SAD and its stigma in our society - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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SAD and its stigma in our society


Hi, everyone! I‘m new here and I‘m looking forward to meeting you all.

I‘m currently doing my final paper on SAD and its stigma in our society. It would be of great help to me, if you answered the questions below.

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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How old are you?
Since when do you have SAD?
Do you have any secondary disorders?
Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?
In what situations is your anxiety really bad?
Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?
Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?
What prejudices do others have?
How do you cope with those prejudices?
What do you wish from others?

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:57 AM
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For a lot of people with SAD, it's not the stigma that's the problem; it's that antisocial behavior is the manifestation of our social anxiety. We often come across as unfriendly or even mean when in reality, we're afraid of people, and it's our defence mechanisms, fears, and strong desire to get people to like us cause us to act in ways that are incongruent with fitting in and forming healthy relationships.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 05:34 AM
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How old are you?
45

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Since when do you have SAD?
Painfully shy and a constantly worried from early childhood. When you're a kid it's all "awww he's shy, sooo cute" then you get into you're teens it's no longer cute and you didn't just "grow out of it". Suddenly people think your'e weird. Now you need a shrink, funny that! Wish people would take shyness in kids more seriously because it's not always a temporary state.

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Do you have any secondary disorders?
I've had depression to contend with down the years which is probably fairly normal as you find yourself unable to have ambitions that seem attainable.

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Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?
Numerous rounds of counselling and CBT with mixed results. My last therapist was the catalyst for the changes I'm now reaping the benefits of. She didn't abandon me, got me into adult education to get me out of the house, she did social experiments with me which really helped.

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In what situations is your anxiety really bad?
Social gatherings were always the worst and avoided always. If it's too rowdy with loud people, loud music I still feel overwhelmed.

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Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?
Yes pretty much everyone in my life knows about my past difficulties, even work colleagues.

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Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?
Plenty of times like most of us, I've been told to man up etc...

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What prejudices do others have?
See above

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How do you cope with those prejudices?
I don't get them anymore as I have only good people around me.

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What do you wish from others?
Same as any kind of disablement/disorder/illness, just people to be understanding and patient with people.



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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 07:50 AM
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How old are you?

27

Since when do you have SAD?

In early childhood a psychologist who was examining my brother wrote on his report under family background that I had selective mutism. At the time I remember having some hearing tests done but not much else eventually it progressed into social phobia/social anxiety disorder.

So I would say my whole life (at least as far back as I can remember,) but outside of school I'd find making friends pretty easy with other kids, (though even in school I'd manage OK with some kids outside of class,) many adults would scare me though.

Things got worse after I started high school at 11 (UK, not US.)


Do you have any secondary disorders?


Almost certainly, but they are undiagnosed.

Have you ever been to therapy before?

Yeah.

If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?

CBT. CBT on the NHS is very poor I think everyone should be made to see a psychologist before recieving treatment and it needs to become more individualised to be of any use. They also need to start taking stuff seriously in childhood where you have more time/opportunity to fail and improve.

In what situations is your anxiety really bad?

I avoid stuff now so hard to say, there is some anxiety in most situations where I have to talk to someone. If I don't then it's a bit easier even if I'm in a crowded environment (which I think is different to some people here.)

Anything that involves intimacy is hard. I find people being very nice/friendly uncomfortable and as one example if I was staying in a hotel it would be easier to stay in some minimalistic chain hotel then a small bnb type place where people are very bubbly. Using the same shop repeatedly is difficult. Going somewhere reapeatedly so you get to know people. Using people's names in conversation. Talking about how I feel. Expressing I care about people etc.

And then anything that involves judgment of my abilities is more difficult.

And not being able to escape easily, like commiting to something I think will be uncomfortable.

Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?

My family do now, they didn't acknowledge it for most of my life though.

Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?

I never got the impression that anyone knew in an official sense until uni when I met a couple of people via facebook who told me they had social anxiety disorder in response to some stuff I said. At some point in high school I was asked if I was autistic and people generally thought I was very weird and/or on drugs. I'd get tons of comments on how I never spoke.

I think the identity people force you into makes it worse. Some people I had an easier time talking to than others and I remember I sat next to this guy who thought I was OK and later this other guy warned him against talking to me (no idea what he said since he was whispering but the other guy responded with 'nah they seem OK.')

