SOCIAL ANXIETY EXPLAINED: therapy

SOCIAL ANXIETY EXPLAINED: therapy


Hello and welcome back. This is the third
video in the social anxiety series, so if you have not seen the first and the
second one yet, I would definitely recommend watching those, because this
whole thing will make much more sense if you watch the videos in the correct
order. Today we’ll be talking about therapy and everything you may want to
know about it. The first thing you do when you suspect
you might suffer from a mental disorder is go to a psychiatrist’s office. They
diagnose you, maybe they will give you some meds, but every single responsible
psychiatrist – if they diagnose you with social anxiety – will send you to
cognitive behavioral therapy. However, if your social anxiety is extremely severe,
your psychiatrist might still recommend medication… Because what medication does is… it gives you a taste of what stress and anxiety free life is like. So
medication might be good to break through that initial wall of fear. So… I’m
guessing that people with extreme social anxiety will benefit from those the most.
But yeah, I’m just thinking out loud so… obviously your therapist is the one to
decide whether you go on medication or not. Okay, so sometimes you might take
medication, but they will always be just an addition to cognitive behavioral
therapy. And here we dive into the deep blue sea. I need to stress that this is
how my therapy looked like. Every single client is different. Every single
therapist is different and they may use different tools to try and help you with
your anxiety. So if your therapy looked or looks or will look different than
what I’m about to describe, just keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that
it’s better or worse. There is no universal description of
what a therapy session looks like. So I just want to describe the experience
because there is still so much stigma around going to see a psychiatrist or
going to therapy… And yeah, I just… I really wish… I really hope that after
watching this series, a lot more people will finally go and seek help. Okay, I
want to start by saying that therapy is like dating. Sometimes it’s love at first sight an the first person you meet is the one.
Other times, you have to endure a number of dreadful experiences before you
finally find the right somebody to share your life with.
But even though love often proves to be a string of unfortunate events, you don’t
just give up. You keep looking and things eventually
work out. Or at least that’s what I’d like to believe. I keep getting a lot of
questions about “how do I go to therapy, how do I go to a psychiatrist, how do I
open up if I have social anxiety and just the idea of doing that makes me
extremely nervous and extremely anxious”. I know it’s hard because I’ve been
through this. I know we all want an easy fix, but there are no simple answers to
something as complex as the human mind. Either way you’ll have to make a
sacrifice and you will have to put in work. There are two choices: find the
courage to seek the perfect therapist and push through a couple of weeks, a
couple of months or maybe even a couple of years of intense therapy… Sometimes a
pretty painful process of healing. Or avoid it altogether and live with
crippling anxiety for the rest of your life. And the question is:
which one of these is more exhausting? The choice is yours. Okay. So… if your
first therapist does not click, go find a new one. If the second one does not click,
go find a third one. If the third one does not click, go find a fourth one. Keep
looking until you find someone you feel truly comfortable around, because trust
is extremely important here. If you want your therapy to work, you need to be
prepared to fully open up to your therapist. And don’t get me wrong, the
first few meetings will be awkward, will be extremely stressful anyway, but as
time passes, if you meet the right therapist, you will eventually start
opening up and you will feel just the way you do when you have a conversation with your very very close friend. So the therapist will start by asking you about all of your problems and… You know, try to be as honest as you can. I know it’s not
easy. I’ve been through all of this and I remember… Like… I wasn’t fully fully fully
honest, I didn’t say everything during the first few meetings, but as time went
by, it got a lot better. Now, I know it’s hard to open up for people with social
anxiety, but I think that the fact that you are talking to
a complete stranger will somehow actually make it a little bit easier for
you. Once they get a general understanding of how your anxiety works,
they might want to take a trip to the past. So you might want to try and
recollect some traumatic events. Something that might have triggered your anxiety
or added to your anxiety. Did someone laugh at you, did someone bully you, did
someone use you. Your upbringing plays a significant role here as well, because
you might have had parents who constantly put you down and compared you to other kids. Or you might have had extremely loving parents, who actually
cared about you a little bit too much and they put too much pressure on you.
But I’ve heard there are therapies where you don’t really go back to the past so…
I don’t know. Each to their own. Well anyway. After you figure out how
your anxiety works and why it’s there in the first place, your therapist might ask
you to write down a list of all the social situations that cause stress,
