before but I can manage it

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is good.

Customer:

so whats's exacly social anxiety?I am confused

Customer:

is it the fear of being judged or just being stressed before seeing some poeple?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I gave you the official definition above. That is exactly what it is.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is a majority of the characteristics on the list.

Customer:

sorry I didnt see it

Customer:

I just read it

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have been with you for over an hour and I hope that I have enlightened you somewhat.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I'm glad you read it. See you can read after all. LOL

Customer:

lol yes

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is what is going on.

Customer:

I just want to add that I was very shy when I was a teenager

Customer:

it was very hard for me to make friends,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You had some anxiety then.

Customer:

I am still a shy person ,I improved by accepting it and telling myself thats it is ok

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have no family members who could help you get a few counseling sessions?

Customer:

my family doesnt know abou that

Customer:

they live far

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you go to school? Schools have free counseling.

Customer:

the school I go to doesnt have counseling I dont know why

Customer:

I go to strayer university

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Then get the book and start working on yourself - tomorrow !

Customer:

I used to go see a psychologist when I was a teenager

Customer:

yes of course

Customer:

thank you

Customer:

good night

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep you in my prayers. You are a very sweet young lady (same age as my daughter).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I know that you will get past this. May God bless and heal you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Customer:

haha thank you

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC 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