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[P]
What is social phobia/anxiety?

By richarj in Culture
Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:56:04 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

It is a disorder that makes you incredibly afraid of social situations. It is not a well known or trendy disorder. There are no hollywood movies about it. It is common for it to be disabling.

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and inferiority. Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.Source: socialanxietyinstitute.org

These are not rational fears either, they are irrational ones.


Types:

Social Phobics can be divided into groups though they may overlap. Generalized and Specialized. Specialized have a problem in a specific area such as

  • Writing in public
  • Speaking in public
  • Using public toilets
  • Eating in public
  • Using the telephone
Generalised feel discomfort in almost all social situations.

AVP or avoidant personality disorder is commonly associated with social phobia. But noone I've ever talked to can point out the exact difference between the two.

Prevalence:

The prevalence of social phobia varies from country to country due to cultural differences.
About 3.7% of Americans have social phobia. Source: NIMH on Social Phobia
2.3% of Australians have social phobia. Source: social-anxiety.org.uk

In fact most people have some symptoms of social phobia. It only becomes a disorder when those symptoms start to interfere with what you want or have to do. Its okay to be afraid of speaking in public, it is not okay to vomit everytime you think about speaking in public.

History of its recognition:

"The term "social phobia" dates back only to 1966, when Marks and Gelder (as cited in Barlow, 1988, p. 535) described "a condition in which the individual becomes very anxious in situations where he or she may be subject to scrutiny by others while performing a specific task." Social phobia was described further by Isaac Marks over a period of years (e.g., 1969, as cited in Barlow, 1988), and was finally recognized as an anxiety disorder by the American Psychological Association with the publication of the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980." Source: Social Phobia: History, Etiology, and Risk Factors by Alicia Dawn Neelley Beth

Cause:

Some of the following are believed to be causes of social phobia

  • Links have been made to the amygdala, which is a region in the brain involved in transmitting quick fight or flight response
  • It is believed that it is inherited
  • It may be caused by enviromental factors such as observing the behaviours of others.
  • It is believed that it has a biological basis in the brain.
Unfortunatley not much more is known about the cause.

For more information see:
Social Phobia: History, Etiology, and Risk Factors by Alicia Dawn Neelley Beth
Or
Psychosocial and neurobiological mechanisms of social phobia

Cure:

There is none. The disorder however can be managed using several methods.

  • Medications: Such as SSRI's and benzodiazepines can relieve some of the anxiety. SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are your common modern antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa and Lexapro. Other types of antidepressants are also used such as Effexor. Even though these drugs are used for depression they also significantly lower anxiety. Short acting Benzodiazepines such as Klonopin and Xanax can also help relieve symptoms.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be used to retrain the patient to realize the fear is not real and thus overcome it. This is the preferred method of treatment.
What Social Phobia is not

Social phobia is not shyness. Shyness is "having difficulty in creating a good rapport with the people one meets." Source :shyness FAQ

Social phobia on the other hand is anxiety or discomfort from socialising with people.

My Experience

I have had problems since and before primary school. It did not become a severe problem for me until high school, but I still managed to graduate. At first year of university things where fine, by second year I was having severe depression which involved thinking about killing myself every day for months on end. Eventually I did try due to a failed love relationship but fortunately I failed. After that I could no longer study properly and was failing most of my subjects even on a light load, others I was getting A's in. Everything I tried to do I failed at because of the enormous anxiety I was feeling.

I had a job in a nursing home in another city but had to quit due to stress and suicidal thoughts. I went and saw a psychiatrist about it. He did help me but could not cure me. I went through traditional talk therapy and cognitive therapy basics for about 4 or 5 years with him. During this time I also tried some different medications such as Prozac, Aurorix and Klonopin. I still to this day take SSRI antidepressants to keep my mood up from depression. After seeing no cure I tried various other things with no luck, hypno therapy, NLS, sport, diet, but no luck. In the end I had to go the hard way and do CBT, which is congnitive behavioural therapy.

CBT is normally done in groups but I managed to get very cheap CBT at my local university from some psychology students doing their pracs. I did it for about a year once a week, one hour sessions. I hated going so much that I mostly skipped every second session. Basically CBT encourages you to go out and face your fears then learn that they are irrational. Even after the CBT course I still practice facing my fears on a regular basis. But I can never get rid of the lingering anxiety I always have. I get panic attacks several times a week and am just about disabled. I work part time as a computer technician for my parents but I still have to face customers. Perhaps one day they there will be a cure but until then I will hobble along with my anxiety tied around my neck.

Some things that I really fear are:

  • The police, just seeing them makes me feel afraid
  • Going to church: Way too many people are in church and you cannot just walk out half way through
  • Large crowds: Parties make me sick so I have to leave early
  • Returning goods to a store:I had to do this the other day never again
I even get nervous doing simple things such as
  • Answering the phone
  • Filling in a form
  • Using usenet or web based forumns such as this one: I cannot do IRC, too many people and too fast
  • Walking down the street
  • Going shopping
  • Doing the gardening
  • Doing my washing
  • Driving down the road
  • Etc. etc....

My life now is not too bad. I generally have my symptoms and panic attacks under control, I use medication, CBT and several coping strategies to get me through the day. I am getting better slowly due to CBT. Eventually it will not bother me at all in about 10 years. My biggest wish is a cure for the disorder, not specifically for me but for those who have it worse than me. Perhaps one day genetic engineering will provide us that cure.

Andrews story of his experiences

Diagnostic Criteria for social phobia

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Related Links
o socialanxi etyinstitute.org
o avoidant personality disorder
o NIMH on Social Phobia
o social-anx iety.org.uk
o Social Phobia: History, Etiology, and Risk Factors by Alicia Dawn Neelley Beth
o Social Phobia: History, Etiology, and Risk Factors by Alicia Dawn Neelley Beth [2]
o Psychosoci al and neurobiological mechanisms of social phobia
o benzodiaze pines
o selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
o shyness FAQ
o Andrews story
o Diagnostic Criteria
o Also by richarj


Display: Sort:
What is social phobia/anxiety? | 332 comments (294 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden)
God you're a baby (1.36 / 46) (#1)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 02:16:47 AM EST

everyone experiences those "fears", but we get over them. If you let them control your life then you don't have an "illness", you have a lack of willpower (which I guess could be called an illness, but that's begging the question, oh wait, that's what I'm doing). So get over it already!

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
Okay then... (4.20 / 5) (#25)
by bhearsum on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 08:42:48 AM EST

How does one get more willpower?

[ Parent ]
It's tricky. (4.00 / 3) (#30)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 09:20:56 AM EST

But if you use willpower, you'll be able to get it.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Easy. (4.00 / 11) (#43)
by Michael Moore on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:08:25 AM EST

Post abusive comments on K5.

--
"My life was more improved by a single use of [ecstasy] than someone's life is made worse by becoming a heroin addict." -- aphrael
[ Parent ]
Simple (none / 0) (#295)
by LilDebbie on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:48:44 PM EST

If you act in accordance with furthering your Essence, the Storyteller should give you one point of Temporary Willpower back. Raising Permanent Willpower is tricky though, as it requires feats of great self-confidence, although though it only costs 1 x new Willpower Rating in Experience Points.

HTH. HAND.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
God you're a moron (4.75 / 16) (#38)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 10:53:53 AM EST

Do you have any idea how hurtful it is to tell someone with social anxiety that they are such a baby?

You're just perpetuating the "all in your head" stigma associated with mental illness. Everyone does not 'experience these fears,' and you should feel lucky that you are one of these people. Social anxiety isn't shyness. Depression isn't sadness. Manic depression isn't moodiness. These are real diseases and they deserve attention.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

ok, a quick run down (1.81 / 11) (#83)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:48:00 PM EST

  1. The police, just seeing them makes me feel afraid
  2. Going to church: Way too many people are in church and you cannot just walk out half way through
  3. Large crowds: Parties make me sick so I have to leave early
  4. Returning goods to a store:I had to do this the other day never again
  1. Everyone is afraid of the police, they have guns (or at least sticks) and can make your life hell just because they feel like it.
  2. No-one who hasn't been going to church every sunday since they were 10 doesn't have a fear of church. I often feel anxious because at any time I could accidently blurt out "what a load of shit" and have a church full of people go all raging mob on me and string me up
  3. People die in large crowds. You can get stomped to death. It's perfectly normal to dislike large crowds. An aversion to overpopulation has been studied in just about every kind of animal on this planet
  4. This, like many other tasks, involves dealing with someone who doesn't want to help you. In fact, they've been told to deny the request until you begin to make a scene. Returning goods is annoying as hell and you're right to have an aversion to it.
The problem is not "people like me" who insist that it's all in your head, the problem is people like the above poster who for some reason believes it is not. Yes, they are real diseases, but the solution is not drugs drugs drugs, it's recognising what is healthy anxiety and what is not, and then dealing with it.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
You just don't get it (4.66 / 6) (#99)
by duxdown on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 10:46:59 PM EST

The problem isn't that there is anxiety present when doing these activities the problem is that the anxiety is debilating. And it often takes more than willpower to overcome. I still have anxiety when I go to return a product because I know that more likely than not I will be given a lot of shit. In the past that anxiety would have prevented me from returning the product at all. And if I did manage to force myself into the store I would experience symptoms ranging from wobbly knees and uncontrolled sweating to literally passing out.

That's not normal. That's not healthy anxiety. Pull your head out of your ass and realize that for some people "drugs drugs drugs" is really what it takes to live a normal life.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Down with Duxup!
[ Parent ]

It may not be a normal level... (2.40 / 5) (#100)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:13:08 PM EST

but it certainly is normal to be anxious in those situations. I'm just trying to make you aware that you're not alone. We all feel anxious in this situations. It's not like you're anxious about eating a chocolate bar or feeding your cat. You just need to learn to deal with your anxious feelings, and no, drugs is not the way to go about that.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
We're really not disagreeing that much (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by duxdown on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:37:28 PM EST

I recognize a certain amount of anxiety is healthy in many social situations. The problem comes when the anxiety grows so large that you can't go on without distract consequences. Say passing out in the middle of a department store, which has happened to me in the past.

I don't think drugs alone are ever a solution. But I've tried the "all-natural" route before and for me CBT alone wasn't enough. Now you may not believe that but I know myself. I know how hard I worked to overcome my anxiety without medication. For me, to truly be able to function I have to take my Xanax every morning.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Down with Duxup!
[ Parent ]

Ok (1.66 / 6) (#108)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:51:45 PM EST

I guess that's cool. As long as you're happy. I still think "just get over it" is a viable solution.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
"just get over it" (4.57 / 7) (#128)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:36:07 AM EST

"just get over it" is only a viable solution if you don't fully understand what the problem is.

[ Parent ]
Just get over it is a viable solution, (2.33 / 3) (#186)
by terpy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:56:51 PM EST

Unless you tell yourself it is not.

----
"[22:54] <theantix> uh oh... if I have a magentic tongue and terpy a magnetic penis..." -theantix
[ Parent ]

...if you've never been there yourself. [n/t] (3.00 / 2) (#190)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 04:50:13 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Been there, (3.00 / 2) (#192)
by terpy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:03:12 PM EST

done that. Just had to get over it.

----
"[22:54] <theantix> uh oh... if I have a magentic tongue and terpy a magnetic penis..." -theantix
[ Parent ]

I doubt that. (5.00 / 2) (#204)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:09:16 PM EST

Then I don't think you were ever really there.

Maybe somewhere similar, perhaps.

[ Parent ]

Well, I'm pretty sure I was there. (none / 0) (#217)
by terpy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 08:14:50 PM EST

But I have been lost before... ;)

I got my shit together, if somebody else can't, well, they're either unlucky, stupid, or something else.

----
"[22:54] <theantix> uh oh... if I have a magentic tongue and terpy a magnetic penis..." -theantix
[ Parent ]

Put it this way: (none / 0) (#221)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 08:43:39 PM EST

If you can sort whatever it was out by yourself, then good on you. I wish I could, because I do try. But if you did sort it out yourself, you either didn't have what I have, or yours wasn't as servere.

BTW. That something else is probably Social Anxiety Disorder :P

[ Parent ]

So, if *you* can't solve something... (none / 1) (#222)
by terpy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 08:54:49 PM EST

that means nobody else can solve it either? You've got an awfully high opinion of yourself for someone suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder.

----
"[22:54] <theantix> uh oh... if I have a magentic tongue and terpy a magnetic penis..." -theantix
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#231)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:00:01 AM EST

I'm not sure what you mean. And why shouldn't I have a high opinion of myself just because I have Social Anxiety Disorder. That statment makes me think even more that you have never suffered from it.

BTW, I think we may be heading off somewhere else with the word "solve". I believe it's possable that someone could cure themselves from it, if they worked hard at it for years. But that's different from just getting over it, which implies that one can just flick a switch and stop it.

[ Parent ]

Fine. (none / 0) (#234)
by terpy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:55:55 AM EST

Stay in denial. I got on with my life. But the question stands: If you can't solve it, does it make it unsolveable?

----
"[22:54] <theantix> uh oh... if I have a magentic tongue and terpy a magnetic penis..." -theantix
[ Parent ]

Whatever... (none / 0) (#248)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:19:41 AM EST

Denial? I never said it wasn't solvable. I said that it's not something I can just get over instantly. If you can't understand this, then you never will, and there is no point in trying to talk to you if you can get past this bit of logic.

[ Parent ]
it's not flick a switch (5.00 / 1) (#253)
by QuantumG on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:22:05 AM EST

it's incrementally exposing yourself to situations that make you anxious repeatedly, keeping in mind that you are in control of your own body/mind, and becoming accustomed to those situations. Maybe the concept of "just getting over it" being foriegn to you is the cause of your anxiety.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 0) (#280)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:03:38 PM EST

it's incrementally exposing yourself to situations that make you anxious repeatedly, keeping in mind that you are in control of your own body/mind, and becoming accustomed to those situations.

That is one way to help solve it, it even states that in the artical. And that's far different from flicking a switch, which is what was implied.

Maybe the concept of "just getting over it" being foriegn to you is the cause of your anxiety.

You were starting to make sence, but this does not. The concept is not foriegn to me. And it is not the cause of my anxiety. Hell, I was probably too young to even understand the concept when my anxiety started.

[ Parent ]

I remember when I was a kid.. (none / 0) (#289)
by QuantumG on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:17:17 PM EST

I used to cry a lot. Then one day I said "ya know, I'm not going to cry anymore" because I recognised that crying didn't make things stop (like it did when you were an infant). If that's not "getting over it" I don't know what is. Learning to stop crying about everything took me a long time, but the decision to do it happened in an instant. I believe I was about 3 years old.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
*sigh* (none / 0) (#293)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:19:03 PM EST

OK. Learning to stop crying is a normal part of human development. Social Anxiety is not a normal part of growing up, it is a metal illness.

I think you really need to look into the irrational fear part of this, because that is a key point. Your reason for crying in the first place was rational, because it got you attention. Fearing social situations--to the extent that I do--does not make any sence, even to me, yet I still react to it. How am I supposed to get over it, when I already have--in effect--gotten over it, but still suffer the problem?

I already understand what the problem is (fear of what people think of me), and I already know how to react/what to do (not let if bother me, for example), but it still doesn't make the fear go away. Exactly how do you prevent youself from automaticly feeling a certain way?

[ Parent ]

Hypochondria. (none / 1) (#267)
by Craevenwulfe on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:11:18 AM EST

Hypochondria is a debilitating disease that you may be suffering from.

[ Parent ]
Ah... (none / 0) (#283)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:21:34 PM EST

That only seems to be for physical illnesses. Funily enough. I have very bad stomach pains, that I though were purly phycological--being caused by my anxiety and deppression. Only to find out a few weeks ago that I have a rare alergie based disease.

[ Parent ]
It may be viable (none / 0) (#214)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 07:30:05 PM EST

for some situations, but the diagnoses and complexes referred to in the article do not respond to the "just get over it" solution, that is a part of their definition.

[ Parent ]
WHat's this bullshit about returning shit. (none / 0) (#141)
by Nigga on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 04:31:26 AM EST

Not once have i ever gotten shit for returning shit to a store... where are you fuckers from where peaple can't return something without catching shit for it. I mean I can understand if you were nervous about wanting to return a dime bag of coke to your dealer - but that's different...

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?
[ Parent ]

"people like you" (none / 0) (#177)
by Acous on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:39:03 PM EST

so how far would you go with this "it's all in your head" business? all hormonal illnesses, or just invisible ones? acne, why don't people just get over that? how bout allergies? all in your head too? As long as i tell myself i'm not going to die if i eat peanuts i shouldn't die, right?

[ Parent ]
And (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:25:36 AM EST

Saying "God you're a baby" can make baby Jesus cry! :)

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
So Sad. (1.69 / 13) (#5)
by e polytarp on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 02:43:56 AM EST

I'm afraid of interacting with people who have any sort of defined mental disorders, but I'm sure if they weren't so defined I'd get along fine.


º
My buddies


How lucky for you! (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 09:19:47 AM EST

You should feel fine interacting with yourself. Which is a Good Thing.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

The Only Catch is Catch 22 (4.50 / 3) (#97)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 09:56:45 PM EST

I'm afraid of interacting with people who have any sort of defined mental disorders...

So, wouldn't that make you abnormaphobic or something? You should seek help for your condition. Or at least think up a good name for it ("abnormaphobic" sucks).


___
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski. Personally, I pref
[ Parent ]
QuantumG's cure to all phobias (3.05 / 19) (#6)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 02:43:57 AM EST

My other comments not withstanding, a lot of people do suffer from phobias. Some people have mobid phobias of clowns.. that's pretty damn funny, but I digress. All phobias are a result of poor upbringing. No, I don't mean that something terrible happened to you as a kid and now you're suffering from it in adult life (or any other psychobabel) I'm talking about the things that you were supposed to be taught as a kid and never were. One of those was how to scare yourself. That's what sitting around the camp fire and telling ghost stories is about, or watching Return of the Living Dead (part II was the best I think). People who has seriously fucked up childhoods are often scared shitless most the time, so they don't need to learn how to scare themselves (and so in later life are all messed up).

Here's what you do. I suggest you try this as you're reading it.

  1. Hunch your shoulders
  2. Take short sharp breaths
  3. Make a wimpering noise
  4. Look from side to side
At this point you may feel an overwhelming urg to imagine someone coming to kill you. Don't do this! You're not trying to imagine a scary situation, you're trying to experience the symptoms of being scared, under your own control. If you do this regularly (I don't know, 12 times a day?) you'll learn that being scared is something you can control. So when you feel yourself going into one of your anxiety fits because someone asked you if you wanted fries with that, you just remember, you're in control.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
Thats so much better (nt) (5.00 / 2) (#8)
by richarj on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 03:08:10 AM EST



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
I tried this (4.25 / 4) (#72)
by godix on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 04:04:40 PM EST

and now all my coworkers think I'm stupid.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]
You are wrong (5.00 / 3) (#147)
by DrH0ffm4n on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:09:49 AM EST

Well, in Freudian terms you are wrong about the cause of phobias.

Phobias are normal, not abnormal.

The focus of the phobia is a psychological transference of the things we:
(a) Cannot control
(b) Do not like about ourselves. e.g. Freudian Oedipal urges.

Phobias can be roughly divided into two categories:

  1. Situationally orientated (e.g crowds or open spaces)
  2. Object orientated (e.g spiders)
(1) follows from (a)
(2) follows from (b)

Having said this, debilitating phobias are extreme manifestations that obviously need dealing with or help to overcome.

---
The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

[ Parent ]

What? (5.00 / 4) (#155)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:13:08 AM EST

If I was afraid of spiders, what thing "about myself" would I be not liking? My long hairy legs? My tendency to use the Web?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Both (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by DrH0ffm4n on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:52:35 AM EST

Actually neither.

