Do you really improve social anxiety by repetition alone?

Yes, another title with a question!  I was thinking that since all social anxiety advice in books demands you simply approach complete strangers repeatedly and make small talk without any advice whatsoever on what to say, what subjects to speak about apart from the weather,how to appear natural, how to use social skills how to appear friendly without being creepy (if you are a man speaking to women!) then does just doing it over and over again really make you better and why? And remember this is the easy first thing you are supposed to do!

I got better at work from copying the world chattiest guy in our office and watching how he put people(especially girls) at ease with his witty banter. The thing is he didn’t blush, stammer, sweat or act awkward though so did not get rejected. he made jokes constantly, he was cheeky constantly and he was friendly and relaxed at all times and laughed. The opposite of me then.

Yet if I approached women at bus stops or anywhere in the city and came across as awkward and nervous and boring and depressing they would more likely see me as a nuisance treat me with contempt and this would ruin my confidence and make me more avoidant and depressed.  Thus making a mockery of rejection therapy which sounds insane to me. They might as well call it suicide therapy.

And since all small talk with strangers demands positivity and WITTY banter from the off how do I not be depressed when i regularly feel suicidal as I see no possible future? This is just as important at a structured event like a photography meet up. Why on earth do people who advice this for social anxiety think it will get better and make me better unless you just assume I am full of witty banter and that all shy people are completely normal underneath?  I am not. After all these years I have burning anger and rage, massive paranoia and a deep fear of sexual intimacy.  I hate lots of people including lots on anxiety forums.

Does this mean all advice is biased from only that persons point of view ? They assume all their problems were the same or worse and now as they recovered think they are the worlds greatest expert. Is it all delusional and assumes almost everyone with SA is under 25 and compassionate, lovely. Is there in reality basically no cure for many people but we cant handle the truth so have to create a delusional fantasy world just to make ourselves feel better.  If you just follow a set of rules you are bound to recover and if you dont its because you simply did not do the hard work required?

If you are a woman would you really like a shy awkward guy speaking to you at a bus stop or anywhere else about the weather or quantum physics for that matter? Do you assume he  wants to F**k you or is he genuinely trying to just be friendly.  If you are attractive do you really get guys coming on to you all the time so you have to learn how to deal with it.  Do they annoy you? Remember as a man I have never had any women or girl come on to me anywhere ever so really have no clue what its like. Do you think him potentially dangerous if he acts awkward or nervous? Does it matter of he’s over 40 as the advice in all SA books does not take age into account at all and yet I would feel like a dirty old perv speaking to younger women.

Why is the advice not different for women considering that most women never make first contact with a man in public and a lone man could be dangerous and many men who had a friendly woman speak to them probably would think she was coming on to them. Should women with social anxiety only speak to other women or old aged pensioners then?

Why do therapists and some people who have offered advice to me on here in the past think it will go almost certainly go well and increase my confidence and that a 40+ male virgin who speaks to no one for months and think of suicide daily will make witty banter on some unknown subject matter to a total stranger at random? When I tried things like this at work it often, no usually went badly and I become much more avoidant.

If I went out tomorrow, apart from the weather that would sound lame to say the least I have got absolutely no subjects to speak about apart from to moan and whine as I once did at my dentist who said how depressed I sounded.! Then I did not go back for 10 years!  Don’t be yourself then. More shit advice! I have not worked in 13 years and never had a relationship so have no family. Stop pretending its just a matter of forcing myself to approach strangers and opening my mouth to cure anxiety.  Once again I conclude that therapists are f**king morons.

If you are this mad it would need a complete over haul of your personality first which would take tears and requite optimism and hope. For many people this is completely impossible. There simply is no help.

 

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Sunday,Bloody Sunday

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I have always hated Sundays since I was a small kid. Our family never did anything or went anywhere and as a loner kid it meant that I was always bored and in fact started to form the mindset of depression and anxiety way back then. A boring house, a depressing house equals anxiety and no relaxation or contentment. Restlessness that remained for life.

Today’s picture is of the local cathedral. I am trying to take a picture every day for a week to force myself to focus on something(quite literary!) even if I dont go out that far yet as my avoidance has gotten so bad in recent times  Its still quite hot for the UK. 30C inside and about 45C in the sun so I dont wont to go far specially as I cant drive. This is a building I am very familiar with but this time I tried to take a picture of something different like a view of the grotesques around the roof.  Gargoyles are what the rainwater comes out of , Grotesques are all other sculptures on churches and cathedrals.

Even then I noticed the way some people were looking at me weirdly as I took pictures almost as if I was doing something unusual or wrong. This is very common.By contrast people taking photos on their mobile phone never get a second glance. You see I still get paranoid when people look at me. As if they are judging, mocking if only to themselves.I have taken over 150000 pictures over the last 10 odd years and still get paranoid so just doing something repeatedly and not getting attacked or abused does not habituate me alone. Just like the hundreds of walks I have been on which I still dont like or enjoy and bore the shit out of me.  So exposure therapy alone doesn’t work unless you also change your attitude and believe in CBT brainwashing first and that most people are really quite lovely……. and I dont.  They aren’t . Evolution and the history of mankind proves this unconditionally. As does the internet.

Friday Afternoon Existential Crisis.

Bad day anxiety wise. I started to get very agitated and then depressed about 3PM. (and England aren’t even playing in the world cup until tomorrow afternoon!) Its important to point out that even posting anything online when feeling like this becomes hard to impossible and I doubt my very existence. Hopefully I also exist in  a parallel universe with Steph from Neighbours and a life of luxury and cheese to make up for this crap one. I forced myself to go in the garden just to take a picture or two. To me this is my exposure therapy especially as the noisy neighbours were out. Speaking to staff at Tesco or women at bus stops is still 485 light years away. I think I would need 500 therapy sessions to get to normal, no, average. Pity the NHS only offer you 6-12 and I cant afford private.

