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Old 05-08-2004, 07:04 AM   #1
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archetype HB User
Best way to tackle a nagging social phobia?

I suffer from a really high case of social phobia/anxiety disorder(and probably post-traumatic stress disorder due to those) but there is one thing that I cannot find an explantion for. Eyes...usually when I encounter a SAD trigger, this is my very first reaction......my eyes will become either uncontrollably shifty, immobile(it seems like double vision), stabby and erratic. So say I'm trailing someone and they turn around, my eyes will AUTOMATICALLY go haywire as described above. It has gotten WAY out of hand and it aggrivates me that something like that can take such control over me.
Here's some more scenario's:

- Say I'm walking down the hallways it starts usually if I see someone.
- Enter any store where clerk swivels to watch you enter and greets....especially at Target when guards right at you when you come in.

At first it started off with people that triggered the SAD symptoms, but it has gotten to the point where I get this almost everytime I look at anyone's face(or if I feel them looking at me) it happens. I thought I'd outgrow it but instead it's gotten absurdly problematic as doing something so trivial shouldn't couldn't be more difficult. I know SAD left untreated can manifest a ton but something inside of my eyes has to be contributing to this. When I graduate from high school I think I defenitely have to get this corrected. But here is where I'm confused. If a go for a SAD treatment/med I'm wondering if this is just a nasty SAD trigger reaction(I've had this for a while, I know they get progressively worse) that can go away, or something seperate from SAD? Knowing this makes sure I have all my bases covered so I don't waste money.

Here's some background:

- Mom suffered through , so I know it's in my genes. Was born like 2.5 months inmmature...apparently did not talk until 3. I can click with certain people that rarely make me nervous so I doubt this is a problem

- Wen't through poor childhood - step-dad was a a-hole...lots of name-calling, put-downs, cheated/fought with mom constantly...you get the drill. Still live there but I'm not going to try any treatment until I get out of here first.

Probably because of those two factors, was very poor in fitting into school.

Usually listened to music/played videogames to keep me occupied.

so....back to main topic.

I do remember crossing my eyes a lot when I was little...as well as sitting point-blank at the TV....but I don't think these are factors. If it is a defect in the eye, it''s only triggered by anxiety triggers. I can give one other example. Like say I'm watching what I type now on the screen, if my parent comes out and I can sense/believe they can see into my eyes I'll get the weird eye reactions. So I don't want to look foolish so I'll fear that happening and then it will happen from that fear. I have seen fear of eye contact in the main symptoms box for SAD, so this might be an exagerrated case where they eye is going into some unecessary defensive mechanism. I don't know, just so I tell the person I see this it should be good.

So here is my course of action(of course saying/typing and following through with it are two different things)

Graduate High School - I've got one last qtr. left, I've made it this far so no sense of stopping now.

Take at least a year off before going to college and try to seek help. I found a job freshman year in HS, but the anxiety really made that a hardship at times until I quit recently. I don't want to go through that again so I would prefer to not work until this is corrected.

One more thing my mom is similar to me but so I don't know who to come forward to. My personal opinion of her has downgraded as I don't feel she did much at all to assist me...lol I have to get covered by Health Ins. otherwise I probably couldn't afford what I need.

Which means I'd have to:

move

Then

- Check out one of the self-help books....the one with the road analogy looks good.

That's where I could use some assistance...don't know where to go/what to do.

What do you think is the best drug for me. I know it's going to come down to that, but I am going to steer clear of the Paxil's. The elexor(sp) and something called narcil seem to be the most appropiate. How much would these run me?

Thanks.

 
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Old 05-08-2004, 09:49 AM   #2
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Musical_Muse HB User
Re: Best way to tackle a nagging social phobia?

Welcome, Archetype!
You seem very intelligent and on-the-ball, and I have no doubt that you will make your dreams a reality :-). I can't really help you with the cost of various medicines, as I have only ever been on Prozac, but I would like to tell you about something that a good guy friend of mine shared with me about himself. I think you might find it interesting...

