By Chuffy - 04/11/2012 07:28 - United States - Fort Collins

Today, to help me get over my crippling social anxiety, my therapist encouraged me to sing in front of a crowd, since I actually have a fine singing voice. I ended up fainting onstage, mid-song. FML
I agree, your life sucks 25 239
You deserved it 2 311

Same thing different taste

Top comments

Screw that! You actually got onstage and started singing. I'd say that's making progress! Congrats, I wish you the best of luck.

I'm sorry OP, that really sucks :( Perhaps starting small would be a better idea, sing to your family, then to your friends, and work your way up, until you've joined a band or something :)


At least you had a memorable performance...?

Not exactly a memory that Chuffy wants to remember. Unless it helps to get over the anxiety.

2- That's right OP be proud of your awesome singing voice! It's like Professor Lupin- Frankly, I'd be astounded if you got it right the first time!

I'm sorry OP, that really sucks :( Perhaps starting small would be a better idea, sing to your family, then to your friends, and work your way up, until you've joined a band or something :)

Personally, I'd feel more comfortable singing in front of complete strangers than my family or friends. Although I'm not entirely sure why...

I'm the same way. It's because I see my family often and if I mess up, they're bound to remember it and could hold it against me. Strangers are easier to perform in front of for me.

You'll never know if the therapy is working or you're getting over it if ya don't try... Good for you! Just pick yourself up and have a few more sessions and try again some other time. :-)

Screw that! You actually got onstage and started singing. I'd say that's making progress! Congrats, I wish you the best of luck.

Exactly! And if you do start feel faint, remember Fergie peed herself on stage and Beyonce fell, and begged the audience not to tell or show anyone, which obviously did not happen. It'll make you giggle on the inside and it is the perfect remedy.

Eddie Van Halen is a legendary rock guitarist, he throws up before every single performance.

Marilyn Manson launched his drummer into the air with the rising platform xD

I think your therapist needs to familiarise him/herself with the concept of graduated exposure! That's a huge initial task for someone with crippling social anxiety/phobia. I hope this experience didn't scar you too much, OP. Try some CBT next time maybe?

Or perhaps the therapist knows that already but also knows the patient in which they're treating and know the best treatments for them. It's not like gradual exposure is a new, or even advanced, way of treatment.

I'm not sure where you get your information from, but graduated exposure is an important concept utilised in cognitive behavioural therapy, which is the first line treatment for social phobia. The reason CBT is first line is because numerous trials have proven its efficacy in not only producing improvement in the symptoms of social phobia, but also in having a longer term effect. Second line or adjuvant therapy includes drugs such as SSRIs. The rapid or dramatic exposure OP was exposed to is certainly not recommended in current guidelines and may even cause acute stress disorders.

I got my information from taking classes for psychology rather than having to google my information. Which is why I also know suggesting treatments without evaluating the patient, as the OPs therapist has, could be very harmful advice itself. Not everyone is a casebook patient and treatments for disorders vary from patient to patient.

Get off your high horse. I didn't google that, I learnt it from six years of medical school as well as having personally undertaken CBT in the past. Of course the therapist has to evaluate the patient before treating him or her. But the therapist should also be aware of EVIDENCE-BASED treatments and recommend up-to-date treatments in line with the current guidelines.

Or you could get off your high horse and stop assuming that the OPs therapist is an idiot with no knowledge of current treatments and you can treat the OP better from evaluating them off of one FML post buddy. Schooling is great and all but until you have actual patients yourself you really have no experience in treating patients first hand.... Not everyone responds to text book treatments, or the most recommended treatments, as you seem to believe.

Ok, guys, chill! Neither one of you will accomplish anything by jumping down each other's throats...

16 - I think it's clear you're the one on the high horse. Taking a few psychology classes doesn't make you an expert. I'm not saying I'm an expert either and I simply brought up my degree because you insinuated my information was from google rather than intensive study. I do have real patients and have treated them, so please don't assume. Of course not everyone fits into the textbook description but there's a reason we learn those textbook descriptions and recommended treatments and guidelines - because that's what has worked in large multiscale trials for a majority of people in similar situations. Clearly the therapist's suggestion wasn't very bright considering the OP ended up fainting and is probably somewhat traumatised. Maybe you should stop defending the OP's therapist simply based on one FML, "buddy".

Actually your information is very much google based. You don't know me either, I have a degree and also have a private practice. I brought up my classes because you asked me where I got my information. Like I said when you get actual patients, you'll learn that textbook treatments and sticking strictly to them will not work. You'll also learn that you can not properly evaluate and suggest treatments with promises of them working after one session or short FML post. I'm not defending the OPs Therapist based on one post. I don't see how you could think that as I've been adamant that I am sure the OPs therapist has treated her and knows the best treatments to suggest. If I were going strictly on the FML as you are, I would come to the same ignorant conclusion as you have that the therapist doesn't know how to treat their patients... tl;dr: Your projection is showing.

Good lord, just leave the damn horses alone already!

I think that the therapist wanted to see how OP did, in order to see how high he should set the starting point.

I've just made a fresh pot of Shut The **** Up, would either of you two like any? I also have cream and sugar.

Maybe the therapist has already had the OP do smaller things. The post doesn't say the therapist had him perform after one session with him.

astralvagan 20

I have a friend who has something similar. As weird as this may seem, one thing that was suggested to him, and it works also, is to do karaoke with his back turned.

"I get knocked down, but I get up again, ain't nobody gonna keep me down!" *stage dives* *doesn't get back up*

ryry013 6

It's been a while since I've laughed at something on FML. Probably a little too desensitized. Nice job

Going to get thumbed to hell for this one, but, Social Anxiety is bs. Just stop being a coward and get over it.

