Years of Social Isolation:side effects? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Years of Social Isolation:side effects?

hi

just woundering: what r the side effects of social isolation for years? I mean how that is going to eff me??



I already lost the sense of time but I feel 1.000.000.000 better than when I was in high school
----------------------------------------------


I'm in a social isolation (or that what I think) since may 2002 nearly 9 years now(graduation from high school) didn't att university and didn't work,,,

,, last time hanging out with a friend was in Aug 2007,

since mar 2009 I got three phone callsa from my tw friends, I don't feel that I want to know pepole anymore,

even nonline,,,
didn't enter a chat room since 2005 or 06, just twice SAS char room for a short time!



but I feel 1.000.000.000 better than when I was in high school
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 09:03 PM
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I was somewhat isolated while I was in college and totally isolated for over ten years after I graduated. Then I got treatment and started taking paxil, which more or less let me come out of isolation and get back into the world, although I still have a moderate amount of social anxiety.

So after fifteen years more or less of isolation, I was able to come out and readjust and have a reasonably normal life; but I don't know how much longer I could have remained isolated and still have been able to "catch up". I have a feeling that if my isolation had gone on another seven or eight years things would have been quite a bit more difficult.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 09:59 PM
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I became clinically depressed with a crap load of other problems.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 10:02 PM
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I notice that some people who have severe SA for extended periods of time are almost zombie like. In the sense that they do not talk and are extremely stiff. Its quite like they give off an extreme aura of discomfort which you can pick up on right away.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by pariahgirl View Post
I notice that some people who have severe SA for extended periods of time are almost zombie like. In the sense that they do not talk and are extremely stiff. Its quite like they give off an extreme aura of discomfort which you can pick up on right away.
Nah, that's just Monday mornings.

Just try to get outside more. I always feel like crap if I stay inside too long. Doesn't even need to be to talk to people. Just go outside.

"They had to laugh, otherwise it would be too terrifying." -Bukowski
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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what I want to know: am I going to loss some of my mental abilities by time????



once I saw on TV a man who spent 8 years in prison and he can't drive his car anymore! he said: i feel there is a lot of info around me! it's a res of 8 years of isoolation!!!
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 01:53 PM
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The effect that extreme social isolation had on me was that I was always on sort of a "delay" in regards to my peers. I was pretty much a shut in for a total of almost 8 years of my life... and I miss out on experiences that matured me, such as learning to drive and being around different kinds of people.

As a result I seem a lot younger than I actually am. A lot of 26 year olds are married with kids and have college degrees, but I am only now just learning to drive, am a sophomore in college and haven't had a boyfriend. I feel really different from other people. It's often hard for me to explain why I am this way, I mean it's hard telling others you were a recluse because of an anxiety disorder.

I'm also very sensitive to sound and noise form other people. I don't tolerate loud music or shouting very well.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 02:00 PM
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Reading this post is kind of an eye opener for me. (For the past few days I was thinking of slipping back into isolation.)

I think isolation makes things much harder and complicated. When you DO have to get 'out there', and you will at some time or another, it will be a heck of a lot scarier. I think trying to at least go for a walk every day is great practise.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 03:36 PM
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Every day you're in isolation is one step backwards on progress fighting against SA. It's a constant battle we all will probably fight the rest of our lives, sadly.


"Well, I like you. You're nice, and you're funny, and you don't smoke. Yeah, okay, werewolf, but...that's not all the time. I mean, three days out of the month, I'm not much fun to be around either.." - Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 03:42 PM
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Ok, I realize nobody will read this but screw it. It's very boring and most people gloss over when I talk about it but if you want to understand what goes on in your body and brain regarding anxiety/depression it's fascinating.

There was a time in my life when I was obsessed with learning about neurobiology and all that goes on in the brains of people with anxiety and depression. I have pages and pages of research notes and one of the biggest takeaways I've gotten is that socialy isolating yourself is one of the worst things you can do.

The biology behind this is all fairly complicated but really not too difficult to understand if you're willing to put the time into it. I started out learning from the following video of a talk by Robert sapolsky:

Video:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...7554618436978#

It's really really long but I really would recommend watching the whole thing as it really explains the the biology behind stress and depression. If you don't watch the whole thing the watch starting at 1:16.30. He talks about the impact of social isolation.

