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How do I know without having to go to the doctors I mean... I want to find out but I don't want to bother my parents, they already have to pay for a psychiatrist for my little brother who has autism. ><

This is going to be a little long, my apologies.

I'm not sure if I have S.A.D for if I'm just socially awkward and inexperienced. I pretty much just want to know everyone's opinion here. Let's see, I've always been quiet since I was 4? I think it's at first because my first language wasn't english and Vietnamese was (ironically I am born in Australia, and since I haven't used Viet alot since then I can't speak it anymore XD) so for a year or so I'd just listen to people... and I've been continuing just listening to people every since. I've always been fine having at least 1 close friend around, even if I wished for more I'd thought it was enough.

In year 5, my 1 and only friend (I had a different one before but she transfered school) kinda... played with our friendship. For example she would say if I didn't do a specific thing she would say we weren't friends anymore. I'd thought it'd be easier to just do what she says rather then go out my way and make new ones. I don't think I've ever made a friend before, people have always been frist to become friends with me and I've only just maintained it. Anyways, she was rather mean and quite the bully, There was a time when I cried everyday for 2 weeks. At the time I had comtemplated suicide, but thought against it because of my family. Despite all this I would still attempt to act normally at home so I don't think my family suspect anything.

When I went to highschool the hurt was still there, and I think I become unemotional and detached. A friend of mine actually nicknamed me 'unemotionalist'. For some reason public speaking never really scared me, it's mostly the personal humiliation from silly things. If I did a speach or a solo for drama class, I would act how a regular person would act in this scenario (not how I would act if I gave it my best). A little nervous and sometimes a little bad. I know I can do better if I'd just... show more emotion but I've gotten afraid of doing that for some reason. For personal humilation, for jokes and the like if it was aimed at me, I wouldn't react as expected to, but I would just say.. 'huh' or something with no emotion. I found that people give up when there's no reward, even though its simply a joke and I should be laughing too.

Whilst in year 12 in highschool my friendship group broke up and went into different groups, but since I don't know the others well enough (and they were large groups of 10+ people, rather than the 6 I was used to) since it was year 12 and we had to study, I just ate lunch alone in the library instead of choosing sides. I think it's then that I started to feel lonely. (But on the good side of things, I met a girl who's also extremely shy in my year level. We till this day have NEVER spoken to each other in real life, but maintain contact through email....)

In uni, I didn't want to feel alone so I attempted to make friends, and I met quite a few people, By then I noticed I really don't know what to talk about after the intial introduction questions. Furthermore even though I'd meet these people at approximately the same time, they were more close to each other than I was to any of them. When exams neared I distanced myself even more and felt it was more socially awkward to strike up a conversation. Consequently my grades dropped, and I dropped the uni.

The next year I moved to another uni, that was 6 hours away from home. Which means I was away from my sanctuary and have no means to fully be myself. My parents didn't help me either... phoning EVERY DAY WITH EACH PARENT to remind me random things, this means I have less socialising time than other people. My dad also mention "Just study so next year you can transfer back if you get good grades". This was pretty much my ticket out of being social as I must've taken it to heart. I got kinda depressed from the lonliness and failed the year.

Now after 2 years of failing when I was a pretty good student before (you know, all asian parents are tough on their children D:) crushed my academic self esteem as well as my social self esteem. I didn't want to transfer uni again, because I would only be running away from my problems, which is what I did the first time around. The next year with a new lot of students (me being a repeat) I made 1 close friend and she has kept me stable for a while now :) This year when I actually progressed in some subjects (I still failed 1 or 2 this time around) I'm now living in a cottage with 7 other students(before this year, I would just eat at dining hall with a friend). And I'm having trouble talking to them from fear, and sometimes even when I do say something it doesn't go through because of my soft voice. I really want to though because they seem really nice. Recently it's gotten to the point where I would only go to the bathroom if I feel there's no one around, not use the kitchen or common room because it would involve meeting people and making eye contact/ conversation with them, and well, no mingling, even though I really want to. I can't say hi to random classmates that I know from face if I were to pass them on the street either.

