I've got a few problems that are really holding me back. I would like some input. - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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I've got a few problems that are really holding me back. I would like some input.


Hey guys i'm new to this forum i creep on here all the time but finally decided to tell my story and see if you guys can give me any input or solutions. It's a pretty long read but i appreciate you taking the time to read it all. Okay so i've been suffering with general/social anxiety since about early 2011. Thats as far back as i can remember feeling this way. I was about 17. I'm now 20 going on 21.

So to start, when i was young i smoked alot of weed, started when i was 15 and did it until i was just about to turn 20. I've done it once or twice in the past 7 months but i did it basically just to confirm with myself i can't smoke it anymore. I was fine up until i was about 17. Me and my best friends would just do teenager stuff on the weekdays, school, chores, you know. Then on the weekends we would just smoke a bunch of weed and watch funny movies, listen to music we liked, things like that. We had alot of fun and nothing to worry about. Then in the summer of 2010 i moved from my childhood home and thats when everything changed.

That summer i got arrested for weed and was stressed out about it pretty bad, got put on probation(had a really cool probation officer too) but i couldn't stop smoking so i failed a bunch of pee tests and got put on intensive probation, got arrested for weed again while i was still on probation and kept failing pee tests so eventually after a few years my probation officer decided to revoke my probation and send me to jail for 28 days. I was off probation afterwards so it was kind of worth it but it was 28 of the worst, boring, depressing days of my life. Jail is not a place for me.

After i got out of jail i felt pretty great and didn't have any worries except that i still had anxiety pretty badly. But i wasn't depressed at that point. So it was july 15th 2013 when i got out of jail. Everything was cool for about 3 months when i had been drinking and got cited for minor in consumption of alcohol in october 2013, just a fine and got my license suspended for a year which sucked. So my stress levels and anxiety went way back up again. Since then i've been arrested 4 times for driving on suspended, its hard to get to work and such when you can't drive and don't have anyone to babysit you and drive you around everyday.

So i just got my 4th driving on suspended last month but my lawyer says i can get it thrown out and get my license back but once i do they have to suspend it for another 3 months. So that was a relief but of course no good news without bad news. So at this point i'm stressed the hell out. I have been for basically the past 4 years and i feel like maybe it has something to do with my anxiety. I've been pretty depressed this entire time as well.

It may seem like i had a substance problem but honestly i just drink to deal with the anxiety because it's the only way i can enjoy myself in social situations and not freak out. I kept smoking weed after i got anxiety to deal with the stress but i realized it was doing more harm than good. I would rather be sober if i could just be anxiety free and be able to enjoy myself and enjoy life.

I also forgot to mention that i've been involved with a girl since i was 13 that i still love to this day. She got married 2 years ago and i obviously stopped talking to her. We've always had a weird kind of relationship. Anyway, i contacted her 4 months ago just to see how she was doing because we hadn't talked in almost 2 years. She ended up telling me she wasn't happy and wish she hadn't got married, that she didn't love this guy anymore. As a twist i used to work with him and i know that he is a straight up douche bag. Anyway for awhile she was always wanting to hang out with me and i would make up an excuse or tell her i already had plans, she texted me alot. I didn't want to meet up with her or anything because i knew it would reignite those old feelings and i didn't want that.

I ended up hanging out with her and it happened. I knew it would. I hung out with her quite a bit for awhile, there were nights where we would ride around in my car and talk about anything and everything. I've tried to kiss her and stuff but got denied because even if she's on the verge of leaving this guy she still felt guilty and didn't want to take it that far. So now i'm hopelessly in love with her again and stuck in a bad position. She says that she's going to move out of their house and go to live with her mom as soon as she gets some legal troubles taken care of in a few months. I would rather her come live with me but do to my anxiety i can't keep a job. She told me one night that she didn't think she could be with me because i'm not stable and independent enough. She worded it carefully and didn't say me specifically but i know what she meant and i don't blame her at all. She's a manager where she works and i'm jobless and living off my mom. The only reason i'm not stable is because my anxiety causes me to quit every job that i get. I've tried to get her to understand without straight up telling her its because of social anxiety. I've told her i have anxiety before but didn't go into any detail.

So theres that deal, i want so badly to get a job and keep it so people will shut up about me quitting every job i get. Alot of people talk down to me about it and its a very sensitive subject to me because it's not something i can help.

