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nm jc
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Did a teacher notice something during childhood? Were your parents convinced something was wrong with you? Or did you go see a doctor yourself?

When did you realize the difference between simple shyness and SA?

For me I self-diagnosed myself (from wikipedia) and it took quite a bit of chattering to convince my psychiatrist I had SA. My SA pales in comparison to you guys but my avoidance issues were what directed me to seek help.
 

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I was diagnosed early this year at age 20 by my uni counsellor. I was not aware of social anxiety, I sought out help because I was in the midst of a particularly bad depression and I was out of options. I was a normal kid pretty much up until high school, although looking back I can recognise that there were things that were a bit off. I've been very socially isolated for about 5 years now but I'm currently in a social anxiety programme getting treatment.
 

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fellow human
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I've never been officially diagnosed. But most of my journal entries used to talk about a "general to severe undercurrent of anxiety" in social settings or simply in areas where people can see me. Then two particularly horrible job experiences led me to do some web searching and I learned that there were other people like me, that were dealing with the exact same problems that I had previously dealt with alone. I finally had to confront it because I was almost finished with school (where I had learned how to avoid absolutely all social interaction), and was about the enter the real world where the problems I had been avoiding since I was about 13 years old would come back to kick me in the nuts with a steel toed boot.

It's pretty much been with me my entire teenage to adult life, but I never had a label to put on it. The shy label seemed grossly inadequate to describe the accompanying sensations. At first I thought it was Asperger's because that was all the rage last year, but most of those people in those forums said they lacked empathy, which was something I absolutely did not have a problem with. Then I found this forum... I'm still not absolutely convinced that I have it, though... which is kind of strange. I think I'm still in denial. But I guess if SA is the label that is slapped on those that have all the listed symptoms... then I guess it's at least slightly possible that I have it.

Had I known about SA earlier, I would have sought out help. But as it stands now, I have no health insurance since I'm out of school, unemployed and no longer able to be covered under my parent's health insurance plan.
 

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I have always been very shy/quite but I wouldn't so much get nervous within a specific situations. I wouldn't care if there were a zillion people around me, or if I was the only person around.
One day while I was at work (I worked sales at Nordstrom) another Nordstrom employee was doing some shopping in my dept...I really didn't care. She was so pretty. I mean everything about her was pretty. I felt threatened and jealous. She was done shopping so she came up to me to pay for her things...she created small talk and I freaked out. I never felt that way before. I couldn't believe what I did. I started shaking very badly, I could hardly breathe and while I was in the middle of her transaction I ran to another employee and said "Take my register...I'm going to throw up!" I ran to the bathroom as if i was having an asthma attack. It felt like a heavy person was sitting on my chest. I don't know what came over me.
Everyone in my dept was looking at me funny and the girl I ran from would give me the weirdest stare as if she thought I was retarded. Nobody would really talk to me anymore. I kept saying to myself..."What the hell is wrong with me"
Since then small things would trigger these panic attacks. Everything from being next inline especially if the cashier was talkative I would freak out...whenever the phone would ring, anybody who came to my door, anybody who would ask me a question......That's when I googled anxiety and all my symptoms came up as social anxiety disorder. So I went to talk to a Psychologist and Psychiatrist and I was diagnosed with Social and Generalized anxiety with a bit of depression and ocd. I couldn't believe that I had a disorder within my brain. Now its at a point where I don't leave my home and I haven't had a job for about a year just because of my anxiety.
I used to say if i had only 1 wish...I could wish for anything that my heart would desire whether it was wealth, popularity, whatever...the only wish I had was to get rid of this anxiety. It single handedly ruined my life.
I went from being optimistic to scared to death for no apparent reason...smh
 

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Geese
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I realised that shaking, sweating, vomiting and shivering were not normal feeling during a night out. So I discussed it with a doctor who told me I was suffering panic attacks and so it went from there. This was in 2005.
 

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I diagnosed myself after reading about it in a magazine in about 1999.

I didn't seek specific help because from what I figured there was and is no selective treatment for SA. It's kind of like one therapy fits all. All I could expect IMO was some kind of sedating medication and possibly a stay in an institute where I am forced to uncritically accept everything they tell me.

From my experiences already most GP's are pretty annoyed when their treatment is questioned or criticized and in an institute I'd be at the mercy of the psychiatrists. A therapy seems to be considered successfull when you eventually parrot everything you are told.

It helped me hugely when I did some online research on the subject and found this forum. And over the years I pieced together different elements for my own kind of therapy.
 

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Buried at Sea
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After being hospitalized, the doctor wondered if there was a reason why I had been drunk for six years. Turns out anxiety was one of those reasons. Who knew?
 

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Did a teacher notice something during childhood? Were your parents convinced something was wrong with you? Or did you go see a doctor yourself?

When did you realize the difference between simple shyness and SA?
Every teacher couldn't help noticing that I didn't talk -- I was pretty much a celebrity as "the boy who doesn't talk" ironically -- and I had to go to the elementary school counselor every week for a group of social underachievers. My parents certainly noticed and felt something was wrong with me. They sent me to a child psychologist who evaluated me and decided that I was "just shy" and would grow out of it. Probably because it's way, way easier for me to talk to an authority figure like him than to a peer.

So, not only am I undiagnosed, my diagnoses said I don't have SA. 17 years later at age 29 I'm still waiting to grow out of it, though, so I have to disagree with the professional opinion. I'm not going to see a doctor though because (a) that's scary (b) I don't have insurance.
 

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Did a teacher notice something during childhood? Were your parents convinced something was wrong with you? Or did you go see a doctor yourself?

When did you realize the difference between simple shyness and SA?

For me I self-diagnosed myself (from wikipedia) and it took quite a bit of chattering to convince my psychiatrist I had SA. My SA pales in comparison to you guys but my avoidance issues were what directed me to seek help.
I don't know if I've actually been diagnosed or not! I realised I had it not long after I got to university. I thought I'd magically be sociable and make lots of friends, but instead was incredibly lonely and could hardly speak to anyone. This hit me really hard, and it was the first time I realised something was definitely wrong. I found out about SA online and went to see a GP about it with my sister in tow. I cried during the whole appointment and could barely speak. I handed the doctor a piece of paper I'd written things down on and she printed some information about SAD off for me, prescribed Citalopram and put me on the NHS waiting list for CBT. I left university because of the SA before I got to receive treatment.
No GP I've seen since her seems to 'believe' in SA, so I always feel stupid going to doctors about it. I've never seen a Psychologist or Psychiatrist, but have wanted to so I could be fully assessed for a long time. I have no idea how to go about doing that though.
 

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I always thought I was just shy/self concious. Then I came across the term SAD a couple times on the net earlier this year. Eventually i googled it to see what it meant and it brought me to this site. I haven't been diagnosed though.
 

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My mother pointed out a newspaper article on social anxiety. That was the first time I was able to put a name to it. My doctor diagnosed me with it some time after.
 

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I was diagnosed last week with social phobia and panic disorder when I went to get my Xanax prescription, but i've known I had phobia and panic issues for a while. Last summer I went looking for a name for it and found that social phobia fit my problems.
 

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Suit up!
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I first diagnosed myself in high school when I read about it in my AP Psych class. I wasn't particularly sure if that's what I had, but when I got to college my anxiety got worse so I finally realized I did in fact have SA.
 

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UnDeRrAtED
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diagnosed by a psych in 2003
 

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I used to be an outgoing extrovert but then slowly I realized that something was off about me and as years went and it got worse and worse and I became isolated I starting doing some research and voila I found my answer. It was nice to actually see my symptoms in words and that I could contribute my actions to something.
 
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