Social anxiety

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by caspar, Aug 23, 2014.

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  1. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Does anyone else suffer from this? I get anxious leaving the house, feel like everyone is looking at me and notices me. I feel like I am being observed when I am outside, and am scared of my doctor/psychiatrist seeing me around and observing my behaviour. (I feel like I can't tell them about this as this will increase the possibility of them observing me). I feel like I'm being judged all the time, for everything I do, for my very being. Like for example, I feel like people are judging me for buying the type of bread I buy and trivial stuff like that :(

    On the one hand, I know all this is kind of nuts but I still don't know how to stop thinking this way.

    Edit: Forgot to say, if anyone wants to share their experiences or symptoms please do, as I find it therapeutic if I'm not alone in suffering with this... thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2014
  2. Sparrow91

    Sparrow91 Well-Known Member

    I get nervous when I go out too, that judging feeling is constant. I try to tell my self that people are probably just paying attention to their own lives but I catch glances, it's probably just because I over think a lot but everything I do I get nervous... I usually try to stay home, I don't like going out as much so I can avoid the feelings .. The worst thing is doing something and failing.. I've tried focusing on things around me when I'm out so that my mind doesn't bring me nervous thoughts. For example at a grocery store in line I'll start reading labels instead of just standing because then thoughts come into mind. I feel like I'm crazy but it's just anxiety and over thinking ... It's hard to stop thoughts..
    You're not alone , it might be beneficial to talk to your therapist about it, they may have ways of helping
     
  3. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thank you Sparrow, I can relate a lot to what you say. I should really stay at home more 'cause I go outside every day and it makes me really anxious, it's not really worth going out with the amount it stresses me out afterwards. Like, I always think people notice me out every day and wonder why that strange person is always hanging around. I do the same thing in the grocery store, reading signs and so on, it helps me a bit too. I don't really think anything anyone else can say or do can help. I've tried reasoning myself out of it, and analysing thoughts and so on, but it doesn't do much :( And like I say, it increases the anxiety to talk about it with others, as I always think they're saying to themselves that my anxiety is justified in some way.
     
  4. Sparrow91

    Sparrow91 Well-Known Member

    On really bad days I would stay indoors and other days I would go outside, like small doses... I prefer going out of the house with someone so that I am not alone, it helps a little because I can talk to them instead of thinking so much.. I wish I could help more but I'm here to talk if you ever need too..
    Take it One day at a time
     
  5. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thanks Sparrow, I just don't really have anyone to go around with tbh. I guess I could see someone using that as a security thing. Don't worry you've helped a lot by sharing your thoughts :)
     
  6. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hello Caspar, you don't sound nuts at all. A lot of people are affected by anxiety. Take it from me, long story short, I stayed in my house without leaving even once, wouldn't open curtains, the longer you stay inside the worse it gets, keep the head phones on and just keep walking. You are definitely not alone in feeling this way, I have anxiety...a lot of it is controlled with medications and therapy now and now I can lead a normal life. But yes of course I still do get bouts of anxiety, I would strongly suggest you see a therapist :)
     
  7. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    To echo what's already been said - I'd also recommend trying to see a therapist. But a word of advice if you do - be completely honest with them about everything, and you'd have a better chance of fighting against the wave of anxiety that you feel.

    It's also good to note that you do at least try to get yourself out and about though :) Don't give up trying that, as it is more beneficial than staying cooped up indoors all the time. :)
     
  8. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thanks Petal, I'm so happy for you that your anxiety is much better now. I haven't really had much luck with therapists, mostly they just don't understand and it goes nowhere no matter what I do. I know the roots of my anxiety for the most part (from therapy) but I'm still going through this bout of anxiety right now. Like I was seeing a counselor at college and I think she thought I was a bit of a weirdo (even though she tried to hide it) and it was clear she had no personal experience with what I was describing. How do you deal with mental health professionals who just can't relate? I just think that maybe my issues are way too deeply entrenched and I'm one of the people who unfortunately can't be helped. It's a big investment to try again and for it not to work out. I just feel tired at this point in my life, tired of explaining myself again and again, tired of things not working out.
     
