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Reading over this, I believe I understand my anxiety better now. I believe that I have social phobia, since I do get very nervous about having to interact with people.

Thank you for posting this!

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Hi All: I am brand new to this source and finding so many stories similar to many things that I am going through. Thought now that I've calmed down... that this would be a good time to post. I have,among many other "disorders" Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. The person who wrote about working a whole sale store and feels stressed might want to consider all the fragrances, chemicals,formeldeyde,etc. that she is inhaling every day. PLUS stats that I read in Safe Cosmetics Act that is trying to get into law,points out that there is lead in lipstick,arsenic in many products and perfumes actually have cancer-causing agents in them. So... I'm just putting it out there, that exposure to a literally toxic world does not help the brain. And the air fresheners such as Freebreeze, fabric softeners, and laundry/face soaps are also loaded with chemicals. The stats is that the average person has over 100 chemicals that they are "wearing" and have used in ONE DAY'S TIME! i get severe migraines from foods and smells. I also can have seizures set off by Pesticides which are used in Roundup and lawn care companies such as TrueGreen/Chemlawn.... passed off as a "green" company because they have a greenery on their trucks!!!! So before anyone beats themselves up for the condition they are in.... have you noticed that doctors do not ask about your exposure to chemicals???? Carpeting takes about 3-5 years for the formedehyde to vent off....same with furniture. When I go into my HMO, I am almost knocked over by the smells.... leave with a red nose, itchy eyes.... and the need to take migraine meds. It has really angered me that my doctor, who wrote my disability, puts down Anxiety as something he notices with me. He'd be anxious too if his lungs, head was throbbing, etc. and he, a physician, doesn't even know squat about the dangers of the chemical environment that is in the HMO building itself. Today they build buildings airtight.... the venting off of these fumes takes even longer to happen. My anxiety is greatly reduced by klonepin -- a drug which also helps my seizures and migraines BUT after 2 hours, I have to take a nap. However, the difference in my brain is tremendous. I can focus, I can function, and I am at peace and smiling. The difference in my face is even noticeable.

I don't care to be with people mainly because my disability is invisible....and intelligence level seems to make little difference in people "getting it" that I am UNable as a DISabled person to do things the same as a "normal" person. Discrimination is a constant fight and struggle and highly depressing. I joined a support group of people with all kinds diseases, but found that the depression forum had a leader who truly had not felt or remembered what it was like to just not want to get out of bed in the morning or afternoon....day after day. And I found that everyone HAD SOMEONE...HAD A SUPPORT SYSTEM SOMEWHERE, SOMEHOW. Except not me. And no one could or would wrap themselves around how stressful it is to be disabled and have a social services system that disavows your (my) disability .... 'cause if you are not medicaid, you ain't gonna get any help. Fighting the battles has exhaused me and made me so ill that I was too sick to be out of bed. I'm hoping that when I get my 20 posts in that I can hook up with some people who are very much like me.... having to handle everything in life all by yourself and a medical community that takes your $ but does not provide CARE.... they are just a business.... Oh... and your new clothing has been sprayed with formelehyde so, always thoroughly wash your clothing before wearing. And be careful of thrift shops... they are really spraying the freebreeze onto clothing; it does not wash out and will contaminate your washer, your other clothing you wash with it... and if you're not noticing the fragrance smell... it's because it is designed to literally paralyze your smell buds so everything seems fresh and clean. A lot of people have reported heart arrythmias (spelling?) and increase in asthma attacks. Walgreens,our big huge discount drug store (this was on teh internet) had to pull airfresheners off their shelves because of the toxic chemicals.

This may cheer some of you up,and give you a bit of more control over your choices which may be making things worse for you..... or,like me, I was and still am depressed that I can no longer shop at thrift stores and much merchandise has to be washed and aired out for weeks before I can wear it.

