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Social Anxiety Disorder/ Social Disorder

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THE LEAST UNDERSTOOD

ANXIETY DISORDER

Social Anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and criticism. The following story is about a 27-year old man named Paul (last name unknown), who suffered from social phobia and how he learned to cope with it.

Paul had been suffering with social phobia for 8-9 years. At 27 his illness became so bad the he was unable to leave his house and even unable to answer the door, speak on the phone or even talk to members of his own family face to face. Seeing a doctor wasn’t an option for him and he had never gotten treatment either. It seemed, the longer it went on the more withdrawn and reclusive he became. He used to go out at night time to post letters to avoid seeing anyone. If he would be in the house during the day and someone would knock on the door he would lock himself away and hide and shake with fear. He was prisoner in his own house for about 3-4 years. The SP, as Paul called it, was controlling every minute of his life and making it extremely unpleasant.

The only thing that kept him going all that time was his work, (he run a business from home), and normal distractions like TV and the Internet. June, of last year, he met a girl called Linda who he fell in love with after chatting on the Internet. They went from chatting occasionally on the Internet to talking on the phone for 5 hours a day or more.

15 months passed when he came clean with Linda and he told her about his disorder, he was surprised to hear that she still wanted to meet him. They had agreed on a date three weeks away, he didn’t believe it would happen and he was thinking of ways to get out of it. He couldn’t imagine how he would survive seeing her face to face, and what she would think of him. He had even thought of suicide if Linda was going to go through with seeing him.

He wrote a letter to his doctor explaining everything to him. His doctor phoned him and set up an appointment after surgery hours so he can see him. After asking him a couple of questions, he referred him to a clinical psychologist and said there was no drug treatment available for his “condition”…talking to professional helped him and made him realize that there is help out there available, no matter how bad a person is and what they think people might think, they are there and willing to help. That same day he spoke with the doctor he went and got a haircut. The time came when he had to meet Linda he was really nervous “I was physically shaking and sick all day”, Paul says. She knocked on the door, he took a very deep breath and opened the door and there she was, they said hi and they kissed. Within an hour they were in bed together and he knew from that point forward things were going to change. Getting psychological help really helped Paul

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