Every now and then I'll have a good day though, which is what I don't get at all. There'll be days where socially I'm confident and I feel like I said everything right and I didn't stumble and so on and so forth. Which is what I don't understand and wish someone could give somewhat of a second opinion, even if an amateur one.
I've been attending anxiety and panic support groups for about 11 years now and heard about many people's experience. Your experience of being fine one day and having panic attacks seemingly randomly is not as common as the more consistent ones but I do have a second opinion
I wrote about how fears can be "learned" here: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...post1082717554
When it comes to your situation is: If your trigger was people in general, then you consistenly would feel anxious whenever around people. But my guess is that you may have a "trigger" that's very specific. e.g. a certain look from someone else, a certain thought or something that you don't always encounter. That could explain why
I heard about an example where a woman had occaisonal panic attacks. Turned out her trigger was: cats. Since I was already familiar with how fears may be "learned", to me that made perfect sense.
The main issue I've seen is that often people try to address their thoughts but those techniques are not always able to address the underlying emotion (fear, shame, embarrassment) and that's why they remain stuck. After searching and searching, I've found many techniques that work much better and since those focus on the issue well, often even faster. If interested, I can let you know about those.
Now I'm starting to want to quit my job thanks to my SAD as it seems to have gotten worse. I have my worst experiences at my job because there's so much time to socialize with my co-workers (which you would think is a good thing, but obviously not for SADers). I sometimes will freeze up and just stop doing my job because I'd feel some sort of anxiety attack coming on. And when I leave work, the anxiety may even be worse due to the fact that I retrospectively think, "did I say something wrong? Why did people look at me weird? Was it something I said? I remember being so awkward and stumbling over what I said throughout the day," and so on and so forth. It led to the worst feelings I've ever come across. I usually call them my Car Ride of Hell. I'll be driving home and I'd just feel... numb. I'd look around and wonder what it would be like if maybe I got hurt. "Would an accident be so bad?"
Not sure if it's the same, but I remember times when I overdid things (e.g. when meeting new people was an issue, I've attended 3-4 meetings on continous evenings). On the next day after I woke up, I felt a "burnt out" feeling that was closer to the type of depression where you don't care about anything ... so I would just lie in bed. It was very consistent, so I would make notes to remind myself when I woke up after such events. Fortunately, that only lasted for hours (I guess my body needed to clear something that was left over from the experiences) but it may be similar to your experience. Just a guess though.
The thing I'm struggling with is telling my parents and family about it. Idk how to approach them about it and I feel like they'd look at me different if I did. If any of you have any experience with that I'd appreciate some tips to approaching people you care for about SAD
Letting relatives know about your situation can be tricky. If they are supportive or at least try to be understanding (even if they can't fully relate) could be helpful. On the other hand, some people can be judgmental or have certain preconceptions about mental health issues being a weakness or the "just snap out of it" types that can easily make things worse. So it's a judgement call that you have to make. In my case, I told some that I felt would understand and/or be supportive but there were a few that I (still) haven't told. Actually, in my case, I don't think I needed support since I found the info that I needed but it was beneficial for others to know why I was not doing some things as well as others. Since it may effect your work and income, it might be good if you could tell at least one parent.