However, my health is better because I clean with simple healthy products and don't eat junk food which is loaded with MSG - a known interrupter of brain waves and neurotransmitter problems. Again, doctors don't ask about this.... they just prescribe a drug, many of them containing fillers of gluten,corn,and other substances which people's bodies are allergic to. Hope this has helped someone!

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  • 3 months later...

I have terrible social anxiety to the point where I cannot get groceries or go into stores alone instead using my grown children to run errands with me which I find both depressing and embarrassing. The only place I feel comfortable going on my own is the library as basically I can count on no one trying to start a conversation with me.

I am especially depressed and nervous today though not sure why this day is any different from any other. It could be that I am anticipating being outside mowing the lawn today or tomorrow. This is big for me as I don't like to be out in my front yard. I feel too exposed. I have a nice back yard with a tall privacy fence that allows me to be outside.

I have taken a dose of Ativan which my doctor prescribes 1mg three times daily. So far, not much help. My stomach is still in knots and I feel sick. I hate living this way. I hate not being able to concentrate at work as the office fills up. I get here early but each day around 9:00 things start buzzing and I start freaking.

I wish so much my life was different. I have not found any cure for this. I sometimes feel there is so much I could have done without this disease. I was unable to attend college. Unable to work in so many jobs. Unable to make friends. Unable to go places and enjoy things like movies or malls.

I have started going to see a therapist. I've only been twice but she obviously picked up on my severe anxiety right away when I had a hard time entering her office especially with her behind me. I do feel that some of my anxiety is PTSD which is also a diagnosis of mine. I think sometimes they go hand in hand. I wonder if life can ever change for me. I have a great doctor who has done so much to help me live by managing my depression, sometimes psychosis and my mild personality disorder. She thinks I may have a rapid cycling bipolar disorder but we've not explored that too much though a few of the meds I take are know to help with that. .

I am on Latuda, Depakote, Lomictal, Ambien and Atavan.

Just feeling kind of blue today so thought I would post and hope that someone would stop by "to say hello". Thanks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Social phobia and panic has changed my life dramatically. I can no longer go to group meetings. I just absolutely refuse to go. Eventually after many years when my boss realized I was not going she no longer expected me to be there. Sometimes she will tell me the meeting will have very important information I'll need but I have friends who will come back and tell me what was discussed.

I can no longer go the grocery store. All those people in the isle I must pass through. The checkout people. The fast checkout belts and people grabbing my groceries to bag them. The noise and confusion can have me off the wall. So now I order them online and pick them up at a drive through grocery store. It works very well for me and costs about $100/years. Well worth it.

Last week there was a meeting ABOUT me so of course I couldn't avoid that. It was quite an important meeing with a lot of department heads focused on me. I took double my usual Ativan dose (doc says OK when I absolutely need to) and made my way up there. I sat in the chair kind of at the end so only one person would sit next to me and I'd have free space to my left. That helps too, not to feel too crowded.

My friends in my office have been coaxing me for years to go to Friday lunch with them. About a year ago I went once. It was very scary. Then I'd go another time. They were so kind and caring and so respectful of my anxieties that they really helped me. They were protective of me I'd guess you'd say. Now it's at the point where we can laugh about my panic and they just do their best to keep me in the moment.

Having good friends who understand what you are going through and in one case saw me in full blown panic attack and simply sat down with me makes all the difference in the world. Sometimes I panic at driving so take the back way to work. Sometimes I panic about the outside so leave the mail for a day or two. Sometimes I am just panicky at everything so I go into my bedroom, lock the door and cuddle up with my pups. I keep the TV on something comforting and quiet. The dishes may not get done and the grass might grow a bit (I panic about being outside when someone can see me so can only do my lawn after work before any neighbors get home) but it's okay. I kind of accept that I have this disorder and try to find ways to live with it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It has been a long time since I have been on the Depression Forum. I have been too depressed to communicate. I received a friend request from a new member which finally woke me up. Thanks go to her. I have only just recently realized that I have anxiety, too, especially social phobias. I have very high (too high) expectations of myself and don't think I can deal with social situations perfectly. I set myself up for failure. I have a slight speech impediment that I think turns people off. It probably does turn some off but certainly not most. I also react slowly in conversations and have sort of a mental block. I have AADD, dyslexia and aphasia that doesn't help. I do not know how to make small talk especially with people I have nothing in common with. I hate being around people who jabber on constantly but I do better with these because I don't have to say anything. I would rather stay home than put myself in these award situations. Bless all of you who suffer from this. I am one of you.