cause anxiety. And you will have to list them from those that cause the least
anxiety to those – upwards – that cause the most anxiety. There are two reasons for that: so first of all, you will be trying to work through each and every one of
those situations and you will be trying to understand why it causes anxiety and
obviously you will want to start with those that cause the least amount of
anxiety, because it will be the easiest. The second reason is that you have to
take one thing at a time, because there might be social situations in which you
have to tackle a mix of those that you listed. And that
my dear friend, is like a boss fight. You have to be prepared for it. So first, you have to work through these individually and then, at the end, you will be able to
tackle them all together. So let me give you an example: some of my biggest fears were, or actually still are: speaking in English and working on a real film set.
Now, when I get an opportunity to work on a commercial or a short film… Whatever. A film set abroad, that situation will be made up of small social anxiety building
blocks and I need to figure out a way of tackling each and every one of them
individually. So first of all, I have to work out a way how to not be scared of
speaking English in front of other people, especially native speakers. And
then I have to work out a way of not being scared of meeting new people. Then I have to work out a way of not being scared to work in front of others. Then I
have to work out a way to not be scared of working with professionals. And the
list goes on. Moving on – once you have that list, an image of your social
anxiety will emerge. And based on that image, you will start building a model of
how your social anxiety works and that model will be the foundation of all the
work you do during therapy. This will be followed by a set of homework
assignments until you decide you’re cured. Now here’s the reason why I am NOT a fan of self-help. I don’t even want this series to be self-help. I want this to be an in-depth
explanation of how social anxiety works. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think that
self-help is better than doing nothing at all and I know that not all of you
can afford therapy. I believe that every individual is different and even though
your triggers might be similar to the triggers of other people, and even though…
you know… the answers to your problems might be similar to the answers to the
problems of other people… Like… It still doesn’t mean that mental health is not a
very fragile thing. You know… You don’t want to be fooling around with it. You do
not want to be playing with it on your own. If you really want to get cured, you
need to build an extremely detailed individual foundation of how your
anxiety works and you need to be working on it with someone who knows what they
are doing so they can tweak the general… general therapy rules so that they can
ensure a perfect fit for you, for who you are, for what you went through, for what
scares you. When you go on YouTube, you get a bunch of self-help videos that
always claim to be an amazing cure for your social anxiety that always works.
Most of these videos will usually simplify the problem and tell you to go
out of your comfort zone and just continue doing the things that make you
feel uncomfortable, and just change your perspective. Every single person… I can assure you
that every single person watching this video, someone who really suffers from
social anxiety, who really was diagnosed with social anxiety, can confirm that the
anxiety, the stress you feel does not go away, even if you put yourself in all of
those stressful situations. It can only make things worse. And that is the whole
problem. That is actually the definition of social anxiety. That the fear persists,
even though you expose yourself to the stressful situations. If your anxiety
subsides after putting yourself a couple of times out there, it probably wasn’t
social anxiety in the first place. It probably was just a normal amount of
stress that every normal human being goes through when they have to, you know, do something new. And that is why this thing is called COGNITIVE behavioral,
okay? You need to mentally and verbally work through these issues. You need… You can’t just kill the symptoms. You need to understand where your social anxiety
comes from. Telling someone with social anxiety to just go out there and face
their demons is like telling someone with a broken leg to ditch the cast and
just start moving their leg around, and it will naturally, instantly heal. That’s
not how it works. Anyway the model I’ve mentioned a
couple of minutes ago, the whole foundation of the work you will be doing
during therapy, might be called “a cognitive model of social phobia by
Clark and Wells”. Now, you have to remember that this is one of many
social phobia models out there. But in the next video, I will explain why I
chose this particular one to explain social anxiety to you. And yeah, that’s it
for today. I think my voice was cracking a little bit during the video. I’m not
sure whether you’ll be able to hear that, so sorry about it… There’s nothing I can
do… Yeah, because I really wanted to film this today, I didn’t want to wait
any longer. But yeah, remember you can follow me on
Instagram. I post a little bit more often there. And thank you for watching and I
will see you soon. Bye bye!

