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new here and at the end of my rope

2772 Views 25 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  sprinter
I am a new member and I am very glad to have found this place. A short version of why: I am 47 and have dealt with severe sa and have been diagnosed with Avoidant personality disorder. I have NO friends and can count on one hand the number of friends that I have had over the years. Currently there is no-one that I socialize with. I have been divorced for 3 years from a very socially adept man who I loved who left me for a woman who is more in tune with his personality. I was devastated and it was the final blow to my self esteem. I long for social contact with others and at the same time avoid it like the plague. I am getting so tired of the battle. I work with 3 very social and strong women in a small office and they hang out together after work but I am never invited. Ayway I wont go on and on. I am glad I found this place. I hope to at least aleave a littel of the isolation I feel here. Dreams and shadows
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Welcome to SAS. My story is similar to yours except I've never been married. I have been diagnosed with SA and major depression. I have not been diagnosed with AVpD but I'm sure I have it. Although there was no name for the condition I had when I was a child I'm sure that I had Selective Mutism. Which in my opinion is a childhood form of SA. I've been at the end of my rope for a long time. I'm just hanging here wondering how much longer I will be able to hold on. I have a supportive family (even though they don't understand) and I also have some online friends I've made over the years, some of them from this site.
feelingbetter, your story is similar to mine. My doctor told me very much the same thing he told you. I was skeptical. And the first time I tried Zoloft, I didn't stick with it (because of the side effects). But later I went back on it at a lower dose. It seemed to help my depression but did nothing for my SA. But I stuck with it, and after about 6 months I began to notice a difference. I began to realize that certain social situations no longer caused me great anxiety. I was still myself, quiet and introverted, but I no longer had the fear that would cause me to be unable to function normally.

Just like you, I've had this condition all my life. And certain behaviors had become entrenched in my personality. I had learned to avoid things that I thought would be anxiety provoking (learned behavior).

I'm doing much better now. I've been able to go to social events such as weddings, and for the first time, enjoy it. I've met a wonderful girl whom I am in love with - something I thought I would never experience. Even though I'm 49 years old, I feel younger than I've felt in years. So even if I don't make any more improvements, I am more than satisfied with what Zoloft has done for me.

Before this starts sounding like a drug commercial, I will add that a lot of credit also goes to my friends (online and offline), who have put up with my self pitying rants and encouraged me along the way. Thank you (SAS members) for your support.
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