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  • 2 months later...

I have social phobia. Never actually diagnosed, but have several of the issues described by many. My biggest concern is excessive sweating. ANY time I am in public or with family, my armpits sweat terribly. I've had this problem since I was a young child. I'm 43. When I am home, alone, I am ok. When I speak with people (friends/family/otherwise) on the phone, I'm generally ok. It really depends on the complexity of the conversation. When I'm on chat, I'm generally ok. Because of this, I don't go out much, whether it be socially with friends or family events. It's soooo embarassing. For all of these years, I have to find clothing that will hide my problem. I am single, but was with my ex-boyfriend for 14 years. I was comfortable enough around him I didn't sweat, unless the two of went out, which wasn't often. I really want to find someone, a man to share my life with, to be my best friend. But, it's hard to be social, carefree, when I'm constantly worried about my sweaty pits. I'm a clean person, I take care of myself. Sometimes there is a slight order, probably one that only I can smell because I'm so self concious about it.

I did have botox injections about 2 years ago and it was great. My confidence was so strong. It was empowering, I felt brave, wanting to meet people, I did some dating. But, it's sooooo expensive. I can't afford it right now.

I have other issues, such as, I generally don't speak unless spoken to first. Even a simple hello has to come from the other person first. I have trouble making eye contact, I function better in small groups, 3 is max for me...too many ppl and I can't follow a conversation and I'm just to nervous to care. I shop early in the morning to avoid running into ex coworkers. And I'm talking from several years back.

I take Celexa, 40 mg and Xanax 0.5 as needed, usually one in the morning to get me started at my job and then two at night to sleep.

I don't want to be like this. I want to meet new ppl, to meet a man, to be social. But, it's so difficult. It's much easier just to stay home.

Any suggestions.

Thanks.

Michelle

Edited by luzcious40
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Hi, I'm 18 and a senior in high school. I've had social anxiety since I was little and have been able to get by by just avoiding social situations as much as possible. But as I get closer to graduation I fear what will become of my life. I dread seeking employment and highly doubt i could keep a job. These past couple weeks I've been brooding over this more and more. My grades have started to decline to where it looks like i might not even graduate. I find myself put in more and more situations that leave me contemplating suicide but can't seem to accomplish it. As i learned the hard way " unless you're mentally handicapped or a trained marine you won't cut deep enough"

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I'm sure many of you can relate to what I'm going through now-

My company's big annual conference is coming up. It is out of town and attended by several hundreds of people. You know the type of thing- Loud, lot of big speeches trying to motivate us, big banquet, many meetings, etc.

I actually have good communication skills and I'm pretty socially adept when dealing with people one on one or in small groups. However, everything changes in these very large group scenarios.

I go through this every year and this time the anxiety I feel is worse than ever due to many of the changes my company is going through along with new pressures, expectations, etc.

In the weeks and then days leading up I get worse and worse. Today I am having a particulary hard time. I'm sure many of you know this feeling of absolute oppression. My stomach is in knots, I feel flushed, and the anxiety is just terrible. And I just know I am like the only person in my company that feels this way!

Is there ANYTHING that can help take the edge off of this? Even a bit? I would really appreciate some advice.

Thank you all.

