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I need something to calm myself down when interacting with certain people(crushes included here).

Sometimes I'm so calm, and I could say whatever I want, but most of the time, there's a wave of emotions hitting my chest and neck. Possibly also some blood pressure increase in the brain, if I recall correctly. I can't hold my smile anymore, I can't control my face muscles easily, words won't flow as easy as before, even walking becomes a bit irregular, as I start to feel my legs less in control, and so on.

This destroys my confidence, and makes me more introvert, wanting to avoid such situations from happening again, so less social interactions.

I know the theory, that all of this has deep roots in brain's memories from the past, moments that you, as a person, felt awkward while interacting with others, etc; and in order to overcome it, think positive and try to remember more "glorious" moments, while interacting with others, so that your brain will somehow forget and "un-wire" those memories.

I need to understand why is this happening, what happens in the brain, what supplements/pills could I try in order to reduce it, etc.

I'm approaching 30's, and it's kind of late to think that this can be solved naturally, just by interacting more, until I'd become "numb" to these emotions. I've lived almost half of my life already.

Why I don't think that a psychologist could help me? I don't know, I'd see myself there being a bit nervous for the first sessions, then after a while, I get used to the person, and the emotions disappear. But then, if there's someone new, or someone new that I'd like a lot, I'd be back to square zero, filled with those pesky emotions inside my brain, chest, neck, legs, etc.

  • You should see a therapist. As you mentioned, it's most likely not going to go away on its own. The longer you leave the condition untreated, the longer it will take for you to get better. – Mikiko Aug 18 '16 at 1:43
  • Same problem here. See my post at health.stackexchange.com/questions/9531/… – user570593 Oct 7 '16 at 6:17
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Usually on health SE the question about specific steps and/or medication to help you would be closed as personal medical advice question, and you would be prompted to ask a medical professional's help. But, since you have given a detailed explanation why you don't think it would work for you, I hope this answer will help you and other who have a similar question in refuting the arguments you gave.

In short, a therapist can help you with the issues you described and here is why:

Working with a therapist to resolve shyness, social anxiety or anything else that might be the problem isn't about your interaction with the professional as a new person and practicing on them in a safe environment. It is about finding the root of the problem and finding ways to solve or mitigate it by methods that the practitioner has been trained to use. It might seem like an ordinary conversation/social interaction, but it is not, and a layperson cannot do it instead of a therapist.

Among many techniques that exist, a well-known one is cognitive behavioural therapy also known as CBT. Whether this is the right one for you, I can't say over the internet, but a therapist who sees you in person can.

From NHS:

[CBT] is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. CBT aims to help you crack this cycle by breaking down overwhelming problems into smaller parts and showing you how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.

Based on your description this seems like something you are looking for.

You asked about a pill or a supplement. There have been studies with those as well, but The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, Volume 4 by Irving B. Weiner, W. Edward Craighead states that:

Controlled studies have shown that cognitive behavioral treatment is equally or more efficacious, particularly at long-term follow up.

If your opinion that you need medication or supplements persists, you would still need to get a prescription or at leas a recommendation from a therapist, so if you already go to see one, why not try a pharma-free option first? If need be, your therapist can always add the medication.

I should mention that there are self-help options, primarily books on the market, but while they might offer valuable advice they can't monitor your progress and adjust the advice and methods accordingly, while a therapist can and this is exactly what they do. A form of middle-ground might be computerised CBT. If you opt for therapy in person (the best option IMO) you can choose between group and individual therapy. Sometimes it might take a while to find a form of therapy or a therapist that suits you (people are different) the key is to be persistent and not to give up. Best of luck!


The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, Volume 4, Irving B. Weiner, W. Edward Craighead John Wiley & Sons, 2010

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) at NHS

Painful Shyness in Children and Adults by American Psychological Association

Effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in social anxiety disorder Sara Costa Cabral MululoI; Gabriela Bezerra de MenezesII; Leonardo FontenelleIII, Marcio VersianiIV, Rev. psiquiatr. Rio Gd. Sul vol.31 no.3 Porto Alegre Sept./Dec. 2009

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Person with social anxiety here.
I want to share some personal experience with you. Most of the symptoms you described (both mental and physical) are familiar to my own.

Get help
First, I totally agree with Lucky. Seeing a therapist/psychologist is in my honest opinion the best thing to do. This person can help in the form of giving exercises, advice or just listening to you. It doesn't matter that you can get used to him/her. That comfort might help you to talk more openly and get to the source of your problem. Your age is not important IMHO. The people in my therapy group ranged from age 20 to 65.

Work on your emotions, don't suppress them
I think using supplements/pills should be a last resort. Those might help you in the moment but are not a long time solution. Try training to control your emotions and get help doing so. This is much more fulfilling and helpful. Using something like a pill to gain that control seems a bit like suppressing to me. I'm certainly not a therapist/psychologist but I believe you should learn to handle the emotions you're experiencing properly. It takes some work and time, and it might not be easy but it's worth it. You will start noticing that you converse with more and more ease overtime. This will also help you regain confidence because it will be something you achieved yourself. Supplement and pills will not address any underlying problems you might have. They will continue to exist and you will only treat the symptoms.
But then again, I'm not a professional so get the opinion of an expert on this matter.

I had group therapy and occasionally spoke with a psychologist. Together we came to the source of my social anxiety and started to work on it. A year later (after a year of therapy), I still have some anxious moments now and then but they are less intense and don't last that long anymore. My point is that, while therapy takes more work, it outweighs the 'quick fix' that pills and supplements offer by far.
I hope this helps and the best of luck.

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