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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As stated in the title. Is social anxiety something that is diagnosed by a doctor? or am I simply shy?
I've been too embarrassed to bring this up to another medical professional, but under the cover of anonymity of the internet I can let my thoughts loose here.

To help I'll state a few traits of mine, you can add questions like how I would react such and such scenario and I'll respond if that helps.

In a crowd of strangers: I keep to myself, don't initiate conversations especially if they seem occupied, and pretty much wait until I'm out of that scene for whatever it may be. Let's say it's a party, a place I'm "supposed" to socialize in. I'd react just like that.

Now I'm not "scared" of people, but shy. There's a difference, for some reason when I hear social anxiety I think fear of people. Which is obviously not true.

I can go on and on, but I'd like to know what am I? Am I just really shy or is it not too far fetched to say I have social anxiety?
 

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do you have trouble calling people on the phone? do you have trouble ordering fast food? do you blush when looking someone in the eye? do you avoid people like the plague?

just a few questions. idk if they'll tell if you officially have SA
just curious
 

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I've been too embarrassed to bring this up to another medical professional, but under the cover of anonymity of the internet I can let my thoughts loose here.

In a crowd of strangers: I keep to myself, don't initiate conversations especially if they seem occupied, and pretty much wait until I'm out of that scene for whatever it may be. Let's say it's a party, a place I'm "supposed" to socialize in. I'd react just like that.

Now I'm not "scared" of people, but shy. There's a difference, for some reason when I hear social anxiety I think fear of people. Which is obviously not true.

I can go on and on, but I'd like to know what am I? Am I just really shy or is it not too far fetched to say I have social anxiety?
Social anixety disorder is a persistent fear of embarrassing and/or humiliating yourself in the presence of another person and a fear of other people's negative evaluation to the point it disrupts your personal and/or occupational functioning and persists for more than 6 months.

Do you feel highly anxious and self conscious in those situations?

Do you often avoid those situations because of the distress it causes you?

Does your anxiety affect or disrupt your personal life?

If none of the above questions apply to you then you probably don't have the full blown disorder and wouldn't qualify for a diagnosis of it. You probably just have some level of social anxiety.

I don't know why people still view shyness and social anxiety as two seperate things since people who feel shy are feeling anxious anyway. Makes no sense. Anyway, I think shyness concerns itself more with approaching people or warming up to them or opening up to them about things. For example, you explained you were too embarrassed to discuss this with anyone, one might say you were too shy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
do you have trouble calling people on the phone? do you have trouble ordering fast food? do you blush when looking someone in the eye? do you avoid people like the plague?

just a few questions. idk if they'll tell if you officially have SA
just curious
do you have trouble calling people on the phone? Depends on the occasion, if it's business, no problem.
If it's to just "hang out" not something I do. For some reason I don't feel the urge to be the guy to "Hit me up"

do you have trouble ordering fast food? I can do this just fine.

do you blush when looking someone in the eye? No, eye contact happens often and I don't make much of it.
If it's say more than just a glimpse, I might suspect something but they'll have to be more persistent than that to get me off guard.

do you avoid people like the plague? Like wait for the coast is clear or the emptiest times possible in a store? No.. I'll go where I need to based more on need than "if the coast is clear"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Social anixety disorder is a persistent fear of embarrassing and/or humiliating yourself in the presence of another person and a fear of other people's negative evaluation to the point it disrupts your personal and/or occupational functioning and persists for more than 6 months.
Hmm, I do feel on guard when around people and I am self conscious of negative evaluations when I hear it. My fear isn't so stark that I can clearly say if I do or not based on definition.

Do you feel highly anxious and self conscious in those situations?

A: Not "highly", mildly yes, moderately if I'm really put on the spot.

Do you often avoid those situations because of the distress it causes you?

A: Well I do attend school, there are no doubt a lot of people around. They aren't interacting me person to person, so the "sheer quantity" of people isn't the cause.

Does your anxiety affect or disrupt your personal life?

A: It has disrupted in the sense that I could have done better interviews if I was more outgoing, made more friends, or been more active in clubs. It doesn't disrupt my regular flow in life, but more so that my life could be better.

If none of the above questions apply to you then you probably don't have the full blown disorder and wouldn't qualify for a diagnosis of it. You probably just have some level of social anxiety.

A: Yeah, I'm leaning towards mild, but at some given scenarios moderate may be in the order.

