If your SA is combined with depression and other mental problems is it then much harder to cure? Does your depression or misery have to be cured first before you can tackle your SA? Its just that there is a relentless barrage of advice on anxiety forums of “Go Out! Do Stuff! Go Out! Do Stuff! Go Out! Do Stuff!” This is the anything is better than doing nothing philosophy and often implies that people who dont keep trying stuff are just cowards or deserve to suffer.
However my biggest problem with this is my misery. After years of increasing isolation and depression I dont have witty banter. I dont have jokes, I dont go anywhere or do anything interesting. I feel irritated and often aggressive and want to push people out of the way and just walk off. Watching my elderly mother slowly wither away and die drained me mentally and physically. If I therefore force myself to go on a meet with other people its not only my anxiety I am fighting. In fact even if I fail to exhibit any social anxiety behavior at all I am still as miserable as hell so am likely to be terrible company. Most nights I have bad dreams and have trouble sleeping and think about death and dying regularly as if my life is as good as over.
You see again the myth portrayed on SA forums is that you are probably just a little bit shy but if you can be forced to try things then you will probably have a great time and burst forth into witty fluent conversation and never have SA again. Bollocks. I used to stutter blush, mind blank, lose control of my jaw, my voice would become inaudible and I would just sit there like a zombie. Then people disliked me or thought I was strange,rude unfriendly and didn’t want to see me again, I would go home and want to kill myself and never want to leave the house again. Thats the reality of chronic shyness or social anxiety. Its not just a little thing that you can get over with a helpful kick up the backside, if you force yourself into social situations. I’ve realised that the people who do think this and who populate the anxiety forums so much probably have minor to moderate shyness and then just assume its identical for everyone else. They have done stuff and its often worked for them so hey, you are just a coward for not doing as much as them! In their eyes you then deserve to suffer.
Would you want to go out for a coffee with someone as miserable as this? No, of course not, Nor would I if I was normal. This leads me on to my problem. If my isolation and loneliness have created this intense misery and hopelessness then how do I cure my misery first so I can then go out and cure my SA. If I went out to meet people and the atmosphere was terrible, I felt I was disliked due to my sadness I would then feel worse so would not want to ever go out again. Thats why just going out to socialise does not cure SA for everyone. SA is far more complicated than that. To get over SA you have to gain confidence so your social situations that you put yourself in have to be a success. If every outing is a failure you are just reinforcing your SA and negative feelings. When you force yourself to go out and still act very shy and awkward you then get blamed for not making the effort as if all you have to do is open your mouth and great conversation comes out without thinking. A classic example is the advice given to any male ever who is interested in a female of; “JUST GO TALK TO HER!”
Of course talking means flirting, flirting means jokes and laughter and confidence and fun and happiness and no awkwardness and knowing what to say. Saying this to a chronically shy person is like saying “just go juggle some chainsaws!”without any prior practice. its impossible. No jokes or witty banter happens. Just awkwardness, sometimes stuttering and blushing and awkward silences as lets face it lots of girls just expect the man to do all the work and chat them up and impress them. Often the humiliation of failure is so bad the man is afraid to even try again for years if ever. Some men who are very awkward and try this are often labeled as creepy or losers thus keeping them in their place and not allowing them to fit it. I said how cruel human behavior can be to outsiders before. This kind of talk is not paranoia, it happens all the while if you start to watch other people. You see several references to such behavior a week just watching the TV. Its in our culture.