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Piwin

Posts: 2734
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

Who said you couldn't give a good concert?
I hope you didn't get that from me because, to be honest, I didn't even think you were saying that social anxiety was something you personnaly suffered from. It seemed more of a general question about how others cope with it.
That being said, if the question is about how you manage social anxiety, I fail to see how it matters where you've played (though Kudos to you for Carnegie Hall!) It is not unheard of that well experienced artists develop social anxiety later on in their careers. To deal with that social anxiety, they will have to go through the very same things than an artist who has never played on anything else than a stool in a bar.
A few years ago I developed fear of flying. I had been a regular flyer since I was born and was very comfortable with that type of travel. Once the fear hit though, I had to follow the same process as a person who has never flown in his life but wants to and is afraid... My prior experience had zero relevance.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2016 11:55:29
 
Leñador

Posts: 5229
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

quote:

Nobody has met me in person so to those that think I cannot play for people or give a good concert might want to reassess their thoughts

Who thinks that?? I really only see respect and admiration for your playing on here....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2016 15:30:49
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2997
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to estebanana

quote:

If you ever want to split a bottle of scotch three ways between you me and Bill, well name the venue. I'll drink at Weil Hall, or Wigmore or ........or ..or ......


Reminds me of an incident that occurred very early in my Foreign Service career as a young officer serving at the American Embassy in Manila. As you will see, it did not involve either stage fright or social anxiety, but a slug of scotch, or something, probably would have helped.

The Manila Embassy compound had a restaurant/bar/club, and we presented a talent show one Saturday night in which I participated. this was before I could play flamenco (that only came after retirement from the Foreign Service), but I was still in my "three chord progression" versions of folk music. I had planned to sing "The Sloop John B" as my contribution. The performer just before my act was the beautiful Chilean wife of my boss, whose gig was a Tahitian dance, complete with headdress, grass skirt, and skimpy bra-top.

Gigi got up on the stage and for a full five minutes danced with nubile body and erotic moves. She captivated everyone, including me to the point where when it was my turn right after her performance, I forgot half the words to "The Sloop John B." I apologized, suggesting that the previous performance had caused the synaptic impulses in my brain to misfire. Quickly recovering, however, I launched into the song "Jamaica Farewell" and was able to sing it through from start to finish without a problem. While I did not win the talent competition, I got a huge applause at the end because everyone in the club understood completely what had happened.

Bill

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2016 16:28:52
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

The funny thing about this is that how you see yourself is very different from how others see you ...

for example . I think you have a great flamenco feel, sound and ability ...so if I could play as good as you , i would be so much more confident and be out playing more ,, and yet you seem less confident , with the abilities that I lack ..if you see what I mean ...

So a big surprise to me that you would have social anxiety , I suppose i thought such a great player , who must have done a lot of work to get where you are , and have quite a bit of natural ability , would be much more confident in playing .

Perhaps you could try to see yourself as others do ...try playing and getting feedback from total strangers , see if you can get a picture of how you are perceived as oppose to how you perceive yourself ....it may be very different ...

I knew a guy once that wouldn't go out with more than 2 people , cos 3 was too many....
How can 3 be too many , i asked him once ....
he said ...cos everyone is 3 people

1...You that you think you are
2...You that people think you are
3...You that you really are

so 3 would be 9 for him ....of course he was totally mad , and often referred to as mad Terry

However , of the 3 I think you are concentrating on 1...You that you think you are ,,and I think you should get to know and appreciate 2...You that people think you are


Maybe

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2016 16:45:03
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2016 17:57:39
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to El Kiko

