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Discussion Starter #1
This is kind of related to someone else's post on being too late to change their brain because ages 13-17 is when your brain develops socially..

That's really what i'm afraid of now.
I was pretty "popular" until i was 13. Then i moved to another school from 13-15. My anxiety got out of control and although i technically "fit in" with the people around me, i was so anxious that i would avoid them, run away, or hide in the bathroom during socializing times like during lunch. However, whenever i did say something, it would be something funny, or something that was socially acceptable.. i wasn't made fun of that much, but i was still very lonely even though many people liked me.

Then i moved again when i was 15. In my new school, my social anxiety was replaced by dissociation (defense mechanism) and depression. I was very optimistic about this school.. but as soon as school started, i didnt feel as excited.. i felt so weird. dissociated. Basically I lived my whole 10th grade year in a dream, with no emotions, without feeling like myself for the whole year..as if i was going crazy, or my brain was not functioning. like :blank 24/7 and you never snap out of it.

So now i'm 16. My 10th grade year is nearly over. I'm really afraid that if, or when, i snap out of this dissociation, i wonder if my brain will still know how to socialize. i feel like i just lost all of my senses, and at school, i'm even made fun of now, because i'm quiet, and i give the impression that i dislike stuff (i never smile that much) and i can't laugh when things are funny. I'm always alone, and i always do really embarrassing/dumb things without realizing it (because i'm dissociated so idk wtf i'm doign and i can't control what i do)

Does this mean i lost my social skills forever? did my brain forget them? Who am i? i really dont know who i am because i never feel or act like myself anymore. I don't know my habits, i dont know my personality because i dont show any. When i become an adult, will i have lost it forever? Will my brain ever get back those social skills that i used to know so well?
 

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I don't think the 13-17 is *always* true. The best years of my life were from ages 14-19. Unlike a lot of people here I had great high school years. I was held back in 9th grade due to the fact I'd been home schooled the year before so I ended up with a group of kids 1 year younger than me and who I didn't grow up with (had been bullied a lot in elementary and middle school) - and that gave me some confidence. I made some good friends and except for GAD and a few random panic attacks (non-SA related) went through those years relatively happy and unscathed.

Yet, here I sit at 29, unable to work, unable to attend social functions, unable to basically take care of myself because I am scared to go take care of business, order food, shop, pay bills in person or run errands - need my hubby or mom to take care of things like that. Yet those "defining years" were great in my case and it didn't help me a bit. All I do now is yearn for those years when I was so happy and trying to find a way to get back there again.

So, that said, I don't think those years being good or bad will NECESSARILY influence the overall outcome.
 

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Loser
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That's why (if needed) social skills training is a part of CBT. Are you doing therapy? If so, you should ask your psychotherapist about this.
 

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unashamed perv
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No, I absolutely don't believe that you can't change or learn after 17. I've changed and learned a lot between the ages of 21 and, well, now, I guess. At 21, I learned to drive, left an unhappy relationship with a partner I lived with and depended on for everything, applied to university, found myself a place to live, got a new job (ok, my Mum found that one for me, but still), got back in touch with an old schoolfriend, fell in and out of love again...

I moved to a new city where I knew no-one, made a close friend ( after trying and failing for 6 months and being desperately lonely), worked at lots of different jobs, learned a lot about standing up to workplace bullies and dealing with stress, and fell in love again (and I still am :))

Phew, that got long! in essence - I've learned a lot about dealing with people since I was 17.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's why (if needed) social skills training is a part of CBT. Are you doing therapy? If so, you should ask your psychotherapist about this.
Yes i'm doing therapy but it's not really working that much for my SA..

so you're saying i really will lose my skills?! :|
 

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Loser
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Nope. But some SA'lers got a lack of social skills, incl. myself. But I don't think you'll loose what you have yet, if you don't lock yourself in a basement for the next 10 years.
 

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Nope. But some SA'lers got a lack of social skills, incl. myself. But I don't think you'll loose what you have yet, if you don't lock yourself in a basement for the next 10 years.
That sounds appealing.

But seriously, i think i have/had some sort of social skills, as i was invited to stuff in the past etc.

I think its more of a problem of going to these social places, rather than being having social skills (for me).

I can communicate, but i really hate being around groups of people.
 

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Don't believe everything you hear or read. I had severe SA throughout that entire time frame. Yet my biggest improvements have come after the age of 21. In fact, I made a tremendous leap between the ages of 28 and 32. You can rewire your brain through CBT and many other tools at any point in your life, you just have to work at it.
 
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