Social Phobia In Real Life
Social anxiety disorder affects millions of Americans and leaves men and women, young and old alike with performance anxiety related to a great deal of different situations and interactions. The seemingly innocuous, normal, everyday interactions can drive a social anxiety sufferer to distraction or panic.
Some people are just more comfortable in front of others or interacting with others. If you have trouble feeling comfortable in group situations, if you avoid interacting with new people or fear talking in situations where people are looking at you, you might be suffering from social phobia.
This is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact it should empower you because now you know what you are dealing with and there are many ways to counteract the effects you feel.
Anxiety sufferers often go to great lengths to hide their conditions. This is of course based on the fear of ridicule or condemnation if other people actually knew how fearful they were in everyday life. However, if everyone actually felt comfortable enough to discuss their problems, they would quickly realize they were not alone.
This leaves them fearful about being separated from their loved one by time or space. If something were to happen to their special other, they couldn't conceive how their life would go on. They may have problems developing their own autonomous interests, goals, and pursuits because they organize their life around a special loved one.
Does this description even partially fit you? If so, you can reduce your dependency on your immediate family by cultivating a circle of friends, a support system, outside of your family.
Long-term friendships can provide a sense of stability and continuity to your life, no matter what is going on within your immediate family. Also, such friends provide insurance that you would not be left alone if something actually did happen to a close family member.
Overcoming long-standing shyness or social anxiety takes work and sustained commitment on your part. You may find it somewhat easier under the guidance of a skilled cognitive-behavioral therapist who is familiar with social anxiety and social phobia. In some cases, medication can also be helpful.
Current treatment strategies for more severe social anxiety combine therapy with an SSRI medication such as Paxil (or a benzodiazepine such as Klonopin). This combination of therapy and medication seems to be very effective for many people.
If you are overly dependent on someone else or fear being separated from them, you need to work on finding more of a life of your own. You're less likely to be vulnerable to insecurity and fears of abandonment if you´ve developed a strong sense of yourself.
Having some kind of work where you feel useful is an important part of creating your own identity, being a homemaker is an acceptable option here. So is having interests and hobbies that allow you to express your own unique gifts and creativity.
Discovering your own unique mission, the contribution that you can make to the world, however large or small is an important aspect of developing a sense of personal identity. Once you find that mission or purpose, your life will gain a new inspiration and enthusiasm that reduces your dependency on others.
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