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OfflineFungi_x
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The third largest psychological problem in the world
    #1849862 - 08/25/03 11:31 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Im posting this because I hope it will help someone, I suffer from a ANXIETY disorder called "SAD" (social anxiety disorder) and reading posts in here I see alot of people here have symptoms of SAD.

WHAT IS SOCIAL ANXIETY?
Social anxiety is the third largest psychological problem
in the world today...

but few people understand this...

Definition: Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated by other people. If a person usually becomes anxious in social situations, but seems fine when they are alone, then "social anxiety" may be the problem.

Perceptions: People with social anxiety are many times seen by others as being shy, quiet, backward, withdrawn, inhibited, unfriendly, nervous, aloof, and disinterested. People with social anxiety want to be "normal" socially, they want to make friends and they want to be involved and engaged in social interactions.

A woman hates to stand in line in the grocery store because she's afraid that everyone is watching her. She knows that it's not really true, but she can't shake the feeling. While she is shopping, she is conscious of the fact that people might be staring at her from the big mirrors on the inside front of the ceiling. Now, she has to talk to the person who's checking out her groceries. She tries to smile, but her voice comes out weakly. She's sure she's making a fool of herself. Her self-consciousness and anxiety rise to the roof...

Another person sits in front of the telephone and agonizes because she's afraid to pick up the receiver and make a call. She's even afraid to call an unknown person in a business office about the electric bill because she's afraid she'll be "putting someone out" and they will be upset with her. It's very hard for her to take rejection, even over the phone, even from someone she doesn't know. She's especially afraid to call people she does know because she feels that she'll be calling at the wrong time -- the other person will be busy -- and they won't want to talk with her. She feels rejected even before she makes the call. Once the call is made and over, she sits, analyzes, and ruminates about what was said, what tone it was said in, and how she was perceived by the other person....her anxiety and racing thoughts concerning the call prove to her that she "goofed" this conversation up, too, just like she always does. Sometimes she gets embarrassed just thinking about the call.

A man finds it difficult to walk down the street because he's self-conscious and feels that people are watching him from their windows. Worse, he may run into a person on the sidewalk and be forced to say hello to them. He's not sure he can do that. His voice will catch, his "hello" will sound weak, and the other person will know he's frightened. More than anything else, he doesn't want anyone to know that he's afraid. He keeps his eyes safely away from anyone else's gaze and prays he can make it home without having to talk to anyone.

A man hates to go to work because a meeting is scheduled the next day. He knows that these meetings always involve co-workers talking with each other about their current projects. Just the thought of speaking in front of co-workers raises his anxiety. Sometimes he can't sleep the night before because of the anticipatory anxiety that builds up. Finally, the meeting is over. A big wave of relief spills over him as he begins to relax. But the memory of the meeting is still uppermost in his mind. He is convinced he made a fool of himself and that everyone in the room saw how afraid he was when he spoke, and how stupid he acted in their presence. At next week's meeting, the boss is going to be there. Even though this meeting is seven days away, his stomach turns raw with anxiety and fear floods over him again. He knows that in front of the boss he'll stammer, hesitate, his face will turn red, he won't remember what to say, and everyone will witness his embarrassment and humiliation. He has seven miserable days of anxiety ahead of him -- to think about it, ruminate over it, worry about it, over-exaggerate it in his mind.......again and again and again.....

A student won't attend her university classes on the first day because she knows that in some classes the professor will instruct them to go around the room and introduce themselves. Just thinking about sitting there, waiting to introduce herself to a roomful of strangers who will be staring at her makes her feel nauseous. She knows she won't be able to think clearly because her anxiety will be so high, and she is sure she will leave out important details. Her voice might even quiver and she will sound scared and tentative. The anxiety is just too much to bear---so she skips the first day of class to avoid the possibility of having to introduce herself in class.

Another young man wants to go to parties and other social events---indeed, he is very, very lonely---but he never goes anywhere because he's very nervous about meeting new people. Too many people will be there and crowds only make things worse for him. The thought of meeting new people scares him---will he know what to say? Will they stare at him and make him feel even more insignificant? Will they reject him outright? Even if they seem nice, they're sure to notice his frozen look and his inability to fully smile. They'll sense his discomfort and tenseness and they won't like him --- there's just no way to win --- "I'm always going to be an outcast," he predicts. And he spends the night alone, at home, watching television again. He feels comfortable at home. In fact, home is the only place he does feel completely comfortable. He hasn't gone anywhere else in twelve years.