People picked up on differences as I got older more and more, they knew I was weird but probably didn't know why. A lot of the people in my year at school weren't very intelligent either in a general sense. That sort of thing would be low status.

What prejudices do others have?

Well I used to hang out with an abusive psychopath but putting her aside in general..

One girl threatened to slap me because she found my not talking infuriating. And almost everyone had an opinion on how I came across.

You end up often with a very bipolar (yet rigid,) identity to other people where some treat you as an innocent, naive child (apologise for swearing - even though I swear all the time, people make weird assumptions like that when you're anxious) they overreact if you speak (which makes things even more uncomfortable,). If you're with other people sometimes they will expect them to talk for you or they'll talk to them instead of you. And then the other side...:

Essentially you are framed as a serial killer, Satan worshipper, druggy etc. But it didn't help that on non uniform days I wore alternative clothes. I don't regret wearing what I wanted though as it's at least one form of confidence.

There's a stereotype of it always being the quiet ones.

Mostly this was negative but there was this strange goth guy I knew once who read my tarot cards a few times and seemed to take some form of satisfaction in the idea that I would 'destroy everyone' everyone being quite vague. That bothered me at the time.

How do you cope with those prejudices?

People weren't as big dicks when I was at uni, mostly hung out with other geeky kinds of people the ones who were more extroverted geeks would clearly see me as weirder still though but not too much. There are like tiers I realised from complete outcast to normal. In this new environment there was a guy who had SA and I was told by my introverted friend at one point that he was weird. I can't fault this entirely later on he did seem to develop a weird obsession with me on social media. But still, at some point in a different environment I was closer to his role I think. And I don't think the reason is always valid.

At this point I mostly identify with Satan now, or with antivillains. I am essentially a monster/alien but I think most of the best people are. I'd probably avoid spree killing though.

Not just because of SA though. I have other stuff going on that I don't feel comfortable talking about because I see the stuff others write all the time and I know people's opinions. Stuff that I can't talk about with people at all, especially offline.

What do you wish from others?

At this point I don't have much interest in most people. I think mental health treatment generally needs to get a lot better.

I expect people will always feel weird/uncomfortable around people who are different in some way and treat them differently accordingly.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maslow View Post
For a lot of people with SAD, it's not the stigma that's the problem; it's that antisocial behavior is the manifestation of our social anxiety. We often come across as unfriendly or even mean when in reality, we're afraid of people, and it's our defence mechanisms, fears, and strong desire to get people to like us cause us to act in ways that are incongruent with fitting in and forming healthy relationships.
That‘s a good point. I can see that.
But don‘t you think, once the stigma is gone more people would get help and the disorder would be seen as such, and not just unfriendliness? If I imagine, all the stigma around mental disorders gone, wouldn‘t that be of great help for those with mental disorders?
Maybe I‘m just idealistic, I don‘t know haha

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the quick replies! They‘re really helpful

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
But don‘t you think, once the stigma is gone more people would get help and the disorder would be seen as such, and not just unfriendliness? If I imagine, all the stigma around mental disorders gone, wouldn‘t that be of great help for those with mental disorders?
I don't really think it's a stigma against the disorder itself though. Being quiet and closed off can be seen as a negative trait in general and it's something that others can also get themselves like anxiety or shyness, but just not to a SAD sufferer's extent so it's likely that most people aren't going to attribute that to a mental disorder. Because of that, it's probably why the majority of people don't understand it or even know about it. If there was no stigma, it probably wouldn't encourage me to get help for it just because of my own irrational thoughts getting in the way.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
How old are you?
Since when do you have SAD?
Do you have any secondary disorders?
Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?
In what situations is your anxiety really bad?
Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?
Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?
What prejudices do others have?
How do you cope with those prejudices?
What do you wish from others?
- 38
- well i identify myself as having sad. Not had a diagnosis but it's more complicated the way i look at it. I've recently had an aspergers diagnosis and some of these other issues may just be comorbid. I've was considered quiet and shy all throughout my childhood but at yhe same time i felt i couldn't relate to some people or struggled in groups, with conflicts, making friends wasn't always straightforward
- at the moment mainly insomnia. It's likely in the past i fell into other categories. Depression, avoidance etc
- therapy for aspergers issues but it felt like a waste of time
- presentations, interviews, making conversations with strangers. I don't think my case is that severe though it's more i have a hard time understanding social interactions
- No one knows much because it wouldn't be to my benefit if they did
- Sure i don't think people like us get a very fair deal in society at large. We are discriminated at work in applying for jobs. Most seem to be left hung out to dry. There is a tonne of prejudice. Most people know nothing about the extent of these issues or they have contempt for people like us. I don't care as much about what people think these days.
I wish there was more done to accomodate SA or mental health sufferers in general in our society rather than being seen as a burden or undesirables
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 12:01 PM
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How old are you?
31