@kiko: If you look at my original post, the issue is not lacking confidence in the playing but the scenario itself. Seeing lots of people (which should not be a problem because I started playing fairly young) and hearing loud noises. It doesn't have to necessarily be a performance. It can be any social event which triggers something and as a result I will put it off or make an excuse. In my younger years I never really had this problem. Anyway, I appreciate your post. @Lenador: I came across a bit full of myself unintentionally. 😀 I don't know what I was trying to prove frankly. You can disregard that little part of my message. @Shroomy: Thanks for posting that interview. There is no need to translate it. I read Spanish just as well as I can speak it.(I think)..😊 It's very true what he says. The real key is making contact with people. Fifteen days of touring did the trick for him. The difficult part is transitioning from that solitary state to encountering crowds. I guess it's worth it in the end. I'll have to make an effort. I'm very grateful for all the great posts everyone.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2016 21:09:27
 
Mark2

Posts: 1520
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Piwin

Baby Steps Juan. Put yourself in a low pressure situation and gradually move the needle to where you need it to be. Unlike a lot of people, you have the chops. That's the hardest bit right there.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2016 21:16:22
 
Piwin

Posts: 2734
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

quote:

and hearing loud noises


Any chance you've looked into hyperacusis? I've been told that this kind of high sensisity to sound can cause quite a bit of stress. Just a thought.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2016 21:27:21
 
Blondie#2

 

Posts: 530
Joined: Sep. 14 2010
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Mark2

quote:

ORIGINAL: jg7238
The difficult part is transitioning from that solitary state to encountering crowds.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mark2
Baby Steps Juan. Put yourself in a low pressure situation and gradually move the needle to where you need it to be.


Exactly. Careful controlled exposure eg.

-when you practice, visualise and imagine the neighbours listening intently to what you are playing
-you say one of the issues is noise, practice playing in noisy environments - turn up that TV of yours, put the stereo on
-invite a friend round, pick up your guitar and play them a piece. Now say for fun you will play the same piece, but you want them to try and distract you by making loud random noises. Have fun with this, make it a game, if they put you off you buy them a beer or something. The fun aspect is important, choose the right friend.
-next time at a social gathering eg family, pick up your guitar and say you'd like some feedback on a piece of music you are working on. Play something EASY you could play blindfolded and know inside out. Now ask them to clap along to something (noise), choose a fun piece they can get into. I have done demos to school kids where I teach them very simple tangos palmas (silent, clap, clap, clap) and then once they get it, start playing along.
-take your guitar somewhere public but informal with no audience eg the park, prepare 3 or 4 numbers (again, easy ones) sit on a bench and play them. Get talking to people, it will help bridge that disconnect and help your subconscious not see them as a threat
-busk, for longer, in a noisier environment, eg. busy street, for 30 mins. Talk to people.
-go along to a small open mic night, again prep one or two very easy pieces. TALK to the audience. Introduce the music and respond to their applause.
-mental exercises (visualisation) throughout where you regularly walk yourself through the whole process of playing a short set on stage, hearing the noise, seeing the people, and listening to yourself play the excellent quality music you know you can play, and watching/hearing it all go really well.

Get the idea? Its simply building up the pressure of people and noise but keeping you in control and helping break down those barriers.

If you still struggle with this, a hypotherapist could help or an NLP practitioner.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2016 10:41:30
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Piwin

Juan, I have the same problem. I can't stand being out of my house in general (sometimes staying inside for weeks) and specifically have a huge stage fright issue. Not only playing the guitar, but also speaking (both English and Russian). I usually encounter a mental block early on, can't move my lips and tongue (bringing on weird accent) and forget basic words. I feel hypnotized in a way. Forget speaking, even walking past a group of people I feel my legs tensing up and stepping down weirdly. I am incredibly self-aware in public and I can almost never relax and be myself. So you are not alone in this.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2016 14:35:03
 
stepan

 

Posts: 31
Joined: Nov. 6 2014
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Guest

You can translate it, please? En English
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2016 19:18:38
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2844
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Grisha

Grisha-

Having met you and seen you perform on three occasions, I never would have suspected. The first time, at a house concert with an audience of sixty people, Larisa remarked on how much fun you and Jerome Mouffe had playing. She also remarked on how she enjoyed her brief conversation with you (in Russian) and what a nice guy you were.

