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TOPIC TITLE: Dealing with Bipolar and Social Anxiety
Created On 9/24/07 2:24 PM
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born2believe
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9/24/07 2:24 PM
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Hello to all, I'ts great to be able to share my struggles with others who have experienced similar issues as I have. At age 17, roughly 10 years ago I started displaying manic and depressive symptoms and was immediately treated for bipolar disorder. But more recently I’ve been dealt another impediment and that is intense social anxiety. That along with a strong inferiority complex has caused me considerable problems.
But I’m not sitting back and letting it cripple me. I have recently started cognitive therapy and have benefited considerably. Cognitions refer to the way you look at things – your perceptions, mental attitudes and beliefs, all being factors which determine your thoughts. And it’s your thoughts that are entirely responsible for all your emotions and the way you feel at any given moment.
My therapist recommended a phenomenal book.. It’s called “Feeling Good” I have to say, I have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the past on self-help books and programs with usually little to no success, but after just one third through Feeling Good I have already felt a positive impact. This book is simply invaluable for anyone dealing with any type of emotional problem, including depression, anxiety, mood swings, low self esteem, etc. There’s just one prerequisite and that is you need to invest some time, as little as fifteen minutes a day doing the various exercises laid out in the book.
I would very much appreciate hearing from others with bipolar disorder who are also dealing with social anxiety and to share what specific strategies and approaches have helped.


Edited: 10/3/07 at 9:16 AM by born2believe
 
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Dr. Lynn
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10/10/07 12:25 AM
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It seems to me you are already doing many of the right things!
a lynn
 
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born2believe
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12/19/07 9:34 PM
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I have to say I'm a little surprised that there were no responses to my topic, but at the same time not too much I mean most people with bipolar are more outspoken and loud due to either mood swings, hypomania or some times the effect of antidepressents, one in particular helped me live a very productive life…

Back seven years ago, before my father was nifter, I took only Paxil. Paxil, besides for working as an antidepressant also helps fight social anxiety and it worked wonders for me until 6 months after my father was Nifter when I went into a full blown manic episode which in time crashed and put me in a terrible depression. Since then I have experienced one long cycle of depression, although most of the time it's moderate or better.
But along with my depression I developed several other issues that plague me from time to time. I'm referring to: panick attacks, social anxiety, and strong paranoid thinking.

Panic attacks periodically happens usually when I’m about to or am currenly doing something that makes me very anxious A panic attack, no matter how many times I experience it. If there are new symptoms then I'm convinced the worst is going to happen. Often it's very frightening, but being that they come only sporadically with mostly symptoms that I felt in the past, when I start sensing the beginning of an attack I take lorazepam which is very helpful if taken right away.

Then there’s social anxiety. Back in high school I would spend a lot of time with friends. Where as now I speak to one friend daily and talk to a select few on a weekly basis, back then I would speak to as many as 30 to 40 guys in any given day, some, close friends, others being old buddies, roommates etc. I would often shmooze with friends from Eretz Yisroel at all times of the night and early morning. Most of my life I was mostly introverted. But I know a lot about the world of extrovert...
 
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born2believe
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12/19/07 10:11 PM
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My father was an extreme extrovert. He would talk with people from all types of backrounds. If he smiled, then my father talked to him. He always said to me “Smile and the world smiles with you’ Ranging from the most simple of men such as Samba, a man that made more in an hour here in the U.S. then his family could make in a lifetime to speaking to Rudy Guliani as well as many other famous and prestigious people, some who spoke directly to Presidents and Prime Ministers. One of his many life’s achievements was putting out a tape at the young age of 18, working with friends that included Rivi Shwabel. And in fact it was my fathers record, the Kochavim that would get him started on his way through a long list of many classical tapes.


And then there are my three closest friends, all of whom are extreme extroverts. My closest in particular has been successful in just about everything including putting out 4 classic tapes. The group is named “Lev Tahor”. Last week I went with my family to prospect park ice skating rink. While I was busy balancing myself, nervous I’m going to fall at any given moment, the loudspeaker was playing one of lev tahors songs (Im lovon Garti) with my best friend singing away.

Now I know what you’re all thinking. “Why doesn’t he live his own life”? What am I making such a big deal about it? Well it’s not that simple. I grew up surrounded by family and friends that for the most part led or are leading very productive lives, most married young and are successful, all but me. But it’s more then that. People tell me all the time that I remind them of my father being that I strongly resemble him and also tend to share a few similarities, two of them being music and public speaking. Just like him, I play guitar and piano as well as compose songs when I get in the right zone. And so much for the fear of public speaking is worse for some people then death, as long as I have my notes in front of me; I’m totally at ease in front of even several hundreds of people. Okay, I’ll admit it I drink a L’chaim usually before I speak. So what am I supposed to do? Everyone I know, practically is leading the good life or close to it, but me.
 
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su7kids
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12/19/07 11:08 PM
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Zendo, I think a big mistake we make is to compare ourselves to others. You have eto be the best YOU you can be, not a duplicate of your father, your best friend, and the other guy down the road.

I think you should find out where your strengths are, and how you can develop them in the best way for YOU, rather than looking over your shoulder to see how others will compare to different people.

Maybe public speaking isn't where it is at for you. Maybe you're better one on one. I think you are evolving into your own person and its just different from what everyone else is used to around you.

Go for it, be yourself!!


-------------------------
Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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