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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Gingerspice Offline
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Name: Ginger
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I just don't feel well. - May 23rd 2014, 08:39 PM

I have terribly bad social anxiety.

It's. . . Gotten better, I suppose, in reason months. Or, at least that's what I convinced myself to believe. The truth is, it's just as terrible, I just never interact with anyone; thus never get triggered by anything whatsoever.

I go days without leaving the house. Days. When I leave I go with my mom to the store - Or something like that. My life is routine. I stay in my room for a large majority of the day and do my school work online. I socialize that way, too, I talk with people over the internet and. . . It's nice.

But at the same time I recognize that it isn't real. Not in the way that it could be. I have friends in real life. . . Or people who want to befriend me, who I've met at some point or another and talk to on Facebook. But when it comes to leaving and spending time with somebody I don't know ( or even somebody I /do/ know, as it when it comes to friends I see once or twice a month I'm the same way ) it gives me. . . Bad vibes. And so I cancel. I also have a pretty protective parent who wants to meet all of my friends before I do anything and that gives me anxiety too because nobody else has to do it. It makes me feel really alone. I have a hard time making friends as it is and it just feels like everything makes it harder for me to do anything normal.

And all I really want is to be normal. But I can't be. At school I used to have anxiety attacks when I was placed in a class with people who bullied me in the past - Even when all was well, I would still get this feeling of knots in my stomach, and my heart would start beating, and I would go to the bathroom and break down. Sometimes I would stay there for the whole day and I just. . . I don't understand why I can't be like everyone else is. I want to make friends effortlessly as everyone else seems to. I want to compliment somebody on their shoes and end up with a fantastic group of friends as a result. I want to do something without my mom asking where I'm going, or who I'll be with.

That would make it easier on me, I think, because when she does that the situation becomes even more nerve wrecking to me. . . Because she makes it out to be something BIG and so mentally, I do too."

I just don't know what to do.

"So, I've spent every day since then chasing Amy... So to speak."
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Re: I just don't feel well. - June 4th 2014, 08:09 PM

Hello, Ginger! I'm sorry you didn't receive a response sooner.

Are you currently seeing a counselor/therapist/psychologist/etc.? If not, I think now would be a good time to start pursuing that option. Many people shy away from seeking professional help, but in your case, it's clear that anxiety is having a major impact on your life. In fact, it's preventing you from doing a lot of "everyday" things. Receiving support from someone who has treated anxiety disorders can be a great step toward overcoming your difficulties. If you're not sure where to start, call your insurance company and see if they have a list of mental health professionals (people who will accept your insurance/co-pay). You can also search for non-profit agencies in your area that offer mental health services for free or for a low fee.

I struggled with severe social anxiety when I was in middle and high school. I still struggle from time to time, but it's not nearly as severe as it used to be. What I discovered is that socializing is a skill. We're not born with social skills. It may look effortless for some people, but even they had to practice their social skills. The more you practice, the more confident you'll become. If you avoid practicing, then socializing will continue to be a source of anxiety for you (and you may continue to feel depressed about the lack of "genuine" relationships with other people). Yes, when you first begin to practice, there will be a spike in your anxiety; however, that's where a mental health professional can come in handy. They can teach you valuable skills, offer coping techniques, and provide tips for how to ease into practicing without becoming completely overwhelmed, to the point where you become even more avoidant of socializing. If seeing a professional isn't an option, then consider starting off with small tasks (e.g., asking someone at the grocery store for assistance in finding an item, then working your way up to meeting a friend in-person).

Have you considered telling your mom how her behavior is affecting you? She may think she's being a good parent by behaving the way she does, but if you were to tell her how she can be helpful (e.g., offering encouraging words vs. bombarding you with questions, inviting your friends over so she can meet them WHILE you spend time together without it being a big ordeal, etc.), then you might see some positive changes in that area of your life.

Good luck, and feel free to keep us updated on your situation! =)

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