Is the treatment for social anxiety actually cruel compared to that for depression?

And more importantly does it need to be?

The cure for most phobias is to gradually face your fears, then hopefully realise that there is no threat. Although a fear of heights is not hard to avoid unless you are a window cleaner or rock climber. I have never even seen a snake outside of a zoo in England so it’s hardly life changing and even a fear of spiders does not usually stop people marrying, having kids or affect their career. Yet people talk about these all the time as if they are common. Socially anxiety affects all these normal life events and more. That’s because you can’t usually avoid people unless you dont leave the house. It may if left unchecked result in intense depression and even suicide.

The non meds CBT cure for depression is to make you do more of the things that you used to enjoy and give you hope. There is usually some sympathy and understanding.  By comparison the cure for social anxiety is to make you face your fears over and over again and hope you get used to it. And then some people like to insinuate that it’s all your own fault for not doing the hard work and that you deserve to suffer for being a coward as if you have committed some heinous crime. There are posts like that on the anxiety forum, the tough love approach. This one person even ridicules people for living off benefits as if they are scroungers. What a C**T. I am sure more guilt tripping is only going to make such people even more ashamed and think of killing themselves. The Kick Up the Backside approach only works for moderate shyness you stupid folker. If its more serious and combined with depression it actually makes many people worse. She even mocks people for still living at home as if they should be ashamed . Again this encourages suicide. Many such people are already ashamed. yet as the dumb ignorant ****er is apparently being positive she still gets some kind of good feedback as if its help. How is taking the piss out of people help?

Anyway I never really had a fear of attractive girls, public speaking or being the centre of attention. I had a fear of the resulting humiliation these things caused which was much worse than pain. so my brain realising that I cant get killed or hurt by repeating socially humiliating tasks over and over again will not help, as I still face humiliation. Social events that made me anxious often resulted in public ridicule and isolation. Not being physically threatened did not stop my anxiety or make it get less.

A shy man forcing himself to speak to a pretty woman may do better than expected and gain confidence. A man who acts excruciatingly shy and awkward will often make her feel very uncomfortable and get a bad reaction which only makes him more avoidant. Something even the CBT therapists have not got a grasp on at all. The humiliation this brings stays with you for life and the fear of it coming back never goes away. If you choose death over CBT and exposures then its more serious

The only physical comparison I can think of is that its like getting run over by a bad driver in a car. It’s not your fault that you are now ill. Social anxiety for instance is almost always caused by upbringing or events in childhood. However just like a car crash which requires months of intensive physiotherapy we are the only ones that can improve our health and situation. Therapy for social anxiety requires months or years of putting ourselves in discomforting and uncomfortable situations which may actually cause intense humiliation. If done badly just like physiotherapy it can make us much worse. They even try t get some people to sing on the street and make complete morons of themselves in public. Then they wonder why 80% of people never seek treatment.

The thing is I could imagine my-self doing intensive physiotherapy as I used to do lots and lots of weight trying until I could barely stand up.  I could handle certain amounts of physical pain or exhaustion. Yet doing things that would create intense humiliation like trying to make lame small talk to strangers or public speaking and I would rather be punched unconscious. That’s because humiliation is far worse for me and of course you already have to be happy and positive to even start talking making CBT pointless. You also have to not blush, stammer and act mute which I was once but the memories remain. Even without the now constant hopelessness and depression if you would put me back in the body of a 21 year old again with no depression I would still probably rather die that do intensive CBT. That’s because CBT only works for people who are already motivated and have hope.  If you have the drive and motivation to do absolutely anything to change your social anxiety then great but stop pretending that people who have failed are all weak or simply cowards and deserving of pain and loneliness. In another place and time I would have fought in battle and to the death as my ancestors did. Cowardice is not all the same.

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All I have to do is dream

When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream

One of those emotional dreams again last night.  Its as if my mind tries to take me back in time and make things right.  I was with a girl who is an actress currently on UK TV.  I was young again and the same age as her. We were about to start going out together but the thing I was most excited about was having someone to go places with on Saturdays and especially at Christmas. Just so I would not be alone as all my day trips walks and visits usually are.  What’s worse is I started to realise that it was not real  as I realised it was just a dream and in this lifetime that ship has already long sailed.  Maybe the lunatics who believe in all this spirituality shit are right and that I will be reborn again in another place and another time and get to have another go.  Although if I get extremely weird and useless parents again it’ll probably be exactly the same.

