Social Anxiety Support Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
136 Posts
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. There are plenty of people here who can relate to you. I would really recommend you get some professional help. I wish there were some other advice I could give you but I can't even help myself. You don't want to continue like this for the rest of your life and I see that you genuinely wish to get better. You're smart enough to understand that there is something going on that isn't quite right. You should maybe address this problem with your high school councelor as he or she may be able to help you or point you in the right direction.
As for the girl issues, do not worry. There is someone for everyone and as you've said, you come from a very small town and do not have many dating options. You're not the only teenage guy who is still a virgin or has never had a girlfriend before. There is nothing to be ashamed about. I think you sound like a really good guy and any girl would be lucky to have you. You're not like those dumb high school boys that you mentioned and there are girls out there who are looking for guys like you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,788 Posts
Is there anyway you could see a therapist or get some self help SAD books? Those things would probably help.I hear you with SA and working retail, bad combo i lived like that for a year man it was tough.Its good to hear that you have some friends at least though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
MissSA and Keith, thank you for your replies!

I have considered professional help. The problem is, I don't think there are any psychiatrists in my town so we'd have to go to the next (bigger) town over - and in order to that, I'd have to get my parents to bring me for now. Like I mentioned earlier, my mother is convinced there is nothing wrong with me (she has a "sweep problems under the rug and maybe they'll go away" attitude) and my father isn't home until 9:00 each night. I feel like I need some kind of professional help, but at the same time I am too embarrassed and shut-in that I don't see myself opening up to anyone, much less a stranger whom I don't know. It was difficult enough for me to type this up for you all to read. :/ I just can't see myself having the drive to verbally express my problems to a psychiatrist. I always keep problems to myself - I'd probably just nod and agree with whatever the first thing they say concerning me and leave it at that. :/

I have not purchased any self-help books on SAD yet, although I have read much material online on the subject over the past two years or so. The problem is, I read all these things and forums and such (actually been a lurker here for a couple months. :p ), but I never find myself in a position to USE the information - I guess I am a skeptic. And even then, most of the times when I'm in a situation where my SAD kicks in, the last thing on my mind is some cryptic self-help techniques I read on the internet (rather my mind is more along the lines of, "GET ME OUTTA HERE!").

Thank you again for your replies, just the fact that someone out there somewhere knows/understands what I am going through is a big relief in itself.

Best regards,
Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
It's kind of like a clone of me. I can relate so much up until the part with film (never been into writing or plays or anything).

- Extreme SA
- Relatively rural area
- Slightly overweight, although it's not to an unhealthy level
- Mom has a "there's nothing wrong with you" mentality
- Small group of friends with one (1) extrovert
- Interested in technology and computers
- Never had a girlfriend
- Going into college pretty much completely on my own

The difference here is that I'm about a year ahead and heading into college. I will warn you, it is a total pain in the rear because you have to talk to so many people to make sure things are going right. You have to speak with advisors and financial aid people so you know that nothing is going to screw you over.

So you're not alone. I can relate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Corey,
Don't really know what to tell you since it looks like we're both in the same boat, but it is definitely good to know that there is someone who feels the same (and indeed, our stories sound very similar!) and who is being proactive about it. I can't really offer you any advice, as I'm just trying to get my own act together, but I wish you the best of luck at college - be sure to let me know how it goes or what the hardest part(s) of the transition are, so I can prepare for them. :)

Cheers and good luck!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
136 Posts
If you do opt with therapy, would you have any other way of commuting to the next town(other than having to rely on your parents) ? I'm not familiar with the public conveyance system where you live but I imagine there should be some reliable means of conveyance. If you get some help now that you still have another year of high school, you'll most likely begin college on a more positive note and who knows the possibilities, options and what could happen when you get to college with a newer more positive view on life? Not to mention college will not be hell for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
As far as I know there is no public transportation in my area (other than taxi services, which are of course rather expensive). The town I live in is relatively isolated which is the problem - it's not exactly a "city", but quite literally a small village.

