Social Anxiety

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cookies18
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/29/2008 11:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a freshman in college and this is the time I should be going out but I find myself staying home or leaving early when I'm out due to social anxiety. Anyone else avoid certain things because of their anxiety?

Aries8
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 12/29/2008 11:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Yep, I avoid the dentist. But I think that's totally different. You should start out slowly. Small groups of friends would be best at first. Work your way up to larger groups. Don't force yourself in situations if the anxiety gets too bad. Slow and easy is the way to go. And go easy on yourself! Everything will turn out fine.

Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6496
   Posted 12/30/2008 2:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi cookies

I can relate to you, i have real problems with social anxiety what i seem to have done over the years is develop a circle of close friends who i feel comfortable with but any thing outside this circle and my anxiety gets really bad which means i struggle with meeting new people and quite often walk away from the situation. I really struggle with one on one conversations and usually end up leaving and walking away mid conversation which is quite rude of me but when i get consumed with anxiety i just need to get out off there and calm myself down. Social anxiety is a tuff thing to deal with and Aries8 has given you some good advice, also have you thought of some therapy i am going to have CBT and this type therapy is supposed to work well with anxiety related disorders so this may be something you could think of? I also take regular medication to help but have yet to find something which really helps but every one is different and what works for one person might not work for an other.

I hope things start to get better for you soon keep us posted.


Ben

Mazfire
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 12/30/2008 2:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Although i personally cant identify as i am an extrovert and a socialiser, i do understand some of it- my weight gain and agoraphobia have made me a little more socially awkward than i used to be. but thats not why i replied.
 
One of my very best friends has been diagnosed with social phobia- many years ago, by a child pyschologist when we were in primary school. the only thing that has helped her fight this is by using CBT and putting herself in social situations with a small group of people, then a slightly larger group and so on. she still struggles if we go somewhere like a party together- i do the talking. she can get so phobic in social situations that she breaks out in hives. she is now 29 and is much better at managing her condition. she will always be reclusive and will always have a very small 'inner sanctum' of friends, a handful that she totally trusts, but at least with CBT and therapy she has gained a better quality of life than what she used to live with.
i hope this helps in some way, if only to let you know that you are not alone.
i suggest you try and use this time at college to broaden your horizons and meet new people. what is the absolute worst thing that can happen? just take little steps, one step at a time.
 
Maz XX

p.s i avoid crowds, the city, public transport in rush hour etc. all of those things make me incredibly anxious.


            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOS, Chronic E.N.T infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD, Sinusitis, IBS,  Allergies, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic. Nexium.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. First diagnosed at 14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


Celey
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 12/30/2008 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm the type that avoids large crowds because I can start feeling cramped and nauseous.... However, I can be quite sociable... Mazfire makes a lot of sense. I, too, have a friend with social phobia (and severe depression, to boot).

She seems better able to handle herself in a small group when I'm there... (We've been friends since third grade... we had even joined in a college club together, unfortunately, she quit college, and neither of us drives, so we can't contact each ther very much)

Do you have any close friends that can help you open up a little more? Or has your social phobia made making friends too difficult? If that's the case, I'd recommend Aries's advice...

I think the best place to start would be the Student Center... Find a college counselor (they're paid to help students, so don't worry about looking stupid or anything like that. :) and ask them about small clubs... be sure to make it known that you have social phobia, so you don't want to join a club too big...

Going into a small club you will have to interact with people, and the people in that club will have to interact with you.... And because its in the interest of the club, all of these interactions will most likely be positive. So you don't have to worry about appearing foolish for talking to someone you don't know...

Also, try joining a club that interests you.... If its a sports club, and you're not into sports... Well, you'd be kind of miserable, wouldn't ya? If its a general volunteer experience-type club, then I say go for it.... A type of club like that will do a variety of things, so, you're bound to come across experiences that are your forte... :)
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/30/2008 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear cookies

Social Anxiety

Social phobia is a personality disorder and needs to be treated by a professional psychotherapist or physician so you can overcome it easier.

