Question of the Week: Overcoming Your Social Unease

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Last night, at our local NAMI annual pot luck dinner, I acted as quiz master for a quiz night we put together. Not long ago, the prospect of getting up in front of people and entertaining them would have terrified me - very natural for an introvert with social anxiety who gets depressed a lot. Obviously, I have come a long way, though I will be keeping my day job.


    Our ability to be at ease around people is essential to our recovery. Conversely, our social unease is a huge source of stress that sets us up for all manner of bad episodes. Often, we avoid people, which only leads to isolation and brings on depression.

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    Over the years I have learned that the times when I want to stay in the house are the times I need to get out of the house. It's a much less terrifying world out there, as a result. But it was a very hard journey for me. Question:


    We all have fears when it comes to dealing with people, whether in large groups or one-on-one, whether in public or private. How do you deal with your fears? What strategies work for you?


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    Personal note: Facilitating a support group worked wonders for me. So did public speaking. So does making small talk with sales clerks. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Pactice-practice-practice.

Published On: December 03, 2010