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There was a time when some of us didn't know what was affecting us. We just felt really shy. Now that you know what is affecting you, has it changed the way you think? In social situations, do thoughts of social anxiety actually run through your head? I actually think that knowing you have social anxiety makes it worse because you run it through your head alot.
 

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goes both ways for me.

sometimes ill do things (or at least try) i wouldnt normally do knowing that SA is stopping me

sometimes ill be in a situation and be stressed out and think over and over "****ing SA"

before i labeled my extreme shyness, I still wouldnt do things because of it. so it's not like I'm not doing anything i did before because I put the reason for my actions into a couple words..if that makes sense.

If I wasn't thinking "****ing SA" id be thinking "i hate this, i hate this, etc etc"
 

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I only recently found out I had it at ~18 years old.

Having the knowledge that I have it has actually made it worse. Now I KNOW there's something different about me, and my anxiety feeds off of that. I feel like I am anxious more often now because I am aware of "it", and that awareness leads to worrying, and then I end up feeling much less comfortable than I normally would.

Before I knew I had SA I could simply become really shy in social situation, and then hate myself for a few days. It was depressing, but at the same time, I could also be unquestionably social. I feel like I can't do that now because SA is always in the back of my mind.

The positive side is that I can recognize my negative thoughts and patterns, so I am on the path to fixing them. I just wish I could be less self-conscious about myself, like I used to be.
 

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Gimme Sympathy
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Im glad this was posted.
I'm not sure that my diagnosis was a good thing, because before, it WAS just shyness, not a big deal, but now that I know that it is a serious disorder that people take drugs for and sht, and that without help, I don't think there's a way I can get better on my own. Before going to work or school, I always pray to myself that I'm able to keep the SA under control and to make sure the SA stays in check and the SA, the SA, the SA....it's just become such a focal point of how I view myself and my surroundings. I really hate blaming SA for everything, but now that I know it's there, it's become my excuse for all my failures in the social dept (the many of them)
:/
 

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breaking free
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I don't think it really changed things for me. It is just a label. I was still just as shy before knowing I had it. I guess it helps in one regard though- to define the problem. The first step in solving a problem is knowing exactly what the problem is.
 

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If you use SA as an excuse to not do anything then you have a seperate problem you have to work on. I feel better knowing i'm not a freak, that it is a legitimate disorder and that people do get better eventually and it is treatable.
 

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I was relieved to discover that there was an actual disorder that fit my symptoms to a tee, and that others in the world knew about it. From the time I was a little kid, I was plagued with the knowledge that I was somehow very different from everyone else, that something was missing in me, and I just wasn't cut out to live in this world. It somehow made me feel not so alone to know that someone else had to exist in the world that was like me or they couldn't have described me so accurately in the DSM-IV. Knowing didn't improve my social anxiety directly, but it did improve my self-concept which can't hurt.
 

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I think knowing that I have SA now has both helped and hurt. On one hand, I can bring myself out of the denial that I had it and can start fixing it. On the other, I keep thinking about it during a social situation and it keeps me freezing up. I'm going through really difficult times with it right now..
 

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Chief Worrier
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it's helped and hurt me.
i feel better because i know that there's a reason i'm so nervous around people, and i know i can get better and that other people have-- and that lots of people have it worse than i do. sometimes i force myself to go into situations where i will be anxious because i know i can get through it.
but on the other hand, i use it as a crutch sometimes. i tell myself, "well, it's okay that i'm too scared to go ask that girl to borrow her notes, because i have SA and that's how it makes you feel" or whatever the situation is.
 

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Definitely helps. It's really hard to change something in yourself if you are in denial.
 

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Yes. Finding this site and meeting psychiatrists to hear about this socalled "disorder" only made it a living reality. Had I the ability to go back in the past, I'd deal with my problems like a man, in other words, without the internet or some type of authoritative professional.
 
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