The second time was at a master class you and Jerome put on at the Butler School of Music at the the University of Texas at Austin. The players were from Adam Holzman's studio. You gave thoughtful and helpful comments to each student, and everyone was fascinated by the rasgueado lesson Adam especially invited you to give. I spoke to you afterwards, and you showed me your new guitar.

Looking back, the sympathy and advice you gave to one obviously nervous student particularly resonates.

The third time was at the public concert you and Jerome put on for the Austin Classical Guitar Society, with an audience of several hundred. You and Jerome were magnificent. I really enjoyed the concert, as did everyone else I spoke to.

All these were magnificent examples of overcoming the difficulties you describe, to the extent I would never have suspected you were the least bit nervous. Bravo! Keep up the good work. We enjoy your playing and value your teaching.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2016 21:43:36
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Grisha

quote:

and specifically have a huge stage fright issue.


Grisha, I have to agree with Richard. I would have never known that either. In your concert videos, you always seem so relaxed and enjoying yourself when performing. I don't think I've ever heard you miss a note (or go out of compas) but I've heard Paco fluff some notes here and there. So you having stage fright is kind of puzzling to me frankly. @Piwin: I'll look into that, thanks... @Blondie#2: Thanks for your pointers. I will look into those suggestions.@Mark2: Thank you. I need to expand on my repertoire which leads to another problem. I don't practice enough... I really would hate to think that after all of these years of playing, my passion, spark has gone down. Scary feeling but I refuse to believe that right now. Anyway, I will take in all of these suggestions pointed out here. Ok, time for a glass of Cognac now... Small glass that is.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2016 0:22:04
 
rombsix

Posts: 7160
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

Dude, the answer to your problem is easy. Just watch this video before you need to be in any social-anxiety-provoking situation, and your anxiety will be allayed instantaneously.

Olé JG y vamos!



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Ramzi

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2016 2:18:21
 
Leñador

Posts: 5229
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Piwin

Ole Ramz! You somehow managed to put all my feelings into one beautiful song.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2016 2:44:52
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Piwin

Anxiety in Grisha´s videos, specially the very early ones, appeared obvious to me, but more than that the bravery with which he would overcome the challenge and play perfectly notwithstanding.

I estimate anxiety to often be bound to sophistication. When you have a somewhat extensive overlook on what´s been accomplished already within a subject then you refuse to see yourself as outstanding.
More even when you are not only analytical but a humble visitor of the planet like Grisha appears to be.

And ironically vice versa with folks who have no clue about what is demanding and what isn´t.

Just yesterday on a Frrench TV channel that has a series where they introduce often times interesting music acts, there was shown a girl who dares to gig with a guitarist and a keyboarder while she sings and engages some gadget to trigger weird sound samples.

The guitarist, total entry level autodidact, plucking three chords in the way it momentarily suits his right hand with managing the pick, while aching to sort of blues pattern. The keyboarder trying to make up for the mess with synth sounds and grid, and she singing over it sans connection to pitch and rhythm.

And here comes the funny part. Interviewed by the respectful moderator, she totally relaxed claims to have blended rap and contemporary styles with African music from where she stems from. Obviously firmly counting with an idiot audience.

Moderator: "Was it easy to bring these styles together?"
Her: "No! It took me over three years to figure out how to do that."
Hilarious!

Kakophonian dumbs who know no sh!t lazing under spotlight as apparent genius, and on the other hand accomplished artists with stagefright.

Guess that´s how things ought to be.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2016 10:04:05
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11777
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

quote:

ORIGINAL: jg7238

quote:

and specifically have a huge stage fright issue.


