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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm Caroline, I'm 17 years old and I'm Dutch. I've been struggling with my anxiety for years. For a while, it seemed to go better... and then it only got worse. Sometimes I even get suicidal thoughts (don't worry: I'm not actually planning anything yet, but only having the thoughts still scares me - I can't believe how bad I've gotten in such a short time). School is an absolute nightmare and I don't even know why. I have friends. I get reasonably good grades. There shouldn't be anything wrong. Yet there is. Every day, when I get out of school, I think "well that wasn't so bad" and then I actually don't even know why I was so scared for that day to begin with. But it doesn't matter, because I'll be just as scared for the next day as well. My mother always tells my to "face my fears and then it'll get better". I face my fears every day by just getting out of bed and no, it doesn't get better. It only feels like it's getting worse. The thing that's really been dragging me down, is that my stress doesn't even end when I'm out of a social environment. Even when I'm safe at home, I'm scared and stressed - to be honest, I can't name you any moment of the last few months in which I actually felt comfortable and relaxed. It's like I'm in a never-ending panic attack.
School assignments are bad too. I'm a huge procrastinator - I believe that is because I've gotten so used to run away from things. For every test I have to take, I'm losing my mind because I started learning way too late and it usually results into me having to spend half of the night trying to catch up. My grades still don't slip for some reason - which I'm glad for - but that doesn't matter. I don't even worry about my grades when I stress for a test - I worry that I won't know the answer to a lot of questions and the teacher will think that I'm dumb. That's basically what it boils down to. I have to do a school assignment for geography for next week. It has to be ten pages long and I only got three pages filled with absolute nonsense. I've already accepted the fact that my grade isn't going to be that great, but knowing that he's going to read that nonsense and judge me for it is keeping me up at night. I'm about to cry even thinking about it.

I'm sorry for this rant, this went way past an introduction :roll I really felt like typing this and I'm really glad I found a forum to post this to, because otherwise I would have no one to discuss this with.
 

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Welcome, Roseleaf! :)
 

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Hi Caroline. I have the exact same problem with my school work. I'm far behind in most subjects and I can't seem to pick it up and I only have a couple of months left to sort everything out. At school I'm so frightened that people sitting next to me will read what I write and think that I'm stupid and I hate handing work in to the teacher. It has gotten to the point now that I take my school books home to avoid it and I even take home my controlled assessments because I can't write anything in class and if the teachers found out they'd be torn up and I wouldn't get a grade.

Have you talked to your Mum about why you're scared of going to school? I know it's tough to put into words especially when you yourself know that your fears are irrational but they are too strong to just ignore.

Also do you have any physical symptoms of anxiety when you're at school?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to you both for replying!
Yes, Coniglio, I know exactly what you mean. I have it like that too, only it sounds like you may even have it worse. I'm so sorry for that. I know how horrible it can feel.

Every time I try to talk to my mum about it, we end up having a fight. She doesn't get why I'm so scared of a little social interaction and she often says I'm overreacting. That makes me mad. She also goes on and on about "how she used to be shy in the past too" and how she also had to go to school and how difficult that was for her but she always went. Whenever I tell her that's the opposite of making me feel better about myself, she barely even listens. My relationship with my mother isn't that bad but sometimes she just doesn't get things. I know that's a cliché thing to say about your parents, but ah well. It's true.

I guess a little. Often I find myself shaking uncontrollably, without even an apparent reason; even when I'm just sitting in class without anything special happening. I try to pretend I'm shaking because of the cold but it isn't always that cold in class. Other than that, I sweat a lot which isn't that lovely either.

Believe it or not, the worst attacks of anxiety I get at home.
 

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Yeah I'm exactly the same with my mum. She does the 'You just have to grit your teeth and get on with it' speech. Weirdly though my sister is worse. She goes in moods with me about my fear of eating in public and brings it up in every argument because she knows it gets to me. She's literally just told me that she's leaving the choice of where to eat tomorrow 'in my crazy hands'. Do you have any problems eating in public? It's probably one of the worst situations for me.

With parents I think they always put how you're feeling down to just 'being a teenager' and try to make you feel better by saying they were the same at your age which is really frustrating because if they did they'd actually understand it.

Haha I do too! Then I get worried about sweating and do it more. It's such a glamorous problem to deal with.

It must be awful having the worst anxiety attacks at home since that's the place you're supposed to feel safe! I hope you don't mind me asking but do you know what brings on the worst of your attacks? I hope you've had a good day :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I get those speeches a lot too. That wasn't really nice of your sister! I understand that it might be hard for her too if you have trouble with eating in public and therefore you guys can't really eat out as a family, but she could be understanding about it. Luckily my brother can't say anything bad about my social fear because in that aspect, he's even worse. I guess that's also one of the reasons my parents get easily mad at me when I'm scared again; they're afraid I'm following the same path as my brother, who is 21 and is now sitting at home doing nothing without a high school diploma or anything. I get that they're afraid, but I am going to school - it's just really hard. I can't pretend to have it easier.

No, I don't have any problems eating in public, luckily for me. That sounds like an annoying thing. Do you really never eat in public, or is it just that you feel really horrible while doing so?

Yes, I think so too! The thing is, whenever my mum says "she was shy too", it feels like she's talking my problems down because I'm pretty sure what I have is a little worse than just shyness. I really do not mean to overdramatize it, but I know the way I feel isn't normal. It shouldn't be normal.

Exactly! It's not that awesome.
I still feel safe at home, luckily. It's just that I'm scared to leave it again and even thinking about that makes me anxious. I think it's because at home, I have more time and space to actually allow myself to think. And if I know anything, it's that overthinking things is bad. At school I'm so focused on everyone else and how I behave and how I look to others that I can't really get myself to worry past that. But at home, I can think freely and then I DO get to worry about everything else. It's also because at home it's so easy to make a big deal out of things when the next day it turns out to be not big at all - I know I do this, but it simply keeps happening again.
 

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Yeah she usually isn't trying to be mean when she says stuff like that she's just pretty insensitive sometimes and I do feel bad that it affects her when I'm too frightened to go out as a family. I'm sorry to hear about your brother! Has he ever seen a doctor or tried to get help for his social fears? Your parents are probably just worried about you but sometimes they need to notice that you are trying hard and that it isn't just simple shyness that you're dealing with or you wouldn't be so stressed about it.

I used to try and avoid it as much as possible but now I'm trying to force myself into these situations to get past it but it's still really difficult but I'm getting there. I never eat at school though :)

Oh I get it. I was hoping it wasn't anything family related! Yeah I think even though you know what you're thinking is ridiculous you can't help but worry about it. Do you have any nervous habits?
 
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