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I was diagnosed with social anxiety by my psychiatrist at 16…

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Hi Dr. Wilson, I...

Hi Dr. Wilson, I was diagnosed with social anxiety by my psychiatrist at 16 years old. Fast forward 6 years, and I feel like I am still struggling. I am always nervous when it comes to social engagements or discussion. I have a fear of saying the wrong things, offending someone, or coming off as awkward. Sometimes it feels like I don’t even know how to socialize with people, even with my family or close friends. I always think that people think the worst of me, and then I start to believe those misconceptions. It’s getting exhausting; is there anything you recommend that I do? I know my question is a little generic, but I’ll take any help I can get. Thanks very much!

Doctor's Assistant: How long have you been dealing with this? Is there anything in particular that seems to make the symptoms better or worse?

I was diagnosed 6 years ago, but I feel like it’s been an issue my whole life. Socializing exhausts me, and I feel like my social anxiety gets worse the more I’m around people.

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the Psychologist should know?

I was also diagnosed with manic depression, generalized anxiety, and borderline personality disorder.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 10 hours by:
12/23/2017
Mental Health Professional: Therapist Leslie, Mental Health Professional replied 7 months ago
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 445
Experience: Owner and Psychotherapist at Self-Employed, Private Practice
Verified

Good morning and thank you so much for your message. I realize it's difficult to reach out. Please know I honor your courage.

My name is ***** ***** I am a psychotherapist in the Metro Boston area of the United States.

I am so sorry you are struggling and understand how difficult social anxiety can be to navigate. There are ways of managing it, though, and I'm curious if you have sought any regular psychological assistance?

There are a few things you can do to manage your anxiety effectively.....some of them include the following: 1. psychotherapy to learn some coping skills2. psychiatry (medication for anxiety)3. exercise (to raise serotonin levels in the brain)4. yoga/meditation (to overall ease anxiety)I would also recommend the following coping techniques:<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. <li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn't possible, be proud of however close you get.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.<li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern. Have I answered your question? Is there anything else I can do to assist you further? I want to ensure you are pleased with my service. I also gently request you provide a star rating for me. Of course, we can continue to talk after the rating is provided. Please take good care of yourself and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Warm regards,Therapist Leslie
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Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 445
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Experience: Owner and Psychotherapist at Self-Employed, Private Practice

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