Social Anxiety

I was a class clown in elementary school. By junior high, everyone stopped taking me seriously and I wanted to be seen as smart and beautiful, not goofy. I started to do my classwork and minded everything the teachers told me.

This became a habit of mine. I started to get bullied and at somewhere around the age of 12, I started to exclude myself from others in the state of fear. I started to "blush" all the time at even the slightest things and everyone always had to point it out.  I started to sit in the back desk in the corner of the classroom, covering my long hair over my face. I also wore heavy foundation, hoping it would cover up the redness when it flared up. But the hair and foundation, resulted in my already bad acne flaring up worse and it lowered my self-esteem tremendously.

The blushing went away a year later, but the social anxiety did not.  I did have a few friends and I did date. Strangely, I got along better with guys than I did girls because (in my personal experience) some of my female friends were much more judgmental than my male friends.

But all these years, I chalked up what I had as "shyness" and nothing more.  That is until I went to college. I was all alone. I didn't know anyone there and I didn't have a single friend.  I walked up to the professor to turn in a report and she started to look over it while I was still standing there. Next thing I know, I started to tremble really bad. I noticed that she noticed but she didn't say anything. It was starting to be like that everyday at college.

I went to the doctor and found out that I had social anxiety. I never heard of it before but the symptoms described me accurately. I realized then that it was a real problem for me. It kept me from doing everyday things and I was afraid to even tell the waitresses at restaurants what I wanted to order.

I started a job in customer service, and with all the rude customers. I started to have anxiety attacks almost everyday and my chest was hurting so bad, I feel like I was going to pass out and that I thought I was going to drop dead and die right at the customer service desk. Of course, customers noticed this and would point out that I didn't look like I felt good. I had to quit because it was becoming too much for me and it even resulted me in having nightmares when I slept. When I worked stocking items, I didn't have this problem.

Sure, none of my close ones understand why I have it.  They think it's something I can't "get over", like a cold. But it's not that simple.
timelessaire timelessaire
26-30, F
9 Responses Apr 11, 2007

... in school i am terrible i was shaking the other day in French for fear that my teacher would randomly ask me to speak in class. And i never like going out. I don't know why but i just never do i mean in public that is... And i tend to hide behind my hair alot in class as pointed out by my English teacher... i am really not sure why i am like this =/ can you help me/ give advice?

I too used to suffer extreme anxiety especially in social situation. I found a way that gave me healing in all areas of my life - and that is by the grace of God.<br />
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For survival in this fast-paced society, we need to find solace amongst the many difficulties and uncertainties that are against us in the world in which we live. When we seek guidance from worldly resources, it can lead to moare problems and heartache.<br />
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May I suggest you visit my site for tips on emotional healing and well-being for with God's help you can do the impossible.<br />
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The address is<br />
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Best wishes and God bless<br />

Im reading this story, and everyone else's whos commented on it thinking "this is exactly how i feel". I now think its fair to say i have social anxiety. I think it started in school for me. I was always the fat kid in my year at school from grades 3-7. people were always calling me names teasing me, making me do things i didn't want to like running or saying jokes about myself just to bully me. High school wasnt as bad. i was accepted a bit more but people always had a disgusted look on their face when they saw me. i was scared to eat in pulic, have my picture taken or even take part in school. Even my family was making mean comments to me all time. This few years of abuse scarred me for life.Although i lost alot of weight in year 11, when i was 16, and people started to be alot nicer to me and even saying i was now "sort-of attractive", i always had the burn in the back of my head that said "your a fat loser and no one likes you".I'm afraid to even go out in public by myself, thinking people are always judging me, saying nasty things to each other about me and laughing behind my back. I only go to parties that i was directly invited to. if one of my friends says "dude you should come to this part i heard about" I will always make a pathetic excuse to not go like " i got work in the morning early" or "im feeling kinda sick, next time ay", because i convince myself that if i do go, people will see me there and think "who invited this loser". At school i keep to myself virtually all the time. Ill do my work by myself, never asking for help, even if that means failing, thinking people will think im dumb for asking for help. its gotten to the point where ive stopped talking to my few friends because im worried they all hate me and see me as an annoying follower. i ussually find the most deserted computer room in the school (making sure no one sees me go there) go to the back corner and pretend like i have work to do so people dont think im secluding myself because i have low self-esteem.Occasionly i try to talk to new groups of people, and the first 15 minutes or so ussually goes ok, cause we have brand new things to talk about, but after a while it just gets awkward, and i phase myself out of the conversation, afraid people will think im boring.Sometimes people at school and parties and stuff are really helpful with me and try to introduce me to new people, i am so thankfull that they help, but i hate myself because i can never make it past 30 seconds of social contact with anyone, and im always left sitting by myself in the corner, while eveyone else is having a great time. I always tell myself "Your over-reacting, its not nearly as bad as you think, your heaps cool and all", but i know im feeding me lies. Every day i go home feeling worthless, inadeqaute and thoroughly depressed. I hate myself for it but i have seriously contemplated suicide before and hoped with all my heart that i would die in some kind of accident. but even after all this i can sometimes cheer myself up.Some of the ways i can help myself get though these rough patches of extreme depression, are by as others have also said, is excersising. I have started doing weights and riding my bike everywhere. Its like people say that it gives you a great sense of accomplisment, and it does! sometimes i feel like a hit a milestone when i talk to people because i told myself straight up "Your NOT a loser, you CAN do this" and it can often works, just be yourself and see how you go!I feel like crap most of the time, like ill never be happy, but i always find a way to bounce back. You just have to tell yourself you can :)If you feel like me ever, please remember your not alone, and you CAN get through it if you want to. Peace ,,/ :)

