Advice to Overcome Social Anxiety and Depression?

Question by Scott Clements: Advice to overcome social anxiety and depression?
Hi everyone,
I’m a long time sufferer of social anxiety and nothing Ive tried seems to make any difference. Ive tried counseling and anti-depressants. I do get out of my comfort zone and Ive participated in groups etc. Yesterday for example I was interviewed on national TV in a studio by a reporter and I had to tell a story in front of camera’s into a microphone etc. I was still shaking an hour after I got home, lol. I do take risks and challenge myself and thats not the remedy. I also have a problem with using drugs every so often. Not in any habit forming way but just occasionally I enjoy taking ecstasy as it seems to temporarily abolish my anxiety and depression and its pleasant to spend a few hours walking around the city with my ipod and looking at the world in a positive way without the usual fear and depressive view on everything. Its a short break out of the endless negative usual day to day life. But after taking ecstasy I sink to a lower depression for a few days before I get back to normal so Im not to keen to continue doing that. Not worth the extended recovery for the short lived high, as good as it is.
Im also fairly active physically. I swim laps at the Olympic size swimming pool just about everyday. My fitness has improved quite a bit and that makes me feel better about myself but still its not a remedy to social anxiety.
So what is? Has anyone ever overcome this condition? What advice can anyone suggest that Ive not already tried?

Best answer:

Answer by MechPebbles
The best way to overcome anxiety and depression is to stop living a life that’s focused on yourself. Start living for others. Be involved in a cause. Join an NGO or a soup kitchen or volunteer at an old folks’ home or women’s shelter or be involved in animal rights or environment conservation.

Answer by RWPossum
I often suggest volunteer work to people suffering from isolation, for a number of reasons.

You may have heard the term “mindfulness,” as in “mindfulness-based therapies” such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, which has been very successful as stress reduction in preventing relapse after recovery from depression. Basically, mindfulness is awareness of the here and now, the present moment, and observation of oneself. One thing the programs have in common is awareness of breathing. This is important in yoga. I’ve found that some mindfulness teachers say it’s important to take at least two slow, deep breaths in a stressful situation. The lie detector measures changes in breathing because shallow breathing is one of the body’s reactions to danger. Slow, deep breathing gets you back to your normal pattern. The thing is awareness of the present. Be in touch with your feelings.

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