The spider is only a symbol in your psyche. It doesn't have to actually resemble the thing that you don't like.

It is chosen because you have no control over when it will turn up. You need the reminder to focus your dislike externally (on the spider) rather than internally (on yourself).

---
The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

[ Parent ]

Pretty dumb theory (5.00 / 1) (#166)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:05:25 PM EST

Is there any Freudian explanation for why so many people fear spiders, instead of everyone fearing something different? Or why it's so easy to train a monkey to fear a snake but so hard (relatively) to train them to fear a fluffy doll?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
No (none / 1) (#185)
by DrH0ffm4n on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:52:05 PM EST

Not that I'm aware of. Most of Freud's psychosexual theories are open to counter examples. Freud never really extended his theories into zoological realms beyond arguing for base animal needs and instincts. There are of course competing explanations for the various phobias.

Jamesian theory explains phobias as accidentally retriggered defensive fears.
It made sense once upon a time to be afraid of open spaces - you were more open to predation. Fear of spiders would have come from some spiders being lethal.
These phobias are present in all of us but repressed as they form no practical use.

The question then becomes what triggers the phobia to resurface. Freud's explanation gives us such a trigger.

---
The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

[ Parent ]

Freud smoked crack [nt] (none / 0) (#290)
by QuantumG on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:24:18 PM EST



Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
He did not! (none / 0) (#294)
by Alfie on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:24:39 PM EST

I don't think crack existed back then. Freud did cocaine.



[ Parent ]
There's a lot to that (4.50 / 4) (#224)
by pyro9 on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:03:58 PM EST

The human mind is not the monolithic thing most think it is. It is more of a collective thing. Emotions are as much hormonal as they are mental.

The experiance of fear is as much the physical sensation of the physiological responses as anything else. Interestingly, the same physiological responses can be interpreted as excitement or even way too much coffee. It's all a matter of habit and situation which interpretation dominates.

Of course, once it starts, it gets into a positive feedback. Fearful sensations lead to fear leads to release of more hormones, and so more sensations.

For various reasons, some are more suceptible to sudden physiological changes. The 'rational' mind also seeks to rationalize any sensation or behaviour to preserve the illusion of the monolithic mind. If the physiological changes are interpreted as fear, the rational mind will naturally seek a reason for the fear and latch on to the most likely suspect, however unlikely that may be. Now having associated this harmless object or situation with fear, the person becomes conditioned to be afraid of it and sets up a self perpetuating cycle.

There are several ways to break that cycle. One is to deliberatly create the physiological change under control (and so the sensations are adequately explained) until one learns that they need not signal fear (it could be excitement, hyperventalating on purpose, or way too much coffee).

Many psychiatrists try approaching the problem with tranquilizers and exposure therapy. The idea there is to break the association by experiancing the situation while unable to feel the physiological sensations (or at least with them strongly blunted). Some use only the tranquilizers and let real life situations happen as they will. Some do just the exposure and talk sessions and support to hopefully rationalize the fear away.

Another approach is to learn to enjoy the adrenaline rush and associate it with excitement rather than fear.

For self help, a cognative approach may work. For example, in a socially phobic situation, even if the other person DOES ACTUALLY think you're a moron, so what? The net result is that they'll make an excuse to end the conversation and you'll be standing by the plants, which is exactly where you are right now anyway, so no big change there.

The fear won't magically go away, but if your rational mind is well armed with good reasons thjat this is not a fearful situation, and you have a good feel for the purely hormonal reactions to fear (in a non fearful setting), you will slowly cease to associate the situation with fear. The good news is that once that starts, the positive feedback works in your favor.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Jeez, I thought I was shy... (4.00 / 5) (#13)
by Psycho Dave on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 03:33:14 AM EST

Sure, I'm not exactly the most socialble type person. If I'm sitting at a bar, it's the other person who usually has to strike up a conversation first. After that, I can usually keep up my end, but I can't go up to people and start talking. I would be a lousy salesperson. Plus, I don't think it all has to do with shyness. I think I'm evolving into a bit a snob. Conversations with many people bore the fuck out of me, or I just end up thinking they're retards.

Other than that, getting up and speaking in front of people is no problem. Hell, I don't even have to be completely snockered to start singing at a karaoke bar. I'm fine with filling out forms. If I buy a beer and there's a syringe in it I didn't put there myself, KA-CHING, hell yeah I'm returning it, and laughing at the thought of all the money/free beer I'll be getting in the settlement.

Yeah, I'm not shy. I really am an asshole.

Social Phobia is not shyness (3.71 / 7) (#14)
by richarj on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 03:44:15 AM EST

I should add some stuff about that in

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Hmmm ... (4.66 / 3) (#39)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 10:57:47 AM EST

I think I'm evolving into a bit a snob. conversations with many people bore the fuck out of me, or I just end up thinking they're retards.

Maybe people with this disorder aren't imagining all of it. :)

Seriously though, I agree with your comment. People think I'm really grumpy (see my nick), but I'd really rather not talk to most people, for the reasons you mentioned.

[ Parent ]
Well... (3.75 / 4) (#94)
by Skwirl on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:53:39 PM EST

I think the real point is that the few people who really are that judgemental aren't worth concerning ourselves over. Who wants to be loved by a bunch of assholes?

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
I was thinking of saying something on this, (2.33 / 12) (#17)
by Akshay on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:40:51 AM EST

but I was afraid I'd get modded down. Always safer to crack a meta-joke.

omfg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (2.10 / 30) (#18)
by A Proud American on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:59:42 AM EST

i hope no one reads this comment.  omg there are so many people.  ugggghhhhh...

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


I read it (3.54 / 11) (#47)
by Stick on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:51:37 AM EST

And I was wanking to it also.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Hmm (3.50 / 8) (#19)
by 5pectre on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:04:44 AM EST

Any problems with it in countries other than the US? specifically I'd be interested to see figures for less well off countries...

Please add more to the "Causes", if its inherited, then presumably other people in your family would have experienced it. Linked to the "amygdala", i'd guess if it involves panic it probably would be.

Have you tried using ego-boosting or talk-shit drugs? For example cocaine or perhaps ecstacy? I would be interested to hear if it made dealing with people easier...

From Erowid:

Self-psychotherapy
Since MDMA can catalyze a broad range of psychotherapeutic effects (surfacing of repressed memories, dealing with emotional issues, etc.), MDMAers sometimes will trip by themselves or with a trusted guide, and spend the experience thinking about their lives. It has been said that "one hit of X [MDMA] is worth 3 months of conventional psychotherapy". Whether that is an exaggeration or not, MDMA has been praised by many psychotherapists as a notably effective means of dealing with personal issues. People who have had an MDMA experience of this kind often will want to talk to some people they are close to in order to discuss what MDMA has made them more aware of.



"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

Not really a good idea... (5.00 / 4) (#21)
by solstice on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:50:51 AM EST

I have mild social anxiety but I'm able to be somewhat normal around a small group of close friends.  My main problem areas have always been talking on the phone, public speaking, and large social gatherings (unless there is alcohol involved :)  

I'm also an irregular ecstasy user, but we always do it in the same small group of friends, sometimes with 1 or 2 different people.  I would never recommend using ecstasy in public in order to manage anxiety... it is great for opening up and becoming closer with already close friends in a friendly setting (we always do it in someone's home where we can crash afterwards), but I wouldn't recommend it for frequent use or use in public.  You're not really able to function in normal life while on ecstasy.  While using, I feel very at-ease with everyone around, and I'm able to maintain long conversations that would normally be very hard for me.  So it is helpful in a limited sense, but after I'm sober again my anxiety returns to a normal level.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#23)
by 5pectre on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 08:01:26 AM EST

no, I wouldn't recommend it for frequent use either, I wouldn't really recommend any drug for frequent use, but it would be an interesting experiment to see what effects various inhibition-removing drugs have on your anxiety. Coke, E and Alcohol would be ones I'd try first.

Why wouldn't you recommend it for use in public? I mean I'm not talking about at work or anything like that, but at parties why not?

I'd also be interest to see with how little a dose you could get the useful effects...

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

[ Parent ]

Parties (none / 0) (#33)
by solstice on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 10:11:30 AM EST

I was introduced to E by 2 close friends, and the first time we did it it was just them, my wife, and myself in our house. I've been to several raves (sober) but they were a bad experience for me (too hot, terrible music, etc). To me, E is a much more intimate drug and helps you connect with people. I guess for some, it's more of a party drug that gives them energy to dance all night... it's just not that way for me.

[ Parent ]
I'm not talking about raves (none / 0) (#34)
by 5pectre on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 10:23:49 AM EST

they blow, the music is too loud and shit, you can't talk to people, its hot and crap.

I'm talking about parties as in a group of people getting together having a good time. Music on low, general socialising.

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

[ Parent ]

OK (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by solstice on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 12:51:02 PM EST

If that's what you meant by parties, than that's what I meant by doing it with a small group of friends. It's usually 6-8 people, everyone basically knows each other, we just chill at someone's house, put on some good music, have lots of gatorade and orange juice to drink, low lighting, and have fun. :)

[ Parent ]
Yeah (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by 5pectre on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 01:13:09 PM EST

How about with people you don't know?

I dunno, like arrange for you and your friends and everyone brings 1 more person? I know it sounds silly, but it might be worth trying.. although you don't seem to be in as much of a problem as yer man who wrote the story...

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

[ Parent ]

unless there is alcohol involved (5.00 / 4) (#26)
by wiredog on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 08:44:18 AM EST

Yeah. And after a few years of that you can check out AA. Which is where I ended up. Many, perhaps most, of the people here have some sort of 'social anxiety'. Which goes away as they learn how to deal with life.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
True... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
by solstice on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 10:08:37 AM EST

But I don't exactly have a large social gathering once per day requiring me to drink heavily. :) I also don't drink in order to help my anxiety, I just drink if it's available at whatever function I'm at, and it helps with anxiety of course.

[ Parent ]
A precaution to be noted (4.50 / 4) (#40)
by gyan on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:02:17 AM EST

Have you tried using ego-boosting or talk-shit drugs? For example cocaine or perhaps ecstacy? I would be interested to hear if it made dealing with people easier...

 If anyone does decide to take Ecstasy, make SURE it is MDMA in the pill.

 Just this weekend, a friend gave me an "E pill", but it turned out to be pure Speed (Meth). And Meth can have some bad-ass aftereffects.


********************************

[ Parent ]

Indeed, Well Said (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by 5pectre on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:07:07 AM EST

Unfortunately in this world of government sanctionned "dirty" drugs there are risks, ideally make it yourself... If you don't have the skills then buy it off a well trusted friend. You can get test kits aswell. Afaik in the Netherlands they have pill tests at club doors. Very good idea IMHO. I should have mentioned it before, but yes if you are going to give it a go, make sure you buy a test kit and make sure what you have is E and not MDE, MDA, Speed, Ketamine or a number of other things they sometimes try to sell off as E.

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

[ Parent ]
Alternate treatments (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:07:48 AM EST

Have you tried using ego-boosting or talk-shit drugs? For example cocaine or perhaps ecstacy? I would be interested to hear if it made dealing with people easier...

No not really. Most of that stuff harms more than it helps. I know that some have though. Alchohol self medication is also very common among SP's.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

Really? (5.00 / 2) (#209)
by gyan on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:58:29 PM EST

No not really. Most of that stuff harms more than it helps.

 How would you know? Don't knock it till you try it yourself. No one's asking you to get hooked. And you CAN try it without getting hooked.

********************************

[ Parent ]

Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#246)
by 5pectre on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:00:58 AM EST

A guy below says it helps him with his problem. Its not like you've got much to lose... as you said yourself.

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

[ Parent ]
"Repressed memories". (4.00 / 2) (#193)
by tkatchev on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:08:27 PM EST

Sir, please go back to the trollhouse.

Damn amateurs.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

My wife has this (4.66 / 15) (#27)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 09:00:25 AM EST

And let me tell you, it's definitely not just "shyness". It's really, really weird. For instance, I'll see her talking to some stranger. It will be a normal conversation. Afterwards, she'll say "Dammit, I was saying such stupid things. And now they think I'm dumb." Ummm...no, you didn't say anything stupid. And they weren't thinking it, either.

Her self-judgement subroutines are working overtime (or just plain faulty). Logic does not work to explain, because she simply *knows* that they are thinking these things. (Well, now she knows they aren't, but she still feels it pretty strongly.)

Here's another weird thing (which her mother also has, lending support to the inheritance theory). I will observe my wife talking "in the wild". I will also observe her relating this conversation to another person. The actual content and the reported content are usually well-correlated, but if there was any kind of conflict (or perceived-by-her conflict) then the reported content is often wildly different. "And then she gave me this look like I was really stupid..." There was no look, what are you talking about?

Naturally there is a feedback problem. When she feels that she's being stupid, it gets harder to talk, increasing the probability of actually saying something stupid, etc.

It's been hard for her to be happy at any job because she has to deal with so many strangers. Like at one job she was partnered with a person who, she reported, kept treating her like a moron and being condescending to her. At the time I was very angry at this person (whom I'd never met) for treating my wife this way. Nowadays I have to wonder what was really going on.

Anyway, SSRI's have definitely helped, but it's not a total solution. The stories I hear now about work, for instance, are less about "this person hates me, what am I going to do" and more about how she successfully resolved some awkward social situation or conflict.

Play 囲碁

I think my friend's gf has it too. (3.80 / 5) (#44)
by Hillman on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:24:04 AM EST

But she's really a moron. So I guess her social anxiety is justified.

[ Parent ]
Robot love (3.66 / 6) (#61)
by egg troll on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 01:57:36 PM EST

Her self-judgement subroutines are working overtime...

Based upon that statement alone, I can conclude that your wife is none other than Vicky, from Small Wonder.

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

[ Parent ]

"inherited" (2.50 / 2) (#114)
by zzzeek on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:12:26 AM EST

has anyone stopped to consider that anxiety is a learned behavior and you just might learn it from your parents/close relatives as opposed to genetically acquiring it from them ? i guarantee you that attempts by anxious people to make themselves into helpless victims with labels like "genetically inherited diseases" are the wrong approach. anxiety, while there may be some physical predispositions to it, is otherwise completely learned. otherwise its like saying all people born with musical talent are automatically excellent pianists. with anxiety, you have to take full responsibility to solve the problem on your own and accept nothing less than total success....to say you can never change from how you are right now is completely cheating yourself and buying the easy way out.

[ Parent ]
Gosh no! (4.00 / 1) (#154)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:10:55 AM EST

Wow, you've really thought of something there. It's probably because there are so few doctors and scientists working on mental health, genes and psychology that no one has even considered the possibility that some diseases that we thought were inherited, like cystic fibrosis, were actually learned behaviors.

This is still anecdotal, but my wife's brother is one of the most unanxious, socially ept people I know.

Also, according to my reading, studies show that people are actually happier to learn that their problems have a genetic basis. It gives them something to focus on and overcome, rather than wallowing unproductively in "therapy".

PS: IHBT

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

with anxiety, i believe it is the opposite.... (5.00 / 2) (#160)
by zzzeek on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:16:25 AM EST

convincing yourself of the disorder being a fundamental part of your biological nature leads to a fatalistic and helpless attitude about the whole thing. as a result, a lot of people just rely 100% on the meds and dont even make an attempt to address their problem in any other way. behavior therapy takes a huge amount of work and courage, but is also generally accepted by the establishment you speak of to be the most effective treatment for anxiety, benzos being the least. other than the professional opinions (from a psychitatrist, a clinical psychologist, and a behavior therapist) ive gotten this information from, my personal experience with benzos, ssris, and behavior therapy (that experience being, lots with all three) confirm this as well for me.

[ Parent ]
More important to eliminate the stigma (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by chrswill on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:22:37 PM EST

There is some truth to what you say about developing a fatalistic and helpless attitude.  Obviously, if you don't believe you can change, you will lack motivation to try.

But it's important to have a realistic understanding of your condition.  I think more harm is caused by adopting the opposite attitude, i.e. that it's all in your head, and that you should be able to "will" yourself out of it.  When that approach fails to get results, not only will it tend to produce the very feelings of fatalism and helplessness that you condemn, but it also produces feelings of shame and the belief that you are weak or inferior.  These are the precise feelings and beliefs that make social phobia so miserable, and so the condition is made worse by having an unrealistic picture of your ability to control it.

It's partly but not entirely biological, and partly but not entirely under your control.  The shame that comes from believing, erroneously, that one should be completely able to control it is one of the things that prevents social phobics from getting help, and getting better.

[ Parent ]

False Dichotomy (5.00 / 2) (#223)
by Alfie on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:01:06 PM EST

But it's important to have a realistic understanding of your condition. I think more harm is caused by adopting the opposite attitude, i.e. that it's all in your head, and that you should be able to "will" yourself out of it. When that approach fails to get results, not only will it tend to produce the very feelings of fatalism and helplessness that you condemn, but it also produces feelings of shame and the belief that you are weak or inferior. These are the precise feelings and beliefs that make social phobia so miserable, and so the condition is made worse by having an unrealistic picture of your ability to control it.

A false dichotomy is when "a complex question inappropriately becomes polarized into an 'either-or' issue". In this case, you appear to be arguing that the problems of a person suffering from so-called social-anxiety disorder must either be all in their head (imagined) or all in their head (a biological disease of the brain). You neglect the possibility that everyone is shy, that there are real problems with the culture of the United States (or lack of it, thanks to corporate advertising), and that people aren't born knowing how to fit into a particular society but must learn how to do it.

As for the veneer of science surrounding what appears to be a medical term like "social-anxiety disorder", most people are surprised to learn that psychiatric medicine is based mostly on speculation. The rationale behind psychiatric diseases is as follows:

  1. People's memories, personality, and cognition is based on their hardware (their neurons, chemicals, and so on).
  2. Some people display what is interpreted as disturbed or disturbing behavior, or behavior which the observer deems is disadvantageous to the person displaying the behavior.
  3. Therefore, the person in question must have a defect in their hardware.

That basically sums up the medical status of every psychiatric diagnosis. Keep in mind that when a real physical cause to a disease is found, such as Parkinson's or epilepsy, then the disease is no longer considered in the domain of psychiatry but is moved into the domain of neurology. Psychiatry is a medical profession which has no known etiology for any of its diseases.

(Note that it is entirely possible that there is a physical defect which is causing the "abnormal" behavior. But psychiatric diagnoses are usually made by checking off items on a list of behaviors with the assumption that there must be a physical defect in order for the person to display said behaviors.)

I'm coming to the opinion that modern psychiatry is sort of a kindler, gentler eugenics movement than what arose in the early 1900's. It is assumed that some people are inherently broken and will never quite fit into society. In order to keep society well ordered, these people are treated with drugs which will hopefully keep them in control. Whether the drug treatment (or ECT or psychosurgery) is helpful to the person is not so relevant as whether it stops the person from acting in ways which the psychiatrist deems are inappropriate for society.

But, I could be wrong. I'm still researching this topic. So far, one good book I've found is Mad in America by Robert Whitaker. It is truly harrowing stuff the extent to which our mentally ill in the United States have been stigmatized, abused, and mistreated by the medical profession.



[ Parent ]
I didn't think so, but maybe it was. (5.00 / 2) (#275)
by chrswill on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:40:45 PM EST

I certainly didn't intend to argue that social anxiety must either be all imagined or all biological. I agree with you that this is a false dichotomy. After all, I wrote, "It's partly but not entirely biological, and partly but not entirely under your control."

What I intended was to argue that of these two polarized beliefs, one is more harmful than the other. But I do agree with you that both of these views neglect social factors that exist outside the individual.

I've had treatment for social anxiety, and the professionals I worked with addressed some of these social factors very well, and others not at all. (Regarding the biology-imagination dichotomy, most everyone thought that both drugs and cognitive exercises had treatment value.)