timelessaire(and all the rest of you too)<br />
i know i have social anxiety and i hate it when i have to meet new people. i immediately compare myself to them and if i feel prettier than them, then i feel more at ease. i also cannot seem to enjoy myself in large social situations without alcohol. it's debilitating. and on eof my pet peeves is when people say it's all in your head etc etc. those people DONT understand. <br />
i am deathly afraid of my phone. i am constantly thinking someone will calll and tell me horrible news. or for those that call me often and i dont' answer, that they will harass me about not answering. <br />
i live in an rv with my boyfriend who travels around a lot for work. often times i will make sure i don't see anybody outside when i go to do laundry, take out the trash, etc. it seems silly. but for instance, if i see the neighbors sitting outside i will wiat til they go inside (even though they are extremely nice people and i enjoy talking to them). <br />
basically i wanted you to know none of you are alone. and i also wanted t oshare with you what helps me get by....<br />
i exercise everyday. i usually jog in a secluded area (because i HATE it when peopel see me exercising). or i ride my bike AND jog or just ride my bike. rollerblading is really good for you too. <br />
point is, exercise gives me the confidence i need to get through the dya. also, it releases natural endorphins (the body's feel good chemicals). <br />
another things that helps is doing things i am good at. whether it be cooking or cleaning, it gives me a sense of accomplishment. i also do arts and crafts which is super therapeutic. <br />
but for real, exercise is truly the magical cure for nearly everything. even if you just take a really long walk and listen to some music to tune out the outside world (that's what i do because there's always somebody who wants to say SOMETHING abut jogging...SO annoying). <br />
you all are loved and deserve to be loved. you all are beautiful people and CAN get through this.

You know if you have had fun in your life getting along with friends, family, and school mates, then you can have fun again. You have to look into the mirror and ask yourself honestly if you want to live like this the rest of your life. Some people have their family as a security blanket, but your family won't be around forever. When there gone, and friends don't come along, you have nothing but yourself. Sitting around feeling sad and confused will only make it worse. When I first had symptoms of anxiety, I could beat it if I could get over the mental and physical problems that come with anxiety, then I was eager to make my friends laugh. Once I let it settle in, it started to ware down on me. It made me weak mentally. Nothing that comes across my mind never seems to be worthy of expressing. I don't know if this happens to you, but there are times if I'm watching TV while hanging out with friends where you have a thought. You hold yourself back by not saying anything, but the guy next to you says that same thing with confidence and it gets a reaction. I then sleep the night thinking about the feeling the other guy had. He wasn't feeling anxious or fearful. He was probably feeling good about himself. He probably didn't have anxiety, depression, and he probably talked knowing people should hear him. The feelings I got in the good days of my life. That's when I start to think about how there is improvements yet to be made to myself. When you things are this low, there is only one way to go and you have to go if you want to change. Yet again, I hope you take the time to evaluate your life and work to improve your life. Treat this like you would treat any problem that you are presented with. Everyone deserves to live happy.

It's something you have to take care of. The worst part for me is seeing everyone around me having fun with other people when I cannot get over my anxiety and do the same. I'll only go to parties or social events if I know for sure there will be alcohol to ease my tension. Cigarettes have also helped me control the physical side effects of social anxiety. Not recommending doing any of that, but at this point in my life, I will do anything to feel better. I also have depression caused by my anxiety. If I want to go out and have fun, my anxiety takes over. If I don't have anxiety, my depression makes me feel flat and completely out of it. I feel mentally and physically empty so I end up just sitting around doing nothing. I'm going to go through therapy and give anti depressants a try. I don't know about other people who say they don't work, but results will vary from person to person. Hopefully one day you can break out of the funk. You do nothing for yourself If you don't even try.

Reading about this, I think I might be starting to suffer from the very beginnings of this. I can start to get really panic-ing when I think about going outside. Because it's the summer holidays I have slipped into an all too comfortable and slightly sickening routine of getting up and playing computer games, having dinner and going to sleep at 3 in the morning. It's taking its toll on my relationship with my girlfriend (we have been together for what seems like forever, and we are really good together) becauase she works really awkward early evening hours and the only way I could really see her is getting a lift to hers in the morning and then walking back when she goes to work at around five. (i'm 17, at college, live with my family). It's about a 30 minute walk and thinking about it can get me really really het-up. about this time last year I was walking her home and I was attacked fairly badly. It could have been worse but the effect it has had on me has just gotten worse and worse and worse. What with my 'alternative' appearance any puny stature I get abuse pretty much every time I go out, even down my own road I get people much older, and much bigger than me throwing stones, starting on me, boggy looks, shouts of abuse, crap like that. I'm only just starting to see how much of an affect it has had on me, and I am scared it's just going to get worse :( I hear a lot of "work on improving your self-confidence" and its not exactally helpful y'know? I just wanted to get my message out there so more people know it's not just them y'know? Maybe I am suffering from something different to social anxiety I dunno. Thankyou for reading, all the best..

I usually hear the " why dont you stick up for yourself ?" line alot.

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