Share your story! Help others and you at the same time! - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Share your story! Help others and you at the same time!


hey guys. so i thought it would be good to have everyone share there stories of SA or depression and what you have done for it, how it developed, and where you are now. I will go first haha. Ok i am 22 years old. I was always shy in high school. had a lot of friends though and played sports and was very succesful in school. I was able to mask or hide a lot of my shyness by going to the gym or listening to music or movies. Well i left for a church mission at the age of 19 and was out for 11 months when i had a major panic attack. It was at this time i realized i had bad SA and depression among other things. I came home and have been on just about every drug. I have been diagnosed now with ADD, SA, Depression, BDD(body dismorphia) and OCD. My mind is always racing and i have never been able to accept my self. Everyone else apparently thinks i have had a very easy life and have a totally differently view than i do. This site has helped me some what and i think its good and therapeutic to post stuff like this. So whats your guys stories?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 08:14 PM
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I was doing fine until first grade, when my family moved. In first grade I couldn't bring myself to get along with the other kids, and my mom would always try to get me to talk. and we moved a lot. New school all the time so I was always the new kid and too nervous to talk to people. Status as the "quiet kid" until the end of high school. Also had some bullies in high school. It was funny because the kid was so much shorter than me, and he thought it'd be funny to try and pull my pants down. I ended up breaking his jaw and got suspended. I do not condone violence, but when some ******* thinks he can take advantage of me, and persists, I am all ARGHH.

I'm in my second year of university now, living in a house with people I don't know, and working part time in a job I hate. I don't take any medication for my SA, and I've never been to therapy. Most people would just assume (and have told me), they think I'm a regular ******* for being a guy that never smiles and barely talks. I'm probably a really screwed up person but its hard enough just to get by the next day.

EDIT: I just read this over.. No idea what I'm rambling on about so please ignore it.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 09:10 AM
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Great idea. I'm 20. As a child I lived the average life, with a great bunch of friends, and fairly normal parents. However, i've always been shy and untalkative. In my early teens, my family went through a rough patch and the realities of life were exposed. I have reason to believe the events that transpired were the main cause of my Social Anxiety.
I'm currently in my second year of university. I'm not yet diagnosed, and don't take any meds. I have however been taking measures to improve my lifestyle. Regular exercise is now first on the agenda, and I'm doing other little things to live a healthier lifestyle. I can't yet say things are looking up, but that is the intention. Goodluck to you.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 09:39 AM
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I'm 25, currently unemployed, and feel anxious most of the time.

I had a good childhood. I always kept to myself, was always called quiet and asked if I was able to talk. It never bothered me until about 4th grade or so. I'd sit on the bench at lunch and wish I was out there with the other kids playing. I only had about 1 friend and he wasn't a very good friend, he basically used me to get away from his own home and to play with my "toys". Anyway, this was how I was until highschool, and then eventually the isolation got to me and insanity started to set in. I had severe depressions, thought people were talking behind my back, thought I emitted a terrible stench that could be smelled for hundreds of feet.

In senior year, I had less of a stress load with less classes and the paranoia and depression dissipated significantly. But it came back with a vengeance my first year of college while I was living in the dorms. I had about one good friend in the dorms and a couple acquaintances but the paranoia was back in full force. I thought everyone was against me and I would hear people talking about me from the windows and from other rooms. There was this girl I was in love with who I later thought was the devil. I really lost it, it was the lowest point in my life. Fortunately my dad noticed something was up.

I went on abilify and zoloft and noticed quick improvement. Within a week, I was already feeling more back to normal, with the occasional voices pestering me but not bothering me so much.

The next fall I returned to college and did pretty well for the next several years (changing medications from time to time). But after college I was left without any solid routine and began experimenting with drugs. I don't regret doing the drugs but they made it easier for me to enjoy not doing anything with my life. Basically that's where I am now, except for the fact that I have no money. So I can't really do much other than suffer. I'd give anything for a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of beer right now but I'm broke and my parents won't give me any money and they hide my keys.

I understand where they are coming from but as soon as I get a job I am going to go back to the cigarettes, so I don't think they are helping me in the long run. I tend to hold grudges.

I'm desperately trying to get a job mainly so I can buy cigarettes and beer, but also so I can have some freedom. At least I have a motivating force in my life. The meds I'm on help depression but not anxiety.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 11:05 AM
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OK, here goes. I'm 27. I was actually relatively normal as a kid, a bit shy at times when meeting new people but not any more than usual. However, when I started secondary school, I was unlucky enough to end up in a class with none of my friends from primary school, but which did have a few boys that liked nothing better than to pick on less popular people like me.

