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Question
Posted by: notgood | 2009-12-18

Social Phobia

Hi Doc

I have extreme social phobia to the point were I am terrified of any situation that involves other people. I keep expecting them to humiliate me, ridicule me, and just ' crucify me' , fear of rejection, anger, hostility, ignore, blamed for others issues mistakes etc. This has gotten so bad that I don’ t have friends, don’ t socialize, defn don’ t date and worst now its affecting my job to the point were I don’ t have one and are to afraid of looking for one. The problem is not just that it happens to me but I don’ t want to delegate, tell people what to do, respond, give my opinion as I don’ t want to make people feel like I do., as above.

I know this makes no sense as my job as a manager is to delegate and to have opinions but it feels like I take others powers away by doing this even though I know its expected and necessary for me to do this. Im terrified and not just a little worried etc. This cycle goes on and on in my life started in childhood, gets better then drops back to fear, and each time this happen it gets worse. I' m supposed to be handling my life as an adult but the fear is way out of control.

Right now I feel so filled with resentment and hate and my mind keeps bringing up every single area in my life when this has happened. I stop the thought and focus on the times I received the opposite but I cannot remember anything. I' ve been going for treatment for this for over a year and even thought the depression is better the fear is so bad. I want to work and have a life but I cannot deal with the ridicule. My family life is like this very harsh, negative, not allowed to say anything or will be severely personally attacked. I' d rather take this from family members and stay with them as I know what to expect where from strangers I don’ t and if I do get attacked - verbally I cannot defend myself or that’ s how I feel.

People I work with see me as soft, an easy target, they told me this. I never say anything back to them as I am usually so surprised and don’ t want to hurt their feelings. Im now applying for work earning less then half from what I use to earn as Im to afraid to talk etc. I don’ t want to life like this. I' m tired of being the sad ninny. I face my fears go for what I want just to find myelsf having to start over again in a few months

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You describe social phobia very acurately, so I'm wondering why you have not yet had successful treatment for it. It generally responds excelently to proper treatment. See a good local shrink for assessment to confirm the diagnosis and to discuss treatment options. These ought to include CBT ( COgnitive-Behaviour Therapy ) which could be ideal for your situation ) and some meds also used to treat depression.

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: Mogotsi | 2010-01-21

I suffer have been suffering from social anxiety for all my life. My anxiety became worse when my sister got sick because of HIV related illness. The people in my community stigmatised our family. Things were so bad that I suffered from panic attacks. I wanted to kill myself. I managed to recover using anti depressants.

Reply to Mogotsi
Posted by: Ryan | 2010-01-18

Hi 

I was diagonised with thatdisease about ten years ago, since thn i have been for couselling numerous times and been on prozac, i even even booked in at Kenilworth Clinic in Cape Town for 3 weeks  i have been improving slowly, and now i have been off my medication for about 3 months now, i am now supplementing my diet with walnuts, fish and omega 3 and 6 tablets, flaxseeds etc and guess what i am reallly starting to feel great, i know its a hard process, i was just as bad as you buddy, and yes there was a point in my life when it did effect my job and all that, but its getting better, only sad this i dont have many friends, and really get lonely sometimes to to the point where i actually cry abit, normally just before i go to sleep, but yes im trieng to be strong and keep things poisitive and stay strong

Good luck with your recovery mate

Cheers

Reply to Ryan
Posted by: Nicolette | 2010-01-18

RE: Is it possible that one partner can be HIV positive and the other not.

Reply to Nicolette
Posted by: Shargal | 2010-01-17

I have never head of dat kind of phobia but i understand and empathise,u sound like a great,unselfish,nice person and wish u luck with treatment.

Reply to Shargal
Posted by: Richard | 2010-01-08

I' ve got the same thing. I was unfortunately put onto a drug class called benzodiazepines while I was in the States (which included valium, ativan, clonazepam etc). While they initially worked I quickly became dependant on them and sufferered severe panic attacks when I didn' t have them. I would stay away from these. I ended up in rehab for several months to get off these and other drugs. I don' t struggle with depression at all but it seems anti-depressant drugs are now used to treat anxiety disorders. I would also agree with the CBT therapy as the medication can only do so much. I empathise though, it was living hell for 10 long years. I was also a manager at a large firm but felt like such a fraud. Do yourself a favour and ask for help. I kept waiting in the hope that things would get better on their own and eventually ended up self-medicating and isolating from everyone. Stay away from all alcohol and drugs, makes things a million times worse.

Reply to Richard
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009-12-18

You describe social phobia very acurately, so I'm wondering why you have not yet had successful treatment for it. It generally responds excelently to proper treatment. See a good local shrink for assessment to confirm the diagnosis and to discuss treatment options. These ought to include CBT ( COgnitive-Behaviour Therapy ) which could be ideal for your situation ) and some meds also used to treat depression.

Reply to cybershrink

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