My therapists dealt best with the social problem of not knowing how to act, and we practiced common social interactions so that I could learn what to do. Less effective was the argument that everyone had some shyness or anxiety, for this led me to ask why I seemed to be the only one in need of help, which in turn led directly to the false dichotomy we've described: If everyone is shy, then I must just be lazy or weak-willed, or the other extreme, if everyone is shy, then I must be more shy, or biologically different, since only I need help.

The issue of problems within American culture was not addressed at all, and my therapists resisted when I tried to raise it. Your suggestion that psychiatrists view some people as "inherently broken" or that they will never truly fit in, but can only be controlled, does not match my experience. They seemed to believe that I could learn to fit in. What I found was that my therapists held tacit, and perhaps unconscious, notions of "appropriate" and "inappropriate" behavior, and that moreover, I tended to share these notions with them! It is not only the therapist but the patient himself who views his behavior as socially inappropriate. In fact, this is a primary characteristic of social anxiety - the patient perceives that he does not fit in, and is ashamed of it.

I became conscious of these notions as a result of cognitive exercises that trained me to monitor my thoughts. I discovered that some situations made me anxious not because I didn't know what others considered appropriate behavior, not because I thought I couldn't behave in the appropriate manner, but because I disagreed with their notion of appropriate behavior.

This really put the shoe on the other foot, because instead of believing that I was doing the wrong thing, I believed that everyone else was doing the wrong thing. For those specific situations, not fitting in suddenly became virtuous rather than shameful.

Which leads to a modification of my original point. The belief that a failure to act "appropriately" is purely a matter of willpower implies moral culpability, and creates shame over one's failure, whereas the belief that a failure is due to other factors releases one from moral culpability. A 6-month-old child is not publicly shamed for wetting his bed; he has not yet been toilet trained. Nor is a 60-year-old man; his bladder muscles are too weak. But the six-year-old bedwetter is made to feel shame because he "should know better."

The person with social anxiety basically fears that he is a "social bedwetter." His failure to act appropriately may be a result of ignorance, or incompetence, or biological limitation, or different beliefs about proper behavior, or a combination of these. And while his belief about the cause of his failure may or may not match the actual causes, it is a belief that makes him feel shame. I hold that this shame, rather than the actual consequences of failure to act appropriately, constitutes most of the harm caused by social anxiety. Therefore, I tend to favor an incorrect belief that relieves shame over an incorrect belief that increases shame.

[ Parent ]

Curious (none / 0) (#276)
by Alfie on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:58:06 PM EST

Thanks for the response. I'm curious as to what your social problems were. If you feel like sharing, maybe you could tell us what you thought might be a problem with society instead of a problem with you.

I have more to add, but I would like to read your response first. Thank you again for the detailed, thoughtful reply.



[ Parent ]
Genes? (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by FieryTaco on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:18:14 PM EST

There's not a doctor on the planet that can tell you why the presence of a particular gene causes a particular trait. Yes, a lot of research has gone into genetic research and there are a lot of situations where they have identified that the presence of a particular dna sequence correlates strongly with certain traits. But nobody can show the step-by-step process that connects a gene and a trait.

And, btw, genetics aren't everything when it comes to how things turn out.

[ Parent ]

C. All of the above (5.00 / 1) (#178)
by dcheesi on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:42:57 PM EST

Base temprament still plays a strong role here. In families with an anxious parent, one child may turn out equally anxious while another child has no problem at all. This despite being raised by the same primary caretaker.

Trying to deny one's basic temprament is just as dangerous as attributing everything to it. Trying to be "just like everyone else" can lead to unrealistic expectations and pushing oneself too far. This can lead to depression and burnout, and an even worse sort of fatalism (one that includes self-hatred for failing to change).

[ Parent ]

What is social phobia/anxiety? (2.33 / 21) (#41)
by anaesthesis on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:06:06 AM EST

In a word, it is commonly referred to as "shyness."

They had an Oprah episode about this. (2.60 / 10) (#45)
by Michael Moore on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:27:28 AM EST

I was watching Oprah one day and they had this NFL guy, and some guy from "The Bachelorette" on it. Anyway, they told their harrowing stories about difficulty with social phobia, but in the end they got help or something and they were all better. Oh yeah, and they brought some blonde bird up who hadn't left her house in like, years, all the way to Chicago to meet Oprah and these famous celebrities who had overcome their phobias. This was the first step to her recovery, you see.

Anyway, I know it's not cool to watch Oprah, because it's all wimpy, and like 90% of the audience are dumb middle-class broads, but I don't actually like the show myself either. I just think Oprah is hot.

--
"My life was more improved by a single use of [ecstasy] than someone's life is made worse by becoming a heroin addict." -- aphrael

You're Strange and Sick, Moore. (4.50 / 1) (#73)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 04:07:05 PM EST

...I don't actually like the show myself either. I just think Oprah is hot.

Besideswhich, Oprah is full of shit. If Hollywood has taught us anything it is that the cure for debilitating shiness is to save the life of a beautiful maiden ("I'm here with Obi-wan Kenobi -- I've come to rescue you!"), stand up to an intimidating belligerent with gusto ("Hey you, get your damn hands off her!"), or save the world with a laptop and a glock ("We're in! Insert the virus! She gonna blow!").

...Jeez.


___
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski. Personally, I pref
[ Parent ]
Just wait until slashdot hears about this (4.00 / 12) (#48)
by Stick on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:53:49 AM EST

95% of them will start claiming to have it.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
What is it about slashdot... (2.75 / 4) (#76)
by Gornauth on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 05:49:24 PM EST

...that people hate so much?

I visited that site once and ran away 'cause the layout almost killed my eyesight, but what are your problems with it?

What i can understand about the posts made on this site about the other site that people feel it's full of trolls (so what, each site has them) and that it's completly mindless.

So why bother to keep refering to them? I mean if you don't like them, ignore them.

And why is it that some people feel that when something is posted on slashdot, it should never ever be on Kuro5hin?
Do you have such a superiority complex that you get scared when you and the other si[d/t]e have something in commen the only thing you can do is start screaming: BAD! BAD! BAD! ?

And since it's such a bad site, how come you people even know that something was already mentioned there?


[ Parent ]

Slashdot i s big and bad for discussion (none / 0) (#85)
by tetsuwan on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:55:12 PM EST

and Kuro5hin is becoming just the same, so in that process people display their disgust.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Not really. (none / 0) (#88)
by Akshay on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:04:36 PM EST

K5's core audience is that of those pretentious wankers just out of their teens, so the trolls here are always going to be more clever than at /.

Besides, admit it, the cool blue theme always makes you drool in a very, hypnotic way.

[ Parent ]

Nobody cares about the comments (5.00 / 2) (#91)
by tetsuwan on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:31:58 PM EST

on slashdot anyhow.

And god I hate trolls. A good troll ratio is one in a hundred comments. It's when you stop caring if people are stupid or just trolling badly you know there's too little honest discussion going on.

Ok, so I am stupid idealist. But crapflooding the internet with superfluous trolls as a hobby, is such bad form,


Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Autism (none / 0) (#130)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:54:14 AM EST

I think he was just making a joke about the fact that everyone on /. thinks they have autism (and all autistics are geniuses).

[ Parent ]
Re: Autism (2.50 / 2) (#144)
by Gornauth on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:32:16 AM EST

If it was a joke it kinda hurt.

I have an autistic disorder and i'm certainly not a genius.
The one or two things that i'm slightly above average in, i need them badly to compensate for the tons of things i'm mediocre or just plain bad.


[ Parent ]

Exactly my point (none / 0) (#149)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:55:01 AM EST

Most of them think that people who are autistic are always geniuses (salvants?). So they all think it's cool to be autistic, and tell themselves they have it and brag about it.

It's kinda the same as people who think it's "cool" to be depressed. If you're truly deperssed, there is nothing great about it. And I'm certinaly not more creative because of my depression, just like you may not be a maths genius because of your autism.

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind having bi-polar, because then, atleast I wouldn't be depressed all the time. But of course, I'd rather not have any problems at all.

[ Parent ]

Disorders, dysfunctions and other fun stuff... (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by Gornauth on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 08:20:17 AM EST

I think what you mean are idiot savants.

People who are almost totally non-functional, but have one or two amazing abbilities, like a 4 year old girl that could draw a map op belgium with almost perfect scale and borders (trust me, that isn't easy)

And i agree, it's definitly not cool to be depressed. True deppersion kills you when untreated or almost certainly messes up your life.

I have been depressed when i was 19-23 and it's certainly not something that i would wish upon somebody else. Didn't have a life then and trying to build one when depressed is not easy.

When one is truly depressed there is no joy in life whatsoever. Food doesnt taste like it's supposed to and you just can't make a normal connection to everthing/body around you.

On that creative thing when being depressed: One doesnt do anything creative except as a flight from reality. Most of the time your creativity tends to make a depressions much worse.

Right now i'm close to slipping back into that state, but i'm determined to try and life like a normal (duh!) human being. And that means no more medication.
With medication life is even more unreal and not 'there' then with deperession. When depressed i still feel (only negative) emotions. On meds i might as well be dead.

And trust me, bi-polar isnt something to laugh at or whish for either. Do you have any idea what that disorder can do to for instance the  significant other in a relationship?

That is when you have one, when you don't have some anchor if you're bi-polar, well, not fun

Oh yeah, the great doctors are quite good at diagnosing stuff, but haven't got a clue what to do about it (i know, i know, personal experience and generalization).

My toplist of diagnosed stuff:

  • Asperger Syndromm
  • ADD
  • Deperessive-tendencies / Bi-polar.
I just wish they could agree on what's what and in what severity and order :(

[ Parent ]
Clarification. (none / 0) (#232)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:32:46 AM EST

Spose I should clarify that I would only want bi-polar if I had to choose between it and uni-polar (normal) depression that I have. I could be mistaken here, but I'm under the impression that the mania part isn't as horrible as depression.

BTW. What drugs have you taken? I'm looking to atleast try them before I go down the no-drugs road. As always, it seems that each drug has a dissadvantage to it.

[ Parent ]

Bi-polar is somehow worse... (none / 0) (#247)
by Gornauth on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:04:27 AM EST


Drugs tried so far in controlled doses: the normal stuff, alcohol, nicotine and the professional stuff like serocxat (?, dont know how to spell that anymore) and seresta (or something like that).

The first i tried for about 2.5 years and I really dislike that stuff nowadays. It's only a blanket on your mind, not something usefull to me.

Serestra, when i took one for the first time is responsible for a nervous breakdown. I have never felt so isolated, alone, cold, unable to reach out that when i had that poison in me.

The first person who forces me to take that again, i will kill (not a bluff or joke).

The worst thing about bi-polar is when you're up and you think about what happened last week when you're down. Instant deppression.
And when haveing a slightly fun time, one bad thing, down.
Talking with a girl, everything going well, for no apparent reason, down.

I would prefer to be down all the time. At least i knew what would be next.

Another problem with bi-polar is that the mood swings can become greater and greater, like a sling that somehow picks up more speed each time it crosses the base.

(need to eat some food now.)


[ Parent ]

Bi-polar is probably worse (5.00 / 1) (#251)
by Freaky on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:12:23 AM EST

With depression, you've only (heh) got the downs to worry about; that's easier to treat, easier for you to handle, and easier to control.

Mania is just as dysfunctional as depression, but it's a lot more active, since you've got tonnes of energy to get rid of. Being more impulsive and having all that energy means you're more likely to not only think about hurting yourself (or others), but to actually go ahead and do it, right now.

It's kind of like the difference between being frostbitten and being burnt I guess; they're different ends of the same spectrum, and both about as unpleasent as each other.  But at least if you're constantly freezing, you can just get a heater and some blankets without worrying about having to get an air-conditioner and some icepacks too...

(Oh, and try some Omega-3 fish oil. It seems good for depression.)

[ Parent ]

Thanks. (none / 0) (#287)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:40:07 PM EST

Seems that I was misslead into thinking that the mania part is usally acompanied by positive thoughts.

I have flax seed oil, which contains more Omega-3 etc than fish oil, I also took St. John's Wort for a while. Neither seem to make much difference, and probably never will untill I fix the cause of the depression (anxiety).

[ Parent ]

I am diagnosed with bipolar (none / 0) (#327)
by ChadM on Thu Sep 11, 2003 at 08:46:34 PM EST

It's definately not fun. You can wake up one morning feeling like you could own the world if you wanted to, and fall asleep that night wondering if you ever want to wake up again just because of the way somebody worded a comment to you. I will have to take mood stabilizers for the rest of my life unless I want to ride an emotional roller coaster with proverbial blinders on. I would take unipolar depression anyday. It'd be much easier to sort out in my head than going back and forth and back and forth like a yo-yo....

[ Parent ]
Uhm, 95% of Slashbots probably do... (n/t) (5.00 / 2) (#90)
by Skwirl on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:19:02 PM EST



--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
I don't think so. (4.66 / 3) (#131)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:58:37 AM EST

I suffer serveraly from social anxiety. Most nerds don't suffer from this IMHO. Put a nerd in with other nerds and they will generaly get along just fine, for example.

[ Parent ]
yeah (5.00 / 2) (#143)
by Skwirl on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:24:02 AM EST

I forget what my point was, but it was probably a dumb one. I would, however, stand by the point that a significantly higher percentage of the population at Slashdot is dealing with social anxiety issues than the percentage of people in the population at large.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Xanax is a Miracle Drug. (4.30 / 10) (#51)
by duxdown on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 12:33:31 PM EST

I had never been a very social person. It was never so bad as to really handicap me until someone very close to me literally tried to kill me when I was in Junior High. That pushed me off the edge into severe social anxiety. From then on I was plagued by thoughts  of worthlessness. I couldn't have a conversation without walking away from it reflecting on all the "stupid" things I had said. It got to the point that I dropped out of High School. Walking down the crowded halls I couldn't take the feeling that everyone was looking at me and judging me. For two years after I dropped out I pretty much gave up on life. I barely left my house and only associated with the few friends I had had in High School.

My family tried to get me help. I was put on SSRIs and took CBT. The SSRIs had no effect and while CBT allowed me to force myself to do things like go into a store and to school the old feelings were still there. Talking to strangers was still out of the question. The only thing the doctors ever gave me that helped at all was low-dose Klonopin. I was taken off that however when it was found I smoked pot recreationally. They were afraid I'd abuse it. What before was a valid treatment was now "just a band-aid" I'd have to learn to live without. Within a couple of months of being off Klonopin I was back to being a hermit.

Fortunately for me some of my friends from High School were stoners. Through them I am able to obtain black market Xanax. It's made all the difference in my world. For $80-100 a month I am able to live a normal life again. Simple things like asking a stranger for directions are possible now. I can go up and flirt with a girl on campus or in a club and with my new-found self confidence most of the time and can get their number. I'm getting laid on a regular basis for the first time in a long time.

You say you were on Klonopin at one point. Why aren't you still? In my experience benzodiazepines are the only real treatment for severe social anxiety. I know that they are addictive but let's be real here. When your anxiety is so bad you can't walk into a store without having your knees shake you're probably never going to be able to function without the meds. Withdrawal is a non-issue. I would really recommend benzos if you ever want to live a normal life.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Down with Duxup!

s/xanax/malt liquor/; [nt] (5.00 / 3) (#65)
by waxmop on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 03:23:54 PM EST


--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]
Xanax is evil (2.75 / 8) (#69)
by godix on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 04:00:20 PM EST

Anything that gets computer nerds laid should be outlawed. The last thing this country needs is a bunch of nerdlings running around trying to teach the rest of their class Linux.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]
the only real treatment ? (none / 0) (#111)
by zzzeek on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:05:05 AM EST

what other treatments have you tried ? other than drugs. which are pretty much the worst way to solve a problem like straight anxiety.

[ Parent ]
Did you read his comment? (none / 0) (#117)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:16:19 AM EST

He said he has done CBT. Maybe you should query him on what sort of CBT and for how long.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
youre right i goofed (none / 0) (#161)
by zzzeek on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:21:12 AM EST

i glossed over the CBT acronym...try replacing CBT with the name of some random medication (say, 'ativan') in the original comment and the paragraph still works!

[ Parent ]
I've tried two things (4.40 / 5) (#124)
by duxdown on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:30:12 AM EST

For a long time I tried just toughing it out. That got me absolutely no where. Then I started seeing a psychologist who practiced CBT which is mentioned in the article. Basically all it is is aversion therapy. She would ask me what sort of situations made me anxious then I would go out on my own and repeatedly put myself in those situations.

For example stores were always a problem for me. So I'd go into Best Buy and ask the sales associate questions about a car audio system one day and a graphics card the next. This worked to some extent. I was able to get to the point where I could go into stores without having wobbly knees or hyperventilating, but I would still have excessive sweat. Besides the sweat outwardly I appeared normal but on the inside my thoughts were going a million miles a minute.

Where CBT really failed me was less structured social settings. Again I could go to a party without hyperventilating, but when it came time to strike up a conversation I would get nowhere. I could finally work up the nerve to go talk to That Pretty Girl but once we started talking I would quickly clam up. My head would be racing with thoughts of how I looked, how she was looking at me, or if what I just said was stupid.

Xanax slows that racing mind. It gives me the ability to say "fuck it" and really mean it if I make some faux pas rather than dwelling on what I said for the rest of the night. When I take it I can crack jokes again rather than being so nervous humor is beyond me. Basically it allows me to be myself again.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Down with Duxup!
[ Parent ]

The cost and procurement (none / 0) (#113)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:10:35 AM EST

I can obtain SSRI's easier than Klonopin. I stopped taking Klonopin for doing CBT and never picked it up later. I also found it made me way too tired to do some things. In Australia where I live paroxetine is cheaper than klonopin. Also I no longer see a pyshciatrist and I get all of my drugs through my GP and I am afraid of asking her for benzos. Even though I do not get addicted to them.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid of getting unafraid (none / 0) (#197)
by dipierro on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:29:40 PM EST

In Australia where I live paroxetine is cheaper than klonopin. Also I no longer see a pyshciatrist and I get all of my drugs through my GP and I am afraid of asking her for benzos.

Ah, the chicken and egg problem.



[ Parent ]
isn't NIMH .... (3.13 / 22) (#54)
by rmg on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 12:56:46 PM EST

that place with all the rats?

rats are kind of cute.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

Not In My House n/t (none / 0) (#63)
by Bill Melater on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 02:53:08 PM EST



[ Parent ]
There's More (none / 0) (#70)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 04:01:49 PM EST

Everybody knows that the wizards of NIMH have done far more than simply grant hyper-intelligence to rats and mice with radioactive serum -- why, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I have it on good authority that NIMH invented extra-cheesy nachos, too.


___
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski. Personally, I pref
[ Parent ]
NiMH Batteries (none / 0) (#195)
by Canar on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:20:35 PM EST

Last as long as alkalines, are about 3x as expensive, and are rechargable about 100x. Yay.

[ Parent ]
Re: NiMH Batteries (none / 0) (#203)
by Freaky on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:05:07 PM EST

They last longer than alkalines; and more importantly, they put out a much more stable voltage over their discharge period.  That's especially important for sensitive devices like digital cameras.

^-^ o/

[ Parent ]

grr subjects suck (none / 0) (#311)
by scanman on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 06:13:23 AM EST

The more stable voltage makes it really annoying when your device has a built-in battery meter that no longer warns you before the thing dies.

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

Eh? (3.44 / 9) (#56)
by the on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 01:17:22 PM EST

I suffer from almost every symptom on the list and I still can't take this story seriously.

Let's see:

I hate phone calls, making and receiving them. It pisses my wife off no end that I almost always end up getting her to phone people.

