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Crippling Social Anxiety...

GNel80

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Hello all. Basically, its hard for me to leave my home. I feel unsafe, even at a Church. I try to expand my horizons, such as going on walks around the block. It works somewhat, but at times I hyper-ventilate, get scared and sweaty, and my stomach feels sick. As a result of my social anxieties, I do not like being around people, or noise. OCD plays a factor too, as I obsess frequently. Add to that being Scizoaffective, and I think you get the picture. I can't stay in control well.

I do take MANY MANY meds and have psych-talk therapy weekly. I a making some progress. Can anyone else relate? Any tips?

God bless.

Greg
 

GNel80

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As a follow-up to my first post, I must add that my days, each day I live, seem like the same day, inside and out, almost like that movie Groundhog's Day, where Murray re-lives the same day over and over. Its upsetting, but by keeping this simple routine, strangely I find it gives me some control, but more anxiety, because time seems to be going VERY quick. Thus, I also now fear death, or both myself and others. Sorry for the rambling, just trying to vent. I'm trying to see where I fit in, in this crazy world. God bless.
 

embracingmyanxiety

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Hey Greg,

I can definitely relate to the anxiety you feel when you go out. My issue was more specific to crowds that were gathered in a situation where it would be difficult or inconvenient to leave (a packed movie theatre always gets me).

You mentioned that you do weekly psych-talk therapy - have you ever talked to your counsellor about exposure therapy? That's what ended up helping me. You more or less learn how to relax (learning to belly breathe helped me a lot), and then slowly confront anxiety inducing situations in a safe way. The key is to not over do it. I started by imagining that packed movie theatre, and sitting at the back. It would make me feel anxious, and I'd try and calm myself down. Over enough time I learned that I could handle imagining it, and over time I was able to work my way up to actually going to to the movie theatre.

I also find writing helps me cope with anxiety. Do you ever write just to get your thoughts and feelings out? You seem like a good writer, it might be worth a shot!
 

GNel80

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Hey Greg,

I can definitely relate to the anxiety you feel when you go out. My issue was more specific to crowds that were gathered in a situation where it would be difficult or inconvenient to leave (a packed movie theatre always gets me).

You mentioned that you do weekly psych-talk therapy - have you ever talked to your counsellor about exposure therapy? That's what ended up helping me. You more or less learn how to relax (learning to belly breathe helped me a lot), and then slowly confront anxiety inducing situations in a safe way. The key is to not over do it. I started by imagining that packed movie theatre, and sitting at the back. It would make me feel anxious, and I'd try and calm myself down. Over enough time I learned that I could handle imagining it, and over time I was able to work my way up to actually going to to the movie theatre.

I also find writing helps me cope with anxiety. Do you ever write just to get your thoughts and feelings out? You seem like a good writer, it might be worth a shot!
Thank you for the kind words. You have some good ideas. I have learned breathing exercises myself, which do help, but are limited in what they can do.

The thing that really gets me is constant worry and anxiety, with racing thoughts. Being schizoaffective does NOT help, as I also get blind sided with debilitating depression and (at times) psychotic episodes... voices, hallucinations. Luckily, I am good with "reality checks".

Tonight, for instance, I'm depressed, and fearful. Of what, I do not know. Its sort of just "there". I get flashbacks as well, PTSD stuff, as many can probably relate to.

I'll write more soon, as I'm down in the dumps tonight. Good luck to you. God bless all out there reading this, as well!

Greg
 

embracingmyanxiety

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Hey Greg,

Thanks for taking the time to get back to me. It sucks you aren't feeling well.

My counsellor has been trying to coach me keeping my feelings and thoughts separated as best I can. She says that I tell myself stories when I start feeling scared or anxious. The message from her has been that wherever possible I should try and feel the emotion without trying to think my way through it. It's obviously easier said than done, but I've been working at it and it definitely does help. That's one of the reasons I mentioned doing something creative, it helps me process my emotions without having to just sit and feel my way through them.
 

GNel80

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Sorry for the delayed response. With that said, thanks for the support! I get what you are saying with your advice, as this distraction method does help, at least at times. If I get busy talking about something unrelated to my issues, I do well. I pray often, thanking God that I have strong will power. Music helps too. See, its when my thoughts start to race, that it gets hard. I recently gave up coffee as well. Caffeine does not help, obviously. My therapist gave me a good coping card (positive note on paper to re-read over and over) that is helping. Overall, I hope we both feel better overall, soon!
 
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