Are you single because you dont feel worthy?

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This came up on the anxiety forum recently. The idea that our social anxiety especially in context of getting a relationship is based on ourselves thinking that we are not good enough, not worthy of love or attention of others. I didn’t. I worked with young men who had much worse morals than me. I did not even feel unattractive and the girls who once knew I liked them showed some interest in me where very attractive themselves. The only thing that stopped me was uncontrollable debilitating anxiety almost certainly due to upbringing.

This is my reply and I did get somewhat angry in parts as there was the usual post of its all your own fault, all faulty thinking and everyone will get someone eventually by brainwashed people who have done CBT and think they are now experts. People on the forum still apologise for being negative. I got 25/27 on a depression test. Go figure.

My reply;

I actually thought myself superior than many of the men I worked with so i never saw myself as not worthy or unlovable. The worlds most vile bastards after all almost all still get relationships. I worked with guys who joked about raping girls. one boasted of chatting fat girls up to then dropping them as if he got a thrill from the power he had over them. Others had vile porn on their PC’s. then when the office girls came round they would still be giggling their heads off with these guys as they went into witty banter mode as most normal men do naturally. The same girls would often give me a look of disdain as I was weird and quiet and did not chat them up or put them at ease. This is where much of the bitterness comes from. The unfairness of it and being treated like I was evil for something I had little control over. Evolution is cruel and ruthless and we are just an animal after all. Then some people who have gone through therapy and supposedly got better think everyone just needs a good kick up the backside and try to imply its all just your own fault for not trying hard enough almost as if you have committed some hideous crime when we are the ones who have suffered. We have not harmed anyone else after all so no one has got the have this anger. They should have tried speaking to a girl up while blushing stammering and having other men laughing their heads off at you. I wont be admonished by anyone any-more.

 

I went a three hour walk yesterday afternoon to the botanic gardens. I did not see much but took the photo of the specked wood butterfly above.

Fear of never finding anyone?

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For single people, does the fear of never finding anyone plague you?

This was a question on the anxiety forum recently. This was my reply.

“Its never been really a fear although there’s always been the hidden sadness behind everything and the realisation that it was never going to happen. Relationships were always what happened to other people and not me and nothing changed. I saw other young men at work chasing girls almost like a wildlife documentary. They had this deep desire and urge like a primal instinct. This was simply never there for me. I had no group of male peers, no friends so no pressure to comply as I never went out socialising. I also had a very low sex drive and simply did not have this insatiable urge to chase females. I never had a female befriend me at work let alone ask me out so it felt quite different speaking to males compared to females. Although I worked in a large company for 20 years I only got a small amount of attention from a few girls and that was only after they knew I liked them first and then all they would do was smile at best so I knew it was always up to me to approach and chat them up which I found almost impossible without a severe panic attack.

Thats because I found that debilitating shyness of blushing, sweating and being incapable of coherent speech let alone being expected to make jokes and chat up  girls to be so humiliating I probably would have chosen death first rather than feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Its still something I think even many people who have had social anxiety and the self books have no concept of, the intense fear of humiliation which had me hiding in the toilets punching myself in the head and considering suicide when most of the young men my age were out at nightclubs each week and enjoying their life. Many girls say they like shy guys but I think crippling shyness makes people especially females deeply awkward and uncomfortable and is very unattractive. Its not even possible to have a conversation let alone date.In fact confidence is always one of the most attractive qualities women want in polls as confident men are usually more successful.

Even though I dont have debilitating shyness any more I find that my depression, paranoia and other issues to have gotten worse to compensate so I dont see an intimate relationship possible in this lifetime even if I got rid of all social anxiety tomorrow. Looking up help for depression and social anxiety has only increased my negativity as it looks completely useless to me and offers no hope whatsoever. Opportunities diminish greatly with time for a variety of reasons.”

I almost deleted it today but thought F**K it. People say be truthful and just be yourself and yet there is still this pressure not be negative or be seen to be wallowing in self pity either. Its a lose, lose situation. The majority of a group especially self help forums try to demand optimism and hope and stop people expressing their true feelings thus keeping the most depressed quiet and still depressed.  Thats why so many suicidal people stay quiet. Nobody wants to hear you because you depress them!