Edited by Morgan17
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everybody im new to this site and extremely scared to be posting anything about me.. but im managing.. I've been diagnosed with social phobia and anxiety and depression.. I'm only 20 years old and I dropped out of high school the pressure and emotional baggage was just too much.. I couldn't even walk to class because all the other kids were around.. Even walking through the school by myself was extremely hard.. I felt like I was constantly being watched and criticized.. I got my GED and ever since then things got worse and worse.. I barely ever leave my house or room anymore.. I'm constantly being judged in my home by everyone.. Both my sisters, my parents, my cousins, aunts and uncles they all tell me to get a job and go to school but none of them stop and listen to how I feel.. Im terrified.. I avoid all situations with people.. Even going to the doctor I cant talk for myself, I shake, I sweat uncontrollably, my heart speeds.. My mom has to go in with me and talk for me.. And in my head I constantly replay everything that could go wrong and every situation possible that I could embarrass myself..i don't know how to stop this..i know its unreasonable.. there's no need for me to be so afraid.. but I don't know how to stop or fix this.. I have no help.. I'm getting so depressed and feel so lonely.. I feel like im not In control of my own life..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes I suffer from social phobia, I don't mind talking to people. But being in public areas for too long I get very fearful and anxious. It's really hard for me to try to start conversations with people in public cause I'm very shy and akward. Really like to have friends and meet people, but at the same time I have fear of being in social situations and it depresses me. Much better in smaller groups than bigger groups. Anytime I've ever been into a bigger groups, many problems has happened and caused me nothing but stress. I'm much better in smaller groups. Been pretty much a loner all my life and I believe this is something that will always affect my life. Trust me, none of you are alone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I suffer from social phobia as well...I used to feel like my symptoms were a bit more complicated than most but that's because I always see myself as different from everyone anyway (in a bad way). I saw it as more like CERTAIN kinds of people making me anxious instead of social situations making me anxious in general and even my therapist wouldn't give me a full diagnosis of SSD but instead said I simply had symptoms of it (?). Now I'm starting to realize after reading a few things that I definitely have full blown SSD or Social Phobia and not just (sarcastically) "symptoms of it..." I've been a very anxious person in general since I was about six after enduring a year of intense physical abuse from my uncle while living with him. When it comes to certain people giving me anxiety, some of those people are connected to reminding me of my uncle and a lot of it also has to do with race and skin tone which is a key factor in triggering me to connect them with my abusive uncle as well.

I have the same reaction to certain women who also have a certain skin tone because of physically, psychologically and verbally abusive experiences dealing with female caretakers and peers as a child as well. But aside from these types of people evoking my anxiety, I also get anxiety around people for various other irrational reasons as well...like having the fear that I may be judged, rejected or criticized. I tend to indulge in extreme avoidance tendencies and have even severed friendships because the person judged me harshly just one time. I DO NOT take criticism well at all. If someone criticizes me in a way that is hurtful to me or they peer at me a certain way or whatever, I will dwell and ruminate on the event and it is sometimes hard to let the thought or the feeling go. When people laugh, sometimes I get paranoid that they are laughing at me. If I overhear someone say something negative, especially depending on who's saying it, I tend to fear that it's about me.

I also get anxiety around authority figures. Older people. Little kids...I fear paying my rent every month because one time my manager's very nosy, intrusive, rude, aggressive little daughter insinuated within something she said to me, that I was fat (this is a deep insecurity I struggle with even though I've never been more than thirty pounds overweight in my life)...it only took one time for her to criticize me and it wasn't even outright and now I've had tormenting anxiety around her ever since (and what's even crazier is that her mother is twenty times heavier than I and the little girl is on her way as well...not to be mean...just stating the facts).

It's very draining dealing with this sort of thing and when I talk about it or think about it, I start to feel a very overwhelmed feeling and I start to feel very depressed and gloomy about it all. It has affected so much of my life, it isn't even funny. Sometimes I hate the human race and even more so, my own ethnicity, because of it. I get really irritated when certain people attempt to carry on a conversation with me in public like male bus drivers of my own ethnicity and I just want them to leave me the f**k alone!

