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Hi,

Just introducing myself.....I've suffered with varying degrees of SA, along with general anxiety and depression for most of my life. I've had times in my life where I've functioned pretty well, and there were others where I could barely leave the house. I've been hospitalized for severe depression twice in my life....once in my teen years and another time in my late 20's.

I feel like I've overcome the more severe aspects of my mental illness(es), but I still suffer with lingering social phobias on a daily basis. Due to all my problems, it took me a long time to get back to school and get a professional job (for years I just worked part-time at coffee shops or stayed home with my kids). So I feel like I'm a little retarded compared to the people I have to relate to. Also, I've moved away from where I grew up, so I'm not around the people who've known me my whole life and understand where I'm coming from. I feel horribly lonely a lot of the time, but too afraid to reach out and try to make friends. I feel like I don't belong, or that I'm too strange and no one wants to be around me. :cry

I recently tried going to a new counselor (I haven't been to a counselor or anything since I left my home state) but I'm not sure how helpful he was. I was describing my issues and he kept going into these deep breathing techniques which don't really help when you're around people. Right, like in the middle of a conversation I'm going to just stop and start meditating!! I just felt like he wasn't listening. It was a free appt through my employer's employee assistance program, so maybe I'll have to find something else. I dunno....it took me 6 months to get up the courage to make this appt and now I have to go through it all again, finding a different place to call and actually making the call. I'm really bad at stuff like that. :afr :roll

Anyway...that's kinda where I'm at. I do all the usual things I guess. I avoid talking to people I don't know. I dread going shopping or making phone calls. Being around anyone other than my boyfriend or daughter stresses me out, because I'm constantly analyzing the situation in my head. I go over and over and over everything I say and do. I constantly have to check myself in reflections (I call it "anti-vanity" because it's not to check out how great I look, but more to make sure I don't look horrible/unacceptable.) I worry that I smell bad or have bad breath, even though I bathe every day, wear clean clothes, brush teeth, etc. This makes it excruciating to be close to anyone. At work if someone comes into my cubicle it's practically unbearable...
 

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Painfully Shy Guy
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HI and Welcome! Many of us here can relate to what you've experienced. Please keep reading (and maybe posting:)) and you can learn alot. Good Luck, God knows it isn't easy but it just might be worth fighting for!
 

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:wel
 

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Comfortably Numb
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Welcome,gonebabygone to :sas hang in there,you are not alone.Please,stay strong.
 

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Hey Alicia welcome. :)
 

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Welcome, GoneDaddyGone! :)
 

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hi there, welcome to a great place for people like us - there are lots of us out here who can completely relate to the feelings you've described - i hope it helps you in some small way to know that - myself, i've already gained a lot from these people through their wise words and common experiences - i'm sure you'll be the same - just keep coming back!!
 
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