College Life & Social Anxiety Disorder | Dr. Russ Morfitt, Learn to Live CBT

Ok, wow really good to be here. I don’t actually need to share like the first half of what I was going to share because Terry already told you, but my name is Dr. Russ Morfitt and the work that I do is treatment of anxiety problems and there are a lot of anxiety problems out there and I’m really privileged to be able to spend my time helping people who suffer with problems ranging from social anxiety, to general anxiety, to obsessive compulsive disorder Some people have panic attacks – there’s a problem called panic disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder. Those are the sorts of things that I do. And I do it two different places. I wonder if I’m going to be able to operate this thing here. Ok, so I do it two different places. One is right across the street over at Hutchinson Health. And I’ve been privileged to be there for something like 16 years and along the way I’ve been able to develop my skills to focus on treatment of anxiety and its been really a privilege to be there. But the new thing I’m doing apart from Hutchinson Health is to help people really around the world by the new website that we created called Learn to Live. It’s just extremely exciting to me. Really the problem being that most people who suffer from social anxiety related problems never ask for help. They just never ask for help. So all the people who I never see in my practice because they never ask for help, we’re able to help because its a lot easier to start off by going to a website than it is to actually work up the courage to do what it takes to actually meet with a provider and if you’re not somebody who’s dealt with this personally, if you can imagine what its like So for example I’ll ask you a general question How many of you would say “you know, I think I know the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist” If you feel like “yeah I confidently know that.” Ok, just a handful of people. So if I’m someone who’s suffering from social anxiety or another kind of anxiety and I think, “OK, I’m fed up with this, I really want to get some help now.” But, where do I even start? Phone book? I mean, what do I even do? All these barriers and hurdles to really asking for help. That’s why I’m doing Learn to Live But really I’m here to talk about big picture how social anxiety affects people in college. So let’s talk about an example. Let’s say Marie – Marie is a 2nd year student who’s studying Biology. She’s 19 years old. She’s from good old Hutch. Umm and she’s in some of your classes. But you don’t notice her. She kind slips into class quietly. She slips out of class quietly. Lectures and labs – there she is, there she’s gone. You hardly notice her. At one point you say hi to her, but she doesn’t say hi back. And so you think, “Well how stuck up is she?” But maybe not – maybe its not an issue of being stuck up. Luke, he’s a first year student studying generals. He’s signed up for several classes. He mysteriously withdraws from Intro to Communications Then he withdraws from general chemistry. He’s still in another class or two but if you notice him at all you notice he’s just always with that one guy. That one guy who he rides to campus with. And if you are also from Litchfield you might have noticed, “Hey, that was the same kid that Luke always spent time with in Litchfield as well. Maybe Luke and that friend are just really good friends or maybe there is more to it than that. Peyton is a PSEO student. She blends into the woodwork. You hardly notice her. She takes the trailblazer over then right after class she finds her way back to the bus. When she drives she finds a way back to the car right away after class. Where’d she go? In the hallway it’s occurred to you to maybe say Hi to her cause she’s in a class or two of yours, but she’s always on the phone. Always on the phone for some reason. Then after three weeks she disappears. These are some examples of people who suffer from social anxiety. And as I say social anxiety, I’m talking about problem social anxiety. We’ll get to the idea that social anxiety itself is not an unusual thing, but that social anxiety is actually a very normal and useful thing. But when I’m talking about social anxiety i’m talking about serious problematic social anxiety. So what happens when people suffer from social anxiety disorder and some of those others I mentioned at the beginning that I treat? Studies of students who have left school – who have left college – and gone back and said, ” Hey, time-out, stop, what contributed to you leaving college?” 64% said they had a mental health related concern. They were depressed, they were anxious, they had another problem. A mental health related concern that contributed to them leaving college. So they’re not here. Here we are in the middle of this year, and they’re gone. These are issues that really do affect college students. With Learn to Live we do a lot with Facebook and Twitter and social media. We found this was Tweeted to us on Twitter. Hearing people laugh near you. Not talking because you are afraid that what you say will be judged. Keeping quiet in a conversation with three people. Not being able to go anywhere alone. Staying inside all day. Hating when the teacher asks you a question in class. Eye contact. Eating in front of people. Counting money before you pay. Not leaving voicemails. Paying for things at a shop. Asking for help. Always preparing what to say. Bumping into people you know. Feeling embarrassed all the time. Social Anxiety. That’s what we’re talking about with social