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Social Anxiety not improving(4 Posts)
I've had social phobia for 15 years now, it's massively impacted my life. (I also suspect I have avoidant personality disorder, but the NHS pdocs don't like to diagnose). I can't work, and avoid a lot of social situations as I feel I just can't cope. I can't shake the feeling that I am somehow a deficient person, and that the outside world just "isn't for me."
However I'm constantly trying to work on myself, and push myself to socialise more, but nothing seems to be getting any easier.
I've had 3 lots of CBT and group therapy through the NHS which I am very greatful for yet I still find myself struggling. My group therapy came to an end a few months ago and I asked if there were any more help available and they said no as I'm not "ill enough" to meet the criteria. I found that quite difficult to hear so I am now wondering where to go from here.
As I'm nearing 30 I've been thinking more about the future and as I am unable to work things just seem pretty bleak. I've had temporary jobs in the past but have never been able to cope for very long, it's something I find very upsetting as I feel like I have no purpose or financial independence.
I also worry that others will judge me for this, and think that I'm lazy or a "scrounger" - even though I'm not eligible to claim benefits.
I've been thinking a lot about starting a family one day but I don't even know if that would be fair on a child as I can't cope with so many things, and wouldn't want to pass on my problems.
Can anyone else relate? Has anyone encountered anything that helped them make any progress? Thanks for reading.
Im sorry i cant offer much advice but I can fully understand as i can pretty much mirror what you are going through even around the same age, the only difference is i have a 1 year old.
Social anxiety is a very lonely place and I dont think Dr's fully understand the impact of SA on someones confidence and self esteem especially when your head is going at a million miles per hour, and after CBT i was deemed 'not ill enough'.
I found the MIND website to be a brilliant source of information and help when things become particularly bad.
Some people are ignorant to MH problems, and if they judge let them, their ignorance is a very ugly character flaw
Im sorry i couldn't offer anything more constructive I just wanted to say that you are not alone
Hi DevilsInTheDetail thanks for replying. I think social anxiety is such a cruel disorder as it's so isolating, makes it hard to even join support groups.
I have gone to MIND for some more counselling as I need the support, I have always found them helpful in the past.
Thanks it really helps to know I'm not alone
I discovered I had social anxiety when i was a teenager but ive had it all my life. My self esteem and self confidence are very low too. Just thought I was shy/ quiet etc. It's affected and still does affect all parts of my life. I've given up on a professional career because of it and ended up doing basic nmw jobs. I've felt like such a failure.
I'm a sahm now so the only socialising I do is at playgroups and with family. But recently I've had to start driving and it has got me very very anxious. I've never felt like this before. I think it's linked to my social anxiety. I think the same thought processes are going on. I self referred to nhs for therapy but have heard the waiting list is 6m+ so have started some self help at home.
These are the things I'm doing.
Online cbt course MoodGym
Working through mindfulness book by mark Williams
Doing some self emdr
It's only been a couple of weeks but I do see very very subtle changes in my thought processes. My behaviours are still the same though! But I'm not expecting miracles so soon. It's made me more self aware too so I am getting better at identifying when I get into a negative thought spiral.
I am finding it very hard work though even boring at times and when you dont see big improvements its hard to stay motivated.
But I'm really really determined to sort myself out. I have accepted that this might mean doing self help on a daily basis, reading more books and trying everything out there. What works for others might not work for you.
Good luck to you.
Gosh this wasn't meant to be so long!
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