Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Utah, USA
Language: English, ちょっとだけ日本語, Java, C#
I feel like my SA mainly presents in avoidance, because I avoid social situations whenever possible. I have problems with face-to-face, informal, social events, whether it's a big party or just casual chit-chat with a single person. Though it's usually worse the bigger the group is. My mind just goes blank and I can't think of anything to say. If the anxiety gets bad enough I'll get a dry mouth, sweaty palms, trembling and difficulty articulating. Weirdly enough, I'm usually okay with more formal or professional interaction, like discussing class material with my peers at the university. And even worse than the concurrent symptoms is the aftermath; I'll think about the encounter for hours or sometimes days, going back over it in my head and berating myself mentally. I am my own worst enemy after all. I'll also feel mentally exhausted after even light socialization, and need time alone to "recharge." And eye contact makes me uncomfortable, especially when it's with random strangers I pass on campus or whatever, so I'll always avoid it.
I also have Generalized Anxiety which means I'm pretty much always worried about something, and not just people. I'm usually very tense too. I also get insomnia, but the anxiety dreams are the worst because they're so realistic. I never get abstract dreams about falling or being chased or any of that; typically they involve me being forced back into my parents' religion, failing at or completely forgetting something important at school, or my car getting stolen or ruined. They always make me feel exhausted upon waking, feeling like I've been "running around" all night inside my head.
I've also got relatively mild excoriation disorder, or dermatillomania -- I pick at scabs or sores on my hands or arms. Nothing can calm my anxiety as effectively as picking, but I know it's a maladaptive coping mechanism so I try my best to resist, and it's worked for months or years at a time. I just recently started picking at a pimple on my wrist though, which disappoints me; I know I need to stop but the anxiety has been high due to the start of a new semester this week.
"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it." -Ayn Rand