I Am Mrs. Hermit

I have had social anxiety my entire life. I have no idea why. No one else in my family does. I sure wish I didn't, though! It really has caused me such a struggle, to the point that I have made myself very sick at times.

In school I always had some excuse for why I couldn't give a presentation or at work I had one for why I couldn't go to the annual holiday party. Social anxiety breeds creative excuse making. I'm really quite good at it.

Now I am married to a super-social person so it makes it easier to go to things because I never have to say anything or do anything besides stay near him, but I am still always reluctant to go and it makes him crazy. Poor guy. Mr. Social has Mrs. Hermit for a wife. =(

I do have a Masters degree, but my social anxiety is so bad that I do not even have a job. I leave my house, at most, once a week and that is only to do the grocery shopping. I shop at Aldi- the smallest grocery store I know of.  I won't even answer the phone or open the door for the pizza man.

This is a terrible, terrible disorder!!

Bennah Bennah
31-35, F
5 Responses Oct 4, 2009

I didn't say I was a terrible person. I said that not calling my cousin back makes me feel terrible. You know what? Forget it. I'm not going to argue with you. You are playing a childish game of semantics. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you are in high school, your first year of college, or that you never made it past either.

That's completely contradictory. The "normal functioning of your life" is to be anti-social. When has it been any other way for you? You have defined what "normal" is to you, and it is to be anti-social. Now if you want to equate "normal" with how other people act, then you are taking another measurement. But it's still just a measurement. Your behavior isn't a "disorder" because it varies from what you see as "normal" (whatever that means..), but because you need to define yourself as a "terrible person" who has "disorders". This is merely an excuse for your behavior. You are looking for both a label ("disorder") and an excuse for your behavior, instead of being bold enough to accept yourself for how you are. This way, you beat everyone to it - no one will insult you worse than you can insult yourself, and you have already diagnosed yourself with a "disorder" to excuse behavior that doesn't need an excuse. Your guilt propels you to make these labels and pseudo-psychiactric self-evaluations. I will say it again: you have no disorder. But if it makes you feel better to wear these labels, that's entirely your own prerogative and self-amusement device.

emperor, is is a disorder because it disrupts the normal functioning of my life. I see nothing normal in being afraid of talking to the pizza delivery person or answering the phone. Nothing. The phone thing is especially terrible. My cousin left me a message last week, I assume to invite me to her daughters wedding, but I didn't answer and haven't called her back. Just thinking about it gives me anxiety. It makes me feel like a terrible person. That is why it is a disorder.

Mrs Hermit, you sound so much like me! I also am married to Mr Mega-social and his patience for my anxieties are wearing very, very thin. <br />
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I like and dislike what emperorofcali has written above. I like the point that people are just as dangerous as spiders or snakes etc. Interesting point of view that I had never thought of before... but if your social anxieties are getting in the way of your life, making you unhappy, then it does become a problem. It wouldn't be a disorder if we could go and live in a hermit hut somewhere and not have a husband who got upset by our different feelings and ways of thinking, and not have to answer phones, or open the door to pizza deliverers... but that isn't really possible, or 100% desirable for a lot of us, is it? I don't know. It's a frustrating way to be, isn't it?

How, exactly, is feeling anxiety around a bunch of humans a "disorder", exactly?<br />
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Do people have "disorders" when they feel anxiety around poisonous insects, sick animals and dangerous structures? Humans, by and large, are one of the most poisonous, sick and dangerous species of the animal kingdom. They are the only animal that can point to some of its members actually deriving joy from causing misery for others. Even the ones who aren't as pronounced in their sickness still have a moderate baseline neurosis.<br />
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So the answer: don't feel bad or "defective" or "disordered" or any such nonsense. There is nothing "wrong" with you preferring to avoid people - nothing wrong! Where is it stated that you have a "disorder"? By some would-be psychiatrist who just wants to sell more "social anxiety" meds for the pharmaceutical companies? These, by the way, are classic examples of such humans who profit off of the misery they cause other humans.<br />
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"Sociable" people are merely composed of A) people whose own sickness and/or neurosis is compatible with the "society" that they interact with and thus feels comfortable to them, or B) people who realize that humanity is sick and merely attempts to manipulate them with assorted acts and attitudes. Your husband would belong to the first group. And I belong to the second.<br />
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So no more of this nonsense about "social anxiety". You have legitimate reasons for feeling the way that you do, even if those feelings are partially (or even fully) submerged in your unconscious. Most people have really fu(ked up issues, and it's no more unreasonable for you to prefer to avoid them than it is for someone with a dislike for rabid dogs to avoid them.