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Social Anxiety vs Generalized Anxiety

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Old 02-16-2010, 06:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Tampa, FL USA
Posts: 7
timberface HB User
Post Social Anxiety vs Generalized Anxiety

Hello, I have had social anxiety my entire life, though I was not formally diagnosed until I was 19 or 20. Through forcing myself to be in social situations, I have made them bearable. From kindergarten through high school graduation, I had very few friends, and I was painfully shy--whenever someone would talk to me I'd instantly get the deer in the headlights look and get extremely nervous and skittish and tense. I'd just sort of stand there shaking and unable to talk. Fortunately, it was a fairly small school and most of the people I went to school with were understanding and came to accept me for it.
In college, I got a job as a cashier, which forced me to talk to dozens of new people every day and make small talk. At first I was so nervous I was stammering and running to the bathroom every chance I got to throw up from nerves. But I forced myself to keep on. I found it helped a lot. After college, I joined the Army, where I learned to use my "outdoor" voice and speak up.
So, though I rarely initiate conversations, when someone talks to me I have hardly any problem chit chatting now. I've gone from almost freakish to being described by my acquaintances as "weird, but nice." I don't think social anxiety is my problem anymore.
However, I've found that my anxiety-induced IBS isn't getting any better. I'm beginning to wonder if this could mean I have generalized anxiety. I tend to get anxious about more things than most people, and much more often. Even things that have nothing to do with social situations. I just didn't notice it before, because I was so focused on overcoming the social anxiety.

What is my first step here? I do not have a lot of time to schedule appointments with counselors, since I am in the Army and I'm a few weeks away from going to Iraq? Are there any techniques or supplements anyone can recommend?

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