A million to one he said

I actually got to the stage where I was about to visit my GP for the first time ever about my anxiety. This  apparently often happens  because of something else which in my case is depression which has meant that I have become so avoidant I am only leaving the house to shop at Tesco and have given up doing everything else. However I made the mistake of looking online at all the types of treatment available.  Sounds reasonable? However realistically many GP’s dont even offer therapy for older people with anxiety and depression and just hand you a leaflet. Great, that will cure me!  Then there is about a year, yes one year sometimes even 18 months to wait to get therapy on the NHS. And finally……….. I have read the UK anxiety forum and lots and lots of people who took therapy for social anxiety said their therapist was a complete moron and it actually made them worse or no different at best. Yes, there is loads of help for social anxiety! Online advice anyway, in real life its almost non existent.

Getting help for anxiety or depression in the UK reminds me of the Drake’s equation for the chances of finding intelligent life on another planet. Several million to one or more.There are just so many factors to be taken into account before anything gets done. The next problem is that I have read countless CBT manuals for anxiety online and self help books and they all pretty much say go out and EXPOSE yourself!  No not in a naked kind of way but expose yourself to fear inducing social situations so you get used to them and get better. Then do more harder ones for ever and ever and ever!

I cant even think of easy ones I feel I could try to start of with.

Beginning of the end

As I have been feeling worse than almost any point in my life over the last year I have serious considered going to the doctors. There are just so many self help sites, TV doctors and even people online who advise this for depression and anxiety as if its the first step to certain recovery. Yet with no motivation left at all is there really any point? Will meds make me feel motivated and if not what can? Torture? Shame? Guilt? No, they make me want to die.  I thought meds for anxiety or depression made you feel like a zombie anyway.  Some people even say if you go to the doctor that means you must still have some motivation left. No it doesn’t. It means that there is nothing left at all apart from death and you are deciding which is best. That’s also ignoring that over 50% of people who went to their doctor for mental health problems found the help poor or very poor.

CBT for social anxiety is completely pointless as I would not do exposure therapy under any circumstances as there are absolutely no easy situations. Smiling at strangers or making small talk is a shit idea and makes me vomit. I can just imagine the cringworthy conversations I would have about the weather with shop assistants and the looks of contempt.

Also shy people (usually men) often get looks of contempt from females when they try small talk. Its the law and lets you know that you can just F**k off as you are ugly and a loser so dont even try. Thats because  men making witty banter with women are often trying to chat them up as men know they will die a virgin unless they constantly go round looking for attractive females and initiating conversation.  By contrast if a woman likes a man they sometimes smile and if you are very lucky even say hello. Then they still expect you to chat them up and hate you if you dont. Thats why there are 10 times more male virgins than female.

Depression is also an overwhelming factor and my dire future(and past)is the reason so its not in any way overreacting. In fact many people with mental health problems are committing suicide in the UK right now because the government makes it hard to impossible to claim benefits and does not care if you end up homeless and I have not even tried to claim any benefit yet and am already this depressed. Therapy cant help me get a job can it as no one will employ someone this long unemployed and who cant do stand up manual work. If the job is shit then I wont be in a better situation or be happy anyway even if I can pay the bills.

I am beginning to see suicide as a logical and sensible solution just like the women that drown their own children and then killed themselves rather than let invading soldiers repeatedly rape them to death during WW2. Death is not good but its still better than prolonged torture first and then death anyway. Sometimes there is simply no way out and non existence becomes the best option. After reading extensively for help for anxiety and depression online I have not seen anything anywhere which has given me the slightest hope as it all assumes so much and ignores the obvious. People are almost all judgemental bastards. You have to be one of them in the first place to be accepted or they hate you. Just like using the SAUK anxiety forum.

I think that is why so many people who claim to have recovered (certainly from social anxiety)come across as bastards online as they have developed an aggressive, seize the day! and bullying mindset in order to succeed and then try to bully other people to feel this way which of course does not work with depressed people. Many people who succeed are indeed total wankers. Look at so many politicians and business leaders for proof that being a ruthless, selfish and nasty C**T does not impede your chances of success in life.

Just Smile!