anxiety. People who have problematic social anxiety – this is the kind of story that I hear over and over and over again. It can affect every little area of your life. Because, we’re around people so often. Two numbers – 8% and 12% – 8% is at any given time in the general population, 8% of the population is diagnosable with social anxiety disorder. Meaning, their problem with social anxiety is so great that they are diagnosable with this disorder that because it causes them so much impairment, they are missing out on things in life. They are suffering so much by experiencing the discomfort when they do go places, when they do things. When they do come to college 12% are diagnosable with social anxiety at some point during their lifetime. So – that’s one out of 8. DO you know more than 8 people? Then there’s a good chance you know someone who suffers or will suffer at some point from serious social anxiety or social phobia in their life. Another tweet – I’m actually not listening to anything, I just really like it when people don’t talk to me. How many have suspected that there’s somebody who you have encountered or somebody you know or somebody you’ve interested with when you’ve walked past them and they seem to be busy and you wondered, “they might be uncomfortable and might just be covering up some discomfort. They might just be trying to avoid things a little bit – have you ever suspected that? So Barbara on our Facebook page – we now have 5,000 members on our Facebook page, but back in September she said “ugh, social anxiety, just another disorder for therapists to get rich curing. Whatever happened to just shyness?” We’ll you’ll not that Barbara didn’t get any likes on that comment. So two problems with Barbara’s comment – One of them was addressed by Anna hear who says, “shyness and anxiety are two very very different things. And unless you have severe social anxiety as I do, you wouldn’t understand.” And that’s the life of many people who suffer from anxiety. Whether its social anxiety or some of the other anxieties that I have mentioned earlier. Family members and if someone is lucky enough to have some friends really have a hard time understanding that – it seems so unnecessary – there’s no really threat here. Why are you struggling I don’t get it? The family or friend might say – might feel – but in reality its a story of someone really either suffering or just feeling like they can’t do it whatever the “it” is. That’s the one problem with Barbara’s comment. The other problem is about therapists getting rich. I don’t know if any of you are thinking about becoming a therapist or psychologist or whatever…yeah, therapists don’t get rich. Barbara is in error there. So treatment – treatment for social anxiety. Most people never seek it. But those who do – here are three main kinds of treatment a person can encounter for social anxiety: Number one is supporting counseling. Number two would be medications. Number three would be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. That’s the kind of work that I do across the street, and that’s what we’ve built into Learn to Live and there are some other online programs as well in different countries that use online CBT as well. So those are the three main kinds of treatment for social anxiety. As somebody that spends my career devoted to helping others I want to make sure that the type of work that I do really is helpful. And so I pay close attention to what the research about social anxiety says. Most people who go to seek counseling whether is is for social anxiety or for other things (but we’re talking about social anxiety here) will receive supportive counseling Provided by compassionate counselors, therapists, who are well-trained – but what does our research say about how that impacts social anxiety? To meet with a provider, and process your week, and get that empathy and support and encouragement – that doesn’t help for social anxiety very much. So supportive counseling is less effective. Many people get medications – and our research shows that that is more effective though there are side effects that apply for some people, but many people are helped. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, whether its face-to-face…well with face-to-face our research shows that it is more effective, and I’ll be defining what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is as, because, frankly, if you suffer from social anxiety, or if you have someone you care about who does, I would hope that you would seek out cognitive behavioral therapy for yourself or them. Because it’s more effective, but its often unavailable because we have far too few providers who do this kind of work Or online, the reason we do it is, as Terry mentioned, to make it more available. And our research shows, low and behold, its just as effective as face-to face therapy. So what is CBT? What have I been talking about? So CBT is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We use a really long name with lots of syllables so that we all feel very smart. But really the cognitive part relates to the fact that our thoughts affect how we feel. We want to get the head knowledge for starters – that’s the cognitive part. Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. So how do we do that? With education, people begin to challenge their thoughts. So, education. We start off with education about the idea that actually anxiety can be a useful thing as I mentioned earlier. So how can anxiety be useful? Well lets say you are that skier – if you are just really laid back like the stereotypical skier is (but I would suggest that the champion skiers probably aren’t as laid back as the stereotype) But if I’m just really laid back like I have no anxiety at all – how hard am I going to work? really? The champion skiers, they’re in the weight room, and they’re running and they’re skiing and they’re working hard. And they’re working out and they’re focused and they are feeling a certain amount of anxiety because the competition is stiff. And so that anxiety can drive us in to work harder.And anxiety can be a signal to us that there is danger and we should do something about it. So either it’s a little bit of anxiety to tell me, “OK work at this” or anxiety that is higher that says, “Danger – act! Do something!” If you are hearing the first one – how many of you know what the Yerkes-Dodson Law is? Ok, so I’m a psychologist. And psychology is a field of study that has been around about 100 years. Lots of research. Thousand and thousands of studies and ideas that have been generated, but we’ve only generated on idea that has been so compelling that it has ever been declared a law, and that’s the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Which is this idea that for any given task that I do, that my performance on that task (let’s think about the skier) that my performance on that task is related to how much stress that I feel. If the idea were (and stress and anxiety are close cousins) that having no anxiety means I’m at my best, then my peak performance would be right here, right? When my stress is really low, my performance would be really high. But in reality the Yerkes-Dodson Law has found over the years that, no, it’s like this That there is some level of stress (not zero) that is going to give me my peak performance. Sot hey skier who has a certain amount of stress is going to try harder – same with people in any other occupation. Welders are going to do a better job welding if they feel a little bit of pressure. Now what about social anxiety? Can social anxiety be useful? We have our group here and this is their intro to Lit class and they’re talking about Beowulf and you think, “Well, is her contribution to their conversation going to be better if she has no anxiety?” Or will it be better if she has just a little bit of anxiety? Yes – so if she feels a little bit of anxiety she is going to put in a bit more effort. She’s probably going to care more about how the other person feels, who she’s talking to. She’s probably going to want to put a little bit more thought into what is happening. Let’s say that our other person on the bottom is interviewing for a job. Well, interviewing for a job can produce a ton of anxiety. Who’s interviewed for a job before?Multiple jobs? Well, if you think about it, if I’m interviewing for a job I want to put my best foot forward, right? And so I don’t want to be here, and have no anxiety. But sometimes it can be really hard – who thinks they have ever been here when interviewing for a job? So sometimes when the anxiety is really high it’s difficult to think as clearly as you could and to think of all the great things to tell the person who is interviewing you. But she wants to have some level of anxiety so that she can really be engaged – put effort into it. You would want me to feel somewhat nervous and feel some anxiety about talking to you, right? Or else you’d totally get (silence), which is OK for me. So – no anxiety, and you don’t put forth effort, and we don’t want that. So, here’s somebody who’s applying for the job at Ikea… It’s not always easy to apply for the job. Ok, I’m going to pause here because I’m going to check my watch. Any questions so far? “How would you describe the difference between shyness and social anxiety?” Really good question – so the question was, “How would you describe the difference between shyness and social anxiety?” “Actually that was a question I was going to bring up earlier, is that I struggle with anxiety, and to my knowledge, the difference between shyness and anxiety is such that shyness is a quality you have versus anxiety being something that is debilitating and keeps you from participating fully in life or keeps you from doing things or makes it very difficult to do things that you feel you need to do.” That was a great answer – that was a very good answer. Could everyone in the back hear his answer? So yea it really is a story of impact on our life. So people who are shy have a temperament towards introversion. So if I’m introverted, um, my batteries get recharged when I’m by myself. And if I’m introverted, I’m kinda timid, kinda nervous about meeting other people. Not all introverts are nervous about meeting new people, they just want to get their batteries recharged by themselves, But if I am introverted and I’m also somewhat timid, somewhat nervous about encountering new people, I’m shy. So when I was little I hung onto moms leg when she was talking to somebody at the church or a meeting or wherever – the store. Social anxiety when it gets to the level that we are talking about here really causes significant suffering and it prevents me from doing what I want to do. We call that impairment in health care. Impairment. Yes? “Is it emotional or neurological?” So the question was is social anxiety emotional or neurological. Good question that I’ll give a very brief answer to – so short shrift to that answer. My friends the psychiatrists who are treating people with medications – I asked you who knew the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist… The short answer is psychiatrists tend to treat with medication and psychologists tend to do evaluations or do