Since when do you have SAD?
I can't pinpoint an actual moment it began but I've always been shy. I was diagnosed at 23, so I've had it at least 8 years.

Do you have any secondary disorders?
Yep.

Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?
I did for a couple of years but it was absolutely pointless.

In what situations is your anxiety really bad?
Meeting new people when it's arranged, having to speak to people like shop assistants etc. and using phones.

Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?
Yes, and if the subject feels necessary to bring up in conversation with a stranger, I'll let them know.

Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?
My family took a long time to acknowledge I had SAD. Strangers and friends have been supportive though.

What prejudices do others have?
This was only from my family but I was told I was "lazy" and "lying" about it. I wouldn't put it past them to say things like that again though.

How do you cope with those prejudices?
I coped badly.

What do you wish from others?
That they learn to be patient and willing to understand what we're going through.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 12:55 PM
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I forgot to answer your survey.

How old are you?
40

Since when do you have SAD?
Since I was a little kid, but it didn't really manifest badly until I was in middle school (age 11-13).

Do you have any secondary disorders?
I've had bouts of depression, but nothing else that I'm aware of of.

Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?
No therapy. Not really sure why I haven't, but probably because I've been too scared to go.

In what situations is your anxiety really bad?
Small encounters where I can't blend in like one-on-one sessions and asking people for help with general things.

Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?
No one knows because I never told anyone.

Have you ever felt like your disorder isn't recognized by others?
All the time. Everyone I encounter just thinks I'm quiet.

What prejudices do others have?
When you don't talk, people like to make assumptions about you. I've been called gay, thought I was gonna go postal, that I'm a virgin in a making fun of me context, I do drugs, I have bodies in my house (he probably has skin lamp shades), been mentioned to "look out for the quiet ones" or "it's always the quiet ones" when referring to me and the classic rude question "why don't you talk?". A couple other dismissive tendencies are that people think we're just shy or everyone gets anxiety.

How do you cope with those prejudices?
I've learned to cope by growing a thick skin and hoping they change the subject.

What do you wish from others?
I wish others would realize that words matter and they can hurt. I know we're easy punching bags because of our quiet demeanor, but we do have feelings just like anyone else. I also wish people would know that being quiet doesn't mean that we hate the world. If you try to get to know us, it might take some time to break down our outer walls, but you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find inside.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 01:24 PM
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I can answer your questions without even having to bother:

1. People just think its shyness
2. Mental health professionals don't take it seriously because it isn't borderline personality disorder or schizophrenia.

Sorry if thats no help, but I don't care.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BeardedMessiahBob View Post
I can answer your questions without even having to bother:

1. People just think its shyness
2. Mental health professionals don't take it seriously because it isn't borderline personality disorder or schizophrenia.

Sorry if thats no help, but I don't care.
Couldn't agree more with the above.

*Sorry I didn't answer the questionnaire OP, will try and do so later on in the week if I have time.

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 02:31 PM
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How old are you?

25

Since when do you have SAD?

~16-18 yo, I guess? Hard to pinpoint exactly. Had my first panic attacks ~16 but I was functioning okay socially back then.
I got my diagnosis 3-4 years ago.

Do you have any secondary disorders?

Insomnia varying a little bit. No other psychological ones, at least diagnosed. (Depression was suspected back in the day?)

Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?

Nope. I felt that I don't need medicine or therapy, and we agreed with my psychologist that I would contact her if I felt it was necessary.
The reason? I rather push myself to do the things I feel anxious about, and learn out of it in that way, and learn ways to deal with the anxiety.
It has worked quite well and it's what I intend to continue, and it has helped me improve my situation tremendously.

