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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been homeschooled all my life. I am almost 19 and moving 1000 miles away to college 4 days from now more confident, blissfull social and with more freinds than ever before.

I have searched for years to find the 'anwser' to overcoming social anxiety, and through hard work and research have finally found it. I will highlight the major aspects in my triumph, but first some history.

I have been homeschooled all my life. I never got 'out of the house' until age 11. After age 11, and through about age 15 I was constantly picked on, put down and basically up until the past year have endured hell on earth, the flavor we all know as social anxiety. I should also mention that because of my severe depression during this time, I ate excessivly and became extremely overweight and fat (220 lbs, 5'8). Needless to say this significantly added to my self-conscious attitude.

When I was exposed to social situations, I became undescribably nervous, my heart raced, my vocal chords contracted and I sweat and panted for breath. I won't bore you all with the details we already know, but basically I was miserable, and even after I lost much of my weight, and I quit getting picked on, my social anxiety and self-consciousness prevailed, flairing up more than ever before.

Over the past few years I have been constantly researching social anxiety (before then I had no clue what the **** was wrong with me), hitting lowes never experienced before. The past few years I have tried everything, from different thought patterns to talking to myself, nothing had worked.

A little over a year ago I decided that if I didn't rid myself of social anxiety, life wasn't worth living and I was going to take my life, and I came very close several times.

It might have been this climax or something else that made me realise that the root of my social anxiety all along has been my unhappyness and gloom. Unfortunatly, the more I thought about it the worse it got, and the more I tried to fight it with positive thinking, the worse it got.

Finally, I realised that my joking, happy, careless, self around my immediate family is who I really was. I closely examined the way I acted naturally around my dad, mom, older sisters and brother, and realised that I ALWAYS lighten the mood with a being silly, funny and stupid.

So I began to apply this to every social situation, making it a point to open nearly every conversation with a sarcastically stupid gesture, calling my freind jim 'jimmay' or my freind Lauren 'blondy'. maybe shootin somone a quiet yoyo sup dawg, or even saying hi in a slightly sarcastic manner.

Guess what? IT WORKS! IT ****ING WORKS! my social anxiety dissapeared every time! and now I don't think about it at all, EVER! I can be serious, work through serious issues and am usually SERIOUS, but allowing that little bit of humor to slip by has given me the ability to laugh at being laughed at, or at my mistakes, and ENJOY social interactions.

So what am I saying? PLEASE PLEASE give this a shot. I have had social anxiety for as long as i can remmember, and it is the most miserable damn existence on this planet, and my new found ability to act myself around everyone and to socialise constantly has made life worth living 100 times over. I never want to die...EVER

Highlighted tips #1 greet people with sarcasim, a joke, a flirt, anything to lighten your own mood. Don't hesitate to be sarcastic or jokistic all the time, even an ironic comment during a serious conversation helps. It really lightens the mood for yourself especially, and it helps when people laugh, it really does.

#2 I found that writing the following on a slip of paper, and keeping it in the wallet/purse readily available helped in conjunction w/ tip #1 IMMENSLY

Understand - all parts of your anxiety, the physical symptoms, the thoughts and beleifs, and your safety avoidance (avoiding social situations) behavoirs

Reduce Negative Thoughts - by looking for and challenging thinking errors, use balanced thoughts to get a fairer picture of yourself

Reduce self-processing by trying not to moniter your own physical symptoms and thoughts, Look to what is going on around you!

Reduce avoidance and safety behaviors - By gradually facing situations you fear while reducing safety behavoirs

Tackle the physical symptoms - using relaxation techniques

I found that when my social anxiety began to flair up (which was pretty much during any public setting), it helped immensly to find a bathroom or some place private and to pull out this card and read it several times, and to spend a few minutes concentrating on it.

It also might be helpful to note that I do smoke once a week or so, it helps releve nervousness, but have done so since I was about 15 and it is NOT in itself the anwser.

I promised myself years ago that if I ever overcame social anxiety, that I would never look back. I have posted this so others may overcome it using self help. I know how horrible social anxiety is, and I sincerly hope this helps somone, or that somone atleast gives this a shot, it worked for me, it FREED me. I love life, and have for a while now. I really do...

