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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #16
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

It's actually so nice to know I'm not totally alone with this on here.

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Originally Posted by Langers View Post
Yes, I do. I’m not sure to what extent, but I definitely do. Where do I start? I’ll try not to make this a giant essay, but it’s nice to see a thread than I can relate to.

I was always a very popular guy at school (I was, I’m not lying!) but I never really went out, figured I didn’t really ‘fit in’ to the whole party lifestyle, but that never bothered me. Since finishing school I’ve studied off and on, but that was always difficult because of my social anxiety. Mikey, I think you did absolutely brilliantly to finish your degree, well done! If I’m being 100% honest, the reason why I quit uni had just as much to do with the fear of rocking up every day to classes than it did my dislike for a few subjects. I’d hate the prospect of attending classes, never wanted to answer questions, hated drawing attention to myself, in the end the easy solution was to drop out. I agree even simple things like paying for groceries can be stressful, it’s hard to explain why, it just is. And an even sadder part if that people who I see at work EVERY day, even those who I am, in a worse sense, close to, I might still get nervous around and be afraid of stuffing up. I think I am slowly improving in this area, although obviously far from perfect.

I’ll make excuses not to go out. I don’t even have a really close friend that I can talk to about stuff like this, who is there? People who know me wouldn’t have a clue how bad I am in social situations and how doing day to day stuff can be stressful. My life is pretty depressing and very boring, and it's becoming more so because of this. I am very self conscious; I get very nervous for no real reason and build up stress over tiny things. I am doing my Christmas shopping tomorrow; no doubt walking around the shops by myself will be a bit stressful.

Thankyou for this thread.
Oh god, everything you say is like my exact life!

And oh don't worry I actually tried to drop out several times! I almost didn't go at all and only did because my parents pushed me. The main thing that stopped me dropping out was the fact that I'd have to go in and talk to people and sign forms etc which scared me a lot! And tbh I'm not really proud of the degree I ended up with. I only did it because I felt the need to be doing SOMETHING. It was a really shit time too because I only took subjects that didn't require any sort of presentation, or discussion time or excessive face-to-face time where I might be the centre of attention or embarrass myself. And almost always they were subjects I didn't care about! I spent hours online looking up all my options to see which ones would cause me the least anxiety. So really I missed out on a lot of interesting content that I wished I'd have done. And just thinking about the whole uni mess leaves me sad and depressed! I've finished my degree and have NO IDEA where I want to go because just thinking about the options leaves me in panic attacks. I lay in bed at night sweating and freaking out sometimes for the entire night! And oh my god here comes the best bit... some how (god knows why...) I ended up applying and accepting an offer to do a diploma in secondary teaching next year using my previous degree, a bachelor in medical sciences, to become a secondary science teacher... WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?! I don't even really want to be a teacher. I'm going to die! Just thinking about doing placement at a school makes me feel like vomiting.

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I experience exactly the same things as mentioned but the sad part is that you can never tell how much I'm struggling every day by looking at me from outside. Everybody thinks my life is perfect but it isn't.
I was the same for so long! People always questioned me why I didn't like going out or why I always said no when I was invited to social events. They didn't really get it, nor did I tbh. So for a long time I just thought I was a little shy and that it was normal for most people at some time in their life. Then when I did a subject on psychological disorders at uni we did a long chapter on anxiety. Twas then I finally realised what was wrong with me and that it was a real problem. Though I couldn't really tell anyone because I was really embarrassed about it. I tried to tell my mother once and she sort of brushed it off as nothing and sort of made fun of me for even mentioning it. I hated her so much for that and it actually really hurt me a lot. It made it really hard for me to tell anyone for a long time after that. Luckily I have 3 close friends who I was eventually able to tell and they are quite supportive of me. They seem to want to help and they're always out to try and protect my anxiety. Like for example if they're having a BBQ and they invite me, they'll warn me if there are going to be people coming that I don't know. It sort of prepares me so I'm not surprised when I get there and freak out or something. And well obviously there's still things I don't even tell them because I'm so scared of their responses. Which is actually why I love going to the psychologist now. She totally gets me and I can let things just fly out of my mouth, even if I still get a little anxious while saying them, as I said before it's SO nice to be able to just spill anything I'm worried about without any sort of judgement.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #17
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

