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I'm 23 years old. I have had social aniexty/depression, whatever you want to call it for as long as I can remember. Here's a little about me:

I'm smart, but I come off as dumb to a lot of people because of the way I present myself. I guess I space out and look spaced out a lot. A running joke throughout my life has been when a teacher is talking to the class, I would be staring at the ground or the wall, not even realizing that I was.

Teacher: Dave?
Me: What?
(class laughs)

It doesn't bother me too much because I have always been able to make people to laugh because of it. However, when I am in social situations, it can be very detrimental because I often get treated as an inferior. When I am with a group of friends, (casual acquaintances or my best friends) if the subject of conversation is not interesting to me, I unconsciously tune them out and will drift off into my own world. I am often called a space cadet by friends and acquaintances. This is probably the biggest reason why I have always been horrible at team sports, even though I have always been strong and coordinated, I have a hard time focusing when a lot is going on among many players. I would consider a party to be the social equivalent of a team sport. Throughout school, I really struggled to make myself have a good time at parties. I guess, I never learned to "let go," I was always feeling self conscious.

I saw a therapist a few times while I was in college, mainly about women. I had a dozen or so casual sexual partners in college, but have never had a real girlfriend. This is the main cause of my depression. I feel like my social inattentiveness and anxiety causes me to act funny around women. Since, I never had any female friends growing up, I have a hard time acting naturally around them.

I did very well in school, (i graduated from college now), and have held a few jobs to save money to move out of my parents house. I worked as a salesman for a security systems company for a few months. I did this, not only for the money, but to improve my social abilities as well. (I have consciously tried to work on my social awkwardness for a long time) I learned a lot about the company and felt that I understood the business during my sales training, but I was extremely uncomfortable being an in-home salesman and having to chit chat with strangers and making social niceties.

My current job is at an italian restaurant. I was hired to be a waiter, but I am currently a dishwasher. I was not a horrible waiter though, I usually made 20% tips. About a month ago they revamped the entire waiting staff and cut the shifts for almost every waiter who didn't have years and years of experience. BUT- I had a lot of problems with my managers while I was a waiter. Even though most of my customers were satisfied, my managers thought I looked bad out there. My manager would always come up to me when I was busy asking "are you doing alright?" even though it was just business as usual for me. I guess I always looked like i was incompetent. This became a self fulfilling prophecy. My managers thought I was doing bad, that put me in a worse mood and I performed worse as a waiter. Working in a restaurant is very similar to a party or playing on a team sport, there is always a lot going on and if you don't feel comfortable being there you stick out like a sore thumb.

To summarize my issues, I have always had friends and have gotten along with people very well generally. If you hang out with me one on one, I am usually very comfortable. However, when I am with groups of people I often feel like I cant express myself. I can't pay attention to the group and have a hard time getting interested in them. I feel self conscious, inferior, and paralyzed. I can't get out of my own head and pay attention and appreciate the people who are around me. I despise small talk and think that people talk too much in general. Despite this, there always are a few days every year where I feel great and actually enjoy talking to people all day. I feel empowered and I relate to people much better, as I see them as myself. Those days, I am actually comfortable in my own skin around other people, I feel confident talking about my own life and I don't feel like people are looking down on me because of my social ineptness. Those are my favorite days.

Thank you for reading
 

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Sounds like you are pretty grounded and confident in who you are. Good stuff. I can relate to the depression from not having a girlfriend. After my first real girlfriend, I was relieved and I realized I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself... but that probably was wrong. I wouldn't worry about this very much, I know some really solid, successful, good-looking guys who have never had serious girlfriends. Relationships are weird like that.

Honestly it sounds like you're doing the right things and life is good. If you do feel like your back is against the wall, then trying out meds can be like being handed a livesaver innertube when you feel like you're drowning. Being on an SSRI for awhile allowed me to see a brighter, more fulfilling world, and I still have that perspective even after going off of the med. Drinking in college and being on Klonopin for a little while allowed me to really relax, get out of my comfort zone, and do things I had never done before. Now I'm comfortable doing many of those things sober. So you can kind of view meds as a tool, not a crutch. However, in my opinion they should really be a fallback strategy and you should stick to your own guns if you can.
 

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because they are "addicting". At least the ones I know of........... My doctor doesn't like to prescribe controlled substances.. I'm lucky to get Tranxene for my anxiety.. I can't get anything stronger than that. And I really can't get another doctor because I have no insurance and I have to go to the Community Mental Health center..
 

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Anyone have any suggestions how to "find" a doctor who would be more open. Obviously that isn't something to look up in your yellowpages. Adding to the fact most health insurance has LIMITED coverage for mental health we don't have a lot of available visits per year to doctor shop....
 
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