The most effective way to recover from this disorder is to use psychotherapy, take a cognitive behavioral therapy and if you follow the therapy you will be able to see great results.

Learn communication skills, there are many courses like books, audios and videos about how to communicate better with people, create conversations, persuade people and be more confident, this will help you a lot to have more confidence when talking with some else. Learn relaxation and mediation techniques like breathing deeply, yoga, exercise and any other techniques that help you cope with anxiety symptoms.

Expose your self gradually to social situation, its highly effective to little by little meet some new people, go to some public places, talk with someone you don’t usually talk that will cause you to be more comfortable talking with others over time. Meet new people that have your same hobbies and interest, the easiest way to engage in a conversation with others is to talk about something that you have in common to meet these people, do things that you like to do and meet people that do the same.

If you want to read the experiences of other people you can try our search feature at the top of the page.

the MoodGym training program is an online CBT course you can work for free at your own pace.  Many of the members here have used it.

CBT

 
Take care
Kitt
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
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Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


paniccu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 12/30/2008 11:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I also do better in small groups. College can feel overwhelming sometimes. There are so many new people and life changing things going on and you are probably not really sure who you are yet or who you want to be. You've had great advice here. Put yourself out there a little bit at a time. Push yourself to meet new people. It doesn't have to be in a party situation, you can get to know people through social groups or study groups or through work if you're working pt. Don't make the mistake I made freshman yr. I would drink to make myself less inhibited and then do stupid things. Half the time I wouldn't even remember who I met when I was drinking so it didn't help me to make closer friends.

Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 12/30/2008 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitt says this is a personality disorder. So, people are born with it? I was wondering how social phobia begins in a person. Interesting.

Mazfire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 12/30/2008 2:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Aries8 said...
Kitt says this is a personality disorder. So, people are born with it? I was wondering how social phobia begins in a person. Interesting.
the friend i mentioned displayed symptoms from as early as when she was a toddler.
            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOS, Chronic E.N.T infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD, Sinusitis, IBS,  Allergies, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic. Nexium.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. First diagnosed at 14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


cookies18
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 1/2/2009 1:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm really social though and I dont mind big groups I mostly just get nervous when I'm alone with someone I want to make an impression on or am attracted to.

P.s. Aries8 it's funny cause im studying to be a dentist haha

Junebug05
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 1/2/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
cookies,
 
In certain situations I am very uncomfortable in groups of people.  I'm fine with strangers, like if we go to the casino or out to eat or even with the people out shopping during the holidays...that doesn't bother me much at all.  What does make me uptight is get togethers of people I know, family stuff, friends houses, etc.  I think it boils down to strangers don't know and judge me and I always feel like those who know me are judging...my issue, and probably not reality, but it still makes me crazy.  I've been working on going to more social events with family and trying to make myself more comfortable use cbt, etc. 
 
How bad is the anxiety when you are alone with someone you are attracted to?  Some anxiety and nervousness is really normal, I think, for anyone, but if you think it's more than the "normal amount" of nervousness, maybe some therapy, cbt will help. 

Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/3/2009 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I do not like being around many people either. I grew up in a small town and around few people at times, so when I'm in a crowd I tend to get anxious. When I feel like that, I take a drink of my ice water (which I carry around with me everywhere:) and focus on what I need to be doing along with some breathing/relaxation techniques. Definitely helps put my mind in focus from all the "vibes" lol :)
Much Love, Hugs, Peace and Comfort!!!  Your Bro. . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
 "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!"
~Franklin D. Roosevelt~
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Not a medical professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle :)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/3/2009 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   

cookie,

There are two fundamental characteristics of Social Phobia anxiety: feeling an urgent need to flee the situation and, once out of it, acknowledging that this fear is irrational . redface

The main causes are :  being with unfamiliar people;  being the target or thinking that one is the target of evaluation by others. In your case the "other" appears to be the male you are talking with and attracted to.  It feels to me like you may think you are being judged and that kicks up that anxiety so you want to flee.  confused
 
Do you think you can work through this with our help and the help of CBT or a therapist and your physician?   smhair
We are here for you.
 
Gentle Hugs
Kitt
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

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