Hypnotherapy For
Social Anxiety Disorder

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Treating Social Anxiety Disorders in Singapore!

While the internet and social media offer us great advantages, they all allow us to withdraw from having a personable life experience. There are now more people with mental health issues purely as a consequence of this ability to hide from life behind our devices. In some sense, our device has become our vice and it’s a pretty poor excuse for what could otherwise be a life worth living! My aim is to help people, thru hypnosis and therapy emerge from behind their screens or mask and live a truly fulfilling life. So, if you have social anxiety or any type of anxiety come to that, then I hope you find this article worth a read.

To start, let’s take a look at what anxiety is: 

Everybody experiences some anxiety, it's perfectly normal to feel nervous in many situations, especially in some social situations. For example, you’re going for an interview or on a date, maybe giving a presentation etc. These types of situations can cause a flurry of feelings, maybe that feeling of butterflies in the pit of your stomach. However, for someone who has a social anxiety disorder (aka social phobia), these everyday events can cause significant, maybe even overwhelming, anxiety. This heightens one sense of self and the become extremely self-conscious and probably embarrassed too because you are terrified at the thought of being scrutinised, judged or seen negatively in the eyes of others.

The hallmark of anxiety is avoidance and in the context of a social anxiety disorder, one overly avoids social situations. Nevertheless, they can often be comfortable with small groups, mostly of people they know and this allows them to rationalise and validate their behaviour. However, in a broader sense, this is merely an avoidant existence of what could otherwise be, a great life. fear and anxiety lead to avoidance that can disrupt your life. Severe stress can affect your relationships, daily routines, work, school or other activities.

Treating Social Anxiety with hypnotherapy is assessed on a person-by-person basis, simply because we are all different. However, the emotional and defensive systems in our brain that activate the fight or flight response are almost identical and not just for humans. That is why animal studies have given us so much insight into how anxiety develops. So, I start treatment with a view to lessening levels of anxiety that are not specifically related to social situations. You may feel that you do not have any anxiety that is not related to social situations but let me assure you, you do! 

In order to begin your journey toward a life without unnecessary anxiety, you can book a Free 1hr Consultation Right Here

Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Feeling shy or uncomfortable in many situations is not all that unusual and we will likely all experience that from time to time but it should not be a debilitating experience. It's when these quasi-normal situations do disable that may indicate an anxiety disorder. Our comfort levels in social situations can vary as a consequence of personality traits and/or life experiences. Some people are naturally shy and reserved and others more gregarious and outgoing.

However, in contrast to everyday feelings of nervousness, social anxiety disorder includes fear, sometimes extreme anxiety and this leads us towards avoidance behaviours that tend to interfere with our relationships, routine tasks, e.g. work, school or other activities. Social anxiety disorder often begins in the early to mid-teens, nevertheless, it can start at any age, be it in younger children or in adults of all ages.

Emotional-behavioural symptoms

Symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include:

-   Situations in which you fear being judged negatively
-    Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
-   An intense fear others will notice that you look anxious
-   Overly concerned about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
-  Fear of physical symptoms such as blushing, sweating, trembling or losing your voice
-   Avoiding things or speaking to people thru fear of embarrassment
-   Avoiding situations that make you the centre of attention
-   The fearful anticipation of an activity or event
-    An intense feeling of anxiety before or at social situations
-  Enegatively exaggerating your performance, finding flaws in yourself others don't see
-  Always expecting the worst possible experience during any social situation

Physical symptoms

Physical signs and symptoms of a social anxiety disorder may include:

-   Fast heartbeat
-   Blushing
-   Sweating
-   Trembling
-   Tight chest
-   Stomach/digestive issues or nausea
-   Breathlessness of trouble catching your breath
-   Feeling dizzy, lightheaded of faint
-   Feeling disaddociated or that your mind has gone blank
-   Muscle tension or cramps
-   Fatigue or excessively lethargic
For younger children and some adolescents, anxiety about interacting with adults or peers may manifest by crying, temper tantrums, clinging to a parent or refusing to speak in social situations.

Performance typical social anxiety disorder occurs when you have an intense feelings of anxiety during speaking or performing in public but not in the more general social situations you engage in.