One day, I was talking with my friend. We were talking about the notion of souls and other things like it. He asked me where I thought the soul was housed. I pointed to where I thougt it was, and then he pointed to where he thought it was. Can you guess to which part of his body he pointed? Give up? He pointed to his eyes :-). He made reference to a very famous quote (one that I have also heard, and happen to strongly agree with): "The eyes are the doorway to the soul." I then commented, "So that's why you frequently wear sunglasses." He told me that he actually wears sunglasses primarily to shade his eyes from the sun because, like me, his eyes are very sensitive to sunlight. He added, though, that he will also wear them if he doesn't want people to look into his eyes...and see deep into his inner world/soul. Interesting, huh?

I do know that many people with social anxiety do tend to avert their eyes when they are talking with people. I have always been reserved, and maybe even a bit socially anxious, and I tend to do the same thing, so I know what you and other people who suffer with anxiety are talking about.

This said, I'm not sure that you tendency to avert your eyes is a physical problem so much as a nervous habit. Of course, I'm not a doctor, so I could never diagnose you.

I just wanted to share that piece of my life with you, and wish you the best in finding what's right for you :-). I'm sure that you will find a solution.

Colleen

 
Old 05-08-2004, 04:28 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 29
archetype HB User
Re: Best way to tackle a nagging social phobia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musical_Muse
Welcome, Archetype!
You seem very intelligent and on-the-ball, and I have no doubt that you will make your dreams a reality :-). I can't really help you with the cost of various medicines, as I have only ever been on Prozac, but I would like to tell you about something that a good guy friend of mine shared with me about himself. I think you might find it interesting...

One day, I was talking with my friend. We were talking about the notion of souls and other things like it. He asked me where I thought the soul was housed. I pointed to where I thougt it was, and then he pointed to where he thought it was. Can you guess to which part of his body he pointed? Give up? He pointed to his eyes :-). He made reference to a very famous quote (one that I have also heard, and happen to strongly agree with): "The eyes are the doorway to the soul." I then commented, "So that's why you frequently wear sunglasses." He told me that he actually wears sunglasses primarily to shade his eyes from the sun because, like me, his eyes are very sensitive to sunlight. He added, though, that he will also wear them if he doesn't want people to look into his eyes...and see deep into his inner world/soul. Interesting, huh?

I do know that many people with social anxiety do tend to avert their eyes when they are talking with people. I have always been reserved, and maybe even a bit socially anxious, and I tend to do the same thing, so I know what you and other people who suffer with anxiety are talking about.

This said, I'm not sure that you tendency to avert your eyes is a physical problem so much as a nervous habit. Of course, I'm not a doctor, so I could never diagnose you.

I just wanted to share that piece of my life with you, and wish you the best in finding what's right for you :-). I'm sure that you will find a solution.

Colleen

I appreciate the thoughtful reply and story. I'm pretty sure it's a phy. issue, but another board mentioned it could be related to the nerological system as well, which seems doubtful but possible. I think in some way shape or form everyone is apprehensive at looking at certain people, but they never think or get the same reactions I do. Quite a few city bus drivers will have shades on in the middle of winter but that seems to be a preventive issue. Looking back, I guess I can understand the causes of the issue, but can't pinpoint exactly what is happening. When I got my first and only job, for like the first 6-8 months I can remember not having any problems, but then for the next year and a half plus I started to get the same kind of problems again. Maybe getting a first job lifted my spirits a bit and I just reverted back...I can't say for sure.

Last edited by archetype; 05-08-2004 at 04:29 PM.

 
Old 05-10-2004, 05:48 AM   #4
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lynn82 HB User
Re: Best way to tackle a nagging social phobia?

do you have this problem with all people? you said there are some people that you don't feel nervous around, right? so if you don't have this eye problem with everyone, i would say that it is purely a phychological problem, not a neuralogical one. because obvioulsy you dont have this when you are by yourself or just looking at some random object. why would looking at a person be any different neurologically than looking at an object. if you think about this logically, you should be able to fix this. maybe you should just practice looking at people, you know, face your fears. that is how i got over shyness. at first it sucks, but if you can somehow stop worrying what other people think then it will go away. Maybe you should talk to your mother about it, and just practice with her, or someone else you feel ok talking about it with.

 
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