Social Anxiety on This Morning

Interesting video. A  woman who has had social anxiety appearing on This morning with Phil and Holly. Its nice to know that some people can recover although she is still quite young looking. She comes across very well on live TV.Many people at work thought I was a freak too, especially the girls.  I think this was because the majority of girls expected the man to always talk first and make jokes so any quiet guy was considered weird and strange and mental as one called me. \perhaps its evolution rather than culture.I still find it hard to except being so disliked for something I had no control over. Lucky her GP was quite understanding, many people on the SA forums have terrible doctors by all accounts and terrible therapists too.  I wonder if they would be so understanding of me as a 40+  male virgin. “But I cant believe you haven’t even been on a date at your age?” I think some people assume that every straight man has this uncontrollable urge to chase females and chat them up. I had an uncontrollable urge to run. I dont think for one moment that facing my fears by forcing myself to talk to girls would have helped at that age as my shyness was absolutely debilitating and people were NEVER understanding.


Author: klodo

I am male,English and have had social anxiety since I started school at 5 years of age. I like photography, walking, wildlife, history and moaning.........CONSTANTLY! Oh you must stop being so negative! Shut up! NOW WITH ADDED DEPRESSION!

25 thoughts on “Social Anxiety on This Morning”

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Her school experiences sound like what my 11 yr old is going through right now. As you know, I believe in the power of prayer and my heart breaks for all those who are suffering alone with no-one to intercede for them.
    This is such a horrible, horrible affliction to suffer. Is amazing how this lady coped being on TV. Did you ever buy her book?

    1. No, I only found out about her yesterday. I downloaded almost every file on help for anxiety and CBT therapy I could find last Friday but they made me feel much worse as there is no magic cure apart from going out and doing things and hoping you get better without the anxiety killing you first. In fact every time I look for help online I realise that there isn’t any and become deeply depressed and feel like i have to prepare for the worst.

      1. Yes I have watched it 3 times now and I’ve showed it to my husband.

        This will definately help my daughter and going by the excellent Amazon reviews, I think I shall buy the book.

        No, there is not much help online because the world we live in is imperfect. I know a few Christians who suffer from this severely and have opted for pulling out of attending church services. This proves that even ‘godly’ people suffer and that it is just a fact of life like other sicknesses. Yes some people get miraculously healed and God can do that, but most of us have to plough through the problem rather than being taken out of it. This can make some people lose their faith but that is because they have failed to realise that God wants to be their friend through the problem and teach them that only he can bring peace and relief. So yes, you are right to a point – many people will take this affliction with them to the grave, but you were never created to walk alone. God wants to walk alongside you with this affliction and to show you how much he can help you and calm you when you need him most. He knows you better than you know yourself so there’s not even any explaining for you to do – just surrender and let him show himself true to you.

      2. I think that engaging with activities in real life is only part of the solution. A good therapist to walk and talk you through some of the experiences will go along way.

        But you are absolutely right. Finding the right therapist can be so damn random. I’ve seen at least 12+ mental health professionals before finding my current psychologist who I feel I owe a great deal of my progress to.

      3. Yes, I think the motivation to keep going if you dont get someone who is any good is very hard. My anxiety is linked with depression and almost resignation so any therapist expecting me to go around smiling to people as part of some exposure therapy hasn’t really got any idea.

      4. i’ve heard so many people describe how their anxiety caused their depression, and how their depression caused their anxiety. It’s so unfortunate that the two often go hand in hand.

        The suggestion of smiling at people? Was that a real suggestion given by one of your therapists???

      5. Not mine as I have never seen a therapist but I have seen online advice telling people to smile and say hello to strangers and such as if you just press a switch and change mood. Even making small talk is very hard. I have to see the dentist again soon and have to plan what to say to him as its not normal social etiquette to tell the truth when he asks how I am so I have to lie and try to close down any conversation before it becomes awkward.

      6. How do you do with hair dressers? I used to loathe them!! Even now I do not enjoy getting my hair cut but my anxiety around them definitely isn’t what it used to be. I ended up with shoulder length hair once because I didn’t want to go to the hair dressers.

        My GF has shown me a youtube about ‘curing social anxiety’ and it was very similar to what you described when you mentioned smiling and small talk.

        One thing I learned very early on was that even though people might suffer from the same diagnosis, our experiences and situations are all very personal and unique.

        I don’t think smiling and small talk will get rid of social anxiety, but it certainly can communicate to those around you that you are open to talk. But then the actual talking part is up to you!

        On the subject of smiling, did you know that if you smile while watching a generic video you will generally feel happier about it. On the other hand if you frown while watching it, you’ll feel more angry! Another interesting watch is a ted talk by amy cuddy on body language. Check it out!

