Author Topic: Meeting Others  (Read 1247 times)

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Meeting Others
« on: October 17, 2012, 12:57:20 PM »
Hi Dr. Freedman,

I've always wanted to ask you if you think it's harder to get over anxiety, dp, social anxiety and other anxiety things (ocd) if you are a teenager? I'm a worrier and shy to begin with. I have trouble socializing. I want to join some sports teams but hold back out of shyness. Is there a way to join things without feeling awkward and feeling anxiety? Is there a way to get over all these feelings to have a normal life?



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Re: Meeting Others
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 12:56:19 PM »
Dear Chelsea,

It's not that it's more difficult to overcome anxiety reactions (DP, OCD, Social Anxiety, Phobias etc.) if you are a teenager but there are a few essential facts that I feel should be acknowledged due to their importance during these years.

Anxiety in Children and Young Adults:

1- Changes in mind and body are the norm at this time, rather than unusual. Expect to experience changes in the way you feel, moods, and interests. This is all par for the course when one is maturing, hormones are changing and life becomes more complicated.

2- The habit of worry often takes form during these years. One realizes there are more decisions to be made and choices that affect the rest of their life. Some learn the habit of worry all too well, and often need to change their perspective in order to cope effectively.

3- Social behaviors and situations add to stress, as socializing may add to pressures in both positive and negative ways for both children and young adults.

Natural Anxiety Relief for Children and Young Adults

1- Understanding how stress affects the mind and body. Explanation of normal reactions and how everyone experiences them.

2- Learning to change self-talk and interrupt the build-up of stressful reactions. Talking back to the worried mind. Catching unproductive behaviors and changing them.

3- Using foods to create a less reactive mind and body. You are what you eat and you have the power to create a calmer, focused and balanced way of thinking. Moods are easier to handle when you get to choose how you wish to feel.
         a- Sugar Reduction- brings forth a less reactive individual, decreases mood swings and increases focus.
         b- Regular Meals- skipping meals leads to the release of adrenaline in the body to compensate for lack of
             food for fuel, resulting in anxiety reactions.
         c- Avoid Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol to maintain a mind and body that is far more cooperative.

4- Activity leads to a healthy mind and body as the brain rests from inward thinking and introspection. Sports, dance, swimming and outdoor recreation is healing to both mind and body.

5- Socializing is essential as it allows the mind to break the cycle of introspection. One is forced out of the habit of self-thought and into productive listening and engaging with others.

6- Volunteerism- Reaching out to others takes one completely away from inward thinking and the habit of fearful worry. A volunteer is often the recipient of the greater gift by extending themselves to others.

7- Interests and Purpose- Finding a passion for an interest (hobby, future career, projects) in life gives the individual a true sense of well being. It also channels their energy into a productive place, crowding out the unproductive behaviors.

Life might be difficult throughout the formative and young adult years but there are ways to make it easier and more enjoyable. You have the power to create the person you wish to be and the life you wish to lead. With the above simple changes, you will find life will become easier and far less of a struggle.

Create the mind and body that react in a calmer, clearer fashion and being with others becomes easier. Remember, you are not alone. Others are thinking and feeling the same way as you. Knowing this helps ease the awkwardness and shyness that often comes with being a young adult. Take the risk to be a part of teams, groups, clubs and other interests in your life. Those small steps often lead to larger rewards.

Best wishes,

Dr. Ronnie Freedman
Anxiety and Depersonalization
Office Phone: 215-635-4700
Office Hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM (EST)
Order Line: 1-800-670-4673
Counseling: In-Office, Phone and Skype Sessions
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Re: Meeting Others
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 05:55:50 PM »
Thank you Dr. Freedman. I joined the basketball team on Friday. It's fun and I'm happy I did it.