Going to church: I've recounted my going to church story a few times on K5. I ran out of the last Church service I went to. The most stressful thing I've done in a long time!

Returning goods to a store: I hate this. Again, I get my wife to do it usually. I hate face-to-face conflict.

The police: Yup, they make my heart rate go right up for some obscure reason.

Doing the gardening: Yup, I hate it. I hate washing too.

Large crowds: I can cope with these because ultimately they are so impersonal. Crowds are not a face-to-face situation.

Using public toilets: I really hate this. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could overcome my fears associated with this.

So there you are, I clearly have social anxiety. I also have an itch on the end of my nose. >Scratch!<.

--
The Definite Article

What about coworkers? (none / 0) (#60)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 01:21:49 PM EST



Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Hmm. This is getting all a bit too self-revealing! (5.00 / 4) (#79)
by the on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:17:40 PM EST

It's all complex to explain. There are many people who I ignore because it's simply too stressful to have to break the ice with someone I don't know. So I won't even say hello, I'll just ignore them or arrange that I don't have to meet them by timing my walking so I don't pass them in the corridor etc. And then on other days I'm the life and soul of the party. And then I'll be surly again. But it's not a mood thing like bipolar disorder. People stress me out. Except on some days. It's confusing for some people who think I've stopped talking to them because they've pissed me off. I'm used to all this now.

Right now I have to make a reservation at a restaurant for our anniversary. I hate making phone calls like that. What if the person at the other end doesn't understand what I said? Or I don't understand them? Or I have to explain something complicated? It's stupid, I know. Damn! I'm making that call right now.

Paradoxically I'm a good public speaker. (OK, that's a little arrogant, but I feel good when I'm up there). I can speak on difficult stuff to an audience of 2,000, say, without any trouble at all. Public speaking isn't really a social situation. It's just an anonymous sea of faces out there. But waiting in line in Safeway and suddenly I get that feeling the stranger next to me is going to say hello. That's stressfull.

Anyway, that's enough whininess. One of my personal hates is a distinctly American thing: blaming all of your problems on psychological ones, probably due to your parents. I think Americans have created a unique mythology about their own minds. A highly sophisticated folk psychology. But much of it is literally a creation that you dynamically generate as you speak to a therapist, for example, creating stuff that never existed up until that moment.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]

Reply (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:59:04 PM EST

I think you've gotten lucky in that you have a job (and a wife) that let you be...eccentric. A lot of people don't have that. Imagine a high school dropout with social phobia being forced to take a service industry job.

There are some psychological approaches to therapy, but most of the stuff I've read say it has a physical cause. Seeing my wife's response to medication (and her stalwart refusal to respond to therapy, which she is probably even more opposed to than you), I have to agree.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

I am not American (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:18:24 AM EST

In my culture (Australian) being mentally ill is frowned upon.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
defensiveness (none / 0) (#326)
by alprazolam on Thu Sep 11, 2003 at 04:36:32 PM EST

sometimes I feel a constant need to explain myself to other people. other times I don't give a damn if people understand me or not. sometimes i have difficulty telling whether i'm just really excited or anxious, sometimes i don't bother to decide whether i am or not. sometimes i wonder if i don't just subconciously make myself anxious, just to make my pathetic life seem more exciting. some days are great, other days all i think about all day long is how great it would be if i was the only person left alive on earth, or how much i want to be locked in my apartment under a blanket. lately i think about this stuff all the time to try and understand myself. but i try not to take it too seriously. because it's all just chemicals in your brain anyway. why should you let them control you. especially as an atheist, i have to feel like i have conscious control of myself and my decisions when it comes down to it.

[ Parent ]
You have a problem (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by tetsuwan on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:36:52 PM EST


Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Invalidating other people's experience is not cool (4.66 / 6) (#92)
by Skwirl on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:41:47 PM EST

If these things affect your day-to-day ability to live a fulfilling life, then yes, you have social anxiety. If not, then you need to get it through your head that your single personal experience does not constitute a valid scientific study.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
bullshit (none / 0) (#103)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:24:53 PM EST

all he's saying is that he doesn't label himself like the author of this story does.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Not that simple (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:10:01 AM EST

A lot of those things I can do no problems. But I still want to kill myself every time I get into a social situation like a party.

Anyway, like he said, a lot of people suffer from anxiety occationaly. It's only a problem when it stops you doing stuff. And because you simple can't do it, not because you just don't like it.

If you think do have it (and are not just trolling). The question you need to ask yourself is: Does this make my life hell? If no (which I think it is in your case), then does it really matter?

[ Parent ]

great (1.66 / 30) (#58)
by Dirty Sanchez on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 01:19:55 PM EST

another made-up disease fuckups can use to blame their failure at life on.

Okay (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by Tachys on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:58:30 AM EST

So tells us what do you blame your failure at life on?

Any game that gets banned by the Austrailian govt can't be all bad... - Armaphine
[ Parent ]

I don't fail (none / 0) (#169)
by Dirty Sanchez on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:54:19 PM EST

simple as that. not everyone is subhuman scum.

[ Parent ]
WRONG! (none / 0) (#189)
by milican on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 03:22:55 PM EST

I have a friend that almost blacked out in speech class because of a similar ailment.  But she toughed it out and I believe got a 'B' in the class.  Very impressive, and a great testament to her character.

There are mental disorders just like there are physical disorders.  Mental problems are no more fake than a skin rash.

JOhn

[ Parent ]

It's OK though. (1.00 / 2) (#194)
by tkatchev on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:12:07 PM EST

We, as a society, could just stuff them full with mind-altering narcotics and watch contently as they turn into vegetables.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

No social anxiety here. (5.00 / 2) (#305)
by scurrg on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:58:34 PM EST

another made-up disease fuckups can use to blame their failure at life on.

So obviously you are not preoccupied with the opinions that other people have of you. If you were, you likely wouldn't say something like that.

If you don't suffer from these symptoms, that's great for you. But if you feel the need to attack people who are obviously struggling, then I think you may have other issues.

It's funny because I used to react the same way every time I heard about a syndrome or disorder. Until I realized that I had one myself.

[ Parent ]

My walk through the park.. (3.00 / 6) (#64)
by ignatiusst on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 03:21:22 PM EST

I always thought that I was an introverted geek, and now I have to re-adjust my world-view and accept life as a diseased geek..

Is it just my behavior, or does anyone else who [thinks s/he] has this disorder tend to over-compensate for it at times? For example, I will make a conscious effort to be more assertive in a situation and usually will walk away feeling like I behaved like a complete jerk. Maybe that's part of social anxiety, too, though..

Oh well, I suppose my megalomania tendencies offset the worst of my social anxiety, anyway..

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

*** SPOILER BELOW DO NOT READ *** (3.00 / 8) (#67)
by Tex Bigballs on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 03:41:12 PM EST

ANDREW DIES IN ANDREW'S STORY

No he doesn't (2.75 / 4) (#71)
by Stick on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 04:03:16 PM EST

Granted I haven't read it yet, but I feel my opinion is just as valid as the next mans.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Haiku (2.18 / 11) (#74)
by debacle on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 04:45:38 PM EST

I drove home today
Two hours of shitty drivers
Wish I had road rage

It tastes sweet.
Sir, your haiku sucks elephant dick. (none / 0) (#81)
by tetsuwan on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:33:56 PM EST

JChen's haiku has class, yours doesn't.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Some thoughts on the matter... (4.00 / 8) (#77)
by Matt Oneiros on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:03:45 PM EST

I used to have a similar gig going on, fear of being judged/appearing inadaquate/appearing to be foolish.

I had lots of great years of depression. Then I realized the reason I had feared other's judgement is because I judged people in everyway I feared they would judge me.

So I stopped judging people, and with that it all went away.

Lobstery is not real
signed the cow
when stating that life is merely an illusion
and that what you love is all that's real

6-day 2 evenining class -eliminates fear of groups (1.75 / 4) (#78)
by simul on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:11:06 PM EST

http://www.landmarkeducation.com/

You swifly lose the ability to be afraid of other people - unless it's appropriate (ie: they have a gun pointing at you).

If you have any fear of communicating with others, this course swiftly, albeit expensively, expunges it from you. $400 for 3 day intensive course + 10 week refresher, $600 for group-interaciton course = $1000.

It may be corny and expensive.... but if a social life is what you're really looking for, these guys hand it to you.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]

so does getting some friends [nt] (none / 0) (#102)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:22:07 PM EST



Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
You have to sign a waiver (5.00 / 1) (#134)
by dipierro on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:49:02 AM EST

saying that you don't have any disorders in order to take the course, though.

[ Parent ]
some groups are better to be afraid of (5.00 / 2) (#157)
by Viliam Bur on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:00:28 AM EST

And Landmark Education is probably one of them.

[ Parent ]
Nah (none / 0) (#162)
by simul on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:23:15 AM EST

I took it, it's like practice for real social events.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
Another opinion about Landmark Forum (4.00 / 1) (#171)
by spring on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:58:59 PM EST

Please read Inside the Landmark Forum before making any commitments to this organization. The visitor feedback page on that site is particularly enlightening.

[ Parent ]
A bit different for me... (none / 0) (#211)
by Matt Oneiros on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 07:10:54 PM EST

...I only feared people I didn't know. To an extent this can potentially cripple your social life.

It never hurt my social life though, oddly enough, most of my friends before I got my head straight were just good ole boys from the neighbourhood, a lot still are.

Ultimately probably the most significant relationship of my life so far arose after sorting things out.

So look at it however you want, I reckon I'm better off for having sorted things out myself.

Lobstery is not real
signed the cow
when stating that life is merely an illusion
and that what you love is all that's real
[ Parent ]

I used to judge others (5.00 / 1) (#120)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:23:23 AM EST

And it made things much worse. Then one day i stopped doing it and a lot of problems went away. It didn't fix everything but sure did help.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
I think I used to have this (4.12 / 8) (#80)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:30:56 PM EST

I probably still do to an extent but I'm much better now. I've always had very poor interpersonal skills and have been disinterested in people. As a small child I generally wouldn't talk to anyone but my mom. I don't remember if I was afraid or just disinterested. It was probably both.

In grade school and high school I was picked on quite a bit because I was short and fat and behaved very strangely. I seemed to change schools a lot too. I didn't get along with my teachers either. I eventually developed an instinct that the people around me were more likely to be foe than friend. I didn't want to meet people because I assumed hostility would ensue. I was always afraid of embarrassing myself.

I think I started to get better by the end of high school but really made greater leaps in college. By the end of high school I was accepted by the other kids in my class. When I was in college I finally learned to act more normal. And in the adult world people don't really make fun of you very much.

I started to learn that I could come across as a normal person and my social confidence increased dramatically. By the end of college I could make a little small talk with people around me and easily approach people if I had a question.

I'm 24 now and I'm still pretty shy and I don't do well at parties with lots of strangers. But I'm not nervous around people and don't avoid them any more. However I still always wonder if they dislike me. I might even be slightly patanoid. I always worry that people are out to get me or are trying to cheat me. I think I'm probably get better as I age though.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

Nit (none / 1) (#84)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:52:36 PM EST

You weren't disinterested (impartial). You were uninterested (not interested).

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
I don't get it nt (none / 0) (#86)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:58:21 PM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Did you mean uninterested (none / 0) (#208)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:50:13 PM EST

because disinterested means unbiased.

[ Parent ]
Sexuality can be an important component (3.66 / 9) (#93)
by Urpo on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:49:09 PM EST

But, strangely, only with men. I used to be scared of answering the phone, for fear it was a man. I used to be scared of going to the shops in case there was a man behind the counter. I had lots of female friends, and I had no problem with them, but hardly any male ones. The reason for this, as you might have guessed, was my sexuality. Specifically, I am as "bent as a roundabout" and it took me a long time to accept it because I went with the fiction that I am heterosexual.

This state of affairs went on for a long time, until I was 25 or so. I was terribly isolated from one sex of the species, and this only exaccerbated my already rather feminine behaviour. I had a couple of girlfriends, even, but things did not go well with them. It was only when I was talking to my Anglican priest - a lovely man - about my troubles that I realised it is okay to be gay. I mean, I'm not all big on "gay rights" - heaven's no - but I do think that it is reasonable for me to be homosexual and have an enjoyable same-sex relationship.

Of course, my problems did not immediately vanish. I am still, to this day, highly tortured about my sexuality. But my first relationship with an American man, who was very butch indeed, did a great deal to wash away my fear of the male sex, so I can now walk into bars and have a drink with the chaps without feeling massively scared or shaking like a leaf, just a bit nervey perhaps. My relationship with my American man is over now, but I feel that through our closeness together he remade me. To be crude, through our sexual expirementation (he enjoyed foreskin docking, as he was denuded. It was very good for me to think I am more of a man than he! This physical docking was like joining myself to a sex I had hitherto ignored) and emotional integration I managed to climb to another level of comfort with myself and cast off my old inhibitions. It was like I came out of a shell.

My advice to the socially phobic is to examine their sexuality. Even if you are not gay, it may be that a relationship will hugely increase your confidence and allow you to become a new man.

--
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.

the priest was a lovely man, hmm? (nt) (2.00 / 2) (#95)
by fae on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 08:50:33 PM EST



-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]
Heh yes (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by Urpo on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 08:56:39 PM EST

But not like that, honestly. He was just sort of noble. he was also gay. The Anglican church is very lax about these things though, its not like it cares. It has the best values of English tolerance engraved on its heart.

--
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.
[ Parent ]

Sexuality ??? (2.00 / 1) (#119)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:21:46 AM EST

My advice to the socially phobic is to examine their sexuality. Even if you are not gay, it may be that a relationship will hugely increase your confidence and allow you to become a new man.

I think you are talking about a different problem. Maybe you just had a problem with what you considered Authority figures. Did you have a good Father?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

You hit the nail on the head (4.50 / 2) (#136)
by omegadan on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 03:30:45 AM EST

although I really wish I hadn't read your graphic comment now ... :) I had the extremely exotic mixture of having both severe social anexity AND being a "ladies man."

Without going into my life story, I was in an accident as a young child and spent several weeks unconscious, and several months in intensive care isolated from human contact for more then a few hours a week. I suspect this caused or triggered a pre-disposition to social anexity. Also, I don't know if this is possible really, but *all* of the men on one side of my family have been moderate to extreme womanizers, which I also inherited.

Long story short, my social anexity and extreme sex drive clashed, and oddly enough, I was a quiet reserved guy with a ton of girlfriends. Somehow I was able to scam a chick with ease, but ordering a pizza over the phone terrified me. Looking back I think I was able to "scam chicks" because of my training as a musician, I viewed womanizing as a *performance* and was able to leverage that ability into a performance for a woman.

Eventually I grew out of both problems, as much as anyone can that is :)

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

It's not usually a good idea to... (1.00 / 1) (#156)
by Sir Altoid on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:59:58 AM EST

...admit homosexuality on a website like k5. Just a helpful reminder.

There's no such thing as a stupid question. There *are*, however, stupid people without answers.
[ Parent ]

Sad (5.00 / 2) (#165)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:52:52 AM EST

If that's true, it makes me pretty sad. Is this the direction we're going in? Can we expect more fluffy grue incidents? I'd like to think that in a personal article like this or in a diary, someone should be able to admit just about anything.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
why not? (none / 0) (#331)
by aphrael on Tue Sep 16, 2003 at 05:03:43 PM EST

I've found it to be quite helpful in many different ways.

[ Parent ]
Men make me more nervous (5.00 / 1) (#254)
by Freaky on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:34:30 AM EST

But that's more down to problems with my old peer groups and my (ex)step-father.

But yes; sexuality may be a factor.  I'm not gay, but I'm 22 and can probably count the number of real-life conversations I've had with girls on one hand (even using binary, 5 bits isn't much), and I've never had anyone express an interest in me, or tell me I was cute, or even give me a second glance (obviously these are more my perceptions than anything; I've probably taken many such glances as negitive evaluation and underestimated/explained away/discouraged approaches).

For years, I've felt unattractive, unlovable, and pretty much repulsive; that sort of negative self-image and repressing any feelings I might have for members of the opposite sex, at least from them, has been very painful.

[ Parent ]

-1, another psuedo nerd. (2.60 / 15) (#98)
by Nigga on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 10:42:18 PM EST

Nerds aren't secretively, lonely, depressed, alienated fuckers that never could adapt based on feeling of inferiority and anxiety and panic attacks... quite the contrary... true nerds are cold, calculating, confident, sure, never afraid, never nervous. They are reclusive not because of some fight or flight complex but because they are arrogant pricks that could give a shit about their fellow humans. They are cold and dead inside. Fear means you care - nerds could care less... So in summary K5 is nerds only. No pussies allowed.

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?

that's my experience [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:20:53 PM EST



Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
So in summary you like people to fit in neat boxes (5.00 / 2) (#110)
by richarj on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:58:58 PM EST



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
nah.. (1.00 / 2) (#129)
by QuantumG on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:38:39 AM EST

just that most geeks are arseholes and don't even know it.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
you mean sociopaths (none / 0) (#132)
by livus on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:05:39 AM EST

you just described sociopaths! Hmm, you may well have a point there.

As I am not a nerd but a geek I am now going to correct your phrasing, even though you are not Turmeric:

"because they are arrogant pricks that could give a shit about their fellow humans" should be "because they are arrogant pricks that couldn't give a shit about their fellow humans."

I have a theory that this sort of problem occurs because people learn their vocabulary - and cliches - aurally from the TV and they mishear them.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Is english your second language? (4.00 / 1) (#138)
by Nigga on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 03:53:26 AM EST

Because you seem way too technical. "Could give a shit" has origins in the phrase "you know what? I could really give a shit".. the sarcasm here only intensifies the notion of not giving a shit. So when you say you "could give a shit" it's actually means the same thing as "couldn't give a shit" only stronger.

You would never hear anybody say "could give a shit" and actually mean the words that they're saying unless of course english is their second langugae in which case they would just look cute saying that.

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?
[ Parent ]

Let's make broad generalisations (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by kesuari on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 04:32:13 AM EST

Let's make broad generalisations that are entirely inaccurate. I've never heard anyone say 'could give (something)' to mean anything but that they were able to give (something). English is my first language. English is the first language of most of the people I talk to.

[ Parent ]
Me too n/t (none / 0) (#146)
by livus on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:00:04 AM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
No but American is (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by livus on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:59:05 AM EST

What you're describing must be a regional anomaly of yours.

hey... do you also say "I could give a rat's ass"? "I could care less" and "I would touch that with someone else's" to mean the opposite?

If someone with english as a second language informed me seriouly that they were willing to give me a shit I'd be a little concerned.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Yes, yes it is... (none / 0) (#173)
by drivers on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:11:05 PM EST

It's American, and has the same meaning as "I couldn't care less" however the emphasis is on different, words which doesn't come across in text, unless you are already familiar with the phrase (i.e. American). We do say "I could care less" and "I could give a rat's ass." The last sentence you quoted isn't really a cliche here, but we say "I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole."

Read this page about the phrase "I could care less".

[ Parent ]

In defense... (none / 0) (#182)
by Weembles on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:21:24 PM EST

...of our fine republic, I would just like to point out that there are plenty of Americans who don't cotton to 'could care less' = 'couldn't care less.'

However, I think the average speaker just couldn't care less. Or could. Or whatever...

[ Parent ]

Ah (none / 0) (#237)
by livus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:13:23 AM EST

it's all beginning to make sense now.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Your last example (none / 0) (#176)
by Nigga on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:26:45 PM EST

"I would touch with someone else's cock" opens my eyes to how funny the could stuff must sound. But yeah - i guess it's an American thing - if not, then a CA thing. In the case of would it doesn't work unless you change the words to obvious sacrasm.

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?
[ Parent ]

I see (none / 0) (#238)
by livus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:15:58 AM EST

perhaps the whole thing has its origins in sarcasm. Thing is, everything seems to make sense in an American accent (hence Bush's success).

