Share your Personal Story of Change! - Page 7 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #121 of 156 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 12:42 PM
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Conquering it - one day at a time


I just wanted to post something positive here.

I have always been bit of a nervous nelly. Stressful situations would frequently cause sweat but i ignored these incidents and chose to look forward. However, socially, I was a B+. I am pretty confident. I am gregarious.

But in the last six months, my personal life circumstances changed. For some reason, I became awkward and uncomfortable wherever I went. And the smallest bit of conversation, whether with the lady at Starbucks or with someone who used to work for me - became a reason to start sweating uncontrollably.

It was embarrassing. And i became depressed. I started avoiding people. All the time.

Then i went and got help. I was prescribed Celexa. I took it. In barely three weeks, things have changed. I feel like I am back to my old self.

Today, I had a conversation with some family friends. Talking to them a few weeks back would have caused sweating. But today, I was confident and felt like I was back to my normal self.

Its a chemical reaction. That's all there it is to it. Some day, I have to wean off Celexa. But for now, I look forward to life with renewed vigor and happiness.
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post #122 of 156 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 06:26 PM
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Anti-depressants are pretty stupid. if a doc really wanted your anxiety to go away and increase your ability to engage he/she would prescribe adderall/vyvanse along with beta blockers. problem solved
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post #123 of 156 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 06:58 PM
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Was forced to socialise after a year of isolation and only leaving the house about ten times or less in one year. I'm a mess... but I had to change, no choice. It's almost been a year since I was forced to change.

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post #124 of 156 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 12:52 AM
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Since then I've traveled by myself to Southeast Asia, Central America and Africa, have put myself in a work situation where I constantly have to deal with people, and I'm learning the work it takes to maintain friendships. I still need a lot of time to myself, and that's totally fine. But I no longer feel guilty about it.
That was really inspirational. I love travelling but travelling by myself (and having to meet new people all the time) definitely freaks me out a little, so well done!
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post #125 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 01:31 PM
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I'm 17 teen and i've had sad for as long as I remember. I'm pretty positive about it and I keep going but it stops me from doing so many things and living a normal life. Walking out of my house is a challenge everyday. I really want help with it but I can't seem to be able to pick up the phone. I'm not alone I have friends who also have the same disorder so I can easily talk about it and not feel too different. The only thing i'm focusing on is making it go away but without professional help I feel it never will. It's like no matter what, i'm always at the same spot and i'm sick of not being able to breathe or look where I want and be comfortable. It's very hard for me to make new friendships or relationships with boys and I feel like my teenage years are slipping by and all I've accomplished is being stressed and avoiding everything I can. I'm an extroverted person which sounds crazy but I am and this only makes having sad 10× worse because I can't be who i really am. I feel lonely and as if every person I meet or even looks my way automatically hates my guts. I don't like feeling this way. I'm thinking that I don't want to feel like this for the rest of my life because I have so many dreams that sad is going to block me from accomplishing. I guess i'm not getting help because I feel it's useless as if it's never going to go away and if it's starts going away, it will come back or never be 100% gone. I'm sick of it and that's my story
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post #126 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 03:12 PM
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Just some background info, I used to be a social guy and considered my social skills (like giving presentations) a major positive trait of mine. I lost all of this about half a year ago, including _all_ my confidence when I had some panic attacks in regular college meetings and classes and at a birthday.

I've been struggeling with it for a couple of months now, basically the things I can't/couldn't do are giving a presentation, speaking in a group (especially if we have to take turns speaking, when introducing ourselves in a new group for instance) and somehow drinking out of a glass when having (for instance) dinner with people I do or do not know.

So I think I've made some major steps. When I first had the panic attacks I went straight to my doctor and gave my school a heads up which was hard enough. Sadly it had some negative consequences for my studies, I'm trying to straighten that out now because I missed half a course, but that's not the point now .

