When it is NOT Just ‘Shyness’

Most of us have experienced moments of ‘shyness’ or times when we have felt challenged by a social situation. Maybe it’s a party where you don’t know many people or perhaps we are required to give an oral presentation. There may even be days where we just don’t want to go out and deal with other people. We may have been labeled as ‘shy’ or be considered an ‘introvert’. However, when our anxiety becomes a daily heart-pounding struggle, there may be more going on.

This Huffington Post article takes a look at ‘Social Anxiety,’ a mental health condition that affects approximately 15 million people, yet goes mostly untreated.  Melissa Weinberg, a therapist with the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland notes this is in part due to, “Therapists may miss the diagnosis when the observable symptoms are actually reflective of another disorder”. The article provides several other reasons why this very prevalent mental health issue may go untreated, including the continuing stigma attached to mental health issues in general.

The good news is that there are things that can be done to address this condition, such as, “seek(ing) out fear-inducing situations in a controlled way” according to Dr. Patti Johnson, a psychologist in Los Angeles.

The lure of horses is very compelling for so many people and yet, fear may keep them from every experiencing the joy and healing power of working with horses. Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy can help with this! We offer a gently challenging way for our clients to address fears and anxiety. We do not have a set timeline for the work we do with our clients. It is much more about the pace that works for them. They meet the herd and are encouraged to choose a horse they would like to work with. They learn to halter, lead and groom the horse. We emphasize safety, teaching clients about horse and herd behavior – why horses do what they do – and how we can use this information to keep ourselves safe. We do a variety of ground exercises, where client has the opportunity to get to know their horse and begin to build a relationship. AND, we do mounted work, allowing clients to progress at their own pace, learning to walk, trot and even canter if they wish to do so and demonstrate the skill level to make this a safe activity.

If you or someone you know, are struggling with social anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, Depression or other mental health issues, seek help. We are here to be a part of a comprehensive treatment team. Call or email and we can schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our wonderful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. We are here for you!

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