Re: A Thread for Shy People
posted at 8/1/2013 11:53 AM EDT
Rueben, I'm sorry you are dealing with this at such a debilitating level; it must be very frustrating to you to have the desire but inability to interact in the meaningful way you know you could...if you could.
Allow me to suggest that a support group is not really the most helpful idea to pursue. Well intentioned and gutsy, but not helpful. One reason is that others that fearful of interacting will not want to join a group and talk. The other reason is that even if they did, you'd all be the blind leading the blind about how to overcome your debilitating anxieties.
A more hopeful approach I believe will truly get you past this to live the life you wish you could have, is either therapy from a psychologist (behavioral talk therapy, not medicinal) OR even a psychiatrist (behavioral therapy with the possibility of trying anti anxiety or anti depression meds).
A psychologist would be able to help you understand where your anxiety is really stemming from and will guide you through the conquering of it by actual methods that are tried, true, and successful. You are not alone in dealing with this; it's well understood and there are many professional techniques and emotional tools you can be given to get you where you want to go.
A psychiatrist does all of the above PLUS evaluates you from a brain chemistry perspective and may suggest trying drug therapy along with cognitive therapy if he believes any of your social anxiety is due to chemical imbalances in your brain.
merely hanging out with other debilitated people is not going to change how you think and feel.
I have personal experience with both a psychiatrist (and got on medication for depression that saved my life) and a psychologist who helped me process a divorce. Neither lasted forever, I'm not on the anti-depressants anymore (although, if I still needed them I would be), and therapy wasnt a forever thing. It's not like in the movies. You can go, learn what you need to learn and practice, and then be done. Or, you can find medication that frees you of a chemical imbalance and that's that.
again, best wishes
ETA: I highly recommend starting with a psychiatrist. If he determines that your problem is not chemically driven, he'll recommend a good psychologist. But, that level of extreme anxiety says to me that there's a good chance it might at least in part be driven by a chemical issue that could benefit from a medicinal approach.
Discretion is the better part of valor.