I can function in a group again. It's not easy, but I can finally do it again without almost pissing my pants. The past few weeks I had 2 courses, one with people I'm familliar with, one with people I'm not that familliar with, and I managed to speak, contribute and present things pretty well, feeling comfortable. I do take certain precautions, like sitting on the spot that will be picked first if we have to talk about our progress in a project for instance, or if we have to introduce ourselves. The largest trigger for me is waiting till it's my turn, so I'd rather be the first one so I don't have to wait. My next goal is to beat this trigger, because it's very annoying. I must say I'm still pretty scared that I won't manage to cope with it in the future, every morning I'm stressed to go to school, but at least I'm not planning on evading any tough situations anymore because it always turns out fine.

I'm not yet where I want to be, but I'm finally taking some pretty big steps and getting positive experiences that I can use as a foundation to cope with it even better. These past few weeks are the first time I've seen some light at the end of the tunnel since this started, so I'm super happy.
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post #127 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 05:11 PM
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I was in Year 6 when I first experienced bullying. I was called names because of how quiet I was. I was quiet because of them, the bullies themselves. It frustrates me so much that they don't understand that different people will react differently to these things.

Right. Off to my first secondary school. Everything went downhill because of all this. I was bullied.. physically, verbally, and on top of that, cyber bullied too. And I couldn't tell a soul because I was so afraid of everything and so fragile.
I was split up from all of my friends and I was so so so lonely. I asked to move tutor 6 times and all 5 times rejected, when finally for that 6th time they accepted. I WAS FINALLY ALLOWED TO MOVE CLASS!
It was much worse than I thought. Only 2 of my friends, that I was not even that close too were in that tutor. I didn't know this then.. but why need friends when you can do better on your own?

That school was terrible.. so I left. I went off to my second secondary school.
It was a bad idea. Probably worse than my previous school. Yet again, I was bullied.. physically, verbally. I felt so unsafe in my classrooms. The teacher couldn't control the class, the headteacher ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS had to check in on my year in the classes. They were all horrible. And I also moved to that school because my best friend went there.. but she ENJOYS it there? I don't understand. How. Just how.

So I left that school too. I was so fed up of all the crap I was receiving from other people, and I didn't even know WHY they despised me so much? People were so so unbelievable aghast toward me. One time I was sat at my locker sorting out my stuff and I got kicked, purposely, in the head by some kid that I didn't even know. I shouted at him and I told a teacher but they did nothing. They completely ignored the situation.
So I did part-time, you could call it. Hiding in the toilets or in the empty teacher's office during lessons. I didn't care anymore. All of this had strongly triggered my depression.
I was so thankful with one understanding teacher, on the day she was leaving I asked if I could drop P.E as a subject as it didn't matter to me (this was a massive lie.. I love sport, but I wanted to avoid being punched in the stomach every time. Yes, on purpose. The teacher always saw and did nothing). And she did, one teacher came to her senses, what an absolute miracle!

But that still wasn't enough. So I left the school and became home-schooled, all I've ever wanted to be for the past 2 or 3 years.
I am currently home-schooled now, and I am enjoying it far better than anything, I can learn what I want when I want with just me, mum and my younger brother (who also became home-schooled because of bullying at the same school I went to).

We moved house, I'm spending less time on the computer and finding new talents such as keyboard-playing (I am learning how to play Clocks by Coldplay I'm getting there) I'm getting pretty good at drawing, I read more, play with my puppy and my cat, relax and talk to the fish, watch my hamster in his ball... all the things I had hardly done beforehand.

I am still changing as I grow.. heading towards the job I most desire. Becoming more confident with myself, I can say to myself "No more abuse, bullying, suffering, and being so afraid,"
I have changed with my confidence, which is my main thing. I am hoping to change the ways I think, so I don't think about negative things anymore.

I have achieved goals I am proud of.. such as going shopping and talking to people.. paying for something at the till without being so afraid of being criticized for how I do things, without being so afraid of being kicked in the head by some random person. Yet I am still making these little changes, and the more changes you make the bigger they become.

And that, is how I have changed. Still conquering those tiny things, but no matter how small they are, at least I am proud of doing things at my own pace. It's gonna take a while, but it'll be worth it.