  9. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    It's so hard for me to be honest because it's basically a risk, I'm risking being hurt, of being invalidated. I basically guard my thoughts and feelings closely because I was made fun of for feeling them growing up. Thanks for the encouragement though, m-v.
     
  10. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hey, thanks. I hadn't left the house for 4-5 years. I got better, if I can do it you can too.
    Also-just want to point out that all therapists specialize in different things, I found mine through doing my homework on it and it was successful, she is trained in practically everything, she's such a fun person, gives me hugs and gives me homework through emails and paper work. I think that maybe she did not find you a weirdo but more like as you said she did not understand. I would go rooting for a therapist or get a recommendation of one that they think could help you. It's very tiring starting with someone new, writing it out is the best thing, also eases your anxiety about it. I have therapy on Thursday and I'm already excited about it! :)

    Best of luck to you.
     
  11. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    How did you find her? She sounds great. I've sort of asked the universe a couple of times to send me someone like that, a life-enriching person, although it was more in the context of romantic love for me. All I know is I'm lost and I need someone to help me. Thank you for responding and sharing your experience, I'm happy for you.
     
  12. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I found her on the internet. I searched for someone with the highest qualifications and the gender I wanted. I took a risk, and so glad that I did. She's not the type that sits on a chair behind a desk, she takes her shoes off and lays on the couch lol and takes notes. The place is so comfortable, it has fluffy pillows and everything and she charges much less than the other ones because she is one that is definitely not in it for the money. She has spent years studying, she will always gives numerous ideas on what to do and really make you think. She is just superb, also she texts me to see how I am :)

    I am sure there are lots like her out there, do your homework like I did haha! Seriously, look up the ones near you on the net, look at what they specialize in and what their qualifications are if they have their own website like my one does, you'll get so much more info! :)

    No giving up! It's not allowed! :p
     
  13. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice :)
     
  14. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    You're very welcome, anytime! :)
     
  15. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    It's not likely to be the easiest of things to do. There's no rush with talking to someone who has no known strings attached (ie, not friends/family or even standard doctor), and it can take a while to get opened up. But if you do miss things out, there's a risk that they could tailor the support/medications if any given to what's been said/how your body language is, and it may lead to an incorrect diagnosis/med combo, making you feel worse than you already do.

    I'm only offering this advice as I have seen people criticize therapists for being useless, but when it entailed that they missed out potentially key information, it was easy to see why the therapist may have got it wrong.

    If you find the first therapist doesn't work for you - there's often a chance of seeking a second opinion. So take your time, and i'm sure you'll be able to locate someone who's able to help you get yourself out of the rut you are in.

    As Petal said - if you find it easier - write it down first. Best of luck to you :)
     
  16. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    That's a good point you made, I actually understand better now. Thank you.
     
  17. windlepoons

    windlepoons Well-Known Member

    I had a lot of therapy, and was taught a technique called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which helped me. It's not a quick fix by any means but it helps.
    A book called 'Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness' by Gillian Butler is very helpful.
     
  18. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot, I might try and get a copy of that book! I've done some CBT and is good sometimes, but I just find it so difficult. Also the last counsellor I had did some CBT with me, and I don't know if it was her or the CBT method, but I didn't like it. She just seemed to try and convince me all the time that I was doing something wrong - like in relationships with people etc. It just kind of upset me. Is it supposed to be that way, anyone who has done CBT?


    I went back to college today and it was super stressful, just felt anxious surrounded by people, and could barely talk to anyone. I feel like I'm looking at everyone living their life. I feel so unconfident these days. I don't know what to do.
     
  19. AsphyxiateOnMisery

    AsphyxiateOnMisery Well-Known Member

    To be honest what you described sounds more like paranoid delusions than social anxiety. Social anxiety is being afraid to be social with people due to a fear of being judged or criticized. But feeling like your psychiatrist is observing you when you go outside or people judging the type of groceries you buy is more paranoia than social anxiety. Either way, do consult with a doctor about it because it's probably a symptom of a specific mental illness.
     
  20. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Hey, I am definitely afraid of being judged or criticised! I can understand why you think I sound paranoid, I think paranoia is a part of my anxiety, but I definitely don't think anyone is following me around intentionally. I just am scared of anyone I know seeing me out on the street or public place and think people I don't even know are looking at me.
     
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