I haven't had a good friend in almost 10 years. I just want someone to talk to and go out for lunch with and just hang out with.

I'm not easy to get along with because I'm quiet and have a monotone personality at first. I'm a lot different once I'm comfortable but that takes a while so people get bored and leave.

I finally found people in my town on Instagram that have the same interests as me and they even created a group for like minded people to get together once a month but I just don't think I'll be able to GO and socialize. It's terrifying for me but I desperately want to meet them.

I hate being this way.

The idea of being real life friends with these people makes me so happy but I just can't.
22-25, F
6 Responses Feb 11, 2016

I feel like I'm in the same boat :(

I know how you feel. But, consider that you are going to be in a group so you don't have to take the initiative.
Took all the previous steps before the appointment one by one, always taking in mind that you have the possibility to go back on your steps but asking you for a one step forward.

If you think it can help you. When you are there, imaging yourself as a spectator in the situation. As you were watching a movie. Look how they behave. Very often the first meeting people are all with a little of fear. I know yours is big. I know it.

Have always some exit ready, just in case.

You will see how little by little you will find yourself with more confidence.
Wish you luck and remember that if you don't have friends is bc you don't give them the opportunity to meet you.

I know what you are experiencing. I would go see my primary Doctor. Explain your social anxiety and your desire to meet this group of people. Immediately the doctor can prescribe a tranquilizer type med to be used only for important situations like this meeting. Doctor can prescribe a social anxiety med like Effexor for long tee help. You will be so proud of yourself if u make this meeting. I am rooting for u

I once went to a social anxiety support forum. Until I realized I couldn't even fit in there, because like with any close-nit group, there was a hierarchy.

Not to mention I had believed a lot of people were there that didn't really understand social anxiety/phobia. Many of them only had generally anxiety which is usually brought on by stress.

It really infuriates me when the average person says "Oh such and such causes me anxiety."

All I can think is, "you don't even know what that is" if you did you wouldn't say it so casually.

Until you've had a Panic Attack where you literally feel like the life is being sucked out of you... Until you end up in the emergency room with one, thinking you're having a heart attack because you can't breathe and your limbs go almost completely numb seeping up your arms and into your chest and neck, and you feel so dizzy you are about to slip into unconsciousness, only to be tested for everything, and then eventually end up leaving in shame..

Unless one has experienced such extremes. It infuriates me that any individual can say those words so casually.

I know what you mean. People throw it around so loosely. Sure some people experience bouts of anxiety or depression here and there but it's usually under certain circumstances and it doesn't last long. People who actually have it experience it for no good reason even if our lives are otherwise perfect.

And you definitely described anxiety attacks to a T. Then it leaves you exhausted and terrified for the next one that will sneak up for no reason.

Indeed. The scary thing for me is I actually had a heart attack when I was 24 brought on by blood clots. I flat-lined twice in the ambulance. I regret ever calling 911. A big part of me wishes I had just died that day. So I pledged to myself to never go to the hospital again no matter how bad it feels.

I'm also not big on accepting sympathy, so I don't talk about my issues very often except when I see other users posting similar experience. I feel like if I can relate it might make it a slight bit easier for that person or even myself.

I feel it's pointless looking for sympathy for people who don't have the disorder, I don't think they can begin to understand. I just feel like it's a downward spiral to the end of time for me. I haven't broken this spell in 11 years since I had my first real anxiety attack. I'm extremely uncomfortable being in the physical presence of other people that I don't know. My habit is to find a place to hide.

Oh wow! That's intense. (I have a major fear of blood clots 😰) Sorry to hear that happened to you. I couldn't imagine how scary anxiety attacks are since you've experienced that.

I can really relate to the sympathy thing. I never talk about my problems unless it's on here but I only use it to vent. I don't really care if anyone even reads any of it. It just drives me insane to bottle it in. I've never felt the need or seen the use to "cry on someone's shoulder". Like you said, they don't understand. Sometimes I'll go to my mom but she's the furthest from understanding. She seems to think it's something in particular making me "upset" and I'm too nervous to tell her or something. She doesn't get it's just a constant state of mind brought on and cured by nothing.

