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Chronic fear of public speaking

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wind_blast942

New member
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
1
I am just wondering if there are any ways to handle this.

I have anticipatory anxiety with regards to public speaking. It started like more than 10 years back. At first I only began to feel fear of a presentation 5 mins before it occurs. Moving over the years, this duration has gradually increased to the present 2 weeks.

During the start of the 2 weeks, my mind will keep regurgitating the fear of delivering the presentation. I have tried meditation, but it only helped to calm my mind down for like a while (maybe up to 30 mins after finishing). I have tried everything, including rationalizing, ignoring, arguing, but nothing seems to work. These fears will keep reappearing in my mind, over and over, until the moment I finish the damn thing. Even when my mind is preoccupied with other things, there is a feeling that this fear "lingers on" at the back of my mind (not sure if you guys understand what I mean...)

When I am awake and conscious, I will try to attempt to ignore it; but the effects are felt worse just when I wake up (since I still do not have full control of my brain). Every day leading up to the presentation day is a day that I hope that I can end as soon as possible; trying to "fast-forward" to that day, so that this anxiety can end.

I am actually not extremely afraid of public speaking (no more than your average joe i guess), but this anticipation takes a toll on me and my daily life. I feel like fast-forwarding my life everyday just to get rid of it. And worse still, I am unable to let my superiors know about this condition, for most people will not understand it.

Thanks for listening to my rant. Please let me know if there are any other methods that I can go about this...
 
pepecat

pepecat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
13,794
Location
middle earth
My partner had something similar to this - and she's a uni lecturer, so you can imagine what an issue that was for her! Hers was more about not being able to get words out properly or speak during a meeting, and came on suddenly one day where she had to introduce a speaker and stumbled over a word and then choked (not literally, but you know what I mean), and then from then on it was a real issue. She was fine with students, actually, so teaching was ok, but in meetings with peers and colleagues she found it a problem.
What cured her (and I do mean cured) was hypnosis. She went a couple of times initally, and even after the first session things were WAY better. Then a few months later she went for a final 'top up' session, and hasn't been back since. I think the hypnotherapist basically 're-booted- her brain so that it didn't fall into the 'this is going to be awful' way of thinking any more. The change was amazing and she has no problem now in meetings and stuff. I think maybe once or twice she's caught her throat kinda choking, but she's just carried on and it's settled and been fine.

Maybe hypnosis is something you could try - especially if it was a specific event that triggered your issues.
 
Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,748
Location
Europe
I suffered with this, I used to hate presenting things at work. It was something I only ever did very infrequently, but it was always a source of stress when I did. I'm not sure if I ever really beat it, but I did find something that helped a bit, which was joining Toastmasters, an international organisation which helps wih public speaking, and just getting used to speaking publicly and also speaking off the cuff.

Hope you find some help :)
 
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