I apologize for the somewhat cursory post, as I am short on time with four days till college, and wasn't intending on posting at all, but I want to help other liberate themselves from the hell I endured since childhood. If anyone would like to talk to me more about it, feel free to email me at [email protected]

Goodluck

-Tim
 

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Great post! :banana

It's taken me a lot of money and time with therapy and self-help groups to get to the same conclusions! Good on you for getting there and for being willing to take time to help others!
 

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Wonderful post friend!!!

Life is full of choices and you made the necessary choices to be where you are right now. Now, all i need is the motivation and staying power to succeed like you. Thanks for the great post!!!
 

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You know you may have a point. I am a very funny, offbeat, nonsense kind of person with people I'm comfortable with. Everyone else I shutdown with completely. Maybe I just have to treat everyone the same way... er um nevermind my ponderings

congrats on your success :banana
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't hesitate to voice your ponderings, that describes exactly how I was.

This will probably be my last post, so feel free to email me, I would be more than willing to try and help anyone.

I just wanted to add that doing what I described helped to 'break the ice' so to speak, which seemed to form when socialising with even people ive known for years. I've also had to work on not looking back, or repeating what I said to someone over and over in my head, each time cringing at my words. I told myself that you can't take back what's said, its not that bad either, and you can always say more. Goodluck all of you, and thanks.

Tim
 

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Thief13x,

I hope that you r inital post will be around a while, so that we can process it all. I think it's grerat that you have done well for yourself with this! Take care of yourself and good luck in college. If you ever cross paths with the forum, just drop us a hello and an update - you are always welcome!

Thank you,
 

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I think this is all very good advice and I wish you much success in your life now that you've conquered SA. You sound a bit like myself and I've used many of these techniques in my own life.

I'll add a few extra words of advice. The best thing to do is to find your own style. This is one, but it doesn't fit everyone. The point is to be yourself and to find your own way to interact and relate to people.

One danger of this style is that you run the risk of relying on humor/sarcasm/etc. to get through social situations. Speaking from personal experience, you don't want this to happen. I've had several friendships that never gained any depth because I didn't allow them to by using humor as a crutch. I'd suggest that these techniques should only be used in moderation.

Thief, please pay us a visit every once and awhile. We'll all be interested to hear how you're doing in life.
 

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I definitely will have some questions after i digest this whole post. Thanks for posting.
 

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thanx great.... im like that sometimes but still some situations get to me.
 

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humor

User said:
One danger of this style is that you run the risk of relying on humor/sarcasm/etc. to get through social situations. Speaking from personal experience, you don't want this to happen. I've had several friendships that never gained any depth because I didn't allow them to by using humor as a crutch. I'd suggest that these techniques should only be used in moderation.
.
This is true and always a fear of mine. I am a constant joker and, to be honest, good at it. (I think all those hours within my own head created a quick wit). But this does distance me from people because it allows me to perform rather than interact. It also could turn me into David Brent from 'The Office' (BBC version). That is textbook of somebody using humor as a sheild (poorily in his case).
 
G

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lovely post.
im so glad you've finally mostly voercome your anxiiety... ( scuse the typos ) i sort of realized this too, that the more you dwell upon the ANXIETY, picking at it, crying and wailing about it, the worse it becomes. Its best to work towards improvement with bright thoughts and a bright mindset

i for one, am not seeing a therapist, ( although im going to keep it as an option since im beginning my senior year in HS tommorow and i dont know if ill need the therapist ) i dont know if i want to take medication, im trying several herbal supplements ( that i can get at the vitamin store )
ive been taking passion flower lemon balm and colostrum like robo from the forum suggested, and perhaps the belief that the colostrum was working was a placebo, who knows? but my belief that i was going to get better strengthened me and the anxiety disappeared and i was my normal self, in my summer class- which had like 7 ppl...

it was beautiful, especially because ive never considered myself a shy person
anyway i hope things will get better for you at college, never give up, im going to be in your shoes in about a year, im applying next month.