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Oh... and another thing (none / 0) (#181)
by Nigga on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:21:09 PM EST

sociopaths, nerds - whatever... same thing.... why the fuck do you think nerds get off by playing GTA vice city?

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?
[ Parent ]

but (none / 0) (#139)
by kesuari on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 03:59:14 AM EST

If nerds could care less, then they care. If you're going to say something it helps if you don't contradict yourself.

[ Parent ]
see my response to that fucker penis (1.25 / 3) (#140)
by Nigga on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 04:14:34 AM EST

oops.. typo.. levis - sorry!

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?
[ Parent ]

There's no such thing as a rational fear. (nt) (2.25 / 8) (#105)
by fae on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:46:18 PM EST



-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
What about totally justified fears? (4.66 / 6) (#107)
by Michael Moore on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:49:28 PM EST

As in, say, you jump out of a plane and your parachute doesn't work, or some crazy guy is waving a gun in your face, threatening to kill you. Fear in those situations isn't rational?

Stupidest comment ever.

--
"My life was more improved by a single use of [ecstasy] than someone's life is made worse by becoming a heroin addict." -- aphrael
[ Parent ]

fear is the mind killer bla bla bla. (nt) (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by fae on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:55:42 AM EST



-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]
Uh, no. (none / 0) (#167)
by awgsilyari on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:35:01 PM EST

As in, say, you jump out of a plane and your parachute doesn't work, or some crazy guy is waving a gun in your face, threatening to kill you. Fear in those situations isn't rational?

Of course it isn't fucking rational. If that ever happened to you, death would be certain. This is clearly not a dangerous situation -- it is a terminal situation (pun intended).

The rational thing to do when you are falling unstoppably from a great height, is to call out to whatever deity you may believe in, or think back over the happy moments of your life, or whatever else you feel is appropriate to spend your final moments doing. Pissing your pants in terror wouldn't make much sense, would it?

As for the crazy guy with the gun, I'm not sure precisely what the best thing to do in that situation would be, but again, shivering in terror doesn't make any sense.

There are certain aspects to fear which make evolutionary sense. Adrenaline rushing through your body gives you strength and helps you move quickly. Your mental functioning speeds up. But there are other aspects of fear, such as the paralyzing effects of panic, that just don't make sense, and aren't rational by any means.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Confusion (none / 0) (#206)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:40:23 PM EST

The term rational fear usually refers to what happens before you feel fear not what your reaction to feeling fear is.

[ Parent ]
Fight or Flight (5.00 / 1) (#215)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 07:37:50 PM EST

Is the response to the fear. Not the fear itself.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Aim for a pool (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by pyro9 on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:16:26 PM EST

There's an outside chance you might survive that way. If not, you can at least amuse yourself with how surprised someone will be when you dive into their pool out of the clear blue sky :-)


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Obligatory Simpsons Quote (3.00 / 1) (#228)
by jasonditz on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:50:24 PM EST

Jesus, Allah, Buddha, I love you all!

[ Parent ]
Maybe , but a few examples (none / 0) (#205)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:23:59 PM EST

A loud noise, as in you don't have to think to feel the fear (babies do this) this type is usually called an irrational fear.

If someone tells you "you have to speak before a 100 people in 10 minutes" most would consider it rational that your heart rate goes up to 96 beats/min after hearing this statement (assuming you must comply) even though the situation also contains irrational(non verbal-thought) components. If your heart rate when to 180 beats/min most would call this an irrational fear.

[ Parent ]

Missing the Point (none / 0) (#324)
by teece on Wed Sep 10, 2003 at 04:13:02 AM EST

You don't understand the issue -- or your philosphy on it is odd.

A rational fear is one that is adaptive. If a man points a gun in your face, you feal a jolt of fear that gets your ass moving, and may save your life. If you drive your car at 150 mph into a sharp curve, and it starts to fishtail, your fear is very rational. Again, if you react correctly, the fear could save your life.

You seem to be confusing the desire to have a rational response to the fear -- that is, taking actions that make the situation better for you, spurred on by the fear, with the fear itself. The fears mentioned above are rational (by defition, if you like).

Irrational fear is maladaptive. If you are terrified of leaving the house, for no specific reason, it is not helpful in any way. Even worse, if you react to that fear by staying home forever, it is very damaging. Another example would be obsesivie compulsive people. Or socially anxious folks. These fears do not arise from truly threatening situations, often times, but even if they do they are allowed to shape behaviour in a very harmful and irrational way.

There is a very important distinction to be made here. While you are sort of on the right track about your idea (eg, one should not let fear alone control them), you are either missing the point, or just being a smart ass.

You should also realize that primal fear, whatever you want to call it, is fundamentally beyond the rational -- you do not have a choice in the matter. Humans have evolved to use fear to their advantage. Certain things are going to scare you, and when they do they are going to invoke a physiological response. There is no way around that. Denying that is just silly. To assume it is irrational to be afraid when if fall of a cliff is just silly.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

the end is near. (1.83 / 24) (#115)
by ninja rmg on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:12:56 AM EST





rusty, how can you zero this? (2.12 / 8) (#121)
by ninja rmg on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:24:20 AM EST

i'm jus' tellin' it like it is.



[ Parent ]
Probably (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:02:07 AM EST

because you posted the same dumb comment about ten times all over the place.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
don't worry (3.50 / 4) (#158)
by ninja rmg on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:56:21 AM EST

the end is near.



[ Parent ]
He's not zeroing it per se. (none / 0) (#137)
by truth versus death on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 03:32:08 AM EST

He's just doing the most he can do as a regular trusted user to bring down the rating.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
+1 Section (3.00 / 4) (#148)
by daragh on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:30:33 AM EST

Only because I believe that mental health in general is something about which people should be educated (no I don't suffer from any mental illness myself, my fiancee works in the area and I've learned a lot about it from her).

However, I am of the opinion that most mental illness has a genetic AND an environmental component, so drugs and/or genetic engineering alone will never find a "cure". I don't think illnesses like yours can be "cured" in the sense of, say, taking out a tumour and no longer having cancer. What can be done is prevention (teaching people about mental illness and coping strategies from a relatively young age - for example, if someone knows what a panic attack is they are more likely to deal better with it the first time they have one), and coping mechanisms, such as CBT.

The genetic/medical viewpoint also encourages the victim outlook - a sufferer can say it's not my fault, it's my genes/biochemistry etc, and this can remove the motivation to actually do anything about it, such as seek out useful treatments like CBT.

Nonetheless, kudos for taking the time to write about this.

No work.

contradictions (2.42 / 7) (#153)
by fhotg on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:04:34 AM EST

These are not rational fears either, they are irrational ones.

The fears you list are very rational though:

The police, just seeing them makes me feel afraid
Thats indended and reasonable. Nearly every intelligent grownup feels like that.

Going to church:
Justified feeling as well: Many churches contain unproportional high number of dangerous wackos.

Returning goods to a store
They do everything to make you feel extremely uncomfy to do this. Many people who won't return stuff for that reason will claim to have perfect mental health.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

Speaking as a person who had the same problem (5.00 / 1) (#172)
by Golden Hawk on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:04:30 PM EST

I had this problem.  I got over it with the help of the internet.  At first I had accute fear of encountering people online... but I managed to find quiet little nieches and talk one on one with people and it wasn't NEARLY as scary as face-to-face communication.  It helped me realize that although it's reasonable to be afraid of some social situations, the degree to which my anxiety debilitated me was totally irrational.  Eventually I moved up to chatting with groups... then with crowds... then with talking to people on the phone... then talking face to face to friends...

To this day..... I still can't look people in the eye, even my family.

It's NOT rational to nearly black out solely because of a brief argument with a stranger, or hyperventalate and have a crying fit because of apprehension about having to speak in public two weeks or more before the event.... as happened to me.
In the same sense, it's not rational to fear a cop who isn't actually interested in or paying attention to you.
In the same sense, it's not reasonable to be afraid of church if you feel you share their opinions and mindset.
-- Daniel Benoy
[ Parent ]

Most intelligent grownups (none / 0) (#196)
by dipierro on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:23:43 PM EST

at least, the white ones, are not afraid of the police. Seriously, how many stories do you know about people who have had bad encounters with police? I'm sure you know a few, but now think about how many police interactions haven't resulted in anything more horrible than a ticket. Sure, when I was a college student hanging out with my longhair friends I had my fair share of asshole cops and even had a gun pulled on me by one once, but now that I'm an adult I get much more respect. Cops are people too, you know.

Many people who won't return stuff for that reason will claim to have perfect mental health.

Well, they'd be wrong. Not being able to return something to the store is evidence against perfect mental health. If that's the worst of your problems I wouldn't exactly say you have a disorder or that you need medication or treatment, as the treatment would probably cost more than just never returning anything, but at the same time you don't have perfect mental health.



[ Parent ]
You misunderstand (5.00 / 1) (#212)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 07:21:19 PM EST

Its not just being talked to by a cop, it is there very prescence. If I drive down the road and see one walking by, I feel fear.

For the church I have a really nice church and really nice people in it. I see nothing wrong with the people in it. Just when i go I get say a stomach upset or blood nose.

As for returning good they where very helpful but I felt that I just wanted to crawl into a hole.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#239)
by fhotg on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:30:25 AM EST

mmkay, the police-thing I wouldn't claim that fear is normal when seeing them, but some unease is totally common. So from solely this, your prob could be some sort of overreaction.

The church thing however ... sorry for trying to be funny with a serious problem of yours. Again, unease in large crowds is a common phenomenon. I myself got fear-attacks when I ended up in admittedly very large and tightly packed crowds. So again, your prob fits into the category of an extreme overreaction.

Returning stuff sucks for most people because they feel somehow as solicitants. You made a contract, got goods, payed. No you come back and say umm, changed my mind ... that feels somehow not ok. I myself have to make a conscious effort to convince myself that the option of returning is part of the contract to actually do it and feeling ok while doing it.

Your feelings in these three examples seem to stem from totally different yet common sources (police - authority issue, church - ochlophobia, returning stuff - shame). It appears that somehow you not totally out of the blue irrationally fear something, but that you are extremely amplifying negative feelings which in essence are quite normal.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Yes it is not fearing itself (none / 0) (#241)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:23:01 AM EST

It is the extreme level of fear I feel.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Just a thought (4.20 / 5) (#168)
by 8ctavIan on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:48:56 PM EST

What is the difference between social phobia and good old fashioned shyness?
Millions for pharmaceutical companies.


Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. -- H.L. Mencken

You forgot... (4.62 / 8) (#179)
by dcheesi on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 01:48:35 PM EST

And relief for thousands of sufferers who used to be told that their debilitating condition was a simple character flaw.

[ Parent ]
What is a "character flaw" n/t (5.00 / 1) (#199)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:49:57 PM EST



[ Parent ]
And what is a "simple" one n/t (5.00 / 1) (#227)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:36:14 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Damn Right (4.00 / 1) (#180)
by phlux on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:04:33 PM EST

The thing is that many of the medications that are pushed out there today do actually have a benefit to the person who is taking them - however the *reason* why the person requires the medication is whats never examined. Its the old saying that Western Medicine only treats the symptom - not the cause.

Well of course, if you were to eliminate the cause of any given condition - how can you make a profit treating the people who suffer.

Whats really nice though is the side affects and overall fallout that can happen when taking medications. A whole new set of symptoms to treat.

This is why I take absolutely NO medications - and I havent almost my whole life. I have a fantastic immune system.

[ Parent ]

So true (3.00 / 4) (#188)
by Scumbucket on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 03:13:07 PM EST

It's the same thing for other so-called 'disorders' like ADD and ADHD. Back in my day the cure for these 'disorders' was a good swift kick in the pants, a whipping with a belt, a few licks of a hickory switch to bare legs, or a combination of all three.

[ Parent ]
Those used to be the main solutions (4.00 / 1) (#226)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 09:34:34 PM EST

But they aggravated the problem in the long run for most people or simply caused the receiver of the treatment to avoid the treater therefore giving the "Doctor" an anecdotal claim of a cured patient.

[ Parent ]
Could it be better? (2.50 / 2) (#191)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 04:55:08 PM EST

Or, maybe life is actually better for many people since these drugs have come around. They're not perfect, but they do work. Is it too hard to imagine that many cases of old fashioned shyness were causing people to lead empty lives, and those people could have been helped through medication and/or therapy? Maybe we are overmedicating, but there are plenty of people who do actually need these drugs.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
From the story (4.00 / 1) (#198)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:43:37 PM EST

Social phobia is not shyness. Shyness is "having difficulty in creating a good rapport with the people one meets." Source :shyness FAQ

Social phobia on the other hand is anxiety or discomfort from socializing with people.

[ Parent ]

Which means.. (4.00 / 1) (#240)
by Eivind on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:13:10 AM EST

...that they are pretty similar, if not identical.

Unless you would have me believe that a shy person who is having difficulty creating good rapport with people does not feel discomfort or anxiety from his or her problems

Or that a person who is feeling anxious or discomfortable simply from being around other people will nevertheless generally have no problems creating good rapport with same.

Think about it. They are the same.

[ Parent ]

They are not the same (none / 0) (#242)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:25:10 AM EST

The correlation is that Social Phobics can end up being shy because they don't practice socialising. A shy person can end up with some form of anxiety because of the results of not being social. This doesn't however explain social phobics who act social but still feel the fear.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Convince me (none / 0) (#282)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:12:59 PM EST

If you want to convince me that they're the same thing, then you're going to have to do better than basing your theories on a couple of sentences.

[ Parent ]
Social phobics (none / 0) (#310)
by levesque on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 10:54:02 PM EST

Are not always shy and vise versa. Sure there is crossover but the severity of symptoms and the constellation of symptoms for each term leads researchers to prefer using distinct words. Possibly the use of distinct labels is mostly supported by the the effectiveness of treatments derived from these distinct categorizations.

[ Parent ]
Wrong. (4.00 / 1) (#200)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:55:49 PM EST

And once again, you obviously have no experience with this. Else you would know that you're dead wrong.

The artical has may links, and they're not just there to make the page look pretty, you know. Perhaps you should read some of them?

[ Parent ]

An exciting new treatment option! :) (5.00 / 3) (#170)
by dcheesi on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:54:37 PM EST

BBSpot: "Geek Overcomes Social Anxiety By Turning Life into RPG"

I wonder if the BBSpot guy read this article, or is it just a coincidence?

Confusing symptoms for causes (4.69 / 13) (#184)
by goatlove on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 02:51:48 PM EST

Social anxiety appears to me to be less of a cause/disorder unto itself and more a common outcome of low self-esteem. In myself and in other individuals that I know who experience this collection of symptoms, the anxiety emanates from a fear of being judged, of looking bad or foolish in the eyes of others or ourselves. While it's common to want not to be rejected by one's peers and fellow members of society, in some people this drive toward non-rejection is so great that it outpaces the drive to be accepted, thereby generating a preponderance of behaviors that lead one to avoid any activity which would allow for evaluation. Once one begins to avoid activity that generates a fear or pain response, the drive toward avoidance becomes a self-perpetuating spiral because one specifically avoids those situations which might counteract that stimulus/response coupling.

But what kind of psychological context would prompt an individual to give such disproportionate weight to the regard of others? This is where self-esteem comes in. The weight one applies to his own inherent self-worth and capacity for continued viability is a measure of his self-esteem. People with greater self-esteem can take feedback from others and relate it rationally to their own self-image and evaluate the relative merit of that external input. Those with a more diminished self-esteem have no consistent self-image to which to compare the input, so almost any piece of information, no matter the source or content, is tagged as being worthwhile and valid, placing the ego at the mercy of others and the environment.

This sort of disposition is obviously a hindrance to leading a meaningful, fulfilling, individuated life, but it's a long and anxiety-ridden process to work toward raising one's self-esteem. Nathaniel Branden is one thinker whom I've read who has a firm grip on this area. He has a very cogent philosophy and different exercises for people to help them accept themselves and be able to work toward change.



Symptoms and causes (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 05:57:32 PM EST

Why not also view low self esteem as a symptom.

Possibly the effectiveness of a theory in reducing symptoms is not strongly related to a rational understanding of the symptoms.

[ Parent ]

Which is which? (5.00 / 1) (#210)
by goatlove on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:59:35 PM EST

Why not also view low self esteem as a symptom.

A symptom of what?  A symptom of anxiety or of some deeper cause from which both anxiety and low self-esteem both stem?

Possibly the effectiveness of a theory in reducing symptoms is not strongly related to a rational understanding of the symptoms.

"Possibly" does not make for much of an argument, but supposing it did, why risk having to deal with yet another expression of the underlying causes if the those causes could be dealt with in their own right?


[ Parent ]

Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#216)
by levesque on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 07:56:10 PM EST

A symptom of what? A symptom of anxiety or of some deeper cause from which both anxiety and low self-esteem both stem?

Possibly, I was attempting to point out (inadequately) that the article did not refer to social phobia as a cause and to emphasize that his redefining of Social phobia(cause) as symptom was not a solution.

"Possibly" does not make for much of an argument, but supposing it did, why risk having to deal with yet another expression of the underlying causes if the those causes could be dealt with in their own right?

Of course, but the causes may not come out as neat concepts like self esteem, and may in fact diffuse rather than converge. This is what I meant by not related strongly to a rational understanding of symptoms, in other words cause may not be always be a useful conceptualization.



[ Parent ]

I see... (5.00 / 2) (#233)
by goatlove on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:48:52 AM EST

Thanks for clarifying.  I see what you're getting at now, and yes you have a point.  Psychological disorders are rarely like many organic, physical illnesses where, for example, the presence of "bacteria x" univocally results in the production of "symptom y"... rather, they are simply a label slapped on an aggregate of symptoms/expressions, which don't necessarily lead back to the same place and, as such, don't have a "cause."

So I suppose a more accurate statement would be that social anxiety can be treated by raising one's self-esteem, rather than stating that it's caused by low self-esteem.

[ Parent ]

You're welcome (4.00 / 1) (#288)
by levesque on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:21:44 PM EST

So I suppose a more accurate statement would be that social anxiety can be treated by raising one's self-esteem, rather than stating that it's caused by low self-esteem.

Yes, though there are many treatments and any one of them may not work for a given person or may have limited effect.

[ Parent ]

Confusion (4.50 / 2) (#202)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:03:52 PM EST

I don't really have low self-estem. I used to, but not any more. I think it was just a phase. I still have anxiety though. So I think you're wrong. Both low self-estem and anxiety disorders can be cause by a wide range of things and are not always related.

For me, I think my low-self esteem was probably partly cause by my anxiety. Else my anxiety should have gone away when my self-estem went back up.

[ Parent ]

Also confused... (4.00 / 1) (#207)
by goatlove on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 06:46:54 PM EST

What is it you're anxious about, then? Where does the anxiety lead when you trace it back to its source? Or are you saying that it has no apparent psychological cause, you simply observe within yourself the expression of a set of physical behaviors (jittery nerves, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, etc.) when you find yourself in particular circumstances, and that you would describe that collection of behaviors as "anxiety"?

[ Parent ]
irrational fear (none / 0) (#218)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 08:17:17 PM EST

Or are you saying that it has no apparent psychological cause, you simply observe within yourself the expression of a set of physical behaviors

Yes (more physcological for me, the worst I get is sweating if I have a panic attack). Didn't you read the part about irrational fears? One of the syptoms of social phobia is that the person realises that their fears/thoughts are irrational.

I know that there is nothing to fear when talking to people, esspecialy since I consider myself laid-back, but it still doesn't make a difference when I get into a situation, it's an automatic reaction.

