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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a 21 year old male suffering from some kind of social anxiety with occasional depression. I've kind of identified myself with being manic depressant. I'm certain these kind of disorders are the hardest to take care of seeing as in its the disorder itself that causes me not to go out and get help for the disorder. It doesn't always cause a problem for me it's just certain times of the year or stress that i am currently dealing with.

For instance, ive had a job for the past couple months and meeting the new people was hard to deal with for a while but then i got over it. the people started becoming comfortable with me and i with them, but the more comfortable they became the more they began talking to me about the other people we work with in a negative way. I realize i will deal with this with any job i have but the fear of them talking about me makes me not want to be there anymore. The more i think about it the more i regret going in and eventually i just began calling off. Which in turn causes another fear of them talking about me for not showing up to work whether they believe i am sick or they think im just a bad person for skipping out. Which of course makes me not want to go to work even more.

There are many other things that cause stress for me like talking in a group situation. I tend to avoid talking period and If i am forced to I talk so quietly that barely anyone can understand me. Sometimes its fine but sometimes i get sick to my stomach or feel like i am going to pass out which i believe is a semiconscious way of trying to avoid the situation. I dont believe i am an alcoholic but i do use alcohol to cope with my negative feelings which becomes a problem because i drink so heavily that i dont remember most nights. I used to have panic attacks which would feel like a heart attack for me and make me believe i was dying. Those have subsided but now it seems more like a contant depression or an immediate feeling of death or negative feelings. I will instantly get a feeling of an impending tragedy or just an out of body feeling.

Through all this ive noticed that when i am in a good mood its usually because i am talking to someone or even in a big group and i feel as though im contributing. This gives me a natural high and puts me in a such a great mood, although i am usually shaking while i talk. but then i come home by myself and analyze my day and im set back to being depressed. If anyone can relate im just looking for someone to help me cope or atleast feel as though im not alone through all of this.
 

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fresh42, welcome and you are not alone!!! so many of the things you mentioned are in fact the case for me as well. i have a job (been there for 20 years) but i work w/ children and i have no fear around them. my coworkers and the parents of the children are a different matter. i've called off from work sooooo many times just because of panic or anticipatory anxiety. and i know they talk about people that call out sick ("oh they're not really sick, they must have a hangover, she's lying, etc), but sometimes the anxiety is just too much.
and on this site, you will be helped :) either by someone's advice, or by giving advice to some one else who you can relate to or help encourage. i just joined in july and already this group has helped me feel more like a "real person".
i am a member of other social anxiety group sites also but this one is THE BEST! i love it here and i'm glad you joined!
bright blessings and be well
 

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Welcome Fresh42! :)
 

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Hey Fresh42 welcome. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
as much as i do appreciate being welcomed by so many my first day, i was expecting a little more of a response than "welcome". Thanks cyndy for letting me know that you actually read my post and made me feel welcome to this site and that im actually able to talk about how i feel. once again thanks for welcoming me but a little more of an in depth response would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi Fresh42,
I'm new to the forum too. I can totally relate to the 'natural high' you talk about, and the devastating lows when things don't 'go well'. Sounds like you're a bit of an existentialist - I can relate to that too.
Most of all I relate to your fears concerning the negative judgements of others. It's like being straight-jacketed - constantly reviewing my performance to ensure that I am 'saying the right thing' or 'doing the right thing'. I am actually a very social person (hence relating to the high you get out of socialising - having SA doesnt mean being antisocial!!) and I have a number of friends who are not remotely anxious. I only wish I wasn't trapped in my thoughts - that I could have their freedom just not to care.
Perhaps the best way of getting specific advice and support is to post a new thread, with a different subject line, so that people who are searching for threads along those lines will respond.
A couple of things: if you haven't had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy before, I would highly recommend it as it has been hugely helpful to me in becoming my own therapist! My anxieties have considerably lessened over the weeks I've been having CBT.
Another thing- something I'm planning on trying is meditation. SA causes so much internal turmoil - surely one of the best things we can do is learn how to clear our minds.
Other than that - good luck, you're not alone, and things really can get better!
 

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Welcome!

I have severe SA but have managed to hide it my whole life so most people even my parents and brother didn't realize anything was wrong with me.

I finally decided to go into therapy and have been doing that for a few months now. From reading your post there are two things that stand out that I'd like to provide advice on because I can relate: giving people too much credit/power and negative self talk.

By ruminating over what your co-workers may or may not be saying about you you're giving them the power (whether they know it or not), trust me, I just did this at my workplace for over a year now. You cannot control what they think and say, nor is it your job. If you truly think that they will in turn talk negatively about you as they do about others, then perhaps their friendship is not worth it. A co-worker used to sit across from me for over a year until his group was moved to another building and man did he sap my energy and positive thinking. I honestly think this man thrived on being negative and wanted to always be in "power" by bringing me down (by nature I'm a positive person, but I too have my moments). Let me tell you I spent many a session talking about him to my therapist and she basically said it's not my job to be responsible for him and I can't change him. Going to work every day was mental agony as he'd play these mind games with me. Ironic enough he's like my father. And one thing that came out of therapy is I was trying to get his approval just like trying to get my father's. So understanding that aspect helped me a lot. Finally I learnt I didn't need his approval, I couldn't change him, I wasn't going to give him any power over me anymore and wasn't going to feed into his subversive need to drain my positivity.

The second point I wanted to touch on was the negative self talk. I wouldn't even bore you with how much I did that and the impact it had on me. I say "did" because through therapy I've learnt to recognize it when I'm doing it and stop doing it. It serves no greater purpose. So when you see yourself doing that please tell yourself that you're not going to do it, say "oh well, it's a learning experience" if you have to and then try your best to put it out of your head. I know it's not easy to do so (heck it took me 6 years to get over an old boyfriend so I know how hard it can be). But when you find your brain having lots of idle time and you start ruminating over things then occupy it quickly (preferably without alcohol if you can help it) by either reading a good book, looking at a favourte tv show, getting into a new hobby, praying if you're the religious type - do something small yet positive for yourself and reflect on that.

I hope this helps. And again, Welcome!

Luanne
 
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