I don't know why people still view shyness and social anxiety as two seperate things since people who feel shy are feeling anxious anyway. Makes no sense. Anyway, I think shyness concerns itself more with approaching people or warming up to them or opening up to them about things. For example, you explained you were too embarrassed to discuss this with anyone, one might say you were too shy.

A: Hmm, so shyness and social anxiety goes hand in hand? Well, the words are similar but I wasn't so sure if it is synonymous. I agree with how you describe shyness, it's not a fear but a lack of "warming up".
So are you suggesting whenever I notice someone is shy I should bring up social anxiety?
 

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I think shyness is more of a 'i'll get over it'-thing. When you meet someone, you can be shy and anxious, but once you learn to know that person the shyness goes away (in a quicker rate perhaps) while SA sticks longer (or even forever).

However, SA people AVOID meeting other people while shy people may get sweaty hands and stutter a little, but they'll get used to the other person and get over it. Shy people don't loose sleep over an ordinary meeting at work, while SA people loose sleep nights and nights before the meeting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What made me know the difference was this site

https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/living-with-social-anxiety

with every word I read i felt like 'OH MY GOD YES YES YES' - i felt more relieved to know it has a name than i felt sad for prabably having it.

I hope this page helps you too to figure it out
Oh yes, the first few paragraphs already has an uncanny resemblance to what I feel I am.
The self consciousness is there, it does cause me to be afraid to speak up.
I am yielding to people, in fear of bothering them or being untimely.
I over-reflect on previous conversations, yes.
When my voice comes out weakly, oh man that happens so often.
Yes when I think about it, the SA is irrational and I'm noticing I'm putting "words into people's mouths." or "thoughts into people's minds".

When I hear that millions of people suffer for SA, it does give me a sense of relief and does make me feel that SA does describe me to some degree, which I won't be afraid to say.
 

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Yes, that's the exact same feeling i had! I was like, what, I'm not weird? It has a name? Oh, it even can be cured? Well hello world!

Honestly, even if you DON'T have it, what harm can it do to try to work on it? I don't see anything bad coming forth of trying to 'cure' it? Being 'just shy' is not an excuse to crawl in a corner and having SA is not an excuse to say 'well, i can't do anything about it'. You'll be fine, working on yourself never stops and today is a good day to begin.
 

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As stated in the title. Is social anxiety something that is diagnosed by a doctor? or am I simply shy?
I've been too embarrassed to bring this up to another medical professional, but under the cover of anonymity of the internet I can let my thoughts loose here.

To help I'll state a few traits of mine, you can add questions like how I would react such and such scenario and I'll respond if that helps.

In a crowd of strangers: I keep to myself, don't initiate conversations especially if they seem occupied, and pretty much wait until I'm out of that scene for whatever it may be. Let's say it's a party, a place I'm "supposed" to socialize in. I'd react just like that.

Now I'm not "scared" of people, but shy. There's a difference, for some reason when I hear social anxiety I think fear of people. Which is obviously not true.

I can go on and on, but I'd like to know what am I? Am I just really shy or is it not too far fetched to say I have social anxiety?
well think of anxiety as an irrational fear, and then look at your behavior. Do you avoid any of the situations because of this strong inner sense telling you you can't do that? When you do get into a conversation with someone, what happens?

I guess what I'm getting at, for a long time, I told myself I don't have SA, I'm just shy.

I'm not afraid of people- per se. But I can't talk freely with ones I don't know. It holds me back. I made it a New Years resoultion to kick my shyness once and for all.

I failed- badly!

Looking at why I failed, it's because of all these things- for instance I try striking up a conversation with someone, then I start to get nervous and don't know what to say so I keep it short before it can go anywhere. I don't call/text people when I should because, well IDK. Sometimes I get nervous at the thought and put it off. In short there is something internal that is causing me to fail and not make progress. That's when I realized it was anxiety. Now I realize I have to deal with the anxiety before I can progress.

It's not rational, I know that it isn't, but yet it still has control over me.

So if you find you cannot kick your shyness for reasons you can't explain, it's probably anxiety.
 

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@OP

It could have nothing to do with shyness or social anxiety. You could just be socially inexperienced meaning you have to work on your social skills and getting used to the social scene.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@OP

It could have nothing to do with shyness or social anxiety. You could just be socially inexperienced meaning you have to work on your social skills and getting used to the social scene.
Yes, lack of experience does factor in.

But if I didn't have the SA or an introverted personality, which is pretty clear cut at this point that I do. Wouldn't I naturally start attending social events by now?

Are you suggesting that if I was "forced" to socialize this would never have been an issue?
 
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