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Do your parents know you have SA?

I'm fairly certain that SA runs in our family. My brother seems to have it pretty bad (I have SA as well but to a lesser extent). He graduated from college and is having trouble with job interviews. So far, he's only been able to get part-time jobs that don't require much of an education. My parents regard him as being timid or shy and often mention that his shy personality is similiar to some of our other relaitves. I don't think they know about SA and how it is different than being shy. I think if they knew what SA was they would be more sympathetic with my brother's situation.
 

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No.
 

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Nope not mine. They're party animals actually. Im the only quiet one in the whole family :/
So I dont expect them to understand
 

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When my 2nd attempt at University turned out to a nightmare, I was really just out of excuses. I was in a position of either suicide, or getting serious help.

Granted, I've been officially diagnosed with not just SA, but major depression, generalized anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, and inattentive ADHD. But it's been clear to me and the psychiatrists I've spoken to that SA was at the center of most of these problems, and in my particular circumstances, it was growing up year after year in a "gifted" class with the same people, and, not just not needing to meet new people, but being a kid with ADHD made me basically an insult to these overachievers... I just didn't care about what everybody else found critical, like homework for instance. In my last year of elementary school I had received the highest marks in the school on some standardized test, beating every single gifted kid in the process, and although this "scholastic award" was supposed to be presented to me during the graduation ceremony, they intentionally gave it to me after the fact so that it wouldn't set a bad example for everybody else :roll

But enough of that tangent. Bottom line is that me, my psychiatrist, a pediatric psychologist, and a great deal of my hospital's mental health staff, all feel that what's particularly pervasive and disabling for me is the social anxiety.

And it helps letting my parents know at least that there's a lot of **** I need to deal with. I wouldn't be able to afford the prescriptions without their help, which is important, although I can see doctors and therapists for free. I try to minimize the social aspect of the anxiety, but they know anyways. After going through high school and maybe going out with "friends" a couple times a year, it wasn't hard for them to put two-and-two together. But if I'm having a rough time, I don't get into it a whole lot though, I just tell them I'm feeling particularly anxious or that my mood has declined. I figure it's easier for them to understand if I keep it simple enough, and they try to, but I think it's a little unrealistic expecting them to really understand the problem anymore than a blind person could understand you trying to explain color.

One night in a heated argument though, I let it slip out that I've really come close to suicide a few times and now they're more patient with me and understand if I'm feeling off. My father's father hung himself when my dad was only 15, and he had to personally untie the noose and take him down. I wouldn't have even known that if I hadn't said what I had! So I think where a lot of other parents would think the notion of suicide is silly, they take it a lot more seriously. My dad's side of the family - literally everyone but himself - are major alcoholics as well, and they don't want me to go down that road either.

I was always terrified about them finding out but seriously I probably would be dead now if I hadn't eventually told them. And it's turned out better than I expected. It's nice to have even a LITTLE family support, and although for years I was terrified of anybody, ESPECIALLY my parents, finding out, you really have to realize that it is the social anxiety that creates this totally unrealistic fear, and that social anxiety by its very nature is just about the last problem you'll see improvement from just tackling it alone.

And ****, I wouldn't be able to afford my prescriptions without their help. And if your problems are bad enough that you really are just unable to live independently like mine were, eventually it will catch up with you and you will have to choose between just ending it all or admitting you have a problem and getting serious medical and psychological help. Especially for all the teenagers on this board... it's going to come out anyways, it doesn't get better on its own, and I regret every single day now that I didn't get this **** dealt with in high school, rather than a time where everyone I grew up with is literally starting their own lives. Early treatment is REALLY important, and I can't stress it enough that, as terrifying as the idea might sound, you are only seriously harming your future by trying to keep this stuff from your parents.
 

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My dad claims to understand me but everything he's said to me seems to show otherwise. I think he understands how I act, but has no idea why I do what I do. My brother seems to have severe SA and my parents have no idea what to do.
I think my mum has SA.
 

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oh, yeah, they know, but - how surprising - don't understand. they claim to, but keep asking me why can't i take the bus or make a phone call as if never ever happened. it's like a chinese torture, cause then again, they claim to understand, but they don't act like they do.
i tend to believe that their purpose isn't bad. it's just a disorder that is really, really hard to comprehend for someone "normal". it's still hard though to feel like even though i told them about the social anxiety and been to a therapy (hated it, stopped going) a few times, i'm still being viewed as the lazy slob or just like i can "get over it".
 

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oh, yeah, they know, but - how surprising - don't understand. they claim to, but keep asking me why can't i take the bus or make a phone call as if never ever happened. it's like a chinese torture, cause then again, they claim to understand, but they don't act like they do.
i tend to believe that their purpose isn't bad. it's just a disorder that is really, really hard to comprehend for someone "normal". it's still hard though to feel like even though i told them about the social anxiety and been to a therapy (hated it, stopped going) a few times, i'm still being viewed as the lazy slob or just like i can "get over it".
My parents were kind of the same. They were glad to get me out of the house and see me get a job and rent my own place. It's been good for me, but I'm still fairly depressed. They know this, but in reality it's out of their hands.
You can do what your parents wish and get out into the world but unless you fix the root of your problems you wont feel happy.