Can't I just go and live on the moon.
I hope I'm away from it all soon.
Let me float up, and up, like a balloon.
I don't care if I only stay until noon.
Please just let me go to the moon.
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post #128 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-17-2015, 02:34 PM
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One major step for me was when i got contact lenses 2 years ago. It might sound silly, but for me it was unthinkable for years. I suffered for years because of my bad eyesight, which made my anxiety much worse. But i refused to wear glasses because of my bad self esteem. I'm terrified of anything with "doctors" so going to an optician scared me. And obviously, putting plastic stuff on your eyeball didn't sound very tempting.

But one day i just had enough. I was so tired of walking around in a blurry world. I don't know how i got the courage, but i did and i got contacts. I had many failures on the way, but it worked out in the end. I still find the whole contacts thing weird as hell, but it reduced so much anxiety. That was a big step for me and i'm so proud that i did that.

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post #129 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 09:56 AM
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I'm not over SA or depression so this is more of a friendly reminder to myself that despite not being were I want to be in life I have been making a lot of progress.

Things that has helped:
  • Moving - didn't make SA magically disappear, but it made it possible to put myself in the situations that I feared which I think is key. If you keep avoiding the things you fear nothing will change.
  • Reading success stories - reading about people who had been in similar situations that had made progress or completely overcome SA and sharing exactly what they've done to overcome it has helped a lot. Even though no journey is the exactly the same it gives you guidelines on things that might help.
  • Seeing a doctor and starting antidepressants - wasn't a cure but it took some edge off of the worst thoughts. When people say reaching out to someone professional and taking the first step for treatment made them feel better they ain't lying, it helped a lot more than expected.
  • Staying away from negativity as much as possible - negative people, negative threads etc.
  • Exposure - For me it mainly came down to signing up for things that I normally would avoid doing because I didn't have to. In my case - courses and lectures I didn't need to go to. Still trying to work myself up to being social in other situations but it's a first step.
  • Keeping a journal of things that I've accomplished during the day, the main point wasn't that these accomplishments were BIG, but that they made me uncomfortable doing them. So if I answered texts that I didn't want to, did the dishes, or said hi to someone new I'd write it down. I think a lot of us here focus a lot on the things we don't accomplish so being able to flicker through a book with things you actually have done is satisfying while putting that lie to the test. It is also interesting reading through the lists and being like "Huh I don't remember that this made me uncomfortable" because you faced that fear and it's no longer there.
  • Exercise - when I work out to the point of being sweaty (doesn't work otherwise : p)my mind feels a lot calmer that day.
  • CBT - Been doing CBT on and off through all of this and it does help if you put the effort in which unfortunately can be easier said than done.

These are the things that I can come up with now but I might add more things later. <3

“Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”


Face one fear every day.
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post #130 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 10:07 AM
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Anti-depressants are pretty stupid. if a doc really wanted your anxiety to go away and increase your ability to engage he/she would prescribe adderall/vyvanse along with beta blockers. problem solved
bet blockers can help with the body's sympathetic response to anxiety. Adderall and Vyvanse for anxiety? what? That's for ADHD. Some people can also become anxious from the Adderall itself. If you or someone you know were prescribed Adderall or Vyvanse that may be tailored to your specific needs. It's not first line treatment for anxiety
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post #131 of 156 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 05:47 AM
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Maybe not a big deal to most, but didn't get back down today by a stranger who tried to intimidate me.

I was standing on the train platform kind near the edge when this guy who was pacing up and down the platform was walking toward me. He had been giving other people dirty looks the whole time. I soon realised he was going to walk in-between me and the edge and there was barely any room for him to, but he kept coming, so he clearly expected me to move, or he was itching for a confrontation. I'm texting someone and so he walks past, slightly knocking my hand. Normally before or at this point I would take a step back so somebody could pass but something made me not flinch this time.

