Archive for the ‘social anxiety’ Category


April 8, 2016 Leave a comment

Walk in My Shoes is an Irish mental health awareness and education campaign of St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services.

Walk in My Shoes promotes mental health awareness, educating people in schools, colleges, companies and communities across Ireland on the warning signs and support services available to them. You can find on their website free information packs to download – for you or for somebody you know.

Today, people across Ireland (like Adam Clayton from U2) are posting selfies on social media to raise awareness for mental health. Join them, post a selfie with the hashtag #mindyourselfie.


It helped me, why not you?

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Back in June 2009, I began to listen to an audio program to “overcome social anxiety”. I listened conscientiously to all the mp3s (several times each),  I read conscientiously passages of a booklet provided, and I did conscientiously my “homeworks”. It worked and I was and still am very satisfied with the result. It helped me a lot by giving me tips and tools to feel better and be better.

Using both cognitive and behavioral therapy, this program/therapy aims to help you to get rid of ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts), to reduce anticipatory anxiety, to focus on the present, to understand how feelings can be wrong, to accept yourself and many more things!

This therapy/program is made of mp3s and a booklet in PDF. There are in all 5 compressed files (virus free ^.^ mp3s & PDF). Only after you have downloaded all 5 files, you’ll be able to decompress them. It’ll take some time to download everything, but trust me, it is worth the wait.

For a more detailed presentation of this program, click here.

I think I’m cured

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment

of my shyness.

After a picture taken with Daffy Duck, I tried to be “Miss Weather” and provide the weather forecast for the day.  It was MISERABLE. Not the weather – me. But I had a lot of fun!!!

Social Anxiety?

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m the only girl in my group therapy this semester. That’s cool. It doesn’t bother me at all.
I talked about the fact that on Tuesday I completely cut myself off from the people I was with, while we were waiting for the concert to start  –> I was avoiding eye-contact with everybody so that those who wanted to try to talk to me, changed their mind.
One new member said that sometimes he acts like this and he calls that Social Anxiety. When he pronounced these words, I could see a Very large smile on one of the therapist’s face; ah and he was raising his eyebrows too. I took that as a: “Yeah! That’s Social Anxiety!” I know that SA happens in particular situations contrary to the symptoms of avoidants which are permanent and not occasional. Maybe I suffer from SA when I’m alone in a huge crowd. Looking at the smiling therapist I said: “So, you’re saying I have SA?” And the other therapist said right away: “Oh you’re proud of you B, now she thinks she has SA!” Maybe I’m hypochondriac?!? No, because i don’t have SA and I don’t want to. So, no thank you.
The therapists really really really don’t like me thinking that I have AvPD – although I didn’t mention it during this session, they said that avoidants don’t go to concerts. -__- They do; some of them are even married (that, still, I don’t understand how they can be called avoidants O.0). A guy (A) told me that he noticed a change. Although I failed at achieving my goal; my goal was this time different from the previous goals I set to myself. Before, my goals were to check on a list: “try to talk to somebody, etc..”; this time it wasn’t something to check on a list but I wanted to be like everybody else. Aaah, it’s difficult to explain – I didn’t go there to do an exercise (“try to talk to somebody”) but to actually talk to somebody. I failed at both though. Maybe it was too much at the same time and for too long. Nevertheless, it completely ruined my concert, I was angry at myself and I didn’t enjoy the show – if the band could do it again, that would be nice. The therapist said that it was the first time that I admitted that I was not happy being alone and isolated. It goes against the logic “that’s me, that’s who I am, you can’t change it”. If it was really me, I wouldn’t complain about it or be angry at myself but say “hey, that’s how it is!”.

Call me “Your Majesty”

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Yesterday was the Day where I broke my records. I’m the Master, the Queen, the Goddess of eye-contact avoidance. I cut myself off from the others. I spent – again – more than an hour among people who were chatting, making friends and me, I was there, alone, speaking to nobody, avoiding contact with everybody. The only two people who dare to talk to me said: “Smile!” and “Don’t be shy”. >.< ;
Damn, I hate when I do that, I boycott myself but really, I have nothing to tell them.
The problem is that I would love to be like them and chat with them but I shut myself away in my bubble looking at nothing, thinking about nothing, just being there among all these people. I do that in spite of my good intentions, I went there willing to spend a good evening – that didn’t happen.

Fall pot pourri

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Seriously, I don’t know what to do now, what to work on. Since I asked myself a lot of wrong questions, I don’t know anymore what to do. Any suggestion? I understand now that there’s no magic bullet to get self-esteem, self-confidence, “self-everything” as I call it because there are just outcomes of actions.
What I noticed also is that I see life thought pink colored glasses. I’m aware of that. Even with the minimal dosage of medication, it’s “wow…awesome”. I bet that I’ll have to be well prepared to face reality once I’ll stop these medications. I’ll use the OSA program – it will be very useful. But I’m not there yet. There’s still a long way to go.
Oh, my therapists wanted to know what I meant by “self-esteem” and “hope”. So here it is:
Hope= broken promise;
Self-esteem=to accept myself with my flaws.

