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The Disturbing and Beautiful Story Behind Danny Trejo's Salma Hayek Tattoo
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The Disturbing and Beautiful Story Behind Danny Trejo's Salma Hayek Tattoo

Actor Danny Trejo is known for many things, including one of the most famous tattoos in the world. When Danny revealed it to his co-star Salma Hayek, she was shocked to learn the truth behind its uncanny resemblance to her face.

Police Officer Adopts Severely Abused 8-Year-Old Boy After Rescuing Him From Captors
Uplifting News

Police Officer Adopts Severely Abused 8-Year-Old Boy After Rescuing Him From Captors

The policeman's kind act is a lesson in the power of compassion.In 2015, Oklahoma Officer Jody Thompson overheard a dispatch of a case of child abuse and rushed to the scene despite being off duty. In 16 years on the force, he'd responded to plenty of child abuse calls, but this one absolutely shocked him.When he arrived, he found a severely underweight boy submerged in a trash can full of cold water. The boy's wrists were bound by belts and he had bruises head-to-toe."He did not have a spot on his body that didn't have a bruise or abrasion," Thompson told CBS News in a 2017 story. "It was the worst thing I've ever seen."Thompson drove the boy, John, to the Oklahoma Children's Advocacy Center to take photos and then to the emergency room. "I sat with him," Thompson said. "And when he was admitted into the intensive care unit, I sat all night until the next day."John realized then and there that he wanted to take care of this child."When I'd seen him in that house shivering and his hands tied -- just soaking wet and confused -- I knew at that moment the only time I would be satisfied and sure that he was safe is if he was with me," Thompson said.Three kids in two yearsA day later, Thompson registered to be a foster parent and a couple of days after that he was able to bring the boy home.Thompson already had two kids, 15 and 8, but when he came home with John he didn't tell them or his wife, but they understood that it was the right thing to do. "Everyone knew... they trusted I was doing the right thing before they even knew what happened and heard the story," he told CBS News.Two days later, John's wife found out she was pregnant with their third biological son. But the family kept growing. Seven months after that, John's mother had given birth to a baby girl while in prison. Officials asked the Thompsons if they would foster her. They agreed and officially adopted both John and Paizley on February 16, 2017."We literally picked her up in the hospital the next day when she was a day old and brought her straight home," Thompson said. "Never in my life did I dream of having a large family, but God had different plans and so here we are. And I'm loving it all."Jody Thompson'You never know what you're going to walk into'In a statement posted to Facebook, Poteau Police Chief Stephen Fruen commended Thompson for his actions. "Jody's actions as well has his families are second to none. The example of love and compassion he has shown to this young man and his sister is an example everyone should follow," he said. "It's men like you that make me proud of our law enforcement brothers and sisters. You are very deserving of this commendation. I am proud to serve with you."As for Thompson, he said his actions should be taken as a lesson for other challenges in life."We went through something bad, but we're not going got let it define who were are. We're not going to let this hold us back," he told CBS News. "Always have compassion, you never know what you're going to walk into."Jody ThompsonCalled to compassionHaving one new child is a lot, let alone three in two years! But the Thompsons knew they'd been literally called to action and chose to be compassionate. For that, they are heroic.More uplifting stories:Police Officer Adopts Abused Toddler After Rescuing Her From Unsafe HomeFirefighter Adopts Baby Girl After Delivering Her And Learning Mom Couldn’t Keep HerDomestic Abuse Survivor Marries The First Responder Who Saved Her LifeBrooklyn Landlord Cancels Rent For Hundreds Of Tenants, Setting An Unprecedented Example For Others

Waiter Pauses During Shift To Feed Disabled Customer, Allowing Her Husband To Enjoy His Meal Too
Uplifting News

Waiter Pauses During Shift To Feed Disabled Customer, Allowing Her Husband To Enjoy His Meal Too

