does anybody else keep getting worse despite exposing themselves to social situations - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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does anybody else keep getting worse despite exposing themselves to social situations


after spending 2014 locked up in my room, I decided to go back to college in 2015. I moved into an apartment and went back to living on my own; I took up several different classes and spoke to quite a few people every day; I enrolled in a French course and spoke in front of a group of 14 people for over 10 minutes for the first time since high school, which was certainly an accomplishment; I started looking for internships in my field of study and am in the process of being hired by a huge company.

Yet my anxiety keeps increasing amid all this. I haven't made any friends, I struggle leaving my apartment every day and I still can't maintain eye contact with people. Shouldn't I be getting accustomed to these social situations? Why does it feel like I keep getting worse? I don't think my self-esteem has ever been this low. It's so frustating.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:38 AM
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Its important for you to do things with your life and move forward. As long as you are moving forward I'd say you are doing better even if you don't feel that are you right now. Are you sure this next step is right for you or is there something better you can be doing? For now just focus on finishing up your task and alternatives maybe? Not everyone is a social butterfly... but Yes, you should feel less anxious the more you get used to social interaction. Not to say that social anxiety will ever go away. I guess I could be wrong because anxiety/fear are a bit different. You can overcome fear. You can deal with anxiety.














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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 12:28 PM
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Sometimes it's like one step forward, two steps back. Effort doesn't always equal progress, sadly.

After being mostly a hermit for years with little to no social life, I started forcing myself to go to meetups, and had a good time, lots of friendly interactions, one g/f, one casual thing. But it didn't result in anything lasting, and now there are fewer meetups that interest me and I'm back to being a hermit again. I don't know if doing all of that really improved me and my social skills much if at all.

Ah well, I tried, I guess?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 02:12 PM
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I can't speak for others than myself but to me exposure itself doesn't do anything to improve my social anxiety. The fact that I went to school almost every day for nine years and only got worse should be enough to prove that. Exposure can be of different kinds. If it's unsuccessful and you're humiliated and made to feel like a weirdo (which usually has been the case for me) it's only going to make matters worse. Exposure has to be neutral or positive.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 02:27 PM
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I believe exposure should be gradual and it requires a support of a therapist. You have to report back to someone your anxieties while doing it.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 02:31 PM
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I always came out of it feeling worse. Forcing myself to be around a lot of people, or in situations that are uncomfortable to me, such as groups or therapy, have always done more harm than good. I've been thrust into some pretty deep bouts of depression and anxiety after trying exposure again. It's just not for me.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 07:04 PM
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I've gotten better in the way I cope with social/professional situations but exposure has never helped the panic part of my SA.

Consciously, I can learn the rules. I can understand how to act and what to say. But physically, I still get the same symptoms so I have no motivation to move forward.

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Her world is learning; it defines
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 07:12 PM
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I'm afraid my range only goes from "unable to leave room" to "is capable of returning a smile and following a short conversation." There is a point when I reach my maximum social ability and it doesn't take long to get there, after that the exposure is just excess stress.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 07:15 PM
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It will probably get worse before it gets better but if you keep exposing yourself t those situations eventually it should get better.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 07:53 PM
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Think about exposure as practice. What are you practicing? If you're practicing accepting your anxiety and accepting life then you'll get better at it. If you're always dreading your anxiety and wishing it wasn't there then that's what you're practicing and you'll get better at that.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

― Kurt Vonnegut
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 08:14 PM
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You have to find the root cause of your anxiety.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingcounts View Post
after spending 2014 locked up in my room, I decided to go back to college in 2015. I moved into an apartment and went back to living on my own; I took up several different classes and spoke to quite a few people every day; I enrolled in a French course and spoke in front of a group of 14 people for over 10 minutes for the first time since high school, which was certainly an accomplishment; I started looking for internships in my field of study and am in the process of being hired by a huge company.

Yet my anxiety keeps increasing amid all this. I haven't made any friends, I struggle leaving my apartment every day and I still can't maintain eye contact with people. Shouldn't I be getting accustomed to these social situations? Why does it feel like I keep getting worse? I don't think my self-esteem has ever been this low. It's so frustating.



I recently got hired as a dishwasher at a famous sushi place last week and I think I'm doing okay, doing the job and stuff but my anxiety feels soo bad I hate getting judged for the little while I'm there. I can tell people don't like me and I get laughed at a lot which doesn't make me feel okay at all...












I think I'm close to getting fired which is totally fine by me. I really feel like this year is gonna be the year I end it, that's the only thing that I look forward to is death ;( yea to answer the question yes, I feel like my anxiety has gotten worse even when I put myself out there.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 03:03 AM
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Exposure is difficult. Some exposure has worked for me like driving and working or exams and talking to a stranger too when I am the passive part, but it didn't work for being the active part in talking to strangers and showing interest of any kind in strangers doesn't improve.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 04:21 AM
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Keep trying! My first two college years sucked and I couldn't make any friends, then I stopped it and started another major and found some great friends! Still don't know why they like me, but I stopped wondering. Just expose yourself so you increase your chances! Best of luck!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 06:44 AM
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Exposure might makes things easier, but they will never make them easy... if that makes sense. I've had to expose myself so much to my fears in the past year through work, study, shopping, socialising, everything. And it is still hard, but I realise I can do it. I will never be completely comfortable but at least I can endure it. So keep at it. Staying inside as a hermit will definitely only make things worse.
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