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100 thoughts on “SOCIAL ANXIETY EXPLAINED: therapy”

  • Should I need help coping with the lack of social skills from a therapist at my age? I'm a guy in my 40s. I feel set back in my social skills, as if I were just 21 or something, maybe closer to 18. I never went to a therapist, but struggled with social anxiety on my own. I didn't even know it had a name, social anxiety, that I was struggling with. It is safe to say I started coming across some YouTube videos on social anxiety by 2012, and then I knew that was the thing I had. The question that remains is, where do I go from here though to get help?

  • It's true the first therapist couldn't help me at all! But the one I have now is really good and it was like the old one didn't really get my real problems. We go back in time, but I still don't know 100% how I developed my social anxiety. Thank you for your videos, it feels so good to know you're not the only one 🙂

  • I feel like my anxiety has gotten better through the years. But it's weird – I don't have much anxiety around strangers that I will only see for a few seconds; rather, being in conversations with people that I am closer to is where I have more anxiety. Plus, this is odd but it's hard for me to genuinely smile during conversations. You know how people seem to just smile easily and laugh? That's hard for me to do – I wasn't always like that. It doesn't feel like I have depression…but might this be a chemical imbalance that I need to be medicated for? Sorry I'm venting, but I want to feel normal and smile again 🙁 Who should I talk to, a psychiatrist?

  • I'm going to a school in Denmark( I live there) where you take 10th grade in a school where you live for a year. I won't know anyone there and I'm actually so scared. I'll have to make a whole new set of friends which probably won't be easy as I have had the same 3 friends for 10+ years. I've really tried making new friends but I always get too nervous to come up to someone and ask them on a lunch date or something like that. So it never really worked out. I'm really scared I'm gonna lose the friends I have now cause of the anxiety.

  • I absolutely love your accent and your voice, it makes me so relaxed. Thank you for explaining social anxiety and how it should really be treated. I have been struggling from social anxiety as long as I can remember. I always thought that I was extremely shy and I would blame myself for it. Now that I'm 18, I felt that something wasn't right and that I needed help. I started going to therapy two months ago and I'm trying to overcome my social anxiety by making small steps. I'm glad to know that what I've had all my life and tried to hide at all costs from everyone because it made me so uncomfortable, finally has a name and it's a real mental issue. I'm not blaming me anymore for being "too shy" and appearing too serious and rude to people, because now I know that I can change that. It's a shame that I have never listened anyone talk about mental issues and how it can affect people.
    Greetings from a spanish girl.

  • Medication worked way better for my social anxiety than therapy did. Commenting this so people who are too scared of therapy can try this instead. Lexapro is what I was prescribed.

  • im really mad at myself cause i only tried one therapist and it wasnt for me. and now im realising i should of tried more before giving up.

  • You know when your extrovert friend wants to relate to EVERY thing you say and when you need someone to talk to and tell them you are depressed and they be like "yeah me tooo i havent been out for two days im soo lonely omg"

  • Kat, you've encouraged me to start making my list! My goal is to take it to a therapist by this upcoming year to get myself back on track. Thank you <3

  • So if i want meds to help with my severe social anxiety i 100% have to go see a therapist?? I can barely speak to people ive known my whole life i guess i'll just check out.

  • "noone can help you, except you" is the most depressing thing I ever heard.
    If I could… trust me I would never seek for help. I tried… I'm still trying…just trying.

  • My social anxiety is so bad, that I would probably just keep seeing the same therapist, even though I wouldn’t feel completely comfortable with them, only because I would feel too embarrassed to say something.

