I’m glad to see that social anxiety is a disorder/condition that is coming into the public eye more and more, and that people are finding ways to get social anxiety support.
That it’s not just someone “being shy” and that there’s no way to do something about it, that it’s “just the way you are”.
I was so happy to find out that I had social anxiety disorder AND that there was something to do about it.
It felt like the weight of the world rolled off my shoulders, and that other people had figured out how to overcome shyness and social anxiety.
If you don’t know that you have it, then it’s hard to get help.
So in all honesty, I think now that’s the hardest “step”, because you might not realize you have it.
After that – the hardest decision and step is to decide to get social anxiety support – once you’ve realized you have the condition or are diagnosed with it.
So when should you start getting some real-deal, social anxiety support?
Don’t even think about it…just do it, get the social anxiety support that you need, that you DESERVE.
All you’ve been doing is thinking and thinking…and thinking. And it’s gotten you nowhere. No more thinking will solve your problems with social phobia.
It’s time to take action and seek out help. I don’t care if you buy some books on social anxiety, want to join a support forum, find a therapist or social anxiety coach who knows how to deal with it, or even if you feel that you need to take medication to start.
(Note that I don’t believe medication to be a viable solution long-term for social anxiety, that is up to you, and I’m not qualified to give you medical advice on taking medication.)
Procrastination is one of the biggest symptoms of social anxiety, and dwelling on whether or not you should do something or not.
Know that a lack of action, is a symptom of your social phobia, so act in spite of it, and start getting some social anxiety support, right now.
Primary Types of Support
Books: There are lots of good books to start reading and doing the exercises within. Some books focus on behavioral/exposure techniques only and others on cognitive therapy approaches.
You can check out my resources page, for what I recommend, or search Amazon for “social anxiety”.
Medication: I generally take a pretty firm stance on not relying on medication to overcome social anxiety. But if you feel that’s where you’d like to start, that’s up to you, if you really feel you need it.
From what I’ve experienced and read about other’s experiences with social anxiety, most people find that in the long-term, medication doesn’t help them beat social phobia.
However, I have seen a few cases, but those people were still taking the medication.
Therapy: this is one of your best options, in my opinion.
Cognitive behavior therapy is standard treatment for social anxiety. Though it doesn’t work for everyone, it works very well for some.
I think it’s important not just to find a qualified therapist, but also one who has dealt with social anxiety specifically. I advocate more modern behavioral therapies like Acceptance & Commitment Therapy or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive
Therapy over standard/traditional CBT.
Coaching: While some therapy approaches (though not all) put the therapist and client on different levels, and that the client needs to be “fixed”, coaching takes a different approach.
In a coaching relationship, the coach sees the client as very resourceful, and that the answers lie within them.
It’s a process of exploration into possibilities for new perspectives, beliefs and action, so that the client can live the life they want, no matter if fear or anxiety shows up or not.
I think a blending of therapy and coaching is a powerful combination, and that’s the approach I use, blending Acceptance & Commitment Therapy with supportive coaching, in working with people that have social phobia.
As a former sufferer myself, I also understand social anxiety disorder, inside-out.
No matter what you decide to do, choose to help yourself by taking the next step, whatever that is for you, in overcoming social anxiety.
If you think social anxiety coaching might be for you, feel free to read about coaching with me here.
You can also enroll in the DSA home-recovery program to finally learn how to “be rid of” social anxiety for good.