My whole life I've seen the world as a scary, cruel place. It isn't 'til more recently I've been attempting to see people as inherently good along with changing my core beliefs about the world overall but it's easier said than done. Even if I know something logically, it still takes a while to recognize it on a heart level. I just don't wanna care about what anyone thinks about me anymore. Sometimes the things I've been judged about don't even have anything to do with my own values or they're just plain silly or insignificant in the grand scheme of things but it still bugs me anyway. I can't seem to control the feelings I have and I think that's what makes me feel the most helpless, sad, overwhelmed and angry about it all.

I can relate to a lot of this. Just wanted to say I hope things are a little bit better for you now...

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  • 2 months later...

Well, i just got my syllabus for one of my classes and it mentions things not to do to be a rude student where walking out of class for no apparent reason, sitting in the back when seats are available in the front, leaving during the break or excess missed days are on the list......should i mention my anxiety and social phobia to my professor? :verysad3: :verysad3:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know if my case falls under Social Anxiety, but I'll post anyway. I have been diagnosed with depression recently, although I knew that I had it years before I raised it as an issue with my GP. Most often, I avoid social interaction with others. With some people, I find it hard to hold up a conversation, I don't know what words to use and I'm afraid they're judging what I'm saying, or if I accidentally say something wrong, or if I accidentally could insult somebody.. It's slightly better when it's one on one, because at least we're supposedly engaged in a conversation, as opposed to two or more people, where I feel I'm shunned by one or both of them. Most people just think I'm shy, but that's not exactly the case. I can talk in front of a group of people (i.e. a class presentation) without having to practice. Or I can manage employees and be able to tell them what to do without sounding mean. I have several friends, but I don't have a group of friends. By that, I mean a core group, like a lot of people have. My friends all come from different groups, I guess probably because I can only interact with one person at a time relatively comfortably.

I'm having issues with my boyfriend. It was an on-going problem but I think my "social anxiety" has exacerbated it. I have always had problems asking people to hang out, likely in fear of rejection or appearing clingy. I've always had trouble making a decision to everyday decisions, not on my own but when I'm with people. Like where to eat, what movie to watch, where to go for birthdays. I always answer, oh up to you, whatever you want. Unfortunately, my boyfriend absolutely hates this. Being a depressed individual, I just couldn't hold many friendships. So I'm a clingier girlfriend, because I enjoy having having comfort around who I thoroughly like. But he constantly says that he liked having a lot of time for himself, just reading on his own and being alone. I have a difficult time coping with that, and so in turn, I just went to the extreme and simply wait until he asked me so we'd hang out. But he wants me to be more assertive in asking, and I just don't know how to find the right medium. I don't ask in fear he'd reject me and./or call me clingy (to which he actually did once), so I'm at my wits end. This is honestly breaking our relationship apart now.

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  • 1 month later...

I think I may have suffered from social phobia in the past, I would feel sick and/or vomit if I got worried about something/anything, I'd avoid going out with friends especially if it involved drinking as I had a fear of being sick and used to convince myself I felt sick even after one drink. I have got a lot better now and am confident in my work situation and general social events but I cannot shake my fear of relationships.

I am 25 years old, I have never had a proper relationship, I hate people asking me if i have a boyfriend as I'm so embarrassed and ashamed I never have. I think and stress about it every minute of every day. The thing is I have the opportunity to go on dates all the time and when the idea is distant, say like 'next week', then I'm really excited and look forward to one day being in a relationship but then as the time gets nearer I start making excuses from 'he's not my type' 'i have to work early the next day' 'I'm too boring' etc etc. I normally end up cancelling or just not replying to calls or messages and I feel really bad, embarrassed and stupid! But I can't force myself to go!!

I can't talk to anyone about this problem either, not even my doc because I'd be so embarrassed and ashamed and feel like he was judging me. My worst fear would be having to go to therapy or anything where I would have to speak about my feelings, so I don't really know what other help is available.

