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I realize this seems like a weird question but bear with me.

I always felt that there was something wrong me beyond normal shyness, even back in middle school when I didn't know what mental disorders even were. When I first heard of social anxiety I thought that I probably had it, and various therapists have agreed with me. But I see a lot of people describe their experience in terms of anxiety attacks, pounding hearts, shaking and all that and I've never really experienced that in day to day situations. I've experienced that - I went through a period of time where I kept having anxiety attacks every time I left the house for no apparent reason - but it's never been socially related.

What I feel is more like a general pervasive feeling of dread or discomfort in any situation where I have to interact with people. I don't really get nervous or get physical symptoms of it so much as I just get the feeling that I really, really, really, really don't want to have to be....calling the doctor's office, going to the grocery store, asking my boss a question, whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing. And it's pretty much any time I have to interact with people for any reason, not just in specific situations. Like I'm trying to force myself to stick my hand in a flame and I have to, but I don't want to, but I really have to, but I really don't want to... but I'm not aware of consciously feeling nervous about the situation. It's kind of hard to describe.

Is anyone else's experience similar, in the sense of still feeling you have the disorder despite not feeling a lot of outright, obvious high levels of anxiety frequently? I feel like that's really not among the most common responses to SA.
 

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Personally, I've found it hard to be aware of my physical symptoms.

I too feel the feeling of dread and I do think that must be related to both my thinking and my physical symptoms, which i can now identify as a racing heart, shallow, fast breathing and and a feeling that my chest and throat are constricted.

Maybe I'm just not very in-tune with my body. Or Maybe I learned to ignore them??
I've always felt these things so perhaps I just took them as being such a normal part of being in certain situations and daily life generally that I didn't even question them. it might be different for you, however.
 

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I realize this seems like a weird question but bear with me.

I always felt that there was something wrong me beyond normal shyness, even back in middle school when I didn't know what mental disorders even were. When I first heard of social anxiety I thought that I probably had it, and various therapists have agreed with me. But I see a lot of people describe their experience in terms of anxiety attacks, pounding hearts, shaking and all that and I've never really experienced that in day to day situations. I've experienced that - I went through a period of time where I kept having anxiety attacks every time I left the house for no apparent reason - but it's never been socially related.

What I feel is more like a general pervasive feeling of dread or discomfort in any situation where I have to interact with people. I don't really get nervous or get physical symptoms of it so much as I just get the feeling that I really, really, really, really don't want to have to be....calling the doctor's office, going to the grocery store, asking my boss a question, whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing. And it's pretty much any time I have to interact with people for any reason, not just in specific situations. Like I'm trying to force myself to stick my hand in a flame and I have to, but I don't want to, but I really have to, but I really don't want to... but I'm not aware of consciously feeling nervous about the situation. It's kind of hard to describe.

Is anyone else's experience similar, in the sense of still feeling you have the disorder despite not feeling a lot of outright, obvious high levels of anxiety frequently? I feel like that's really not among the most common responses to SA.
Exactly the same as me. I can't remember the last time I was anxious to the point of nausea or anything of that sort. Just a general feeling of dread and inadequacy that dates back to my earliest childhood memories. Sometimes I fear it's our type that has the least hope of ever truly overcoming our problems...
 

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I'm kinda like that as well.

I only get anxious when I have to interact with people. Everything else is no problem, whether it be shopping, driving, etc.
 

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Yes. I then end up avoiding or thinking hmm maybe I could get away without making that appointment or put off for ages (sometimes being anxious about something pushes me into facing the social situation e.g. anxiety about my tooth pushed me into phoning the dentist - tooth perfectly fine!)
Feel dread a lot, but that can be a sickish feeling in my chest/stomach more before the event/thinking about something. I think in social situations I look nervous, sweat more, get a blank mind and feel self conscious.
 

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I can relate. I only feel uncomfortable. My heart doesn't pound, I don't shake etc. etc. I do go a little red if I am really embarrassed though.
 

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I know that Social Anxiety and Social Phobia are generally referred to as the same thing, but in my opinion what you described above is the difference between Anxiety and Phobia. Your Scared of social situations but not necessarily anxious about them. I just kind of feel that Social Anxiety and Social Phobia are closely related but two different things.
 

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I know that Social Anxiety and Social Phobia are generally referred to as the same thing, but in my opinion what you described above is the difference between Anxiety and Phobia. Your Scared or social situations but not neccesarily anxious about them. I just kind of feel that Social Anxiety and Social Phobia are closely related but two different things.
Very good point. I think that's a useful distinction to make.

Personally, I think I'm more toward the phobia side myself. My previous therapist once had me make a phone call (an important one that I'd been avoiding) right then and there in her office. I did it, and she observed afterward that I didn't seem anxious at all. But I assured her that I felt very uncomfortable doing it.
 

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You've described me too! I only get the physical symptoms like heart racing, trembling and sweating around 'trigger' people but I always feel generally uncomfortable in social situations. The symptoms I experience most are blushing and blank mind but I hardly ever have panic attacks or appear noticeably anxious. I just feel on edge all the time.
 

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What I feel is more like a general pervasive feeling of dread or discomfort in any situation where I have to interact with people. I don't really get nervous or get physical symptoms of it so much as I just get the feeling that I really, really, really, really don't want to have to be....calling the doctor's office, going to the grocery store, asking my boss a question, whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing. And it's pretty much any time I have to interact with people for any reason, not just in specific situations. Like I'm trying to force myself to stick my hand in a flame and I have to, but I don't want to, but I really have to, but I really don't want to... but I'm not aware of consciously feeling nervous about the situation. It's kind of hard to describe.
I could've written this! and I could'nt have put it better; dread is exactly it.
 

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The only physical symptom that I have when interacting with people is increased muscle tension/rigidity. I don't get the sweating, increased heart rate, blushing or any of that stuff unless I do something really embarrassing.
 
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