Move On from Self-Absorption And Social Anxiety
Jon Press, a friend and fellow blogger, wrote a blog post for BP Hope magazine on March 6th titled: “It’s all about me.” That got me thinking. Since thinking is not one my strongest attributes, it’s best to pay more than the usual attention before I lose my train of thought.
Jon wrote what he came to “resent most is the way bipolar can promote self-absorption.”
YES, it’s so true that living with a mental illness like Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Depression or any mood disorder or psychological trauma can turn us inside out. It creates tunnel vision. We worry non-stop about our OWN recovery. We become a group of worrywarts with a self-inflicted anxiety disorder of sorts.
We have to learn to let go and move on from this type of thinking. Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. a clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, says:
“Self-absorption is a common theme of the thoughts of those with social anxiety. Self-absorption involves paying excessive attention to oneself. It’s like a video camera is constantly turned on to you and the picture it transmits is too bright and quite unflattering.” [see- Looking at Self-Absorption and Social Anxiety]
Snail: You guys are a bunch of slime balls… I’m out of here!
Caption: Knowing when it’s time to move on can be a slippery slope.
How Does One Handle Self-Absorption & Underlying Socially Anxious Thinking?
You would think that being so self-absorbed, we would know how to “handle-OUR-OWN-biz-ness.” That is where this self-absorption gets tricky. It’s like the expression “you can’t see the forest because the trees are in the way!” We have to first pop our bubble we’re living in and move into the real world that does not revolve around us.
We are our own worst enemy in this regard because our anxiety feeds the sinkhole of our self-absorbed world. We become intertwined just like the snails are in my illustration. In order to break free from this anxious thinking, we have to be willing to be vulnerable. But knowing when it’s time to move on can be a slippery slope if we’re not prepared for a world that does not revolve around us and our illness.
Yes, hanging up our ego is our first step. Even if reaching this goal is at a snail’s pace. Becoming very self-absorbed by our illness didn’t happen overnight. So, it is unrealistic to think we can handle it quickly.
Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. suggests you might consider these coping phrases when you’re in a self-absorbing situation:
- Everything isn’t all about me.
- So what if a few people have negative thoughts about me?
- Mistakes just make people human.
- No one is going to remember what I did a week from now
- What matters is where my heart is, not how I perform
Friend me on Facebook @chato B Stewart.
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Originally Posted on http://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor YOU need permission use ©2011
Mental Health Humor Cartoons
So how does one address the self-absorption underlying such socially anxious thinking?
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Stewart, C. (2012). Move On from Self-Absorption And Social Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 7, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor/2012/03/move-on-from-self-absorption-and-social-anxiety/