God I want nothing more than to fall in love, get married and have kids one day but I feel like my life is speeding by and I'm being left behind alone. I want to be cured!! I wish it was a switch I could just turn off, I often wonder why me?! Why can everyone else get in and out of relationships so easily yet I am stuck like this ?!

Anyway if anyone can relate please let me know!

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I have terrible social phobia. I don't talk at all in a large group of people, I can hardly look the opposite sex in the eye, and if I think someone is staring at me I start thinking about what I should do with my arms, legs, facial expression, etc.

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First of all I just want to say hello to all, as I just became a member this evening. I too, although have never been diagnosed by a professional, feel that I have extreme social phobia. I am 40 years old, have no job, and no friends whatsoever. I stay in my house all day, every day. My phobia is so bad that I do not even feel comfortable around my family members anymore. I am basically living a lifeless life. I don't even want to get out of bed in the morning, because I know that I have nothing to look forward to. The mere sound of the phone ringing sends panic through me and makes my heart race. I would love to start treatment, but have no transportation. I live with my grandmother, and am scared to ask her for rides to appointments, because when I try to get employment she refuses to help. I am at a loss as what to do. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Any suggestions, messages are welcome by all. Good luck to all of you, May each and every one of you find solutions and relief to whatever it is you are going through. God bless to all.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Many of all these posts I can identify.

I felt this way around people, because of my family relationships. It all started at a young age, 5 or earlier. My Dad left us when I was about 4 or so. Mom was mentally ill and my brother was Psycho at times and was the closest to me of anybody. I had to depend on him as he was a few years older. He used that dependence and his age to manipulate me for anything he desired until my teen years. My Mother was good at it also.

Then to confuse it all to me there was an overbearing "love" from either sometimes.

All through schools I stayed to myself and was at times terrified of others.

I never wanted to go home and still don't today even living by myself.

I always needed to force myself to be around others. Still do today.

Didn't date much, schools were a nightmare and still are in my dreams.

Art school was ok as I was talented and did well. Always needed to drink alcohol to be around others. Drafted into the Army, I was petrified and just did what they told me for 2 years and drank any time I could.

Many years have passed always wanting to live isolated. Couldn't talk on a phone even.

Moved to Fl. and found myself, fearful of being alone and got married, then wanted to be isolated again.

Went back to drinking and isolating.

After a few years met another drinker and we got married. Then I wanted to isolate again. After that divorce I lived alone and tried to drink myself to the end.

After some years and circumstances I wanted to stop drinking and ended up in AA. Petrified I had to be around people to stay sober. I'm still uncomfortable and so sensitive being around them and others I work with.

After 10 years I had more suicide attempts and found help with a psych doc and therapy.

Now 5 years later I have only had a little progress, from 16 years with the "program", meetings, medication and therapy. I still feel "less than" and Raged when triggered.

Now I'm old 67 and still lost and prefer to be alone. I still feel empty and don't know much about who I am.

No big happiness, but a little peace inside, mostly when alone.

I'll keep working on it as long as I'm alive.

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From age 13 I was bullied by a group of girls at school. It came as quite a shock, because until then it was usually girls being teased by boys, the usual, but the fact that it was girls, who were supposed to be "on my side" somehow, it was extremely disturbing. I can't actually remember most of the details, everytime people ask what exactly they did... it's blank. What I do remember is that they picked me as a victim and were relentless. At some point two of them found something funny in everything I did. I moved my arm, they laughed at me, I cleared my throat, they loudly started coughing behind me, I tapped me foot, they imitated me. And the priceless advice I got from everyone was "Ignore them, they'll stop." So I tried and I somehow tried to turn myself invisible, so they wouldn't have a target anymore, and in doing that I became and less and less and I literally stopped speaking. When teachers asked me a question I would say I don't know, even if I thought I did, just so I wouldn't have to say anything, or risk giving the wrong answer, giving them more to make fun of. Of course my grades suffered, and even the things I was good at were impossible in those conditions.