therapy and treat with therapy – talk treatments like I do. But my friends who are psychiatrists or other physicians who are prescribing medications, they use a model (and I’m not sure I get to this in my slides) they view it as being a chemical imbalance so maybe many of you have heard – a person has anxiety or depression because they have a chemical imbalance in their brain. And that’s their perspective. My perspective is (well, because I have no chemicals) but the research shows that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which I do is one of our most effective treatments without any chemicals directly involved. We know that if I change my thoughts (as we are starting to talk about here) and then change my behaviors, that my anxiety gets better. So they’re treating things biologically, I’m treating things by changing behavior and thoughts, both are impacting the anxiety, so does that tell us what the problem is? I think it really tells us it depends on what lens you are looking through. We know that if we do a brain scan of somebody who has a severe anxiety problem while they’re doing certain activities (sometimes a PET scan or a SPECT scan) we’re able to see hot spots in the brain that tend to be active that aren’t active in the same way with someone that doesn’t have an anxiety problem. And then if that person is successfully treated with medications, we see changes in the PET scan or SPECT scan. It looks different. And what if they’re treated with therapy? Same thing. The same kind of improvement happens in those scans of the brain. So it’s strange and we don’t really have a good answer to your question. Ok. So I indicated that the cognitive part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is about your thoughts and the idea that your thoguhts produce your feelings. And so, I call this the STEP model. Where we say, “wait a second, even though most people would say that my situation causes how I feel.” (most people talk that way) Who say, “I’m really stressed because of that job interview.” Well, stress (emotion right?) and what was my explanation? Job interview. Like the situation causes the emotion. To which you might say, “well duh! Job interviews cause stress.” But let me ask you – what if somebody’s thoughts were, “That interviewer – I just know they are going to like me. I just really think they are – I saw them in the office before when I dropped off my application and I just think they are going to like me.” Vs. if my thought is, ” I am not going to know what to say. They are going to think I am so stupid and boring. I’m gonna freeze up. I’m gonna drool.” Different thoughts, right? Who thinks that having those different thoughts could impact how comfortably we feel? So this is not rocket science – how comfortable I feel brings different emotions and all I did was change the thoughts. And so a big part of my job in providing people with CBT is helping them learn to change their thoughts. And along the way they learn to inspect thoughts. So we identify the thought that goes in the diamond, and then we say, “Let’s take a closer look at that.” Now we call them automatic negative thoughts – we call them automatic thoughts because they are automatic and we often don’t notice them. If I’m angry – so different emotion – if I’m angry I might not notice that I’m also thinking when somebody cut me off in traffic – I might not notice that I’m thinking, “That person thinks they’re better than me. They think they can push me around. They don’t care how I feel. they are trying to put me down.” But I might be thinking those, and that’s why i might be feeling angry at that time. And so we help them slow it down and think, “what were my thoughts?” And maybe it was something like that for the anger and maybe for that job interview its something like those thoughts I was saying. “They might think I’m boring. They might think I’m stupid. They might think I’m nervous.” “They might think I’m nervous” is really a big one for people with social anxiety. I don’t want you to think I’m nervous. Cause if you think I’m nervous that would be awful. And so why am I on my cell phone? Why am I grabbing the chair bracing myself, why am I slipping out of the room? I want to cover it up, I want to get out of there because right now I feel like I am in the spotlight. If I have social anxiety I feel like I’m in the spotlight. I actually am in front of the spotlight. But if in this moment I am suffering from a high level of social anxiety I’m seeing myself as in the spotlight and viewing you as an audience looking at me. And I’m fully anticipating that you are going to be judgmental, that you are going to have hostile thoughts towards me. That you are going to be highly critical. In truth, there may be some of you who are kind of highly critical, there may be some of you in this room who tend to judge people harshly, but not all of you. I have no doubt that there are many people in this room who are really willing to cut a lot of other people slack and really accepting of other people. If there are people in this room (and if I’m suffering from social anxiety and I’m realizing that I might have been miss-judged by a judgmental person) I might chose to say, “I’m just not going to let that person vote. In my own mind I’m not gonna let them vote on whether I’m OK or not.” So as we inspect the thoughts we might identify the automatic negative thought – so let’s say I figure out the thought and I’m having thoughts like “oh your are going to think I’m stupid, you are gonna think I’m boring, or a bad psychologist or a bad presenter.” And then we might say , well, there are certain groups of categories of problems with automatic thoughts, one of them is fortune telling. Well, I just predicted what you might think, so I was fortune telling. Right? Mind reading – I was pretty sure I knew what you were thinking about me, and I was pretty sure I knew why you turned away and whispered to that person next to you. I was reading your mind. “Feeling makes fact” – the idea that I feel something so strongly it must be true. Because I felt it in my gut – so it much be true. “disaster making” – that’s when I say, “if this thing happens its not just bad, it’s really, really bad. Like what if you thought I was nervous?” And you might. You might think that. But there’s two things happening in my mind. One is that I’m predicting – I’m fortune telling that you’re going to think this a second from now, right? And then i’m also thinking of it as something that would be really horrible if it were to come true. Well wait a second – two problems here, right? One is that you may not think that. And the other thing is I can’t please everybody and it’s not practical to care deeply about what everyone thinks and so maybe it isn’t as disastrous if you think bad things about me. We have 12 minutes. Ok – Socratic questioning – that’s when I have this thought, (and some of you have probably studied philosophy more than I have) but my understanding is that Socrates back in the day didn’t just tell people stuff. He taught people how to ask the right questions, or he would ask them questions and then it was their job to answer the question then in the course of answering the question, they would gain knowledge. So Socratic questioning is the process where I say, “OK I’m having this thought so I’m predicating that I’m going to shake.” Social anxiety – I don’t want to shake in front of you. 20% of alcoholics have social anxiety disorder. 20% or all alcoholics have social anxiety disorder. So what’s going on? In part they are medicating that anxiety. And everybody knows that alcohol is a depressant which is a problem mood wise and adjustment wise, but some people are using it to try to manage their anxiety. It works out very poorly for people who do because they’re much more likely to become addicted and much more likely to have serious problems. But it might be that I am drinking to cover up the shake. Because again if I care deeply about how you think that I’m anxious right now, it’s really important to me that you don’t see me shake. And so I don’t want to write a check in front of you – checks are these paper things we used to use – anyway, I don’t want to write a check in front of you. I don’t want to do other things in front of you that might cause you to see me shake. I might not want to drink from a glass in front of you. Because you might see me shake – and why am I shaking? Because I’m nervous and when I’m nervous, my body is preparing for action. And so my muscles are tense right? And when my muscles are really tense, then they shake. You’ve seen the weight lifters in the olympics – its not just all smooth – gahhhhh! They’re shaking right? So Socratic questioning is when I ask myself questions about the thought. You know, “has this happened before?” Because I’m predicting the shake. Questions like, “Does it happen to others? What do logic and science and common sense suggest about whether it is likely?” “How bad would it be if it happened?” Then we try to identify a new thought. What is a thought that is going to work better? It could be that changing my thoughts and changing my behaviors – in the case of this penguin – changing my behaviors can change my outcomes. “We just haven’t been flapping them hard enough.” Low and behold, we could have been doing this all along. So one kind of knowledge is the head knowledge and we’ve been talking about that. So again, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The cognitive part relates to my thoughts – and my thoughts produce my emotions. And that give me that kind of head level knowledge that I don’t need to be afraid of you, maybe, I might think this through and end up concluding “now wait a second – yeah I might shake, or you might think I’m boring or you might think I’m nervous, but maybe it’s not that bad if you do.” And so then maybe in my head I know, “I don’t really need to be afraid of you.” But in my gut I still fear it. How many people have ever been afraid of something that you really knew you didn’t need to be afraid of, but you were afraid anyway? Ok, so a little confession about my profession is that even though we say Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is demonstrated to be very effective for social anxiety often it stops with the head knowledge, but it really shouldn’t, and the research says it shouldn’t , and its important that we get that gut level knowledge. Well how do we get that? Well, we do behavior experiments. where we go out there and we do things and check out what our outcomes are. I go out there and do I shake like I think I will? Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. But I want to find out – sometimes we predict things will happen and they don’t. I want to reduce my precautions – I know that I have that written in the same sized font as everything else, but it should be a giant font. It should be enormous. Reducing precautions – our recent research is showing us that the most powerful thing that we can do to get past an anxiety problem that we have is to quit being so careful. Now, your parents told you to be careful. They told you that, and in some areas of life you really should be careful. But if I suffer from anxiety problems, and we’re talking about social anxiety, it might be that in that area I’m being too careful. Well what kind of precautions might I do? Well, it might be that if I do a presentation, if I have to do a talk, I’m going to practice, practice, practice so it’s perfect, cause there’s no chance that you can judge me if every word comes out just right. Or it might be that I’m just going to read word for word here and then I wont forget what I was going to say because I might be predicting I’m going to predict what I was going to say. Well public speaking is a place where social anxiety happens a lot. How many of you have ever felt nervous when you are public speaking? “All the time” Yeah, I hear ya. And so public speaking for example we might take precautions like reading word for word, over-preparing, I might stare at the wall so I don’t have to look at you. And I might go really fast to just get it over with because its really uncomfortable talking in front of you so I just want to get this done. And yet, at the end – let’s say it goes OK – let’s say it goes OK and I survive this semester at school but I know that all the way I was walking through the hallways faking phones calls and getting in and out of class really fast I could draw two conclusions: my conclusion could be “it really isn’t that threatening of a situation, and I’m, really up to the task. I don’t have any reason to be afraid.” Or I could conclude, “Phew, that was one near miss after another – good thing I did all of those precautions. I’m going to keep that phone handy. I’ll get a second phone.” And so job one is to really reduce these precautions, so if the ceiling caves in before I finish my presentation and all you got from this was for a person to reduce their social anxiety over time, the most powerful thing they can do is to be less careful. That would be the message I would want you to take home. And the other thing we do is fear facing, where I put myself in situations that are uncomfortable deliberately. Deliberately. The idea is that anything worth doing is difficult to do, and there’s no easy way to get past fears except to face them. So I’ve deliberately put myself in the spotlight. I’ve deliberately put myself in the situation. So if i’m facing my fears I’ve deliberately put myself in situations where you can see me up close or I might – having a conversation with you might make me really uncomfortable so it might be that I’ll make a plan that I’m going to make small talk with that cashier. And in fact I might even plan it so that I can have interactions with several cashiers over the next half hour and one after another I’m going to make some small talk. Even though I’m uncomfortable with the idea that I’m facing my fears, and there’s something powerful that happens when I face my fears. It might be that the telephone is really uncomfortable for me so I might decide that I’m going to make phone calls, one after the other. You know, “How much is milk?” right? Ummm Ummm Ummmm, I might pause, I might “ummm” in front of you because I might be afraid that you might judge me if I look nervous or uncertain. It’s even possible that I’ve been doing that throughout our discussion today. Or it could be that I naturally “ummm”. I might make deliberate mistakes because on some level – remember the “disaster making” issue? I might think, “It’d be awful if you judged me. It might be awful if I make a mistake.” So I might make mistakes on purpose. So I might deliberately, when I go talk to the cashier, I might deliberately mispronounce words. I might deliberately do other things imperfectly. I might deliberately-ly stutter. Why? Because I’m so sick and tired of being caged in by this fear that’s kept me from potentially completing my college education. Or having the kind of life that I want to live. That is is worth doing. It’s worth doing these things that are awkward and uncomfortable. And its the people who have become really fed-up with the problem enough to cross that threshold that they’re willing to suffer a little bit by facing fears Those are the people who really get a big win. I might even inconvenience others on purpose as well. That actually is one of the – I won’t even get into that. But sometimes it’s funny to deliberately inconvenience other people I mean, you’re not trying to make them really suffer, but if you are going to deliberately slow someone down for a second or two If you have trouble with social anxiety, it is excruciating at first. Like if the light turns green – one one thousand, two one thousand – if you suffer from social anxiety your veins will be swelling. But, because facing fears typically results in (by the end of my fear facing, if I stick with it a long time) I get to be less afraid. You know, after I’ve done that to 40 cars, I’m less afraid. My anxiety drops, like that graph shows. Here are some safety behaviors that we discussed. Terry, I said I would talk about test anxiety. Same basic principles. I worry too much about if I am going to fail the test or if I will do poorly, and so i want to do the same thing. I want to change my thoughts – is it really the end of the world if I get a bad grade on this particular test? Really? Maybe it’s not. Maybe I even want to face my fears – maybe I want to deliberately put the wrong answer on a couple of quizes or on a couple of papers so I get less afraid of imperfection. So the key is noticing the problem. Noticing the people who are trying to conceal that they have the problem. Acknowledging it in yourself if you are the one that suffers. And then seeking good help. Thank you very much!

