Just needed to share all this

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/9/2006 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I think I have social anxiety. I'm currently job-seeking and today I had planned to ring up someone about a job but I'm terrified of picking up the phone and doing it. sad
I just thought I would tell you the background to my problem and why I think I have it:
Basically anything social terrifies me. I barely have any friends because going out and drinking and doing normal things like that feels like such a drain...the music's always too loud which panics me, there are always too many people and I fear that everyone's looking at me. I miss out on loads of opportunities because I can't face confrontation. It's not just in crowded situations though, in any circumstance where there are people I fear I will say or do something stupid and that I will end up being ridiculed.
I think this mainly stems for experiences at school. In a particular science class I was forced to sit near a gang of boys who preyed upon the fact I was very shy and blushed easily. They would say things to me with the sole intention of making me blush and would then point it out to the rest of the class and laugh at my humiliation. I used to dread that class and I believe I sank further back into my shell because of it.
When I look back upon my childhood, I've always been extremely shy. As a toddler, I wasn't normal in the sense that I hated contact with other children and became distressed over it. My mother would leave me with a playgroup for a couple of hours a week and I never played with the other children, I would wander around feeling scared and isolated. When I got a bit older and started school I would always be the one standing watching the other children play because I just didn't know how to join in, something in my brain always held me back. I remember once going to a party at the age of about 5 and was shaking and crying on my mother's lap beforehand because I was so terrified about going.
We moved from Scotland to England when I was about 8 years old and I did come out of my shell a bit, but this is when I started getting bullied so it didn't last long. I was a chubby child and the other kids would make comments, I was also quite a bit more academically advanced than the English kids (had gone further in the Scottish education system) and they seemed to resent that.
I met one girl at school and we became best friends. I've kept contact with her until recently, but it's only in the last few weeks that I've realised how much worse she made my mental state and have refused to talk to her. I lost other friends because of her, she was possessive and would manipulate situations to make them not want to talk to me. I was too shy to object, I felt lucky that I even had one friend. At the age of about 15/16 she started making cruel remarks about my appearance: it could be anything from my acne to the size of my breasts, if there was something she felt I was probably insecure about then she would pick up on it and make nasty comments. When my mother died at the age of 15, I felt like I was the one supporting her! My mum suffered from a painful cancer and had been in a hospice for 4 weeks, throughout this time I had struggled to keep up with school work but had managed it by visiting my mum at the hospice in the evenings, coming back at about 9-10pm and then staying up until the early hours to get coursework or revision done. While this was going on, my 'best friend' had been going behind my back saying how I didn't deserve good grades because I never did any work. Also, at the funeral she was so self-absorbed that she rushed past me crying and didn't say a word to me until her grandparents told her she should go speak to me.
After school I went to 6th form and was shocked at how there was no bullying whatsoever. This should have been a turning point for me, but I was still too terrified to ever speak out in class and I didn't make new friends because I was still hanging out with this girl. In my French class we would often have to give presentations and although there were only 5 other people in my group it terrified me. I would blush violently to the point I would feel sick, I couldn't breathe, my mouth would get dry, my heart would beat furiously and I started to need to urinate. This would always happen and I dreaded it.
I somehow got through the 2 years I spent at this place and did ok in exams. Throughout this time I had a part-time job where I worked as a shop-assistant and that was difficult. I dreaded having to serve customers and would pray that they could miraculously disappear so I wouldn't have to speak to anyone. There were often difficult customers and I got tongue-tied around them, I just couldn't cope. Towards the end of my time working at this place there was one woman who was particularly rude to me and was giving me abuse for no apparent reason. She got me so upset that I nearly started crying in front of everyone and went red and shaking. I couldn't believe I had let her get to me, I felt so humiliated because everyone was watching. I think that day was the day I felt I really had a problem, now I'm convinced that I should avoid social situations completely because someone like that is always out to get me.
At university I really struggled. I dropped out after 2 months and came back home about a month ago. Everything about it was based upon clubbing and drinking and socialising constantly, which I just couldn't handle. I became convinced that I was social inadequate and that no-one wanted to know me, even though I did meet some great people who I could call friends. It was on a night out that I realised I couldn't stick it out anymore. We were out at a bar and everyone else wanted to dance. I didn't fancy it, but I joined in anyway. A group of boys I didn't even know then mocked me and made a really big deal out of the fact that I wasn't moving much, they made such a scene and made me the centre of attention. Everyone else was looking on horrified because they felt sorry for me. I was just thinking, "Why me?"
Now i'm home I'm job-seeking and it's incredibly difficult because I'm convinced I will always be rejected, that I won't ever be good enough and that I will somehow mess it up or things will go wrong as they always seem to. I struggle to go out in public and have trouble breathing whenever I have to. I'm seeing the doctor on the 14th to finally get help after all these years, but I'm scared because I fear this will be something that will always plague me throughout my whole life and that I will never be confident or self-assured. I'm just fed up. sad

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/9/2006 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW
I am sure you will get many responses on your post '
This is the best site and ppl are the greatest in supporting one another
I have never had your problem but I did want to tell you I know others here have and will share
I just really wanted to welcome you here and let you know you are no longer alone with all of this
Please stay with us and get the support and care you need
God Bless
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 One thing I know for sure is we have each other and in times of need no one could be better off IMO
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 934
   Posted 12/9/2006 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello hon. Welcome to HW. *HUGS*

I know EXACTLY what you're going through... to a T... :)

Stop focusing so much on what people think of you!!! (I really need to take my own advice)

Anyway, I avoid social situations as well, mainly because I have panic attacks in crowded places and fear having them in front of people. It sounds to me like you're anxious about what people think of you. I really think CBT could be a GREAT benefit for you!!!