Grisha, I have to agree with Richard. I would have never known that either. In your concert videos, you always seem so relaxed and enjoying yourself when performing. I don't think I've ever heard you miss a note (or go out of compas) but I've heard Paco fluff some notes here and there. So you having stage fright is kind of puzzling to me frankly. @Piwin: I'll look into that, thanks... @Blondie#2: Thanks for your pointers. I will look into those suggestions.@Mark2: Thank you. I need to expand on my repertoire which leads to another problem. I don't practice enough... I really would hate to think that after all of these years of playing, my passion, spark has gone down. Scary feeling but I refuse to believe that right now. Anyway, I will take in all of these suggestions pointed out here. Ok, time for a glass of Cognac now... Small glass that is.


Go out and get a gig, solo guitar. Weekly is ideal, where you just sit and work through your rep in a restaurant or something as low key background music. You will be forced to deal with people then, without the icy cold feeling of being on stage everybody tight lipped and staring at you. And once in a while people will actually pay attention and you can feel the nerves creep in...it's great way to overcome stage fright stuff and deal with large groups of people.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2016 16:30:37
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Ricardo

Ricardo, the funny thing is that I was doing that restaurant bar gig for awhile. One night back in 2002 the owner of the place told me Bill Clinton and his wife are coming up shortly so be ready to play for them. I was a little nervous about the whole thing but once they settled down I played for them. I played well and Bill actually walks up to me and congratulates me. He starts talking and asking me the normal questions. He asked if I knew the Concierto de Aranjuez so I said yes. I played him the Adagio movement including the cadenza. He loved it... I played Serenata espanola, Asturias and a solea if I remember correctly. I got his autograph in the end but I did manage well in that situation. As he exited the restaurant, he yelled to everybody in the restaurant, "this gentleman was excellent"... It was a nice turnout. So it's just a matter of getting into that rhythm once again and it should be ok I think. To take it to the concert stage again I would have to start "really" practicing and expanding the repertoire. But the restaurant gig thing can serve as a practice tool as you pointed out.Composing my own stuff would be the ideal thing but that's entering another subject. @Ramzi: hey I remember that video.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2016 17:18:31
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

Wow great story Juan . .. jammin with Bill on stage ...
just shows you how good you are ...the nervous thing is unjustified ..like a phobia , that has no basis and yet affects people ...

you go get a gig,, and i'll come and throw rotten tomatoes at you , shouting insults in Spanish , until you get used to it .....or I get thrown out ...
Its character building



its the least I can do , bud...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2016 18:04:55
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11777
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

quote:

ORIGINAL: jg7238

Ricardo, the funny thing is that I was doing that restaurant bar gig for awhile. One night back in 2002 the owner of the place told me Bill Clinton and his wife are coming up shortly so be ready to play for them. I was a little nervous about the whole thing but once they settled down I played for them. I played well and Bill actually walks up to me and congratulates me. He starts talking and asking me the normal questions. He asked if I knew the Concierto de Aranjuez so I said yes. I played him the Adagio movement including the cadenza. He loved it... I played Serenata espanola, Asturias and a solea if I remember correctly. I got his autograph in the end but I did manage well in that situation. As he exited the restaurant, he yelled to everybody in the restaurant, "this gentleman was excellent"... It was a nice turnout. So it's just a matter of getting into that rhythm once again and it should be ok I think. To take it to the concert stage again I would have to start "really" practicing and expanding the repertoire. But the restaurant gig thing can serve as a practice tool as you pointed out.Composing my own stuff would be the ideal thing but that's entering another subject. @Ramzi: hey I remember that video.


Ha great story Juan. Guess you know the deal already. A famous actor saw me perform a few months back and told me how much he liked flamenco. Performing with a group I rarely get any nerve problem vs playing solo.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2016 10:55:20
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Ricardo

@kiko: agree with you 100 percent.....

