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 inferiority.
Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression. If a person usually becomes anxious in social situations, but seems fine when they are alone, then “social anxiety” may be the problem.
A specific social anxiety would be the fear of speaking in front of groups, whereas generalized social phobia indicates that the person is anxious, nervous, and uncomfortable in almost all social situations.
People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant emotional distress in the following types of situations:
· Being introduced to other people
· Being teased or criticized
· Being the center of attention
· Being watched while doing something
· Meeting people in authority (“important people”)
· Most social encounters, especially with strangers
· Going around the room (or table) in a circle and having to say something
The physiological manifestations that accompany social anxiety may include intense fear, racing heart, turning red or blushing, excessive sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling, swallowing with difficulty, and muscle twitches.
Constant, intense anxiety that does not go away is the most common feature.
People with social anxiety disorder know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make “head” sense. Nevertheless, “knowing” something is never the same thing as “believing” and “feeling” something. Thus, in people with social anxiety, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and show no signs of going away despite the fact that socially-anxious people “face their fears” every day of their lives.
Source: http://www.social-anxiety-network.com/define.html (abridged)
1. I accept that I’m not perfect, and there’s no perfect time – Too many people are hanging around and waiting for the perfect opportunity – or the time when they are perfect and have all the skills they need. But life rewards effort; so get out there and work hard … and eventually you’ll find that you succeed and reach your goals.
2. I can’t please everyone no matter how hard I try – No matter what you do or how hard you try there will always be someone who’s disgruntled or upset. So, don’t look for affirmation; just do what you think’s right.
3. I will participate in something I believe in – It doesn’t really matter what activity you choose, as long as it is something that ignites your passion … as this will bring fulfilment and true meaning to your life.
4. I will learn to prioritise and do what matters first – We all get distracted by what seems to be most urgent … or something that is fun and makes life less of a burden. But if you’re going to succeed you need to set priorities. Don’t allow what’s less important to distract you from your course.
5. I will be select when it comes to choosing friends – We’re influenced and shaped by the people we spend time with. Their impact is profound – even though this is subconscious. So be wise in who you choose to be your confidantes and friends. Surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you.
6. I will be there for others, and will help them if I can – In life, we reap what we sow – and that’s a crucial principle. That means the more that you help others, the more they will help you.
7. I will choose to focus on the positives – Our thoughts affect our feelings and the ways that we behave. If you don’t expect success then it’s likely you will fail – in your work, relationships and life in general. So listen to your self talk … and straighten out your thinking … and start to focus on the positives!
8. I will true to myself – You can’t be happy living someone else’s life. You need to discover and develop your own authentic self.That’s when you’re truly beautiful, and life feels meaningful.
9. I will live in the present and enjoy the “now” – The past is gone and the future isn’t promised. Life is happening in this moment, so cease the day and enjoy “now”.
10. I will look for the good and be thankful for each day – Life is full of gifts, if we will only stop and notice. If we choose to be thankful, and treasure all life’s gifts, then we’ll find our lives are filled with joy and happiness – and the hurts and disappointments won’t weigh us down as much.
1. Remember that people can’t see how you feel. Act as if you’re feeling calm and no-one will know how nervous you are inside.
2. Before speaking, visualise yourself giving a great talk and capturing the audience’s full attention. Often we create what we imagine in life.
3. Use positive self-talk. You need to be there for yourself at this time, and to affirm that “you can do it”, and that you’re going to do well. Don’t undermine your confidence or be self-critical.
4. Recognize that a degree of anxiety in normal, and is experienced by all the best speakers, actors and performers. In fact, that extra dose of adrenalin can actually enable you to do your very best.
5. “To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.” Make sure “you know your stuff” and have prepared well in advance. Rehearse and practice well as that will give you confidence.
Approach your studies with a positive attitude
Arrange your schedule to eliminate distractions
Select a reasonable chunk of material to study
Survey the headings, graphics, pre- and post questions to get an overview
Scan the text for keywords and vocabulary: mark what you don’t understand
P: Piece together the parts:
Put aside your books and notes
Piece together what you’ve studied,either alone, with a study pal or group:
summarize what you understand.
