Social anxiety news and stories round-up


Introspective piece questioning the causes of feeling less desirous of being in love and more content with being single: “You’d think this lack of interest would be a comfort to me, considering how much I use to agonize over my loneliness. Yet, even though this new state doesn’t necessarily cause me pain, it’s still a cause for concern. How can it be that in the span of just a few years I can feel so completely different about something that was once so vitally important to me? If I could be certain these were an accurate reflection of inner growth and independence, I might not mind. However, there is part of me that wonders if this isn’t somehow a result of so many years on anti-depressants. Paxil has helped me in a lot of ways, and I am grateful for that. But now I’m beginning to question if I’m even still the same person I was before. Which version of myself would I ultimately prefer? Can I even trust the way I think and feel now?”

A perspective of a loving relationship: “I feel like love is everything. It’s the good, it’s the bad, it’s the glue that holds life together. Whether that’s in a romantic or platonic way, whether it’s between you and family, or you and your favourite song; love is the glue.”

A writer managing relationships with those who have caused them emotional harm in the past: “so, while i’m working on myself and my relationships, i’m going to let myself feel angry. i’m going to let myself feel bitter. i’m going to remind myself that all of these feelings are valid. healing from trauma is a nonlinear process that takes time, and i’m going to give myself that time.”

On the complex relationship we might have with mental health difficulties: “As much as I wish my coping mechanisms were healthy and productive, I can’t deny my anorexia didn’t serve me a temporary kind of protection, however much this point will overshoot the rational brain. It’s almost like hugging a cactus, expecting the delights of a teddy bear.”

An interesting perspective on the issue of courtship between genders with the backdrop of media attention on the sexual violence against women: “But in reality men are told from almost birth its their job to make the first move to ask women out, to initiate contact,. men have chat up lines, not usually women. I worked in a company for 20 year and never had a female try to befriend me in a romantic type of way ever. The odd hello is not the same as chatting someone up but I had plenty of people especially women think me weird for being quiet. As I said once before hearing girls say “he wont do anything at a bus stop!” as I did not chat their friend up Well if the world is equal then why didn’t she do something?”

A fascinating account of the pressures placed on workers by a grocery chain: “I don’t do this job to impress people. I do what I’m supposed to do, which is to deliver the groceries to customers. 97% of the time, customers drive away content or thrilled. Sure, we have hiccups. We do get bad reviews. Mistakes are made. Do you think that stops customers from using the online grocery pickup service? Not in a million years. We’re being asked to push these surveys as if the very existence and justification of a digital grocery department is in jeopardy. And it’s really not. Grocery pickup from online orders is here to stay. This is life now. No bad review is going to shut it down.”

On poor posture as a symptom of anxiety and fear: “I’ve carried heavy books in backpacks for years, but I don’t think they’ve weighed me down quite like fear and submission. My entire life, I’ve learned to shut up, cocoon myself, break off from the others, and shrink into myself whenever life became uncomfortable. Again, to stand up with a good posture is to face everything. My body follows how I feel on the inside. Therefore, slouching was always a subconscious norm. I adapted to fear and submission so easily that my physical reaction was just built-in.”


“Results indicate no between-group differences in heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate (HR) at baseline. When starting the working memory task, the control group decreased significantly in HRV and the anxious group did not differ substantially in their change pattern from baseline to the start of the stressor. Finally, during the recovery phase of the working memory task, the clinically anxious and control individuals did not differ in their HFV or HR response compared to baseline.

From a clinical perspective, the results suggest that screening for the presence of anxiety disorders may help to identify patients with impaired HRV and HR functioning and to intervene on these important patient characteristics early in the treatment process.”

  • Recalling autobiographical self-efficacy episodes boosts reappraisal-effects on negative emotional memories – Christina Paersch, Ava Schulz, Frank H Wilhelm, Adam D Brown, Birgit Kleim. Emotion Feb 25, 2021 (Abstract)

“Self-efficacy is a key construct in behavioral science with significant impact on mental health and wellbeing. A growing body of work has shown that perceptions of self-efficacy can be increased through recall of autobiographical episodes (AEs) of mastery (“self-efficacy memories”) in experimental settings. Doing so contributes to improvements in clinically relevant processes, such as emotion regulation and problem solving. Here we examine whether the recall of self-efficacy AEs contributes to more adaptive appraisals for personally experienced negative memories.

These findings suggest that recalling self-efficacy episodes may promote adaptive self-appraisals for negative memories, which in turn may contribute to recovery from stressful events and, with further research, may prove to be a useful adjunctive strategy for treatments such as CBT.”

  • Crosstalk between Existential Phenomenological Psychotherapy and Neurological Science in Mood and Anxiety Disorders – Lehel Balogh, Masaru Tanaka, Nóra Török, László Vécsei, Shigeru Taguchi (This version is not peer-reviewed)

“Existential phenomenological psychotherapy (EPP) has been in the forefront of meaning-centered counseling for almost a century. The phenomenological approach in psychotherapy originated in the works of Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss and Viktor Frankl, and it has been committed to account for the existential possibilities and limitations of one’s life. EPP provides philosophically rich interpretations and empowers counseling techniques to assist mentally suffering individuals by finding meaning and purpose of life. The approach has proven to be effective in treating mood and anxiety disorders. This narrative review article demonstrates the development of EPP, the therapeutic methodology, evidence-based accounts of its curative techniques, current understanding of mood and anxiety disorders in neurological science, and a possible converging path to translate and integrate meaning-centered psychotherapy and neurological science, concluding that the existential phenomenological psychotherapy potently plays a synergistic role with the currently prevailing medication-based approaches for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.”

“These exploratory results indicate that anxiety, but not regulation tendency, predicts how individuals regulate emotion in the laboratory. These findings suggest that how individuals report regulating in the real world does not map on to how they regulate in the laboratory. Taken together, this underscores the importance of developing emotion-regulation interventions and paradigms that more closely align to and predict real-world outcomes.”

“Social anxiety impairs the balance performance of older women, particularly in those most affected by the evaluator, and during more dynamic modified gait tasks that challenge balance while walking. However, co-performing balance tasks with a partner reduced the effects of social anxiety, suggesting that social support may help to mitigate some of the potential ‘white coat’ effects experienced during clinical balance assessments.”


“Mental health experts said this fraction of the population found the quarantine protective, a permission slip to glide into more predictable spaces, schedules, routines and relationships. And the experts warn that while quarantine has blessed the “avoidance” of social situations, the circumstances are poised to change.”

Ancient Question, Ancient Reply by Luis Cernuda

Where does love go when it forgets?
It is not whom you question
It is who replies today.

It is another, to whom some more years of life
Gave the chance you didn’t have
Who may find a reply.

The toys of the child already a man,
Tell me, where did they go? You used to know,
Well, you were in a position to know.

Nothing remains of them: their ruins,
Formless and colourless, in the dust,
Time has carried them away.

The man who grows old finds in his mind,
In his longing, cheerless, empty spaces,
Where his loves walk.

But even if love dies, man still
Is not freed from love;
Its shade remains
And lust lingers on.

Where does love go when it forgets?
It is not whom you question
It is who replies today.

Luis Cernuda


From Troubled Times, 20th Century Spanish Poets, Prospice 15. Edited/Translated by J.C.R. Green, Albert Rowe, & Sandra MacGregor Hastie.