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  1. Thanks for your reply. Although SA and AvPD are both similar in many ways, they are also quite different. However it is unlikely that someone with AvPD doesn't have SA, but pretty much everyone with AvPD has SA. The problem with my AvPD is that the more I do, the more I eventually find myself avoiding making things harder and harder as time goes on. For example if I am employed somewhere I tend to avoid it and the surrounding area after I leave due to stress which always happens to me eventually. Then I struggle to go back to the same area because I am likely to bump into people who I knew, and I can't stand it. It really is a major issue I struggle to deal with. I am having CBT but it is still very hard
  2. Hi all! I am 23 and suffered with AvPD in various degrees since age 18 when I cut all contacts with friends and became a recluse/housebound for months, since this I've never fully recovered. I've obviously worked on and off, but suffered with high level anxiety in all of these employment setting, and have never been able to last longer than a year in employment because eventually I just can't handle it anymore, and if I am to ever stand a chance of stable employment I need to get over my Avpd once and for all. This means facing everything I have put so much effort into avoiding all these years. I've had various jobs over the years but suffered with severe anxiety since it began which is still current, but I am at the point where I want to take the leap but the anxiety kicks in to the extreme. I have to go out and face things and it's making me suffer. Seeing all of my old friends or just people who knew me from years ago, it terrifies me to the extreme seeing them, just thinking about it scares me, I have recurrent nightmares about it. When I begin my exposure tasks properly I will undoubtedly encounter these people, but in order to live properly I need to face it all, but I have to do it on my own and I don't think I can cope with it. I will already be in panic mode just by visiting my local area, and seeing these people whilst in this mode means that after all this time, they will see me at my most vulnerable and therefore will be judging me as they see me, which I hate. Can anyone relate? I would appreciate your help and input!
  3. Hi Anglcsprt, thank you for the long post. As you said your Doc swears by CBT, I am from the UK and CBT is always the what the GP offers for free on the NHS. I have had CBT 3 times over the past 4 years, and it does help, but I don't think it is all it is cracked up to be in my experience, I do think some strong people do well with it, but when someone has a very strong social anxiety that is embedded in my personality I feel CBT doesn't address the root of the problem that always comes back, With me, I usually find that I get a bit better on my own, though in order to do this I have to first reach despair, realise the despair is pointless and then move on, this process can take months/years to get through and for me it is usually temporary, after a while of making progress my symptoms of social anxiety usually creep in because of discontent, and this discontent is largely still having no social network and feeling intimately unfulfilled at my age, hence I start despairing then I end up back here :( I guess what works for me is realising the hard way where I am at in life and what I am doing, this is what causes the anxiety in the first place. It creeps up on me that I have spent the last however long leeching of my family and not moving foward, then I feel very guilty and obliged to make an effort, and when I make the effort it creates more anxiety and I am unstable, it works for a while but I eventually end up here again. I suppose its time I made the effort again, I need to start thinking positive, not m******g because it keeps me here (easier said than done) and making some small goals and bigger goals
  4. Hi, thank you for this post. Yes you are right that when someone has social anxiety, low confidence and low self esteem like me it is near impossible to find a partner, and I guess there is a much truth in love yourself before you love someone. The problem is I feel bad about myself because of my current situation and past experiences, this affects my personality and makes it very hard for me to socialise and make friends. The current situation is M******ing, I think this keeps me in a shell of removing the urge and then not having the motivation or desire to make improvements in my life to find a partner to share 'me' with, and as I know this it puts me in a low mood, also it is really difficult to 'not do it', I can 'not do it' but it creates a lot of frustration and stronger feelings to go out, but then the social anxiety gets in the way and I usually resort back to 'doing it again' :s I believe past experiences and my genetic predisposition have massively influenced me to get into this position of socially anxious needy recluse. People used to call me names when younger and I guess these things have always stuck with me, my dad left when I was young and I suppose I just found relief and solace in withdrawing from the world and dealing with things on my own, and to overcome this and get back out there is very very hard for me. I have managed it a few times in last few years but it normally gets too much. I don't really know how to make things better at the moment
  5. Thanks, it sounds like you understand. You are correct that I have social phobia and I have had it for such a long time that I have learned to accept it. I also believe that one day I will find a partner but this just isn't possible at the moment. I know there is nothing wrong with 'taking care' of things myself, but it's the fact that I have little control of 'it' and I feel like doing it is only keeping me in this bad situation. I really want to become a better person and leave this old me behind, but I can't seem to heal, do you have any advice on improving self esteem and healing? I know only 'me' can heal 'me' but it's like I have no choice in 'doing it myself' which keeps breaking me each time so I can't heal :(
  6. Thanks, I do not consider myself an awful person, and I haven't done anything to harm other people - other than myself. The problem is I have social anxiety, and I have no confidence or social skills and feel lonely. To deal with this loneliness I 'manually' deal with the issue and I hate this, and it eventually lead me to despair (I think because the manual act makes me feel pathetic) Anyway, I can't get past this and I hate myself for it, I can go a week without the 'manual act' motivated by the idea of finding a partner, but I can never do this, but I don't that I always resort back to 'it' which keeps leading me to despair
  7. HI I am not Self Harming - I haven't done this for a while. However I do self loathe all the time. The problem is I am a male at 23 and therefore have a high S*x D***e, as a result I m******e each day, and because I have Social Anxiety I lack the social skills to meet girls. I think my low mood and self loathing is really bad, but I also think in my situation it is completely normal behaviour because s*x is a human necessity and I am very lonely.therefore I feel rejected and not good enough, I do take an ssri med which helps a little but I truly believe meds are not the answer for me. I also do CBT which I am not sure if it helps, but I will try. Thank you for your support
  8. I am male 23 and I feel like something is seriously wrong with me, at the same time the way I am feeling is completely normal due to the circumstances. I've always desired intimacy through a relationship but it is something has never happened for me, due to low self esteem, low confidence, lack of the needed social skills and other factors, though nothing sinister. Because of my discontent and feeling ashamed in this area (due to choices I have made) I've cut myself of socially and spent the last 5+ years suffering because of my own flaws and mistakes which have bought on extreme anxiety and panic with depressions. The shame from my mistakes is resulted from being a loner, sexually frustrated, daily manual relief and when things get really difficult paying for it which never goes well and leaves me extremely fragile (has happened 3 times over past 4 years) I don't really know how to explain this anymore as its such a messy situation but if anyone can help, offer advice or has any support to give I would be very thankful.