I walked down the street the other day wearing dark glasses and a peaked baseball style cap as normal. It was at least sunny and warm. As I live in a busy city there were lots of people coming my way, many making their way home from work or studies as there is a university not far away and it was past 4PM.

All I could kept thinking about was is it normal to make eye contact with strangers or even smile at them on the street? I say this because its yet another of the so called simple exposure tasks for social anxiety I have read about online. What is the etiquette considering I am single man in my forties?  There was absolutely no explanation about the rules of engagement. Some men are aggressive and in gangs and would see eye contact as a challenge.  Smiling at young people sounds a bit creepy to me like you are after something or fancy them especially younger women.  Do strangers really smile at other people on the street in a busy city at all and why the F**k would I want to. How many would smile back or even think I was insane?

Its yet another moronically stupid peace of advice for anxiety which would claim to be quite a normal thing to do and see me as highly negative or irrational for daring to object and yet in reality could get me attacked, abused or thought of as being even stranger than I am already. Perhaps the therapists who invent this crap all live in peaceful idyllic towns in fantasy land where everyone is friendly and kind. Perhaps they think everyone with anxiety is 23 and attractive also.

To make me feel even more negative I also read this on a forum from someone with social anxiety this morning on CBT therapy.

Professionals often set a very high bar for you, then really do lay into you when you can’t reach it – blaming you for everything and then in the next breath genuinely wonder why you lack confidence.

It sounds staggering doesn’t it? Kind and supportive environment my arse! There are just so many people online who claim to have had terrible experiences with NHS therapists and also their doctors who appear to think its their God given right to get annoyed and irritated with patients who dont recover with therapy or dare to go back for more help. Someone only last week said their doctor was looking up social anxiety on Wikipedia as they had never even heard of it.  Yet every single website and doctor on TV tells you to see your GP immediately as if there is fantastic help available and almost immediately.  Don’t suffer alone! Go to your GP and get told off like you are a small child!

Is CBT a scam?

‘Extensive evidence’ shows that two years on, depressed or anxious people who had CBT were no more likely to have recovered than those who had no treatment, said Oliver James, chartered psychologist.

After 5 to 20 sessions those with anxiety or depression appear to recover, 2 years later they are no different to those who had no treatment, he said. ‘As a treatment, rafts of studies have shown it to be ineffective in delivering long-term therapeutic benefits to patients with anxiety and depression.

So I am still trying to convince myself if going to the doctor would actually be a good idea. After all will it really help me find a job when I have so many other problems?  Putting yourself through up to 20(much less on the NHS) weeks of intensive exposure with resulting stress and then when you are on your own again it all goes out the window is not great to hear. I just read someone had to wait 18 months for CBT for depression on the NHS so it can take ages to even get started.

In the short-term, 40 per cent of those who complete a course of CBT, typically five to 20 sessions of up to an hour, are said to have recovered. CBT appeals to politicians and NICE because it is quick and cheap

Only 40%. I thought it was 75%.  Less than half is an appalling success rate. But dont forget some people say “There is loads of help out there, dont suffer alone!” There isn’t. Its a lie and in reality a tremendous struggle to even get the right help or find anyone. Time to start praying to God again.

Too Negative( Again?)

Many of my posts(probably my entire blog!) would just be dismissed as  being too negative and the ravings of a mad man but I admit to being depressed so of course I am negative. Being a 40+ long term unemployed virgin in the modern world sort of makes you negative strange as it may seem! Getting annoyed or even angry at this attitude as some people do surely shows a total ignorance or stupidity of mental health even by many professionals many of who have never experienced it themselves so have no idea of the anxiety and misery created. As an example I would quite literally choose death right now rather than do some social exposure situations I have read about.  You can’t bully positivity into someone just as me doing three positive affirmations every day doesn’t work at all. My mind knows its all a lie and not real.

The idea that I would willingly volunteer my most feared social situations and then choose to engage in them with humiliation almost guaranteed when in this mood is almost ridiculous and if it makes me feel that there really is no help then it must be true for many other people as well.  There must be so many people who look online for help and then see that CBT is not doable and so never see their doctor. Relaxation techniques and mindfulness would be about as useful in helping as being told I was going to be burnt alive the next day but if I did them I would get a nice nights sleep first!  Being told the only way out is to do all the things you fear the most is like having the last glimmer of hope extinguished.  They then try and make out you are a coward if you dont try while totally ignoring that your anxiety was caused by other people and that most normal people dont have to go through any of this and still get a decent job, a partner and have kids!  Humiliation is  a massive motivating factor in recovery and self esteem and just because I dont get physically attacked has no positive consequence whatsoever. In fact when I think back to many humiliating events in my life i would have much rather been punched in the face repeatedly than called a zombie and mental and laughed at behind my back as I was at work.