There was never any real physical abuse, but the verbal abuse was virtually non-stop for 2 years. I was pretty innocent and easy going and had no idea how to respond to it. By the time I was able to pick different classes to get away from them, my personality had changed completely. I became much more shy, much less trusting and far more socially anxious in general. I've been that way ever since. I stopped going out with my old friends after school; eventually they just didn't bother calling at my house anymore because I would always refuse to come out. Inevitably I drifted apart from them and would only see them in passing at school. Didn't make any real new friends either. My last 4 years at school weren't as bad as the first two, but by then the damage had been done and kept behaving the same way, not talking to anyone if I could avoid it.

When I started at university, I had vaguely hoped I'd meet some new friends somehow, but I had no idea how to do it and didn't really want to make the effort anyway in case it ended badly. So I basically spent the next 5 years walking into lectures, sitting on my own and walking back out again afterwards. Got to know a few people on my course a bit through some compulsory team projects, but after the projects were done I didn't make any effort to keep in contact with them. Never went to any social events, graduation parties or anything like that. Wouldn't have gone to my graduation ceremony if my parents hadn't wanted me to (I hated that day).

After I graduated I somehow managed to get a good job that I sometimes actually enjoy, but I've never felt comfortable around the other people I work with, and I quickly ended up with a reputation for being very quiet. I've been there for about 3 years now, yet I still get anxious about going out for a quick lunch with them, or going for a drink or two in the evenings, and never feel entirely at ease from the moment I walk into the building until the moment I leave. I've seen new people arrive and within a week or two they're already more part of the group than I am, and it makes me wish I could have done that when I started out.

At the moment, I've been making an effort to get a lot more exercise (mainly cycling) and eat a slightly healthier diet, to try and make me feel better about myself. I'd never actually read much about social anxiety until about a month ago, and I was surprised to see how well it described what I feel. It's also very helpful to find places like this and see I'm not actually the only person with these problems.

I've never tried any medication or therapy and I'm not convinced either one would help me much in any case. I think if I can manage to change how I think about myself, everything else will follow from that - I constantly criticise myself and worry far too much about what other people might be thinking of me, which prevents me from making any real progress.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rincewind View Post
I think if I can manage to change how I think about myself, everything else will follow from that - I constantly criticise myself and worry far too much about what other people might be thinking of me, which prevents me from making any real progress.
I totally agree and can relate to this!!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rincewind View Post

I've never tried any medication or therapy and I'm not convinced either one would help me much in any case. I think if I can manage to change how I think about myself, everything else will follow from that - I constantly criticise myself and worry far too much about what other people might be thinking of me, which prevents me from making any real progress.
I feel the same way. I think that if i can get my self esteem up. If i can enjoy being who i am. Learn to love myself. love the shoes i have been dealt then everything would be better. Its good to hear your guys' stories so far. So far they have all been guys in there early to mid twenties...good to know others my age feel the same
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 03:36 PM
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I was raised as an only child with no much socializing at all. In elementary school I used to dread lunch and recess time because I would worry that I wouldn't have anybody to hang with.

In middle school I started to do better socially. I made friends and started joining sports but my grandparents (who raised me) would not let me do things with my friends, such as go to movies, invite them over or go to their house.

High School was the best time ever. Even though I was in a new country (I come from Mexico), I somehow talked to a lot of people. My senior year of high school was the best. I had a solid group of friends, my house was the meeting place, and we would go out a lot.

A year later after high School I got married and had a child. The isolation began again just as when I was little. 4 years later, got divorced and isolation became even worse. Depression started really bad but somehow had to keep going because of my daughter.

At work I was doing great. I had no problem talking to people. Most of the people at work were older and I got along better with older women and men than with women my age. Somehow, I've never been able to get along with women my age. The socializing at work never made it outside of work. I would still spend weekends by myself. Now, as a single mom in my twenties, it was harder to find someone to relate to since it seemed that mostly people my age were partying and having fun.

At around 27, became a Christian and learned about the great benefits of spirituality. My depression improved so much that I rarelly felt sad for more than one day or a moment. Even after going through breakups, I didn't fall into depression as before.

My spirituality has not improved my socialization. Even though it helps not to feel depressed about it, I think becoming a Christian actually made it worse as I have left 2 churches and I can't find one that is the right fit.

Now, I'm married to a guy who is my best friend so I don't feel that bad about not socializing. I still wish I could have a girls night out but I just can't get along with other women. On rare occassions when coworkers ask me to meet for lunch or dinner, I freeze and I just say "that sounds great" but then end up not going.
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