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Question
Posted by: Upset | 2012/05/02

Social Anxiety

Hi, I am a 32 year old male, single whole life. So on Monday I went out again to mingle with people as I hate being single. Getting to the club early, it was onviously very quiet with just the barman, DJ, and another patrion. I was ine and didnt stress, ordered a drink and tried to make conversation to the barman. As time went it started getting busier. Thats when I started shaking and becoming nervous. I tried to smoke to calm me down, as well as started to drink faster. Eventually I couldn''t take it anymore and had to leave to go home. The shaking and nervousness was just too much for me.

I decided to google my symptops (lol) to which all oif them pointed to "  Social Anxiety" . I have been like this from even my school days. When I used to go out with my friends it was ok, but even then I wouldn''t talk to anyone else, only them. Now they are all married with children, and I have to go out alone. Hell, it is even difficult to try and make friends.

Is this something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life or are there ways to overcome this? I have tried a CBT Psychologist once about 2 years back, but nothing was ever gained from that, in fact I thought it was a waste of time.

I hate going to braais and functions now as I am always the odd one out, ie: the single loner guy. But at the same time I hate staying at home on weekends doing nothing. There are a few hobbies like hiking etc which I would love to try, but after doing research on the club at the last minute I back out, too scared to go. I also waoory too much what other people think of me etc. This is killing me arrgghhh!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its not that you hate being single ( unmarried ) but that you seem to fear being alone, rather than enjoying aloneness as part of the pattern of life. You do indeed seem to be describing Social Anxiety disorder, which usually responds really well to proper treatment. Usually CBT has excellent results, so maybe the psychologists you and Motlalentwa saw just weren't skilled enough to do it well enough, and another could have better results.
As for meds, of course while a psychiatrist ( though few of them have the skills to provide CBT )can prescribe meds, a psychologist cant.
A GP is usually more likely to suggest the least helpful form of drug treatment, the Valium family of sedative tranquillizers. Though these can indeed relax you and help you feel better ( rather like alcohol does ) they have similar problems to alcohol, in that they can cause dependence with prolonged use. SOme of the drugs also used to treat depression are more effective in helping reduce anxiety and social anxiety. A psychiatrist could help select the one most likely to suit you. Ideally, I'd suggest resuming CBT with a more skilled therapist, and adding an antidepressant recommended by a psychiatrist.

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.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Motlalentwa | 2012/05/03

I am having the same problem, mine is not so much will ladies but it is negatively affecting my job as my work entails addressing crowds and doing presentations. I am most afraid of crowds. I also went for CBT but was also not effective, the psychologist I went to refused to put me on drugs as she did not regard my situation as severe. Now I am asking myself can a GP put me on drugs.

Reply to Motlalentwa
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/03

Its not that you hate being single ( unmarried ) but that you seem to fear being alone, rather than enjoying aloneness as part of the pattern of life. You do indeed seem to be describing Social Anxiety disorder, which usually responds really well to proper treatment. Usually CBT has excellent results, so maybe the psychologists you and Motlalentwa saw just weren't skilled enough to do it well enough, and another could have better results.
As for meds, of course while a psychiatrist ( though few of them have the skills to provide CBT )can prescribe meds, a psychologist cant.
A GP is usually more likely to suggest the least helpful form of drug treatment, the Valium family of sedative tranquillizers. Though these can indeed relax you and help you feel better ( rather like alcohol does ) they have similar problems to alcohol, in that they can cause dependence with prolonged use. SOme of the drugs also used to treat depression are more effective in helping reduce anxiety and social anxiety. A psychiatrist could help select the one most likely to suit you. Ideally, I'd suggest resuming CBT with a more skilled therapist, and adding an antidepressant recommended by a psychiatrist.

Reply to cybershrink

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