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Anxiety Disorders
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What is Anxiety?The Biopsychosocial Model of AnxietyDevelopment & Maintenance of Anxiety DisordersClassification & Diagnosis of Anxiety DisordersAnxiety Disorder Theories and TherapiesTreatment of Anxiety DisordersAnxiety Disorder References & Additonal Resources
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Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Emotional Resilience

Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Social Anxiety, Depression and More...

Tue, May 3rd 2011

Hi Dr. Schwartz,

I don't want a diagnosis of any sorts. Rather, I want an opinion and some advice of some sorts. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety at a young age. When I was 14 I started showing symptoms of Social Anxiety and, although I'm not really sure if I've been diagnosed with it, I'm pretty sure I have it.

I have a very bad case of Phagophobia, fear of swallowing, that I think stemmed from social anxiety. And now I think I might be borderline as well, but that's just a theory.

I am turning 21 this year and none of the above mentioned problems have gone away. My social anxiety got much better at some point but then it just took a dip again and now it's just really bad again. To give you an example, I refuse to phone or answer phones. I avoid social situations at all costs. I'm too scared to go looking for a job because I don't want to interact with people.

But the thing that actually really bothers me is my Phagophobia. Sometimes I'm fine, other times I'm not. It gets so bad to a point where I can't even swallow my own saliva. It's just terrible and I really don't feel like spending the rest of my life living this way.

My question to you is, what is an effective way to get rid of these things? I've been on antidepressants but I stopped taking them because they weren't working. I took them for about 2 years, I think. I saw a couple of psychologists but they just tumbled me around because I always ended up with a pregnant one that had to go on maternity leave after only a few sessions with them. And I don't like talking. I hate talking. I tried hypnotherapy, but I only went for 2 sessions because my medical aid doesn't pay for it. And that didn't work. They told me to go back if it doesn't work but I didn't feel like wasting money on something that doesn't work.

I'm considering seeing a psychologist again but, I know it's not gonna go well because I don't trust people and I don't like talking. I'm also considering going back on anti depressants but only if it'll help. Last time it made my anxiety much worse and it didn't do much for my depression at all. Also, I can't get myself to pick up the phone and just phone a psychologist. I just can not.

Some advice would really be appreciated because I'm not enjoying living at all.

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