Preparing to leave the house - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Preparing to leave the house


Whenever I have to go somewhere it always weighs on me for hours (sometimes days) leading up to it. I tend to get more and more anxious as the date/time gets closer.

What thoughts/emotions/symptoms do you have about going out?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:16 AM
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why i'm anxious of course !!!

can't really describe it. but yeah if i haven't been outside for 1 day, i get really nervous having to leave my house. i have a lot of OCD about this stuff so i panic a lot about forgetting to turn my oven off etc. for this reason i have check lists for what to do in the morning, and what to do before i leave home. i instruct myself and berate myself out loud to try and get thru the routine. the longer i stay indoors the more anxious i am about going outside.

the thoughts i have are panic, and also fear of reality, and fear of responsibilites i think.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by WillYouStopDave View Post
Whenever I have to go somewhere it always weighs on me for hours (sometimes days) leading up to it. I tend to get more and more anxious as the date/time gets closer.

What thoughts/emotions/symptoms do you have about going out?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 03:12 PM
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I get anxious about leaving things behind that I might need. I often get comments about my bag because it's so big - I carry around a lot of things that come in handy sometimes, but that most people don't carry around on a day-to-day basis. Paper clips, highlighters, extra folders, a small flashlight, extra pens, Tylenol, a notebook, etc. I hate the thought of being away from home and not having something I might need, so I carry everything around with me all the time.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 03:46 PM
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I'm generally ok with leaving the house. I mean staying home sucks as well because of my flatmates. it's not safe in and it's not safe out. I have trouble with motivation to go out during periods where I'm not so happy. if I'm in a good mental state then I just enjoy being in the sun and walking or biking to wherever I am going and seeing people out and about. but also if I'm interested in some I doors thing I'll stick with that.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:16 PM
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Taking the bus can be stressful since you never know if it will be late or not. The app I use isn't always accurate, particularly for bus stops that are near the beginning of the route. I'll leave the house since the app says it's arriving on time. Like the app will say it's coming in 10 minutes, so I will leave the house making sure I get there with 2 minutes to spare, just to be sure I don't miss it. Then when I get there it's running 10 minutes late. So I have to stand there in the sun and wait.......

Taking 2 buses (transfer) is even worse. You might have it all planned so that you won't have to wait long for the transfer but will have a 5 minute buffer in case the first bus is running late. But then the first bus is 15 minutes late....and you miss the 2nd bus. So ****ing infuriating!!!

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:25 PM
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If I have to be somewhere by a specific time I can get myself into a terrible state. I'll often get all worked up and anxious about it - not necessarily about what I'm going to do but the fact that I have to be there at a certain time. If I'm just doing things at my own pace then I'm usually okay.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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If I have to be somewhere by a specific time I can get myself into a terrible state. I'll often get all worked up and anxious about it - not necessarily about what I'm going to do but the fact that I have to be there at a certain time. If I'm just doing things at my own pace then I'm usually okay.
Yeah. I mean, going to the closest grocery store isn't bad because we can generally pick the time and go whenever and there's almost no risk in traveling such a short distance. The one that's farther away is a little more problematic for me because we have old cars and the route to get there usually has pretty heavy traffic and you kind of have to drive fast. Could be really hot but might be bitter cold. Might be pouring rain when you come out. Car might not start. Etc.

Totally agree about appointments. When something has to be done on time it really kicks things into high gear.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:41 PM
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Yeah. I mean, going to the closest grocery store isn't bad because we can generally pick the time and go whenever and there's almost no risk in traveling such a short distance. The one that's farther away is a little more problematic for me because we have old cars and the route to get there usually has pretty heavy traffic and you kind of have to drive fast. Could be really hot but might be bitter cold. Might be pouring rain when you come out. Car might not start. Etc.

Totally agree about appointments. When something has to be done on time it really kicks things into high gear.
I think with me it's partly because I think there's people there waiting for me or relying on me. I know how I get a lot of the time and it's not always good, so I think I worry that I won't be feeling well or something like that.

People like my son or my wife understand me and accept me completely - so it's okay, but with other people I think that's what I worry about - that I can't always be relied on.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Taking the bus can be stressful since you never know if it will be late or not. The app I use isn't always accurate, particularly for bus stops that are near the beginning of the route. I'll leave the house since the app says it's arriving on time. Like the app will say it's coming in 10 minutes, so I will leave the house making sure I get there with 2 minutes to spare, just to be sure I don't miss it. Then when I get there it's running 10 minutes late. So I have to stand there in the sun and wait.......