: )
 

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Re: humor

russo said:
This is true and always a fear of mine. I am a constant joker and, to be honest, good at it. (I think all those hours within my own head created a quick wit). But this does distance me from people because it allows me to perform rather than interact. It also could turn me into David Brent from 'The Office' (BBC version). That is textbook of somebody using humor as a sheild (poorily in his case).
You sound a lot like myself. I hope people heed the dangers of relying on humor as a crutch. To a socially isolated SAer, the funny guy getting all the laughs and being the center of attention looks really good. But relying on humor to get by socially can be just as lonely as any "regular" SAer's life. When you start performing instead of interacting, then you know you've finally hit a brick wall. Luckily, I realized this fairly early on so I'm on the lookout in case I start going down that road (again). It's just too easy, though, to revert to being the "funny guy" as an easy way out.
 

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Thief13x said:
I have been homeschooled all my life. I am almost 19 and moving 1000 miles away to college 4 days from now more confident, blissfull social and with more freinds than ever before.

I have searched for years to find the 'anwser' to overcoming social anxiety, and through hard work and research have finally found it. I will highlight the major aspects in my triumph, but first some history.

I have been homeschooled all my life. I never got 'out of the house' until age 11. After age 11, and through about age 15 I was constantly picked on, put down and basically up until the past year have endured hell on earth, the flavor we all know as social anxiety. I should also mention that because of my severe depression during this time, I ate excessivly and became extremely overweight and fat (220 lbs, 5'8). Needless to say this significantly added to my self-conscious attitude.

When I was exposed to social situations, I became undescribably nervous, my heart raced, my vocal chords contracted and I sweat and panted for breath. I won't bore you all with the details we already know, but basically I was miserable, and even after I lost much of my weight, and I quit getting picked on, my social anxiety and self-consciousness prevailed, flairing up more than ever before.

Over the past few years I have been constantly researching social anxiety (before then I had no clue what the @#%$ was wrong with me), hitting lowes never experienced before. The past few years I have tried everything, from different thought patterns to talking to myself, nothing had worked.

A little over a year ago I decided that if I didn't rid myself of social anxiety, life wasn't worth living and I was going to take my life, and I came very close several times.

It might have been this climax or something else that made me realise that the root of my social anxiety all along has been my unhappyness and gloom. Unfortunatly, the more I thought about it the worse it got, and the more I tried to fight it with positive thinking, the worse it got.

Finally, I realised that my joking, happy, careless, self around my immediate family is who I really was. I closely examined the way I acted naturally around my dad, mom, older sisters and brother, and realised that I ALWAYS lighten the mood with a being silly, funny and stupid.

So I began to apply this to every social situation, making it a point to open nearly every conversation with a sarcastically stupid gesture, calling my freind jim 'jimmay' or my freind Lauren 'blondy'. maybe shootin somone a quiet yoyo sup dawg, or even saying hi in a slightly sarcastic manner.

Guess what? IT WORKS! IT @#%$ WORKS! my social anxiety dissapeared every time! and now I don't think about it at all, EVER! I can be serious, work through serious issues and am usually SERIOUS, but allowing that little bit of humor to slip by has given me the ability to laugh at being laughed at, or at my mistakes, and ENJOY social interactions.

So what am I saying? PLEASE PLEASE give this a shot. I have had social anxiety for as long as i can remmember, and it is the most miserable @#$% existence on this planet, and my new found ability to act myself around everyone and to socialise constantly has made life worth living 100 times over. I never want to die...EVER

Highlighted tips #1 greet people with sarcasim, a joke, a flirt, anything to lighten your own mood. Don't hesitate to be sarcastic or jokistic all the time, even an ironic comment during a serious conversation helps. It really lightens the mood for yourself especially, and it helps when people laugh, it really does.

