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Hi everyone,
My name is Kirsty,
I have finally found the courage to post, I was wondering if anyone can relate to my situation or has any advice, all input I am grateful for J
Basically I have just returned from the Christmas holidays back to university and my social anxiety is really getting to me, to the point I don't even know if it's worth me studying for exams when I can't even look my lecturers or fellow students in the eye. I can't speak more than a line to people other than my two closest friends, sit awkwardly silent smiling at lunch time breaks in a group of 5 when inside I am so frustrated I can't tell stories like everyone else, can only contribute one word answers in tutorials which I hate because I want to be able to read out a paragraph fluently like everyone else but no I have to anticipate to the point where my heart is thumping and my breathing is all over the place so I struggle to talk.
I have the nightmare of a group presentation coming up which I am dreading especially as it is in front of all of the confident guys and girls in my year as well as professors. I hate the way people look at me as if there is something deeply wrong when I look anxious. I have social anxiety from the moment I wake up, my heart is racing in anticipation of the day ahead, then I feel uncomfortable passing people in the street and avoid eye contact, then there's the joys of getting on the bus, I feel as if I am on stage walking on the bus and can feel my eyes bolting as if I am walking on to a bus full of lions! I hate walking in to university on my own basically anywhere there is people and eye contact may have to be initiated, I have even missed where my friends are sitting in the lecture theatre because I walk in with my eyes directed straight ahead away from others glares!
I have always wanted to be a veterinary surgeon and since the age of 14 helped out in vet clinics etc. but although I exposed myself to social situations I used many avoidance strategies while in the situation such as speaking short sentences, avoiding eye contact with people, cleaning kennels sometimes instead of asking questions when I really wanted to be able to ask the questions. As I have grown older I have developed more confidence and been able to have some luxury moments when I have no anxiety while observing a case and can talk freely with the vet but these moments are rare and I really wish it could be like that all the time. What's so frustrating is I know that without the social anxiety I could be a good vet because I am very passionate and this passion does come across I feel while working on placements when there are only a few workers present but in the university environment especially at vet school where everyone else can stand up and present confidently and I am shaking like an anxious school child it is very demoralising. Since I have memories of social anxiety from the age of three I don't know how long it would take to change my ways, I started cognitive behaviour therapy counselling in September 2012, and to be honest it hasn't helped me that much, I worry that I can never change.
I know some people that are dropping out and I envy them but only because the torture of social anxiety every day makes each day like climbing up Everest and it is beginning to really take its toll, the work load is demanding enough without this, today I had dissection and I was twitching anxiously while having to listen to the professor speak in a small group and literally had my face glued to the specimen, it felt so awkward with professors walking by and not being able to give them eye contact while others can chat and ask questions freely without a second thought, it is too painful to carry on like this. You may wonder how on earth I got in to vet school like this but it took me 5 failed interviews before I got a place and I really really tried hard that interview to appear normal.
Anyway thanks for reading, sorry about the very long post, any thoughts welcome!
 

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Hi :) Welcome to SAS!

First of all, congratulations on getting into the veterinary program. That's a great accomplishment. :clap

I can relate to the anxiety and some of the situations you mentioned. Some people are not able to apply the skills they learn in therapy when they are overanxious. Were you ever referred to a doctor for medications to decrease your anxiety?

I hope things get better for you :squeeze
 

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Welcome, JellyGirl! :)
 

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Having anxiety in college/uni is extremely challenging. Hopefully this site can help.

:wel to SAS!
 

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Hey Kirsty, welcome to :sas
 

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Hi im new here to and finding this site helpful. Also I can relate as when I was in college I had the extreme reactions you do. Hang in there! I also passed. Lol
 
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