In what situations is your anxiety really bad?

Uh. Nowadays? I think just groups and generally being the center of attention. Sometimes, though, I voluntarily do this.

Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?

No. It's sort of a taboo in our family, and I don't think it is something that defines me as a person. I don't think people need to know.
I usually tell people who I let close emotionally, so basically girlfriends, and that's it.

Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?

Yes. I don't think it's a problem.

What prejudices do others have?


Depends on the social context. I'm usually around quite liberal university students, and I don't feel ANY prejudice at all. They are all very welcoming and open.

Less educated people might have a harder time understanding what it is about, and are less likely to accept that all people may not function the same. You know, the "why don't you just do it" stuff.

How do you cope with those prejudices?


I believe in myself and understand that the value of a person doesn't depend on those around.

What do you wish from others?


Be a decent person in general, I guess.
I don't think people with SA require anything special.

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
How old are you?
Since when do you have SAD?
Do you have any secondary disorders?
Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?
In what situations is your anxiety really bad?
Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?
Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?
What prejudices do others have?
How do you cope with those prejudices?
What do you wish from others?
I'm 59.

Not sure when it started really - I guess maybe late teens, although I was able to do most things fairly normally. I started taking a bit of Serepax (a benzo) in my early 20's as far as I can recall - to help with things at work etc.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar 1 about 6 or 7 years ago after a major manic episode.

The worst possible scenario for me would be to have to give a presentation. I've done them before for Uni etc but I took medication to do it. I would imagine I'm quite different to many here - I'm not quiet, I can talk perfectly fine and I'm likely to be the one carrying a conversation in a social situation. This doesn't mean I'm always calm though - I get terrible anxiety sometimes and I also actually can become slightly manic just by talking to people.

I think the people that are important to me (my son and my wife) - know how I am. They had to live with me for a long time. I used to keep it hidden from my friends when I was younger - which is not a good idea. It gives people the wrong impression of you.

I've always thought that the problems we face with these sort of things are created largely by ourselves - how other people recognise those problems hasn't really impacted me that I know of.

I've had a range of therapy - although I wouldn't say I've given myself to it a 100%. Largely because I've always managed to find an inconsistency in the logic behind it.

I've seen more therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses etc than I can even remember.

I couldn't honestly say I've experienced prejudice at all. This might be because I'm very good at covering it all up - but it may also say something about the people I've had around me too. My problems nowadays revolve more around adapting to my current living arrangements - and the fact that I tend to avoid a lot of things. Moreso than before probably because if I don't want to do something I can just stay home.

I think as time goes by people are becoming more aware of mental health issues in general. The mere fact that we even have advertisements nowadays for things like anxiety is amazing. Not so long ago that would have been unthinkable.
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 03:04 PM
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Hi, everyone! I‘m new here and I‘m looking forward to meeting you all.

I‘m currently doing my final paper on SAD and its stigma in our society. It would be of great help to me, if you answer the questions below.
@ddjelassi Hope this helps you. Good Luck! on the paper.

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How old are you?
25.

Quote:
Since when do you have SAD?
After a bad break up on top of substance abuse.

Quote:
Do you have any secondary disorders?
Agoraphobia.

Quote:
Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?
I have been to therapy multiple times throughout life but ultimately I didn't see it providing much help.


Quote:
In what situations is your anxiety really bad?
When I'm in public by myself or over crowded places or anywhere with too much sensory stimulation.

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Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?
Yes, because it affects my daily life and relationships.

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Have you ever felt like your disorder isn't recognized by others?
Yes, because a lot of people don't put it into consideration in certain situations.

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What prejudices do others have?
Well, personally with being a male productivity is always thrown in my face. I get called lazy instead of empathy towards the situation.

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How do you cope with those prejudices?
I continue to do the best I can despite what negative things may be said. I try to remember that its difficult to understand it unless you've experienced it.

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What do you wish from others?
Ultimately, more opportunities and self-help resources. Work wise or school wise. More awareness and empathy from others. Easier access to financial assistance while working towards bettering your self.

Live Fast, Die Fast; Don't Worry 'Bout the Crash - G.G. Allin
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:03 PM
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How old are you?

21

Since when do you have SAD?

14-15, at the latest.

Do you have any secondary disorders?

