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New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/15/2008 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Well i suffer from Social Anxiety(Social Phobia) and its detroying my life. I can't have a normal life because im constantly shut away from the outside world it gets really hard sometimes. I sometimes leave the house if i desperately need too. Its really frustrating i went out earlier to buy Coca Cola from a local store it was at 3am GMT and when i went there was people hanging around outside the store and i had to turn back cos i just couldn't go near when those people were there. When im in a situation were im around people im always concerned that everyone is watching me thinking negative things about me its so annoying. I hope on here i can find some closure and meet people with the same problem. I also suffer from Depression, Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Avoidant Personality Disorder.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 5/16/2008 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Callum,
Welcome to the Healing Well family - you will find that there is a wealth of information here; from the members as well as the resources available.
I too suffer from Social Phobia along with Agoraphobia and other ailments.  It's extremely difficult for me to get out and when I do, I always think that people are looking at me, talking about me, etc.  This scares me and I do the same as you, get away from the situation as quickly as possible.  I know this isn't the best way to handle the situation, but given the phobias I have, it is very difficult not to run away from the situation.  I empathize with your problems and know exactly how you are feeling from it.  I can't offer much advice about it except to take deep breaths and try to stay in the moment and try to do the task you were going to do.  I know that's much harder to do than said, but we must do this as this is the only way we are going to get through this.
One of the resources you could check out is the Relaxation Techniques at the top of this page.  Click on the Anxiety-Panic Resources link and then at the bottom of the page you will see the link for the techniques.  There are some great suggestions in there to use and they may be of great use to you.  I hope something helps you. 
Please keep posting as we would like to get to know you better and know how you are doing.
Take care,

Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

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I am not a medical professional, any advice give is purely from personal experience.

Always seek professional advice from your doctor.

Dx: Agoraphobia, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Essential Tremors, Fibromyalgia, I.B.S., Mitral Valve Prolapse, Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea

Rx: Abilify, Flexeril, Lamictal, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin LA, Rozerem, Valium

 “Be a good listener.  Your ears will never get you into trouble.” - Frank Tyger

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/16/2008 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   


Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P forum.  I am sorry you are having issues with social anxiety.  Wen gave you great advice.  I want to just add a bit on treatment.

The behavioral technique of "exposure" is an effective treatment, both short- and long-term, for social phobia. The use of exposure in fantasy, presenting increasingly anxiety-producing situations as discomfort dissipates at each level, is a form of systematic desensitization. Exposure also involves gradual adaptation to anxiety-producing objects or situations, but the objects or situations are actually present during the treatment. Flooding, rapid exposure to almost overwhelming volumes of phobic material, also known as implosion, may be used either in fantasy or in reality.

There are many different therapies out there as well as medications to help you through.  I do know how uncomfortable you feel and the anxiety you go through with this disorder.  I have anxiety and sometimes I am frozen at  home as I just don't want to go out in public.

Stay with us and know we care.  Keep posting and you will find many warm and friendly members will to help you through this tough time.

Again a warm welcome to HealingWell.

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 5/16/2008 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi there Callum

You have been given great advice and insight into Social Phobia :)

I wanted to add that it is possible to work thru this and share my experiences with you..many times in the past I have tried to drive to town - pressure was way too much and had to turn back 3 or more times before I got there..and then when I did finally make my destination I have sat in the car for ages trying to collect my thoughts and calm - sometimes I have even driven off and not gone into the shops eyes  (saved money  :-) ) and other times I have even changed car park - sat for a while - forced myself out of the car (shaking like a leaf) locked the car (pretending to look in my bag for something)...finally remembering to breathe properly lol...walked really slowly or really fast - depending on the panic mode - over to the shopping mall..all the while thinking 'I am never gonna make it' and trying to shut out those thoughts...until finally I am there..step by step I made it - the feeling of acheivement is amazing...Even if at first you don't buy anything - just pretend to be browsing..whatever it takes You Can Do It - I promise yeah

..remember to breathe...praise yourself for small victories..

Keep us posted.


  •  'Raindrops on roses..'
  •  'Peace of mind will come to us when we are happy with 'not knowing'...
  •  'No more stinkin thinkin...'
  •  'It's not how we survive the storm..But how we Dance in the Rain..'

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 5/16/2008 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Callum, welcome to HW, I hope you like it here and we will try and support you as best we can.  It's sounds like you are going through a tough time at the moment.  Kitt, Maree and Wen have already given you some great advice so I won't bore you with too much of mine!

Body dysmorphic can be a real killer.  I have always been a tiny person and when my anxiety was bad I got down to a ridiculous 70 pounds, but still thought I was fat.  It took a lot of counselling and a hospital visit for me to realise that my self perception was right off the mark.  I found a support group and now I KNOW when I'm getting unrealistic about my body shape. As Maree said, take small steps, rejoice in small victories.  Anxiety can only control your life as much as you let it (but I know how hard it is to battle).

I'm really glad you have posted here and I hope you come back and let us know how you are doing okay?

Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 5/18/2008 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Welcome! I know you'll find lots of support from folks here who also deal with the same issues you do. One of my points in common with you is the depression, although with proper medication, I've been able to keep mine under control for many years now. I also have phobias about certain foods and have learned that sometimes I can be near or even contemplate eating them with little fear while at others just smelling something totally different that makes me think of them throws me into flight mode. I plan to try some of the exposure therapy that Kitt described when I have time to take it slowly. I've experimented a little in the past, but for me I think trying it consistently will be the way I have to go. Little successes followed by long spells of no exposure at all just let me get right back into that fearful mode.

I hope you'll find some approaches that work for you, and do keep posting. That's what we're here for: to help support each other!

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