gwalla: (magma)
Went to the social phobia group again yesterday. We went over the homework (keeping a log of negative automatic thoughts and coming up with counterarguments to them) and talked about what we'd done in the last week to try to socialize more.

The oldest guy there mentioned that the rest of the participants seemed really articulate, while he felt like he wasn't. The rest of us denied this, and said that we didn't feel particularly articulate. I mentioned that every "umm" and "uhh" I utter is like somebody hitting a gong in my head, as is every awkward pause. " that one", I said after what felt like a point in which I'd run out of words. The others said that they didn't even notice a pause, let alone an awkward one. We came to the conclusion that we beat upon ourselves while letting other people slide for the same "mistakes" because we can't hear what they intend to say, so we have no way of knowing when they fail to say something exactly how they intended. This may seem obvious, but the idea that the "errors" I make while speaking are only noticeable by myself, and aren't even something I'd notice other people doing, is something of a revelation.

I'm glad I'm doing this.
gwalla: (Default)
The Social Anxiety Disorder group met for the second time today. We talked about what our goals were for the class, and then discussed ways we could think of to accomplish them. The woman leading the group talked about ways of dealing with physical symptoms of anxiety for a little bit (deep breathing from the diaphragm, tensing and relaxing muscle groups in order). Finally, we talked about maladaptive automatic thoughts and beliefs: people would give examples of negative thoughts they had in social situations, and then the rest of us would try to poke holes in the logic supporting them. For example, "If I make a mistake, everybody will think I'm incompetent" presumes that (1) everybody is watching, (2) you can read everybody's mind, (3) you can see the future (the result is inevitable), and (4) competence is synonymous with perfection.

I'm feeling pretty optimistic about this group.

Oh yes, I talked to the psychiatric medicine advice nurse, and she recommended that I step back up to 3/4 pills for a few days, then move up to whole pills. She said that my yawning and chest pain were probably due to stepping up the dosage too early (actually, I was a day later than my prescription said, but apparently that was still too fast for my body). Since going up to 3/4, I haven't felt the pain or needed to yawn so much, so it seems okay so far.


Sep. 15th, 2004 03:28 pm
gwalla: (magma)
Went to the Social Anxiety Group yesterday. There were about 8 people there plus the woman running the group. I think it may do more for me than the Paxil (which I have to talk to a nurse about dropping, as taking a full dose makes my chest hurt something awful).

BTW, my onlininess has been curtailed. My dad unplugged the computer and hid the power cord. I'm not sure what has to happen before he'll plug it back in again, but for now I'm surfing from the library and cafes.
gwalla: (lon chaney)
Well, the job seems all right. The agency was a little inaccurate about the nature of the work, though: it isn't loading and unloading trucks; it's assembling and checking furniture. And cleaning up afterwards. It's pretty tedious, and exhausting, but it's not to difficult. The only real problem besides the time (it starts at 7am, not 7:30am like I thought; don't worry, I got there in plenty of time) and the distance (it's way out by the Oakland Coliseum) is that it gets wicked hot in there despite it being a really big warehouse. Also, the vending machine had run out of bottled water, and by the end of the day had run out of all drinks. Yuck. I'm gonna start bringing a large bottle of water I can refill, now that I know how hot it gets.

The other people there seem okay. Many don't speak English, but everybody's pretty personable. KNBR sports talk radio is pretty boring, but I just mentally tune it out. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my timecard, so I'm gonna have to get it signed on Tuesday. Oh well. The super, David, seemed like a reasonable guy.

When I got home I changed (I was pretty dirty by that point) and went down to the temp agency to show them my social security card (I only had one form of ID on me when I signed up...whoops!). Then I tried to call Kaiser, but the psychiatric meds advice nurse's hours are 8:30 to 4. I went to bed to take a nap around 6, and didn't wake up until around 8 this morning. I didn't take my half-pill of Paxil because I didn't realize I was going to sleep for the night.

Speaking of which, I need to talk to the advice nurse about that stuff. Since I started taking whole pills (the shrink prescribed half pills for a week before stepping up), I've been yawning a lot, and I've felt a nasty tightness in my chest. I've dropped back down to half pills, and the side effects have gone away. I'm a little concerned, though. Paxil probably isn't right for me.


Aug. 16th, 2004 08:39 pm
gwalla: (Default)
My aunt & cousins left earlier today. It was fun seeing them again, but it's kind of nice to be back to the regular routine.

Went to Aikido today, and got in some good randori practice. I'm exhausted. I won't be able to make the traditional end-of-session beer-and-pizza night at Kip's on Wednesday, because I have an appointment with the psychiatrist Wednesday at 5:30 (and an appointment with the psychologist earlier, at 1). Again, I'm both looking forward to and dreading it. I was supposed to contact comic companies about internships by Wednesday, and I'm kind of embarassed that I still have only looked at some of the companies' sites and have not yet contacted any of them.

Wednesday I also hope to get together with Joe and go to Endgame for board game night. It's been a while. Joe hasn't been able to go because it conflicted with his wrestling practice, since he was my ride I stopped going too. Even when I got my license, I still didn't go, because I kinda need to go with somebody I know to things like this or else I end up blowing it off. Anyway, it should be fun, and I'll bring Web of Power.

Gratuitous link
gwalla: (Default)
It went...well. I guess. Although I was very near tears for a lot of it. He seems like a fairly nice guy.

The verdict? Although he says it's too early yet to make an actual diagnosis, his guess is a combination of dysthymia and social anxiety disorder. I talked to him about how part of what prompted me to seek therapy was reading an article on adult ADD in the NY Times Magazine, but he said that what I'd described didn't sound like how ADD develops, and furthermore that his private practice is counseling ADD sufferers and I don't give the impression of ADD to him.

He also pointed out that my slacking on the job front is probably only partly due to depression and anxiety; the fact that, with room & board taken care of by my folks, I have kind of a sweet deal going. He noted that the point where I really brightened was when I was talking about comics (in response to him asking what I'd like to do if I could do anything). He told me to call up various publishers about getting an internship, because it's obviously something I want to be involved in. He mentioned Dark Horse as possibly being a good fit for me—maybe it was the picture of Hellboy on the CBLDF t-shirt I was wearing, but I was surprised that he'd gotten me so dead-on (I like DH as a company a lot).

He made an appointment for next Wednesday, and also one with a psychiatrist because I'd said I was open to the idea of medication, which turned out to also be for Wednesday (but much later in the afternoon).

BTW, was it National Double Parking Day or something and somebody forgot to tell me? I had to dodge more vehicles parked in traffic on two-lane roads today... *grumble*


gwalla: (Default)

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