      7. I only went to the barbers a few times when I was a kid and had my mum cut it at home the rest of the time. When I was older I bought electric trimmers and did it myself so had to have it short all the time. I always found if I acted nervous when making small talk people looked at me like I was crazy, weird etc and treated me badly so my anxiety got worse. Just doing something repeatedly that failed never worked for me. Getting rid of the nerves first and relaxing so you sound and act normal is more likely to produce success I think. I thought this was what therapists did and yet when reading about CBT and exposure therapy online it seemed to just be go and do things and keep doing them no matter how nervous you feel as you will just get used to it. I dont believe it would have worked for me at all.

      8. I believe this is why it is important to have a mental health professional to work with you on it. The exposure therapy that I’ve done basically involved me trying to engage with different tasks, but then I’d ‘debreif’with my psychologist about it. More often than not it would involve me being hard and critical of my experience, and not performing as well as I thought I would have hoped.

        Then my therapist would point out the little things that I did accomplish. Of course I thought those little things were crap and didn’t amount to anything but somewhere along the line, I started to believe in myself a bit more.

        All this stuff is about changing unhelpful thinking styles. Especially CBT!

        Hope you are well mate. Did you end up going into town again?

      9. Can you tell me what some of the tasks you did were? What confuses me is that would I need CBT for depression before CBT for anxiety as I dont feel in the mindset for doing anything at all and have virtually zero motivation. if a therapist tells me to do so many things per week I simply wont if I dont like them. If they tell me its just negative thinking I will analyse them and often believe inside that they are wrong and just trying to brainwash me to be more positive. And of course there is a good chance my doctor wont offer any therapy and that most on the NHS are not very good and there is also a six month waiting list so getting a therapist I like and get on with could take years. Yes, I know this is also negative thinking but all my evidence of help for mental health in the UK is its mostly shit!

        No, I didn’t go into town. I went to a stately home in another county. Its probably good for my anxiety as I had to get two trains and a bus!

      10. I had to google ‘stately home’, it sounds awesome. Hope you post up some pics! (Maybe you have, I havent had much time on wordpress this week).

        One of the few people I met online with social anxiety lives in the UK and he has told me all about the appalling mental health services in the country 😦

        CBT for depression, or CBT for anxiety?? The two are so closely linked I wonder if you even had to choose one or the other? I would focus on something that would help you get closer to the life that you want to live. Do you even know what that life would look like?

        For my current group therapy that is one of the first things that we were told to do. Try to envisage what our life would be like…. if we had some magic button that could instantly transform our lives into what ever we wanted… what would that look like? (being specific is important).

      11. I cant imagine CBT for anxiety working on somewhat who is very depressed as even simple things become impossible due to lack of motivation or care. I feel so down sometimes now that I dont even want to speak to people and would certainly not go talking to strangers because some therapist told me to.My paranoia is also very bad and every little thing annoys me( including this shit computer which takes over 10 minutes to even open up and keeps freezing!) It also requires smiling, positivity, eye contact, and words in the right voice and also knowing what to say, something I am shit at especially when depressed. My fantasy life is like something from the movies and probably not even possible for the majority of very rich, good looking confident people so is certainly not possible to me. Mind you I might win the national lottery tonight!

      12. Without knowing your full story, I can’t say that I’ve been in your situation. But I can honestly say that I’ve been through and experienced something very similar.

        CBT works at chipping away at the small barriers that hinder your progress. I’m sure you have heard of the term ‘downward spiral’, just imagine that you are caught up in one of those right now.

        In a similar way, CBT can chip away at some of the unhelpful thoughts. Nothing global, just small things here and there, and when a number of small things have changed, slowly the bigger picture starts to come into play.

        How do you feel when you are out in the park taking photos? If you can feel that way there, you can certainly feel that way elsewhere… just gotta work on it (easier said than done!).

      13. Yes but I still think age is massively relevant. I cant think of anything worse that doing group therapy for anxiety as I would be expected to speak in front of people much younger than me so the humiliation is even worse. If CBT could help me with depression I might be able to do something about my anxiety after that but CBT for social anxiety looks ludicrous to me at the moment. I even imagined trying to make small talk to the girl at the checkout in the supermarket this afternoon as some exposure therapy suggests and even the thought of it made me start to feel like vomiting.

      14. What I tend to find about my own personal anxiety is that the thought of doing the task is usually multitudes worse than actually doing it. It is that anticipation of the moment because your mind is reminding you of all those situations in which something went wrong, it is telling you to GTFO because something bad is going to happen…

        But that isn’t always the case, and I think that is a key lesson of CBT. That thoughts are not facts, and that just because something traumatic happened in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen in the future.