Simply a humble man doing a very kind thing.He believes in treating people equallyA disabled woman and her husband would often come to the IHOP in Springfield, Illinois, and they'd always sit at Joe Thomas' table.Thomas had been working as a waiter at the IHOP for over a decade and one day he decided to sit down with the couple and help the woman eat instead of watching her husband do it.“I always see him stop eating to feed her and I was like 'heck, if I’m not doing anything why don't I go feed her so he can eat and everyone can be happy?' My parents always told me to treat people equally and that's what I try to do all the time,” Thomas told ABC 20 in 2017.“They are just really nice people really."Joe ThomasHis kindness was infectiousUnbeknownst to Thomas, a customer took a photo of Thomas feeding the woman and shared it on Facebook.“A man and disabled women were dining and your server sat down with them and proceeded to help feed the disabled woman while her companion enjoyed his food. My faith in humanity has been restored a little today," the since-removed post read, according to People.The photo and the story went viral. So much so that a couple of days after the news broke Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner dropped in to commend Thomas.“It makes you tear up a little, this kindness, this generosity, this caring for others is just a great thing,” the former governor said. "It's very exciting. That's why we were like let’s go say hi to him and say thank you for being a wonderful person."“Here is a wonderful human being who cares for others deeply and takes time out of his day to help."Former Illinois Governor Bruce RaunerHe sees himself as just an average guyCommenting on the attention he's received, Thomas reacted humbly“It really felt good for somebody to actually see another person is doing something and take notice,” he told ABC 20. “It felt good, but at the same time I was like I really don’t care for the recognition too much because it’s just something that should automatically be done regardless. I am out there to help anyone if I can, don’t really look for anything in return just have a good day and that’s it.”Last we heard of Thomas he was offered a job in nursing.Kindness is everywhereClearly Thomas had good parents to teach him with such kindness — but you don't have to be raised a certain way to know what it means to treat others with sincerity. We might not always see these kinds of acts of kindness in our day to day, but they're surely happening. So why not pass on the kindness the next opportunity you get?More uplifting stories:8 Years Ago, She Was An Addict On The Verge Of Death – Today, She Proved Everyone WrongTeen Skips Graduation Because Parents Can’t Make It – His Manager Steps InTwins Lose Over 250 Lbs Together By Supporting One AnotherAt 480 Lbs, He Received a Deadly Wake-up Call And Turned His Life Around

Secretly Homeless Single Mom Collapses When Boss Surprises Her With $250K Check
Uplifting News

Secretly Homeless Single Mom Collapses When Boss Surprises Her With $250K Check

These days, it almost feels like life's the full-time grind while work is the escape.Her everyday struggle Angel, an employee at Modell's sporting goods store will tell you that. While training a new associate named Joey during the filming of a documentary, she confided to him about her struggles. "I love this job... but it hasn't always been this way," Angel confesses. When Angel turned 25, she became pregnant and lost her old job as restaurant manager.We've been homeless for a long time. We live in a shelter now. It doesn't matter, though. I don't want you to feel sad for me- Angel Angel said that she'd been living there with her three children for two years. Prior to that, she said that they've slept in bus stops and had been "down to where we didn't have any money to eat."By the end of her story, both Angel and Joey were wet-eyed. She was in for the surprise of a lifetimeLittle did she know, it wasn't a new associate Angel was training, nor was she being filmed for a documentary. The trainee was actually Modell's CEO Mitchell Modell. He shaved his head and grew a mustache as a disguise. Angel was actually on 'Undercover Boss,' a show for CEOs who want to see what working for them is really like.Although sometimes they fire employees for poor behavior, in most cases they realize that their employees deserve better.For Modell, it was the latter. I'm the one who decides how much our associates are paid, and to learn that one of our employees is homeless makes me sick- Mitchell Modell Finally, the time came to reveal the truth to Angel. And so, on the ruse that a big celebrity investor was coming to town, she was invited to Citi Field to supposedly help with the sales pitch. That's when Angel learned Joey's real identity. "You were just amazing," he told Angel of working with her "It was above and beyond anything i could have ever expected from an associate. You're the kind of leader we want for our company."With that, he announced that he was promoting her to assistant manager along with a $14,000 raise. Oh, but the real promotion was about to come. "I've been thinking about that homeless shelter -- where you go home every night -- since I left you. It kills me to see that you're still there. So I have a check for you. I want you to move out of there immediately, like tonight."It was a check for $250,000, tax-free. Angel collapsed to the ground in disbelief as Modell caught her and sat next to her on the floor, taking the check out of his pocket. " I don't want you living at that homeless shelter ever again," he said, explaining that a financial advisor would help her jumpstart her home-hunting. Happiness enjoyed alone is hollowAngel said she has three amazing little reasons to be excited for her new life chapter. I'm going to tell my children that we're not going back to the shelter anymore, that we're going to have our own place. They can be kids- Angel Speaking to his entire team, Modell said that he's forever humbled after seeing his dedicated workforce firsthand."This journey for 7 days was the most incredible education, both personally and professionally, that i've ever witnessed. And I just want to thank all of you."Maybe it comes with age, or maybe it takes a television epiphany like Modell experienced. Whatever it is, the lesson is clear: Prospering alone is poverty. What good is Modell's wealth when his employees are living in desperation?He found out that lifting up great people like Angel heart creates wealth larger than any dollar fortune.More uplifting news:TikTok Prankster Unexpectedly Befriends Homeless Man, Helps Him Get Out Of DebtMan Finally Meets Mystery Neighbor He’s Been Playing Piano Duets With For WeeksAnti-Timeout Mom Reveals Game-Changing Parenting Tip In Viral Tik Tok PostHow A Kidnapping Survivor Who Escaped From A Car Trunk Is Saving Lives

Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest’s Advice For A Successful Relationship Is Just Two Simple Words
Dating

Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest’s Advice For A Successful Relationship Is Just Two Simple Words

After 36 years of marriage, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest’s love story is impressive by any standard, but especially by Hollywood’s. The couple, who met in the mid-1980s, is proof that when you open yourself up to love, great things can happen. But they’re also adamant about the fact that a long-lasting union isn’t easy. Rather, it takes ongoing work and Curtis’ advice for marital bliss boils down to just two simple words, which are likely to surprise you.Here’s what we can learn from Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest’s decades-long romance:"I think it’s crucial to put yourself in the path of love.” That’s the first piece of advice Jamie Lee Curtis offers when asked about how she managed to find her lifelong love at age 25. A huge proponent of taking a proactive approach to life (and love), Curtis has repeatedly spoken about how she pursued Christopher Guest after deciding he’d be a great match for her. “Look, I reached out to [Christopher’s] agent. I left my number. He didn’t call me by the way,” she shared with HELLO! in 2021. But that was by no means the end. Soon, the universe appeared to step in as they “ran into each other at a restaurant, and then he called me. But I put myself in the path of it, because I have believed in that my whole life: Put yourself in the path, do your work and let God take over the rest,” she encouraged.Our lives do hinge on a couple seconds that we don’t see coming and what we do in those seconds ultimately determines the rest of our lives. I met my husband by seeing his picture in a magazine and saying out loud to a friend of mine, 'I'm going to marry that dude,' and married him four months later. So the truth of the matter is, life hinged for me on a couple seconds that I didn't see coming.Jamie Lee Curtis to TODAYIt’s a sentiment she also shared with Oprah when she recounted the couple’s meet cute in detail. It was “one spring afternoon in 1984” and she was flipping through Rolling Stone with friend and Halloween co-writer Debra Hill. When she happened to land on a photo of three guys, she “looked at the man on the right, wearing a plaid shirt and a waggish smirk. I'd never seen him before, but I pointed at him [and said], ‘I'm going to marry that man,’” she recalled. Luckily, Hill did recognize him and gave Curtis the contact info for Guest’s agent. “The next day I called the agent, gave him my number, and told him to have Chris call me if he was interested,” she shared. That initial pursuit didn’t work and she didn’t hear from her crush, but a dinner at Hugo's in West Hollywood would soon change everything. “I glanced up and found myself staring straight at Chris, three tables away,” Curtis recalled, reminiscing how “he waved to me as if to say, ‘I'm the guy you called.’ I waved back: ‘I'm the woman who called you.’ A few minutes later, he got up to leave. Standing 20 feet away, he shrugged his shoulders and put up his hand as if to say, ‘I'll see ya.’ As he left.” This time, he did call and they went on their first date just a few days later. By the following month, “we'd fallen in love” and one month after that, he proposed. They were married before the year was over and haven’t parted ways since.Speaking with TODAY in 2021, Curtis elaborated on just how important it is to put yourself out there and lean in. "Our lives do hinge on a couple seconds that we don’t see coming and what we do in those seconds ultimately determines the rest of our lives,” she mused. “I met my husband by seeing his picture in a magazine and saying out loud to a friend of mine, 'I'm going to marry that dude,' and married him four months later. So the truth of the matter is, life hinged for me on a couple seconds that I didn't see coming," she said.Jamie Lee Curtis’ best relationship advice is just two words While most people may look at Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest’s relationship and think that they have it easy, the truth is that the couple puts in the work to make their union a success. It’s something Curtis has spoken about candidly on numerous occasions, like in 2015 when she told TODAY that her best marriage advice is “don't get divorced. It's a fascinating thing. I could write a book on marriage called 'Don't Leave,'" she quipped. Don’t leave. There’s a recovery phrase that says, ‘Stay on the bus, the scenery will change.’ You think you’re having a bad week, but stay on the bus, because one of these days you’ll look out the window and it’ll be beautiful. I’m not a wild romantic. I’m a realist. I respect him. And I just don’t leave.Jamie Lee Curtis to Good HousekeepingShe elaborated on the idea with Good Housekeeping a few years later in 2018, recommending, “Don’t leave. There’s a recovery phrase that says, ‘Stay on the bus, the scenery will change.’ You think you’re having a bad week, but stay on the bus, because one of these days you’ll look out the window and it’ll be beautiful,” she explained, adding, “I’m not a wild romantic. I’m a realist. I respect him. And I just don’t leave.” All these years later, it’s a concept that continues to serve them well, as Curtis and Guest are still putting in the effort to make their relationship the best it can be. Speaking with HELLO! In 2021, the Halloween star said she still believes that the best advice she can offer anyone is "don't leave. That's really it – two words. Because you will want to,” she admitted. “If you're telling me anybody who's married for a long time hasn't thought 'I hate them, I want out,' of course they have! I believe if you stay on the bus long enough, the scenery will change,” she assured.If you feel “comfort” and “connection,” you’re on the right pathJamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest may be “opposites” but they’re okay with that! “We don’t listen to the same radio station, we don’t read the same paper, we don’t go to bed at the same time,” Curtis told Good Housekeeping, but was quick to add that they do make an effort to share some pastimes. “We read the same history books,” she continued, adding that “for our 30th anniversary we both read a book called Undaunted Courage, the story of Lewis and Clark. Then we took eight friends and retraced a section of the Missouri River in canoes that followed the path of their expedition. We’re a little nerdy,” she joked. The fact that their daily routines are so different hasn’t taken anything away from their union because it’s their underlying connection that really matters. As Curtis told AARP, nothing can trump the way your partner makes you feel. Calling Guest her “one and only,” she revealed how she wrote him a song to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary in which she sang, “I feel safe when I drive up and see that you are home." Opening up about the meaning behind those words, she explained, “That's the long marriage. It's the safety of knowing his car is in the garage, that I'm not alone, and that he's here," she told the outlet. She shared more of that sentiment on her Instagram while celebrating their 36th anniversary in December 2020, writing, “One of the longest relationships I’ve had seeking comfort and contact and connection is with Chris. My hand in his. Then and now. Connected through our children and family and friends, it became the links in our human emotional chain that have seen each of us through triumph and tragedy,” she gushed.Yes, the way Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest met is rare and not everyone can expect to have such a quirky encounter worthy of a rom-com, but what we can all learn from the couple, especially Curtis, is the right way to approach love. For one, you need to remain open to it, even in the most unlikely of circumstances, and once you have it in your grasp, the work doesn’t stop. In fact, that’s when it begins. As the actor has said time and time again, even when things get tough, the one thing to always remember is “don’t leave” because a true connection is worth working for.More inspiring stories:Jamie Lee Curtis Bravely Reveals Decade-Long Struggle with Opioid Addiction, Shows That Even the Mega Successful Have Painful SecretsWarren Buffett, Melinda Gates and Sheryl Sandberg Agree This Advice Is Essential For a Lasting RelationshipNicki Minaj Gives Simple but Powerful Self-Esteem Advice and It’s a Lesson for Every RelationshipBarbra Streisand and James Brolin’s Advice for a Successful Marriage Is Seriously Simple