  • Dear Kat just found your videos not long time ago, and I have to say you got a gift for topic explanation, it still feels your past struggle but that just a benefit for you, and makes better understandable when you adding authenticity, I'm agree 10:20 regarding don't force with self help, understanding it self will cures subconsciously, a year ago I've been diagnosed ASD and coping the way you've described,
    Regarding your language many natives can be just jealous 🌟
    Thank you

  • I really want to know if I really have a social anxiety but watching from your previous videos, i could relate most of it 🙁 But whenever I confronted my parents about it, they said I am only exaggerating. I want to seek medical help, but my anxiety is making me not to go. I'm too afraid if I might get awkward with the doctor, and of course I can't go alone. I need someone but i don't have anyone. :'(

  • You might not read this but: When you said "I know some of you can't afford therapy" it made me cry, I want to get diagnosed but my mum probably can't afford a psychologist (and the thought of asking her to book me an appointment with a psychologist absolutely terrifies me) thank you though, I haven't been able to cry in months so it's good to let some emotion out. Your voice is so soothing:) I suspect I have PTSD, General Anxiety Disorder and I don't know what to do (I'm 13) I feel like I grew up suicidal and depressed, I feel like there's no hope I know it'll get better but my patience is running out. I just hope I'm not co-dependant and won't ruin my chances of having romantic relationships in the future. Thank you for making me feel comfortable to share my feelings with you💞💖

  • Therapies are so expensive here… I went once, then my mother started to complain about the money and now I can't go…

  • I have been to many councillors for anxiety, as a child I did group therapy. Every time I would go in cry awkwardly and never felt ready to truly open up, I’ve never ‘clicked’ with someone. By a couple months into my therapy (talk therapy) I give up. I constantly tell myself that the only reason this person is talking to me is because they are being paid. I truly wish i couldn’t see the therapist, I want to be diagnosed and I don’t want to continuously go into a room sweating and shaking and walk out with one soggy crumpled up tissue from talking about my day, not way back, today. I feel like i can’t get anywhere, i feel like therapy is impossible

  • I think my question is kind of out of topic, but can record of getting therapy by hospital affect my career or employment?

  • I am really scared I'm 24 and struggle to speak with people .
    To make the Matter worse i've been living in a foreign country since 3 years and can't speak its language because I am to nervous, and not because I can't. I am trying to get help, but every time I chicken out.
    I am kind of hoping that if I share my story, I would gain courage to seek help. I wrote a detailed comment earlier but deleted it because I was afraid.
    I can't take it anymore. Especially when someone comments on my "shyness" that I should speak more . I am really scared.

  • Have you ever been diagnosed for other disorders such as autism? To some degree, autism and social anxiety share the same characteristics.

  • Thank you so much for this series. These videos gave me enough motivation to go to the therapist, or at least try to go !

  • I do confirme that facing the situation that you are afraid of don't get things better or faster as all normal people think, and also seeing a therapist is the best option that we can do, but it's not available in every case, i need to find a better issue i guess….

  • I wish I had seen this earlier. 🙁 I was always told to just do the things that make me anxious. So I tried a few times. Always ended up in my room not talking to anyone for days, I always felt like it made everything worse, so I stopped. I will look into therapy.

  • Are you struggling with constantly thinking about what others think about you? Does it stop you to do things you want to do?

    Thank you for your videos. It's so great to know that there are others with similar problems.

  • Współczuję, po lekach często są nawroty depresji. Mam kilku znajomych z depresją, którzy są na lekach i widzę jak to działa. Polecam ciekawe książki ,,Zdrowe społeczeństwo" ,,Serce człowieka" ,,Patologia normalności" ,,Neurotyczna osobowość naszych czasów" Karen Horney, ,,Krótko mówiąc" Wojciech Eichelberger.

  • Kat i luv ur videos and u…u are very brave making these videos which im sure can help many people…

  • I thought i had social anxiety, but after putting myself in stressful situations many times everything is getting better. How exagereted I was hahahahaha

  • I had a sever social anxiety before, but now I learned how to overcome it, it became less severe and I newly started going out and talking to people I don’t know!
    But the main issue is: Whenever I start speaking when nervous (which is completely normal) I start to swallow continuously every 0.5 second!! Whenever I feel nervous!!
    So now I am not really anxious about social contact, but what I am anxious about is the swallowing that comes when I am naturally nervous, and I get scared that I’m not going to be able to speak properly!
    What should I do with this case!