That really is me in the photo. I was alone and used the self timer.  I thought about jumping but it was only about 30 feet!

 

What is Love Shyness?

I came across the term love-shyness many years ago. In fact there is a book all about it. http://www.angelfire.com/ab6/polepino/toc.html

It seems to be more specifically related to shy men that can’t chat women up although you would think it would still be applicable to women as many women are much shyer around men they find attractive too.

This is from The Times

“They dream of intimacy with a woman, but can’t even bring themselves to say hello. Are these men just very shy, or are they suffering from a rare psychological condition?

If this were a date, it would be the most uncomfortable date in history. John is sobbing, his shoulders heaving, his chin wobbling like a child’s. “I’m sorry,” he says. “I won’t be able to eat my lamb burger.” He looks up with big, sad eyes. “Sorry.”

John is 24, and I am the first female he’s ever been to lunch with. He is cripplingly, tongue-parchingly nervous, and it’s distressing to watch.”

This is almost how bad I was at work. Yes really! Although I never had to turn down a lamb burger as I never even got to go on a date! Its so humiliating you dare not even speak about it let alone look for help. You think about killing yourself!  Yet there is no sympathy whatsoever, Only vicious ridicule and mocking. I could not even make eye contact with an attractive girl let alone speak or chat her up without blushing uncontrollably. Yet the advice on all websites is to approach women repeatedly and you are bound to make witty banter and get better! BOLLOCKS! They have not got a F**king clue! It also still ignores the fact that if its just as hard for women then why no woman  ever approached me in 20 years at work or anywhere else for that matter. Yet only men are the cowards and deserving of ridicule? No, its not the same.

 

The book by Dr Gilmartin is not very popular though. Obviously anything that says men have anything worse is attacked as sexist although I have mentioned endlessly i think the difference between men and women’s behaviour when it comes to dating is hugely different and you are delusional if you think we both act the same. He also goes off onto some other quite strange subjects like astrology and reincarnation so I may read the book again to see if its accurate.

 

When searching Love shyness I came across a dating site where one woman says she went to the Love shyness forum to offer advice and was amazed at the men’s negativity.  I wonder what it was? Just go talk to her! I wonder how she would react if someone as shy as the guy above tried to ask her out!  There then follows about 15 pages of mostly young ignorant men calling all shy dateless men cowards and deserving to suffer. And yet these young guys almost all come across as arrogant obnoxious tossers. Yet they all get girls and think its easy.  Everything to them is just about having the balls and guts to approach girls and saying that shy men are just using excuses. Even though none of them have been cripplingly shy or ridiculed for it.

One thing I notice about the internet is seeing on so many forums like this that the human race is full of vile human beings who mock everyone who is different.  Young men are the worst. You cant hang around with other young men like this or make friends if you are very shy as they are all trying to just F**k girls, congratulate themselves as heroes for simply having sex and ridicule anyone who cant.  Yet as I quit college I had to work in a warehouse full of them for years. Its not all one way of course as the Incel forums are full of bitter male virgins who hate women.  To me this makes a complete mockery of most CBT as it shows that people do notice your behaviour and they ridicule you for being different. In fact I am not surprised that male suicide is so much higher. if you dont fit in to social norms then you are treated like a freak.

 

Wake up Time

 

You spend your life dreaming, running ’round in a trance
You hang out forever and still miss the dance
And if you get lucky, you might find someone
To help you get over the pain that will come

And it’s wake up time
Time to open your eyes
And rise and shine
Wake Up Time- Tom Petty

 

 

Is it wrong that I think of the people on the anxiety forums as the enemy?  Like people at work. No , I actually liked some people at work and even made friends.  Is this just part of having depression and anxiety, maladaptive thinking? Or is it really true and you know it deep inside? As you are mental most people really do hate you as humans evolved to be like this. So many people easily believe that the world is full of racists simply because of skin colour but dont believe people hate you for being a quiet, weird, miserable and awkward nutcase?

The anxiety forum is like some weird sick joke.  Feeling like a nutcase on a forum full of nutcases means you must be a real nutcase! or too old.  Remember nobody on the internet has anxiety or depression over 30.  They even have to have special sections for the over 30’s on forums!  If you are over 40 you may as well be dead!  The forum is a place that always turns and twists my words and thoughts against me, however innocent and ridicules, mocks and ignores me. Its as supportive as the Spanish Inquisition. It makes my paranoia worse and my depression more intense. Yet its always my fault for not doing enough, for not doing it right, and I still post on it as the desperate and the lonely will try almost anything to make contact with another kindred soul, however futile, however many times I have failed in the past.  They must exist as have I have seen them on the TV and sad,mad people always have kindred spirits who meet one day. Another alcohol fueled post? You bet!

