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Places To Meet Others
There are a variety of resources, both online and offline, that will help you meet other people with social phobia.
The most obvious strategy to meet others is enrolling in a group treatment program at your local mental health center.
This takes the majority of the work off of you, and is by far the easiest way to meet others.
Group treatments dealing with social phobia are commonly offered by mental health centers, but if there are none listed in your city, look online at other cities near you.
The vital thing that you must do if using this option is to forge friendships with the other people in the group, and stay in touch with them. Exchange phone numbers, email addresses, and meet regularly.
You can also check at your local mental health center for any activities or events that are being held. These events usually serve as a way for people to meet and get used to the idea of social phobia treatment.
Unlike the first method, this one is far less secure; those that attend are not screened. Pay extra attention to personal safety and make sure you get to know an individual before getting too comfortable with information exchange.
Lastly, you could always check on the Internet for local individuals that would like to meet. Websites such as Shyness.Meetup.Com or Social-Phobia.Meetup.Com provide you with groups of individuals that would like to meet in a specific area.
These could be as small as three or five people to as large as one-thousand, depending on the city. If you are going to use this option, be careful.
Never exchange personal information until you have met the person in real life, and be wary about whom you meet. These groups are excellent ways to meet others, but safety should always be a foremost concern.
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Emotional & Mental Benefits
There are a several benefits to meeting other people with social phobia. The first is, of course, the fact that you get to create friendships with people that know and understand what you are going through.
Having someone to hang out with even while at home can certainly help reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation that you may experience. This may seem like a minor benefit, but it can significantly reduce the chances of your social phobia progressing into a deep depression or other mental ailment.
Furthermore, having a friend who has social phobia will help you practice going out in social environments in a pressure-free way. Treatment is usually accomplished by removing all fears that an individual may have, and having him or her experience social settings.
Having friends who do not have social phobia can make this quite difficult. You may feel pressured to go out and do something that you are not yet ready for, but with someone who does have social anxiety, you will be able to take baby steps.
The two of you will be in the same boat and feel the same way, and will be able to progress at a moderate pace together. The key benefit is just that you have someone who knows, understands, and listens to what you are going through; while you do the same. You will be able to improve your social skills with time, and eventually overcome the majority of your social phobia symptoms.
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As A Treatment Step
While meeting other individuals who suffer from social anxiety is a great way to overcome quite a few obstacles, it is imperative to understand that it is just a step towards curing the mental ailment.
Finding someone who suffers from it and hanging out with him or her will not lead to an immediate cure. It takes time, and various steps.
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