Also, a long time ago I wrote a simple summary of some of the things I found and I've posted it here in my blog section

Part 1 here:
http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...-of-mine-4772/

Part 2 here:
http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...-part-ii-4773/

All of this put really simply chronic stress is a massive underlying factor to depression and obviously a direct cause of anxiety. Our stress hormones, if present in our bodies over the long term literally kill the cells of our brain. What Robert Sapolsky found is that the single biggest controllable factor to our level of chronic stress hormones is our level of social isolation. This probably sounds like doomsday talk for those of us who are socially isolated but I see it as huge incentive to take action.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 03:53 PM
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^ Thank you. I'm going to bookmark those for later. I've recently been fascinated with what goes on inside the brain when all of this happens.

Social isolation makes things 1000x worse. I had to learn that the hard way, and I'm still dealing with trying to get myself out of this hole.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 04:46 PM
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Social isolation makes things 1000x worse. I had to learn that the hard way, and I'm still dealing with trying to get myself out of this hole.
You and me both. It's good you're trying though.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 09:27 PM
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there's definitly effects. When i'm away at school I just about isolated myself, and my personality pretty much turns off. Like the poster above said, I turn zombie like. When I come home or visit friends it takes a little while for me to "boot up" and feel normal again.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 11:27 PM
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One side effect is that I bottle things up more. I will have problems, and want to tell someone, but I am waaay too afraid to do so. I'm not used to sharing and interacting with people in such a way anymore. When you isolate yourself for extended periods of time, social situations that were once simple become very complicated and frightening.

It's so necessary to get out from time to time to let yourself feel connected to people, so you won't bottle things up and there won't be such a barrier in making friends and building relationships.

I wish I never isolated myself in the first place, because I also am trying to get out of the hole I dug myself in.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 11:27 PM
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I talk to myself a lot and to people in my head. I definitely prefer it to talking with other people, so for me there's really no bad effects, the problem is when I can't get isolation.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Under17 View Post
I talk to myself a lot and to people in my head. I definitely prefer it to talking with other people, so for me there's really no bad effects, the problem is when I can't get isolation.
me too, i don't talk to myself though. i'm fine when i'm alone, but when i have to be in social situations like at school i feel like i'm' about to panic.
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 05:55 AM
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I've hidden away for much of my life apart from holding down a job for 17yrs but now that's gone my life is empty.
I feel ashamed and embarrassed of being forty years old with such limited life experience and poor social skills but i can't keep dwelling on that since it just feeds my fear and depression.

I am now realising i'm going to have to start from scratch now which is frightening and i'm torn between thinking there's no point or i'd better do something now or i never will.
I'm currently having CBT and have a meeting this week to start volunteering,i'm crapping myself but i think spending the rest of my days like this scares me more.



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for a place for me
But it ain't anywhere
It just ain't anywhere.



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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 08:51 AM
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Mostly depression, but also my life got much smaller and stagnant and I lost some of my awareness.

"A quote doesn't make a difference in an individual. It can't bring you happiness or lead you in the right direction. Only you can do that. It can tell you things you don't want to happen, but ultimately you must find out what you want yourself and have enough love to make the change."

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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:30 AM
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i have been out of work for almost 6 years now lost contact with my mates and just recently lost my step dad.being isolated really sucks in a bad way it has never happend to mr before i always had friends and family now i just feel stuck. due to having no jobs out their and no real way of making new friends it really pains me.

tho i have been reading up a lot on anxiety and depression to find ways out of my problem and some of it has helped eating well plenty of exercise and going for long walks does give you a boost.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 02:51 PM
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Social isolation can make social skills rusty, even for normally adept socializers.
My sister is adept, but now complains of being rusty due to the isolation of being a stay-at-home mom.
I feel rusty all the time and fear making gaffs. I seem to often make gaffs. I am paralyzed with fear of this, then embarrassed when I step out of my shell. Eh, so how to make gains within a cycle of retreat?
Practice makes perfect, move it or loose it, no pain no gain?
What do you guys think: What if you missed a great deal of formative/childhood socializing and were never "good" at it? Can one build to reasonable skill or even become adept?
I have a mentor at school who seems quite socially adept, yet swears she had crippling SA in grad school. If I weren't so shy, I'd pick her brain.

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