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social anxiety disorder

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#1
I suffer from what I would consider a high level of social anxiety. I've been looking up info on Social Anxiety Disorder and a lot of what I read applies to me. I have never seen any kind of doctor or psychiatrist about it, but I definately suffer from it. I took a test that gives you a rating on the "Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale" from 1-144... I scored a 65, which may not seem very bad, but anything greater than 95 is considered a severe social phobia. Test is here: http://anxietyhelp.org/information/leibowitz.html

does anyone else suffer from this? I have extreme difficulty in public situations, especially talking to people that I don't know. I especially hate making eye contact. It may sound stupid but I have a huge fear of talking on the phone to strangers, to the point that I mostly never answer it. I had to give a presentation last year and I was very proud that I actually managed to pull it off, but I was extremely nervous and was critisized for not looking people in the eye. i was so happy that i actually showed up and did it... it was ridiculous

I have often isolated myself from others and never really developed social skills. if someone tries to make chit chat with me I can hardly ever think of anything to say, and i start thinking about how stupid I sound and I start to feel worse. then I feel my face starting to go red and of course I realize it, which makes it even worse. during school I was always alone. right now I have no friends at all, and I never really had many in the past. i just don't know how to make friends, because I suck at talking to people. i've never had a girlfriend because like I said, I have no idea how to strike up a conversation or approach one.

I am ok with talking to people about some things, which is strange. for a random example talking with a teller at the bank when I am doing something there. or going to get groceries or something at a local store, or whateer. the problems start if they try to make small talk or ask me about regular day to day things. i honestly can't find the words and I feel very embarassed

if anyone says something negative about me I hurts me extremely bad. i often avoid social situations because i am so scared that someone will think something negative about me

i was just wondering if anyone else suffered from something like me, or if anyone has any advice. I know there are meds for this kind of thing, but I really don't want to start with those. I know they create a dependancy on them and make you feel worse after. I am just so depressed because i dont know how I will ever get over this. I am so sick of being alone and lonely. I am almost 21 years old and I hope it is not too late to fix this. I just want to have friends and people that care about me :( Ah, I just wish I was normal
 
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#2
I know how you feel all too well. I can relate to almost everything you say. There are some others here who suffer from this too. It's a terrible thing. I don't really want medication either, but I think it may be the only way out. I'm just an absolute mess. I don't really have any advice, I'm still trying to figure out how to overcome this. Have you been to http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/ ? It's a great place, lots of understanding people, some who have overcome this and have good advice.
 
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Yeah... I actually just found that website. I've been reading it a bit.

I am actually a bit relieved and also a bit scared. There are a lot of people there that are a lot worse than I am. On the other hand, there are people there in their 40s who have never had a girlfriend. That could be me one day.
 
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I think I have come to the conclusion that I belong on that forum more than this one. I think I finally know what is wrong with me.
 
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You should check those forums shickey linked to...

I've been reading them a lot. I've been suffering with this crap for a long time, but I'm trying to take an active approach at getting over it.

It really sucks.
 
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