Taking 2 buses (transfer) is even worse. You might have it all planned so that you won't have to wait long for the transfer but will have a 5 minute buffer in case the first bus is running late. But then the first bus is 15 minutes late....and you miss the 2nd bus. So ****ing infuriating!!!
Yeah. I dread if I ever have to take a bus. I think I'd be more OK with like a subway or something but I never liked the whole bus thing. I used to ride a Greyhound bus to see family and I used to get so stressed about missing the connecting bus or missing the announcement or whatever. Which was kind of a big deal since I took this 1,000 mile trip alone a couple of times and didn't have 5 dollars in my pocket.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:54 PM
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:09 PM
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It's not leaving the house that I avoid, per se, as going to specific places, or taking specific forms of transportation. I don't take the bus, because I get panic attacks when I'm trapped in a space like that with a bunch of strangers. If I'm walking it's okay, I just have to keep an eye out for people who might be trouble.

I can go to the library or the grocery store without much anxiety, because I'm familiar with the layout and know where the exits are. And I recognize many of the people. But I have a huge problem going someplace new where I don't know whether or not I can trust the people there, or how to beat a hasty retreat if things go south. I can't use public washrooms, for example, because someone might block the door.

Walking by myself with large spaces between myself and everyone else is okay; going someplace crowded with lots of people (like a concert) is an absolute nope. The amount of anxiety I feel, and the number of days I put off going, just depends on where between those two extremes the destination lies. A busy doctor's office is about the middle.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:37 PM
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I have to leave the house 5 days a week for work. That doesn't really bother me too much, it's pretty much a routine that I have to leave at certain time to get there when I need to. It's like just going through the motions, eat, poop, brush teeth, get dressed, leave.

But on weekends it takes me a long time. Because, it's not a set routine and I have to think about where I want to go and what time. Do I want to go somewhere for lunch or eat at home after? Go to gym? What's the weather like and what should I wear? A lot of times I'll plan to go out Saturday morning and do something, but I end up staying home instead because I got up too late or something else interested me more. And then I plan to go out Saturday evening and it doesn't happen either.

I have a hard time just leaving the house on weekends because I have to figure out what to wear which is harder for me than picking work clothes. Then if I'm going to the gym I have to pack for that and have my keycard. I also get worse anxiety about going out then too, for some reason.

In fact, the last few weeks I've found myself staying home more on weekends than going out. But that might be because I'd rather save the gas and miles on my car.

I tend to not like activities with a set schedule - like meeting someone for lunch or dinner, or a movie. I usually end up getting antsy and leaving my house too early and then have to sit and wait for them or find something else to do until it's time and my stomach starts getting upset. Probably why I don't tend to plan those sort of things much.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 11:23 AM
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I experience dread for hours or days before most social events. I try to picture where I'm going and what it will be like, to the point that I end up basically rehearsing it. I don't get anxious about going to work because I can hide in my office unless I have a meeting. I also don't get anxious about parties with people I know very well, especially if I've been to the place before and I can picture it (plus I self-medicate with alcohol at most social events). My biggest triggers are one-on-one social occasions (with anyone except my husband, because I don't trust that anyone else accepts me unconditionally). One-on-one feels like the most pressure to perform. The bigger the group gets, the better I feel... unless it's mostly strangers, and then it freaks me out because small talk makes me feel really self-conscious/awkward/boring. If I have to do any public speaking, I can dread it for months in advance. I was offered to teach a class, and my dread became so severe that I was relieved when I had another excuse to turn it down.

I'm so envious of people who can just say, "Sure, why not?" when they are invited out. I have to think really carefully about whether I'm up to it. The fear sets in immediately. I definitely say no more often than yes. Sometimes I worry that my close friends are going to give up on me, or think I'm selfish and talk about me behind my back. My social anxiety has increased with a bout of depression I've been dealing with the past month, and I'm not regularly communicating with most people in my life. I feel guilty, but then I remember everyone is busy and they haven't reached out in a while either.

What frustrates me most about social anxiety is that being around people, even those I love, often feels more uncomfortable than pleasurable. So I find myself being relieved when I can escape. However, I tell myself that I do feel better after I've been around people, whether or not it was enjoyable. It's like taking medicine. And I try to have hope that someday I will cultivate a social life that is enjoyable and less overwhelming.
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