Sarah's Story
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Sarah's Story

What was the problem before therapy started?

I didn't go out anywhere or do anything apart from go to work and see my dad because I was scared.  I was scared of what people thought of me and scared of embarrassing myself and I started sweating because I was nervous and embarrassed.  When I was sweating I saw myself as dripping wet, unattractive, disgusting and an idiot.  This made me think that people wouldn't want to talk to me.  I couldn't go out even though I wanted to, I didn't know what to do and felt upset a lot of the time.

How did it develop?

I have always been shy and not really liked talking to people when on my own.  Being nervous spread to other situations and eventually my whole social life.  The more I worried about going out and how other people saw me, the less I wanted to go out, I just worried which made it worse.  I was just guessing at what people thought of me which wasn't true.

What kept it going?

I kept having negative thoughts about myself and thought I couldn't do anything and kept avoiding things which made me think I couldn't do it anymore.  I kept worrying about things before I did them, anticipating it would be bad.  It just kept going round in circles.

When I did go out I used safety behaviours, they made it worse because I didn't really face up to things and didn't really see what was going on around me.  When I was on the bus, I thought people were staring at me but I didn't actually know because I was avoiding eye contact and reading a book. 

When I got home I worried about what everyone else thought of me and how I had come across.  I always thought that I had come across badly so that the next time I went out I was even more worried.

What's changed since therapy began?

My thinking has changed, I have learnt to look for evidence that people don't like me.  Making conversations with customers at work was hard because I didn't know what to say, I started off by asking people about the weather and holidays.  The more I talked to people the easier I found it.  People talk to me more now because I am more confident and approachable.

I was very worried about what people thought of me.  We worked out a scale and I realise that I was closed to what I actually wanted to be that I thought.

How will I build on this and take it forward?

Keep remembering to look for evidence that may or may not confirm negative thoughts.

Remember that avoiding things just makes it worse.

This page was last updated on 2010-11-18 09:09:16