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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2012/07/11

Asking for help

Hi Professor,

I would love any suggestions you might have to offer on how to approach this matter.

I have always been a shy, timid person and perhaps a bit gloomy aswell, but over the past couple of years I have become completely dysfuctional.

I can''t make a phone call, order my own meal at a restaurant, speak to a cashier or shop assistant etc., the list is quite long. I leave our flat maybe twice month at most, the only people I have direct contact with are my parents and fiance and I''m completely dependent on them.

My family has never really been ''open'' about discussing anything. Things like ''I love you'', ''I''m sorry'', ''I''m proud of you'' was either automatically assumed or shown through gesture but never actually said, the same for any kind of issue. So I have no idea how to ask them for help with this. My fiance is a bit unsympathetic, he doesn''t understand what my problem is and I know alot of my behavior drives him up the walls.

I feel stuck in a loop where I can''t help myself, even if I could somehow manage to pick up a phone and make my own appointment I would still be reliant on someone to get me from point A to B and to pay for anything that my medical aid doesn''t cover.
I know that if I asked, my parents would be more than glad to offer their assistance, but I don''t know how to discuss something so personal with them?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

A somewhat complex picture, but this sounds like increasing and now disabling social anxiety, amongst some related conditions. It responds very well indeed to proper treatment, and there's no need for you to continue to suffer this degree of concern and limitation on your freedom to enjoy life. It is common and affects many people, and is in no way your fault, so don't feel ashamed or shy of talking about it.
Ask your parents to help, or your fiancee, if you cant do it entirely on your own, but DO, soon, arrange an appointment to see a good local psychiatrist for an initial assessment and a discussion of treatment options. Some medicines can help a good deal, and ideally, even more effectively, if they are combined with a particular form of counselling called CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ).
With this combination, you should soon be feeling much better, and becoming both more confident in talking to other people and taking charge of your life, but actually enjoying contacts with other people, and becming free to enter to world, take a job, or do anything else you wish

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/07/11

A somewhat complex picture, but this sounds like increasing and now disabling social anxiety, amongst some related conditions. It responds very well indeed to proper treatment, and there's no need for you to continue to suffer this degree of concern and limitation on your freedom to enjoy life. It is common and affects many people, and is in no way your fault, so don't feel ashamed or shy of talking about it.
Ask your parents to help, or your fiancee, if you cant do it entirely on your own, but DO, soon, arrange an appointment to see a good local psychiatrist for an initial assessment and a discussion of treatment options. Some medicines can help a good deal, and ideally, even more effectively, if they are combined with a particular form of counselling called CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ).
With this combination, you should soon be feeling much better, and becoming both more confident in talking to other people and taking charge of your life, but actually enjoying contacts with other people, and becming free to enter to world, take a job, or do anything else you wish

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