Investigate alternative sources of information you can refer to:
other text books, websites, experts, tutors, etc.
Inquire from support professionals (academic support, librarians, tutors, teachers, experts,) and other resources for assistance
Inspect what you did not understand.
Reexamine the content | Reflect on the material | Relay understanding
Reexamine: What questions are there yet to ask? Is there something I am missing?
Reflect: How can I apply this to my project? Is there a new application for it?
Relay: Can I explain this to my fellow students? Will they understand it better if I do?
Evaluate your grades on tests and tasks: look for a pattern
Examine your progress: toward achieving your goals
Explore options: with a teacher, support professional, tutor, parent if you are not satisfied.
A common question asked of clinicians is, “What’s the difference between bipolar depression (also known as manic depression) and plain old depression? It’s a simple question to answer, because depression can either be a stand-alone diagnosis, or a part of another disorder, like bipolar. Therefore a mental health professional is going to examine whether there are other symptoms present (or have occurred in the past), to see if the depression is just depression, or whether it’s a part of a larger disorder.
Bipolar Includes Mania & Depression
If bipolar disorder includes a depressed mood, what else does bipolar include? We can find the answer to this question by looking at the old name for bipolar disorder, manic depression. The old name is pretty descriptive — bipolar is a combination of mania and depression, alternating in cycles.
What is mania? If we examine symptoms associated with mania, we see that it includes the following:
· Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
· Decreased need for sleep (e.g., one feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
· More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
· Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
· Attention is easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant items
· Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
· Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)
If three or more of these symptoms are present, then a person is considered to have a “manic episode” (or, if it is of less severity and length, a “hypomanic episode”). A manic episode also needs to have lasted for at least a week (a hypomanic episode, just four days) in order to be diagnosed. If an individual has signs that suggest he or she is having or has had a manic or hypomanic episode, in addition to episodes of severe depression, then typically that individual will quality for a bipolar diagnosis.
Depression Has no Mania
In ordinary depression, which clinicians refer to as “major depression” (sorry, there’s no equivalent “minor depression”), no manic or hypomanic episode is prevalent and the individual has no record or indication of having a manic or hypomanic episode in the past. A depressive episode is characterized by the following symptoms:
· Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
· No interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
· Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
· Insomnia (inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping too much) nearly every day
· Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
· Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
· Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
· Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
· Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide
Five or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks are needed in order to qualify for a depressive diagnosis, with no accompanying manic episode.
The following questions will help you determine if you’re the type of person who becomes a victim.
1. Do you tend to stay quiet in relationships instead of confidently asking for what you want?
2. Do you feel inadequate on your own, and only feel worthwhile if you are part of a couple?
3. Has a girlfriend or boyfriend, at some point in the past, been able to isolate you from your friends?
4. Are you too much of a people pleaser?
5. Do you desperately want and need to be loved?
6. Do you bury and suppress your anger and resentment?
7. Do you find it hard to say NO to others, and to set and maintain healthy boundaries?
8. Would you describe yourself as being over-responsible?
9. Do you struggle with feelings of false guilt and shame?
10. Do you desperately want to be noticed and affirmed?
11. Do you lose your unique self if in your relationships with others?
12. Do you find hard to disagree with others?
13. Are you the kind of person who takes care of others but doesn’t really take care of themselves?
14. Do you give more than the other person in close relationships?
15. Are you always saying “sorry”; do you tend to assume that everything “bad” is your fault?
16. Are you a bit on the gullible side; are you easily taken in by others?
17. Do you allow other people to squash your spirit, and suffocate your creativity?
18. Do you tend to ignore that nagging inner voice and to blindly hope that everything will be OK?
19. In relationship, do you pretend that any problems “are no big deal” as you’d rather avoid them, than address them properly?
20. Do you tend to forgive too easily?