And that's pretty much my life until now, lol.
I never know such a conditon as S.A.D existed before this weekend when I came across this video on youtube. I'd always thought I was shy and just pathetic that I couldn't convey the things I wanted properly.

I went to my uni's counselor today and told him pretty much everything here and a little more, and he thinks there's a little S.A.D but it's mostly other factors in the mix. I don't have symptoms such as excessive sweating, blushing, heart racing, or the anxious gut wrenching feeling. I just feel scared and frustrated for not being able to be who I want to be, but mostly unemotional. Although while I was talking to him I was relativly normal and spoke to him as I would my friends... rather than complete strangers. My parents may have something to do with it too, the fighting is so intense I would wish I would understand even less Vietnamese than I do now... They're still not divorced because of their stubborn ways *grumbles*
 

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You kind of sound like me. For a long time I felt pathetic and shy. I knew I had a problem through pretty much all of high school but I didn't know what it was. It wasn't until December of this year (my senior year) that I found out it existed and concluded I had it.

From reading what you wrote I would say you have SA. It seems you are so uncomfortable with eye contact, mingling, or just being around people you try to avoid it whenever possible. Having a hard time showing emotion and always having that unchanging expression is also an SA thing. You seem scared of other people's judgements/reactions to the point where it severly limits you. It sounds very debilitating. I mean if it's caused you to fail/drop out of school it's no joke.

You should see a therapist who specializes in anxiety. You shouldn't worry about inconviencing your parents. This isn't for fun it's to get help you need.
 

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How do I know without having to go to the doctors I mean... I want to find out but I don't want to bother my parents, they already have to pay for a psychiatrist for my little brother who has autism. ><

This is going to be a little long, my apologies.

I'm not sure if I have S.A.D for if I'm just socially awkward and inexperienced. I pretty much just want to know everyone's opinion here. Let's see, I've always been quiet since I was 4? I think it's at first because my first language wasn't english and Vietnamese was (ironically I am born in Australia, and since I haven't used Viet alot since then I can't speak it anymore XD) so for a year or so I'd just listen to people... and I've been continuing just listening to people every since. I've always been fine having at least 1 close friend around, even if I wished for more I'd thought it was enough.

In year 5, my 1 and only friend (I had a different one before but she transfered school) kinda... played with our friendship. For example she would say if I didn't do a specific thing she would say we weren't friends anymore. I'd thought it'd be easier to just do what she says rather then go out my way and make new ones. I don't think I've ever made a friend before, people have always been frist to become friends with me and I've only just maintained it. Anyways, she was rather mean and quite the bully, There was a time when I cried everyday for 2 weeks. At the time I had comtemplated suicide, but thought against it because of my family. Despite all this I would still attempt to act normally at home so I don't think my family suspect anything.

When I went to highschool the hurt was still there, and I think I become unemotional and detached. A friend of mine actually nicknamed me 'unemotionalist'. For some reason public speaking never really scared me, it's mostly the personal humiliation from silly things. If I did a speach or a solo for drama class, I would act how a regular person would act in this scenario (not how I would act if I gave it my best). A little nervous and sometimes a little bad. I know I can do better if I'd just... show more emotion but I've gotten afraid of doing that for some reason. For personal humilation, for jokes and the like if it was aimed at me, I wouldn't react as expected to, but I would just say.. 'huh' or something with no emotion. I found that people give up when there's no reward, even though its simply a joke and I should be laughing too.

Whilst in year 12 in highschool my friendship group broke up and went into different groups, but since I don't know the others well enough (and they were large groups of 10+ people, rather than the 6 I was used to) since it was year 12 and we had to study, I just ate lunch alone in the library instead of choosing sides. I think it's then that I started to feel lonely. (But on the good side of things, I met a girl who's also extremely shy in my year level. We till this day have NEVER spoken to each other in real life, but maintain contact through email....)

