I am Mike. As of writing, I suffer from Social Anxiety, Depression, Perfectionism, and Disordered Eating, among other things. I like to think this blog is my journey toward personal understanding, and each day I get a little closer to being able to name the experiences going on inside my body.
Hi how’s it going?
I read your blog for the Dr. Richards program. It is very informative and best I’ve seen so far. Just wondering how it’s coming along so far? Are you feeling a lot better now?
I actually didn’t finish the program. It gets to a point where it’s best to work with a group.
A combination of medication and therapy has helped. In fact, I barely notice the anxiety anymore.
Hope all is well with you. Thanks for reading.
Good to hear! Would you recommend that I push on with this program or seek face to face help instead? I am a bit reluctant to use medication as people say it is short term and has short and long term side effects.
I can’t answer that question. Everybody’s situation is different. What worked for me, may not work for you. One on one therapy has been great for me. You can see a therapist without getting prescribed meds.
I am still willing to give the audio program a go as reviews seems to show most people at least reported some improvement so I think it is worth a go. Do you mind me asking you what changed your anxiety the most? i.e. how are you thinking differently now than the past. As an example, if I fear people noticing my anxiety and fear that I would blush from being asked a simple question, like how did I go in my test (when I failed) how would I change this worry into calmness?
I am also aware that if I feel I am embarrassed, I shouldn’t panic more as this would worsen however, every time I feel embarrassed I feel “it’s too late, everyone noticed already, I can’t calm myself down in time”. Is there a way around this?
Importantly, did you find CBT improved your anxiety in all situations that may not have been identified specifically in CBT? E.g. you mainly feared presentations and only had mild anxiety around groups so your CBT centered around anxiety in presentation, but does it nevertheless help your anxiety around groups of people also?
I really appreciate your advice as I know you made so much progress and very happy that your life has changed.
The thing that helped the most was therapy. Just talk therapy. It really helped me to tune down the anxiety. The problem is that there was a cycle I’d go through – Anticipatory Anxiety -> Anxiety in the situation -> Fretting after the situation – which would build on itself.
The more anticipatory anxiety I had, the more it was likely that I wouldn’t do well in the given social situation, which would make me fret more – and, consequently, have event more anticipatory anxiety the next time around.
I had to break that cycle. Meds helped turn down the anticipatory anxiety. Meds and CBT helped with anxiety during the situation. Talk therapy helped with analyzing the situation afterward, and re-framing it.
Pretty soon one social situation went well … then another … and another … and finally I no longer feared them.
Treating anxiety is complicated and it takes more than one type of treatment.
Hey Mike a lot of the feelings you have/had with your depression/anxiety is exactly what I am going through right now. Could you please give me any tips?
Therapy. Medication. More therapy.
Find a therapist and start going to one-on-one therapy. It’s the best thing I ever did.
Thanks for the link xx