This case involves a 21 year old female who was suffering from extreme social anxiety. She could not stay away from social media for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Even at night when she would get up to use the toilet she would take her phone and spend up to 30 minutes scouring social media each trip to the toilet. Needless to say as a result she was suffering from significant sleep deprivation as well.
During discovery it was observed she lacked self-confidence and was doing her best to fit in and be accepted. There was no specific root cause for the lack of self-confidence, however her parents were of old school thinking and did not provide much if any positive motivation but were more of ‘ I think you can do better next time.’ That left her with the never quite good enough mentality in every aspect of her life whether there was some standard to meet or not.
Because of that I felt a layered approach on therapy was best and the first thing I worked on was helping her to get a good night’s sleep. With a good night’s sleep she would be more rested and her thinking would be crisper and less dull. These suggestions were very easy as her personal appearance was a big part of her anxiety.
I pointed out under hypnosis that she was very attractive and in her prime, except she looked visibly run down because of lack of sleep. I said she had that end of the day look before noon arrived. She processed that hypnotic suggestion when I said everyone else was getting their beauty sleep while she was surfing social media. The result was her new priority to look rested and refreshed and leave social media for waking hours. The results of better sleep were very obvious when she arrived for her second session a week later.
The next step was to build her self-confidence and self-esteem to where she felt a bit more of a leader and not so much a follower. That included to not be so critical that she had to be part of every trend and to pick and choose what fit her best. The hypnotic suggestions were based on the observation that not everyone looks good in certain clothing and to only wear what looks good on her. As expected she expanded that concept to include social media trends.
Over the next few sessions she became more self-confident and it was even suggested she may want to even consider starting her own trend. Therapy was not one size fits all and focused on specifics for her and some other minor issues that may have contributed.
After therapy she would only look at social media on her breaks at work and in her free time. She was better able to budget her time and do some productive things for herself. Her social media usage went from about 6 hours a day to not more than 2 on average. She also expressed she was saving money too as she was not spending so much money on trend purchases.