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Hello everyone, I am 15 months out and I feel very good except for one issue. I cannot hold a conversation because I start to panic. I used to speak in front of large groups of people before benzos and never had this issue so of course its a chemical thing. I have been trying to do some "exposure therapy" on my own where I go out and try to hold a conversation but no matter how many times I do it, it doesn't seem to get easier. I plan on just staying home until it goes away or try just go out once a month to see if there is any progress. Im just scared staying home will cause this to be permanent so my question is:

 

Has anyone with this problem not pushed through socializing and just stayed home for months and months and it became easier? If so what month could you go back to socializing without having this sense of panic?

 

I can start working once this issue goes away so any input would help. Thanks.

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Some of it may be chemical. It's also a confidence thing. What we go through damages our confidence, so when we get in front of people we feel that they can 'see' our deficiencies.

 

We are vulnerable and we react with panic and other awkward outward signals which creates a snowball effect of building panic.

 

This is all my untrained attempt at psychology. Anyway, it is the case for me.

 

I don't so much panic but just feel weird and awkward talking to people that I don't know. I feel their lack of desire to conversate, or at least it seems that way and so seems to confirm that I'm doing something wrong.

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I am only 5 weeks out after a violent c/t and very rapid taper.

I am struggling with this as well, as my job requires me to speak with people and cannot control the flight response and anxiety, and my body is wanting to stand up and run, and I have to keep going.  This is so brutal.  I really feel for you. <3

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Accept, move beyond. Most importantly, don't resist the feelings of panic. Be with them, without adding to them via thinking. See it through, never run or avoid. Eventually, fear will lose it's hold. Be patient
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Avoidance feeds anxiety. I've forced myself out in many different situations time and time again and was literally a living hell but I kept doing it. I'm over 20 months out now and have made real good progress but I don't think I would have done to this extent if I just stayed at home. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do but you have to keep fighting and not let the benzos win! All the best.
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kent- How are you on the phone?  Or talking with people in your own home?  Maybe going out is too much too soon.  Take baby steps.  Maybe try to invite someone trusted over, and leave your house with them.  You could go somewhere quiet and dark. 

 

One time I was having issues and a friend came over and walked with me from my place to the restaurant and that made things SO MUCH EASIER than if I had to meet her there. 

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The phone is no problem now, in the earlier months it was so it comes to show time does make it easier. If I go out really late at night that also helps. During the day no matter who it is Im just too much on edge. Seems like my CNS calms down before bed which makes it easier to go out at night.

 

I've decided once every few months test the waters. I dont believe pushing through this will help. As my CNS calms down, I believe talking with people will become easier since it wasn't a problem before. Lets hope.

 

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Ya know I went through a long period where going into Walmart, Target or honestly tons of brightly lit stores, would just make me really panicky.  I could only handle short periods of time in there, during very non-busy hours and it was still hard.  It was TIME that made those visits easier.  There is something that those lights do to me, that trigger something.  It still triggers me, but I am aware of it and less likely to get anxious and more likely to get a migraine now. 
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It’s the sensitivity to the bright lights, noises and hate to say it but fresh air, and well subconscious effects of public judgement that we assume we experience because in our brains we are shameful to an extent and less confident due to the medication. Nights are better due to the fact less hectic situations and lights hussles etc are occurring at night. The physical symptoms such as anxiety stress fearfulness are because of medication but the rest is just neurological symptoms, and only thing that will make it better is dealing with it and exposing yourself to the situations and eventually your CNS will associate the situations as normal and won’t create anxiety and stress. Hate to say it but once again only true thing that’ll work without masking it with more meds is TIME.....time heals all
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