Posted by Raz62 (126.96.36.199) on September 10, 2003 at 09:43:49:
In Reply to: being an unhealthy four...avoidant personality dis posted by avoidant (188.8.131.52) on September 09, 2003 at 14:27:50:
Although I consider myself a 4/3 not 4/5, you and I sound a lot alike. The fact that the pressure from others to BE a certain way has caused you so much suffering is very relevant to me. I want to be a success but not in something meaningless to me.
No, I was never diagnosed with any personality disorder (and I asked one of my therapists to really consider if I might be avoidant or compensatory narcissistic), but I had been treated with Prozac for depression and as an unexpected and wonderful surprise side effect, my lifelong, fairly severe social anxiety almost disappeared! (Since then, Prozac has been used specifically for social phobia.) I used to feel really self-conscious and embarassed when first going out in the morning and feeling everyone was looking at me, but when the Prozac took effect -- I was living in a rehab of 80 people at the time -- I used to RUN down to the common breakfast room and want to join right in with the crowd; it was amazing. So I believe it's a biochemical thing. But there are many ways to deal with it other than medication, just joining a group where you feel really comfortable and everyone loses their shyness is a big step. Problem: I don't know of any such group specifically (like "Shy Anonymous") but ask your therapist if you have one, or keep asking on these message Boards.
One thing that has helped me is, when I am overwhelmed by the phoniness and superficiality of my daily life, I get on here or another Board and blast my viewpoint for all the world to see!!!
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