Depression, generalized anxiety and avoidant personality

Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?

Yes; individual CBT and emotion-focused therapy, group CBT/DBT in two hospitals and a weekly group

In what situations is your anxiety really bad?

When I'm having to divulge anything remotely personal or have to do any kind of performance around strangers (e.g. doing difficult classwork)

Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?

My family does, though I try not to reveal the severity of it.

Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?

Yeah, as others have said, mostly through it being interpreted as shyness.

What prejudices do others have?

The only one I've knowingly dealt with is professionals dismissing my avoidant personality problems and focusing on SAD.

What do you wish from others?

Research things and listen sympathetically.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 07:44 PM
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How old are you?
46

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Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
Since when do you have SAD?
Mine started around puberty. It developed slowly, in response to bullying in high school. It was full-blown by my early 20s.

I'm a late bloomer compared to most people here. I was in drama class in high school, and I used to be the first person on the dance floor at high school dances. I won an award for public speaking.

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Do you have any secondary disorders?
I haven't been officially diagnosed with anything, but these are the ones I'm sure about: anxiety, OCD, gender dysphoria, phobias, nightmare disorder, insomnia, migraines and suicidal ideation without depression. Nobody takes self-diagnoses seriously, though. I got an unofficial diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder from a GP because they're getting tired of me showing up at the clinic with symptoms they can't diagnose. I have auditory and olfactory hallucinations but those could be migraine-related.

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Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?
I've never been to a therapist because I can't afford to see one. Even if I went, I can't afford medication. I taught myself CBT and ACT, meditate, and have been studying psychology for over 20 years. Mostly self/ego psychology and different kinds of therapeutic techniques.

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In what situations is your anxiety really bad?
I'm always anxious. I don't remember what it's like not to be anxious. I have trouble getting to sleep, and when I do sleep I have nightmares. But my SA gets worse the more people there are around and the less well I know them. A music concert or an amusement park is nightmare for me.

The better I know a person, and the more intimate the conversation is, the less anxiety I feel. The less I know someone, and the more superficial a conversation is, the more anxiety I feel. I basically consider human beings dangerous animals. My fear recedes to the extent that I discover I can reason with a person.

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Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?
I don't know many people anymore, but most of the people I do know know that I'm anxious. I come from a large family and almost every one of us has an official diagnosis with one or more psychological disorders. Schizophrenia, GAD, SAD, PTSD, APD, depression or something else.

I haven't felt much pressure to get an official diagnosis because I grew up surrounded by people with disorders. Their symptoms are familiar to me and easy to spot in myself. Everyone in my family understands that I have the same sort of issues they have. An official diagnosis might have been required to get people in my family to take my issues seriously if that weren't the case. Fortunately (or unfortunately), it hasn't been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?
I don't think most people who don't have SAD take it very seriously. I've never gotten special treatment, even in my own family where people do understand it. My dad kicked me out when I was 18 because he didn't want me turning into a recluse like my older brothers. (He believes in exposure therapy.) I've been independent ever since out of necessity.

I'm not sure what "recognizing" the disorder would accomplish since I don't see how it would affect me. I'll still have the same obligations I've always had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
What prejudices do others have?
I think most people construe my avoidance as haughtiness, laziness, or touchiness. People generally avoid me and have always considered me weird.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
How do you cope with those prejudices?
I'm generally indifferent to the opinions of others unless I think they pose a threat to my well-being. I'm much more concerned about my appearance than what people think about my behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddjelassi View Post
What do you wish from others?
Nothing. I've never had a wish come true.

Wishing she had a mindblowing GUI
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 08:29 PM
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How old are you?

19.

Since when do you have SAD?

I was a really shy child growing up and probably had selective mutism, but I developed more severe social anxiety around age 13-14.

Do you have any secondary disorders?

Probably but undiagnosed. I strongly suspect Avoidant PD, and some schizoid traits.

Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?

Yes. It wasn't CBT, just regular old sit down and talk basically... I talked about my social anxiety with my therapist but overall I couldn't talk about my more serious problems and we never got anywhere and I quit.

In what situations is your anxiety really bad?