In my case it's something between agoraphobia and social anxiety. I'm not very anxious before public speeches and presentations. I feel weird only in the beginning, but when I survive it, I can talk until tomorrow. But I have a problem in supermarkets and shopping malls. I feel some disgusting dizziness, I can't breath, I'm shaking... It really sucks because I love shopping and I can't go alone because of my stupid phobias. But I survive that too somehow. During the first 30 minutes or something it's awful, but then it gets better and then I can enjoy the shopping.

The worst thing about my panic issues is agoraphobia, because, when it happens, I have panic attacks when I'm about to cross a street and then I have to take a cab. That's probably the worst panic expeince for me, because no other thing can make me feel so angry at myself for being such an useless idiot.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 04:25 PM   #18
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

I used to be sure that I had it, but these days I tend to think differently. I do avoid social situations as much as possible, but I have no problem interacting with other people. I just don't enjoy it. I can communicate fine with colleagues and clients. As long as it's professional then I'm okay. But smalltalk and such is painful to me. I don't care about what the other person is saying and I have no idea what to say in response. Internet forums are perfect for me because I can choose what to read and what to respond to.

I do get nervous before new situations but I don't think it's at an abnormal level. And I only worry about what people think when I'm in a professional environment. Because then you should always be concerned about how you are perceived.

I've never been to a psychologist though, so maybe there is some anxiety. It just doesn't feel like that's the driving force behind my behavior. It's more extreme laziness and a general dislike of people.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:42 PM   #19
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

I was halfway through typing a massive post on this topic but then I got depressed and decided against it. Self-analysis is one of the least fun things I can think of.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:46 PM   #20
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

I would venture that social phobia is heavily over diagnosed.

What ever happened to just being nervous ?
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #21
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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I know it sucks having this problem. My heart always beat like crazy when my handphone rings, even if it is my close friends I keep stuttering when I talk to her. My face blushes like crazy when I'm nervous which always happen all the time. I'm always scared to pay for things when going into a shop so this kept me from going out frequently. Like last week I went to the exhibition match and I can't sit still because I keep looking around if there are people who are looking at me. Trust me, this thing will eat you alive if you do nothing about it. But I hope we all get through it.

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I used to be sure that I had it, but these days I tend to think differently. I do avoid social situations as much as possible, but I have no problem interacting with other people. I just don't enjoy it. I can communicate fine with colleagues and clients. As long as it's professional then I'm okay. But smalltalk and such is painful to me. I don't care about what the other person is saying and I have no idea what to say in response. Internet forums are perfect for me because I can choose what to read and what to respond to.

I do get nervous before new situations but I don't think it's at an abnormal level. And I only worry about what people think when I'm in a professional environment. Because then you should always be concerned about how you are perceived.

I've never been to a psychologist though, so maybe there is some anxiety. It just doesn't feel like that's the driving force behind my behavior. It's more extreme laziness and a general dislike of people.
wow..I think I'm in a similar case as you guys. I also don't like small talks (unless the topic is interesting to me and I know about it). Even if it's a small presentation in front of familiar faces, I still feel damn nervous. I think being a perfectionist has something to do with it.
I just don't like being the centre of attention for whatever reason but then I always think about it how it feels like to be the one to watch. Well I guess being a Pieces also has something to do with it.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #22
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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I would venture that social phobia is heavily over diagnosed.

What ever happened to just being nervous ?
This is why I'd probably never go to a doctor about anything like this or pay to have my head shrunk.