[ Parent ]

It doesn't follow (none / 0) (#235)
by goatlove on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:58:19 AM EST

Just because a fear is irrational doesn't mean that it doesn't stem from a psychological source... In fact, stating that you realize that your "fears/thoughts are irrational" directly contradicts your argument that it's purely a physiological reaction.

[ Parent ]
You're simplying the way the brain works (none / 0) (#249)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:34:44 AM EST

In fact, stating that you realize that your "fears/thoughts are irrational" directly contradicts your argument that it's purely a physiological reaction.

How? This post gives a detailed explaination about what might be happening. There is more to your brain than one simple layer that deals with everything. You're simplifying things way to much.

[ Parent ]

Whatever... (none / 0) (#271)
by goatlove on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:06:54 PM EST

You're simplifying things way to much.

By stating that if you're having thoughts, there must be some thinking going on?  Yes, it's simple because it's virtually a tautology.


[ Parent ]

Explain (none / 0) (#281)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:08:44 PM EST

I think you need to explain yourself better, because I'm not quite sure what you're saying.

By you logic (as I understand), then a person with schizophrenia should not have paranoid delutions.

[ Parent ]

what is this, (4.00 / 1) (#264)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:48:28 AM EST

meaningful, fufilling, individuated life? just out of curiousity.
i beleive you are making up fantasy-states, but, hey, mabye you have something here. specially considering fufilling, and individuated(and to a lesser extent meaningful) appear to contradict: where shall you get meaning and fufillment if not from without(ie, sucumbing to the uninduvidual-state)?
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
the nature of the beast (4.00 / 1) (#269)
by goatlove on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:41:48 AM EST

what is this, meaningful, fufilling, individuated life? i beleive you are making up fantasy-states...

You've just asked the $64k question.  To some extent they are "fantasy-states" inasmuch as they are projected, hypothetical modes of understanding one's world and one's place within it. But that's life.

As humans, one of our animal super-powers is dreaming up elaborate fantasies and then finding a means of fulfilling them.  Fantasizing lies at the core of innovation, without which we would never have left the savannah.  Of course, our super-weakness is that it's possible to fantasize experiences and things that will remain forever beyond our reach, yet still drive ourselves to madness trying to get there.

[ Parent ]

so you're saying (4.00 / 1) (#284)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:23:05 PM EST

that there is really no light at the end of the tunnel, but there could be if i were smart enough to build a lightbulb, and powerplant to power it? hm. sounds good. i am, however, beginning to think, that life becomes livable the moment you realize you are alive, and you stop trying to attain a better life. no more starvation, no more sleep deprivation, no more slavery to whatever force offers the illusion of a better world. just *existance*, plain and simple. if only i could be brave enough to act on this instead of constantly moving faster, harder, towards the goals i drive at. good god im tired.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Slight dissent... (4.66 / 3) (#279)
by poopi on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:22:17 PM EST

While it's common to want not to be rejected by one's peers and fellow members of society, in some people this drive toward non-rejection is so great that it outpaces the drive to be accepted, thereby generating a preponderance of behaviors that lead one to avoid any activity which would allow for evaluation.

I think you have some good ideas, however, I'd like to point something out. The above citation shows that those afflicted believe that one of the chief (if not the chief) mechanisms for self-evaluation is society, but in the absence of society that individual, who may be incapacitated by the presence of "judges", may in fact be capable of great things if he/she is the sole observer/judge/feedback mechanism. After all many individual achievements can be evaluated on their empirical merit, that is if you attempted to build a mouse trap the best feedback mechanism is the presence (or absence) of the mouse, not the approving (disapproving) nods of your peers.

What I'm clumsily trying to get at is that social phobias do not stem from poor self-esteem but rather from the misguided belief that society is a crucial feed-back mechanism.

As an example: only the very ill would be offended by having a small child laugh at them, some even ejoy distorting their features and engaging in silly behaviour, to get children laughing. Yet, very few of us have the iron ego to allow adults to do the same, why? I believe the reason for this lies in the nature of the audience: children do not have the capacity (knowledge/exprience) to judge like adults should be able do. Those with social phobias do not necessarily suffer from poor self-esteem as much as they over-estimate the abilities of their peers. Generally people are more or less equal. I'm certain that the statistical distribution of "normal" is not a steep, cliff like bell curve, but a rather wide, low and lazy hill.

I think it's obvious that I have completely lost my train of thought here. I will conclude by trying to condense my point to a single of statement: Those with social phobias have malfunctiong mechanism of valuation; over-estimating others (to a greater extent) and under-estimating themselves (to a lesser extent) and it is the former which is the key. Sorry for the rambling, I hope I came accross.

-----

"It's always nice to see USA set the edgy standards. First for freedom, then for the police state." - Parent ]

personal credibility (4.00 / 1) (#285)
by goatlove on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:24:31 PM EST

What I'm clumsily trying to get at is that social phobias do not stem from poor self-esteem but rather from the misguided belief that society is a crucial feed-back mechanism.

I agree completely... I think we're just applying different meanings to the term "self-esteem".

I don't mean to imply that feeling good about one's self is equitable with high self-esteem. For example, If I think and feel that I'm a good person because my peers say so, that's no indication of my self-esteem because I'm simply substituting the esteem of others for my own.  Low self-esteem doesn't mean I think I'm a bad person, just that I don't assert due credence to my own assessments.

In Nathaniel Branden's parlance, self-esteem is the reputation you carry with yourself.  It has more to do with awareness, self-responsibility, assertiveness, and personal integrity than with simply feeling good about yourself (although he argues that positive self-regard is a natural consequence of those practices and behaviors).

[ Parent ]

self esteem (4.50 / 2) (#306)
by alprazolam on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:21:20 PM EST

To say that everybody who is "avoidant" has low self esteem seems to be an oversimplification to me. I have two "views" of myself. I happen to have a pretty high "internalized" self esteem. I like myself: I'm not stupid, obnoxious, or burdensome. Whenever I don't have something crummy hanging over my head I can be pretty happy by myself. However I am not comfortable interacting with people. I don't like their judgement, but I don't fear it either. It doesn't matter, because I am me whether they like me or not. However that doesn't mean I can understand them, which means I can't get anything from them. But why should I need to? Why do you need to get love and acceptance from other people. Or at least, why do you need it from everybody? I don't need to please anybody unless I decide I need to please them. It is a concious decision though.

[ Parent ]
Another good treatment for this.. (4.50 / 2) (#187)
by RandomAction on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 03:11:32 PM EST

..is beer/wine etc. Iv'e met a couple of people that would self medicate this way before going to a party or other social event. They could only engage strangers in conversation when drunk.

Ok perhaps it's not that good a treatment in the end, because they always came across as a drunk, not such a good rep.

If you read andrews story (4.00 / 1) (#213)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 07:26:45 PM EST

he link at the bottom of the article. You will see that that is what he did. He then had to overcome his alcoholism. For me alcohol is not strong enough. I would need a vodka every half hour. This is from experience.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Doesn't work for me. (4.00 / 1) (#219)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 08:32:43 PM EST

I drunk some Absinthe two days ago. I hardly ever drink, and this was some very strong stuff. When I was by myself, I could be totaly myself (much more so than normal), but as soon as I went out of my room and saw my flatmates, I still had problems trying to talk to them, it was sighly easier (or perhaps just a differnt feeling), but not much.

If I had drank any more--enough to wash my anxiety away--I would probably have passed out.

[ Parent ]

Good Article (3.00 / 3) (#220)
by ComradeFork on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 08:38:15 PM EST

Fits me 100%.

The causes of social anxiety (4.77 / 9) (#229)
by seppyk on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:46:53 PM EST

There are two main forms of anxiety. One is anxiety caused by an exact force or person you can point your finger at:

Someone is threating or attacking you.
A pot of boiled water is about to fall over.
Your child is leaning too far out of the car seat window.


All of these situations have a clear focal point for the cause of anxiety (a person, the pot of hot water, your child's position). These are all natural anxieties that any person might have. A normal person would worry about the situation, but then move on, and put it out of their thoughts. A person with excessive social anxiety would have higher sensitization and dwell obsessively on the fear in his or her mind.

The second form of anxiety is much more debilitating. It is when you can not determine where the source of your fear is:

Walking down a crowded street and thinking everyone and everything is judging you.
Going to a crowding party and trembling from the lack of personal space.


Shyness is an attribute of social phobia, but not the cause. Social anxiety is caused by three factors: biological, conditioning, and natural fear. All three feed off each other with conditioning being the worst of the three factors if a person doesn't "fight back" against his or her anxiety and social choices.

I think this article was a good starting point, but honestly could have been more in depth by going into specific phobia types and symptoms.

Social phobia or anxiety is probably more generally categorized as phobaphobia - fear of fear or fear of panic attacks. I've wrestled with this a good portion of my own life and it's extremely frustrating. I would not wish some of the panic attacks I've experienced on my worst enemy. The best I can describe it would be a suffocating feeling of dread where you must get out or away from something but you don't know exactly what you are trying to get away from.

I ended up avoiding any and all situations I was uncomfortable with and conditioned and sensitized my anxiety even more. I wasn't originally a shy person, but I conditioned myself into introversion to avoid being hurt or judged by others. Avoiding situations is not the solution to fixing a person with social anxiety. In fact, it can and usually does make things worse such as developing one of the more debilitating social phobias, agoraphobic avoidant personality disorder, where a person can't go into public without getting shortness of breath, weak knees, trembling hands, or even heart palpatations. I would get to a point where I would dread leaving the house, more or less put myself through a trial of fire by merely going to work/school during the day, and thanking god and gasping for breath (literally) when I finally returned home to the safety and comfort of my house.

As the author noted, medication is out there. But it should not be used for plain shyness and I don't think it should even be used lightly for people who think they have social phobias. Therapy is the more suitable solution in my opinion. A person with an honest case of social anxiety needs to condition themselves out of their situation just as they conditioned themselves into it. Therapeutic reconditioning is not a cure all, but it is a step in the right direction for the majority of anxiety sufferers.

---
"If you're going to sig me, at least give me credit." - Run4YourLives
This is the worst thing I've seen (1.78 / 14) (#230)
by Night In White Satin2 on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:47:14 PM EST

on the frontpage of K5.

Get this garbage out of here. Just because a whole bunch of losers here relate with it, doesn't make it informative or FP-worthy.

Honestly, the writing and informational content is worthless.



Running a Marathon and Getting Nowhere (3.50 / 4) (#236)
by CoolName on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:05:17 AM EST

Basically you most likely have more drive and ambition than the shitheads deriding this article. Tredding water 24 hours a day takes a lot of stamina, courage and drive. I am sure the situation will continue to improve. Best of luck.

"What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


Thankfully it is no longer that hard (none / 0) (#243)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:26:59 AM EST

Because of the years of work I have already done. But I am sure others out there could sympathise with that.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Interesting article. (4.00 / 1) (#244)
by HermanMcGuigan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:24:36 AM EST

Most of the things that you list in this article, I don't have problems with, but I do have problems with strange toilets. I was rather surprised at it being listed.

The only way I can go to a strange loo is to go into a cubicle and write things on the wall, to take my mind off the physical act of urinating. I've always thought I must be one of a very small minority, but perhaps (even at 10% of the listed social anxiety percentage, approx 0.037%), it's more common than I once thought. Although there doesn't seem to be any way to cure this, I am somewhat comforted by the thought that there might be others, more than I intially thought.



I get shy posting here sometimes (2.50 / 2) (#245)
by nebbish on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:59:35 AM EST

Which is odd because Im generally pretty good with people face to face. Sometimes I dread looking at people's answers to my comments (especially if Ive posted drunk) - I emphasise sometimes though, generally I enjoy it, or I wouldn't be here.

Its odd though - common sense says this shouldn't happen.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Telephones (4.00 / 2) (#250)
by the wanderer on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:57:52 AM EST

Telephones freak me out... i hate using them. Answering them i can do (though i wont if somebody else can get it), actually phoning somebody up is something i allmost never do, it just freaks me out, causes stress and all that. It's annoying as all hell to, because i occasionally need to phone people for my work, in some cases (mostly when i have to phone someone i've never met in real life before) i end up putting it off for days. I'm unsure if it's just a case of shyness or if it is a case of specialized social phobia.


» david, the Lost Boy
» the Written Pixel

I think thats just a regular phobia :) [n/t] (4.00 / 1) (#307)
by omegadan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:12:35 PM EST


Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Oh, dear. I'm afraid you don't understand, at all (3.45 / 11) (#252)
by RobotSlave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:13:40 AM EST

Sure, sure. That's exactly what your therapist told you, isn't it? Now, let's have a look at a few other syndromes, shall we?

Try Avoidant Personality Disorder, for starters. Then go have a look at Borderline Personality Disorder. While we're at it, we might as well have a look at hysteria, aspergers, and inversion.

In other words, what we're looking at here is not a medical condition, but a social condition. There was a bit of a revolution in 1950s America with the introduction of the first benzodiazepine, Valium, when lo and behold, a lot of what were formerly regarded as social or personality problems suddenly became "medical" conditions that could be "treated" with a chemical that was no more than a sedative, albeit a "modern" one. The contemporary shift to a newer set of labels for these supposedly "medical" conditions, and, surprise surprise, a newer array of benzos, headed by Xanax, shouldn't fool anyone with a fully functioning cranium, and some degree of interest in recent history.

This "socail phobia/anxiety" isn't a disease, it's a "syndrome"— that is, it's an excuse to prescribe drugs and treatment from, and, to date, primarily for, the monied classes. You won't find much study of, or civic-minded attempt to eradicate, "social phobia" in the ranks of the destitute. The poor can not afford the oh-so-modern "treatment" for the oh-so-modern disease, and the rich, for their part, understand, if only dimly, that this sort of "disorder" is no more than a convenient excuse with which to sweep aside the embarassing behavior of their prodigal offspring.

There is no test for this supposed "condition." There is no virus to be found, no genetic strand to be sniffed out. To qualify, all a "patient" need do is fulfill, in the wholly subjective opinion of the "diagnostician," some 50%-70% of a list of vaguely worded symptoms (remember, too— licensed therapists, in many states to this day, do not need to pass any rigorous test of medical knowledge).

I do not mean to suggest that there are no behavioral problems that can not be diganosed by more objective means— neurological imaging has made great strides in recent years, after all.

But there are still quite a few "syndromes" described in the DSM that have nothing to do with pathology, and everything to do with obstinate, insufferably egotistical, and, all too often, fragile and overly sheltered personalities.

I used to work for an organization that understood the fact that the DSM is horribly compromised, and we referred to "Social Phobia," "Avoidant Personality Disorder," and their multifarious ilk under a blanket term, a term much less indulgent, and far more useful; we referred to them, collectively, by a singular, and more honest name, to wit:

"Superiority Complex."

Did you even read the article? (3.00 / 2) (#255)
by An onymous Coward on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:39:59 AM EST

Did you happen to miss this part of the post?
In fact most people have some symptoms of social phobia. It only becomes a disorder when those symptoms start to interfere with what you want or have to do.

and this part:
Unfortunatley not much more is known about the cause.

In other words, what you said was nothing new, although it was pretty funny in an ironic way reading your post and seeing you accusing others of having a superiority complex!

Speaking of vagueness, which organization did you say you worked for again?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
*sigh* very ignorant of you (4.66 / 3) (#258)
by dolarhyde on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:04:45 AM EST

You won't find much study of, or civic-minded attempt to eradicate, "social phobia" in the ranks of the destitute. The poor can not afford the oh-so-modern "treatment" for the oh-so-modern disease, and the rich, for their part, understand, if only dimly, that this sort of "disorder" is no more than a convenient excuse with which to sweep aside the embarassing behavior of their prodigal offspring.

Here is a link to GlaxoSmithKline's program for offering medication at near-zero cost ($5 per monthly supply) to people with low income who are not currently covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or other insurers. I am currently participating in this program to receive Paxil. However, you may want to forget this information as soon as possible, since for you, ignorance seems to be a better fit to your harsh insistence that this condition does not exist and is only an excuse to exchange money for coddling.

[ Parent ]

Superiority Complex!? (4.50 / 2) (#273)
by Freaky on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:17:55 PM EST

How do fears about performance, feelings and being judged because of them in social situations equate to a superiority complex?

If anything, it's the exact opposite; a sense that you're not as acceptable, not as competent, not as interesting, and not as worthwhile as others.

Ironically, I feel like applying all these labels to you now.  Thanks!

[ Parent ]

how about (none / 0) (#277)
by Battle Troll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:08:53 PM EST

Self-absorption Complex
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
This is bollocks. (2.50 / 4) (#291)
by tkatchev on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:34:41 PM EST

Everybody in the real world knows that "personality disorders" are just a way of procuring legal narcotics for the rich and the aspiring rich.

The whole point is to differentiate yourself from the niggers of the world; in these days when slavery and sweatshops have headed for warmer pastures, there need to be at least some benefits in being a part of the oppressing class.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Welp... (none / 0) (#318)
by benzapp on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 12:34:58 AM EST

I agree with some of your sentiments, but your outright dismissal of benzos and your discussion of economic class is out of place.

Benzodiazepine drugs have never been that expensive, and today they are dirt cheap as the patent expired years ago. If you tried taking them, you would realize they are VERY similar to alcohol.

Since human civilization began, people have been using drugs to ease socializing... So we have something besides alcohol and narcotics. Thats great! Its modern science.  


[ Parent ]

Suggested link to MS (MSBP) (3.25 / 8) (#256)
by zillydonkey on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:18:27 AM EST

This is a syndrome whose existance is highly debatable. Like Munchausen Syndrome or Google: MSBP.

This is another non-existant illness touted by psychoanalysts as the cause of patients social difficulties as part of their (well-documented) attempt at increasing patient throughtput.

A recent study of purported "Social phobia" patients found a correlation to their weight . The lead analyst for the study reported: "We feel the results of or study confirm our hypothesis that many, possibly all 'social phobia' cases are linked to self-inflicted exclusion".

Simply put, shy people have something wrong with them, be it obesity (fat people are ugly), level of intelligence (retard is an insult, isn't it?) and under-developed social skills (linux users, and kids who shoved lego up their asses).

In the current denial-culture however, the offshot of these defects causes people to create imaginary disorders for themselves, in order to console their inability to function as a normal human being, or, (on the increase) blaming their lack of control on diet, directing their anger (with lawyers) at food corporations.

Get a life!
-- my sig is wank

Disregarded link to MS (MSBP) (none / 0) (#259)
by An onymous Coward on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:14:44 AM EST

Social phobia doesn't cause people's social difficulties, it is simply a name for their social difficulties. Likewise, they don't create imaginary disorders to console their inability to function, the disorder IS their inability to function... Although some people tend to blame things on the labels, forgetting that the label is in fact the person themself. When you talk about people imagining disorders (known as factitious disorders), you're talking about something that has nothing to do with this article.

Can you tell us where this study can be found, and who it was by? Can you provide anything to show that the people that have these problems don't really have them (since you said it is debatable and non-existent)?

And what's with the little conspiracy-theory twist?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Research link (none / 0) (#268)
by zillydonkey on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:35:54 AM EST

here
-- my sig is wank
[ Parent ]
Strangely familiar... (4.00 / 2) (#257)
by toastedDonkey on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:42:08 AM EST

I have an extreme fear of of public speaking, and of talking to strangers on the telephone. This has been a real problem for me for many years. I thought I was just a flaming geek, but perhaps I have a mild form of this disorder, although I hesitate to diagnose myself on so little evidence. Similar experiences anyone?