I urge you to push yourself out in the world, but I also urge you to focus on what you want to fix. Once you're independent, your parents have nothing to say.

I suggest you take it all upon yourself. You're not a bad person, you don't make your parents lives hell just by living there. They want to see you progress in the world, and by the sounds of it they will encourage you with any progress you decide to make.
 

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In my shiny bubble
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Yep, they know...they thought i was just shy or being rude/horrible/anti social but I told them I have more than just shyness, I have Social Anxiety. Sometimes they still don't understand but I tell them to read up on it and most of those symptoms mirror me. etc
 

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my mum was actually the person who told me about it in the first place. she gave me some printed pages and said, "read it and let me know if you think this is you."
i cried when i read it.
 

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My mom knows. I told her a little while after I figured out what it was.
I never told my dad. I wasn't close enough to him to do so before.
 

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Yes, my mom knows. I keep telling her I'm going to get a job and she laughs and says 'Yeah right, you're too anxious to do that'. She doesn't mean in it a demeaning way at all. She actually took me to get help for it and set up the whole psychiatrist/disability process. I'm glad she's really supportive.
 

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No, I haven't. Things with my family are complicated. My parents are both very anti-social. My dad would have jobs but then not work for periods lasting up to five years! Then after he lost his last job, he never went back to work and it forced my mum to re-enter the workforce. Thing is, she hadn't worked in years. She'd raised my sister and I, and though she hadn't had a job in so long, she worked way harder than my dad in running after us all, tidying the house, cooking the meals, doing the gardening and the shopping, ect. So anyway, my mum got a job and my dad happily lived off her. She became extremely resentful of him and that combined with all the problems they'd had over the years resulted in her leaving him (I went with her). Now my dad lives at our old family home on a huge block of land while my mum and I rent in a small house more in town. Our old house is out in the country so my dad is basically in isolation a great deal of the time. We have a few animals so at first we weren't confident having them all at the rented place so we left one of the dogs and a cat with him. He would have us go to the shops to get food to feed them, and we'd have to go there and deliver it to him. I know it's mostly just because he had the firm belief the animals weren't his responsibilty at all, but apart of it is due to the fact that he likes to keep away from people (and didn't want to go to the shops unless he really had to for himself).

Though it might sound like he could understand SA (and the fact that he has depression should help too), I really doubt he would. I have depression, and I don't think he's ever really believed it. Depression/mental illnesses in general, seem to be something only people 'like him' get, in his mind. Back in the early days of my depression, I now realize I had some pretty bad SA going on, and I used to always say I didn't want to go out and all this, but I can distinctly remember after he'd given me a lift to an appointment or something one time, him driving around at various places for ages which made me very uncomfortable. I asked him when we were going home and he just laughed and said, "I would've thought you'd want to get out more." It's also interesting because he used to act weird about me having friends all throughout my life. I remember when I was pretty young, I called two of my close friends on Christmas day and he made some comment about not liking it. He'd complain if I had friends over, or even if I wanted to go to their houses. Then when I pretty much lost all my friends after I left (high) school early, he made the offer that he'd take me to their houses anytime I wanted. It was a false promise. Or he only made it hoping that he could get a favour from me at some time in the future. I got back into contact with one friend at some point and befriended two more people through her, and one time they came out to my house, which surprised me because no one ever really came to see me, and my dad just made some comment about hoping they were gone later on.

My mum has depression too and used to suffer with anxiety a lot. She'd have panic attacks and heart palpitations, though this is way back in the past and definitely wasn't from social situations, but rather, stress. She has been more understanding about my depression, although I think at some point she got sick of it being such a struggle and like she wanted me to just 'get over it.' She even said a few times a couple of years ago that maybe she had to have me in for electric shock treatment to 'snap' me out of it. :| I feel like she said this to scare me more than anything though, because I kinda doubt she'd actually have me do that.

She's weird about her job too. She complains about having to work all the time but she'll still always say to me, "Everyone has to work!" when she thinks I'm just being lazy about not working. She's always saying she wants to live in the middle of nowhere far away from people. I don't think she has a phobia of them or anything... she's just kind of hateful after awhile. She's been wronged by enough people in the past to come to the conclusion that they're, apparently, all bad.

I'm honestly not sure if she'd understand my SA. I think she might, but she's just become too impatient thesedays to care. I know that everyone just wants me to be 'normal.' To get a job and eventually move out and be an adult. If I were to seek counselling or anything for my SA, they'd think I was just stalling in not getting a job and making up excuses. Honestly, even if they did believe I had SA, I still think they'd want me to just get over it and force myself to be normal.

Sorry this was long.
 

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Yeah, my parents know I have it, but I think my mom understands it more than my dad. I try to make it easier for them both by explaining why I do/don't do certain things. Like if I'm scared to do something, I let them know what my brain is saying like, "What if they make fun of me? What if this... what if that...?" etc.
 
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