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Anyone have severe social phobia/Avpd?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Black31, Oct 31, 2010.

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  1. Black31

    Black31 Active Member

    I have severe social phobia/Avoidant personality disorder. Had it years and years now and haven't had much of a working life at all. I live very much like a hermit in the family home. I'm wondering if there are any other people out there in a similar position? I'd like to hear your stories please.

    PM me anytime if you wish, thanks. :)
  2. sunshinesblack

    sunshinesblack Well-Known Member

    I have it
    am total hermit
  3. Black31

    Black31 Active Member

    sorry ur suffering too. if you fancy a chat on skype please feel free to add me.

    it's pink.kitten1 :ghost:
  4. Avarice

    Avarice Well-Known Member

    Had it since I was around 17 (am now 20). Tried to get it officially dignosed via a doctor but they're completely stupid and tell me I'm wrong. I don't have a working life, barely leave the house (especially not alone) and waiting on CBT to start.

    How about you? How do you cope with making money, etc., whilst having AVPD?

    Would love to talk or something if you'd like. I haven't come across many (if any) people with the same condition as me.
  5. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    I'm diagnosed with social phobia & panic disorder and my therapist always talks about how I need to work on my 'avoidance issues'.. so the way I think about it, I can relate to people with Avpd, but I'm not severe enough to be diagnosed.

    I'm technically a grad student right now, but I'm on psych leave because of my social phobia issues. I loved my classes and got good grades, but I could not go to lab to work on my thesis. I went to lab a few times in the middle of the night (2am - 6am), but then someone was there once, so I wasn't able to go back. Every time I would try to go I would have a panic attack, and I would pass out or throw up.. and I just couldn't do it. Lab meetings were also something I could not do.

    Now that I'm on psych leave, I go through phases where I can't leave the house for weeks. But then other times I'm okay and can see friends without feeling too anxious. My therapist says its essential I work on this now because I won't stay this way long - I either work on it and get better at leaving the house, or I ignore it and it will get worse.

    So.. that's my social-phobe story. I don't have a job, I'm 23, and living at my parents house.

    Anyone here have selective mutism as a child? I refused to speak in school when I was younger, and the school fought to have me held back in kindergarten because I was socially delayed (but my parents wouldn't let them because I was "smart".. dohh). I wasn't diagnosed with it at the time (i didn't see a shrink or anything til much later), but my therapist and I were talking about it the other day, and apparently its common for people who had untreated selective mutism as a child to grow up to have conditions such as social phobia, panic disorder, and/or AvPd.
  6. Avarice

    Avarice Well-Known Member

    Ah, suprised at what you said at the end there. I wasn't officially diagnosed with selective mutism at the time but I've known for a while now that that is what I had when I was younger (from around 3/4 years old). I never used to utter a word when I was in school (or anyone outside my family at least), not even to the register, but was never held back as people just thought I was extremely shy. It was my hate of having attention on me all the time that broke me out of it (because not talking 24/7 made people constantly talk to me trying to get me to speak :/) so eventually I was able to talk to people to the point that it was at least considered partially normal.
  7. KittyGirl

    KittyGirl Well-Known Member

    Well, I haven't been diagnosed with AVPD, but I am agoraphobic-- have been since grade 9... soo... umm... like, 8 years.
    My dad is the same, although I think he is much closer to AVP than I am; he's been a hermit since I was 12- so... 10 years.

    I think I kinda understand your feelings when it comes to people, though... we could at least agree on that. -___-
    I never had selective mutism-- infact, I wasn't a shy child until a few years into school because I was bullied so much. I had alot of anger issues as a kid - I also had undiagnosed dyslexia and dyscalculia, so the school board put me in 'special' classes until the first year of highschool when my problems with reading and numeration were finally identified.

    I lived the past year and a half with my mom- moving around with her. I'm living off of my life savings that I'd put away from working hard since I was old enough to work. I'm the only person my age that I know in person who hasn't either gotten married and had at least one child- or finished college/university by now. Everyone in my life has left me behind in their dust and there's nothing I can do to catch up with them.
    I'm stuck. I know that feeling, too.
  8. nolonger

    nolonger Well-Known Member

    Don't worry, I wouldn't want a kid at 22. Or married by then. But that could just be me :laugh:.

    My mum had me when she was 27, which would be considered pretty young these days(well depending on who you talk to). I'm sure there's a guy waiting for you...and a big line of babies on the way, LOL :tongue:. :)

    I'm somewhat socially anxious, but mainly extremely quiet. I just don't speak much. So no one really wants to hang around someone that barely says anything at all :l
  9. BrokenSpirit

    BrokenSpirit Active Member

    I'm terrified of fast moving crowds, darkness and, angery outbursts, they trigger a panic disorder..god I feel messed up
  10. sadkt

    sadkt New Member

    it feels like there's a brick wall around me whenever i try to go anywhere. if i do go anywhere i need to be by a door so i can escape if i need to. i get all ready to go out half the time and just freeze just before i should go. i just sit on my bed and lie back down. my therapist talks about expanding my comfort zones, but really the only comfort i have is my own bed. it's too hard to leave.
  11. Black31

    Black31 Active Member

    Sorry to hear of your problems. They are a complete misery to live with. :( I'm very envious of people who can live a normal life without these probs.

    I'd luv a chat with you. I'm on msn and skype. Please add me.

    msn addy is : huffle_puff_house@yahoo.co.uk

    skype is : pink.kitten1

    hope we can chat soon x :hugtackles:
  12. Black31

    Black31 Active Member

    If anyone else would like to add me for a chat about social phobia please do! :cool:

    msn addy is : huffle_puff_house@yahoo.co.uk

    skype is : pink.kitten1

  13. dcr908

    dcr908 New Member

    I should add to this discussion there is a website for people with sas I actually found it i think in one of the forums here no associated with it just a member and like here i never post http://www.socialanxietysupport.com
  14. down-and-maybeout

    down-and-maybeout Well-Known Member

    According to the test, here http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/disorder/liebowitz/, I have 'marked social anxiety' (32 fear, 36 avoidance), which sounds about right for me.

    I'm not afraid to be among people as long as I'm performing a function, for example if I'm there to help set up a Christmas fete, if I'm working or even if I'm giving a talk in front of a thousand people about a particular subject. No problem at all with that.

    But it's social situations that terrify me, particularly when I could become the centre (or near to it) of attention. If I think conversation is going to turn on me or be about me, I will not go to whatever even it is. I detest going to parties, nightclubs, places like that - I really can't think of anything worse. I have very few friends, am more often single than not, and I would like to keep it that way.

    Over the years I have grown so accustomed to these feelings of social phobia that I don't think I will ever change now, and a huge part of me doesn't even want to. I've become fond of my solitude, or being an introvert and a hermit, and woe betide anyone who tries to drag me out of my shell saying "It'll do you good". No!
  15. Anonymous2

    Anonymous2 Well-Known Member

    I do. Also, I'm a member at socialanxietysupport. My member name is "J.T.", but I rarely post because I'm too busy.

    I have 0 friends, never been on a date or even been hugged by a non-family member. I only encounter social situations when I have to, for work and college. Just answering the phone, the door, or going to the grocery store causes me anxiety. I also suffer from chronic pain, which, for some reason, significantly exacerbated my anxiety symptoms.

    My job does not require social interaction. I can interact, but it's not really required. I work for UPS. Not a driver; instead, I work at the airport. So I just operate equipment, and sort and lift packages. None of these require social interaction. This is a part-time job, however, and I'm VERY worried about looking for another job after I graduate college. My anxiety seems to be getting worse and worse every year.

    I've managed to make it through college by avoiding (dropping) classes that require too much interaction. In addition, I take Valium ever time I go to class. I'm a Senior now. Next semester I have to take a public speaking class and I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't delay this class any longer.

    I'm lonely, anxious, and depressed, and I'm also in physical pain all the time. I plan to commit suicide soon if things don't improve soon; however, I'm quite worried because I fear that God might exist and suicide may be a mortal (unforgivable) sin. Plus, I worry about how my mother will feel if I commit suicide, and I enjoy, from a distance, the beauty of life (beautiful people, places, and natural wonders). I say "from a distance" because I only fantasize about such things from picture, videos, reading, movies, etc. I'm too anxious to, for example, go on a dates and travel.

    Nonetheless, I feel as though I have to die because I can barely function in the world. I just hope that I'm making the right decision.
  16. loopy

    loopy Well-Known Member

    I have social anxiety. have had 2 lots of therapy for it which i never finished because i felt i was wasting their time. i have been on seroxat for almost 2 years which has helped but not cured.

    i do work but worked from 17 before my SA got bad and now i am too scared not to ever work as I know if i have too much time off i would never go back again. i struggle to go back and get anxious after a two week break!

    i have no friends at all. my imediate family dont know about my problems, i wear a mask so to speak. i am very secretive.

    i do function, but i struggle and suffer in silence for it. inside I am a big fat mess just barely getting along with life but fooling everyone.
  17. Emilyz

    Emilyz New Member

    I have a severe case too, social phobia/AVPD and I think mild agoraphobia..and yes it's devastating.
    There were a lot of factors that led up to it and I think I had mildly it since middle school but it didn't get bad until about 11-12 grade. At that point it was a requirement to take a speech class in 11th grade and it ended up being the first class I ever flunked because I just couldn't make myself do it, I stayed home any day I had any kind of presentation in a class and got really behind in most of them. (I was always an A/B student too, I got a 4.0 my freshman year.) In 12th grade I started avoiding school completely, faked sick and stayed home for days at a time and ultimately dropped out of high school two months in because I couldn't go without having what I realize now were panic attacks. Worst mistake of my life. My parents were PISSED and I had NO idea what was wrong with me then, but they really did nothing to get me help and I knew they couldn't afford therapy for me so I never asked, I didn't want to burden them. I just holed up in my room. I still hung out with my friends normally for about the first year, but I was rapidly losing confidence over the direction my life had taken...they were all thinking about college and I felt like my life was already over. I started becoming too afraid to call them back, I still didn't know what was wrong with me and was ashamed, and they thought I was avoiding them, so they stopped calling too. I even lost my very best friend of 10 years because I couldn't bring myself to tell her I was afraid to call her. I loved her as a friend and I left her to think she didn't mean anything to me. I ended up with a total of two friends for the next three years only because they were living next door to us. But eventually they moved out of state and I was left in complete isolation and became a total recluse, only going out to go places with my parents on rare occasions, living my life on the computer. I'm now (just turned) 25 and have never worked outside of my family's home, never had a significant other, no GED, no license, no life.

    But I do have some hope. In the last year I pretty much had some kind of nervous breakdown that lasted months, I was in a constant state of panic and nausea, and constant tears that wouldn't stop and it was pure hell, I wanted nothing more than to be put out of my misery. I became more desperate for help than I have ever been but no one was helping.. so I searched online for ANYTHING which led to my discovery of socialanxietysupport.com.. I realized how many people suffer from the same symptoms and did my research and after several months of trying to understand my disorder have made a lot of small improvements, baby steps if you will. I managed to start making a semi decent amount money working online, I managed to talk on the phone a few times after -literally- not answering the phone for over five years. ...and by some twist of fate met someone and was actually able to go on a date with them recently. Even though I thought I was going to die in the days leading up to it. :p

    I think social anxiety disorder is one of those things that is so misunderstood, because anyone you tell who doesn't know anything about it simply assumes you're saying you're shy... Few people realize how truly debilitating, and soul crushing it can be. :no:
  18. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    I am so sorry that everyone responding has suffered so. Painful stories. Safe cyber hugs for anyone who wants one.

    I was diganosed 2 years ago with avoidant personality disorder. But somehow I avoided facing it for 2 years. Imagine that. Now I am finally facing it. I read about it finally. I must say I am devistated having faced it. Talk about a delayed reaction, two years !!! But thats avoidance for ya. But when I read about it I was shocked to see they described me, exactly. There is no doubt that avoidance is the correct dx. One more thing to hide from people irl.

    I live alone and in excruciating pain. I always was overly sensitive and emotional. Feeling hurt at what most people would not feel hurt by. And this persists today. Nothing seems to work out for me. Because of this. The pain is tremendous. I cant even stay in therapy. I lost the therapists due to insurance and am too afraid to try again. Afraid of getting hurt or not being understood. Or worse, the scientific non heart focused world of psychology. Yes I know thats a generalization and is not correct for all practitioners. But because of medicare I am limited to only Phds and they seem terribly frignting to me. I am so tired of this excriciating pain.

    Anyway, I feel horribly alone and hopeless. Tonight I felt so slammed by someone. Other people would have been able to sluff it off. But for me, I just bolted out of my body and my heart pounded for a very long time. Its a mine field out there. Nothing ends up being safe. Sad life to have lived. I have tried in the past 24 hours to find as many avoidant websites and groups online as I could. It all feels so sore and hard. So coming here and finding this thread feels like I found people like myself at home. SF does feel like home to me. Its the safest place I know of online. I hope all of us can find peace and healing.
  19. TWF

    TWF Well-Known Member

    I have it, like many others. I get extremely anxious just being around people, I shake moderately and sweat a lot when I converse. When the teacher announces a class presentation lesson it's like a stab to my gut. While I wait for my turn and watch others present my heart starts pumping and I shake uncontrollably, and I can hardly speak.

    It's just life-long embarrassment for me. Wonder how I'll turn out in future.
  20. Dearóil

    Dearóil Member

    I have quite severe social phobia. Primarily a consequence of BDD.
    I lack to ability to interact normally with other people - engaging in small talk, making eye-contact, displaying emotion etc. - so I come across as cold, aloof, snobbish, even rude. The worst part is I'm fully aware of how I appear to others but am simply unable to change it.

    Social skills are developed through years of practice. If one gets out of practice it can be tremendously difficult to regain these basic abilities which are taken for granted by most people.
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