  9. I am having a really hard time at the moment. I've suffered anxiety, depression (mainly social anxiety/avoidance) over the last 5/6 years, as a result It has (or I have?) completely cut of my social life over the last few years, and almost everything I have done in these years has resulted in anxiety and all of its symptoms 'nausea. light-headedness, feeling low, scared, nervous, diarrhoea' and it's been a daily battle giving me no break. I can't pinpoint how my situation came to occur, but at around 17 I just remember feeling bad about myself, like everyone had a reason to look down on me for whatever reason. I spent 1 year being a recluse, after which my family belatedly intervened and took me to see the doctor, it actually gives me shivers that I didn't leave the house for months, that's quite incredibly bad. Now in my early twenties I still suffer from both anxiety, and I still suffer the consequences of my actions, every day is a battle, but at least I'm not housebound, I go to college, talk to people, walk in busy places and I want to improve myself. I have got to the point where I feel like I must put this behind me, I want to face one of my biggest fears which is going into my local town where I will see my old friends, school mates etc. But this brings about intense panic for me, I guess I feel like I have to explain my actions to everyone, and I feel as though everyone will judge me, think bad thoughts about etc, also I know I am going to feel incredibly weak, most of them have partners, good jobs, army etc Wheras I am struggling to just be seen by them, as a result of all of this I dare not go into my local town, I don't even have any friends or anything to fall back on. All I have these past 4 years is intense anxiety, fear and gloom, I worry this is how people will view me.
  10. I am 23 years old and suffered with anxiety since I was 16. It caused me to not leave the house for one year, quit University when I thought I was better, be in and out of various jobs and has completely wiped out my social life to such an extent I actually fear seeing my old friends and people I used to spend my time, due to how they might think about me, what they will say and how I will act around them. I am now at college doing a health course hopefully so I can go on to do something in mental health so I can help people with similar problems. The problem is, my anxiety has been bad for 6 months, and going to college and socialising is a massive issue for me, but I now manage to tolerate the fear though it doesn't go away. What I am mostly having trouble with is seeing people from my past and going into my local town centre where I am bound to see a lot of people I know who will all be asking me at least some questions whilst I am in a state of panic and shock. I am trying to face this the best I can but today I only manage to walk to the outskirts of the town centre and had to turn away because of high anxiety. When I am in another town I or place I am anonymous and therefore I feel more relaxed, but for whatever reason when I try to venture in my local settings I feel considerable anxiety and I am not sure what is best to help me with this. Thoughts that go through my mind are something like this "i feel incredibly anxious, what if I see them? I have changed so much and they will instantly judge me, I don't know how I look to others or how they perceive me, I feel odd but it has taken so much effort and no success in feeling normal, am I strange? I hate this anxiety, I can't do it, if I see them I will freeze and panic, my eyes are watering, I feel nausea, I just looked at my reflection and I look dreadful" Can anyone help me about this?
  11. I reluctantly began zoloft around 15 months ago and 6 weeks in I thankfully felt some relief from my anxiety and depression. However after 12 months I felt exactly the same as I did prior to beginning the 50mg, and was upped to 100mg which I only experienced negative side effects with that didn't go away, so I then went back to 50mg but feeling no benefits from it, however when I try to stop the zoloft altogether I fall apart physically and mentally so I am just taking it to feel normal - like a drug addict
  12. you really need to talk with your doctor about this, it would be wrong for us to give you advice on here. Hope you feel better soon
  13. I have suffered anxiety and social anxiety for many years and I am only 23. I guess what helps is setting goals, write them all down and don't be scared to set big goals. My small goals were to go into another town each day over a 2 week period, even if only for an hour, I would sometimes just go into a library where it was quiet and I wouldn't have to face people. I then set myself some big goals such as wanting to travel and saving up for a car, and to do this I set myself other goals like get a job and talk to more people. This didn't cure my anxiety, nothing really does. But it allowed me to see that I could achieve things even with my anxiety, lately my anxiety has been terrible, but I want to start setting some goals again for the new year.
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