 

More thoughts on therapy

I am still confused about possible help for someone suffering depression caused by life long social anxiety. Treatment for anxiety centres around doing awkward social exposures and hoping the patient gets better through practice. Yet exposure therapy demands motivation, optimism and commitment. It ignores depression which creates hopelessness, negativity and absolutely no motivation or optimism and also the inability to make pleasant small talk or even care any more. For instance how the hell are you supposed to make small talk with a stranger about the weather or anything when you feel and talk like a zombie and see no hope for the future?

Treatment for mild to moderate depression seems to centre around making the patient more active and engage in previous social activities which ignores the fact the patient may be isolated, never goes out and has no friends as they have had long term socially anxiety. I simply dont see how they make the patient optimistic and then motivated enough to engage in exposure therapy without them transgressing into depression and negativity at the inevitable failures. Keep stating how much hard work is involved does not help in the slightest and is much more likely to result in non commitment or refusal to even enrol in therapy.

Despite so many people stating that age does not matter and that it is never too late I wonder if therapy is much more beneficial to people under a certain age and pretty much useless to older people and once feelings of suicide are starting to emerge. Also if living conditions are not especially good with sleeping problems and alcohol dependence then perhaps therapy is of minimal use. Exposure therapy is of no use whatsoever if the therapist can not convince the patient to even take part in the first place as it appears so overwhelming.

 

The Cure for Social Anxiety?

I have downloaded absolutely loads of stuff on shyness and social anxiety the last month and some of it consisted of entire manuals of 700+ pages.  The thing is and its quite hard for me to say so but, but THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CURE WHATSOEVER!

All of the manuals and self help sites say only one thing. Go out and do stuff and hope you get better and then do more stuff until cured. Strange really as rather than scientific knowledge this is basically what i was told to cure shyness when i was a small child. Oh they may have breathing and relaxation techniques and also make you challenge your over the top irrational “Woe is me! Everybody hates me!” type of thinking but there is absolutely nothing else whatsoever on any website I have ever come across that helps in the slightest.

The problem is that depression fucks all that up.  No motivation whatsoever, already suicidal thinking so being told to go and smile at strangers on the street and make banter with shop assistants about the weather or Donald Trumps snazzy hair are about as useful as being told to Just do it! or my favourite as a youth “Just Go Talk to her!”

In reality acting nervous got ridicule or contempt which increased my anxiety which increased avoidance. If in doubt I go straight onto YouTube where hot girls say how much they hate shy men as they act creepy and make them feel awkward. Women love confidence , its officially one of the biggest turns ons. The advice also ignores your age. Contrary to belief not everyone with social anxiety is 23. A man my age smiling at women considerably younger than me on the street will be thought of as a creepy weirdo after sex so why not say that when advising smiling at 6 strangers per day as exposure therapy as if its normal. Virtually no strangers smile at people on the street unless well they do fancy each other.

Social etiquette still matters or do you assume that very shy people will understand who to and who not to smile at? Just like advising you to ask attractive females out as what have you got to lose?  Well there are lots of attractive twenty and thirty something years olds but as someone in my forties(Shock! Horror!)I would have about as much chance as bagging one as I would attracting Cameron Diaz(although at 44 she’s way closer to my age range!) Oh you mean only ask people your own age but once again just assumes you know that.(even though at my age everyone is much uglier including me!) Do I tell them how long I have been unemployed as well, that will impress them. Fact, long term unemployed men are avoided as much as ex cons so something else to destroy confidence.

I prepare myself on a daily basis for the inevitable end now. I almost long for it after all these years of pain and loneliness. Today was absolutely awful and I struggled not to self harm. The reason I feel worse is because I looked for help and found there wasn’t any.  People just like to pretend there is to make themselves feel better. They like to pretend that the majority of them are nice and kind too.