So he turns and starts to come back the other way. So I look up and just give him a death stare, right into his eyes, the coldest I could, preparing for another close exchange. But there was none. He looked away quickly, went and walked way behind me and stayed up the middle of the platform and never came back. His body language completely changed from domineering to submissive all because I didn't get intimidated and hit him with eye contact to let him know I wasn't taking his ****.

This guy was pacing up and down the whole time, expecting everyone to move out of his way, but stopped after his little interaction with me.

Proud of myself, not to get intimidated. Made my day! .
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post #132 of 156 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 01:00 PM
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All throughout my teenage years, things kept happening that made me afraid of people. I quit basketball - a sport I was good at - because I had no friends. My parents were frustrated and didn't understand this decision. I felt very guilty and sad under the weight of their disapproval, and I would often isolate myself from others because I was sad. In high school, I had a group of friends, but over time I became excluded. By the end of my senior year, I only had one friend, and she was very quiet like me. I had a casual job in a supermarket, and my co-workers would often exclude me and drop their voices to a whisper as I would walk past them. I thought things would get better when I had finished high school, and had a fresh start at university, but things just got worse. From years of social struggles, I had no idea how to talk to people to make friends. I barely went to uni because I didn't want to see anyone, and only just passed my classes.

After that year, I realised I needed help because I felt sad a lot of the time and in my journal I would write about wanting to hurt myself and end myself. Thankfully, I never acted upon these desires. I would rarely go out, because on the rare occasions I was invited out, I felt under pressure whenever someone I didn't know well would talk to me. I undertook CBT, which really helped even though my therapist didn't believe I had social anxiety. I think it seemed too circumstantial to be real to him. And it was circumstantial to some extent. A lot of the people I was surrounded by on a regular basis were not nice at all.

I don't really have social anxiety anymore, though I still have days where I'm upset when I think of how much of my teenage years the disorder ate away from my life. In fact, one of my friends recently looked really shocked when someone suggested to them that I'm a shy person! I used to hate exercising in case someone would see me; I now go jogging in public everyday!

Reading everyone else's stories on here is very inspiring.
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post #133 of 156 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 01:59 AM
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Well, it's 5 in the morning here, so I'm not going to delve into incredible detail, but I'm really proud of the progress I've made since creating an account on this site. When I signed up, I was extremely depressed. I'd recently run into some problems with my LDR girlfriend and the two of us were talking far less than usual, causing me to recognize my own solitude, having moved across the country a year ago and not made any genuine friendships. I applied for a job at the end of July, partially because sitting at home alone all day would slowly drive me insane, and partially because my social skills were apparently lacking. Finally, about a week or two after making an account on SAS, I was contacted for a seasonal job. While the job only lasted three months, I can honestly say that it was the most valuable experience I've ever had, as well as the most challenging, due to the interpersonal skills it required.

One of my biggest hopes for the past year, being a senior in High School, was to be able to make genuine friendships and actively participate in student life instead of remaining an invisible bystander.
While my Pop-Tart lunches in the library would indicate that I failed miserably, I somehow managed to make two close underclassmen friends and, more importantly, learned how to be happy and comfortable with being alone, instead of feeling regretful, as though I were constantly missing out on something by not being surrounded by other people.

As a soon-to-be college student, I've already begun taking my first steps to get involved in the community by applying for fellowship programs, and I intend to participate in as many clubs and organizations as I can handle. This forum has taught me the value of taking risks and stepping outside my comfort zone, and I'm determined not to make the same mistakes I did when I switched High Schools in my move two years ago. I'm far from being the person that I want to be, but I feel like I've made some steps in the right direction.

"The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave...live."
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post #134 of 156 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 07:06 PM
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Grad school and moving alone 16 hours way from family has done a lot of sh-t for me.

This month:
-Went out to a night house party sponsored by one of my classmates
-Visiting US government landmarks (embassies, historical places) and speeches by government employees
-Calling various numbers to set up my utilities (cable,water,apartment management offices)
-Calling doctors to register myself as a new patient
-Chatting to random people during my graduate school orientation
-Speaking up in all of my classes at least 1-2 times/day
-Communication with my advisers from my grad school about what I intend to do with my life careerwise

So basically calling for any form of service, going to events every weekend, and networking have forced me to talk more.I'm also going overseas in Spring and Summer 2016, so we'll see that works out too.