Anything where I'm doing something I haven't done before or have to go some place I've never been. Performance situations. Oh, and I used to get misgendered a lot when I started having my hair cut short (when I was about 9) and the fact itself didn't bother me but it really really embarrassed me when I knew other people were around to witness it, like when I would go out to eat at a restaurant with my family and they would hear it and I knew that they would perceive it as wrong and expect me to act/be embarrassed accordingly. But if I was alone and someone addressed me that way I'd just let it pass. Basically when I'm put in the spotlight in some way and the people around me expect me to act or feel a certain way… and I know I will get judged for not acting a certain way.

Also just in general being around people in close, more intimate or smaller spaces (when I'm in my room with my roommates, I get anxious when I have to do anything that will get their attention — getting up, getting something from my closet or desk, etc.)

This sums it up for me pretty well too:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post

Anything that involves intimacy is hard. I find people being very nice/friendly uncomfortable and as one example if I was staying in a hotel it would be easier to stay in some minimalistic chain hotel then a small bnb type place where people are very bubbly. Using the same shop repeatedly is difficult. Going somewhere reapeatedly so you get to know people. Using people's names in conversation. Talking about how I feel. Expressing I care about people etc.
Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?

My parents know I have social anxiety but I've never been officially diagnosed with anything. They definitely don't know about my other stuff. I don't tell anyone anything that involves my feelings or vulnerabilities, mostly.

Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?

All the time basically, but I've spent my life feeling pretty much invisible and at least part of me is content with this. People at school often talked about having social anxiety but not the disorder. Most don't seem to get how debilitating it can be. And my therapist sort of brushed it off in a way. I agree that a lot of mental health professionals don't take it that seriously.

What prejudices do others have?

These things:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post
You end up often with a very bipolar (yet rigid,) identity to other people where some treat you as an innocent, naive child (apologise for swearing - even though I swear all the time, people make weird assumptions like that when you're anxious) they overreact if you speak (which makes things even more uncomfortable,). If you're with other people sometimes they will expect them to talk for you or they'll talk to them instead of you. And then the other side...:
Essentially you are framed as a serial killer, Satan worshipper, druggy etc.
The way I look definitely contributes to the innocent, cute, naive child thing. And it's not something I can really change (height, facial structure). I got the second part too sometimes but not nearly as often because of my appearance.

How do you cope with those prejudices?

Hide forever and avoid everything and everyone.

What do you wish from others?

Mostly I wish they'd leave me alone. I'm tired of trying to fit in with people. Sometimes I wish I could find a certain type of person, I had a friend that was really cool and I miss her kind of a lot and I wish I could find someone like her again. It's not likely though.

We'll be the patient on our own table tonight
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 10:36 AM
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Location: NYC
Gender: Male
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How old are you?

Early 30s.

Since when do you have SAD?

I was always shy and introverted, but I think it started to become full blown and severe during my high school years.

Do you have any secondary disorders?

I've only been diagnosed for social anxiety disorder but I'm probably depressed and also I suspect I have Avoidant Personality Disorder.

Have you ever been to therapy before? If not, why? If yes, what kind of therapy?

I've had CBT and exposure therapy.

In what situations is your anxiety really bad?

Literally anytime I'm around people especially if I have to face them in silence. Whether in the waiting room, sitting in a circle, waiting in line, I absolutely cannot do it.

Do the people around you know of your disorder? If not, why?

They know but they don't really understand it. At most they're sympathetic or it's just this thing that they don't really talk about (neither do I want to, to be quite honest)

Have you ever felt like your disorder isn‘t recognized by others?

I remember reading somewhere that it's the least understood of the anxiety disorders even among mental health professionals, so yes.

What prejudices do others have?

In my experience they initially don't understand it. They offer very cliche advice, or are dismissive. If I explain to people more in-depth what my anxiety consists in and how severe it is, I find that they're remarkably understanding and accommodating. In a way I wish more people would open up and speak about it, because that's how these things get recognized in the mainstream and acknowledged.

How do you cope with those prejudices?

Perspective. That at the end of the day, we all have our prejudices and misunderstandings of things. That all I can do is be thankful for what I have and try day to day to improve and try to be helpful and show love for others in my own little way.

What do you wish from others?

Personally, nothing much. Just treat me with kindness and I'm good. Overall society wise, I wish there was more research and support regarding treatment. In my experience even mental health professionals are ignorant when it comes to this disorder.
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