What is Social Anxiety Disorder? Signs and Solutions
Emotional Health

What is Social Anxiety Disorder? Signs and Solutions

Feeling anxious is a necessary, although uncomfortable, part of being alive. When you feel symptoms of anxiety, it’s your brain’s natural response to stressful, scary, or threatening people, places, and things. This accurately named stress response (which includes an adrenaline rush) can help us when we need to increase our alertness or energy levels to fight or flee in certain situations that may be particularly dangerous. However, if your anxiety levels are getting out of control and causing problems when you’re around other people who pose no real or significant threat to you or those you love, you may have a mental health condition called social phobia or social anxiety disorder.What are social anxiety disorders?Social anxiety or social phobia (fear) refers to the experience of feeling intense fear and anxiety in response to social situations and events. You may feel worried about being judged or about embarrassing yourself (ie., a fear of rejection). You may even be worried that if you get too close to others in social situations, they’ll figure out who you really are and will not like you.Think back to moments where you’ve been faced with meeting new people, introducing yourself to a new group, or mingling by yourself at a social gathering. Surely you can find one example where you’ve felt even a little unnerved! These feelings may stem from underlying beliefs you may not know you have because they were planted and took root at such a young and tender age. Later in life, something like a previously implanted belief that people are not trustworthy can trigger or influence these feelings of social anxiety (and understandably so!).These feelings can be felt both mental and physically.Physical symptoms of social anxietySocial anxiety symptoms can feel like:Heart racing Muscle tension including jaw clenching or shoulder scrunchingStomach upset, nausea, or digestive dysfunction (constipation or diarrhea) Shortness or shallowness of breathDissociating or feeling like you’re outside your own bodyFor some people, the exact social situations that trigger their underlying social phobia may be very specific and select. For example, you may know someone who is comfortable and outgoing with you but who seems to start crumbling under some unseen pressure when faced with groups of three or more people.For others, they may be perfectly comfortable with your entire extended family but refuse to enter a restaurant. Everyone’s mental health experience is unique to them. You can read through some mental health quotes to get a better understanding of what your loved one may be experiencing when they have anxiety and other mental illnesses.More on social anxiety disorderMental health disorders like social anxiety is more than just shyness and can be triggered into social anxiety disorder in any of us, regardless of age, gender identify, biological sex, or health conditon. Social anxiety disorder refers to the point where social anxiety is actively interfering with everyday functioning. Some people are more likely to experience it than others. Fifteen million Americans have social anxiety disorder with more than 75% experiencing their first symptoms in childhood and the early teen years. Over time, social anxiety disorder can lead to many missed opportunities. If you have avoided things like job interviews or promotional opportunities, your social anxiety may have already been present for months or years. Don’t self-diagnose and try to “get over it.” Social anxiety disorder is a medical condition that requires treatment in order for you to get better.Who is more prone to developing social anxiety disorder?Some people are more likely to have social anxiety and are more susceptible to developing mental disorders, including substance abuse disorder. You are more likely to develop social anxiety and a social anxiety disorder if you are exposed to environmental factors (like if you have any family member with anxiety disorders, or any other mental health disorder). While it’s known to run in families, researchers have yet to pinpoint the cause. Likely, it’s both genetic and environmental to different degrees in every case.For example, having a parent with social anxiety disorder (especially if it’s untreated) may affect you in different ways.You do not know the difference in their behavior compared to other parents until you start comparing with school friends and peers. You essentially grow up thinking the way they react to things and behave in the world is the “normal way.”A parent with social anxiety disorder may not be well enough to safely cope with bringing you to certain social events like public play groups or birthday parties. This means you may miss out on healthy socializing during those stages and may in turn begin exhibiting signs of social anxiety. Why do you have social anxiety?Even if someone in your family has social anxiety, it’s not their fault if you have it, too. With mental illness, there is never just one cause and it’s difficult to give an origin story to your anxiety because there are so many factors involved.The National Institute of Mental Health says:Several parts of the brain are involved in fear and anxietyMisreading other people (body language, tone, intention, etc). may contribute to social anxietyHaving underdeveloped social skills or being socially different can also play a role in people feeling discouraged about talking to others We also know that many environmental and