In public places, such as work, meetings, or shopping, people with social anxiety feel that everyone is watching, staring, and judging them (even though rationally they know this isn't true). The socially anxious person can't relax, "take it easy", and enjoy themselves in public. In fact, they can never fully relax when other people are around. It always feels like others are evaluating them, being critical of them, or "judging" them in some way. The person with social anxiety knows that people don't do this openly, of course, but they still feel the self-consciousness and judgment while they are in the other person's presence. It's sometimes impossible to let go, relax, and focus on anything else except the anxiety and fear. Because the anxiety is so very painful, it's much easier just to stay away from social situations and avoid other people altogether.

Many times people with social anxiety simply must be alone---closeted---with the door closed behind them. Even when they're around familiar people, a person with social anxiety may feel overwhelmed and have the feeling that others are noticing their every movement and critiquing their every thought. They feel like they are being observed critically and that other people are making negative judgments about them.

One of the worst circumstances, though, is meeting people who are "authority figures". Especially people such as bosses and supervisors at work, but including almost anyone who is seen as being "better" than they are in some respect. People with social anxiety may get a lump in their throat and their facial muscles may freeze up when they meet this person. The anxiety level is very high and they're so focused on "not failing" and "giving themselves away" that they don't even remember what was said in the conversation. But later on, they're sure they must have said the wrong thing.....because they always do.

How is it ever possible to feel "comfortable" or "natural" under these circumstances?

To the person with social anxiety, going to a job interview is pure torture: you know your excessive anxiety will give you away. You'll look funny, you'll be hesitant, maybe you'll even blush, and you won't be able to find the right words to answer the questions coherently. Maybe this is the worst part of all: You know that you are going to say the wrong thing. You just know it. It is especially frustrating because you know you could do the job well if you could just get past this terrifying and intimidating interview.

Welcome to the world of the socially anxious.

Social anxiety is the third largest psychological problem in the United States today. This type of anxiety affects 15 million Americans in any given year. Unlike some other psychological problems, social anxiety is not well understood by the general public or by medical and mental health care professionals, such as doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and counselors. In fact, people with social anxiety are misdiagnosed almost 90% of the time. People with social phobia come to our anxiety clinic labeled as "schizophrenic", "manic-depressive", "clinically depressed", "panic disordered", and "personality disordered", among other damaging misdiagnoses.

Because few socially-anxious people have heard of their own problem, and have never seen it discussed on any media, such as the television talk shows, they think they are the only ones in the whole world who have these terrible symptoms. Therefore, they must keep quiet about them. It would be awful if everyone realized how much anxiety they experienced in daily life. Then what would people think about them? Unfortunately, without some kind of education, knowledge, and appropriate treatment, social phobia/social anxiety continues to wreak havoc throughout their lives. Adding to the dilemma, when a person with social anxiety finally gets up the nerve to seek help, the chances that they can find it are very, very slim.

Making the situation more difficult is that social anxiety does not come and go like some other physical and psychological problems. If you have social anxiety one day......you have it every day for the rest of your life.....

The feelings I described to you at the beginning of the article are those of people with social anxiety disorder. That is, their symptoms apply to most social events and functions in almost every area of life. I suffered from social anxiety myself for twenty years before I ever saw the term or read about its symptoms in a book. (The first book that specifically dealt with social phobia was not published until the 1990's.)

As with all problems, everyone with social anxiety has slightly different secondary symptoms. Some people, for example, cannot write in public because they fear people are watching and their hand will shake. Others are very introverted and they find it too difficult to hold down a job. Still others have severe anxiety about eating or drinking in the presence of other people. Some people with social anxiety feel that a certain part of their body (such as the face or neck) are particularly "strange looking" and vulnerable to being stared at. Others experience a muscle spasm (usually around the neck and shoulders) and it becomes the center of their focus ---"it's so embarrassing that if someone sees it I will be humiliated forever!"

One thing that all socially anxious people share is the knowledge that their thoughts and fears are basically irrational. That is, people with social anxiety know that others are really not critically judging or evaluating them all the time. They understand that people are not trying to embarrass or humiliate them. They realize that their thoughts and feelings are somewhat exaggerated and irrational. Yet, despite this rational knowledge, they still continue to feel differently.

