I Thought I Was Shy...

I have social anxiety. I had it since I was age 6, or so that's the age when I can remember having it. I may have had it way before then, who knows. But growing up, people just told me that I was shy, "you're just a shy little girl." And I did want to believe that. But, even at age 6 I knew something was terribly wrong. I wasn't just shy, I was TERRIFIED of people.  And I had no way of communicating this with anyone. My "father" was a drug addict and my mother was too busy catering to his whims to pay any attention to me. And I didn't have any friends or any close relatives. I just had my little sister and we didn't get along at that time. So, I kept it to myself. But after a while, "shy" became "depressed" and I had to go into therapy. And it wasn't until then, at age 15, when I was finally diagnosed! And I was relieved, odd as that sounds. Because it now had a name and it meant that I wasn't some freak. Yes, it was a disorder, but a "treatable" one, as my therapist assured me.   But treatment was medication, lots of heavy medications, that messed me up pretty bad and got me into more trouble than I needed. So... I no longer take meds for my social anxiety. I haven't done so in over six years now. And I wish I could say that things are 100% but not really. I do leave the house and have less panic attacks, than I use to. It's still an disorder that I'm dealing with. But, somehow it's different than when I was a teen... back then, my anxiety was at a 13, breaking the one to ten scale. Now it's a nice soft 6.      

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4 Responses Dec 12, 2007

I would rather do it that way as well, long term fix, getting to the actual source rather than just covering up the symptoms. I am encouraged to hear it is helping you. Even if therapy doesn't make me completely anxiety free, anything that helps is worth it.

Even though I have severe social anxiety, I also deal with depression which can also be severe at times. I have read about anxiety medications basically working against the brain, suppressing it, and sometimes leading to depression....NOT what I want in my system. Like you, this has been with me since my earliest memories. While others grow into shyness because of puberty or bad experiences, or grow out of it with age and good experiences, it has been a part of my life consistently. Can you tell me what kind of therapy you are using for your social anxiety?

thank you for sharing your story. I can relate, but my story goes a little differently. I am happy to have people like you to share experiences with.<br />
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What a great story. I often wonder if I suffer from SAD. I have researched it and discovered what you came to realize, drugs are not the answer. What is important is to understand it and find a support network. <br />
I am impressed with you. Best of luck.