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Author Topic: Hello: I am recovering from social anxiety.  (Read 68 times)

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Offline Firecress

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Hello: I am recovering from social anxiety.
« on: January 26, 2014, 11:21:46 PM »
Hi. I'm 19 years old and I was diagnosed with social phobia/social anxiety when I was 13. I have also had depression since around that age, but I am doing very well in that regards since I'm on medication that manages it very well. I would say my social anxiety is quite severe. I don't get out much, and most interactions are heart-poundingly terrifying for me. Nonetheless, there are some things I want even more than I'm afraid of them. For example, I love music. I've been to several concerts even though the anxiety made me sick. Once I got there in the midst of it, I did well. But I am only really comfortable with 3 people: my parents and my younger brother. I even get nervous when I have to walk past a stranger on the street. Even if they're on the other side of the street. I had to drop out of school because of my anxiety, but I got my GED last year and I even took my SATs last October. I've been trying to work up to taking a class at a community college, but I've had a lot of bad experiences and stress related to school. A lot of times I'll get enrolled in a class, go a few times, and then the anxiety becomes too much. The worst part is how much I beat myself up over it when I have to drop a class, but I think I've gotten much better at letting myself "fail" at things and not getting angry at myself or blaming myself for having anxiety.

I feel I have a very anxious temperament in general, and I sometimes deal with intrusive thoughts about social interactions or about my health. I will sometimes obsess over forum posts because I worry I offended someone.  ::)

I like to say that I'm recovering, since I am really improving recently (over the past year or so). I can deal with small social interactions, like ordering a coffee at a place a haven't been to before, with less preparation and fear. I even made a phone call recently (granted, the person I was calling didn't pick up, but I left a message). I think what's helping is letting go of the "all-or-nothing" mentality: it's not the end of the world if I don't make this phone call, or if I don't take this class. If I feel that everything is riding on one interaction and I mess it up, I feel terrible, and I think that makes the initial anxiety worse. I also tend to have a "black-and-white" mentality: nothing is ever just a little bit bad. It's fine, or it's an absolute catastrophe and I am a failure. I can be very defeatist ("I shouldn't bother trying to do this thing because if I try I'll fail and the building will burst into flame and the world will end and everyone will laugh at me!").

I like to have a "sounding board" of other people to call me out on unrealistic thinking like that, and since my family isn't always available (they are very supportive: I live at home, but if I went to them every time I was struggling with something they would never do anything else) I like to post online. It's helpful to have an outsider's perspective to point out common harmful patterns of thinking. So that's why I'm here. It would be good if I were able to help anyone else with similar problems, too. :)
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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Hello: I am recovering from social anxiety.
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 05:22:40 AM »
Welcome to the forum. Good to have you as a member. Here you are with like minded people. People who understand. As we all suffer from something or other. So feel free to ask any questions. Our members are always willing to help others out. Good chatroom too. 3 posts to enter the room.

Find the correct section of the forum that suits your condition and create a new topic on it. This is just a welcome section. Never really get the same amount of help in this section as you would on the other sections of the forums. So whatever one suits the questions you are asking. Get much better answers.
All users of the chatroom must be 18 years old or over. The room is off limits to anybody under the age of 18.
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