It is these automatic "feelings" and thoughts that occur around social situations that must be met and conquered in therapy. Usually these anxious feelings are tied to thoughts that are entwined in a vicious cycle of negative expectations and negative appraisals. It is a catch-22 situation: there is no way out without the appropriate therapy.

Here comes the good part.

How can social anxiety be treated? Many therapeutic methods have been studied, but cognitive-behavioral therapy is the only modality that has been shown to work effectively. In fact, treatment of social anxiety through cognitive-behavioral methods has the capacity to produce long-lasting, permanent relief from the anxiety-laden world of social anxiety.

Social anxiety responds to relatively short-term therapy, depending on the severity of the condition. I have seen significant progress in just twelve individual sessions, although most people respond better with sixteen to twenty-four meetings. To overcome social anxiety, completion of a behavioral therapy group is also essential (when people feel ready for this and not before).

What socially anxious people do not need is years and years of therapy or counseling. You can't be "counseled" out of social phobia. In fact, socially anxious people who are taught to "analyze" and "ruminate" over their problems usually make their social anxiety and fears much worse, which in turn leads to depression, which just reinforces the fact that "I will never get better". (Shudder...this statement does NOT have to be true.)

THERE IS A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL PEOPLE WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY. Without treatment, social anxiety is a torturous and horrible emotional problem; with treatment, its bark is worse than its bite. Add to this that current research is clear that cognitive-behavioral therapy is highly successful in the treatment of social anxiety. In fact, the people who are unsuccessful are the ones who are not persistent in their practice and who won't stick with simple methods and techniques at home. They are the ones who give up.

If a person is motivated to end the years and years of crippling anxiety, then cognitive-behavioral treatment provides the methods, techniques, and strategies that come together to lessen the anxiety and make the world a much more enjoyable place.

Many of us have been through the crippling fears and constant anxiety that social phobia produces -- and have come out healthier and happier on the other side. You can too.

---Thomas A. Richards, Ph.D.
Psychologist
----------------------
Triggering Symptoms: People with social anxiety usually experience significant distress in the following situations:

Being introduced to other people
Being teased or criticized
Being the center of attention
Social situations where the person exhibits excessive self-consciousness
Being watched or observed while doing something
Having to say something in a formal, public situation
Meeting people in authority ("important people/authority figures")
Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations ("I don?t know what to say.")
Embarrassing easily (e.g., blushing)
Meeting other peoples? eyes
Swallowing, writing, talking, making phone calls if in public

This list is not a complete list of symptoms -- other symptoms may be associated with social anxiety as well.

Emotional Symptoms: The feelings that accompany social anxiety include anxiety, intense fear, nervousness, automatic negative thinking cycles, racing heart, blushing, excessive sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling, and muscle twitches.

Constant, intense anxiety is the most common feature.

Insight: People with social anxiety know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make logical sense. Nevertheless, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and show no signs of going away, without appropriate treatment.

Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety has been markedly successful. Thousands of research studies now indicate that, after CBT, people with social anxiety disorder report a changed life -- one that is no longer controlled by fear and anxiety.

National Institutes of Mental Health-funded studies report a very high success rate using cognitive therapy and a behavioral therapy group. Both are essential to alleviating anxiety symptoms associated with social anxiety disorder.

Medication: Social anxiety medication is useful for many people, and psychologists and therapists should work with the persons? medical doctor and/or psychiatrist if at all possible. For cases of generalized social anxiety, research indicates use of the anti-anxiety agents, and certain antidepressants in conjunction with CBT has proven most beneficial. As to antidepressants, the MAOIs have the highest success rate when combined with CBT. Medication without CBT has proven to be only temporarily helpful.

Prognosis: Markedly good. People completing CBT training report a high success ratio. In the NIMH longitudinal studies, people continued to report progress after the CBT behavioral group therapy was over.

Treatment Specialties: Social anxiety, as well as the other anxiety disorders, can be successfully treated today. In seeking help for this problem, we recommend searching for a specialist -- someone who understands this problem well and knows how to treat it. Social anxiety treatment must include an active behavioral therapy group, where members can work on their "fear" hierarchies in the group, and later, in real-life situations.

Differential Diagnosis and Comorbidity: Social anxiety disorder is one of the five anxiety disorders as listed in the DSM-IV.