If I were to opt for self-help books, do they really work? I'm just not exactly sure how I would put what they say into practice in the real world. :(

Thank you again for all the help and support everyone, it means a lot to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,741 Posts
You sound damn close to me four years ago, minus living in BFE and being into the arts. Given your diverse interests, and the fact that you sound very intelligent, I take it you'll be heading to college after graduating HS? If so, don't worry too much; the end of the miserable, closed existence that is HS is near. I mean, it would be great if you're able to make social progress during your senior year, but even if you kind of coast (as I did throughout HS, due in part to the rather hopeless environment like you describe) you'll have a whole new set of opportunities coming up afterwards.

Specifically regarding the shame over having no contact with girls, I think you're still fairly young to worry about that, at least in the context of it being some big embarrassing deal. I have several friends who are my age (21-22) who have also had minimal romantic/sexual contact with the fairer sex, and none of them are as unattractive or socially anxious as myself; while we're certainly in the minority, I don't think it's incredibly uncommon for guys to have their first encounter in the 18-22 age range. The simple fact is, those of us who are less-than-attractive, have "nerdy" interests and hobbies, and are socially awkward (the latter two seem to go together a lot, huh?) are much more likely to fall into this group, even if we make an effort - so don't sweat it, especially if none of the girls in your town are your taste. Now, if/when we start getting up towards 25 or 28 and nothing has changed, it might be time to worry about it being truly "embarrassing" (not a put-down to anyone on here to whom that applies, since I can all but guarantee I'll be finding out for myself).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
You sound damn close to me four years ago, minus living in BFE and being into the arts. Given your diverse interests, and the fact that you sound very intelligent, I take it you'll be heading to college after graduating HS? If so, don't worry too much; the end of the miserable, closed existence that is HS is near. I mean, it would be great if you're able to make social progress during your senior year, but even if you kind of coast (as I did throughout HS, due in part to the rather hopeless environment like you describe) you'll have a whole new set of opportunities coming up afterwards.

Specifically regarding the shame over having no contact with girls, I think you're still fairly young to worry about that, at least in the context of it being some big embarrassing deal. I have several friends who are my age (21-22) who have also had minimal romantic/sexual contact with the fairer sex, and none of them are as unattractive or socially anxious as myself; while we're certainly in the minority, I don't think it's incredibly uncommon for guys to have their first encounter in the 18-22 age range. The simple fact is, those of us who are less-than-attractive, have "nerdy" interests and hobbies, and are socially awkward (the latter two seem to go together a lot, huh?) are much more likely to fall into this group, even if we make an effort - so don't sweat it, especially if none of the girls in your town are your taste. Now, if/when we start getting up towards 25 or 28 and nothing has changed, it might be time to worry about it being truly "embarrassing" (not a put-down to anyone on here to whom that applies, since I can all but guarantee I'll be finding out for myself).
Hey, thanks for the response!
You're correct, I plan on going to college after graduating from Highschool. I take all AP courses and have a 3.7 GPA, so I guess you can call me a true-blue nerd! :yes I'm excited for going to college and finally getting away from this small, close-minded town where EVERYONE knows EVERYONE (literally - my parents know/are acquaintances with every person in my town - how weird is that?). But at the same time, I'm terrified - like I said in my first post, I've never been 100% "on my own". I mean, I still depend on my parents to give me rides to places.. I don't have a job, a car, a girlfriend.. Nothing. I just kind of hang out at home all day and do my own thing - which I enjoy doing, but at the same time I feel like I'm missing out on the growing aspect of teenage years. I fuction the same now as I did when I was 12 years old... :/

I'm just so, so so so soooo sick of highschool. Unbelievably sick. Some days I just fake sick to stay home because I know that no matter what I do, how hard I try or how nice/approachable I try to be to people, I will either be a)ignored the entire day or b)picked on/abused. The teachers don't care- they all just pretend nothing happens. but I'm just so sick of all the superficial bull**** of teenagers. I'm not into drugs, I'm not into drinking, I'm not into casual sex (no offense to anyone here who is, I just have other interests).. But it seems like that is all people my age are into. :(

Thank you again for your posts. It's really nice to have a place where you can talk/listen to stories from people in similar situations (or were).

