Posted by: Pariah | 2006/10/31

Social Anxiety

Hi CS,

I’ve been wondering what’s wrong with me. When I was still at university, I used to love going out and meeting up with friends. I’m nearly 27, and for the past couple of years, even the thought of going out (in public) for dinner has me stressed out to no end. I get so jittery and try to come up with any excuse not to go. I am so much more comfortable staying in – that is either at my place, or my friends’ places. If I do go, I would have had to force myself to go, and I am constantly on edge. Each time I end up drinking to cope with the nerves, and then drive home in my inebriated state not caring about it at all. When I drink, I become brave, but I also become “below-the-belt” vulgar and I don’t want to meet people when I’m like that! Because then the impression is created that I’m always that way, and I’m not!!! I don’t understand why I fear going out so much. Do you have any ideas? What can I do to not feel this way?

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Our expert says:
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Sounds very like Social Anxiety Disorder, which, fortunately, responds very well indeed to treatment, with CBT counselling, and perhaps some medication to assist. And as you recognize, medicatibng yourself with alcohol can easily lead to fresh and un-needed problems.

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