4 thoughts on “Fighting Fire with Fire: Rack up as Much Anxiety as You Can!

  • February 3, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I’m an old man now. I’ve heard this crap all my life. And practiced habituation all my life too. Does it work? Absolutely not. At least, not for people with serious anxiety. Of course, if you happen to get anxious only in a certain, limited number of situations, it may well work. But if you’ve got serious GAD, all the time, and it stretches back to your infancy, you can forget habituation. It will only cause you substantially more pain. It will NOT work to reduce your anxiety. What DOES work? I have yet to find out. I’ve tried everything. Benzos are really not a great or permanent solution, though they work for a short time. Exercise? Hasn’t worked for me. So, no wonderful revelations about how to deal with anxiety. Just fifty years worth of experience of habituation, which simply doesn’t work.

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    • February 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Sorry to hear it hasn’t worked for you. Studies say it “usually” does even with fairly severe cases. But it’s only one part of an overall treatment plan. Unfortunately, nothing works for everyone.

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  • February 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    No, it doesn’t work for everyone. And at 35 I still experience social anxiety, even after undergoing CBT training. I still fill out my worksheets and dispute my negative thoughts. Some things, while sounding dumb, have also helped.

    1. Acting in paradox – I use this all the time, and you’d be surprised how often it works. Before going to a party or meeting someone, i acually say to myself “yeah, it might be a rotton time, but I’m already here, so I might as well go”. By accepting the possibilty that it might be a bad experience, rather than stubbornly insisting it shouldn’t, almost guarantees I’ll have a great time.
    2. Make the event about something else – I still tell myself I’m going to an event to “practice my social skills” and make a point to talk to as many people as possible. Turn yourself into your ownr science experiment. I’ll even tell people about my social anxiety and the self-experiments I conduct. People find that fascinating and it’s a great conversation angle.

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