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Social anxiety
An_250890 posted:
Hi, Ive had Symptoms of Social Anxiety for a while now but its getting worse lately . Its like every social situation is triggering it now. I haven't seen a doctor or anyone about this but i just want to fell normal and be able to talk to people again. why is it getting worse?
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
It's probably getting worse because you need to begin to take some important steps to counteract your social anxiety. I don't believe that most people with this problem would require any medication unless it left them house bound.

What have you been doing that may have contributed to making this worse? Please understand, I'm not blaming you for anything; I'm just trying to figure out if there may be some things that are contributing to this. Are you going to social events less and less? When you are at a social event and you begin feeling anxious, did you immediately leave? How did you handle it?

Social anxiety can be handled by two things; self-help or cognitive therapy. Since I always choose the most conservative measure, I believe you should try some self-help techniques. We have two that are in our Tips column; a video tutorial on relaxation breathing and a video which I did for WebMD on self-talk. You can also find the two of these on my YouTube channel (drpat22) where I also have two versions of a relaxing beach scene that you may want to copy to your iPhone, iPad or computer. If you put it on your cell, then you can watch it during the day whenever you begin to feel a bit anxious and it will help.

Use the breathing technique as often as you wish, but remember to use it whenever you are feeling just a bit anxious. Don't wait until you feel very anxious because it is intended to ward off anxiety. Self-talk is also a great way to help coach yourself and give yourself the encouragement that you need.

I hope you find both of these helpful and that things do improve very soon.

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