And I also hide. Sometimes if I'm out somewhere or even at work, I have to hide in the bathroom for a bit to refocus and calm down.
It's really a pain in the *** to be like this. I hate it so much.

Oh I hear you, I wasn't implying you of looking for sympathy no worries.

I've written a few stories on the subject for myself. This is a particularly good place to vent because it's filled with a lot of very introverted people.. like me lol.

It is very hard to be this way, I agree. It's really hindered my ability to make the most of my life. I appreciate you posting your story. Knowing there's other people who are suffering from the same disorder makes it feel less lonely somehow.

I take Clonazepam whenever I feel anxiety coming on, and I usually take it when I go out just as a preventative measure. Living in fear is an awfully depressing way to live.

You don't take it regularly? I've never been on meds because I don't like the idea of them long term but sometimes wish I had them when I want to give up at work or being around people. Never really occurred to me to take them only when needed.

Yeah but I try to refrain as much as I can. I'm becoming too tolerant, I've been on Klonapin for 10 years, I have a prescription for 2mg twice a day.

Sometimes I have to just live with the mild anxiety, in order for them things to actually work for me anymore. So I try to just take 1mg twice a day. I'm always worried that I'll become overly dependent and the doctor will try and cut me off.

They always prescribe the SSRI's and whatever anti-depressant they can think of. That stuff doesn't work for me it actually makes me feel worse, and not like myself at all, one of them, Lexapro I think, made me feel suicidal even and I've never felt like that, at least not so intensely that I was about to do it, so it scared me away. So I pretty much swore off Anti-depressants after that.

I just let them continue to prescribe them so I can keep getting the anti-anxiety meds honestly. I don't know it's just a constant struggle I'm sure you know how it is.

What meds did they put you on? And do they work for you?

Ya that's what I don't want happening. My cousin has anxiety and depression and he got worse when he was put on meds and they had to switch things for him.

I've never been on any actually. Ive never regularly spoken to a doctor about this. I went to a therapist but she tried to get me to deal with it through pushing myself when I'm uncomfortable but I never went back. It's too hard for me to talk to random people about this by force. My current doctor is a quack but I'm switching soon so will be talking to the new one about options.

I also get really bad anxiety about health stuff (not really a hypochondriac because I don't diagnose myself and go nuts) but I can't take medication, it scares the hell out of me. I can't remember the last time I took a pain killer for a headache. I'm so put off by them that I don't even acknowledge that they're there when I'm in pain. I didn't touch my T3s when I got my wisdom teeth out a few years ago. I had a panic attack when I had to force myself to take one the first night. I also needed an MRI a few years ago and my doc prescribed me Xanex I think to take before I went in the full body tube of horror (I'm claustrophobic) and I had an anxiety attack over taking a pill to avoid an anxiety attack lol.
I'm a little bit of a lost cause.

Hmm, my sister is like that about pills, but she doesn't have anxiety. Just has a fear of swallowing pills. I guess maybe her subconscious tells her it might get stuck or something. You may have dysphagia. It's pretty common with anxiety sufferers I've heard.

So you won't take any pills what so ever? Have you ever thought about crushing them up? Or is it the feeling of the medication that bothers you?

I had a similar experience with that tube, I had a bodyscan for clotting to make sure there was no more obstruction. So they shoot me full of this dye, which causing me to feel strange warmth all over, and then they tossed blankets on me and shoved me in there. I'm too worried about being rude so I didn't say anything... meanwhile I'm having anxiety in there and it took all of me to scream Get me the f out of here. Lol. Luckily they finished just when I was about to.

But yeah I think that's the MRI machine where they strap your head in a cage, I've had that too not a pleasant experience.

I don't think you're a lost cause. If you're a lost cause then hell I must be to. Just a little more damaged than the average person is all. I'm sorry you have to go through all that pain.

My anxiety with pills is more about ingesting chemicals. I like to live as natural as I can and I feel like pills are poison :/ I know they aren't, especially once in a while but the idea of chemicals flowing through my blood and in my brain and stuff freaks me right out. Sometimes if I tell myself to get over it, I may be fine initially but after about a half an hour I get shaky that it's all digested by then and in god knows where in me lol.

