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Old 11-05-2008
bigvern's Avatar
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Hi all,

Glad I've found this site.

I don't get scared or nervous when I have to speak in public, I get terrified, full stop.

I've been in situations in meetings when I only have to say my name as we go around the room and I go into panic mode. The adrenaline dump is phenomenal - my legs and arms shake, I can even feel my head shaking on top of my neck. But the worst is my voice, itís not quiet itís just because I'm terrified there is an audible tremor / shake which has been noticed by others.

The funny thing is sometimes when I speak I'm reasonably ok and at other times if I had to say exactly the same things in front of the same people I'd be completely terrified - I don't know why this is.

I have taken propananol in the past but I am so bad I had to take them like smarites before they had any effect.

Can anything be done about the shaky voice - is down to the breathing or tension in the neck or the adrenaline?

Do you think some people just naturally produce more adrenaline in a given situation so giving rise to the terrified feelings?

With someone as bad as me do you think it is something I can ever get over?

Does this condition come on gradually - I remember being at secondary school and not giving a second thought to reading aloud in class etc..

I feel ashamed of myself all the time, the thing is I could tackle a knife wielding thug without thinking, but the public speaking thing is a different matter entirely. I was in police for 11 years and got commendations for bravery
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Old 11-06-2008
Iceman31's Avatar
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I relate so much to you. I'm not at all a shy person. I can talk and talk and talk for hours to some people. But, in some situations, I get terrified if I have to talk at all. I didn't used to be that way when I was young. I was the first person to volunteer to give a speech, read aloud, etc. When I got older, I developed panic disorder triggered only by certain social situations.

I'm currently unemployed because of this problem. I don't understand what brought it all about over the past few years. Even if I run into people who make me really uncomfortable, this panicky feeling sometimes comes over me.

I've had panic attacks in social situations like you described (classrooms, etc). To others, they really didn't even notice, or thought I was just tired or out of it.

I believe it's just the fear of the fear. We've trained ourselves somehow to become panicky over something that is so silly. It's like allowing your anxiety to drive you crazy. I never get this way but in situations where I have to talk, but I'm not a shy person. Go figure!

I've also taken beta blockers (metrprononal) to avoid panick in these type of situations, but the doctor decided that I shouldn't take them all the time for panic disorder. That's the only medicine that ever worked for me. As you say, it's a crazy "adrenaline rush", and you have no control. It just strikes and leaves you paralyzed. But nothing stops it for me except distraction or beta blockers.

Serendym (natural herb combination) has helped me a little bit with social situations that make me not quite as nervous.

Stay in touch and take care.
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Old 11-06-2008
Helyna's Avatar
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Well, the shaky voice is an effect of the anxiety. If you can lower your anxiety, you should talk better. Speech therapy might also help, but I'm not sure. The best thing is Cognative Behavioral Therapy, which you can do alone (with a book) or with a therapist. Careful with therapists, though, since a lot of them misunderstand social anxiety. Yes, it often progresses gradually and starts in teenage or young adult years. I think you have a good chance of getting over this if you figure out what to do.

I feel ashamed of myself all the time, the thing is I could tackle a knife wielding thug without thinking, but the public speaking thing is a different matter entirely. I was in police for 11 years and got commendations for bravery
Dumb as it is, I think it's incredibly cool that your fears go in that order.
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