@Ricardo: hey I know that guy from "the outsiders".... That's awesome Ricardo. Matt Dillon is actually from a town that is about 5 minutes away from where I was raised.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2016 16:52:06
 
JonathanMtz

 

Posts: 26
Joined: Apr. 26 2015
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to jg7238

jg7238,


I've been having this problem myself for a long long time. It was extremely hard
to overcome. At this point in my life, I can honestly say that nervousness, or social anxiety, never decreases, you only become more resistant to it. My humble advice would be to engage in activities that force you to act under social pressure such as telling jokes or stories between your pieces. At first it's going to seem impossible, and people notice that, but trust me it gets better. As a soloist singer I had to overcome this when I was very young, I had to learn how to project the song's meaning with my body and energy. I used to cry and sweat and completely screw up my performance, but with repetition, practice, and time I was able to somewhat "forget" about me and focus on the performance but I still cried and sweat all the time just before my performance started.


When I get up in stage I just literally forget everything and devote completely to my performance. This was one of the hardest things to achieve in my life and I can still remember the process to this day. It's life changing, to the point that now I have two personalities, the performing me and the normal, shy, and timid me.

Hope that helps!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2016 17:55:04
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2016 23:45:14
 
Leñador

Posts: 5229
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Piwin

Matt Dillon looks younger than ever, the good life must be nice.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2016 3:07:05
Guest

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 29 2016 13:30:45
 
stepan

 

Posts: 31
Joined: Nov. 6 2014
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Guest

Thank you very much !
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 29 2016 18:41:22
 
HemeolaMan

Posts: 1514
Joined: Jul. 13 2007
From: Chicago

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Piwin

You can go at it the way that most of the symphonic musicians I know do... pharmaceutically.

Propranolol. Go to the doctor, tell them you have severe performance anxiety and it prohibits you from performing which is a means by which you make money. (assuming that's true in your case)

Propranolol is a blood pressure medication that acts as a beta blocker. This inhibits the fear/adrenaline response in the amygdala from happening and thus all but eliminates the physical symptoms of performance anxiety.

This is a relatively common "off label" usage of the drug which has few side effects and is perhaps among the most well studied meds out there.

This would be a more controllable alternative to drinking alcohol before a show as it doesn't encourage reliance on a potentially harmful substance, and doesn't impair motor activity in the way that booze does.

P.S. I'm not a doctor and this does not constitute official medical advice. So if you decide to go this route, go see an MD.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2016 0:01:25
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1653
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to HemeolaMan

quote:

This would be a more controllable alternative to drinking alcohol before a show as it doesn't encourage reliance on a potentially harmful substance, and doesn't impair motor activity in the way that booze does.


Umm… “Common side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, and constipation…”

Sign me up!

“…It should not be used in those with an already slow heart rate and most of those with heart failure. Quickly stopping the medication in those with coronary artery disease may worsen symptoms. It may worsen the symptoms of asthma. Greater care is recommended in those with liver or kidney problems. Propranolol may possibly cause harmful effects in the baby if taken during pregnancy,” etc. etc.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2016 0:12:14
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to Piwin

Saw a documentray about mathematics, dealing with its subject, didactics and people.

Plenty of these people to be seen in footage of congress etc., and they all had the geek vibe, very much fitting Paco´s description.

One could try drawing a line to the fact that both subjects, math and music engage the same regions in the brain, but I suppose the parallel to simply be lying in the fact that dedication to something of great inner focussing takes a lot of practising alone.

It could explain why chess players and computer and electronic nerds tend to be geekish too.

From there I suppose, blessed are those who live in a surrounding of mates in the subject. Like the Romeros (seemed to), gitanos appear to, or students in a conservatory´s dormitory may, where everyone fiddles around, practises together and meets each other in between.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2016 8:57:39

payaso

 

Posts: 77
Joined: Dec. 7 2014
 

RE: A question about social anxiety (in reply to HemeolaMan

Yes,. propranolol is widely used by orchestral musicians if, say, they are nervous about taking a solo. Its benefits in, for example, reducing shakiness in violinists has been demonstrated. But I thought the original question was about social anxiety, not just performance anxiety. Propranolol and other medication may be advocated for this but other forms of therapy may be preferred. Seeking professional help does not imply one is crazy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2016 9:15:31
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