I am 17 years old and live in Canada. My problem started 3 years ago. Normally, I am a very confident person. However, when I am under pressure my hands tend to shake noticeably. I also begin to have shortness of breath, shaky voice and sweaty hands when I shake. I get very embarrassed when this happens and focus more on my shaking hands rather than the presentation. Many people in class tend to laugh at me when this occurs which doesn't make things better. My hands especially shake when I am holding something in my hand or doing things that require precision like in chemistry class when pouring chemicals. I now go into every presentation worrying whether my hands will shake or not, up to the point where I am beginning to fear presentations. I took music class in high school. When the class plays together or when I practice by myself, I am fine. However, when I have to do a solo in front of the class or during the music playing test my hands begin to shake. As mentioned before, I am very confident in my presentations and my work and I have excellent academic records. However this condition is slowly damaging my confidence and preventing me from doing the best I can do or being the best I can be socially and academically. My shaking also happens when I am about to get in a fight with someone (My legs shake in this situation as well). I am not a cowardly person nor do I have low self-esteem. I am brave and think highly of my self. My dream ever since I was a child was to become a dentist. But as you know it requires lots of work with precision. This job also requires a steady hand. I don't want to have to give up this dream because of my shaky hands. I told my parents about this and they told me that I just need to practice and I will be fine but that doesn't seem to work. I never took a music class after that one. I am not a smoker nor am I taking any drugs and I don't see why this is happening. Please help me out!!!! Other people get nervous too but this doesn't happen to them. The school year is starting soon and I want to get rid of the problem before that. I feel like I have to mention that ever since I was little my parents have had high expectations of my brothers and I, so I have always tried hard to impress them and not disappoint them. This goes the same for my teachers. What really causes this and how can I stop it? Is there some sort of medicine to solve my problem? Please help me!!!!
It seems to me that the high expectations and pressures from your parents and your need to impress them or not let them down is probably at the root of this shaking problem. Your fear causes your body to betray you - to sabotage your success. Even the fact that you dream of being a dentist is obviously related to this "handicap." If you wanted to create a symptom or problem that would keep you from succeeding in your chosen destiny - then shaky hands would be the perfect thing! Maybe deep down inside, you actually don't want to be a dentist, but you decided that it would make your parents happy if you did. (Just guessing here).
Regardless of the inner conflict under this performance anxiety, doing EFT/Meridian Tapping would be one of the most helpful, easiest and fastest methods of eliminating the shaking hands. No question. It may also lead you to a deeper insight about the real root cause -which could then be remedied through tapping as well.
If you go to a doctor, most likely then will give you some harsh drug that will "calm" your body down; possibly an antianxiety medication like klonipin, ativan or buspar. These drugs all have potential negative side affects and many cause dependence and in the long term often create more problems then they alleviate. Although for an acute crisis or episodic severe anxiety, some of these meds can be a welcome relief. I vote for tapping.
Talking it out with an insightful therapist could also be very helpful.
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist
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