Social anxiety is many times mixed up with panic disorder. People with social anxiety do not experience panic attacks, in which the principal fear is of having a medical problem (e.g., heart attack). People with social anxiety realize that it is anxiety and fear that they are experiencing. They may say things like "It was awful and I panicked!", but, when questioned, they are talking about feeling highly anxious. They are not talking about the fear of having a medical problem. People with social anxiety tend not to go to hospital emergency rooms after an anxiety problem. People with panic disorder many times go to hospital emergency rooms, because they feel there is something medically and physically wrong with them.

High rates of alcoholism and other substance abuse, family difficulties and problems, lack of personal relationships, and difficulty in obtaining and continuing with employment are among the everyday problems experienced by many people with social anxiety disorder.

Lack of professional and knowledgeable therapists is the biggest and most relevant problem to overcoming social anxiety. While we know it can be done, and a vast amount of clinical and research evidence supports this, overcoming social anxiety is difficult because of the scarcity of treatment options for people with this persistent anxiety disorder.

For more information visit these links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...der&spell=1

Please check The Social Anxiety Institute Mailing List List for current reports. These groups are continuing to grow and the weekly social anxiety mailing list carries current information.


--------------------

HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!


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OfflineMickel
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Registered: 02/25/03
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Fungi_x]
    #1850057 - 08/26/03 12:44 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

yeah I know I have it. Tell us more about your situation though.

I'm like this guyAnother young man wants to go to parties and other social events---indeed, he is very, very lonely---but he never goes anywhere because he's very nervous about meeting new people. Too many people will be there and crowds only make things worse for him. The thought of meeting new people scares him---will he know what to say? Will they stare at him and make him feel even more insignificant? Will they reject him outright? Even if they seem nice, they're sure to notice his frozen look and his inability to fully smile. They'll sense his discomfort and tenseness and they won't like him --- there's just no way to win --- "I'm always going to be an outcast," he predicts. And he spends the night alone, at home, watching television again. He feels comfortable at home. In fact, home is the only place he does feel completely comfortable.


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Fungi_x]
    #1850252 - 08/26/03 01:44 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Interesting read. I definitely have social anxiety, and after reading that, I'd like to get some therapy for it. But I really don't want to go on meds. I don't want to take a cocktail of pharms to turn me into a social butterfly, but I'd rather talk to someone for an hour every week about tips and ways to overcome social anxiety.
Are there any good therapies in NZ to do with social anxiety?


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Invisibleutopianglory
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Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 965
Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Sheepish]
    #1850350 - 08/26/03 02:26 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

I used to have that bad, really bad.  A mere slight gaze from a person would trigger in me so much anxiety and paranoia that I would think they wanted to beat me up.

I have got through most of it with my own brand of therapy.  I don't have a name for it but basically I have over the years taken every opportunity to make a public humiliation of myself.. store PA's, running through malls screaming.. anything that would break down barriers that I felt were holding me back.

I still remain extremely inebriated when the subject comes to women though.  Never had any guts there - maybe if things had not gone the way they did when I was a little younger that might not be the case.  I blame societies cruelty in general really.  Rather than fix the problem I endure.. but every now and again it hurts. 

I'm not complaining btw, I don't find hope in telling people my problems.  But since I'm nobody here I can put it into words.

In short, if you are scared there is nothing like breaking down barriers.  Its simple really, just pick somewhere where you are joe smith the pedestrian. 

Now if only I could get over the fact that everybody seems really boring in social situations. :smile: 


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OfflineFungi_x
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: utopianglory]
    #1850677 - 08/26/03 07:52 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Wow, In searching for SAD support in NZ I cam apon this: One in every seven New Zealanders has problems with anxiety or depression at some point
in their life.

http://www.flixotide.co.nz/Aropax/index-flash.asp


--------------------

HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!


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OfflineSev
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Registered: 06/06/03
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Fungi_x]
    #1850782 - 08/26/03 10:09 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

I thought SAD was Seasonal Affective Disorder -- that winter depression thing.  Damned confusing acronymns.  :smile:


--------------------
"Do we want the stars? We can have them. Can we borrow cups of fire from the sun? We can and must and light the world." --"On the Shoulders of Giants", Ray Bradbury

All of my posts are full of fiction and blatant lies.


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OfflineFungi_x
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Sev]
    #1850797 - 08/26/03 10:22 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

acronymn: "FINE" (Fucked Up, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional)

Remember that the next time your trying to find out whats wrong with a person and they say there "fine"


--------------------

HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!


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OfflineLaxy
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Registered: 08/11/03
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Fungi_x]
    #1851516 - 08/26/03 03:34 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Let me ask you this. WHO IN THE FUCK DOESN'T HAVE SOCIAL ANXIETY.