If you don't mind me asking, anomalous, how did you get over your anxieties? What helped you out the most?

Thanks. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,428 Posts
I can relate to your not showing up for work. I subconsciously at one of my jobs started showing up late for work since I just didn't want to be there anymore.

I think that it's great that you know that your passion is filmmaking and writing and I think that you should pursue this.

As far as the girl's go maybe you are blind to notice if anyone is interested since you are so busy being so anxious ridden. If you can't let your wall down how do you expect to ever let anyone into your life? If you truly want a girl at some point in time you are going to have to open up. It might be scary at first opening up, but a few bad apples will eventually lead you to the sweetest apple that you have ever tasted.

Plus, you are only 18 you are still very young and the relationship that you wish for founded on intimacy will come in time. No rush. If you expect to meet her in your home in your bedroom. It's not going to happen. You have to leave the house more than once a month. I'm sorry to say. Though, I can relate to you. I have rarely left the house since school ended. I hope that you can extend yourself to others in your life. I know that it isn't very much fun living this sort of life, very helpful, or productive. Wishing you all the best! SAgirl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hey there SAgirl,
I guess it's possible I've just been blind to any girls showing interest in me, but I honestly don't think any ever have.. I don't know. I've never been told I'm cute/handsome/attractive by any girls, but it seems like nearly everyone has been called "cute" or "handsome" at some point by the opposite sex and I just haven't. I don't see anything appealing in me from a woman's perspective - not to go straight to cliches, but I'm not the externally strong, confident, alpha-male type of person. I'm very introverted, I enjoy reading (an almost archaic activity for today's youth..), I obviously don't talk much..
I don't know. Maybe you're right, and I've just been missing signs. But I have zero clue what to look for, or even if I DID notice something, I'd have no clue how to react (and would probably just end up scaring her away by my incessant anxiety quirks!).

I totally, 110% agree with your last paragraph. I know I have to leave the house more, I know - and I want to, I want to improve my life - but it's terrifying for me to take that step. It's so much easier just to stay "in my shell"... :(

thank you for your reply!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,741 Posts
Hey, thanks for the response!
You're correct, I plan on going to college after graduating from Highschool. I take all AP courses and have a 3.7 GPA, so I guess you can call me a true-blue nerd! :yes I'm excited for going to college and finally getting away from this small, close-minded town where EVERYONE knows EVERYONE (literally - my parents know/are acquaintances with every person in my town - how weird is that?). But at the same time, I'm terrified - like I said in my first post, I've never been 100% "on my own". I mean, I still depend on my parents to give me rides to places.. I don't have a job, a car, a girlfriend.. Nothing. I just kind of hang out at home all day and do my own thing - which I enjoy doing, but at the same time I feel like I'm missing out on the growing aspect of teenage years. I fuction the same now as I did when I was 12 years old... :/

I'm just so, so so so soooo sick of highschool. Unbelievably sick. Some days I just fake sick to stay home because I know that no matter what I do, how hard I try or how nice/approachable I try to be to people, I will either be a)ignored the entire day or b)picked on/abused. The teachers don't care- they all just pretend nothing happens. but I'm just so sick of all the superficial bull**** of teenagers. I'm not into drugs, I'm not into drinking, I'm not into casual sex (no offense to anyone here who is, I just have other interests).. But it seems like that is all people my age are into. :(

Thank you again for your posts. It's really nice to have a place where you can talk/listen to stories from people in similar situations (or were).

If you don't mind me asking, anomalous, how did you get over your anxieties? What helped you out the most?

Thanks. :)
Like your first post, this sounds like something I could've written in my HS days.

Re: my anxiety: it's far from gone, but it isn't quite as crippling as it was four or five years ago, I don't think. Actually, the anxiety itself in certain social situations (i.e., meeting new people, being put on the spot in front of a group, etc.) is still awful, but the key difference is that the college environment exerts far less force on these weaknesses than HS did. If you go to a decent school and major in something you really enjoy, you're all but guaranteed to find a few others who are a lot like you, no matter how impossible that may seem after growing up in a town of 1k. Good luck, and if you start feeling depressed about your current situation, just remind yourself you've got less than a year before you leave your small-minded, self-absorbed classmates behind for good and move on to something that actually matters. More than likely, you'll be in a position to laugh a lot of them out of town in 10 or 20 years.
 