"If you're going through hell, keep going" - Winston Churchill
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post #135 of 156 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 12:25 PM
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After I moved from a school to another [January 2009, I was 15], I had my mental breakdown. It was hell. I had panic attacks, extreme anxiety and no desire of being seen in public. I was afraid of moving to another school. I didn't want to lose the few friends I had. I didn't want to be away from an environment that made me feel comfortable. I was uncomfortable with my body and I used to think that because of this situation I'd never make friends anymore. So I guess that all of this made me had my breakdown.

And I'm shy as well. It was really hard for me. I had my breakdown and after that I tried to begin treatment with a psychiatrist a friend of my family's told us about, but she was not able to help me. I also went to therapy a few months while I was being treatment by this psychiatrist, and it didn't work as well.

So I stayed almost one year without doing nothing, just playing games online and being nobody. [from December 2008 until October 2009] A few months after doing nothing, I managed to find a really good psychiatrist who really knew what she was doing. [End of 2009]

She helped me, and I thank her every single day of my life for making me a better guy. I used to take two different pills, but I can't remember the names now. I began to feel better after one year of treatment, I mean, getting my confidence again, stopped thinking bad things that only made me feel like crap, etc, etc.

So after that, I began working with my father [October 2010] and get my life back on track, like finishing high school through an adult education program. Here in Brazil we call it "supletivo". From month to month I used to go to my psychiatrist to share what I've being feeling. Standard procedure. 3 years and some months later with me being treated, I stopped with the pills. [Beginning of 2014]

I've being almost 2 years without taking anything, but from time to time I have some breakdowns, which sucks. But I can recover myself really, really fast, and everything returns to normal. I really wanna return to therapy, but saddly I can't afford it. It's too damn expensive.

So I do my best keeping my mind occupied and not thinking about anything that brings me bad memories. That's it, everyone. I probably must be missing a few things, but it's because I can't remember, not because I don't wanna share with you. And sorry for some bad words, english is not my native tongue. Have an awesome weekend everybody.
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post #136 of 156 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 02:14 AM
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I've lived in the UK for about 12 years now, and I've been slowly 'trained' to apologise for taking up space. I'm a person of colour, I'm a woman over 6 feet tall. I'm fat. I'm 'intimidating' just for existing. So I downplayed myself - hunched shoulders in, slouched slightly, spoke in a simpering high pitched voice and apologised every time someone even so much as looked in my direction. I tower over men here and Brits hate that so I haven't dated since I've been here - perfectly happy to come at me online where no one can see, of course. Fun.

I've been housebound for years with chronic illness, and eventually moved to a very rural area, partly to give my son a better chance at a residential school (the ploy worked) but mostly because I was so sick of being stared at and wanted to be left alone. I leave my house so rarely the locals here think I'm a tourist; I've lived here since 2011, but I never go to the functions here as these middle-class posh folk are also Tories or UKIP voters and their smiling racism isn't something I want to deal with.

I managed to get my driver's license and I've got a car I never use, but I've a mate nearby in Bristol who is in a similar situation, and I've promised to meet up with him for ages now. Always found an excuse - I've known him online, what if I'm a total dumbass in real life and he's appalled?

My mate however is a massive geek (same as me), and so when I found a Bristol geek get-together, I pointed him in their direction and, gods knows how I got the courage, I joined the group on meetups and asked if maybe they could arrange something for week get-togethers as us older folk have kids and caring responsibilities, and weekends are hard. Sure enough, the organisers came back and said they'll try and do something, so I can meet up some new people and also get to see my friend.

There's plenty of time to bottle it of course...but I know geeks and as long as they aren't the kind of men-boys who are threatened by women being as nerdy as they are - not to mention I'm probably twice as old as most of the people there *sigh* - it might be a regular thing. I sure hope I've got the energy and the courage.

