To think life with social anxiety is just not worth living.(21 Posts)
I hate myself so much.
I just went for a interview for a dinner lady role which I so wanted but failed. My application was really good but my interview was awful. The questions weren't even that hard but my heart just raced and my head goes into a crazy haze where I can't even think properly. It happens always in social situations where the spotlight is on me.
I've had so many failed interviews. I'm just shit. I hate my SA. It causes me to come across shit at interviews etc. It's a fucking curse and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. Life is not worth living it feels at times.
I am so sorry to hear you are feeling like this. I am quite anxious in social situations but generally manage to surmount this in interviews.
Had you considered trying CBT? I have been referred for this at times of acute anxiety and it really has helped.
I went to my go last year and had lots of CBT but it didn't work. My therapist said I had severe low self esteem too. After around 10 sessions she discharged as she didn't really know what to do with me.
I'm trying to get back in the job market and it's just one failure after another for me. I can do the job. I'm bright and intelligent but that means nothing when you come across as a socially incompetent freak.
That sounds like not great care. Worth going back to your gp again? I found group sessions with other anxiety sufferers especially useful.
From what I saw there low self esteem and anxiety generally go hand in hand so this shouldn't come as a surprise to your therapist! You know you are good enough to get these jobs; you can put a great application together, clearly. You just need to silence that little voice in your head that is telling you the opposite!
I've suffered from it for years, but I started off doing voluntary work to build my confidence, is that something you could consider? I now have paid work ( I did shake in my interview though).
I think it is something you can work through, I had to go on a course and the state I got myself in before, but I pushed through it and forced myself to go.
Through working I have got used to doing things. I used to always cancel social engagements and just sit in tears thinking I'll never be able to do this, but now I sometimes go out to things without even thinking about it beforehand, whereas a couple of years ago I would have had extreme anxiety.
You can get through it.
I know it's not always possible but could you do voluntary work in a school for a bit? Once you are known to staff, your real self I mean, not the self which presents with the anxiety at interviews, it may put you in a stronger position to perform well at interview. It sounds very tough.
I think the right way to look at this is to understand it's not your fault and you are not a freak. First, the way you feel is very common. One thing which became clear to me is that very capable people can feel this way, because for whatever reason, whether genetics, upbringing or other life experiences, they have got trapped in this way of thinking about themselves. It is nothing to do with your ability or worth as a person.
Please love, you're not a freak, you struggle with social stuff. Lots and lots and lots of us do.
I know you beat yourself up for "failing" the interview, but don't give up, keep going and you will get better at them.
Do you have a friend or someone who could mock interview you? Ask you tricky questions etc? So you get used to answering likely questions and not so likely ones?
Cbt is good, but it's only good when you're calm and able to reflect. It's not good for calming you, that has to be a different strategy.
If I were you, I'd go back to the GP, perhaps see someone else, could you find out from the receptionist who is best for anxiety issues? Some gps have special interests in subjects so are able to advise different solutions.
Don't give up! Have you tried rescue remedy? That helps me when I'm anxious
I used to have agoraphobia, mildly but it had its excruciating moments. Rescue remedy was how I managed to give myself the feeling that I could cope with being outdoors, looking at people, talking to people.
It's a hard slog, but I know you can do it.
Would it possible for you to say you have social anxiety in your application? Public-sector application forms often have a bit where you are asked to say if you are disabled or not – and the idea is that if you are they should put in place strategies to enable you to access a job in the same way as non-disabled people. In this case, perhaps you could ask for the interview to be done in writing (Over email?).
see another therapist. 10 weeks will only scratch the surface if the issue is ingrained.
Meantime remember most people experience social anxiety but have tactics to deal with it, thought they won't have it to your extent. So the lady interviewing you would have been feeling some anxiety too as interviews are stressful to do. I've found noticing others' anxieties has made me less focussed on my own anxiety.
Could you get a doctor's or therapist's letter which explains briefly that you suffer from social anxiety which is debilitating in interview situations? You could show this to prospective employers once you have an interview offer. Decent employers should be sympathetic if you can also explain (in writing) at this point why your interview performance may not be representative of your ability to do the job.
References which back this up would be valuable if you have any. Good luck
toptoe, it's unhelpful to point out that 'most people experience social anxiety but have tactics to deal with it'. The fact that they don't 'have it to [OP's] extent' makes that completely irrelevant, and just make it look like you're shaming her for not being able to 'deal with it'.
Social anxiety is an actual is an actual MH diagnosis, and not the same as just being a bit shy or nervous in social situations. You know, like feeling a bit sad isn't the same as depression, and wiping your kitchen surfaces isn't the same as OCD.
OP, I have the same problem with interviews, and quite a few other social situations. I am getting some help with this, but I'm not sure I'm tough enough to get through it. My life is very much worth living though.
People with anxiety often get depression as a result of it, so it may be worthwhile seeing your doctor about that.
Haven't RTFT as cooking dinner but have you tried Beta Blockers for interviews? It helped massively with my anxiety, to the point I stopped feeling nervous for certain things and didn't need them anymore. I also found [https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome MoodGym] very useful.
Please do not hate yourself. I understand the feeling (I suffer from SA too) and it's horrible. I find that I'm coping better with it these days but there have been times in my life when I have wondered what the point is.
I think you just have to find your groove. SA has kept me isolated for many years and I only felt capable of working from home. As a result I have very few friends and was on my own for a long time. As of last year my old job was no longer an option and I had to decide what to do. I think I would really struggle to work in a job I hate, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do and decided upon training as a dog groomer. I went to an interview which I was awful in. I felt like my answers were ridiculous. I didn't get the job. I wasn't even sure that I wanted it anyway but went to the interview to push myself/get some interview experience.
I decided I needed to try and gain some work experience before I went any further and rang around trying to get some. I must have called around 30 places, no-one wanted to know. Last call I made someone invited me over for a chat. What followed was 1 day of work experience before they saw my potential and wanted me to work a few days a week. When I say they saw my potential I don't mean that I was good at grooming, I had no idea what I was doing. Just a keen and helpful work ethic. Fast forward to 1 year later and I have learnt so much. My confidence has grown a lot and my SA has improved a lot.
I'm very aware that I have just rattled on about myself. As someone who knows how it feels I just wanted to provide some reassurance. I think if I went for an interview where I now work I wouldn't have got it. A job where you can learn as you work may be a good idea? As suggested by others voluntary work too. I hate interviews but the more you do the more you will learn how to handle them. I think I have seen books on how to handle interviews too?
Apparently in my PhD interview I did not say a word or at least that was how it was reported back to me. I dispute this slightly although admit I probably didn't say a lot and was happily given the post anyway. Have improved slightly since then although now work for myself to avoid having to go through interviews again. Two things that helped me was (i) Thinking to myself that if I mucked it up completely then at least I would never have the see the interviewer again and (ii) Practising answers to likely questions at home.
Seconding the beta blockers. Made all the difference to me.
Thank you everyone for your kind comments. Usually I just get on with life but it's moments like interviews/ making friends etc is when I feel I really let myself down because of the SA.
I would be too embarrassed to put it on my application forms. Don't think anyone would want to hire me if I did!
Re interviews: try to remember what questions you were asked, write them down and practice the answers - like flash cards.
Any like H&S make sure the answers are correct.
No chance you could work for yourself in any form? Writing, cleaning, dog walking, market stall etc?
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