·
Day Of The Dead
Joined
·
945 Posts
This might be a little off-topic. You said you write screenplays. I know this online game where you can release them as virtual 'films' and cast actors and stuff into them, and see how your 'movie' does at the box office. I don't want this to be a form of advertising, if you want to know about it, PM me. Just an idea, but you also get feedback on your writing.
 

·
Full circle, new highway
Joined
·
365 Posts
I wonder if it would help if you met someone you knew who was also SA online in a public, but NOT populated, setting like a very small park, or even outside in your backyard or something? I know how annoying it can be to get outside too. Just last night my wife and I took a walk and I always hate how naked you appear to be to cars who are passing by and just get to gawk at you for as long as they want. I always give them a nasty look if it appears as if they are staring, but my anxiety is still there even though it is not that horrible. I have had drunk retards honk and yell at me when I was running at night before so this is why I expect every sh*thead to honk and yell at me. I know that they have the capacity to do so which is why I greatly dislike most people.

Anyway, sorry for ranting on your post. I would encourage you to find an isolated location where you know that, most of the time, no one is there, and maybe read a book. It will encourage you to look forward to getting "lost" at that place, it will be outside, and it will break the ice of your stress of being outside in public.

Also, there are online therapists available for consultation, and even phone therapists available. If you do your research you will find that in-person isn't the only way and many different methods can be effective. Furthermore, you can take your time dealing with your stress by getting comfortable with the other methods before the in-person method which will boost your confidence in the ideal of situations.

Also, unless you plan on living on the very social dorms I would suggest finding a studio apartment that is pretty close to campus. It would allow you to study and keep your sanity, not to mention get your valuable rest.

As far as opening up, I think that there is a sequence with it as well. You build confidence opening up on smaller scales in direct synergy with your comfort level. For example, you opened up on here and can interact easily with us online. The next thing you would find is a situation where you feel that maybe you can be comfortable opening up but are still a little uneasy about it. Perhaps talking to someone on the phone would be your next scenario, or doing a live chat with someone?

It is all dependent upon your own social comfort level. You would make sure your confidence level increases that the lower level before moving to the next situation. After the phone, then maybe you could do a webcam chat with someone where you both were able to observe each others mannerisms and hear each others voices at the same time. Then, to find a good and safe vehicle into an in-person meeting, you can meet someone who lives fairly close to you and meet with them in a private setting. After this gets comfortable you can proceed to slightly more populated settings. After you are comfortable with that one person in a pretty populated setting, you can add other people in the mix. Now this is where I think that you can take even more "baby" steps. You wouldn't jump right into a conversation, you would first make eye contact and smile then look away. Now, some people may look right away after you get eye contact, or they may not respond, or may even frown, but that shouldn't affect your goal. Your goal would be to simply look at someone in the eyes, smile at them (or nod), then look away.

After you got comfortable doing that, then you would get eye contact, smile (or nod) and simply say the Greeting of "Hi" then look (or run) away. lol I know that this may seem a bit nerve racking but you have already had plenty of experience building up to that point so you can always go back to the previous method to build up more confidence before moving to the "Hi" stage.

After that then you add more words. "Hi, how are you? Hi, nice day isn't it? Hi, I like your sweater. Hi, do you have the time?" etc Then usually there is a "closer" like "Bye. Have a good day. See ya. Thank you" etc. Between your Greeting and "closer" you can add however many "fillers" you want. "Did you see that game? Do you read" Do you have a favorite author? What are you reading? Are you enjoying your food? How is your day going? Who does your hair? Where did you get that necklace?" etc. At this point, the other person should be investing in the conversation or not. It is as simple as that. It is in your control, you can invest more or less into the conversation and end it at any time, but so can the other person, so you must be prepared for that too.