        More advanced stuff here…. but also, if something traumatic does happen (cause it might….) . It isn’t going to be the end of the world. You might feel like death afterwards, but you’ll probably still be breathing, and once some time passes you’ll probably be going about your day again.

        BTW, as an age thing. I’m 33, and in my current group there are two people older than me. Yep there are also some younger people in the groups i’ve been in but try to be mindful of the fact that mental illness doesn’t discriminate 🙂

        hope you are well ❤

      15. Thanks, I hope you are too. I had a pretty awful week last week but I am due to visit my only friend on Friday and will be away until Christmas eve so hopefully having a real life human to speak to for a change will cheer me up!

        Coming back on the train on Monday I was listening to music and then imagined if I just got up and started singing in the crowded train! The thought made me feel sick even though as you say nothing bad would have probably happened in the long run and most people would have just laughed or thought I was insane. The thing is some CBT tasks make me feel just as bad, even sending back my coffee as you did or drinking alone. Being told to do it by a therapist wont make me do it so I dont know where I would begin which is why I think my depression which also causes intense irritability and paranoia would need to be fixed first.

        I had to take a sleeping tablet last week as I was still awake after three hours and my anxiety was getting much worse just thinking of doing CBT and all the things I have read! Another thing I am very much dreading is the thought of group CBT. I think this is more likely in the UK as they probably want to save money. My friend did this and was put with people with all sorts of anxiety problems. It didn’t help at all.As one of the oldest in the group I would feel more ashamed and less likely to speak or say anything on how I really feel.

      16. Finding someone you trust to walk you through the process is very important. I find myself comparing the process to the ideas of hypnotism where you apparently have to be a willing participant for anything to work.

        Do you read much? I’m reading through a book for my ACT group which is called ‘The happiness trap’. It is a nice change of pace because the emphasis is on living your life, as opposed to trying to ‘fix’ yourself before you live your life.

        Seems like you’ll be away for a while! Pretty exciting stuff, hope you have a great time & take heaps of photos!

      17. Thanks, I do read a bit but no so much books on mental health or self help any more. I found them too confusing and often contradictory with each other. I was always looking for a magic cure as if taking a pill could change my entire personality but of course it requires a whole lot more than that.Pity.I could do with a brain transplant. Bye for now!

      18. Sorry I forgot to talk about the tasks I had to do.

        My first therapist that I saw once I realised that I had social anxiety tried to thought challenge all the things that prevented me from leaving the house.

        Big barriers for me were eye contact. Awkward silences in conversations and being seen in public.

        I am still pretty mindful of the eye contact thing, but I had to be aware of holding eye contact but not too much so I engage with them but then take a break and look down at my knees or something.

        Regarding the awkward silences, I just sit with them now and think about what I am going to say next, or even if I am going to say anything.

        Going out to the shops was the hardest part. At first I wore my hoodie and had my headphones in so that even though I was at the shops I was still in my own little world.

        Then the next step was to just stand there in a really busy public area. This later progressed to doing it without the hoodie and headphones… it certainly was a process but it was so long ago.

        The more recent events have been anxiety challenges where I intentionally put myself in challenging situations.

        For example I returned a coffee that I ordered even though it was perfectly fine. I told them that it was too cold, and they made me a new one. But afterwards I felt so bad for doing it 😦 this little challenge was because I usually accept anything that is given to me… even if it is the wrong order. Give me incorrect change? i wont question that either. (now i can! 🙂 )

  2. It must be more than just surrendering to God. I used to really believe and asked many times from the depth of my soul and yet………nothing.

  3. I always find it so fascinating that despite my social anxiety, I managed to find myself in a couple of meaningful relationships. Sorry to hear about your experiences when you were younger.

    Today we are blessed with the internet. I would never have met anyone with social anxiety without the internet, and I am sure I would still be living with my parents and suffering silently.

    1. Yes, I dont think I had even heard of social anxiety until well into my twenties when I saw it on the internet.I have met my only friend through an anxiety forum but its still hard even online, probably because most of the social anxiety forums seem to be mostly much younger.

      1. yeah I get that, I’m 33 and when I first started out on tumblr some of the people I spoke to were much younger. I judged myself pretty bad for that but it was helpful to talk to them.

        One thing I found interesting was that social anxiety didn’t discriminate about age and despite the large age gaps we had similar ideas and attitudes due to the anxiety

  4. I am not sure, perhaps older people learn to keep quiet or are more likely to have other anxiety issues and depression. I think that both the UK and USA social anxiety forums are very youth orientated and even have special sections for 30+ as if that’s a cut off point. I dont feel very comfortable on either site and have not for a long time. I have seen a few older people come on SAUK in recent times but then seem to vanish pretty quickly as if they dont feel at home.

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