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OfflineFungi_x
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Laxy]
    #1851727 - 08/26/03 04:40 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

The question is who has it and is not aware they don't have to feel that way and that its a disorder.


--------------------

HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!


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Offlinejarby
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Fungi_x]
    #1852231 - 08/26/03 07:16 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

I have it. I'm also very paranoid about some stupid things, like the size of my small wrists :smile:


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InvisibleAdden
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: jarby]
    #1853282 - 08/27/03 12:46 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

I have/had it, to a minor degree. It started when I got reconstructive shoulder surgery from weightlifting and fell out of shape. It sucked. The last two years have been the hardest of my life, in this case.

I went to counsellors, tried meds. Nothing worked. A friend gave me good advice: FUCK EVERYONE ELSE. Uh-oh, the man who goes home and beats his wife thinks my shirt is ugly. Fuck him. Who is anyone to judge anyone else?

Don't like my hair? Don't like the way I dress? Don't like me because I'm black/white/hispanic/blue/purple/it-doesn't-even-matter. Who gives a shit about what anyone thinks.

Get out there, do your thing, and have a blast. We've only got one life to live. Live yours, don't try to live by someone else's standards.

2dope


--------------------



Outdoor Mushroom Cultivation


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OfflineMorbidHamster
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: jarby]
    #1863840 - 08/29/03 10:19 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

jarby said:
I have it. I'm also very paranoid about some stupid things, like the size of my small wrists :smile: 




Omg me to, if your being serious of course, im paranoid to fuck.  :crazy: I get uptight about most things, drives me mad at times  :smirk: 


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Offlinemoosehead
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Fungi_x]
    #1864707 - 08/30/03 03:19 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

My anxiety causes me to hear voices


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OfflineLaxy
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Registered: 08/11/03
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: moosehead]
    #1868704 - 08/31/03 05:30 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Hey man, that is definately not something to take lightly. Hearing voices is a sign of schizophrenia. I'm not saying you are schziophrenic, but if you really do hear voices you need to go see a pyschatrist ASAP. Just my 2 cents.


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OfflineLarrythescaryrexS
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Laxy]
    #1869481 - 08/31/03 11:24 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

well come to my world.

think maybe I can get on Xanax?


--------------------
RIP Acidic_Sloth

Sunset_Mission said:
"larry the scary rex
verily scary when thoroughly vexed
invoke the shadows and dust, cast a hex
mercifully massacring memories masterfully
relocate from Ur to 8th density and become a cosmic bully
mulder and scully couldn't decipher his glyphs
invoke the shadows and dust, smoke infernal spliffs"
April 24th 2011


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Anonymous #1

Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Larrythescaryrex]
    #1869707 - 09/01/03 12:20 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I have it....and took paxil for a couple years...I just decided to quit and fight it out on my own a few days ago....this move has actually given me more confidence and I'm glad I did it....I no longer have the sexual side effects or the feeling of always being burned out.....hopefully I won't need huge amounts of shrooms for trips now as well :laugh:

realizing you have it is def the first step....you feel like a freak beforehand....once you know its a disorder you can gain confidence back....but it dosen't happen over night....and meds might be the answer for some ppl....I just don't like the idea of taking a pill everyday...plus paxil is known to be addictive(and I went through some withdrawl myself but it seems to be gone now)


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OfflineFungi_x
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: ]
    #1869752 - 09/01/03 12:45 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Paxil is evil... I can not live without orgasims.


--------------------

HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!


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Anonymous #1

Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Fungi_x]
    #1869797 - 09/01/03 01:08 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

after a while I COULD have orgasms again....but they were harder to come by :laugh: and they were not as good


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OfflineFungi_x
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Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: ]
    #1869829 - 09/01/03 01:16 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Yeah, It was kinda nice for a bit being able to go for a long long long time... but only for a little bit :wink:


--------------------

HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!


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Invisiblelongshot
title of what?

Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 247
Loc: Farther North than you
Re: The third largest psychological problem in the world [Re: Fungi_x]
    #1869924 - 09/01/03 02:05 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)


Unless you really have problems and need strong anti-psychotics, just stay away from all of those BS pills! They are shit or a crutch. Sometimes they do have a legit role, but not the way they are given to everyone at the drop of a hat nowadays.

When I was young they just called it "Insecurity" and told us to grow up.


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