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I Think I Have Found The Answer?

I have always just known deep inside there is something wrong with me. I used to have this best friend, super outgoing and chatty, and she would literally speak for me. She ditched me though about a year ago :( She was the only only person i could and would talk to. I didn't manage to make any more friends, i have always been quiet, but recently a bit depressed too because of having heaps of other health problems. I got branded at school as the girl who barely speaks and people started calling me 'anti-social' 'stuck up' and 'rude' and i believed them until a few days ago, when looking on youtube i randomly came across vids of people talking about having social phobia/anxiety. It was like they were describing me EXACTLY. I mean i can't put my hand up in class because i'll get the answer wrong, i can't ask for help because i'll seem stupid. Voicing my opinions? Nope. Approaching people and talking to them? Nope. Extra-curricular activities? Nope Nope Nope! We have a presentation next thursday? I think i'm ill that day. It is your birthday? Oh i think i might be busy sorry. I can't even walk somewhere without checking i am doing it right, and i really hate people looking at me writing or reading or eating or drawing. If someone is talking or laughing near me i assume they are laughing at me.

If I don't have Social Anxiety I would be really really shocked, but i wanna be sure. Anyone want to chat? How do you cope? Thanks for reading!
LooosingMyMind LooosingMyMind 13-15, F 3 Responses Apr 18, 2012

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Also I forgot to mention, like you, whenever I'm in a crowded area or something and (as usual) by myself and I hear people laughing I always feel their laughing at me - It makes me feel really uncomfortable and it also makes my face go really red (which makes things all the worse) and there's nothing I can do about it. Even just standing in crowded areas makes my face go red, it seems to happen almost automatically. I'm not even going to mention what goes on when I attempt to hold a conversation or give presentations/speeches...

This is exactly what happened to me, after a barely survivable day at college (I was feeling really depressed and alone) I was surfing the web and it came up with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) - and it just clicked, I am now certain it is what has been affecting me, tormenting me. In a way I'm glad it exists because now I know the intense feeling I have is a real problem and something can be done about it.

It sounds like social anxiety to me - not that I am an expert. I also discovered it by accident when I chose to study some psychology courses at Uni and started to think that this could explain my feelings when I'm around other people. That part where you think people are laughing/talking about you, I get that too. I find I have to tell myself (sometimes over and over) that it is "highly unlikely they are talking about me since they don't know me" and remind myself that I won't see those people again so it shouldn't matter what they think of me.



I never answered questions in class and, despite having a University degree, am unable to find a job in my chosen field because I am too shy/awkward to apply/ask for work experience (except online). Instead I reapplied to Uni and am now studying something else because the Uni environment is somewhere I feel safe (though quite miserable since I am now 25 and all my friends have jobs or are studying for a PhD). I now live in a share house and purposely eat my meals at strange times to avoid awkward conversations with my housemates who I hardly know. As you can see, I am not really 'coping' very well, but if you want someone to talk to, then send me a message/email and I will be happy to chat.



Also, I know how scary parties/social events can be. But, if you can get through them, you might be able to make a couple of close friends who you can hang out with in less crowded situations. For example, I've found as I get older, people are more interested in going out to dinner and talking, rather than having rowdy parties where your social anxiety is more likely to peak. An advantage of my social anxiety is that only people who really wanted to be my friend seem to have stuck around, so while I only have a few friends, I feel (somewhat) comfortable around them. I hope this helps.