Except she did get over it and went on stage, and despite her best efforts she fainted. So maybe it's not something everyone can control.

It does not have anything to do with being a coward. It is a phobia. You can't just make it go away by "sucking it up".

The reason I switch my Major from Psychology to Engineering(other than the fact that I actually want to make money) was because I couldn't deal with this whole "It's a phobia" bullshit. If its affecting your life in a bad way and you weren't born with it, and it is curable, get the **** over it.

I do not want to argue with you. This makes me so angry.

Agreed. And why are there so many arguments in the last 2 FMLs? These may be controversial topics OK, but wow.

25 - you should have rethought that change.. There are many engineers out there that are out of work, and from seeing your intelligence and thoughts from FML posts, I'm sure as hell they are a lot better than you. However, there are a ton of people willing to pay anyone with a degree to help treat them for their "bs" disorders as you so eloquently put it... So good luck fighting for a sandwich, while the people who realized which profession is actually going to be profitable in the long run watch...

32. I have an Internship at Boeing right now. And they are going to pay for my Masters. So I think I'm a little more well off than having a Psychology degree haha. Your argument is incorrect. Stay in school buddy. SA is an emotional phase. You guys can go on saying how awful I am for thinking its BS but it is. I have my own phobias. I have no understanding as to why I am afraid and it's illogical to be scared, but the fact of the matter is, it's all just BS. It's not something you can't control. It's something you choose not to.

My intelligence!? How on earth can you judge my intelligence by how kind I am to people and my opinions on subjects? You sound very stupid for even thinking that. I'm arguing right now because I'm drunk but also on about 300mg caffeine pills so I can't sleep. Go ahead and think whatever you want buddy.

LMock 4

I normally don’t comment on anything here but this made me so ******* angry. Saying that a phobia is something you can just “get the **** over” is ridiculous. The brain works in ways people really don’t fully understand, and some of those ways can **** you up but good, considering that it, I don’t know, directs everything your body does, maybe? When your brain has convinced itself that a certain thing should trigger debilitating fear, it’s HARD to get over. It’s like a civil war of the mind; you’re combatting the miswired part of your brain with another part, like with any other mental illness. You wouldn’t tell someone with PTSD, or OCD, or depression, to just “get the **** over it.” You come off as a rotten person, and it's a good thing for the world that you left Psychology. Tl;dr You're entitled to your opinion, but your opinion is wrong.

Cool shit, buddy. SA is bullshit. Think whatever you want. I really don't care. Oh and yes, yes I am a horrible person. Alcohol, Spending all day studying and the Internet will do that to you.

Okay, please excuse me if I misspell anything or have horrible grammar, phone doesn't like me. Anyway! 25 - You said phobias can be cured so people like myself should just "get over it". With that train of thought, a broken arm can be cured. This and many more. Does that mean that we should "just get over" the fact we have something that is very painful? I have Muscular dystrophy and scoliosis that severely warps my upper body. I have spent most of my life being stared at or am treated like I don't exist. Kids were very cruel growing up, so I have allot of social anxieties. And add more since my mother is an untreated bi-polar. My fiance has been patient in trying to teach me that he won't get mad for no reason. He has worked with me with things like if I accidentally break something. I would get screamed at and cornered for a simple accident. I would literally go into a panic attack so bad that I would hide somewhere that I thought safe to stay so I wouldn't be torn apart. Social anxiety is not a myth. Yes, it can be treated. But honestly the words "just get over it" don't do anything but ostracize the person. It takes time, I am better than I was 3 years ago but I still have issues at times. So, summary, I really don't care for being told that my anxiety is not something valid. I suspect that my view won't change your mind, but I had to say something As for OP, I bet your therapist and close family and friends are very proud that you took a step in attempting to control your anxiety. It is not as easy as some would have you believe. :) I am proud of you! Keep trying. I know you can make it through this.

43 - I don't want to support the 'phobias are bs' side but having a phobia and having a broken arm are completely different and I doubt Crewboy was saying you could fix a broken arm with the power of your mind. One is physical, one is mental. Sure, mental afflictions often affect a person physically but at the end of the day, it all stems from the mind. This is not the case with broken limbs, multiple sclerosis, etc.

43 - Well done for making so much progress with your own demons though. I have a lot of respect for that.

@48 hi there, "the mind" you talk about doesn't actually physically exist, it's just an abstract label. Mental illness actually comes from the brain, is influenced by genes, chemicals, proteins, all things very physical, just like the broken arm in the example.

nevershouttami 11

20 if every time you comment on something and all you get are thumbs down, maybe you need to shut the **** up because you're wrong.

Hiimhaileypotter 52

#25- You're an asshole. I have social anxiety and I can't just "get the **** over it." Try putting yourself in someone else's shoes before being judgmental.

I have awful social anxiety, and I'm sure that a person with SA could just instantly stop having it if someone just told them to 'get over it'. /sarcasm

300mg of pills and drunk while on fml, man you sound like the most intelligent person on earth right now

55 - Well yes, the mind is physical too, obviously, however, you can still influence it. The point is, you cannot simply think a broken arm into not being broken, it's just not possible. However, you can convince yourself to think differently. That doesn't make it easy - getting over mental issues such as social anxiety is incredibly hard. It is possible though.

Also, I can understand voting down my first comment if you disagree or didn't understand what I meant but to vote down a comment simply congratulating someone on trying hard and making massive progress in their life? What is wrong with that?!