Does Depression Make Any Advice for Social Anxiety Utterly Futile?

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………………And if so why does all advice for social anxiety ignore depression completely despite it being common with anxiety and demand you just go round speaking to strangers and think it will go spiffingly? But they still get angry with you for being negative or miserable! Even though I’m often suicidally depressed! And I include people who have offered advice to me like JUST DO ANYTHING! on this blog even though I clearly mention depression!

 

This is from another WordPress blog on social anxiety from last year and I gave permission for my name to be used as I used to know the blogger vaguely from another anxiety forum long, long ago.

“So far, two of the people who followed it have their own blogs and their own experiences of social anxiety. Two very different experiences.

Anxiety and I is positive. This person recognises the hard work ahead, but is proud of accomplishments up to now.

klodo is negative. It would be easy to say his circumstances are his own fault. That if he were more positive and worked hard, like Anxiety and I, he would be in a better state now. But that would be wrong.”

You f**king bet I’m negative. First of all Anxiety and I has only ever made one post in their entire blog history so a bit premature to assume they are positive and proud. Perhaps they have recovered entirely, had only minor shyness or has given up entirely.  In reality Anxiety and I is an 18 year old girl living in a small village in Yorkshire so not much of a comparison then.  She also does not appear to have suicidal depression. Even I may have been more positive at 18 !!!!!!! Either way she has vanished without trace after only one post.  Yes! Well done for being positive as if its a choice! All those depressed people are just choosing to be miserable!

Although the article was mostly supporting me the way she put it still rankles me to the point of blind fury as you see this attitude on almost all anxiety forums by the people who have recovered and have then become sanctimonious holier than thou, know it all tossers. The idea that its all your own fault and that you must be eager to do the hard work (intense repeated humiliation)because they did .

“Why? Because they ignore the depression that’s often caused by social anxiety. They ignore the ensuing lack of motivation. They also ignore the passing of time that changes the person you are. ”

They also ignore all other problems, like a very weak voice which meant I could not be heard anywhere with music in the background like all pubs, bars or parties so most social situations then so I stopped going to them. Being very FAT at school and ridiculed  for having TITS. The crooked teeth and hair lip I had so I could not smile and became very self conscious at age 7. Blushing uncontrollably at times and having to hide in the toilets at work. They also ignore unique problems like being almost asexual until I was 27 which certainly put me off chasing girls and they also ignore the huge differences in gender which meant as a young straight man, well any age really the only way to get a relationship for men is to approach females risking being treated with contempt (when I already felt rightly or wrongly like I was hated)to do the talking as most females never speak first but still  slagged me off for being quiet and weird. Then I am expected to ask a girl out when I have never been anywhere as I had no friends and pick her up even though I couldn’t drive! Yeah, sounds like equality!

They also ignore that now I am this age there is absolutely no hope of having an intimate relationship so age really matters and that the rest of my life is now meaningless. They ignore that long term unemployed people especially men are treated like lazy scum and made to feel guilty thus shaming them even more. Thats why its hard to even go to a meetup on photography or walking as I am defensive about all my problems from the start and have absolutely f**k all to speak about. Oh and now I also have a bad temper (can you tell?), more like rage and intense paranoia which makes me terrible company. In fact if you are this mental almost every single aspect of human culture and society forces you to stay avoidant as you have to be normal and likeable FIRST to be accepted into any group situation.

Anyway I could go on like this for hours( What? A depressed person being negative? How bloody dare I!) but this quote about depression from another blog is spot on.

 A positive attitude cannot save us. Acknowledging that the future might get better does nothing to change the fact that the here and now is absolute shit. In fact, trying to maintain that positive attitude when you’re feeling hopeless can often worsen it, because you’re using up the rest of what little effort you have fighting a lost cause.

In reality its this simple. If you are very shy  and also miserable you repel people and they dislike you so you stay avoidant and dont recover and you feel hated. Its not just avoidance that perpetuates social anxiety. Its being treated like a c**t when you do try. Thats also true online.