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What are your experiences with telling your friends?

1609 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  miminka
I hope there isn't already a thread on this (I haven't seen one) but what are your experiences like with telling your friends about SA. I really want to tell some of my friends, but I'm afraid of what might happen next. I've told my parents about it, my mom was supportive and my dad doesn't believe it. But they never really talk about anyway.

I feel like I am in social situations more with my friends and that if I tell them they might have better advice. I've heard my parents advice so many times that I want a different perspective. Some of my friends will push me into social situations, which I actually like since it forces me to deal with the issues. I am afraid that if I tell them then they might stop doing this. I also don't want any pity or to be treated any different.

So, does anyone think its a good idea, or will my parents and therapist offer the best advice? Also, do you think telling your friends made it any easier to get over the SA at all. Thanks in advance.
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I don't know your friend so I don't know how they would react, but if you wish to share your troubles with them then you should do so.
I have told my friends about my SA and I've also asked them not to get involved for numerous reasons. First, I don't want my problems to be a burden for them. Second, I don't want to ask for their suppport for fear of rejection. One of them has taken my advice and not gotten involved whereas the other one just keeps telling me that there is nothing wrong with me. She can tell because she asks me what is wrong many times when we're out and about but she doesn't want to admit that there is something wrong with me.
Never done it myself (nor do I feel inclined to do so), but based on what I've seen other people on this site say about it... I'd stick with "I'm shy". The normals don't seem able to wrap their heads around "social anxiety disorder".
Yeah I agree I'd tone it down a bit. I don't have much going as far as friendships, other than distant type ones mostly, so I've never told anyone.

But I did recently tell my housemate I'm not comfortable with people coming unexpectedly to the house, that I'm sensitive about it. I will tell people things like that.
I've talked to my friends a little bit about it and it was all good. I was afraid that they wouldn't call me the next day, but they did :)

Your friends advice would be better I think because they can see your day to day life though your parents have more life experience.

It just comes down to the kind of people they are, I'm lucky to have real friends.
hey yall, thanks for the responses :). I'm still trying to decide whether to tell or not. I think what I'm getting with from yall is that I should pick the right friends and not give out too much information, which is good advice. I'll start out with some of my friends that I think should be more understanding and work from there. Thanks again, and I'll let yall know how it goes.
i just talked about maybe going to see someone and the three people i told looked at me like i was crazy... so no, i'm gonna leave that alone. there's a stigma attached to this sort of thing.
I told mine all on Saturday actually and they took it really well and seemed genuinely concerned for me. It was a positive step because now they do not seem all confused and upset when I dismiss a night out at a club or something and instead suggest organisiing something at a more comfortable setting for me.

When I told them I actually found out that one my my friends was suffering from SA as well although her fears were different, but it was good to know someone really did understand fully how I was feeling and I think it was good for her to know I understood her problems as well.

So I think it can be a really good thing to do as long as you do it properly and choose the correct time (not when everyone is smashed off their face or high for instance).
I'm very open about my disorder, always have been. In fact I take the chance help educate them to know its a "real" problem for millions of people. I think a lot of bad press has came out over the years and scrutiny if this stuff is all made up by drug companies etc. I completely understand why some people do not and how some people react. But I tend to distance myself from people who treat me like a complete nut anyways. I always figured if my friends want to judge me, then they are worth keeping around. :)
I had a really bad experience with someone who I thought was a friend......she basically laughed in my face! She was also training to be a GP at the time, I really hope she's worked on her 'bedside manner' since then.
Since then I've found it incredibly difficult to tell almost anyone, I've told most of my family, and although they say they get it, they don't at all and I'm pretty sure most of them are sceptical about whether I might be making it all up. I actually wish that were the case!! I'd do anything to not be this way!
The responses have been pretty varied really. With one friend (well more of an accquaintance nowdays really), he never contacts me directly nowdays but tends to just ask how I am through my partner. I think he feels very awkward, because he just doesn't know what to say. With another, he was very sympathetic at first but nowdays doesn't really ask me about it - I think for the same kinds of reason as the other friend, though he does make more effort to stay in touch. There is a female friend I know who suffers from OCD, so she's been more understanding/spoken to me more about my problems - I think because she can better relate to what I go through than the other two. Though at the same time we don't tend to speak at length about things that much.

Still I had a very surprising response from an ex friend just yesterday who has recently got back in touch, after a big fall out we had in 2007. I really didn't expect to hear from her again, or for her to take much of an interest in what was going on with me. But eventually, after we talked about some other stuff online, I ended up coming out with it and just telling her. I don't think she totally understood what I meant at first, but after I explained things a bit more - which was only yesterday - she said some very understanding and supportive things which I just didn't see coming at all. I'm still trying to get over the shock! A similiar thing also happened with one of my aunts a bit earlier in the year. I dreaded telling her, but decided to anyway - and in fact she's been really supportive too. It's funny how some people's responses can turn out to be just the opposite of what you imagined them to be in advance!
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Well, I know this is an old thread, but I told yall I would keep you updated, so let me tell you what happened...

Well, I was getting ready for a date (which is an incredible story for another post) and I wanted to ask a friend for advice. He was basically telling me that I was thinking too much about it and not to be so nervous. That's when I told him I'm nervous because of SA. He asked me a few questions on it. I don't think he really fully comprehended what it was but he was pretty supportive. He even thought he might have it and that he wouldn't treat me any differently. I'm kinda glad I did it since now I can bring it up whenever I want to talk about it. It makes me want to tell people all of my secrets :).

Anyway, thanks to everyone that posted and gave me the courage to tell a friend...
During my worst times with social anxiety, I only told a few family members, and just a handful of very close friends. Everyone was incredibly supportive, and a few even opened up to me about their own anxiety problems. It was very disarming and relieving thing to do, and I definitely recommend you tell those very close to you.
I have told some friends and my mom about my SA. It seems like no matter how hard you try to explain ...and no matter how many times they say they "get it" ...they really don't. That is what is so tough about telling people. They think its something you can just learn to get over by being forced into the situations that cause the anxiety. I have been forced into the situations for so long, and yea sure, I can deal with it...but at the same time I am still feeling extreme anxiety and discomfort. That is what no one seems to get.
Well, when I told by best (and only) friend Meghan, she didn't make a fuss over it. Maybe it's because I told her informally... but I guess she kind of figured that. Then I told this other girl at my school who likes to talk to me occasionally; hoping that would make her get off my back and maybe answer some of her questions. I just told her, "I have a bit of an anxiety disorder". Even though I undermined it, she still acted like I told her I had cancer.
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