"So now after things like this happening my brain seems to think that it's just too risky to be in social situations. I am so scared of being made to feel stupid and worthless like I have done in the past. However, a part of me really wants to fight it...why the hell should I be made to feel inadequate by these idiots? Especially since it all happened long ago! Often depression and anxiety go hand in hand, but I think that my main problem is the anxiety and that my depression is a by-product of that. "
Whoa, this part really resonates with me, polly. You hit a nerve. There is that unanswerable question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does depression kick in anxiety? Or does anxiety kick in depression? I don't even think the top psychiatrists know the answer to that one, the two are so intertwined. And then when the depression sets up shop in your brain for an extended period of time, your thoughts get so distorted and full of the negative that it becomes nearly impossible to see anything positive -- in you or in the world around you. It's for that reason, researchers and psychiatrists say, that it's important to not only take medication to balance the brain chemistry but also to go to therapy to get the thinking back into perspective.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, they call that out-of-whack thinking "stinkin' thinkin', and I've been really smelling the place up lately, just like you. That's part of the disease, polly. "Things" or "We" really aren't that bad, it just seems that way because of our warped perspectives.
I can tell by your posts how bright you are, and the fighter is still there, inside you. You even said "...why in hell should I be made to feel inadequate by these idiots?" Right on, sister! Why should you, indeed? I say fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Get on your boxing gloves and step on into the ring. I think you are ready to fight, or why would you be here?
A good cognitive therapist can help you in your fight. I know, I know, you're anxious about that, it means you need to leave the house, your comfort zone, your usual thinking patterns, your predictable behaviors, blah blah blah. I know. Believe me, I don't do a zippity doo dah all the way to therapy, either. I just keep showing up. It helps.