I've searched google basically everyday for the last year and can't find anyone with my exact problems. I've been to the doctor and been prescribed SSRI's. My doctor gave me a list and let me choose which one i wanted to try, i picked Lexapro because it was the most expensive(i have insurance, so no loss there) so i thought it would be the best. I also had read it has the least side effects of any SSRI. I really would like to get a benzo prescribed as needed until i can get this straightened out but the doctor i went to is a benzo-phobe and only prescribed me 15 0.5 Lorazepam after i basically begged, to help until the Lexapro kicked in. I ended up taking all of the Lorazepam in 2 days. I took 2 the first day and felt no effects at all. So the next day i took like 6 and felt pretty good, my anxiety was down quite a bit. That left me with 7. I took them the next day and felt absolutely nothing so i don't know exactly what the deal is with that, but anyway i finally took 0.5 Lexapro and it was one of the worst feelings i've ever been through. My anxiety was 20 times worse and i felt derealization very badly. It was a zombie like feeling. Everything irritated me and i was freaking out about how i felt. I was being hateful to my mom and snapping at her. It took me a couple days to get halfway back to normal. I decided after that i'm not taking them again. I thought about trying Zoloft or something but honestly i'm 99% sure theres nothing wrong with my serotonin. Doctors throw SSRI's out like candy because they probably make the most money off of them and they don't understand anxiety because they've never been through it or know how it feels. So they assume theres a one cures all "medicine" i decided i won't ever try another SSRI.

I have done alot of research and i think the main part of my problem is my adrenal glands. Some call it adrenal fatigue but the scientific term is adrenal insufficiency. It happens from chronic stress and causes you to be in fight or flight mode all of the time and makes you worry and stress even more. I started taking a supplement for my pituitary gland a week ago, the pituitary gland is the master gland so it will fix my adrenals too. It says it can take up to 6 months to heal them. I've taken alot of herbs and natural remedies and nothing has worked but i truly believe this is the root of the problem because of all the constant stress i've been under for 4 years and because i feel like its something physical thats causing my anxiety, somethings out of whack. I have chronic fatigue no matter how much sleep i get i'm still tired and lethargic 24/7. Thats another symptom of adrenal fatigue. That doesn't help in the job department any. My mom was chronically fatigued for years when i was a kid and started taking these adrenal supplements and said she got better and feels better than she ever has, so i have hope.

So now i'm going to go into detail about my anxiety, how it's affecting me and why i'm having trouble getting over it. When i'm in a social setting, whether it's with an acquaintance, very close friend, or even family such as my mom and dad, I just have a sense of discomfort and my mind starts racing, i feel the fight or flight and panic. I can't ever relax. I feel awkward in social situations, i feel like i can read body language to well and i'm scared of making other people uncomfortable. I have a problem where, i don't know if its just me being self conscious or what. But i have a hard time focusing when it comes to my vision. I always look out of my peripheral vision and i feel like it weirds people out.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 12:07 AM
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The thing with anxiety, and also Social anxiety, is that the symptoms are different for each person. When I went to group CBT for SA, I was surprised that the other group participants were really anxious in areas that i didn't really think was all that bad. And probably vice versa.

No one may have the same symptoms and problematic areas, but it definitely sounds like you have SA. you exhibit behaviours of someone with addictive personality, which can be a cause of anxiety. I'm sayin this because i'm addictive, and why wouldn't it be because of anxiety? I've been addicted to all my hobbies since I was a kid; drugs and technology are pretty easy escapes.

I can relate to waht you're saying about body part compulsion, I have it too. I'm pretty sure that's OCD. My SA has been a lot about eye contact so it's a bit similar to yours in that regard. I have a thing where I stare straight at people when I think of what to say next, instead of looking away,sometimes eliciting bewildered looks.

I can't be sure whether you have SA as your only form of anxiety OR if you have anxiety in general that also symptomizes as SA. But I wouldn't recommend seeing a physician for anxiety disorders: call a psychiatrist, but also , seek therapy. I've done CBT and online CBT and group CBT so that's the only therapy I know of, but if you're willing to fight it will give results.

With SSRI, did you slowly work your way up to the recommended dose? It can take 2 months maybe more to feel any effects of SSRI. I have been on SSRI for 4 years, and my experience is that it helps with anxiety, BUT, it numbs your emotions and your sexual function. I have been tapering off for about 6 months and I'm noticing my feelings coming back (which means, I can feel a lot worse when I'm anxious, but i also feel amazing when i'm happy - with SSRI, i was more stable but never really happy, which is a fvcking drag let me tell you). Also my erectile problems are getting better.

So, when it comes to medicine, read about it beforehand. Know what you're dealing with. I went into it only thinking "i just want this pain to END NOW", not really caring about side effects. But side effects are a ***** to deal with.

Also, you might not visually APPEAR self conscious, but they way people talk can tell a lot about their personality. If you're questioning yourself out loud, commenting about bad things, "whining" and so on - that is a clear sign of being self conscious. People with self esteem care nothing about how they appear and so they focus on other things when they speak, maybe a bit more keen to interrupt others, speaking their mind more often etc.

Please tell me if you think i've left something out, your text was really long :P
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