Also, I hate how almost EVERYONE thinks they have OCD.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #23
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

I think a lot of the more frequent posters have some form of this disorder. When your life revolves around a tennis forum and you spend ALL your time here, something is definitely off there. Pretty sure I had some form when I was a bit younger and when I first joined this forum. But not anymore though. For years. And I only became more social because I was forced in a situation where I had to be and it made me become more open.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #24
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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This is why I'd probably never go to a doctor about anything like this or pay to have my head shrunk.

Also, I hate how almost EVERYONE thinks they have OCD.
OCD and Social Anxiety is different but it is related.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:57 PM   #25
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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I would venture that social phobia is heavily over diagnosed.

What ever happened to just being nervous ?
I would say it's an underreported problem.

As this thread shows, several people only thought of acting on it later in their lives, and I think that's the trend. People tend to project it on something else, rather than realizing that it's problem in itself.

And it's not "just being nervous" if it means you can't build relationships and it hampers your daily life and stops you from reaching your potential. In some cases, it means you just avoid people, and as I said, it's a vicious cycle.

Also, I don't really care about an official "diagnosis". Psychiatry is so full of shit, the science is so weak and the diagnostic criteria change every two years. So who cares? As long as people are bothered by it, and they improve on their condition when seeing a professional - that's all that matters.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #26
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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Pretty sure I had some form when I was a bit younger and when I first joined this forum. But not anymore though. For years. And I only became more social because I was forced in a situation where I had to be and it made me become more open.
This, too. Being "forced" in a social situation is the way to go. Solitary jobs don't help at all.

So for the guy who has a teaching job, this could be a blessing in disguise. I think introversion naturally comes with a form of social apprehension, and it's getting more and more exacerbated in the age of the internet.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 06:05 PM   #27
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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OCD and Social Anxiety is different but it is related.
I know but my point was that so many people claim to have OCD when really they just like to be neat or they put their CDs and DVDs in alphabetic order one time
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #28
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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I know but my point was that so many people claim to have OCD when really they just like to be neat or they put their CDs and DVDs in alphabetic order one time
Yeah...
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #29
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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I would say it's an underreported problem.

As this thread shows, several people only thought of acting on it later in their lives, and I think that's the trend. People tend to project it on something else, rather than realizing that it's problem in itself.

And it's not "just being nervous" if it means you can't build relationships and it hampers your daily life and stops you from reaching your potential. In some cases, it means you just avoid people, and as I said, it's a vicious cycle.

Also, I don't really care about an official "diagnosis". Psychiatry is so full of shit, the science is so weak and the diagnostic criteria change every two years. So who cares? As long as people are bothered by it, and they improve on their condition when seeing a professional - that's all that matters.
Without diagnostic criteria, how could you be sure it's under reported ?

I agree with your last sentence. Though I will freely admit that I reserve my sympathy on this matter for people that can't function in day to day life because they're so anxious.

As I indicated above, I doubt many people that claim to be socially phobic fit into that group.

The fact is that everybody gets stressed and nervous at times. It's part of normal life and I'm against labelling normal behaviour as pathological.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #30
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Re: Who here has Social Anxiety/Phobia or exhibit the symptms of it?

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Without diagnostic criteria, how could you be sure it's under reported ?

I agree with your last sentence. Though I will freely admit that I reserve my sympathy on this matter for people that can't function in day to day life because they're so anxious.

As I indicated above, I doubt many people that claim to be socially phobic fit into that group.

The fact is that everybody gets stressed and nervous at times. It's part of normal life and I'm against labelling normal behaviour as pathological.
I kind of agree with your last sentence, and I'll go further and say there's no use in the normal/abnormal label to start with. Medicine, for me, is about what bothers you and what doesn't. It's all about one's subjective experience of suffering. It incenses me how some psychiatrists/psychologist think they can objectively label normal/abnormal.

Diagnostic criteria are useful obviously for empirical grouping and choosing treatments based on the empirical evidence, but my point is that in psychiatry the science is weak because knowledge of the brain is so limited, so that in essence, diagnosis is mostly not based on etiology and doesn't carry much weight to start with.
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