In uni, I didn't want to feel alone so I attempted to make friends, and I met quite a few people, By then I noticed I really don't know what to talk about after the intial introduction questions. Furthermore even though I'd meet these people at approximately the same time, they were more close to each other than I was to any of them. When exams neared I distanced myself even more and felt it was more socially awkward to strike up a conversation. Consequently my grades dropped, and I dropped the uni.

The next year I moved to another uni, that was 6 hours away from home. Which means I was away from my sanctuary and have no means to fully be myself. My parents didn't help me either... phoning EVERY DAY WITH EACH PARENT to remind me random things, this means I have less socialising time than other people. My dad also mention "Just study so next year you can transfer back if you get good grades". This was pretty much my ticket out of being social as I must've taken it to heart. I got kinda depressed from the lonliness and failed the year.

Now after 2 years of failing when I was a pretty good student before (you know, all asian parents are tough on their children D:) crushed my academic self esteem as well as my social self esteem. I didn't want to transfer uni again, because I would only be running away from my problems, which is what I did the first time around. The next year with a new lot of students (me being a repeat) I made 1 close friend and she has kept me stable for a while now :) This year when I actually progressed in some subjects (I still failed 1 or 2 this time around) I'm now living in a cottage with 7 other students(before this year, I would just eat at dining hall with a friend). And I'm having trouble talking to them from fear, and sometimes even when I do say something it doesn't go through because of my soft voice. I really want to though because they seem really nice. Recently it's gotten to the point where I would only go to the bathroom if I feel there's no one around, not use the kitchen or common room because it would involve meeting people and making eye contact/ conversation with them, and well, no mingling, even though I really want to. I can't say hi to random classmates that I know from face if I were to pass them on the street either.

And that's pretty much my life until now, lol.
I never know such a conditon as S.A.D existed before this weekend when I came across this video on youtube. I'd always thought I was shy and just pathetic that I couldn't convey the things I wanted properly.

I went to my uni's counselor today and told him pretty much everything here and a little more, and he thinks there's a little S.A.D but it's mostly other factors in the mix. I don't have symptoms such as excessive sweating, blushing, heart racing, or the anxious gut wrenching feeling. I just feel scared and frustrated for not being able to be who I want to be, but mostly unemotional. Although while I was talking to him I was relativly normal and spoke to him as I would my friends... rather than complete strangers. My parents may have something to do with it too, the fighting is so intense I would wish I would understand even less Vietnamese than I do now... They're still not divorced because of their stubborn ways *grumbles*
read gillian butlersovercoming social anxiety and shyness. and if you are a social phobic you will know within 5 mins of reading that book
 

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if you google "leibowitz" and "social anxiety" you can find some tests that evaluate SA, like this one.

http://www.anxietyhelp.org/information/leibowitz.html

also http://www.paniccentre.net/ has a longer test. You have to register with the website, but it will actually give you a web page that you can print out and take to your doctor with things like this (it's an excerpt from mine actually...it even has medical codes?:

"Dear Health Care Professional,

Your patient has some concerns regarding his health and has completed the WB-DAT (Web Based Panic and Anxiety Test). The WB-DAT has been designed to assist you in their diagnosis of Panic, the anxiety disorders, dysthymia and/or mania and hypomania and should not to be considered a substitute for your opinion or advice.

Based on *********s responses to the WB-DAT, he has reported the following:

He has reported a number of symptoms of panic and agoraphobic fear and avoidance (DSM-IV 300.21).
He: * Has experienced at least one sudden period of intense fear, anxiety, or discomfort (an anxiety attack).
.
.
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* Avoids places or situations because of fear of having an anxiety attack, or fear that help would not be there if needed.
* Fears or avoids the following situations because they might have an anxiety attack:
.
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* Reports that fear or avoidance of the above situations results in considerable / much interference in normal daily life.
He has reported social anxiety in a number of social and performance situations (DSM-IV 300.23).
He: * Reports of having excessive fear or avoidance of social or work situations because of a fear of embarrassment, humiliation, or judgment (evaluation)."

Most doctors understand SA, but this might give them a headstart understanding the scope of your SA if you do end up going to the doctor. Even if you don't, the report could be useful for self-improvement.
 
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