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Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life Paperback – August 22, 2003


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Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life + Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety and Phobia + Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Social anxiety disorder goes well beyond simple shyness and can be emotionally crippling to its sufferers. Its victims find even the most informal and routine social situations threatening, and more formal events such as speeches and parties can trigger severe bouts of debilitating anxiety. Some 17 million Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder, and for every one that is diagnosed and receives help, there are probably a half dozen more who suffer in silence. This book is an excellent resource for those who suffer from this disorder, those who love them, and those who treat them. The authors start with the symptoms and some of the possible causes. Most important, they offer methods for treating the disorder, including self-treatment options. Case histories present people from a wide variety of backgrounds who have social anxiety disorder. Appendixes include help from parents of children with this disorder and other resources. An important book that addresses a topic that has received too little coverage. Marlene Chamberlain
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Reading this book is like having live therapy sessions with an expert on social phobia...Painfully Shy goes beyond showing us how to confront and deal effectively with our social phobia. It also gives us the tools to accept ourselves in the process." --Eric Joffe, Alliance for People with Social Phobia

"This is a highly readable book about the varied forms of social anxiety and its treatment...packed with practical tools to help readers overcome their fears." --Jerilyn Ross, M.A., L.I.C.S.W., author of Triumph Over Fear
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (August 22, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312316232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312316235
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Markway, Ph.D., is a psychologist and author. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including: the New York Times, Washington Post, Today Show, and Good Morning America. Her first book, Dying of Embarrassment, has been named one of the most scientifically valid self-help books in a study published in Professional Psychology, Research and Practice.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Adam Khan VINE VOICE on October 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A tremendous amount of research has been done on anxiety disorders in the last fifteen years. Researchers have discovered a lot about what causes it and what can be done about it, and in this book you'll find the latest information.
Social anxiety disorder is most common anxiety disorder and the third most common psychiatric disorder over all (behind depression and alcoholism). If it's so common, why haven't we heard much about it? Because the nature of the problem keeps it hidden. "Can you see a movie-of-the-week," says psychologist Thomas Richards, "about a very shy person who rarely leaves the house except to go to work, who has no friends, and is afraid of answering the door at times?" Who would watch a movie like that? The authors of Painfully Shy said that after their first book (Dying of Embarrassment) was published, a television talk show called them and said, "We want you on our show if you can bring several articulate, outgoing social phobics with you." What the heck were they thinking? Social anxiety disorder doesn't get much coverage because anyone with the problem is trying to avoid the public eye.
But this book brings social anxiety into the light. Anxious thoughts and feelings CAN be managed successfully, and this book will show you how. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and if you want practical, helpful advice that will really work to overcome your shyness, I highly recommend Painfully Shy.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By L. Brenner on August 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Wow. I think maybe that last reviewer had some problems other than just being painfully shy. I don't usually write reviews but I like this book and have found it helpful. Most books dealing with this subject seem to be more specific to social skills-- how to be assertive, how to win friends and influence people, etc. I like this book because it deals more generally with how to be comfortable with yourself in social situations. It's clear and easy to read and has interesting examples. It also has helpful exercises to try.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Signe A. Dayhoff on June 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Painfully Shy" succinctly covers all the basics of dealing with chronic shyness and social anxiety and does so with compassion and understanding in a reader-friendly style. Through ongoing case histories it demonstrates assessment and treatment possibilities. Furthermore, it has appendices containing useful resources for both adults and children. It might have been useful, however, for the book to have provided readers with in-depth applications of these techniques and principles in specific social areas that shy and socially anxious people often report as important. These include meeting people, dating, making an impression, giving reports, using the telephone, handling meetings, surviving job interviews, and "coming out" about their condition. Research has shown that frequently sufferers also need social-effectiveness skills training in order to recovery more quickly and satisfactorily. Overall, readers will find this book well-done, interesting to read, with useful information and helpful strategies.
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80 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Sophie on October 6, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first and only book I've bought concerning social phobia. Perhaps because I had already researched this subject on the web, a lot of the suggestions in this book were common sense and obvious. Too much was devoted to explication (e.g., what causes anxiety, nature vs. nature, what are SSRIs, etc.) vs. providing actual suggestions which I thought was a waste.

Was I expecting too much? I don't know. There weren't any revelations in this book. Even the anecdotes were a disappointment, I wished the author fleshed them out more. This book may be useful for those comletely NEW to this topic, but I suggest you look elsewhere if you want to delve deeper.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Tanner on October 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you want to start dealing with your social anxiety, this is a great book to begin with. It teaches the reader excellent techniques to managing anxiety, and even after two years of therapy, I found the relaxtion excrises extremely helpful. Reading this book also gives the shy, lonely person who may have social anxiety a sense of belonging. Reading this book made me realize that I am not the only one with S.A.D. and it really has helped me tremoundlsy. This book is great for starting out with dealing with social anxiety and I would definatly recommend it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on April 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was the first I purchased to better understand my issue of social anxiety and how to overcome it. It is fairly well written and gave me a better understanding of my social anxiety; however, I now know that it lacked crucial information. It fails to even mention cognitive behavioral therapy, which is considered the main treatment method for this disorder. In retrospect, the book did very little for me. It contained information that can mostly be found online. The author did not consult the opinions of other professionals to try to give the reader the best coping strategies available. Instead, she mostly derives her information from her own experience and education. This has the effect of giving the reader a limited and lopsided understanding of this disorder. In addition to Cognitive behavioral therapy, she leaves out muscle relaxation and breathing techniques that are both well known to be good defenses against the physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder. If you are looking for a comprehensive book on social anxiety that includes a recovery plan, I strongly recommend "Diagonally Parked in a Parallel Universe" by Signe A. Dayhoff. This book is excellent and has helped me very much to overcome the grip that this disorder has had on my life. Good luck to you.
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