stupid questions about social anxiety

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by alison, May 6, 2010.

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  1. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    I'm diagnosed with social phobia. Is that the same as social anxiety? Or is it a specific degree of social anxiety?

    Also.. I'm not sure I agree with the diagnosis. Does it mean that I'm afraid of other people constitutively? Because there are lots of people I feel comfortable with, and then there are other people whom I think I lean more closer to simply being 'shy' around, and not necessarily to the extent where I need a diagnosis.

    Where 'social phobia' comes into play is very specifically around people in an academic setting. I'm terrified of my advisor, professors, fellow students, ta's, fellow labmates, etc. Other than that, my fear of people is existent, but manageable.
  2. ZombiePringle

    ZombiePringle Forum Buddy and Antiquities Friend

    I think it might just be a certain type of Social Anxiety... I'm not sure though. I have Social Anxiety really bad.
  3. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    There's not much difference between social anxiety and social phobia, just extent. A few years ago I was sociophobic, now I no longer have panic attacks from social situation, so it's now just anxiety. It shouldn't ever be triggered by familiar situations, though - that's why you feel comfortable around some people. Even the most sociophobic person probably has at least one person they can interact with safely (e.g. a family member).

    So, I'd say you've got social anxiety for sure. Perhaps a phobia, but probably not.
  4. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    Ahh thanks :hug:

    So, what you're saying is that social phobia is just really bad social anxiety? That makes sense.

    Yeah, its weird because I feel like most of the time meeting new people and such, I'm just pretty shy... but I tend to enjoy being in social situations as opposed to being alone.
    But on the other hand, if I have a meeting with an advisor or have to work on homework with another student, I have panic attacks and throw up before hand and have trouble breathing and all sorts of stupidness. I guess there's probably just differences person-to-person, no one fits exactly within a diagnosis, right?

    thanks muchly =]
  5. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Talk to a doctor. If you can normally handle social situations you're in good position - ask whoever diagnosed you for a prescription for acute anti-anxiety drugs (benzos are what are typically used, but you could be seen as a drug seeker if you request them by name) and take one before that sort of situation. They'll prevent the panic attack and let you handle it much easier... Before long you won't need the drug.
  6. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Yeah, I've been prescribed drugs and they've definitely helped. I used have a script for ativan, but I was abusing it among other things, so now they've switched me to atarex (an antihistamine). It helps somewhat. :)
  7. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    From my understanding social phobia and social anxiety are just different terms but they're the same thing.
    Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD) is a more severe case of social anxiety.

    And I'm not pulling this out of my ass, it's from the DSM IV. If you have questions about it, you should be asking the person who diagnosed you, not people on the internet. He’d probably know a lot more.
  8. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    I can't ask the person who diagnosed me because I was diagnosed while I was hospitalized, and I'm not anymore.
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