Social Anxiety and Depression – Divide them and Conquer them

Social anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand like ice and water. Following this analogy; social anxiety is like the water and depression is the ice. You might have the water, but having the ice in it can make it much colder, and if you wait too long then the ice starts melting they start to become the same.

But they don’t necessarily have to be together.

Social Anxiety can be triggered by several factors, some of these are:

  • Genetic tendency.
  • Low Self-Esteem.
  • Negative outlook on life.
  • Traumatic past experiences.
  • Bad social skills.

You can’t really control your genetic tendencies, but you can work on any of the other sources.

As someone who suffers from social anxiety; you can get massively frustrated about your current life situation, it sure happened to me. Social anxiety and depression find a special way to bond as if it were an ideal match made in hell.

But, not all is lost, such a powerful enemy CAN be beaten.

The Downward Spiral of Social Anxiety and Depression:

Wishing to have a better social life and not being able to achieve it yet can be very frustrating and having such strong emotional reactions when trying to make it different, can make hope quickly fade away. Depression is an emotion like any other, when you’re angry you’re prone to remember other times when you were also angry.

Same thing happens with depression, except it can last so much longer when you are currently living a life situation that you wish you could change but seemingly can’t.

Emotions will Bias your entire point of view:

Something extremely valuable I’ve learned is to acknowledge that emotions can completely change your point of view. Like I said, when you’re mad you’re prone to remember other times when you were mad, and these thoughts will only make you madder.

For example: Let’s assume you’re mad at your friend for bailing on you to hang out. You start thinking about all other times he has bailed on you or when he’s said mean things that you didn’t like.

At some point you literally can’t imagine any good qualities he has, and you also can’t imagine NOT being mad at him. Emotions will call thoughts that feel congruent to them.

However, objectively speaking; you know he’s not such a bad guy.

Realizing this will NOT stop you from being mad at your friend, but it will help you realize that your entire point of view is being affected by how you feel.

Your WORST enemy is pessimism:

Pessimism strengthens the negative side of things: depression, losing hope, having a general negative outlook in life.

Those type of thoughts feel congruent with depression, so, thinking ‘everyone is out there to judge me’ or ‘there is no hope for me’, feel like congruent thoughts. They feel like they’re truths when in reality they’re as arbitrary as any other though.

This realization will help you decide between:

A) Surrendering and digging yourself deeper into the pit.

B) Working and using this knowledge to get you OUT of the pit.

After all, this is your life and this is the hand you’ve been dealt. Basically the only option is to play it in the best possible manner, right?

You NEED your thoughts to play on your side.

That which you resist, persists:

Social anxiety and depression mix in a special way to make the recurring depressing thoughts pretty constant through the day, as they are mostly related to social situations and, as social creatures, the thought of socializing is obviously one that pops up all the time.

Negative and social anxiety related thoughts won’t disappear, at least not right away and after some work has been done.

The best thing you can do is to simply ‘ignore’ them, realize that repetitive thoughts that have been there for a while will not disappear, deal with them by taking the power from them and not fighting them nor indulging and engaging them.

Instead substitute them by replacing them with daily positive thoughts.

Acceptance is key, it’s not about hating the place you’re in right now or hating on your emotions or lack of skills. Accept that this is where you are, as a truth, and then work on it continuously.

It won’t disappear right away but the more you keep this attitude towards negative thoughts the less power they have over you and those emotions.

And WORK on it; work on your social anxiety and depression, work on your social skills, work on becoming healthier, work on building social connections. You fight bad life situations by being an architect of new life situations.

The upwards Spiral:

Changing a life situation of social anxiety and depression demands lots of consciousness in order to understand one’s undesired emotional reactions with an objective and non-judgmental eye.

  1. Build self-esteem by stopping the self-defeating thoughts. (‘I suck’, ‘I am undesirable’, ‘I will never have friends’)
  2. Working on the social logistics of your social anxiety. (Putting yourself in the situations where your social skills will naturally grow).
  3. Set goals to improve your current life situation, short and achievable ones, one step at a time. Depression feels a lot like hopelessness, no goals means not moving anywhere, and not moving anywhere is a sure way to get depressed.
  4. Consider seeing a therapist. No one will change you except yourself, but discussing your problems with a professional will help you get your ideas in order and much useful advice can be offered.

Hope – Keep your sight at the end of the tunnel:

Hope will help you beat depression, no goals means nothing to fight for, and this ultimately means no purpose. If you want to beat social anxiety and depression, then you need to cut off the negative and to start moving forward.

If every day you're working on building the social life of your dreams and just improving in every area you can, then depression will just start drifting away from the person you’re becoming. Keep it positive, go out and get social!

Next Article: Social Anxiety Disorder Medications -->

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Building Social Skills: Learn to go from shy and loner to cool and social.

Social Anxiety Disorder Medications: Find out why you medicantion won't  help you out 100%

Back from Social Anxiety and Depression to Dealing with Anxiety

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