I didn't know what it was or that it even was a thing that had a name and that more people experienced, I just knew that something was wrong and I was broken because as soon as I had to talk to someone I was petrified and my voice became tiny and croaky and I had to clear my throat again (more laughter.) About 5 quite traumatic years later a friend mentioned reading about social anxiety and I knew instantly that it was my diagnosis. Went on the internet, the first thing I found was someone asking "Does anyone else hate unwrapping presents while people are watching?" and it was like the biggest relief in the world because that was me, and it was not just weirdness and wrongness but something I could get treatment for.

All this time I was not taken seriously by any of my teachers. Nothing was done about the bullying, and on top of it I was being punished for not being able to participate in class the way I was expected to. As soon as I had my diagnosis and was seeing a therapist me and my parents spoke to the teachers, who didn't listen to any of what we said and came out with things like "Well... I understand your attitude but it would be nice if you could at least TRY." One of them intentionally had me fail a class because he felt "provoked" by my "behaviour." Eventually I checked myself into a hospital where I spent six more or less successful weeks practising how to talk to people and buy things in shops like a real human.

I was on Effexor for a few years until I felt like it just wasn't working anymore, then on Aurorix, Trimipramine (bad reaction), then on Cymbalta for a few years. I'm currently not taking anything because the last meds I went off took forever to detox and I just feel like with each one they're screwing with my body more and more, the idea of going through all the side effects again really freaks me out right now. If someone could guarantee that they have the right pill for me I'd take it, but you never know before you put it inside you. About a year of therapy while I was still at school, pretty useless, she basically just let me tell her about my week without offering any insights. Four or five years with a great therapist who I got along with perfectly, again mainly talking with some active trying to process past events. Went back to the same hospital in 2008 and it was a bit more effective, although it didn't cure me of course.

The cruel thing about social anxiety for me personally is that, let's say you have a spider phobia. Somewhere deep down inside you know that a little spider isn't going to hurt you. But all my fears are very realistic things, like being laughed at or embarrassing myself in public somehow - those are all things that have happened to me and I know what it feels like, that's why I'm afraid of it happening again in the first place. Someone who is scared of elevators can take the stairs, but social interaction is life. Almost everything about everyday life involves our biggest fears. That's why it makes me furious when people put down social anxiety ("I thought you meant REAL anxiety") or equate it with being a bit shy or socially awkward. It's like being allergic to air or something.

What's also hard is that the only real effective way to get out of it is by doing things. I've been Doing Things for about 4 or 5 years now, these days I can travel to different countries by myself and actually ask a stranger for directions if I get lost. I'm nervous but I'm not in a blind panic. It's so, so difficult, but I managed to find something that was worth doing it for, if that makes sense. It's probably a silly, trivial hobby to most, but it gets me out of bed in the morning and sometimes it gets me to fly to Rotterdam on a whim. And realising you're in Rotterdam and you don't speak any Dutch but you still managed to get on the right bus and you're NOT DYING. Actually... you're quite calm. That's the best therapy. But it's torture to make yourself cross that line between avoiding/staying safe and actually risking it.

That said, I still can't answer the phone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello. I'm new here. Although I'm only 15 years old, I have suffered with emotional and verbal abuse from my parents, as well as my mother having a lot of difficulty dealing with her depression and anxiety; usually resulting in a violent panic attack. I think these are the main roots of my depression and social axiety. I have all the major symptoms for both and I've been abused since I was 9; while my muscle pains from my depression started when I was 11. I hope to start my own vlog and vent; but I just thought that someone else on here might want to hear my story so that they know they are not alone. I have very old-fashioned parents who belive nothing of this nature could happen to someone as young as me; and on top of that they don't even listen to me and say what I'm saying is complete bs. I hope maybe this site can help.

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