other factors can contribute to social anxiety disorder, including:BullyingChronic stressFamily conflictSexual abuseCertain trauma or phobias Other anxiety disordersSerotonin and other hormonal imbalancesBrain imaging scans have determined that certain mood-regulating hormones like serotonin and overactive brain parts like the amygdala can contribute to this or cause social anxiety disorder. Diagnosis of social anxietyWhile there is no blood test to tell you for sure if you have symptoms of social anxiety disorder, you may already have some suspicions due to symptoms. With your symptoms in mind, you can take an online anxiety test or mental health assessment (not a diagnostic tool). These unofficial quizzes can help you get a better sense of your core symptoms and to what degree social anxiety is creating problems so you can more accurately communicate these things in a way your doctor can understand. You may even want to print out or take a screenshot of your results and bring them to your appointment or have them handy to refer back to during the session. Symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:BlushingNausea and feeling sick to stomach Vomiting Excessive sweatingTrembling and shaking Dizziness LightheadednessExcessive and intrusive, intense worrying about social situationsChronic worrying before events (even months in advance)Avoiding people or social settingsFocusing obsessively on how you’re being perceived (living life outside your body as a judge)Skipping school or missing workAvoiding basic public setting events like shopping in grocery stores, eating in public, or using public restroomsNot sleeping or restless dreamingTalk to a mental health professional or doctor about all your symptoms (including if your social anxiety worries are keeping you up at night) to get an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will make a diagnosis after considering how your symptoms compare to those listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness. If you want to see what they’ll be using to assess your symptoms, here are the main criteria for this clinical anxiety disorder:Marked fear response or anxiety about one or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others. Examples include social interactions (e.g., having a conversation, meeting unfamiliar people), being observed (e.g., eating or drinking), and performing in front of others (e.g., giving a speech). Note: In children, the anxiety must occur in peer settings and not just during interactions with adults.The individual fears that they will act in a way or show anxiety symptoms that will be negatively evaluated (i.e., will be humiliating or embarrassing; will lead to rejection or offend others).The social situations almost always provoke fear or anxiety. Note: In children, the fear or anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, clinging, shrinking, or failing to speak in social situations.The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the social situation and to the sociocultural context.A chronic mental health condition like this can mean that social situations are avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety.The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning and is persistent, typically lasting for 6 months or more.These feelings are not the result of the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition and isn’t better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder, such as panic disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, or autism spectrum disorder.If another medical condition (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, obesity, disfigurement from burns or injury) is present, the fear, anxiety, or avoidance is clearly unrelated or is excessive.Aside from looking at those diagnostic criteria for social anxiety disorder, your healthcare provider should order some general lab tests as a precaution for ruling out any other mental health concerns that could be causing your symptoms. When it comes to social phobia in particular, though, the symptoms of anxiety typically have a pretty clear trigger, so it may make treatment a bit more straightforward (but not always).People with social anxiety may experience symptoms of anxiety at the thought of making a phone call to book an appointment to go into a public place such as a doctor’s office. If it helps, you can find an online telehealth provider so you can access your appointment remotely from the security and safety of a private setting. After you get a diagnosis, your doctor will begin talking to you about treatment. You should know the sooner you start any treatment, the closer you are to finding what works. Social anxiety treatment: How to treat social anxiety disorder the right way)There are so many avenues for treating social phobia and symptoms of social anxiety that you will need to decide what you are and aren’t comfortable with and willing to try. Whatever you decide, choosing no treatment is not a good option for your mental health. People with social anxiety who avoid treatment are risking their disorder getting increasingly worse. Main methods of treating social anxiety disorder include the following. Psychotherapy Psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help in treating social anxiety disorder. This is not a quick fix or a one-time treatment but committing to the treatment plan can give you great insight and empower you to explore different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to social situations. This can help you feel less symptoms