I am a regular member at the UC forum and have recently been lurking around here because my symptoms of anxiety are becoming increasingly unbearable. I may as well jump into it and give you a little bit of my background. I would appreciate any help or words of wisdom that you all can share with me to let me know I'm not alone and that this is treatable, because I'm scared and fed up.
I have always been an incredibly shy person and very quiet, even as a child. I can't really remember this being a huge problem for me as I always made friends and my shyness never really caused me any difficulties.
Within the past year, however, this has begun to change...I find it increasingly difficult and nerve-racking to have conversations with ANYONE, including my good friends. I either shy away, say the wrong thing, or engage in nervous-babble. I avoid most phone calls because they SCARE me. I dont know why, and I will tell myself to just suck up and make or answer a call, and things will be fine. But the next time my phone will ring I still get that nervous sensation. I am even afraid to call to get food delivered or to make reservations at a restaurants. Just the knowledge that someone will be talkint to me on the line scares me. I know that sounds pathetic, but honestly, it's true. I never really truly feel comfortable in social gatherings, even small ones, unless there is alcohol involved, which I know is not a good thing.
I've only really recognized and wanted to improve my condition after graduating college and being in the professional world. I have an awesome job, but I am constantly plagued by my feelings of social anxiety. Every social encounter I have I replay in my head afterwards, thinking about
how I said the wrong things and how everyone must think I am so awkward. I am a good looking girl, but not overly-friendly because I am so shy. For this reason I am sure I come off as completely selfish and cold, and that is the last thing I am or want to come off as.
I don't really know what I'm looking for here besides advice on what I should do, how I should go about
looking for a doctor (therapist? psychologist? psychiatrist? how do you choose?). How do YOU cope?? Is there hope for me with this?
Thanks for listening everyone. It felt good to FINALLY tell someone about
this---and even typing this was difficult.