  • Thanks for the warning. I was about to expose myself in anxiety situations before I watched this thinking I could adapt to the mental stress.

  • ok, so i don't believe you can't sing cause you speak like a native speaker, only a person with musical ear would speak like that!
    i think i've just made a decision about contacting therapist, thank you <3

  • i’m almost certain i have social anxiety but i haven’t been diagnosed yet, i can relate to every situation that triggers it. but idk why whenever i’m with my friends i feel a bit more self confident and i’m able to do things i wouldn’t have been able to do if i were alone or with family. for example, i went shopping with my friends and i didn’t hesitate at all to ask the employee for my size but when i go alone i never ask. can anyone else relate? is this just me?

  • i’m confused. does she have mental problems or no? i cant tell if she is raising awareness or if she actually suffers with all these issues..

  • I met a girl at my graduation party. I were drunk so it was easy to talk with her and we spend the whole night together. It was the best party i’ve been to yet. The day after i was too scared to even contact or message her. I was sure that she probably didn’t like me and that she had regretted the whole night. Honestly i’m ridicolous. It’s been 2 months since that night and i haven’t talked to her since. I really regret that…

  • Great trilogy, Kat. Very insightful.
    Something about your demeanour and voice is very soothing. This might be a stupid question, given the subject matter, but have you ever thought about public speaking?

  • What you're doing with this videos is very important; you're creating awareness for those who are ready to begin to change they're life situation. Identifying the kind of parents one has/have had, is key to understand oneself. Therapy may help us create a strong side of us that would be replacing the lost guidance our parents failed or weren't able to give us in our childhood. But, in my experience, identifying the traumatic moments back then brings true healing, because it transforms the information stored in us, it releases those part of us that got stuck with the totality of us. Those parts take over our lives until we recognize that those parts teach us what needs to be seen in order to be free from those inherited burdens.

  • You know when you accidentally get too friendly with someone and talk too much about yourself, then can never face that person again? …At least, I hope not

  • I am from the uk, who lives in France and was diagnosed with social anxiety by my psychiatrist.

    It is so bad, that I cannot go out on my own and even my husband accompanies me to meetings.

    I cannot search out for a therapist that suits me, because this is free of charge and I was blessed to get an appointment.
    My husband says I understand more French than I think I do, but do the extreme anxiety when the person is talking to me, I cannot understand what he is saying and that is so embarrassing.
    Oh boy, I would love to be free of social anxiety and anxiety on its own. It is so shameful that at 49, I am like a child and what you said with the choices of suffering for life with anxiety or going through the pain of therapy made a huge impact on me, but sadly, I am stuck. However, I do have a faith and it is my faith that helps me from not sinking.

  • It's much easier for an attractive female with social anxiety to find a boy friend. Than it is for a guy with social anxiety to find a girl friend.

  • Thank you Kat, I'm so grateful for you giving me some courage finally. You pretty much feel alone all the time. Thursday I'm going to meet my doctor together with my grandpa and I'm looking forward to try out a medication again. I really do nothing other than sitting in my room and surfing the internet or playing games. Only time I leave the house is when I walk my dog or if I, however, REALLY have to because of the employment exchange and stuff like that…. You're doing a great job and I'm glad you worked things out. It takes a lot of courage and you can be so proud of yourself. Wish me luck for my trial to change my own life too. Btw your english is absolutely brilliant!

  • my mom is a psicologist but she doesnt seem to notice anything and im really afraid to tell her i want to go to therapy and my dad is always joking about how "shy" i am and that i need to go to therapy but he doesnt mean it and he just keeps joking about things i cant do

  • A woman told me dating was like , you never know if you're going to meet the man of your dreams or be killed and made into a coat. Very exciting she said.

  • The way of not being afraid to speak English is to be honest and let people know that English is your second language and your first language is Polish. That way people will be amazed and compliment you on how well you speak English. Rather than laugh at you because you missed pronounced a English word. People laugh at me for the way I speak and I only speak one language English. So you should not be afraid.

  • I only recently found your social anxiety videos. I love them so much. Not only do they make me feel like im not alone in this but your voice is very calming as well haha