25 thoughts on “College Life & Social Anxiety Disorder | Dr. Russ Morfitt, Learn to Live CBT

  1. watching this instead of attending my classes today.. good or bad idk. Anyway, hopefully I gain some insight on how to deal with my SA.

  2. We're thrilled to share a social anxiety success story! Heidi experienced intense anxiety associated with eating in restaurants – until she recently learned the CBT tools to beat it. Watch her full story at 

  3. Great insight Dr Morfitt! I really appreciate the hard work you put into educating and helping those suffering from such a misunderstood disorder. I'm one of them going to use your website and practise the cbt. hope I'll get better 🙂

  4. Excellent Video! Sorry for the intrusion, I am interested in your initial thoughts. Have you researched – Mahorrla Execute Shy Method (just google it)? It is a smashing exclusive product for beating social anxiety without the normal expense. Ive heard some extraordinary things about it and my friend after many years got astronomical success with it.

  5. the actual anxiety dosent bother me what does bother me is being so nervous and so much anxiety that i act like a creep and talk so weird around people and sometimes skip class if im late because i cant walk in with all the people sitting

  6. ACT, acceptance and commitment therapy argues against CBT, and says that you cannot control your thoughts. It instead seeks to divide the observing self from the thinking self, since they are two different things. You are not your thoughts, you are the observing self observing the thoughts that you have. Thoughts are involuntary. Instead accept your thoughts for what they are just thoughts, and not reality.

  7. I need help with my social anxiety but I'm to scared to say anything. How do you talk to your medical provider about it?

  8. I've been studying treating shyness naturally and discovered an awesome website at Seans Shy Program (look it up on google)

  9. I've been studying reducing shyness naturally and found an awesome resource at Sebs shy remedy (google it if you're interested)

  10. My social anxiety is extremely high which makes me extremely good with people. I can see and analyse things that other people just don't see or understand because they are not sensitive to others and I can relate to people in a way most people cannot. I listen, empathise and hit them where it is deep. However… when I cannot contain my anxiety, which is half of the time, I cannot be around people and that is extremely confusing to my friends and family since I don't look like I have a problem.

  11. I've been fighting my anxiety for 3 years now and now I realize that I can't beat it by myself, I need help. It has certainly gotten better, for example I have a few friends and gave been socializing in class and hanging out with a few, and even have two friends as roommates next semester(and having friends like this is a completely new experience to me). But my anxiety isn't won't go away. I used to be nervous just to be in social situations, but it's gotten much better. I just struggle to talk. My voice sounds very deep, quiet, and monotone. I worry about how people are judging me off of my voice. And that's when the anxiety starts.

    People think I'm just quiet or shy, but that's not true at all. When comfortable, like around family, I'm very social with a loud, confident voice. I'm also very humorous and act obnoxious sometimes. I want everyone to be able to see who I really am but the anxiety is preventing it.

    I found some local therapists but they're so expensive I can't afford it. I got fired at my first job because of my anxiety affecting my work performance, but I did good at my second one, but the anxiety makes it very hard to work. I'm going to try to start back working for the summer, but I'll be only like on minimum wage, and most of the money will be going towards college.

    No one, not even my family, knows about my anxiety. I told my mom once and she thought I was lying. My dad doesn't believe in mental disorders. My family is so used to me be like the most social person there that I know they won't believe me. I also don't want them to be involved or know anything about it because it's embarrassing to me. That's the main reason I want to use an online therapy program.

  12. Hi there, have you considered Atoractove Secrets yet? Simply do a google search engine search. On there you'll discover a great suggestions about how you can end your social anxiety safely. Why not give it a shot? maybe it's going to work for you too.

  13. CBT is awesome, and is responsible for a lot of improvement of my social anxiety.

    I couldn't finish high school because of my intense social anxiety, now I meet new people and socialize without a lot of anxiety. It's still there sometimes, but it gets better everyday. I have uploaded a few videos to my channel where I talk about what I do to overcome social anxiety. Hope it could help someone 🙂

  14. This is a great resource for folks facing challenges with anxiety. Meditation has given me a lot of energy to face my own anxiety. That’s why I created short exercises for morning meditation to face overthinking, stress, and creative blocks.

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