 

A bee in flight over my garden pond. Its a wildlife oasis in the middle of a suburban desert of despair, desolation and despondency! Oh no, that just the state of my mind again.

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A frog-let. They(frogs) lay many eggs as only a few get to this stage and even fewer live long enough to come back next year and breed. Its survival of the fittest due to evolution. Its the reason why normal people hate and avoid shy people and why England wont win the world cup.

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Photography for mental health?

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I have become so isolated in the last few months and weeks that I have barely been out much when I used to go out several times a week. I forced myself to go into the garden to take some pictures. I quite like this one even if the detail is missing. I would really like a macro less but you know, money.

I have been thinking  about how or if photography can help people with mental health issues especially if you combine it with getting out and walking or visiting somewhere nice or new. It would be good to set up a website if I knew what I was doing but the  negative depressed side of my mind tells me that there are probably already lots and they are way better than anything I could do(or afford).  I would like to set up a group on Flickr as it would not cost anything but if it gets totally ignored my confidence will dive again, just like getting ignored on SAUK. The social anxiety forum you turn to when the only other option is death or watching daytime TV. Not much difference than.Motivation for anything is so hard.

Suicide Prevention

“Calm, the charity that works to prevent male suicide, has installed 84 sculptures of men with a hood pulled over their faces on top of the ITV Tower to raise awareness of the number of men who take their lives every week.”

I went out for a walk yesterday and the day before. I hated both walks and felt worse. I feel waves of depression which is almost like a physical pain for hours at a time.Today is sunny  and the choice between yet another boring walk to the same places as before or doing housework is so depressing it makes me wish I was not here again. Yes, i think about suicide almost every day. Worse is when i wake up in the middle of the night after yet another stress related dream
On ITV this morning they has three daughters who lost a father to suicide. They were devastated. Yet of course I have no family to leave behind so no motivation. I do have one good friend who I would not like to upset but as I have said before I will inevitably become homeless anyway so will still leave her at some point. And being homeless means suicide immediately becomes a quite logical idea. And yet some people will demand there is loads of help for the homeless just as they lie about ………I mean claim that there is loads of help for mental health In truth the homeless in the UK is going up every year and there are more people lying on the pavement every time I go into town. Some help is not loads of help or anywhere near adequate. There are no depression or anxiety groups in my entire county on meetup.
Men should talk more. Yes, it may helps some but not everyone as some have no one and there depression is due to valid reasons rather than a chemical imbalance. I should see my GP and yet many people claim to have been treated like shit or a nuisance when they did eventually go. Will speaking to the Samaritans get me a job after all these years of unemployment? Of course not. Are my problems temporary? No, I’ve  had anxiety since I was a child and had a family who have never been close or helped whatsoever. Yet despite social anxiety which has been so bad I am a virgin at over 45 and depression that makes me punch the walls till my hand bleeds people still advise going to meet ups like I am bound to make the best of friends. Then they will probably get angry that I act anxious or depressed and not friendly enough!  Have you seen how angry ad irritable I get over even little things? Its hypocrisy and lies all the way when taking about mental health help.
I watched a documentary last night about Hannibal(the man with the elephants) where when the Romans destroyed his home city of Carthage and were closing in on him he committed suicide to prevent any further shame and pain. To me its much the same reasons. Of course I dont want to die but the reality of getting a suitable job with my health problems and a life with any meaning is so far away its totally impossible. People who say its never too late are simply liars.When people claim there is a way out they still demand you are full of optimism and positivity and get angry when you are not like its a choice. I dont really want to go on like this much longer. Every day is starting to become too painful. I have hung around feeling much the same for over 10 years since I was made redundant although getting steadily worse and hoping for a miracle and all I see is that I was right from the beginning and there really is no way out.

Things that make you happy.

1 Drink alcohol

2. Drink alcohol and do some housework, sometimes shop.

Solution, drink even more, stop doing housework and shop for even more alcohol?

Actually rather than a trivial stupid post(why stop now?) this is basically the concept for treatment for depression. You are supposed to make a timetable of things you do all week and each day and then try to increase the things that make you feel better and decrease the crap stuff. In reality I cant think of any and never had contact with other humans anyway due to social anxiety. Even my dreams are turning to nightmares again and I wake sad. No wonder people create delusional fantasy lives, play games and become avoidant. The truth is often terrible with absolutely no way out. Anyway its far more to do with being unemployed and never having had a relationship due to anxiety and ……………….the usual shite. See 500 previous posts for details.

Walking for mental health(or just because there is nothing else to do!)

I went out. I was not entirely great. Both cash machines were broken so I had to rush across town to somewhere else in order to get money,food, change and then the correct bus. Walking for good mental health is impossible living in a city as the walks are all shit so you have to get out of the city which also requires money for either public transport or petrol if you are lucky and not mental enough to stop you driving and owning a car.Being truly mental I never even had one driving lesson.

Then living in the same city for the last 7000 years means that all walks are the same, there are no new places and nowhere new to go. It was cold and icy but not much snow was left. I got bored and realised that the advice for going on walks often does not work. I did not feel at one with nature, just cold. The atmosphere was wrong. I have noticed lots of advice for depression and anxiety does not work. Something needs to change in the brain chemistry first before things have meaning otherwise the whole world is the problem and everyone in it. Perhaps illegal drugs,perhaps I should start drinking in the day as well.

I became obsessed with this waterfall and how the water looked like sparks of electricity in the sunlight. Perhaps water does have some magical energy.

I like this icy configuration over the river. The top part reminds me of the devil with little horns and a beady eye. He taunts me everywhere I go as he’s very naughty. Only Christ keeps him at bay.