Anyway, these steps are something that I learned while doing door-to-door sales. They are part of the "five steps to a conversation." 1) Greeting (Hi, Hello, Hola, Buon Giorno lol) 2) Introduction (Did you see that game?) 3) Present the Product (The Bulls won by 40, it was awesome!) 4) Closer (I think that the highlights are on later tonight if you want to catch them) 5) Rehash (Did you think Michael Jordan was the most important player for them or what?)

The main thing to remember with the "Closer" is that you have a point in the conversation and the main point was to get the person to watch how badly the Bulls crushed their opponent. The Rehash is repeating what your conversation was about but using a different aspect of it in order to keep an interested person talking.

Also, you don't have to stop with one circuit of the five steps in the conversation, or even go in that order, most people don't anyway, but it is definitely a guide. You can go through steps three and five multiples times in one conversation before you say "bye." This is what you find most people doing when they are deep in a conversation.

Interest level is kept and maintained through the "Impulse Factors." They are built on an acronym FUGI. F is fear of loss. " I think that this is the last day they are doing this sale." Or "if I don't tell you this it is going to be too late."

U is sense of urgency. You pretty much act like you are in a hurry and have a deadline to say everything and you are running behind.

G is greed. "Everyone is talking about how MJ is leaving a lot of money to some random person, did you hear?" "I was stopped like a hundred times by random people saying the craziest thing about you, they said ________" If you say, EVERYONE is doing or getting something then it usually catches people's attention. It is just like Black Friday. lol

Finally, I is indifference. You pretty much act like you could care less about something and are almost bored. You have really got to NOT CARE though or it won't work. "I guess my house is getting repossessed or something. I don't know. I forgot what he said, like, three hours to live. I was a little distracted at the time. *trailing off*" A lot of people become interesting when they are careless at something that would make a normal person go insane.

Anyway, hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
My heart hurts reading that, as it does many stories I have read here (and I only joined today!) I too have parents who wanted to sweep things under the rug. (At 16 they found out I was not a virgin, and sent me to a physchiatrist) *however you spell it*.

It's gotten worse over the years, with adding OCD to the mix. Has deff. gotten a ton worse since having kids, and my body changing.

I can count my "close" friends on one hand. My best friend, I have never met, I met her on a game that I used to play. (MMPORG, YAY! lol).

Feel free to PM me if you'd ever like to vent.

*hugs*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
This might be a little off-topic. You said you write screenplays. I know this online game where you can release them as virtual 'films' and cast actors and stuff into them, and see how your 'movie' does at the box office. I don't want this to be a form of advertising, if you want to know about it, PM me. Just an idea, but you also get feedback on your writing.
Infexxion: Sounds very interesting.. What is it called? Feel free to PM me (or I can PM you :) ) I've never really shared any of my work with anyone, so it probably sucks a lot, but I enjoy writing so maybe..

Radames, thank you! That was a great post - tons of great tips in there, I will definitely have to comb through it a couple of times.

And yeah I feel the same way when walking outside (that every jerk is staring at me / going to honk the horn) probably because people used to do that when I would walk home from school (I live relatively close to my highschool). Some people would drive by me and just honk to jump me, or yell some obscenity out the window at me, or flip me off, or throw old fast food trash at me.. stuff like that. So now when in public I feel like EVERYONE is an enemy out to get me. Almost like I'm in a warzone, lol.

I really like the idea of a live chat with a professional. The idea of a phone conversation is a little too nervewracking for me right now (even though I have my own cellphone I never answer it, for some reason I'm scared to answer the phone.. I'll let it go to voicemail, check my voicemail to see who it was, and if it was someone I want to talk to (usually just family) I'll call them back).

Do you know any place where I could find this service? Or I'll just do me own research. But if anyone knows any "legit" and helpful online support it'd be much appreciated.

The conversation dynamics you described are really interesting, especially the FUGI. Thank you for sharing.

My heart hurts reading that, as it does many stories I have read here (and I only joined today!) I too have parents who wanted to sweep things under the rug. (At 16 they found out I was not a virgin, and sent me to a physchiatrist) *however you spell it*.

It's gotten worse over the years, with adding OCD to the mix. Has deff. gotten a ton worse since having kids, and my body changing.

I can count my "close" friends on one hand. My best friend, I have never met, I met her on a game that I used to play. (MMPORG, YAY! lol).

