Social Anxiety Support Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,492 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just this year I started my university degree. I decided to live on campus with five other students due to the cost as well as the convenience of living nearby. I have my own room (sharing with someone would be intolerable) but I share the kitchen, lounge and bathroom with the others.

I knew my anxiety would be a significant problem so I prepared by starting on some medication (which seemed to help a bit) and organizing regular visits with a psychologist at the uni. I opted for a designated flat with mature age students so that I wouldn't have to deal with loud and annoying young people. I even bought a bar fridge so that I would be able to eat if I couldn't use the kitchen due to anxiety. Despite all this I have been having a horrible time.

I've been here for over a month and yet I barely know the people I live with at all. Some people could probably count the number of times they have seen me using their hands. I rarely leave my room and when I do I can tell that my flatmates are weirded out by my behaviour and that I make them uncomfortable. They seem nice enough but obviously they know something is not quite right with me. Weekends are EXTREMELY difficult for me as people hang around the dorm more. In the time I've been here I have only managed to cook one meal for myself. I have never sat in the lounge area and I always eat in my room. In addition to the food I store in my bar fridge I try to rely on canned foods and frozen meals that my mum makes for me (she knows how my anxiety can affect my eating habits) which I can defrost quickly in the microwave. I also find it difficult to leave my room to have a shower, go to the toilet, and get to classes a lot of the time.

That's me on a good day. Recently I've missed several weeks of lectures, sometimes I'll only have one meal a day and the only times I go out is to have a shower, get some water, go to the toilet or do my laundry (and I put all of these things off as much as I can). I'm sitting at my desk or lying in bed for over 99% of my day. My stomach hurts, my mouth is dry and I feel dizzy and have a headache from the lack of food and water. My sleeping patterns are thoroughly messed up and I haven't been able to study much at all.

I still think there is a chance that I can catch up with my studies if I can stop being so avoidant. I really don't want to drop out and I'll have financial problems if I do. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Anyone have any advice? I feel like I'm reaching my limit.
 

·
:/
Joined
·
957 Posts
Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble at school. When I was taking classes, I'd end up skipping class often too. Don't stress out about the classes you've missed or work that is late. The worrying and anxiety will just prevent you from getting started. Just try to go to the next class. Maybe you could email some of your teachers for classes that you could be in danger of failing and explain why you've missed so much. You could bring them a note from your doctor.

That has to be terrible not feeling comfortable in your new home. Can you invite a friend sometime over to maybe make you more relaxed? I think once you start going back to class you might have a little more confidence in talking to your roommates. Don't worry what they think of you. I'm sure they'd be happy to talk to you if you can open up to them. Once you do, some of the anxiety and avoidance might lessen. Talk about stuff going on with school. That's something you all have in common. :)

If things don't get any better, maybe you should just go back home. You could still go to school, and you'd at least be more comfortable at home.
 

·
sa challenger
Joined
·
5,079 Posts
i think you should try to tell your roommaters you have sa. If they actually are mature, they will listen, be empathetic. Maybe then you and they will be more comfortable with each other. Most people want to help if they know they can help, and they could just by letting you sit with them and be quiet, or whatever. Just let them know what you need. Maybe you could start with one you feel most comfortable with, and you could have conversations with that person, and that person could become your "helper", or safe place to fall.

As for the classes, try to go, just push yourself, challenge yourself, after each class and all the anxiety, tell yourself, this too will pass, I will live through this, and then reward yourself with time alone! or whatever
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
I find I get better in social environments such as dorm rooms. Last year I stayed in many youth hostels and as nerve-wracking as it was I found it profoundly improved my social skills and anxiety. I want to move into a share house this year for this reason. Although I fear I would get more anxious if I had to live around the same people all the time (youth hostels are full of random people and you can leave if you feel uncomfortable).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
When I first moved in with roommates I didn't know, I spent a lot of time in my room. It was helpful for me to get to know each of them individually. Prepare a few conversation topics (for example, ask to borrow cds and talk about what music you like), and knock on their door. I would freeze up if someone came to my room and surprised me, but you have a lot more control over how long you talk for and what you talk about, when you approach.
You could also watch t.v./study in the lounge. Just say "hello" and nothing else if somebody passes by. It's a low(er) stress way to get used to the common areas, without having to talk a lot.
As well, what does your psychologist say about this? Did they have any suggestions ?
Finally, a new city, a new school, new classes, new buildings, new house, and new roommates can be overwhelming. If it's too stressful, you can find an off-campus apartment by yourself, and save your energy for going to class. You could always try the dorms again next year.
 

·
UnDeRrAtED
Joined
·
34,712 Posts
=jane;887033 Finally, a new city, a new school, new classes, new buildings, new house, and new roommates can be overwhelming.
hmm I thought the soultion for me was to find a new area in a way to alleviate my depressive symptoms and maybe anxiety because I have lived in my area since I was born.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
My first semester I never left my room to hang out in the "common room" either (except to go to the kitchen & get food to take back to my room). I felt safe there. I'm sure my roommate thought I was weird. I lived in an apartment though so I could "escape" by shutting my door. I know most dorms you have to share rooms. I kinda wish I would have as to force myself to be social..instead of hiding away.
 

·
alien monk
Joined
·
8,868 Posts
I've been through the dorm thing too - almost exactly the same thing. Sorry you have to go through this!

I think if you can you should try and hang in there till you can find a different place to live.
 

·
blessed with lucky sevens
Joined
·
840 Posts
Damn :( That sounds like me when visitors come over... Like what will happen this easter which I started thinking about a week ago.
I'm going to have to prepare myself because i'll be locked in my room for ages with no where to go. Kind of like you. I know the pain :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
yeah dorms can be tough. but i think you need to weigh the options you have left to get your life in perspective. you can either a) do horribly in class, not get a good job, be unhappy for the rest of your life. or b) talk to a person for 5 minutes. i know its not easy but once you start talking to people, the act of talking makes the anxiety leave. so tomorrow, go sit in that lounge and study there. you don't have to say anything to anyone if you don't want. just sit there so that your roommates know your alive and kicking. the weirdness that you feel is all in your head. maybe they'll start a conversation with you, who knows?

when i first started living in a dorm i just sat in my room all day. i had a roommate who pretty much did the same thing. then my roommate started going out and having fun, so i became mad and angry at myself that my roommate could do it and i couldn't. for awhile i just stayed mad and angry. then i was like **** it, so i just started talking to people on my floor. now, my anxiety isn't so bad when i leave my room to go to the bathroom or something. when people talk to me, i can sort of talk to them back. its getting better.

you just have to weigh your options and see that fear of them now is gonna ruin your life in the future. its not worth being scared. life is way too short. the only way to be happy is to fight all your fears. so ****ing fight it already.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top