Please help me understand

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 9/21/2007 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I have posted here for my own reasons but now I am asking for help understanding what is going on with my daughter.
Daughter (20 yrs old) has social anxiety.  It is not the same as the anxiety that I have experienced and I am hoping someone can help me to understand what to do.  Here is an example.  We were in the grocery store  because Daughter wanted to make some pumpkin muffins.  We could not find the pumpkin and I said to her, "I'll go get the milk, why don't you ask someone about the pumpkin?"  When we met up again she did not have the pumpkin and told me that she was unable to ask someone.  When she was little she was "shy" about talking to sale clerks in stores but we thought that she had largely grown out of that as she is so independent and has not asked for help with that sort of thing in a very long time.  Daughter was almost in tears over this.  She has been seeing a therapist this summer and has come a long way but this one caught me by surprise.  I told her that I don't know what to do.  She responded with there isn't anything that I can do and that since she was unable to take care of this something different needed to happen.  I told her what I meant is that I don't know what the right thing to do in this situation is.  Do I bail her out or do I insist that she take care of it on her own? We are talking about an incredibly strong, smart, creative and independent person here.  She has been to college on her own in two different schools.  She has travelled on her own but this situation brought her to her knees so to speak. 
I would appreciate any insight you can offer.
Walk in harmony

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1303
   Posted 9/21/2007 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   

I can relate. The thing about social anxiety is that no matter how hard the person tries to overcome it, it may take a lot of time. I have been trying to overcome my own social anxiety. I am only 16, but I have taken college classes already! I am very independent, smart, and creative, but I could never go into a store and ask a clerk something. I don't know why. It is something I can't seem to control or get over. I am working with my counselor now, but I still can't seem to get over it. Your daughter may be able to go to school and travel, but maybe talking directly to strangers and others causes her anxiety.

Social anxiety could be broken down into other types as well. Some people don't like public places, groups, talking to store clerks, anything like that. For me, it's groups, small places with a lot people, talking in front of groups, etc.

I try to deal with it an ddo my best, I encourage myself, but no matter how hard I have tried it has not worked. Sometimes I try and I start to talk to someone and I can feel it coming on. I force myself, but I can feel my face getting so hot. My heart starts racing and I can just tell that whoever I am talking to knows something is up.(or at least it feels that way)

It is very hard to deal with. Just encourage your daughter. I wouldn't want my mom to force me into talking to a clerk, but it could be a good thing. I am starting to practice my talking with others through therapy. Maybe your daughter can do the same. Don't force her to go up to a store clerk and ask for something just yet. Start slow and practice. She doesn't have to do it all at once. Just be there for her and encourage her.

I have come a little ways since starting therapy, but I know it takes patience and I have to keep going until I get over it. It takes time. And, I think it is great that you are there for her. Be understanding. Be patient.

I know I am speaking as a teen to a mom. From my point of view, this would be the best thing my mom could do for me. I guess this is my advice to you.

Just continue to be there for your daughter. I hope everything works out for your daughter. And I hope this helps you. Take care!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/21/2007 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
My Cait is the same way in the shopping and grocery stores she goes into a panic mode or has the social anxiety ........yet she too is very bright and gets along we with all her peers

NO I do not think she needs to be balled out about this IMHO but stay with her and try to understand by communicating with her and asking her why it may be bothering her so much ...........Just a thought

Plz do keep us posted

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