of anxiety including fear.You can find registered counselors, mental health therapists, trained peer specialists, and psychiatrists who practice CBT in-person and online through telehealth appointments. Choose which option you feel most comfortable with. (frédéric Michel / Getty)Your therapist may also discuss Exposure Therapy where you gradually work your way into facing your fears as a way of resolving them. MedicationWhen anxiety starts interfering with your daily functioning, your doctor may suggest medications that can help reduce symptoms of anxiety. Mental health medications like antianxiety medications and antidepressants can help you cope with symptoms of illness but they do not cure mental illnesses. If you have tried any mental health medications in the past, it’s important to let your doctor know. Many of these medications work on similar brain chemicals, and any information about past use can be helpful for when your doctor chooses the best option to try first.Don’t get discouraged by the word “first.” Many people will need to trial a few different mental health medications before finding their perfect match. Your perfect patch may not be the same as another person with social anxiety. What’s right for you is ultimately the medication that makes the most positive improvement with the least amount of side effects. Mental health medications commonly prescribed for social anxiety disorder include:Traditional anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines (typically prescribed for short-term or on-the-spot momentary reliefNewer options like SSRI antidepressants (a longer-term anxiety solution)Beta blockers that can block physical symptoms of anxiety Four of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include:alprazolam (Xanax)clonazepam (Klonopin)diazepam (Valium)lorazepam (Ativan)Anti-anxiety medications (e.g. benzodiazepines of any brand) are habit-forming and are said by the American Academy of Family Physicians to lose their effects after 4 to 6 months of regular use. You can also experience serious withdrawal symptoms (including rebound anxiety that can be worse than the original issue) when you try to stop, which is why you should only do so under the guidance of your prescribing healthcare professional. Support Groups (Online and In-Person)Support groups are safe spaces where you have a chance to receive honest and unbiased feedback about how others see you. While this may sound scary, it’s a way of actually hearing from others what they think, rather than sitting in your head in a social situation and assuming. This type of internal dialoguing can prevent you from forming real bonds with other people. Support groups help you face that fear and find out that the truth is really never as bad and if negative feedback and emotions arise, you’re in the perfect place to deal with them. Other support resources:Anxiety and Depression Association of America 240-485-1001 www.adaa.org Freedom From Fear 718-351-1717 www.freedomfromfear.org/ National Institute of Mental Health 866-615-6464 www.nimh.nih.gov National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255) www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ Holistic treatment changesThe National Institute of Mental Health says that a “healthy lifestyle can also help combat anxiety.” This means getting enough sleep and exercise, eating a balanced diet rich in fresh, colorful foods, and reaching out to support networks and available resources to help yourself get better. When you begin making changes to combat social phobia, it can be additionally difficult because, for example, it’s not like you want to go to a crowded gym or park to exercise. There are ways around these mental health hurdles and personal barriers until they come down naturally as you begin to see the impact of holistic treatment.Social anxiety and holistic treatmentRather than rely on one method of treatment and hope for the best, a person with social anxiety disorder and other types of mental health conditions are best served with the holistic or combination approach. Holistic treatment considers the whole person: body, mind, and spirit or soul.This may look like you are seeing a general practitioner, a counsellor, a yogi master, and a dietician or it may look like making sure you are taking your medications, walking more frequently, and avoiding fast food while trying to keep a consistent sleep schedule. Whatever path you take, know that every little step adds up to a healthier you both in the short term (right now) and longer term (meaning you won’t miss out on stuff because of social anxiety).Alternative options include:Avoiding caffeine in soda, chocolate, coffee, tea, etc. because it can rev up your anxietySkipping the alcohol - alcohol-induced anxiety can last for several hours or even a whole day after drinkingAvoiding drugs like cannabis that can cause heightened anxiety and stress (even in youth)Doing some deep breathing exercises or practicing mindfulness which can reduce anxiety and stress and improve sleepA final wordIf you see yourself in the signs and symptoms of a social anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor, counselor or health care provider. They can provide medical advice that is truly valuable, and when something isn’t right, you deserve the same type of support as anyone experiencing any other health problem. Advocate for your needs or enlist the help of someone else. Remember that anxiety is not your fault. Treatment, however, is possible, is in your hands, and is ultimately under your control. You got this!