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Social Anxiety

Unition

Registered Member
Hey everybody. I think I have a problem and I was wonder if anybody here has the same thing going on.

Over the past couple of years I've been experiencing large amounts of anxiety when it comes to social situations. I mostly get fidgety and I can't calm myself down. Sometimes it gets as bad as me feeling overcome with nausia and on the verge of vomitting. It's a real problem that's hard for me to cope with, especially now that I'm in College and I'm making new friends who always want to go to bars and concerts. I can't ever think about those things without getting anxious.

Thanks for reading. If you've been experiencing the same thing or if you have some advice, I thank you in advance.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
Hey Unition,

There's an actual psychological diagnosis called Social Anxiety Disorder; I would talk to your doctor about the situation and seek the help of a counselor or psych doctor if you can. It's one of the most common disorders in the realm of mental health.

Personality Disorders like this, especially one that's so common, have treatment options available. (I'd advise that you look up Exposure Therapy).

Give this a read:

Social Anxiety Disorder


Now after all of this speaking about Social Anxiety Disorder, itself, I really want to emphasize again that you look for help from a professional. I can't diagnose or provide the right sort of ideas for taking care of this without knowing you, personally.

You mentioned being in college, starting with speaking to a school counselor or heading to health center to ask for resources could never hurt!

Good luck, man.
 

Dabs

Registered Member
I'm sorry Unition, but Unity gave you some great advice. I think everyone has this little fear, or big fear, of meeting new people in social events. I wish you the best of luck! I get anxiety problems, so I know they are no fun, and the nauseating feeling is not pleasant.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
And like I said, I can't say for sure whether Social Anxiety Disorder itself is in the picture, that's for a professional to determine.
 

shelgarr

Registered Member
As a younger person in my 20s I didn't have much problem being in club or concert settings.

Currently at nearly 50 the kind of anxiety I get is when I'm the focus of the get-together or the host. A couple times a year I host either Bunco or book club and my stomach is in knots a couple months in advance. Of course every year it's my birthday too but luckily that is usually just family. This year it will include friends too and will be a luncheon on the 13th. I'm full of anxiety already.

For a time in 2002 (my young 40s) I was especially stricken at a time my two kids were both young school children. I was involved with the schools and every time I would go in for my volunteer my heart rate would go way up. At that time I had depression and it exacerbated my anxiety and I was nearly dysfunctional. I got professional intervention.

It's very difficult to identify the origins of why other people make us nervous. In my case my mother was always orchestrating my behavior. She demanded that I perform meaning she forced out any genuine display of my natural personality. My dad was one to shoot criticisms for the most innocent of child behavior. Even now when he's around me and in my home something sets him off. These days though I happily confront him about how unreasonable he is.

But one thing I've accepted as I've matured is that there is nothing wrong with my preference for smaller more intimate gatherings and friendships. Quantity is not my thing....groups are not my thing. I like it quieter and more predictable and with people that are invested in more than just a good time.

Since you are in college and emmersed in classrooms and classmates, clearly this anxiety does not cripple you. That is good! You may or may not need intervention, only you can determine. What you might be experiencing is a clarity about your inidividuality.
 

Unition

Registered Member
Thanks for the advice, Unity. But it doesn't really help being told that there's something wrong with my brain. Everybody has some sort of "disorder" and since Social Anxiety Disorder (or S.A.D. [funny, right?]) is the most common, I'd hardly call it a disorder.
I was hoping there was something wrong with my diet and my daily activities that I could easily change.

I've always been shy to some extent, and I've always been the quiet guy in my group of friends simply because I can never find anything to add to the conversation that would be worth my breath, but I've long since gotten used to that. But I've never felt so uneasy around people before six months ago.

But you're right, I should seek some professional help.
 

Sliney

New Member
I used to hate meeting new people, hanging out with people I didn't know well. I recently realized I was being selfish; thinking that everyone was focused on me, how I acted/how I spoke. I now love nothing more than meeting new people! I taught myself that instead of me being comfortable, I should focus on making everyone else feel comfortable, like I myself used to need. This grew on me and I now enjoy asking people about themselves and actually listening;
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
I know how you feel, I used to feel the same way. Here is what I found out: Dale Carnegie. Simple, effective. If you don't have the opportunity to take the course then read his books. I used to be uncomfortable in social situations and now I am a sales rep. I talk to people I don't know all the time and I enjoy it. I would not hesitate to address a room full of people and would enjoy the opportunity.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
Thanks for the advice, Unity. But it doesn't really help being told that there's something wrong with my brain. Everybody has some sort of "disorder" and since Social Anxiety Disorder (or S.A.D. [funny, right?]) is the most common, I'd hardly call it a disorder.
I was hoping there was something wrong with my diet and my daily activities that I could easily change.

I've always been shy to some extent, and I've always been the quiet guy in my group of friends simply because I can never find anything to add to the conversation that would be worth my breath, but I've long since gotten used to that. But I've never felt so uneasy around people before six months ago.

But you're right, I should seek some professional help.
Like I think I had said, I obviously can't say whether it goes to the point of actually being something like social anxiety disorder or just an issue with anxiety.

The main question to ask is whether or not it has a detrimental effect on your daily life and really effects your ability to function.

If you don't feel comfortable seeking some kind of professional opinion, or at least want to wait to do so, I'd still advise using the premise of exposure therapy; this is just gradually giving the things that bring you anxiety a try in small ways...maybe participating in a study group or something small. Slowly move on to larger social situations, but only if you feel comfortable doing the smaller ones.

Another practice that might help involves sitting with a piece of paper and writing what happens in these situations, along with how you feel. So, for example: 1. My palms sweat, 2. I worry that others are judging me, 3. I feel nauseous, etc. etc. Sometimes writing out each component of your anxiety or nervousness, and then analyzing each one (for example, "Do people really analyze what I add to the conversation more than I do? I don't dwell on what they're saying from sentence to sentence, so maybe not) can give you more power over it.

1. I'm giving some ideas based on practices I've learned in my social work education; I'm not a licensed professional yet which is why I think that asking someone for help if these problems persist wouldn't be a bad idea. It can't really hurt to check.

2. You're right, everyone has things that can cause them anxiety. For example, when I have to follow directions to find a place I'm unfamiliar with I get kind of anxious. I'm shy at times, too. The only times that it really comes into being something diagnosable is if it has an effect on your ability to function in your daily life, like I had said.

3. I do apologize if it felt like I was trying to box you into a diagnosis; I didn't mean to give you that impression. I just wanted to let you know that it was somewhat of a possibility based on your descriptions...I definitely cannot have an idea of if it's in the picture by talking to you on a forum. :)

Good luck, my friend! It takes strength to even talk about something like this; because of that, whether it's something that ends up needing a professional in the picture or not, I'm confident that you'll be able to overcome it. :nod:
 
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