And omg I had that dye once too. It's the worst. You get so hot and feel like you're going to pee haha. (Major anxiety about that stuff going right into my vein!). That was a CT scan I had for really bad chest pain, the ER doc wanted to make sure I didn't have a blood clot in my lung but all was clear. That machine isn't a small tube, it's more open so I was okay. I still get chest pains though.. They blame everything on my anxiety. Maybe they're right, I don't know. Doesn't feel like it when it's happening.

I also had an anxiety attack when I was being prepped for surgery for my wisdom teeth. I laid down and he was about to put the IV in for the sedation and I freaked out and asked for gas first. They got that ready and (again.. terrified of chemicals) I was freaking about that saying "gimme a minute hold on hold on" but they knew I wasn't going to relax so he shoved it on my face and held it there (as nicely as he could, he wasn't being a **** or anything). I'm laying there breathing in fumes and I can feel the IV going in and he's like okay I'll count down for when I put the sedation in and I'm like "NO! Don't tell me! Just do it!" Lol. I was hooked up to a heart monitor and heard my heartbeat going like a mouse on steroids. Then bam, out cold lol.

That's rough girl. Well I'm not gonna tell you to just get over it because that's like telling someone to get over having anxiety. It's like yeah I wish it was that simple.

Is it possible you had a previous bad experience that may have caused this fear of taking medicine?

I get that you may not like the feeling of pain killers. But, Benzodiazapines aren't pain killers, they're mild sedatives that relax your brain and in turn your body.

Also, your last therapist was a moron, and probably never experienced the feelings in their life. I would dump that therapist after the first session if they said that to me. I've had those types of psychiatrists before, It makes me actually feel offended/insulted, and then I tend to voice my frustration. They may as well be telling you "Get over it." That's not helpful to anyone. They should have their medical license revoked.

But yeah, I think you need to be in therapy. It's not going to get better on it's own. You could try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I'm no therapist, but i think the first step is realizing what your brain believes is rational thought isn't truly rational in this particular case. Medicine wears off, so if you try something and don't like it you don't have to do it again, and you'll be no worse for wear.

I don't wish to frighten you but if you don't try to get passed having chemicals in your body, there's always going to be a possibility that you could face something immediate life threatening, and you will need the medicine. When I had my heart attack they put me in an induced coma so they could perform the cardiac catheter and break the clots. When I woke up I was on a morphine drip, I had the most surreal nightmares that night in the hospital bed. But, Morphine is hardcore, more-so than any other pain killer by far. If I could get through that and still feel medicine specifically for my disorder is highly beneficial I'm sure you can find that it is as well.

I bet you felt a whole lot better and calmer after you ingested the Nitrous Oxide at the dentist, even though your rational thought was probably, keep that crap away from me.

The most important thing to understand I think is that medicine wears off usually pretty quickly especially with anxiety medicine, it doesn't stay in your brain/body/system forever, not even if you take it regularly.

And I can assure you it's not gonna harm you or damage your brain, or change your personality or anything like that.

Also, chest pain is common with anxiety and stress. Mine usually starts in my upper left pectoral area, if I don't calm myself quickly, and keep panicking it just makes it worse, the moment you feel like something is physically wrong, is when anxiety (attack) begins to set in, the more you freak out the further the pain spreads. Basically your fear that something is wrong just keeps exasperating the problem, until you are eventually in a full blown panic attack.

I think I've said this before but, I have let it get so out of control, the panic just increases the symptoms, I've had a handful of times where anxiety turned to full blown panic. It feels like your gasping for air but can't catch a breath and you hyperventilate.

I've had it get so bad that my fingers then hands start going numb(as in 95% paralyzed) and it creeps up my arms, shoulders, neck. This almost always occurs when I've already allowed total panic mode to set in. The longer it persists the more you feel like you're about to drop dead. So essentially the more you allow yourself to feed into the fear that something is medically wrong the worse the anxiety/panic attack gets.

You have to find a way to understand (That's why I suggested CBT) the medicine is going to help you not hurt you nor is it going to damage you long term. (Anxiety medicine anyway) I don't trust that anti-depressant stuff.

But, all I can say is, you have to trust that some people want to help you. You need to be willing to accept the help if you want it to get better. And there is nothing natural about constantly living in fear of when the next attack will come.

Apologies for the long rant. It's not often I meet someone who may be even more psychologically damaged than myself.

😳 an induced coma? That's terrifying. I get what you mean about future scenarios where I would have to receive medicine to save my life. I had actually thought about that, like what if something happens similar to you. My panicking over something as ridiculous as a potentially life saving drug would probably make me worse. It's definitely something I know I need to speak to somebody about.

I need to speak to somebody about all of this but it's just so hard for me to find a doctor and actually leave the house and go to some stranger. I have such a hard time initiating a "hello" to someone in person let alone "hi I met you 5 minutes ago, here's my issues".

What bothers me about therapists though is that I assume many haven't experienced chronic anxiety so it's hard to relate. Sure they know how to talk and help you cope by textbooks and personal experience with other sufferers but there's still that void where they don't fully get it. Especially with this medicine issue part of my anxiety... I don't suspect many people are like me so a doctor may look at me like I'm loonie.

I've heard about CBT and was interested in it.. Have you tried that?

Like with any person or profession, there are people who suck at their jobs. Like the therapist you talked about before, seemed to completely disregard your issues, so you're right he/she probably never experienced anything in their life.

Some people get into the psychology profession just for the $. I was fortunate enough to finally get a doctor who understood because she actually had depression and anxiety. She was lucky enough to have medicine work for her, and I imagine she got into psychology to help other people who struggle. However, this wasn't some stroke of luck, I've had to weed through a pretty good handful of people who are simply ignorant on the subject, who read books, and basically just regurgitate what they've learned; ad-nauseum.

I struggle with every day social communication too, but when I realized this particular therapist was actually hearing me, and not just listening. Actually understood and related, I began to feel more comfortable opening up.

No I actually haven't tried CBT. When I know I am about to face a stressful, anxiety provoking situation, such as simple socializing. For example, if I have a job interview. I just take a Clonazepam, and although the anxiety still persists it is definitely toned down to the point in which I can cope with these situations, and I don't feel like running out of the room, I can handle it. I could never handle it before I found the right therapist. I was straight up agoraphobic, afraid to even leave my house. So yeah I don't think socializing will ever come easy for me, but I've managed to make it tolerable so I can live a semi-normal lifestyle.

Which is why I suggest you find a therapist you're comfortable with and hopefully get on medication that will help your disorder. Just like with medicine if you don't like it you don't have to do it again, same thing with therapists, if you don't like them or get the feeling that they don't understand, you can quit them too. It took me awhile to find the right doctor, coping with this disability is much more tolerable.

What's it like when you still feel your anxiety acting up but your on the medication? Have you had an anxiety attack while on them?

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I understand how you feel. My town doesn't even know what SAD is
I also want friends and to talk to people but I can't the thought of me Bornholm in social situations make me feel sick and lightheaded I also tend to shake and that makes me fear even more like what if they see my shaking

*bieng not Bornholm lol

It makes me feel sick too. I just feel like life is being sucked out of me when I'm with people especially if I'm obligated to speak. Sometimes I sort of black out like I can't see anything, my heart is racing and I just feel like a puddle of glue.

It's good that such a group exists for that option at least, the hardest part for you is taking that first leap of faith and seeing what happens, people there would understand how you feel, and would probably do their best to make you feel comfortable, just think they must feel the same way. If you would like talk just let me know.

You're right, I think they would understand. But there's still going to be the people who are used to going and I would feel so mediocre being the new loner.
And thanks :)

Believe me I'd feel exactly the same, I probably wouldn't go personally, when we feel anxious etc that's just normal for us, wether we like it or not. But don't think you're any less of a person that they are, everyone will have to go through that trauma to progress and feel better about it, if it's really what they want to do.