PS: To those people who are saying that ANY kind of mental illness (not specifically the illness of the topic) doesn't exist, or is "all in your head", I'd be willing to bet a great deal of money you've never experienced mental illness, and are talking out of your arses. Until you've experienced what you're talking about, don't be so insensitive.

i beg to differ (5.00 / 1) (#261)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:15:43 AM EST

i myself, went to councilling for 10 years for everything from ADD to depression.

if anything of the sort exists, i would definitely have experienced it as it is, and stared it squarely in the eye.

your refusing that the rest of the (rational) world, who would oppose you in oppinion, would not understand or have ever been exposed to the phenomenon is in itself a mental defense-tactic : you feel that you are somehow different than everyone else, which you very well may be, but the way you states it implies an unhealthy denial that there are other people in the world who may very well have experienced what you speak, and your reasons for beleiving it are selfish at best, and irrational at worst.

why not? because our society itself is ill. we can say that it is ill, because we are alive, we are advanced enough to understand the point of being ill, whereas our society, isn't really aware of itself beyond an taxis/instinctual reaction to any odd event.

im not sure if it has to be or not, but i have seen perfectly aligned sets of induviduals who get along together quite well turn into a rotten cesspool of hatred and resentment, nevermind reasonless paranoia or worse. but either way, subjects without self-awareness, appear to tend to self-pervert with time. (do you agree? would you consider yourself more naieve than your childhood self? or perhaps an oddity?)

take dyslexia for example : this 'disease' would never have been discoverred if humanity at large never had to learn to read and write -- but since the invention of language technology, society, and the process of life itself is advancing, or rather changing much faster than the physical body and mind can keep up...do you deny this? i myself have a hard time thinking about the statistic that 1/3 women will likely be raped in their lifetime, and that i have fallen in love with 3 girls..one of my former lovers will likely fall victim to a rapist. there's paranoia and fear of social situations for you. but this isnt an irrational thing, at least, on some levels. the problem, however, is that the more people, like me, put this bit of 2 and 2 together, the more paranoia and screwed up behavior begins. im sure i can handle my own private thoughts but a being (ie, the collective) that does not even yet know that it exists (because of lack of communication with itself no doubt)...has little to stop itself from dreaming up draconian controls on itself : irrationality takes then the form of not-being-able-to-deny-ones-self-from-denying-ones-self, and soon irrational-self-denial-to-the-point-of-strangulation!

unhealthy, then, not becomes a state of mind experienced by the thinking induvidual, but a state of mind produced when you are not in agreeance with the society around you at large, truth or falsity(determined by a layer of human society), be damned.

why SHOULD you talk on a telephone with strangers? i can think of plenty of pseudogood reasons why you shouldn't, and i havent really thought it out very well? your instinct may turn out to be wrong, but there are reasons *for it*. your world, by forcing you to speak publicly leads you open to attack from without...how many people have been lynched after a speech against an unruly mob? or torn apart by an incoming flank of orderred soldiers? or a mistake will be heard and seen by everyone?
i feel a lot safer with a keyboard in my hand : i know fully well that i myself am less likely to be jumped if im at home, alone, with no one awake within a square kilometer. being without one for too long makes me feel like im missing something.

triggerring defense mechanisms in your mind should tell you that your ancestors survived because they created those mechanisms. and that, is what it's all about.

by the way, i don't want your money. you are going to spend it on superflous things, anyway --. the end result is you will eventually be without it. similarily, the end result would be i would spend it the exact same way. welcome to western civilization, home of the macdonalds mcgridal.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
as to your diagnosis (1.00 / 1) (#262)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:20:08 AM EST

or perhaps you are a flaming geek, physically incapable of dealing with things required by our society?

and that there is nothing wrong with this (imho)?, and that much worse than being a flaming geek is gbeing a flaming geek who thinks that they are mentally ill, while missing what's really going on ?
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
You ARE kidding, right? (3.20 / 10) (#260)
by SanSeveroPrince on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:45:20 AM EST

Social Phobia.

I have a feeling that this is going to be the next all-purpose handicap for the new millenium.

No, little Timmy, you are not a jerk with zero social skills who could improve his life by trying. You have Social Phobia. Poo baby. Don't try, don't bother. After all, you have a Syndrome (tm). It's not your fault.

Parents of kids with this 'phobia' should be drawn, quertered, made to listen to Hanson and THEN shot.

I don't mean to belittle what you feel, because I know that subjective perspectives on life are all we can ever know. Some things just hit my 'flame' button hard....

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


No, it's real (none / 0) (#266)
by DodgyGeezer on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:07:00 AM EST

It's possible that people who feel a little nervous will latch on to it, but that's not to say it isn't a real condition.

My wife suffers from social anxiety disorder (she takes Paxil) - when she was diagnosed, neither of us had even heard of the condition.  Before starting medication, there were days where she couldn't even leave the house.  She didn't understand why she felt that way.  Now she's mostly back to her normal self, although rather scared of coming off the medication, even she eventually wants to.  She's tried lowering the dosage a couple of times without much luck.  

Oh, and mental illness runs in the family: her sister has been on and off Prozac most of her adult life; I don't know about her parents; her grandfather commited suicide due to depression; both her grandmother and grandfather received electric shock therapy for their depression - what a pair they must have been!

Consider yourself lucky that the chemical levels in your brain are more balanced and you don't suffer from this.  Don't dismiss it though just because you don't understand it.

[ Parent ]

american psychology (none / 0) (#313)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 08:14:31 AM EST

The only thing I do not understand is self-indulgence, and the desire to settle for less than one can be.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
Please explain in more detail (none / 0) (#298)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:57:33 AM EST

I'm not a jerk, and I have good social skills. So please refine your therory to explain how that can happen.

[ Parent ]
Try to understand (none / 0) (#312)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 08:13:29 AM EST

Subjective reality is all you know. I will never manage to convince you that I am more than a hard headed nazi who disrespects your feelings and fobias.

Likewise, you will never manage to convince me that you are not a baby that instead of training himself to social functions (as most people must do at one point or other) whines and hides behind what some new age hippy incompetent doctor painted as a syndrome....

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
You miss my point (none / 0) (#315)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 04:04:17 PM EST

I already have very well developed social skills. You're implying that my problems are because I don't have social skills, and kindly dump it under the something called social anxiety dissorder. Please explain how I can still have these reactions, even though I have good social skills.

Also, I don't think that you're a hard headed nazi who disrespects my feelings and fobias. I just think that you have never suffered from a mental illness like the one I have, and therefore it is very hard for you to imagine what it's like, so you logicaly conclude that my condition doesn't exist, becasue you see it as something else.

[ Parent ]

Fear of Heights (none / 0) (#319)
by SanSeveroPrince on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 06:32:22 AM EST

Actually, I am closer to understanding your condition than you think. I suffer from a moderately severe form of claustrophobia. At one point I was letting it rule my life to the point where I could not use umbrellas in the rain, as the cover over my head made me feel like I was choking. Out in the open.

I trained myself against it. Maybe it's because it was not the most severe form ever observed, but I managed to conquer it, by facing it.

Today, ten years after that decision, I can actually close the door to the toilet at home without feeling that my life is being threatened. Aged 14, I fainted twice in the shower.

That's what I mean. There's a whole branch of psychology and neurology that studies these phenomena, and how to get over them, and it CAN be done.

Face it, in small doses at first. Your brain is a learning machine. Even if it is defective in some way, you can always reprogram it.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
CBT (none / 0) (#322)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 03:53:58 PM EST

For some it's not just a case of facing your fear. I'm forced to do it several times a day, but it makes no difference. CBT (as mentioned in the artical) does have hope, but it's not quite the same, it's learning what to do when you start feeling the axniety (not sure if that's what you meant), and it takes a while to do (like learing an instrument, is what they say on the site).

I never said it can't be done. I just said that it can't be done quickly. And for me, I can't do it myself, I'll need to see an expert to begin with.

[ Parent ]

So... (none / 0) (#320)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 06:34:53 AM EST

I know that subjective perspectives on life are all we can ever know.

That must be your subjective perspective then?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#321)
by SanSeveroPrince on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 08:43:00 AM EST

Of course. I never pretended to be god. Just a hell of a lot prettier than most people.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
out of curiousity (4.25 / 4) (#263)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:42:10 AM EST

have you ever actually *thought* about how dangerous these things actually are? the police, are a highly trained militia, the size of roman legionaires, that are roughly capable of torture, and *everything* else in the name of keeping us fat and juicy cattle. talking, and interacting with the public IS DANGEROUS! if you screw up, there are concequences. paranoia, in this state, is healthy! if you are not frightened of the anti-terrorist bills, you should be. if you are not frightenned of pissing the wrong person with the wrong connections off, you should be! this does not mean that you shouldnt interact with the public, or that you shouldn't piss these people off, but just that you should be aware, that there is a chance, however slight, that that person you treat with indignity at the supermarket counter may very well turn out to be your next boss, or worse. bernie S, for example, pissed some secret service officers off, by taking pictures(of one of them picking their nose) ...that story ended up with broken limbs, missing teeth, torn flesh, and a shatterred jaw. now taking pictures is an active-process, but do you really think, that if you didnt say the wrong thing to make someone feel little that similar, if possibly lesser concequences?

don't you think that if you told wrong joke, you could be excluded from a social circle?

i remember being told when i was a kid not to goof off or fight in school because it would go on our 'permanent record" (these are the days before my local world was wired into any sort of "database" or "computer network"...the only computers(apple //'s) id seen were used for games, and games alone). don't you think this thing exists? especially now-adays, where my government(canada) is talking about biometric id cards, where perpetual servaliance exists, and is coming to a room near you, and where no one has rights, and worse - we are expected to be proud of our country, and proud of the country that seeks to dominate and control us!

i recently got what could be a sexually transmitted disease, or something, from a public washroom. some public washrooms are just dirty. a fear of this _should_ be natural, and fear of dirty things in itself is something hard wired into those of us lucky enough never to have jobs like mine.

in short, society, is fucked, and dealing with it, is not and should not be a pleasant experience. feeling extreem paranoia by dealing with it is not to be treated with drugs or therapy : that is a good way to only make things worse by clouding ones vision of the problem...and ignoring problems like ours is not going to make them better.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
I don't know how to reply to you (5.00 / 2) (#292)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:41:58 PM EST

Because in my eyes your thinking is irrational. You make up all these conspiracy theories about stuff. The difference between you and me is that I realise this stuff is irrational.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
i am not a conspiracy theorist. (5.00 / 1) (#304)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:29:54 AM EST

the police, even if they are not actually dangerous -- are given the apperance of authority. im not sure if you've ever seen a mountie,or ever toured their barrax, which i can assure you looks exactly the same as every military barrax ive ever slept in, except (to their credit) the rcmp barrax had a library. as mentioned elsewhere in this thread, rational adults and children alike are mildly frightened by police, and when you think about what a swat team can do to you,..things only can get worse.

the biometric id cards are in our national newspaper, front page : this is hardly a conspiracy theory.

the 2001-C-36/42 bill exist : deal with it. thank you jean cretien.

ever heard of TIPS?

almost every day, someone here is victim of gang or racism-based violence. i live next door to and work at a night-club with moderate amount of drug traffic. and trust me -- if you piss the wrong person off, you will regret it.

are you at least farmilliar with the bernie S Saga?

i myself use humour as a guage to measure a person's intelligence, and most of the time a single racist joke is enough to make me ignore a person for a descently long period of time, unless they have allready proven themselves worthful elsewise : this is a very useful thing and i expect that other people out there use it to.

i WAS told there was a permenent record on me, i have seen the box where it was kept, and like i say, this is over a decade ago -- while i have not bought a sprint cell phone (which apparrantly go through past history with you through these records, bit by bit, or at least did at one point), or appear in court yet (which, would without a doubt use such past events against you), i see no reason why such a record does not exist now, or why one like it wouldn't exist soon.

i live in a relatively small city, and all the malls have video cameras, as do all banks, government buildings, my workplace (quite possibly in the washrooms), bus terminals, red lights, my university... in fact with the exception of places on the street without an intersection, and when i am here in my room with an open door(so outsiders can look in) there is little where time when i am not on some camera or other. what's so conspiracy about this? do you want me to take pictures of these cameras as proof that they exist? even the red light cameras have big signs saying "RED LIGHT CAMERA" beside them...

im going to even for the sake of argument assume that i have rights to begin with--and that my rights as such are just being violated.
do you deny the social and otherwise stigma at being anti-american in a 'we are proud to be -a-m-e-r-i-c-a-n- canadian' place? do you deny cultural domination by american media groups (*hollywood*) and the 3 trillion dollars in personal, city, provincial, and national debt, 90% of which is owed to the unided states from this nation?
do you deny that i woke up 3 weeks ago pissing blood with sharp pains, and that i regularily find people having sex in the washroom, doing lines, puking (blood-filled and otherwise) on the toilet seat, smearing shit and used tampon-material on the walls, and jacking off in these washrooms? i clean them for a living, and beleive me, they are dirty- i don't care how nice they smell after thoroughly sterilized.

as for society being 'fucked', perhaps that's too much of an inductive leap for some,.. but here's more for you...
who owns the provincial newspapers, and why are they hypercritical of the current legislature(which i dont even *support*)?
who owns the software on your computer?
um...yea?
i fail to see your justification for labeling me a conspiracy theorist -- this implies taking undue leaps of logic connecting events which *could* be related, although there is no reason visible why they *are*. i gave up conspiracy theorizing for the sake of people like you -- who need some reality in claims -- and beleive me, there is in mine.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
I'll take your arguement seriously (none / 0) (#328)
by Grape Smuggler on Sat Sep 13, 2003 at 06:41:07 PM EST

...when you learn the proper spelling of "barracks".

By reading this message you've unwittingly exposed yourself to my powerful, moth-like pheremones.
[ Parent ]

barrax. (none / 0) (#330)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Tue Sep 16, 2003 at 08:59:46 AM EST

i spell not correctly. behold! truth in muddled letterform! didn't think it would come prepackaged and easy to pick through, did ya?
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Your Experience... (4.66 / 3) (#265)
by akmad on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:58:42 AM EST

While I agree that social disorders exist I think many people use them as a crutch. As someone who has "recovered" from a type of social disorder I understand how difficult it can be to face up to your fears. I can also recognize when someone is running away from theirs. There is an element of personal ownership that is completely missing from this essay.

In my experience people with social disorders tend to think of themselves as a victim; which, while in many ways true, does nothing to cope with the issue. An attitude that says "I did nothing to deserve this but I can do something to remedy it" is what is required. Without an ownership of the disorder the symptoms will spread as they seem to have in the personal account above. What started as a social disorder has spread into driving, dealing with daily life, and very specific irrational fears mentioned. With a disorder like this if you're not actively fighting it you're letting it get worse; there is no middle ground.

My advice to the poster is to:

  1. Decide if you are willing to work through this disorder. If you are not then you have no right expecting us to feel pity for you.
  2. Take ownership of this disorder. You are the only person who can make you better. While getting therapy is a great step it is still you who has to do the work.
  3. Act on your decision. This is the hardest step because it never goes away but I promise it does get easier. Take a day at a time and challenge yourself to challenge yourself (wow that sounds dumb).
Akmad
Saudi Arabia: A Sandals resort for dickwads - Lewis Black
Vision Problems (3.00 / 2) (#270)
by craigtubby on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:59:36 AM EST

I know it may seem strange, but could your anxiety be more physically related?

There is some litrature here (im not affiliated with this person btw, although my wifes company does do some of the testing) on visual dyslexia (or stress) that can have positive effects.

It's not a cure all system, but maybe an avenue of inquiry that could help?

try to make ends meet, you're a slave to money, then you die.

* Webpage *

social phobia versus avoidant personality disorder (5.00 / 9) (#272)
by merkri on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:34:11 PM EST

The difference between the two is supposed to be primarily in duration and in nature.

Social phobia is, theoretically, supposed to be a phobia--that is, an inappropriate and debilitating fear of a particular object in an otherwise well-functioning individual. Social phobia, in this regard, is not supposed to be any different from a phobia involving spiders, or snakes, or hair, or any other such thing. It may or may not have a relatively sudden onset at any particular time in life.

Avoidant personality disorder, on the other hand, is supposed to be a more generalized pattern of behavior, lasting more much of an individual's life, involving inappropriate avoidance of social relationships and interactions due to anticipated negative consequences. There may be anxiety, but it may not be acute, and it is generally conceptualized as being widespread. So while the prototypical social phobic essentially "panics" (although not panic in the technical sense) in social situations, but is otherwise untroubled, an individual with AVPD may simply become passive and avoidant more generally but in a less acute way.

If the difference between the two is confusing, it's because there really is no good argument for a distinction. The best answer to your question is that the DSM is not really well-organized or structured. Diagnoses in the DSM are reliable in the sense that they are easily identifed as being present or not present, as they are defined. However, there is little evidence that as they are defined, they exist as discrete entities--e.g., that there really is an important difference between social phobia and avoidant personality disorder, or that avoidant personality disorder is actually something distinct at all.

The truth is, the DSM diagnoses were established by political committee using almost no concrete evidence of their actual existence. Plenty of reliability data goes into establishing individual symptom criteria, but very little research--until now--has questioned the validity of the diagnoses per se.

My advice to anyone being told they have X disorder is that they should not take the diagnosis itself too seriously. That is, if you have been diagnosed with social phobia, focus more on how you feel in social interactions, and your patterns of behavior in general, and not on the fact that you "have" social phobia. DSM diagnoses are not true entities, in the sense that saying you "have" social phobia is not the same as saying you "have" a virus or "have" a defective left ventricle.

You probably (in the sense of statistically) also meet criteria for avoidant personality disorder, and also, depending on the month and your personal characteristics, criteria for major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, somatization disorder, and affective disorder NOS. It is probably accurate to predict that you have difficulties with negative emotion more generally: you likely have low self-esteem and do not give yourself enough credit, probably become depressed because you perceive yourself as not being as competent as you really are (in many domains, not just socially, but also with regard to your intelligence, appearance, and general competence), and become anxious because you see yourself not being able to cope adequately with life's problems. You are probably extremely intelligent and likeable (you are posting to Kuro5hin and sensitive enough to be discussing psychological issues in a reasonable way), and probably just need to think about yourself more as the great person others see you as being.

I am not saying that people who meet criteria for a given DSM disorder do not have real problems. What I am saying is that the DSM does not describe those problems accurately or efficiently. Psychopathology is far more fuzzy and complex than the DSM committee heads would have people believe.

Don't underestimate it! (4.66 / 3) (#274)
by paryl on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:25:57 PM EST

My wife and I both have social anxiety. But neither of us take medicine for it. Here goes...

For most of my life I have been (what I consider :) normal. I don't like meeting new people, but it never affected me to a huge degree. I mostly hung with my close group of friends, and wrote poetry and music. Pretty intospective, I guess.

My wife grew up with abuse in early childhood. Her mom is a little crazy (seriously) and she has a few other relatives on her mom's side that a extra-crazy. I use the word 'crazy' a little jokingly here, but it's better than going into the scary details.

So anyway.. when my wife and I were dating, we were talking about certain situations and the way we react. She explains to me that she has 'no desire' to do certain things in public that you are 'supposed' to do. To the extent of actually 'hating' the idea of meeting a new person, or even smiling at them. I respond by saying that I just can't understand that way of thinking... Up to this point, I had never experienced anything like what she was talking about. I had my suicidal tendencies, and massive depression that brought on cluster headaches, but never 'social anxiety'. So my natural reaction was that she was 'bad' in a way, basically not thinking rationally. I just knew that if she thought rationally abuot the situation, she would act differently.

OK, fast forward 5 years or so, and we're married.

Gradually, I've found myself sliping into a slightly altered state of thinking. I suddenly feel like I don't want to go to parties. I don't really understand why, but Church seems nearly impossible. Even getting together with my friends is a bit of a chore. But rationally, I feel no fear or specific reason for it. For some reason, just the idea of these things causes me to go into a don't-leave-the-house mode.

