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Thread: How to overcome fear and anxiety on the subway or bus?

  1. #1 How to overcome fear and anxiety on the subway or bus? 
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    This happens mostly when I'm in a situation where everyone is minding their own business on the bus, subway or just while walking on the street and I am suppose to do the same, but I just can't. I feel that my actions are not natural and are being constantly controlled by my conscious mind. My brain feels overwhelmed from all the information that it is receiving and I just can't act normal (even if I look normal, I don't feel normal).
    For example on the subway/bus I constantly feel that I'm being observed. I'm scared of looking around and having eye contact with strangers. If I'm reading a book or magazine I just stare at it until my eyes start to burn, and I'm afraid to look around. However I am very aware of my surroundings just by looking from the side of my eyes (without actually moving my eyes). I basically feel stun locked in my position until I have to get up and leave.
    I don't feel that I'm much afraid to look around, but rather not sure how to do so and afraid that it might look weird. The instant that I know what I'm doing is "okay" I suddenly become super confident!
    I'm not a generally anxious person for example I have no problems giving presentations at school and also I'm very talkative when in my circle of friends and make jokes all the time.

    I will greatly appreciate any advice that could help me overcome my fear.

    Thank you


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  3. #2  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    My first thought is to suggest you work with a cognitive behavioral therapist.


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  4. #3 Re: How to overcome fear and anxiety on the subway or bus? 
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parya
    This happens mostly when I'm in a situation where everyone is minding their own business on the bus, subway or just while walking on the street and I am suppose to do the same, but I just can't. I feel that my actions are not natural and are being constantly controlled by my conscious mind. My brain feels overwhelmed from all the information that it is receiving and I just can't act normal (even if I look normal, I don't feel normal).
    For example on the subway/bus I constantly feel that I'm being observed. I'm scared of looking around and having eye contact with strangers. If I'm reading a book or magazine I just stare at it until my eyes start to burn, and I'm afraid to look around. However I am very aware of my surroundings just by looking from the side of my eyes (without actually moving my eyes). I basically feel stun locked in my position until I have to get up and leave.
    I don't feel that I'm much afraid to look around, but rather not sure how to do so and afraid that it might look weird. The instant that I know what I'm doing is "okay" I suddenly become super confident!
    I'm not a generally anxious person for example I have no problems giving presentations at school and also I'm very talkative when in my circle of friends and make jokes all the time.

    I will greatly appreciate any advice that could help me overcome my fear.

    Thank you
    What you have is known as social phobia. It's a phobia from how people perceive you. However, your case seems to be mild, or at least not too serious. Every phobia is hard to fight, but social phobia is hard because you experience it on every day basis. What you should do, is see a psychiatrist. If you're lucky, your phobia can be threated with just sessions, but it is a long process. On the other hand, you might have to take drugs.... How do I know this? I have social phobia. True, not professionally diagnosed because of my fear to talk to my parents about it, but either way, I do think it's either SF or anxiety attacks. Whichever it is, the best option is to visit a professional. On the other hand, you can choose to live with it (like I do currently) and do your best to avoid unpleasant situations. But I definitely wouldn't recommend that.....
    "Be the change you want to see in the world"
    Mahatma Gandhi

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace"
    Jimmy Hendrix
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  5. #4  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    JL - Just a quick point, the psychiatrist should primarily be sought if medications are wanted. To desensitize to the anxiety, I repeat the suggestion for a CBT who may be more successful at extinguishing the phobia. Cheers.
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  6. #5  
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    Seek a help of a clinical psychologist or a Mental Health Occupational Therapist.
    Actually an Occupational Therapist might be better... because they are trained with CBT skills and graded exposure skills... And they are usually the ones to go out with you... :-D
    If you are not ready to seek help... you can always find a CBT template on the internet and work on it yourself... You're looking for the 'ABC' or thought diary of CBT.
    But it is always better to have a professional physically there to bounce off and work through your fears.
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