Improving Social Anxiety: Is Medication Necessary?
someone who used to suffer with social
anxiety, I tried many different methods of improving
the situation, including medication. But in my experience, using
medication to deal with social anxiety is a bit like using a shotgun
to get rid of ants in your kitchen: it may help with the ant problem
(slightly), but the collateral damage will produce a situation that
is much worse than what you started with.
my experiences in using medication for social anxiety were not very
positive. It is true that I did often feel a little "out of
it" in social situations, and this led to a slight improvement
in my level of anxiety, but the medications also robbed me of much
of my personality, and made me feel tired and lethargic a great
deal of the time.
example, I've never really been a "nap person." I tend
to have a lot of energy during the day, and if I decided to take
an afternoon nap right now, I would probably find it very difficult
to get to sleep. But back when I was on social anxiety medication
I HAD to take a nap every single day.
I would sleep 10 or more hours at night, and by the time the afternoon
rolled around, I would find it impossible to stay awake and need
a nap for at least two hours. And even when I could stay awake,
I began to feel very tired and apathetic most of the time. I didn't
have much energy to do anything -- and I felt too apathetic to even
seriously, the constant tiredness caused by the medication was a
major problem for me, and even though my social anxiety situation
was improving slightly, at the end of the day, I was basically sleep-walking
through my life like some kind of zombie. Not good.
are theSocial Strategies?
And there were
also other side effects and symptoms of the social anxiety medication
that profoundly impacted my life. For example, I began to notice
that my memory was fading. I had always had a good memory, but after
six months on the medications I began struggling to remember people's
names, phone numbers, even family member's birthdays and anniversaries.
I think you
get the idea: social anxiety medication was barely effective for
me, and caused so many other debilitating problems that it really
was not worth it. But there was another problem caused by taking
the medication -- one that was less obvious to me at the time, but
is very clear now: by resorting to medication for the problem, I
had elevated it to the status of a "medical condition."
that my social anxiety was a medical problem, I unknowingly accepted
the role of "victim," making me feel that I was powerless
to change it. The truth is, I was never powerless over my social
anxiety, and neither is anyone else.
anxiety is the result of our habits -- particularly
our thinking habits. And improving these habits is the only real
way to improve social anxiety. When we accept that we are involved
in the process of creating the problem, we empower ourselves to
do something about it -- to change it.
doesn't mean that you should blame yourself because of the way you
feel. Blame has nothing to do with it. We should simply take responsibility
for the social anxiety, by recognizing our role in creating it and
When we attempt
to use medications for social anxiety, it produces feelings of powerlessness
and victimization. This leads to a mindset that social anxiety is
something that "happens to us," not "something we
are involved in creating." And I can tell you from personal
experience that improving social anxiety is practically impossible
as long as we feel like a victim.
Jon, I should have bought your series years ago. I would say I've
improved about 100% in the last few weeks...this simple game playing
approach is incredibly effective. I love playing that "over
the top" strategy. I used that at work when I had to give a
presentation--no problems at all. I breezed right through it. Thank
Key West, Florida
series is the easiest thing I ever tried. It's helped me live without
all those socially awkward moments I used to have. My main social
problem has been on the job but thats not even an issue anymore...the
"boss" strategy works a treat for me, even at work...thank
Bristol, England UK
moved past the whole social shyness thing by using the strategies...I
don't even need to use them much now, maybe once a week...this stuff
just blows my mind. It seems silly but it gets results! You can
use this on your site if you want. I'm just happy to be rid of those
London Ontario, Canada