So...yeah. I'm making progress. I've been 'updating my wardrobe' for the past year, and all the clothes still have the tags on as I've never worn any of it. Here's hoping.
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post #137 of 156 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 08:47 AM
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post #138 of 156 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 05:19 PM
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In February 2014, I had a decent job, I still had pretty bad anxiety, but had to answer calls for a busy auto parts store and dispatch the drivers, I had my own apartment and a fun car. I quit my job because of the anxiety and shortly after had to move back into my dad's apartment. In September 2014, he kicked me out because I couldn't get another job. I had to live in a house where 1 friend and 3 of his friends lived and threw parties all the time. It was so bad it made my already suicidal thoughts take action. I sold my car for junk and bought a hotel room and some weed(weird I know), and I think if I hadn't brought the weed I would've killed myself. I couldn't do it. So I had to go back to the house and tough it out. I lived there for about 3 months on the couch, 5 months on a mattress in the music room, and another 6 months in my own room after one guy moved out. I worked 4 different jobs while there(1at a time), smoked weed constantly(roommate sold it), tried drugs at parties, drank a lot of alcohol, met a lot of weird people and made a small handful of friends. The landlord wouldn't renew the lease because of the graffitti in the garage that was done during parties so I had to move in with another friend who had an extra room in the condo that I now live in. Ive been working a new job making way more money than I used to and I barely have to deal with people. I still come home, hoping to relax after a usual 9 hours hard work, to a bunch of people that my roommate invited , which gets pretty frustrating. I still get anxiety, not as much, but I never have suicidal thoughts anymore. I plan on moving into my own place soon.
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post #139 of 156 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Aspalas View Post
Just some background info, I used to be a social guy and considered my social skills (like giving presentations) a major positive trait of mine. I lost all of this about half a year ago, including _all_ my confidence when I had some panic attacks in regular college meetings and classes and at a birthday.

I've been struggeling with it for a couple of months now, basically the things I can't/couldn't do are giving a presentation, speaking in a group (especially if we have to take turns speaking, when introducing ourselves in a new group for instance) and somehow drinking out of a glass when having (for instance) dinner with people I do or do not know.

So I think I've made some major steps. When I first had the panic attacks I went straight to my doctor and gave my school a heads up which was hard enough. Sadly it had some negative consequences for my studies, I'm trying to straighten that out now because I missed half a course, but that's not the point now .

I can function in a group again. It's not easy, but I can finally do it again without almost pissing my pants. The past few weeks I had 2 courses, one with people I'm familliar with, one with people I'm not that familliar with, and I managed to speak, contribute and present things pretty well, feeling comfortable. I do take certain precautions, like sitting on the spot that will be picked first if we have to talk about our progress in a project for instance, or if we have to introduce ourselves. The largest trigger for me is waiting till it's my turn, so I'd rather be the first one so I don't have to wait. My next goal is to beat this trigger, because it's very annoying. I must say I'm still pretty scared that I won't manage to cope with it in the future, every morning I'm stressed to go to school, but at least I'm not planning on evading any tough situations anymore because it always turns out fine.

I'm not yet where I want to be, but I'm finally taking some pretty big steps and getting positive experiences that I can use as a foundation to cope with it even better. These past few weeks are the first time I've seen some light at the end of the tunnel since this started, so I'm super happy.
omg I thought I am the only one feeling like that!! I told my psychiatrist the exact same thing. I get super super nervous when waiting for my turn for self introductions and the key is to be the first just like you. That way I immediately stand up and I am bloody confident. But waiting for my turn, my heart rate speeds up and I just crumble by the time its my turn to introduce myself.

If not I would need to just like 'inject' thoughts and try to take a deep breath or either hold my breath to try to slow down my heart rate.
Kaelern is offline  
post #140 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 08:41 PM
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mine is huge okay so a year ago I couldn't even walk up the stairs to school without feeling anxious and a month ago I sang with my mariachi at school in front of 300 people and im not a fluent spanish speaker so
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