1 year ago

Inform issue 24 – Autumn 2018

  • Text
  • Survivors
  • Rehabilitation
  • Continence
  • Chronic
  • Autumn
  • Ndis
  • Inform
  • Disability
  • Australia
  • Polio
In this issue of Inform, we celebrate achievements. We follow Independence Australia's residential client Peter as he looks back on some of the adventures he has had along the way of 50 years as a wheelchair user.

Psychology Services

Psychology Services Managing social anxiety As one year closes and another begins, many people get excited about all the holiday events and parties they will be attending. Some people get excited about the holidays they have been eagerly awaiting for weeks, but some people dread these social interactions, events and travel. Social anxiety can cause a great deal of discomfort and may cause people to avoid social interactions and disengage from others as they fear being humiliated, embarrassed, rejected, stigmatised or looked down on in social situations. People who experience social anxiety often imagine and dwell on “what if” situations and scenarios, which cause them to overthink what people may say or what might happen. In this situation it is important to remember and focus on all the things you can control such as: • Being able to maintain a positive attitude • Learning how to address things that may trigger your anxiety • Going into situations with a game plan Managing social anxiety can feel overwhelming, but it is definitely something that can be achieved 14 Independence Australia

y all individuals. If social situations make you anxious, then the summer months can be especially harrowing for you, but it is important to remember you are not alone and there are tips that can help ease your social anxiety. Some of these may include: • Calm breathing taking slow, regular breaths through your nose • Muscle relaxation learning to relax your body, which involves tensing various muscles then relaxing them • Realistic thinking remembering that your thoughts and opinions are not facts! • Learn to identify unrealistic thoughts • Facing your fear make a list of the social situations you fear and once you have a list, try and arrange them from the least scary to the scariest. Starting with the least scary social situation, repeat the action you will take and how you will deal with the situation, until you feel less anxious • Have plans for social situations that make you anxious and practise, practise, practise! Feeling anxious in social situations is normal from time to time, and anxiety is a normal and adaptive behaviour. It is important to note, however, that sometimes anxiety can become a problem when our body tells us there is danger when there is no real danger, therefore, the goal is to learn to manage anxiety, and not eliminate it. Independence Australia’s psychology service offers disability-specific mental health support. Seek advice and support by calling us directly at the psychology service on 1300 788 855 or emailing Inform Autumn 2018 15