Feel free to PM me if you'd ever like to vent.

*hugs*
aw, thank you for the e-hug. I can't even imagine what it must be like for you with having OCD, and I wish you the best of luck in dealing with it. It's good to know I'm not the only one with crappy parents like this. :(
And I play way too many MMORPG's, haha.. What I spend most of my time doing, and where I get 90% of my social interaction..
 

·
Full circle, new highway
Joined
·
365 Posts
Infexxion: Sounds very interesting.. What is it called? Feel free to PM me (or I can PM you :) ) I've never really shared any of my work with anyone, so it probably sucks a lot, but I enjoy writing so maybe..

Radames, thank you! That was a great post - tons of great tips in there, I will definitely have to comb through it a couple of times.

And yeah I feel the same way when walking outside (that every jerk is staring at me / going to honk the horn) probably because people used to do that when I would walk home from school (I live relatively close to my highschool). Some people would drive by me and just honk to jump me, or yell some obscenity out the window at me, or flip me off, or throw old fast food trash at me.. stuff like that. So now when in public I feel like EVERYONE is an enemy out to get me. Almost like I'm in a warzone, lol.

I really like the idea of a live chat with a professional. The idea of a phone conversation is a little too nervewracking for me right now (even though I have my own cellphone I never answer it, for some reason I'm scared to answer the phone.. I'll let it go to voicemail, check my voicemail to see who it was, and if it was someone I want to talk to (usually just family) I'll call them back).

Do you know any place where I could find this service? Or I'll just do me own research. But if anyone knows any "legit" and helpful online support it'd be much appreciated.

The conversation dynamics you described are really interesting, especially the FUGI. Thank you for sharing.

aw, thank you for the e-hug. I can't even imagine what it must be like for you with having OCD, and I wish you the best of luck in dealing with it. It's good to know I'm not the only one with crappy parents like this. :(
And I play way too many MMORPG's, haha.. What I spend most of my time doing, and where I get 90% of my social interaction..
As far as finding these online therapy services I just did a keyword search for "Online Therapy" but I don't know of any reputable agencies. I think you may have to try to find someone on your own.

All the best Prefix, thanks, and you're welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I am pretty much have the same problem and situation. I have been to community college though for a year or two though. Need to go back and finish. I skipped a year due to finding I really do have SA problems. If I was late I would skip class. I would skip days of group activities. English class activities is what kinda got me scared of class and I pulled out of it. I tried taking it 3 different times. :( I never made a friend or anything while I was there either. The more I look back the more friends and possible girls I could have dated seems to go up. At 22 now though I am with mixed feelings. I really like this one girl I have known since I was 12 and I am trying to get her to be my friend and also trying to get another girl to go out with me. Also have been trying to get a job and calling places. Something I would have never done almost a year ago. I can make eye contact with people and even say hi to them now, before I used to glace at their eye and never speak. I still have same feelings I have had since forever, but I have learned to feel better about myself and it has really helped me. I feel more calmer now though. Maybe it just comes with age. At some point in last 2 months I have seemed to make peace with it and started being more active. Really if you think about it everyone on the planet is exactly the same. There are different patterns of thought sure, but really none of them justify fearing everyone. Just start thinking more of people as being the same as you. Just with a different idea on their mind. Really it is no different than looking at your family members in the eye and talking to them. The people outside of your house are all the same. I say self Therapy is best method. May sound crazy, but try talking to yourself in a mirror or something. Try faking confidence with people. Once you get used to the idea of faking confidence you will see that you are not the only one that does so. Confidence itself is faked by anyone that has it. They all still have fear in front of people. They just get used to hiding it so much that it rarely ever comes up, but sometimes it does spook people at odd times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Hey SwiftFire87, glad to hear that life is improving for you! I hope it does for me as well. I've heard/read a lot from people saying just "fake it till you make it" concerning confidence. I want to try this, but my question is (and don't laugh at me because it's a silly one..) How do you fake confidence? Like, what do you have to do to give off the "air" of confidence about yourself? I'd love to try it but I just don't know where to start.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top