#2 I found that writing the following on a slip of paper, and keeping it in the wallet/purse readily available helped in conjunction w/ tip #1 IMMENSLY

Understand - all parts of your anxiety, the physical symptoms, the thoughts and beleifs, and your safety avoidance (avoiding social situations) behavoirs

Reduce Negative Thoughts - by looking for and challenging thinking errors, use balanced thoughts to get a fairer picture of yourself

Reduce self-processing by trying not to moniter your own physical symptoms and thoughts, Look to what is going on around you!

Reduce avoidance and safety behaviors - By gradually facing situations you fear while reducing safety behavoirs

Tackle the physical symptoms - using relaxation techniques

I found that when my social anxiety began to flair up (which was pretty much during any public setting), it helped immensly to find a bathroom or some place private and to pull out this card and read it several times, and to spend a few minutes concentrating on it.

It also might be helpful to note that I do smoke once a week or so, it helps releve nervousness, but have done so since I was about 15 and it is NOT in itself the anwser.

I promised myself years ago that if I ever overcame social anxiety, that I would never look back. I have posted this so others may overcome it using self help. I know how horrible social anxiety is, and I sincerly hope this helps somone, or that somone atleast gives this a shot, it worked for me, it FREED me. I love life, and have for a while now. I really do...

I apologize for the somewhat cursory post, as I am short on time with four days till college, and wasn't intending on posting at all, but I want to help other liberate themselves from the hell I endured since childhood. If anyone would like to talk to me more about it, feel free to email me at [email protected]

Goodluck

-Tim


OMG so thank you for posting this! you just gave me a lot of hope! u should be proud of youself. seriously.
i've been so stressed out these past few days ( i just started school) and i've only joked around with 1 person in my class and it feels great but i was too scared to open up to anyone else.
i'll take your advice for it , humor IS the way it just gives u a GOOD feeling.
i am so glad there's people like u on this site this is exactly what i needed
 

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Hopefully i will get the motivation to do this, because i know it works. (Also your story is alot like mine, i'm fairly loud, sometimes hyper, easy talking & open about my thoughts when im at home and only with my family, but when anyone else comes in im completely the opposite of this).

Also my sister and I have pet-names for each other, and for the past year i think, whenever my cousin comes round she calls me by my pet name and i'm all shy about it and pretend i dunno what shes talking about, but lately i've been saying the pet-names back and i now accept my cousin like my family and can be hyper around her etc.
 

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Congrats Tim glad you found something to help you overcome your SA. I have helped mine somewhat by working through the Tony Robbins Get The Edge tapes & changing my attitude about things.

Take care,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Heya again guys!

Im so happy to hear people are taking my ideas seriously and trying them out. I would be very interested to hear if any of you have had the success I have.

So far college has been great! I will admit the first week was tough, and I was struggling somewhat. The reason being that I knew absolutly no one (along with everyone else really) and so the first week was basically lonely feeling and made me nervous with the whole 'first impressions thing'. I got through it though and am pretty much feeling completly relaxed and social again.

The replies I found especially interesting were those who said that being the 'funny guy' can actually be a persons downfall, but I do understand. The thing is that being funny for me allows me to relax, and not be nervous about what I say, and consequently allows me to be myself, and open up to people. I sincerly hope you all are doing well and experiencing the same success I am. Thank you all so much for the support you have given me and continue to give me.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Heya again guys! and gals:)

I just wanted to bump this post and give everybody an update.

Things are officially going awesome again. I'm having a great time in college (despite midterms and struggling with grades) but as for my SA, I couldn't be more pleased, it is still completly gone. Although things havn't been perfect, I have been working through any doubtful and negative thoughts that occasionally creep into my brain. Here are some tips im using for coping here...

A) still remmembering to have a sense of humor and to joke and lighten up the mood:) it keeps me being myself.

B) Whenever I start to feel nervous I remmember that everyone is different and that it doesn't matter how I am because others might not be acting perfect themselves.

C) I am keeping my mind off of what I say. This has been key, everytime I start going over what i've said over and over in my head, I must immediatly stop thnking about it otherwise it seems to grow and take over.

Hope everyone is doing as well as I, I would be very anxious to hear what people have to say and how you are all doing. If you have any Q's or what to rant or anything, please email me [email protected]

Tim
 
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