Just over 2 years ago, I took the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale Test and posted my result:
68(fear) + 64(avoidance) = 132
You have very severe social anxiety.
Well I recently redid the test and this is my result now:
63(fear) + 51(avoidance) = 114
While I’m still in the “very severe” range, and taking into consideration the limitations of this scale (the results may vary from week to week depending on a wide variety of factors, arbitrary definitions of “severe”, “moderate” and “mild”, and the scale only covers a relatively small number of situations which are commonly feared by people with SA), it’s still somewhat encouraging that my score has gone down by that much (though I know it probably doesn’t seem a lot). If I can continue at that rate, I will be very happy. My goal is to be around the 95 mark (or lower) in another 2 years’ time.
Recently, I’ve started reading CBT-based self-help books again and I’ve also been considering purchasing an online, 25 session CBT programme designed specifically for people with social anxiety disorder. While I’m usually extremely wary and (rightly) suspicious of any online treatment for SA which requires you to part with money (actually, I’m highly suspicious of just about any treatment – online or not – that requires you to part with money to treat SA) because there are unfortunately so many charlatans and scammers out there who are looking to exploit the desperation of those of us with incapacitating social anxiety, the majority of people on the SA forums have said that they found this particular programme helpful. And the few that didn’t find it helpful admitted that this was probably because they didn’t ‘practise’ the CBT often enough, or gave up with it. It’s designed by an expert in social anxiety disorder who has also suffered from the condition. I’m still swithering as to whether or not to go for it, but I most likely will. It’s still considerably cheaper than a few sessions with a private therapist, which is something that I’m unlikely to waste money on anyway, because (given that I cannot find anyone within a reasonable distance of where I live who is an expert in social anxiety disorder) I don’t believe it would be particularly helpful. I’m already working the next Monday bank holiday (We get paid time and a half. Yaay!) and can hopefully help night shift out again to cover the cost of the CBT programme.
What do you think? Should I go for it?