Also, when you're on the dance floor, move however YOU WANT, and if people start talking about you, walk up to them and say... "I just want to dance everytime the music starts, so please don't give me any crap because I dance how I want!!!"

People gave me crap about my dancing... I gave them... the finger ahahaha...

I know.. I'm stubborn.

You need to stop feeling so down on yourself and realize how beautiful you are on the inside AND the outside. *HUGS* It took me YEARS to build up any kind of self-esteem, and now I finally found some.... you have to take pride in what you're good at... and dabble in things that you're not so good at... and smile everytime you feel a little bit better...

Wake up in the morning and SMILE.. think to yourself... this WILL be a good day and NO ONE is going to stop me from feeling good!!!

I really think CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) will help you because many of the lessons focus upon exactly your problem... which is... you being worried about what others think of you...

here is the website I made.. it's FREE!! so don't worry about costs or nuffin haha


I wouldn't recommend it to you if I didn't think it would help :)

I tend to FORCE myself into social situations and am so dang uncomfortable about what everyone thinks of me... but then I think.. whatever.. I'm here to have fun and I WILL.... hehe


And you have great friends now!!! We're ALL a great family here on HW to talk to and we do listen!!!


"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

DX: Panic Disorder, Depression, TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), Chronic Migraines
RX: Ativan/Lorazapam (1 MG a day), Lexapro (15 MG a day), Tylonel for the TMJ and Migraines

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 12/9/2006 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi PollyPet, welcome to HealingWell.  I am so proud of you for reaching out here and for making that appointment with a psychologist.  It sounds like you have had a difficult life.  It's not your fault.  You were doing the best you can.  People, especially kids can be so mean.  Now you are an adult and you need to learn how to set boundaries with people.  Others will respect you when you do and they won't mess with you anymore.  I have always been a sensitive person and the most sensitive in my family and my siblings teased me and took advantage of me.  Their is something about human nature that will pick on the weak ones.  It's kind of like the jungle and survival of the fittest.  The good news is that your beautiful sensitive soul can turn into a strength to be reckoned with.  It will take time and effort in your therapy but you CAN heal the past hurts and you CAN learn to be more comfortable in this life and more confident.  Just keep the faith and do go to the therapist.  Since you mentioned that you had these symptoms since you were a toddler have you ever read anything about Aspergers Syndrome?  A lot of high functioning and intelligent people suffer with this and don't even know it.  You definitely suffer with anxiety so you are in the right place here.  I hope that you will just keep taking these baby steps.   One phone call for the job at a time.  One thought at a time.  Don't allow yourself to get ahead of that one goal for the day.  Baby steps.  You will get there.  Don't lose faith.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/16/2006 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you all so much for the support. :-)
I don't know what to say really, I'm not used to people actually understanding what I'm going through. Twiggygal you have such a wonderful attitude to everything, that's the way I want to be! Thanks for the link to your website, it looks really helpful.
Hopefulmigrainer, when I've described the way I am to people online before they've suggested aspergers syndrome too. Thing is, the only symptom I really relate to is being unable to function in social situations. It is interesting that someone else has mentioned iit though.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 12/16/2006 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
any valium type meds if taken sensibly will help a lot with the fear and shyness, regardless of how its being caused, beta blocker meds reduce blushing and physical anxiety problems, I didnt have time to read all of your post
muscle tension may be effecting the breathing, a beta blocker will help
its important to not tense up or fight back against the anxiety or stress, accept it and always breathe deep and slow
recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 12/16/2006 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Polly,
I feel for your situation very much! But you should give yourself a LOT of credit! Despite all the pain you've been thru in your life, you continued to go forward and do the things you needed to do, no matter how hard it was! You are amazing really!!!! I know what it is to be teased and humiliated by others. I hated school and was glad when it was over actually! I celebrated graduation of high school by NOT GOING! HaHaHa!!!! And I've NEVER regretted it! I totally agree that you should take CBT. It has helped so many people. There are also medications that help with social anxiety, such as Paxil. As to not wanting to go clubbing, I can honestly say that even if I didn't have anxiety disorder, I wouldn't go. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be around folks that are drinking (they often act inappropriately...I hate to see people acting the fool when they're intoxicated!) and the music is deafening. If you want to go out to a club, I would suggest a nice nightclub where the music is soft and people dance as couples...you know, elegant stuff! :) It often seems to me that many people at those disco-type clubs are only out for themselves, sex, getting high, etc. They seem DESPERATE to have "fun" and I wonder how much fun they truly end up having. It's the "eat, drink, and be merry" mentality for a lot of them, IMO.
If you would like, you can email me anytime. You sound like a sweet person!
Yesterday's dead
Tomorrow's unknown
Today is here
And soon will be gone.
Use it wisely
Before it's too late
Remember to love
And forget to hate.

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