Finally Starting to Want to Seek Help - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Finally Starting to Want to Seek Help


Hey everyone, Eric here!

I guess I should start out by saying that I've been suffering pretty bad SAD for a little over 5 years or so. I may have suffered it longer with moderate symptoms I brushed off before so it might be more.

Anyway, I've definitely let this disorder get the better of me and more and more I'm starting to realize how much it's affecting my life, to the point where I really need to start getting rid of this.

I'm 21 now and I can honestly pinpoint some things and events that occurred, especially in my High School years, that have led to my SAD. Since then my inner circle has gotten smaller and smaller, friends dropped off, haven't had a relationship since about the end of middle school (which wasnt much of a relationship). Yes, Ive been single this long and obviously due to my SAD.

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?"

Clearly, this is a scary way of thinking and I absolutely hate that thoughts like that cross my mind. But I can't help it, they just.. do.

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.

To conclude this all, I want to seek help. I've come to grips that the only way of getting rid of this is through some sort of therapeutic process. 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

Anyways, that's a bit of my story. I kept it pretty general for now, but in time I'll hopefully be more comfortable with telling everything in full detail. I gotta say, it helps just writing this stuff down and knowing people will read this. Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 12:13 AM
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 08:38 AM
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I wrote a letter detailing my SA to my family and just gave it to them. That was super hard for me but the least awkward option I could think up.

You could start going to therapy and as a first order of business ask your therapist how to tell your parents about your SA.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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How did they react to the letter?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 02:24 AM
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I don't actually remember that part. But I remember that I didn't start therapy until about 5 years later.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by xXEDH21Xx View Post
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.e. "explanation".

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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xXEDH21Xx View Post
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.


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Originally Posted by xXEDH21Xx View Post
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.
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