Dealing with Setbacks

Experiencing a setback is, unfortunately, a normal part of overcoming social anxiety disorder.  However, the good news is you can't have a setback unless you've made some kind of progress.  How to prevent and stop setbacks should be an integral part of any therapy program for social anxiety.  When you start to feel down (usually as a result of experiencing anxiety unexpectedly), catch yourself as quickly as you can. Have your written therapy handouts near.  Even though you don't feel like it, say something like "Wait! I am not going to give in to my negative emotions -- I know they are irrational liars and I know if I give in to them I will have a miserable day.  I choose NOT to go down to the pig pen.  I'm tired of wallowing in the mud. I do not need to torture myself like that!  Instead, I will "make" myself sit down at my desk and read over my rational handouts in slow talk."  This is easier said than done, of course, but it is the only thing that works to stop setbacks and to get back on track.

You must get rational with yourself.  When you get rational, as a result of slowly reading rational statements or rational therapy methods, the negative emotions will be gone and you can actively carry on with your life.  CATCH the ANTs, STOP them any way you can (calmly and gently), LABEL them as being liars, and READ, READ, READ calmly in slow talk until those negative emotions go away.  TALK OUT LOUD rational statements like "I refuse to give into the ANTs.  They are trying to pull me down into the mud.  I'm tired of being depressed, down and anxious!  I choose to get over to my handouts and read calmly and slowly until the ANTs go away."  If you do this, they will.  All of this and much more is in our comprehensive therapy series "Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step", a very inexpensive way to overcome this disorder.  We use it with every group here at the Social Anxiety Institute.

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The Social Anxiety Association

The Social Anxiety Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to meet the growing needs of people with social anxiety.  The SAA became inactive for several years due to lack of resources.  We are in the process of re-doing our website, listing all active, structured CBT groups for social anxiety, and renewing all our licenses.  Major changes will be happening by the end of 2013.  We publish new web content -- concerning social anxiety -- almost daily on the site now.

The Social Anxiety Institute is the largest website on the internet about social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Therapy programs have run at the Institute full-time since 1994.  Major new help for overcoming social anxiety is under development and will be introduced in 2013. 

For treatment: Overcoming social anxiety: Step by Step   A structured guide to overcoming social anxiety (a "How to" guide to get over social anxiety).

The Anxiety Network explains and describes five major anxiety disorders.

Guidelines for listing social anxiety groups on this site.  We cannot officially endorse groups, so check them out thoroughly.  We ask that they be groups that are operating, have a definite leader, and are thoroughly structured.  Social anxiety therapy groups are very different than the groups that operate for other mental health conditions.