Also, I tend more and more to accept compliments. I guess it’s because I have a better opinion of myself (don’t ask me how I did it, I have noooooo idea). When people say something nice, I don’t reject them but instead I think that they may be right since I, in part, think there’s a part that is true in what they say. So, I don’t perceive it as a negative message and as it’s not a negative message it must be a positive one. It’s difficult though because my first reaction is BOOM (I counter attack) and then OOPS (I think ^.^).

John joined the therapy group. I loooove him. No seriously, I missed him. I’m so glad he’s back. We’re back with our face-to-face thing. I love it! lol Always very interesting comments and inputs and he knows me as we’ve already had 2 semesters together I think. or maybe 3. Right now, I LOVE my therapy group, I feel so comfortable around these people (all guys). There’s one I know since my very very first group, I met 2 others at my second group (I love those two, they really make you think), 2 I met last semesters and a new gay guy who looks sexy and very cool. I mean, they are people I know already and it’s awesome because they know me well enough to know how to push me, how to challenge me as A did recently.
You know what? I feel the need to reiterate my feat and tell all of them my little secret because right now in this configuration, there’s only 2 members who know it. Plus the therapists. I’ll do it. One day. Very quickly. No need to linger on it again.

A nice passage from a book about the art of meditation that my mother sent me:

“Peu importe que le chemin soit long, il ne sert à rien de se fixer une date limite, l’essentiel étant de savoir que l’on va dans la bonne direction. En outre, le progrès spirituel n’est pas une affaire de “tout ou rien”. Chaque pas, chaque étape apporte son lot de satisfaction et contribue à l’épanouissement intérieur.
Pour résumer, ce qui compte, ce n’est pas de faire de temps à autre quelques expériences éphémères mais de voir, au bout de plusieurs mois ou de plusieurs années de pratique, que l’on a changé de façon durable et profonde”. (p.44)

” It does not matter that the way is long, there’s no use to set a deadline, the most important is to know that one goes in the right direction. Moreover, spiritual progress  is not a business of  “all or none”. Each step, each stage brings its batch of satisfaction and contributes to interior blooming. To summarize, what matters is not to make once in a while some transitory experiments but to see, at the end of several months or several years of practice, that one changed in a durable and profound way”

Shyness, Social Phobia, AvPD

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment

A couple of passages from a Ph.D. thesis written by Julie Emeriaud in 2006: “Phobie sociale : revue de la littérature et analyse conceptuelle“. It is available online in a virus-free PDF.

“Ce trouble a suivi des modifications au cours des différents DSM, et le DSM IV présente une définition de la personnalité évitante assez floue notamment dans sa distinction d’avec la phobie sociale. L’ambiguïté entre les deux concepts est même explicite, puisqu’il est recommandé, dans le diagnostic de phobie sociale généralisée, « d’envisager également le diagnostic de personnalité évitante ».
Les auteurs tendent à s’accorder sur le fait que personnalité évitante et phobie sociale sont en réalité la même pathologie. Le trouble personnalité évitante représenterait le degré de gravité le plus élevé de l’anxiété sociale. La phobie sociale généralisée se situerait juste en dessous de la personnalité évitante. Les deux troubles sont caractérisés par une inhibition sociale, un sentiment d’incompétence sociale et une hypersensibilité au jugement d’autrui. Mais dans la personnalité évitante, c’est la personnalité toute entière qui est affectée par la peur des autres, la crainte d’être jugé ou rejeté est alors permanente. De plus, le sujet évitant cherche à rationaliser son comportement et ses pensées en toute circonstance, s’éloignant du véritable problème qui finit par être oublié, rejetant les raisons de son mal-être sur autrui. Ce qui fait que ces patients n’ont pas conscience de leur anxiété sociale et ne sont pas demandeurs de soins.

–> in other words, AvPD is the worst kind of social anxiety.[ I disagree. Totally disagree – I don’t suffer from social phobia.]
And social phobia is less not as bad as AvPD because social phobia is triggered in certain circumstances whereas AvPD is general and permanent. People who suffer from social phobia are aware of their phobia; people was AvPD are not aware of their problems and think they are normal they don’t consider them as suffering from a phobia.

“L’hypothèse de l’intervention d’un dysfonctionnement du système dopaminergique dans la phobie sociale repose sur un certain nombre d’observations indirectes. EMMANUEL et al ont rapporté les effets bénéfiques du bupropion (=WELLBUTRIN), antidépresseur inhibiteur de la recapture de la dopamine, dans le traitement de la phobie sociale.
Le citalopram (SEROPRAM®) ne semble pas avoir été l’objet d’études dans le cadre de la phobie sociale. Le citalopram est un antidépresseur inhibiteur sélectif de la recapture de la sérotonine (ISRS), il est utilisé pour le traitement de la dépression associé ou non, à des troubles de l’humeur, et dans l’ensemble des troubles de l’anxiété.”

–> Dopamine plays a role in social phobia. Wellbutrin/Bupropion is unique and unlike other antidepressants in that its major effect is on dopamine, an effect that is not shared by the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs.
But, Celexa is just given to treat depression – no special effects on social phobia. It means that Wellbutrin gave me a kick to get over my shyness but now, everything I do it’s not because of my meds. ^.^ well, not completely.

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