But get this: I have no problem going to a fair, a movie, the mall, a public restroom, etc. I love public speaking. I play the guitar, and write my own songs, and I love being on stage in front of a crowd. So far, I've been in front of ~8,000 people. Also, I come into work day-in, day-out with no second thoughts.

I've come to realize something, and my wife's experiences seem to corroborate my ideas...

Social anxiety (at least the kind I have, but again, my wife's feelings are similar) seems to stem from situations where the people I will see are people that I know. That is, if the crowd that I will be in front of/immersed in is unfamiliar to me, I have no problems. But as soon as I know that someone I know will be there and might possibly see me, I get the same old feelings.

Also, I've noticed that it seems to follow those situations where I'm 'expected' to do something, even if that something is just being present. If someone I know expects me to be there, I'm more likely to 'disappoint' them by not showing up, than to actually do what they 'expect' me to do.

(if that makes any sense :)

I'd love it if someone could theorize why this is. I'm pretty sure that it's partially environmental, because I never had these feelings (or at least, didn't notice them) before I married my wife. But the fact that I feel no specific stimulus to my feelings is the wierd thing... it's a bit disorienting.

And if this seems at all familiar to you, please let me know.

Yup (none / 0) (#278)
by ylikone on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:52:46 PM EST

You describe precisely the condition that I have... and also my sister has. I have an unreasonable fear of being around large groups of people that I know, but no problem being around large groups of strangers.

[ Parent ]
do you see gremlins in your basement? (none / 0) (#323)
by lovedog on Tue Sep 09, 2003 at 02:22:35 PM EST

Just wondering...

[ Parent ]
unconsciously (none / 0) (#332)
by raditzman on Fri Sep 19, 2003 at 06:28:14 AM EST

"I'd love it if someone could theorize why this is. I'm pretty sure that it's partially environmental, because I never had these feelings (or at least, didn't notice them) before I married my wife. But the fact that I feel no specific stimulus to my feelings is the wierd thing... it's a bit disorienting. "

You are receiving specific stimulus to your feelings, however they are all subconscious. Why?Well, since you are very close to your wife, you both influence each other consciously and unconsciously, so, apparently, some of the unconscious things that your wife believes that makes her feel like have been influencing you aswell.
My gf has a similar problem, she has physical problems whenever she's with someone (her stomach); she gets so uncomfortable she has to be alone after a few days with someone.
Whenever I spend more then a few days with her (we see each other in weekends) I start getting the same symptoms :)

Dan

[ Parent ]

why the hell is it a problem to avoid public toile (3.50 / 2) (#286)
by tofubar on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:25:06 PM EST

ts? they're filthy, nasty, you can get an std or crabs from them easily. and that's considered a disorder? yes my friends, this is what they are telling us. shit eating psychiatrists.

shyness (2.33 / 3) (#296)
by Rainy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:47:25 PM EST

I think it's really lopsided to only look at it as an illness. It's an indication that there's not much life energy, of course, but it's also a way to deal with that in a more or less sensible manner. Almost everyone around has too little energy to fulfill his dreams, and they deal with it in different ways. Someone may whine all the time to everyone (I don't mean you, btw); another one may try to be aggressive, someone else, abuse a drug, or food, or immerse himself in one limited activity, ranging from listening music to reading to stamp collecting. None of these things are wrong in themselves but our using them as escapes is, naturally, wrong. Shyness is perhaps one of the better ways to deal with it.

We know that some things make us better and stronger, healthier.. Better diet (a science in itself, individual for each and every one), sports, conscious avoidance of using the 'escapes' I talked about above, mental culture of avoiding jealous, angry, pointless thought patterns; yoga, art, meditation, nature.

There is no shortcut. You only get better by constant conscious effort. It's difficult and we really perk up our ears when xanax offers easy relief, but so does wine, and extacy, for a while.. You hear sometimes about self-made men, but you hardly ever hear of 'drug-made men'.

I mean, drugs sort of show you what your brain is capable of, but only your own body can produce drugs (hormones) in a healthy manner, for the length of your life. It's like you see a beatuiful garder through a window and you're really supposed to come out there, but you just sit and admire the view from afar. Xanax et all will only give an approximation which is quite good at first but then gets progressively worse because an artificial drug creates imbalance, it steps on the right receptor with one foot and on the wrong receptor with another, and the longer you use it, the worse that 'wrong receptor' will get!

Teach your body to make its own damn drugs! What other way is there?

I think for every person who's had a problem with his own pet weakness (anxiety, drinking, weight, anything), 80% of the problem comes from egotistical focus on his own precious persona and ignoring that many people all around are having problems of one sort or another. Self-pity is a drug, in a way. The more hopeless you can convince yourself you are, the less you have to try to do something. I'm just tired of blaming brain chemistry, genetic makeup, school system and so forth. What helps me is blaming my own egoism, jealousy, anger and lazyness. Hope this helps you..
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

Nope it doesn't help (5.00 / 2) (#299)
by richarj on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:11:08 AM EST

Its the same old crap spewed out by people who haven't ever had a really significant problem. Its like saying to cancer victims to drink water it will make you better. You are probably saying but this guy just doesn't get it, well I do and I have heard it a thousand times before. It sounds like you have no idea how severe mental illness is. This isn't something everyone has.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
If drugs help.. (1.00 / 1) (#309)
by Rainy on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 01:53:21 AM EST

Then the things I listed will help more, although not as fast, and not as easily. I take a hit of E, and I'm happy, strong, full of love, understanding, and so forth. The world is beautiful and obstacles only make it the more interesting. Five hours later you're back to your normal self. Then you may have to spend five years to work on your diet, practice yoga or sports for 3 hours each day just to get to the same state of mind and body you had back then. The only 'slight' difference is that it will stay. Another notable difference is that E trips will get progressively worse.

I absoulutely agree that your illness may be far worse than mine or vast majority of other people. But consider this: after a 'healthy', normal, (i.e. someone who is in our world and our society is thought to be average) tries E or other drug that gives similar experience, he's bound to feel infinitely desperate because the difference is just too great and cruel for our puny mind to comprehend. And this difference is precisely what makes us feel pain.. the range of state of bliss you once felt and state of 'ordinary' life you bear.

I did experience severe mental illness. Far more severe than what you have. It didn't last long, courtesy of salvia divinorum and mushrooms. In former case it's severe enough to make me feel that 'alien' for the movie of the same name is much closer and familiar to me than what I was then. Of course, I don't know how bad it is to live like that for a long time, but at least I had a glimpse in a much darker realm.

Well, I have to stop now or we'll get into a heated argument of "No, *I* know a darker realm. NO, *I* DO. DO NOT. DO TOO. sealies."

:-).
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Teach your body (5.00 / 1) (#300)
by dolarhyde on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:03:02 AM EST

Teach your body to make its own damn drugs! What other way is there?

You know, I actually have heard one person tell diabetics to do the same thing (teach their pancreas to work normally again), but in his case a Kuro5hin discussion would mostly contain people insisting that he was either a lunatic or trying to sell a set of his hypnosis tapes, not (as in this case, with social phobia) people insisting that anyone with diabetes is seeking an excuse for their failures as a person.

I am really surprised at the depth of outraged ignorance I've read here. I think that because nearly everyone has experienced a mild form of one social phobia symptom or another, and most people get over it with effort, they're too angry at anyone who claims to be unable to get over much more severe and comprehensive set of those symptoms to even consider viewing the problem objectively. It's happened with alcoholism, it's happened with homosexuality.. if people have experienced a mild and similar situation (drinking too much a few times, having a homosexual impulse or several) and are afraid of the full-blown state, however unreasonable that fear may be for the individual in question (who, statistically, is probably not alcoholic, gay, or social phobic), they react with anger and denial to the people who actually are all the way at the other end of the spectrum. I'm including homosexuality because so many people react to it the same way they do to the other conditions: as if it is a choice, moreover an unacceptable one, chosen out of moral weakness.

If you can get over a problem with considerable effort and put it behind you, it is probably NOT the same problem that people are talking about here! Experiencing some social phobic symptoms gives you little in common with someone with severe social phobia. I have used alcohol as a crutch at times. I have drunk excessively and steadily for a couple of months straight, at least twice in my life. And yet outside of those times I have not had excessive cravings for alcohol, and I do not generally have much difficulty limiting my consumption of alcohol. Therefore I do NOT qualify to say I know what the experience of an alcoholic is like, and I do NOT have the moral authority to say that because I "kicked" it with effort, so should they.

Yet that is what ignorant, self-righteous, smug, blind people are doing again and again in this thread with regard to social phobia, thinking that because they have experienced some degree of some of the symptoms and are not overwhelmed by them, or because they had them for a period and then were able to overcome them, people with severe social phobia have that same experience. They do not. They are able to control those symptoms with extreme conscious effort to only a fraction of the degree that people without this condition are capable of.

This is not to say that all of the coping strategies listed (diet, exercise, yoga, CBT, compulsive self-discipline) do not have effect on anxiety. This is to say they have some effect, if practiced to a degree of samurai-like control over every aspect of the social phobic's life they reduce the problem from outright life-destroying to a degree where life is possible but agonizing, and still leave an enormous and life-crippling problem existing, but denied by people who are not experiencing it. The idea espoused by several people in this thread, that social phobia is an effort/discipline problem, implies that you have to exert such a crystalline level of discipline throughout your life close to 24/7 simply to avoid anxiety around other people, and this is extremely dubious on the face of it--if this is true, why don't the majority of people in our society, who rarely show a fraction of this control over their impulses, exhibit significant social phobia?

[ Parent ]

The Difference Between Diabetes and Social-Anxiety (none / 0) (#301)
by Alfie on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:55:03 AM EST

Is that diabetes is a disease with a known physical cause. Whereas social-anxiety disorder and related disorders have no known etiology. The assertion that social-anxiety disorder is a brain-based disease is pure speculation.

(And I am not advocating blaming the person for their troubles with socilizing.)



[ Parent ]
cause and treatment (none / 0) (#302)
by dolarhyde on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:12:21 AM EST

I do not have medical training or facilities and would not know how to prove the basis of social phobia. However, I have found that taking Paxil significantly reduces my symptom of extreme anxiety in the presence of other people; it does not affect the anxiety that exists in other areas of my life; it does not remove the significant problems in other areas of my life. It doesn't even have much of an effect on my depression. It has one significant effect: by allowing me to be in the presence of others without disabling anxiety (e.g., blanking out and being unable to think clearly, speak clearly, act effectively), it permits me to take the many other actions necessary to address the many other problems in my life.

In the absence of Paxil, all of my considerable and prolonged efforts to resolve the other problems made little progress relative to the effort expended.

As far as I understand from what I've read of the Paxil literature, even its manufacturers do not know precisely why it works this way on social phobia. Xanax eliminates anxiety for me in all situations, very much unlike Paxil; I can see taking Xanax recreationally; I cannot see doing that for Paxil, which in my personal experience only has a noticable effect on one type of anxiety and does not give anything like a high or a buzz. As far as I am aware, Paxil has little effect (other than sexual dysfunction and a mild antidepressant effect) on people who do not suffer from social phobia. I have also tried Prozac, which was mildly more effective w/regard to my depression but did next to nothing for my social phobia.

I have many problems to overcome, most of which can be traced to a degradation of my quality of life over years of severe social phobia. Paxil simply makes the battle feasible, by allowing me to control the one anxiety that did not significantly respond to behavior-based treatments. While I do not have proof that social anxiety is brain-based, I have found that one medication affects this condition, precisely and specifically, in a manner consistent with the theory that it is brain-based.

[ Parent ]

Btw (none / 0) (#303)
by Alfie on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:21:20 AM EST

A doctor can tell you what chemicals and hormones are involved in diabetes, as well as what normal levels of insulin are. No one knows what chemicals or hormones are involved in so-called social-anxiety disorder. No one knows what a proper baseline would be, partly because no modern instrument can effectively measure the chemical interactions in the brain as they occur. There is much less "science" behind psychiatry than you might realize. I know that doctors (and PR folks) often give the impression that they are knowledgeable and understand what is going on, but that is part of what is considered a good bedside manner (by some).



[ Parent ]
teach your body (none / 0) (#308)
by Rainy on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 01:34:47 AM EST

Diabetics can also 'teach their body'. There is some misunderstanding here.. I don't think that diabetes or anxiety or anything is caused by 'failure as a person' (whatever that means). How can you fail as a person? You are a person, if you're alive. You can fail to be a well-developed person - that's an awkward phrase but what I mean is someone who is good in most things that people do - in science, sport, drawing, singing, poetry, playing music, writing. But I hope you don't take this as an insult because I'd be insulting myself, too!

I think that because nearly everyone has experienced a mild form of one social phobia symptom or another, and most people get over it with effort, they're too angry at anyone who claims to be unable to get over much more severe and comprehensive set of those symptoms to even consider viewing the problem objectively.

You're missing the point that if you have a mild problem, you have little incentive to make an effort to fix it. One well-developed dude said that our troubles are blessings in disguise, for they make us stronger if we face them with courage; and they force us to better ourselves which brings benefits and happiness that we could never foresee.

Therefore I do NOT qualify to say I know what the experience of an alcoholic is like, and I do NOT have the moral authority to say that because I "kicked" it with effort, so should they.

But if you did, they'd calmly reply that if they 'kicked' their anxiety habit, so should you, too. You make yourself out to be morally tolerant, but perhaps there's a bit of realistic defensive position here?

Yet that is what ignorant, self-righteous, smug, blind people are doing again and again in this thread with regard to social phobia, thinking that because they have experienced some degree of some of the symptoms and are not overwhelmed by them, or because they had them for a period and then were able to overcome them, people with severe social phobia have that same experience.

No, I'm not at all talking about this in reflection on my own anxieties and dealing with them; I'm talking about my own experience with having any sorts of problems and dealing with them. They are all the same, in the sense that if you focus all your efforts on it, and consciously teach yourself to be less egotistical, jealous, angry and lazy, you're bound to improve as the time goes by and eventually it'll be all gone.

If you want mathematical proof for this, you're obviously out of luck. There can't be one. You keep living your life and you will either eventually feel that this is true, or you won't. I think if you look back honestly you'll agree that you weren't making all effort you could, like a good samurai would. Well, maybe it does take a samurai-level effort to be free from anxiety or alcoholism or other things like that (too numerous to list).

You sit down and you say, that's just unreasonable. I don't think others had to spend so much efforts to get twice farther. That could be true, but are drugs going to make it easier for you in the long run? I seriously doubt it. You also miss the fact that if someone achieves easily, he is satisfied and won't want to scale a new height that is unsuitably hard for him. Someone like you, who will get strong by constant effort and certain discipline, may perhaps go farther.

If you have a nice comfy couch in your room, then maybe you'll find it easy to sort of roll from one side to another all day long; but your body will age faster and will accumulate illness while someone sitting on a hard carpet will stay flexible and strong even when he's 70. Unless of course he sits on his carpet only to agonize about not having something softer to wallow around in! :-)

This is not to say that all of the coping strategies listed (diet, exercise, yoga, CBT, compulsive self-discipline) do not have effect on anxiety. This is to say they have some effect, if practiced to a degree of samurai-like control over every aspect of the social phobic's life they reduce the problem from outright life-destroying to a degree where life is possible but agonizing, and still leave an enormous and life-crippling problem existing,

Well, here's a question for ya then: let's take yoga (I know quite a bit about it), and please tell me how much of it you tried and how far you got? And how much did that help?

Incidentally, I think one serious misconception here is that this stuff is for *controlling* anxiety (and other things). No, way off. It cures it and then you can stop doing it at all. Don't think of it as a 50-years affair, but rather 3-5 years. Of course, the hard part is that you may have to give up things you like and be more persistant and regular than you are accustomed to be.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Benzodiazapines and addiction potential (4.33 / 3) (#297)
by j harper on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:36:21 AM EST

Benzodiazapines do, in fact, have an addiction potention regardless of purpose. You may be relying on data that involves very low doses of benzos, which makes termination of use much easier than higher doses, where a gradual stepping down is necessary. This is particularly the case with long term use, where individuals with GAD or SAD who have been taking a benzo for several years are forced to continually increase their dosage or suddenly find their medication no longer works.

"I have to say, the virgin Mary is pretty fucking hot." - Myriad

Addiction (4.00 / 1) (#325)
by epepke on Wed Sep 10, 2003 at 01:12:04 PM EST

Benzodiazepines indeed have addiction potential, and benzodiazepine withdrawal is pretty bad. However, it also requires quite a long time of chronic use of benzodiazepines to become addicted. IMO the best use of benzos is in fairly high doses but PRN, that is, as needed. 2 mg of sublingual Ativan can work wonders, but you don't want to do it every day, because you'll be asleep all the time anyway.

Unfortunately, psychs these days seem to have an idea, probably based on the behavior of SSRIs, that the only good drug is one you take every day.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Help for fear of using public restrooms (5.00 / 2) (#314)
by IPA on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 01:46:42 PM EST

There is an organization for those with the fear of using public restrooms called the International Paruresis Association, http://www.paruresis.org. It provides a discussion forum for people with paruresis, information on treatment, recovery, workshops, and support groups. There are over 350 dues-paying members but much of the information is available for free to the public. Paruresis used to be a very secret disorder no one would talk about, and most people felt alone--as if they were unique and no one else had the problem. However, IPA estimates that 7% of the public suffers from symptoms of inability to urinate in public facilities. The problem can become severe enough to impact people's social lives, career choices, and can be a major source of stress due to the current emphasis on urinalysis for drug screening. People of all ages can be affected by paruresis. For more information, please visit our web site. IPA is chaired by Steve Soifer, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

International Paruresis Association http://www.paruresis.org
Ricky Williams, the Miami Dolphins running back (4.00 / 1) (#316)
by dogeye on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 09:33:55 PM EST

Ricky Williams suffers from this. He has an interesting website, http://www.runrickyrun.com, where he talks about overcoming the problem.

I have a mild case of Social Anxiety Disorder. I'll always have it, I suppose, but one thing that has helped me out is the confidence I have gained from working out every day.

Ricky Williams, the Miami Dolphins running back (5.00 / 1) (#317)
by dogeye on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 09:37:38 PM EST

Ricky Williams suffers from this. He has an interesting website, where he talks about overcoming the problem.

I have a mild case of Social Anxiety Disorder. I'll always have it, I suppose, but one thing that has helped me out is the confidence I have gained from working out every day.

HardcoreScooters.com
Love Life.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) (4.00 / 1) (#329)
by ehrichweiss on Mon Sep 15, 2003 at 06:04:51 PM EST

For the past 11 years or more I thought that I was just being cautious but then I was made aware that I had been having nightmares and flashbacks completely by luck...if you call it that. PTSD seems like a social anxiety because you really don't want to meet new people, connecting with people is even harder. I have a BAD feeling that many people who have PTSD don't know it and they suffer badly because of that. If they think they have social anxiety then there is some hope because some of the drugs they use to treat SA are also used for PTSD. And there are some doctors who think that the drug Ecstacy is good for PTSD. I'm personally against the use of "white man's drugs" so I'm going through another route but anyone with recurring nightmares and other fun symptoms should seek some help, somewhere.
Business intelligence is a nice way of saying "You've got spies".
sigh... (none / 0) (#333)
by irdum on Sun Sep 28, 2003 at 02:52:59 AM EST

with an attitude like saying there is no cure... how the hell do you motivate yourself from ridding a disorder such as anxiety?

It's a disorder suffered by the majority. Have you ever popped a prozac?

Pill's aren't the cure, it's about you being able to fix yourself rather than expecting someone to do it for you... get smart, smell the fresh air.
Going to the doctors should be the last resort not the first.

Want a helping hand from a high school drop out? breathe in , breathe out. It's not rocket science I can tell you that.

It takes a crisis to bring about a change in attitudes.

What is social phobia/anxiety? | 332 comments (294 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden)
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