Hypnotherapy Gets To The Source Of The Problem

Avoiding common social situations

Often our everyday experiences can be hard when you have social anxiety disorder, including:
  • Meeting unfamiliar people or strangers
  • Going parties or social events
  • Attending meetings or going to work or school
  • Beginning a normal conversation
  • Making or maintaining eye contact
  • Romantic liaisons, e.g. dating
  • Entering a room where people are already seated
  • Returning someintg you bought or a gift to a store
  • Eating in public, especially if in front of other people
  • Using a public toilet (urinal for men)
Social anxiety disorder symptoms often change over time. They can become pronounced if you're experiencing lots of changes or demands in your daily life. Although avoiding situations that produce anxiety may make you feel better it is a short term, and oftetn futile, strategy as your anxiety is likely to continue to get worse over the long term if you don't get treatment.

To a certain extent, overcoming anxiety, of any type, one has to face their demons. You will never overcome a fear of elevators by takinig the stairs! While you will get by on those lower levels, your destiny may be on the top floor. Hypnotherapy can be immensly helpful in helping people overcome all sorts of anxiety provoking situations but, eventually, you have to enter the elevator. That's when you know you've cracked it!

Likely Causes of Social Anxiety

Like most mental health conditions, social anxiety evolves as a consequence of complex interactions between biological and environmental factors.

Possible causes include:
  • Inherited traits. Anxiety disorders often run in families. However, it's not at all clear how much of this is due to genetics and how much is due to epigenetice, i.e. learned behaviour.
  • Brain structure. Structures in the brain called the amygdala and extended amygdala are known to play a role in the activation of fear responses. People with an overactive amygdala often have a heightened fear/startle response, which is also believed to increase anxiety in social situations.
  • Environment. It is easy to grasp, that if we were born in a different place, at a different time, then we would be different. Consequently, social anxiety disorder is mostly a learned behavior, something that happens as inexpected or unwanted things happen to us.It is not abnormal to develop soem level of anxiety after we experience something unpleasant or embarrassing, especially it it's in a social situation. There can also be associations between social anxiety disorder and parents who display anxious behaviour or, perhaps, who have some other form of mental condition, e.g. Aspaergers, ADHD, Dissociative disorders. Or  from parents who are overcontrolling and/or overprotective of their children, maybe as a consequnce of losing a child or nearly so.

A Problem Only exists In The Absence Of A Solution!

Most of our life is spent in a postion of emotional neutrality, i.e. with no apparent awareness of any emotion, good or bad. However, we are genetically engineered to notice strong negative or survival dependent experiences, our life, literally, could depend on it. On the other hand, we rarely die of excitement or having a good time, while that is possible, it rarley happens. 

Definition of Fear and Anxiety
I define fear as a state that exists when we are in the presence of real or imagined danger. This is when the stress response, fight or flight, kicks in, it marshalls our defences and gets us ready to stand and fight our corner or, to rune like hell, 

Anxiety, on the other hand, is defined as the anticipation of danger, i.e. something that could, would or should happen. Accordingly, the brain/body goes into its defensive stance of protection and/or survival.

The investigative component of Hypnotherapy (the conscious talking part), seeks out the likely causes of the problem and, from there, provides curative interventions that slowly reverse the causative elements of the activation of the stress response. This is best and most effecively a consequence of repetitive. prosesses over the course of several session. A process called habituation that initiates Long Term Depression (LTD). LTD has nothing to do with psychological depression, but, rather, it is the opposite of Long Term Potentiation (LTP), the process of learing, i.e. making memories. Studies show, that quick fix interventions have a likely hood of resurfacing as the same or an alternatiive issue. Essentially this is because, habituation of a potential life threatening situation, better occurs over longer periods, albiet that is in terms of weeks, with hypnotherapy, not months or years with other types of mental interventional discilpines.

Is Hypnotherapy A Solution?

While hypnotherapy has an impressive record for helping clients overcome or at the very least, greatly lessen the effects of social anxiety, it still remains a case-by-case situation. It will always be the case that a client with Social anxiety, will have other forms of anxiety, i.e. the possibility of having variant to full forms of panic disorder, PTSD/complex PTSD and generalised types too. The crossover of the symptoms of many types of anxiety can be marginal, to say the least. This is why I like to treat the overall apsects of anxiety, as a neurological condition, prior to treating the social apsect of the anxiety itself.

How hypnosis and hypnotherapy could help you get your life back, somewhat depends on how you experience hypnosis. This is the very reason I provide a full 1-hour consultation, which includes a demonstration of clinical hypnosis so that you can make an informed decision as to whether my hynotherapy services will work for you?

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