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My relationships with women have been suffering. Ive always

been a pretty reserved guy...
My relationships with women have been suffering. Ive always been a pretty reserved guy, but this is starting to be very frustrating. I get very very nervous with women and find it very difficult to keep a conversation due to either drawing complete blanks or just getting bad anxiety. It just recently became prevalent when I was out at the bar this past saturday with my buddies. All 3 of them were having conversations with either 1 or 2 women they didnt even know with me sitting in the observer stands. I did do drugs growing up and am thinking its probably due to that. Was wondering if you can give me any advice or point me in the right direction. I also have problems talking in groups.
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
7/13/2011
TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,894
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you might have social anxiety. Social anxiety occurs when you feel anxious about talking in front of others, being the center of attention or fear of embarrassing yourself in front of others. You may experience symptoms such as rapid breathing, racing heart, attempts to avoid social situations, dry mouth, apologizing a lot to others, and feeling social awkward.

Although anxiety is part of who we are, it becomes a problem when it interferes with our daily lives and prevents us from doing what we want to do.

Medication is helpful and can help take the edge off symptoms, but it cannot get to the root of the problem and solve it. Therapy can help you find the cause and help you change how you think about social situations, and therefore reduce the anxiety you feel. To find a therapist, you can ask your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.

You can also help yourself at home. Here are some resources to help you get started:

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/

http://www.socialphobia.org/

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques by Gill***** *****

A Life Less Anxious: Freedom from panic attacks and social anxiety without drugs or therapy by Steve Pavilanis and Patricia Alma Lee

Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life by Barbara Markway, Sifu Gregory Markway and Gregory Markway

You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this helps,

Kate

TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,894
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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TherapistMarryAnn and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
do you think my past with drug abuse is a problem? I remember when I was really young I had no problems before drugs of course. Also, I take some stimulants before I lift weights. Could this also be a problem?

It could be, but most likely the drugs you took when you were young just covered up the anxiety you had in the first place. Unless you took very hard core drugs and for a long time, you usually cannot alter your basic personality with drug use. And people use drugs to cover up feelings they do not want to face. Drugs can make you more bold when you are not and can make it harder to face your problems. It's part of what makes it hard to become sober- facing your problems.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Let me just give you a run down on what I abused. This is from about 16-23.
Marijuana - this was used a lot! I think it may be the reason I dont feel very sharp minded.
Acid- About 4 times
Mushrooms- Probably about 15 times. Made me feel crazy.
Ecstasy- About 12-15 times. I heard this lowers your serotonin which is what makes you happy and could be one of the problems. Would love to hear your thoughts on this one.
Cocaine- About 10 times.
Also, what about the stimulants I take pre workout?

I agree, some of those drugs can alter your perceptions. Ecstasy itself has long term effects like mood changes and memory. However, it does not directly affect anxiety levels as far as researchers are aware.

Acid can cause prolonged anxiety as a long term effect. It may have affected your levels of anxiety. To confirm this, you may want to consult with your doctor and have an exam by a neurologist. They would be able to give you a more definitive answer about any physical effects on your brain.

The psychological treatment would still remain the same. Medications might be indicated as well because of the physical effects caused by the drug use. This will need to be a coordinated effort between the therapist and your doctor to find the right balance of medication and therapy to help you overcome your anxiety. If you want, you could start with therapy and see how far you can get in helping reduce your anxiety then consult with your doctor if you and your therapist feel you cannot derive more benefit from therapy alone.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
One more question. Why is it mainly with women though I have these issues?

It probably has something to do with your relationships as a child. Usually, when someone has issues with the opposite sex, it comes from childhood issues like abuse. Your therapist can help you explore the origins and find ways to resolve what caused you to feel this way. It is a journey and it takes some time so be patient with yourself.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Ty very much kate :)
You are very welcome!
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