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  1. #1

    Anxiety and dating

    I'm 24 and have suffered from anxiety to some degree or another all my life. I know that in some ways this condition has been related to the fact that I suffered until recently from a condition called hyperhydrosis. It was quite bad and I avoided social situation because of it. I'm not sure which started first, the anxiety to spur the sweating or the sweating to the anxiety...maybe it went both ways. In any event, I've had surgery and now take medication which works wonderfully but now have this anxiety to deal with that just won' go away.
    For the most part any social situation is a little anxiety stricken, but I'm alright with that. My problem is with dating. I have just started to see this really great guy but I am on edge all day long, every day. This feeling always happens and so I have always ended relationships early on in an effort to feel normal again. I've read some books and articles on social anxiety and have tried a few things....exercise, church, calming music, keeping myself busy, going for a drive....which all help in the short term.
    I just want to know WHY i feel this way. Is it low self esteem?
    With friends and strangers I am able to get past my anxiety and am actually quite outgoing and confident. But with dating, while I put on this outgoing front, I am so sick to my stomach I can hardly breath.

  2. #2

    Anxiety and dating

    I think it might just be that dating is a new experience for you. Because of the hyperhydrosis, you didn't involve yourself in very many social situations as a young, growing teen, as most people do. Now, with the condition treated, you're ready to step out into the world and do the things you've avoided before. For you, these are new experiences...unknowns, so to speak. Unknowns are always scary, and they're scary for anyone. I think you just need a bit of time, and practice, for the emotional part of you to realize what the logical part of you already knows: the hyperhydrosis is under control, and fear of social situations that accompanied it can be safely put aside. There's fun to be had, and you're just beginning. :o)

  3. #3

    Anxiety and dating

    I have a client with that problem -- what type of surgery did you have and what kind of medication?

  4. #4

    Anxiety and dating

    About fiver years ago I had an ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy) surgery to stop the sweating in my hands and underarms...although I suffered from it in the feet as well. It worked wonderfully for about a year, year and a half and then I got compensatory sweating in the face, back, chest...all over basically. I recently went back to a dermotologist who prescribed glycopyrrolate. Its only availbale in canada from an on-line pharmacy in toronto (pharmacy.ca) so I get it shipped to me but its worth every penny! I've been on it for about 6 months now, a low dose with no side effects! Even under extreame anxiety when i would normally sweat the most (i.e. dripping hands) it works!

  5. #5

    Anxiety and dating

    Thanks, Courtney! I'll look into that for my client.

  6. #6

    Anxiety and dating

    As for the dating problem....I guess experience with long term relationships will bring me more comfort and less anxiety. That seems to make sense. While my dating was limited/non-existent in highschool, I did date quite extensively through university and met a lot of wonderful guys along the way. But maybe because I never truely committed long term to those relationships (a whole other story I'm sure) my anxiety develops when I'm confonted with that possibility...of a real relationship. I guess I have to figure out the reason why i avoid long-term commitment. I don't think its about the sweating any more. I'll need to think about that!

  7. #7

    Anxiety and dating

    I think there's definitely a difference between the emotions created by casual dating and those that develop in a more committed relationship. We don't have near as much of ourselves on the line when we're just dating somebody casually. Once the relationship starts to develop into something more, we begin to realize how much we depend on the other person, and how important to us that person is. We've got more invested, so we would naturally be more vulnerable. It's certainly something to think about.

  8. #8

    Anxiety and dating

    My apologies. I didn't mean to ignore your issue -- was just in a rush to get to my office.

    You might try to find a counselor/therapist who can help you to learn some relaxation techniques and cognitive restructuring strategies. Other things that can help are fast acting tranquilizers like sublingual ativan, not to be used regularly but only when you feel that panicky feeling coming on.

    Primarily, these are methods to help you manage the anxiety so you don't "run away" -- this is the so-called "flight or fight reaction" and each time you escape (or avoid) the situation it strengthens the tendency to do so again the next time you feel that way. Once you are able to have a few successful experiences with dating where you don't experience "panic", you should the anxiety begin to decrease over time.

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