(Granite City, IL)
Hi, I'm wondering if you might be able to help me with something. I think I may have social anxiety disorder, but I'm not sure. I'm 22 and I have never gotten a license because I am too afraid to take the driving test. The thought of someone sitting next to me judging everything I do terrifies me. I'm afraid I'm going to get into a wreck. I'm not afraid of driving, because when I had my permit I drove a little and I was fine. Also, I've never really had a job. Once, again, the thought of being watched and judged really makes me nervous and extremely uncomfortable. I had one job briefly, but I was a tutor and mostly worked unsupervised. I'm not afraid of crowds. I like to go to big events where there are lots of people. When I'm walking by myself though I feel like people are staring at me. Does this sound like social anxiety disorder? Is there anything I can do personally or should I go talk to someone? Thank you for the help.
Yes, this does sound like social anxiety. The label is not so important. Anxiety is anxiety. Some people have anxiety around dogs. Some have anxiety around people who might be watching or judging them. This is actually more like a "specific phobia." On your own, the thing I would recommend most is EFT/Meridian Tapping. Tapping on "energy points" on your body while focusing on the images, experiences and things that evoke the most anxiety for you, can have a very rapid and profoundly positive (and often permanent) effect on these fears.
Beyond that, talking to a therapist could be helpful too.
With anxiety, the general rule is: avoidance increases the anxiety in the long run. Exposure to what you fear, gradually diminishes your anxiety in the long run.
EFT speeds up the process greatly.
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist