Social anxiety and flashbacks

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by RumoursOfMyDemise, Jul 30, 2012.

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  1. RumoursOfMyDemise

    RumoursOfMyDemise Well-Known Member

    I suffer from very severe social anxiety, which was greatly exacerbated (perhaps even caused) by being bullied relentlessly in high school, and being hit and verbally abused by my dad. I don't think there was a single day of high school on which I wasn't bullied; it was usually several times a day, by several groups of people. I felt like I was in hyper vigilance mode, certainly the whole time I was at school, but often also when I got home too. I had a panic attack at the start of every single school day, often with more severe panic attacks after being bullied or put in a social/ performance situation such as having to present in front of the class. I'd start shaking, sweating, hyperventilating and feeling sick as soon as I got within 800 yards of school. I'd experience derealisation and this weird feeling like my eyes were over-focusing. Most days I got home, I was so exhausted from the anxiety that I just wanted to sleep or relax. But I'd still have this massive feeling of uneasiness/ dread when at home, because I knew it was only a few hours until I'd have to go back and face the bullies and the overwhelming fear all over again. I found it very difficult to get to sleep because I'd keep myself up worrying about the next day. Even during the holidays, I'd have nightmares about school/ being bullied almost every night. I couldn't even enjoy the holidays because all I could think about was how little time I had left until I had to go back and be made a laughing stock/ injured/ touched inappropriately/ have people jeer at me again.

    14 months ago, highschool finished for good, but the memories and pain that went with it have certainly not. I still get nightmares about the whole thing, and think about it almost every day. I get into this state when I'm walking my dog, or just out walking somewhere quiet, where it's literally all I can think about. I think about the people I used to go to highschool with, the way they treated me, the things they said, old friends who broke my trust, etc. And as ridiculous and stupid as it sounds, I fantasise about what I could have done differently to change the things that happened back then. I know it's incredibly stupid and unhelpful and that there's no point worrying or brooding over it because I can't change any of it, but it's almost like an just happens automatically and I can't stop no matter how hard I try, because quite frankly, nothing happens in my life. It often brings my mood down a lot.

    And then there's just random times (like Saturday, or when I was on holiday) that something triggers me (sometimes it can be the smallest thing), and I start having all these flashbacks of the bullying and of my dad beating me up. I can't seem to stop it, no matter what I do. It's like a film reel of all the bad things that ever happened to me. When it happens, I can't stop crying (sometimes I'll cry for hours on end) and I just want to kill myself because the pain seems so unbearable. I feel so ashamed, guilty and pathetic saying this because usually people who experience flashbacks have been through far more traumatic events than I ever have. It's all in the past, right? Most people get bullied at some point, so why can't I just get over it? Why does it hurt so much every time I play the film reel of memories? I feel so weak and pathetic that I've let them (bullies and dad) cause me this much pain. I get so intensely angry too when it happens, and that's the part that scares me quite a bit. I feel like I need to (and have this overwhelming urge to) break things, such as throwing a drinking glass or chair at the wall or something (or just throwing stuff in general really), punching the walls until my knuckles are red, smashing things, kicking things, etc. Sometimes it's quite hard not to act on that. I get intense urges to self-harm - and some of these times I have done - or just inflict pain on myself in general/ kill myself. I also get urges to punch or hit/injure people (sometimes I feel so irate that I feel I could do serious damage to others), but I would never ever act on this.

    Has anyone else with severe social anxiety and/or someone who was bullied experienced this? It's extremely distressing and I don't know how to cope with it. I don't know if I should tell my psychiatrist...I don't see him again for another 2 months, and he seems quite incompetent anyway. Not really sure what to do... =/ WTF is wrong with me?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2012
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Hun you need to get therapy to help you cope with the abuse you have had to live with to help you heal hun Yes tell your psychiatrist everything ok it is the only way that the right help for you can be chosen hugs
  3. RumoursOfMyDemise

    RumoursOfMyDemise Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply, total eclipse. I don't think I'd call it abuse because it's not nearly as bad as what most people on here have been through. I will tell my psychiatrist when I finally see him again, but I think the chances of him actually helping me are relatively slim.
  4. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    It is abuse and you do not have to belittle the sadness you are feeling It is as important as anyones I hope he does find a way to help you hun either with group therapy or indivdual therapy hugs
  5. lotte

    lotte Well-Known Member

    I can relate to this so very much. For me, the flashbacks start rolling in as I'm trying to fall asleep. Whenever i even drive past the high school, I am immeadiately sent into a state of dissociation. I am bullied at home by my mother and brother, so I feel the same anxiousness at home. My dad never beats me, but he doesn't know how to express himself very well and I am often very terrified of him. I feel as if the anxiety literally paralyzes me, i just freeze up and shut down, remaining in this far away state.

    I wish i had some sort of advice for you, but I'm not really sure how to cope at all. My therapist doesn't help me either. Sometimes when i get on here and talk to my friends, i can get the anxiety to ease up a bit. I also just like walking around department stores by myself (especially in a distant town) because I won't run into anyone from my school and i feel proud that i got some social interaction in. It also helps when I take walks by myself and just focus on the nature around me instead of the worries in my head. Maybe those things could work for you? I hope you can find some sort of help- living with all of that just seems so overwhelming. :hug:
  6. normaljoe

    normaljoe Well-Known Member

    DONT EVER compare yourself to someone else. that is the WORST thing anyone can do. EVERY situation affect different people in different ways. what ever happened to you is unique to you and in no one way shape or form could ever be compared to someone else. the most people can do on this forum is empathize. I reccomend you trust your psychiatrist for now and see how they react to what you should be talk about. ie this forum. my psychiatrist made me bring in emails and my journal if i felt comfortable enough, it helped bring out a lot of other issues that helped me cope with my ptsd.
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