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Old 03-23-2009, 02:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Social Anxiety Without Panic Attacks?

I am not totally sure if I have social anxiety as a disorder. I certainly feel anxious around almost all social situations, although I have never had a panic attack. I think this has to do with a) dealing with an immense amount of anxiety about my grades last year (lots of competition at my old school) and b) the source of my anxiety. Although I never directly criticize myself, I always tell myself that I will be cooler/more confident/better in the future if i work out every day and study as hard as I can. I think this has subconsciously made me think that I am somehow in-superior now, compared to how I will be in the future (i hope that makes sense). Does this still mean I have social anxiety? I also don't feel depressed all the time. Only maybe 30 min a day do I get depressed, and thats only because of hopelessness about my anxiety.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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That's not social anxiety.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by wxolue View Post
I am not totally sure if I have social anxiety as a disorder. I certainly feel anxious around almost all social situations,
There are various degrees of SA. Some experience physical sensations of anxiety, some just have the anxiety of people or socializing.

I believe if you have a fear of people/socializing, regardless of other sensations such as panic attacks, you have SA.

Im not anti psychiatry, but I do believe some of these personality 'disorders' dont have to be diagnosed by a doctor to prove you have it.
Sure there is 'disorders' that really need to be diagnosed by a doctor. But things like panic, SA, avoidant etc. Obviously you know.. you fear people, you avoid people, you have panic attacks. That doesnt need a diagnoses or some doctors opinion on what your feeling. Because you know yourself better than anyone.

I think you do have SA.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Aurora View Post
There are various degrees of SA. Some experience physical sensations of anxiety, some just have the anxiety of people or socializing.

I believe if you have a fear of people/socializing, regardless of other sensations such as panic attacks, you have SA.

Im not anti psychiatry, but I do believe some of these personality 'disorders' dont have to be diagnosed by a doctor to prove you have it.
Sure there is 'disorders' that really need to be diagnosed by a doctor. But things like panic, SA, avoidant etc. Obviously you know.. you fear people, you avoid people, you have panic attacks. That doesnt need a diagnoses or some doctors opinion on what your feeling. Because you know yourself better than anyone.

I think you do have SA.
thank you. i appreciate this answer, but right after i posted my question i answered it. i asked myself if it impacts my life on a whole. guess ill have to take a visit to the doctor soon.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxolue View Post
I am not totally sure if I have social anxiety as a disorder. I certainly feel anxious around almost all social situations, although I have never had a panic attack. I think this has to do with a) dealing with an immense amount of anxiety about my grades last year (lots of competition at my old school) and b) the source of my anxiety. Although I never directly criticize myself, I always tell myself that I will be cooler/more confident/better in the future if i work out every day and study as hard as I can. I think this has subconsciously made me think that I am somehow in-superior now, compared to how I will be in the future (i hope that makes sense). Does this still mean I have social anxiety? I also don't feel depressed all the time. Only maybe 30 min a day do I get depressed, and thats only because of hopelessness about my anxiety.
I don't think you have to be depressed all the time, or even experience panic attacks to know that something is wrong. I don't know if it's exactly SA or not, but... I wouldn't worry about the label right now.

You recognize that you're not happy, and that things could be better for you, and that's important. If it's troubling you enough to ask about it, it's worth getting help. Especially if you feel anxiety, because if you can get help now, I hope you never have to experience panic attacks, or full blown depression. It's better to... catch anxiety symtoms early?

Anyway, I wish you the best
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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People have a misconception that anxiety means panic attacks. It can certainly induce them and they are linked but you do not need to have one to have the other. I've learned to pretty much get rid of my panic attacks through deep breathing but the anxiety is learned behavior and remains.
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But what exactly is social anxiety? It’s the experience of apprehension or worry that arises from the possibility, either real or imagined, that one will be evaluated or judged in some manner by others.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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That's not social anxiety.
Um... yes, it is. I've never had a panic attack but I still feel anxious in public. And I do have social anxiety.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I've never had a panic attack, and I'm not depressed, but I don't talk to people more than necessary, I've never made an offline friend/relationship and any feeling that someone ahead might say hi to me or something makes me anxious. So I think you can have severe anxiety issues without panic attacks.

Think of it this way: some people may seem normal while their anxiety builds up in the background to explode in a panic attack, while other people's anxiety is a more even, constant thing. You can have a brief downpour or a steady light rain and get the same amount of precipitation.

Since you believe your anxiety stems from grades and body image, though, that could go against definitions of social anxiety which require that the sufferer be aware that their fear is irrational. (It'd be a different anxiety disorder, in that case.)
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Add me to the group of SA people who've never had a panic attack. Panic attacks are not the sole criteria (are they a criteria at all)? If you are afraid of people/social situations and that fear interferes with your life... you have SA.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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i never had a panic attack either, i also met some people who have panic attacks but not social anxiety so everyone has different issues.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I don't think you have to have panic attacks but to have SAD you have to experience severe anxiety. I think this description from http://www.anxieties.com/sap.php is a good description of social phobia/social anxiety. If you can't relate then you may have shyness or something else.

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Everyone is capable of getting nervous when in a socially awkward situation. And many people worry about giving formal presentations. Some people, however, suffer more than the occasional jitters. People who are socially anxious are excessively fearful that others will criticize their public behavior. They worry that they will appear inarticulate or stupid, or show embarrassing signs that they are anxious or weak. It is this feared disapproval from others that causes their distress.

The socially anxious person seeks ways to avoid this risk whenever possible, feels significant anxiety long before the event, and continues experiencing anxiety and worry throughout the performance. After the event, he analyzes his every move and negatively interprets the response of others, even though the "performance" might have been the simple act of eating a sandwich at a fast food restaurant.

Almost all socially anxious people fear public speaking. The four other top ranking fears are: eating in public, signing one's name or writing in public, using public bathrooms and being the center of attention.

When facing a feared situation, the socially anxious person experiences many of the same worried thoughts and physical symptoms as those during a panic attack. However certain bodily symptoms -- rapid heart rate, trembling voice, shaking hands, sweating and blushing -- are more common and can be more distressing because they might be seen by others. Some people, when they become extremely anxious, will feel as if they can't move their body, like they are frozen in place (called atonic immobility).

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