Don't take this the wrong way, but you sound like a fool. 99% is a morbid and absolute statistic with a very unrealistic approach to the disability. I've had S.A.D for nearly 7 years, and I've made major progress towards living a normal life. I hold a respectable job at a place where being social is required(College Computer Lab), I attend parties on a regular basis, I make friends, I go out to eat, and I've gone days, weeks, even further without having a single panic attack.
Most of what you said is true, but the fact is when you say ''99%'' you demoralize and destroy peoples hope for conquering S.A.D
Ghost - you achieve your goals by setting them and going for it. An example would be if you want to have a great love life, you don't set the goal: "I want to be just like my friend xyz and be a real player." Instead, you set the goal "I would enjoy my love life if I went on a date with a new, attractive woman at least once per week."
Make sense? That way you can gauge your progress without comparison. If previously you dated one new woman per 6 months, and suddenly, on your way to your goal, you are getting 2 new dates every 6 mos. you can feel good about that. If you achieve the goal and find it is not enough, you can adjust the goal, and shoot for that. You can do all this without comparing yourself to others. No one else matters in the achievement of your goals. Comparing yourself to others will only insure that you always fail. Its a negative mindset.
Anxiety disorders are due to a biological dysfunction in the brain. They are not shyness. So, yeah, CBT can go a long way to helping you deal with SA, but I think meds play a big role in addressing the biological aspect. And for those that will say there isn't a biological part, why do think some SSRI's and benzo's work so well in dealing with anxiety and phobias? I have tried CBT and positive thinking for years, and exposure, but I'm still very anxious even though it's alot better than before. So now I'm on meds and will continue with CBT.
Don't know about the '99% will never get over it' statistic. But the DSM-4 says this about Social Phobia (aka Social Anxiety Disorder): ' The course of Social Phobia is often continuous. Duration is frequently lifelong, although the disorder may attenuate in severity or remit during adulthood' (page 453, DSM-4-TR).
CBT is not at all flawed there are numerous studies to support its effectiveness. It is also a proven psychological FACT that any fear which is not biologically programmed such as fear of heights can be totally overcome by continuous exposure to it.
the fact is when you say ''99%'' you demoralize and destroy peoples hope for conquering S.A.D
I don't think this is demoralising but what it does point out is that you have to go beyond what most people are capable of if you want to overcome it. Anyone can get over this with enough work. ANYONE. It is illogical to think otherwise.
CBT is a simple, practical common sense approach to overcoming anxiety, obsessions and so on.
It may not work for some people but it works for many. This proves CBT itself does nothing from it's own side, the real power of any healing comes from within a person.
Any method for overcoming anxiety or anything else must be tested by oneself because everyone is different and unique. This is why the wish to overcome, the wish to be from what i call 'SA LIFE' is so important. A life controlled by anxiety is not real life. This life is dysfunctional. This is why this wish must be strong else a person will not really test and see for themself. They will remain in a subtle depressive state with SA being dominant.
When a person really wants to test these methods, they will test them fully and find things that work for them. They will realise from within what helps.
This isn't to say people have not been testing methods to get better, maybe that person has not found the right therapy yet which helps. The point is that all therapies work depending on the person but we have to be committed to being free of SA life.
I think all you people complaining about the statistics behind shield's post are completely missing the point. It's not about statistics. He's just trying to say that these are the causes that hold almost all SA people back in their progress, and if we learn to overcome these, we CAN recover. It doesn't mean 99% CAN'T recover-- it only means 99% won't, UNLESS (that's a big "unless") they scale those 5 or 6 barriers. Maybe EVERYBODY can overcome it, huh?
Great post, shield. I agree with most of your post, although some of it was stereotypical. Not all SA sufferers fall into these categories. But generally, your post was accurate. If there is a cure, it will take time and effort.
This is one of the most important threads on this website.
It would be really good if it stayed active. Perhaps this is the real "Keep this thread alive or the world will end" thread.
It is a "self-help" thread. If you know what the hurdles are, then you can counter-act them.
The points made ring true. I am sure many people here have made those mistakes.
If you think something is impossible, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, since that very thought makes it so. That is why people give up at the first hurdle. A similar thread pointed out that rejection is common for everybody. So giving up at the first hurdle is inappropriate. Focus on the process, not the destination.
I dont realy know howto explain this properly... but....
I think the terms "SA" / "SP" etc etc is the problem.
While I agree 100% the condition is real ( i know exactly what its like to be anxious/go crazy/avoid social situations) it seems like its very easy to go "nah i wont go out tonight because I have SA/SP". Its like making an excuse without even trying something.
I don't disagree with what you've written. I find your points insightful and inspiring, but I don't know whether I can agree with your numbers. 99%? Claiming that 99% of us won't overcome social anxiety seems somewhat unrealistic. Lets consider how negative thought patterns already serve to hold many of us back from living up to our potential.