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Social Anxiety anyone?

(124 Posts)
MiserableCow Tue 10-Apr-07 01:13:53

Inspired from another thread, and because I'm a bit pissed, I thought I'd ask...does anyone else on here have social phobia/anxiety?

Don't want to go into full detail at the moment incase I get no responses and I'll then feel even more of an alien.

Namechange if you need to, but I really want to know if anyone else on here battles with this?

Twiglett Tue 10-Apr-07 07:18:20

I don't know if I know what you mean .. but as I opened the thread and read it I didn't want you to get no responses and feel 'like an alien'

do you mean anxious about being in groups?

I don't like parties .. I don't like big groups of people .. I just avoid them .. is that social anxiety? I don't know

I don't think so because apart from that I'm rather extrovert and have enough friends with whom I can have a laugh and enjoy discussions and I am also happy to start a conversation with a total stranger

DontlookatmeImshy Tue 10-Apr-07 07:21:51

Prehaps if you're a bit more specific you'll get more replied.

But if it's just like Twiglett described then I think that really quite a lot of people suffer from it.

Twiglett Tue 10-Apr-07 09:54:37

bump for OP

ChelseaDagger Tue 10-Apr-07 12:32:56

Thanks Twig and Dontlookatme.

It's a bit more than just avoiding big groups - more avoiding any kind of socialising at all. I think it's probably normal to be nervous before a big night out (worrying that you've chosen the right outfit or that you'll fit in), but I worry about the school run. So even though I do it every day and I know the other mums I still try and time it so I drop DS off at the exact right time and I'll do silly things to avoid walking home with other mums - like pretending I've got to go to the shop and leaving the school by the far exit and then having to walk for an extra half an hour to get back on track.

I was cleaning my bedroom window yesterday and I could see another mum waving at me from her garden. I pretended I couldn't see her because I was worried she might think I've got a funny wave if I waved back .

Obviously to other people I'm just very unfriendly, but I'm not really - just very anxious.

Sorry, I've just realised that I've namechanged since starting the OP. I am usually MiserableCow though.

Greenleeves Tue 10-Apr-07 12:38:08

Yes, I have quite strong chronic anxiety (am on medication for it) and it's an uphill struggle to make myself see people at all sometimes. I push myself to do it because I need it, the children need it etc, but it can be a struggle sometimes. I rarely have proper panic attacks any more, which may be because of the medication, but I do still get the other anxiety symptoms a lot. I use a combination of breathing exercises, visualisations, limeflower tea and flower remedies when I feel bad. But for the most part I just make myself get through the terrifying bit at the start of a social situation/new friendship, and eventually it gets easier. I generally tell new friends pretty bluntly that I am anxious/tongue-tied, because even if they think it's a bit weird it's probably better than them reading my slightly odd behaviour as unfriendliness or just barking.

I sympathise, it is a battle. Have you talked to your doctor about your anxiety?

Quootiepie Tue 10-Apr-07 12:42:29

I do abit. Sometimes I am ok, but only if some wave of confidence comes over me, but, majority of the time I am really bad. I won't even take DS to the swings yet. I cannot explain why not... I don't really know, I am just scared to. That's one reason DH won't pay for me to learn to drive, because he think I will not go out and I think he may be right in a way. Just the though of being so alone I guess gets me. No safety net around you, you are really out there and alone. At least at home you are...well, at home. Even round my mums I feel odd, really on edge. I am building myself up to be able to go on simple walks at the moment with DS , it's odd to me to think I used to just go out. And it's odd to see people walking from thier front doors, to their cars and just go out. I could never go to town unless I had an errand, then I have somewhere to go, something to do. Sorry, am rambling abit now!

ChelseaDagger Tue 10-Apr-07 12:45:18

Thanks GS (is it you?)

No I haven't spoke to my GP about it. I blush really easily and very badly - it's excruciating - and I know I'll blush if I try and speak about it.

How did you found out about those alternative remedies?

I can handle other people thinking I'm unfriendly - I'd rather that than them think I'm weird, but I do feel bad sometimes that I've made someone feel like an unappealing companion.

Nemo2007 Tue 10-Apr-07 12:45:44

I do, paranoid about what people think of me, that what I say is a load of crap and people are thinking I just go blah blah blah. Also paranoid that am being talked about behind my back/laughed at. I make myself go out for my children but usually end up sweating or red as I get really embarresed and feel flustered and ready to cry. Even at DDs christening I had to keep going outside where there was no one as I was sweating so much and couldnt catch my breath.

amess Tue 10-Apr-07 12:46:15

Not me but someone I know and I wish I could help them.

Quootiepie Tue 10-Apr-07 12:47:00

Yes, I tell friends now how shy I am. I met a MNer recently (luckily she knew me here first so I felt open to her), and just said "look, I am really shy. Sorry if I don't talk etc. or just act bored, or just not intrested". I find it very hard to relax. Round DH I am fine, joking, messing around but no one else ever sees that. I think if I try and crack a joke, I will get tongue tied and it will be rubbish. If I try and dress "nice", people will look at me and either I would have got it wrong, or look silly, or people will think "why did she bother to dress up?".

Nemo2007 Tue 10-Apr-07 12:50:11

I find I dont have any of my friends from before as they wouldnt understand as I was always extremely confident etc. It is horrible. I sometimes find it easier to be in a group than a 1-1situation as I can hide or even act overly confident but 1-1 I just find it really intense and feel pressured. Most of my 'friends' now are people online or I meet up with other mners who know what I am like so dont make me feel awkward if I am being a bit funny[although doenst stop that stupid voice in my head!]

Rumpel Tue 10-Apr-07 12:51:23

Chelsea - you can buy Bach Rescue Remedy form chemists - it's a flower remedy that you drop onto your tongue for calming emotions. You could also try lemonbalm or valerian. You can buy these as liquid form to add to juice, or capsules or grow your own and drink as tea.
Another option is hypnotherapy - it is generally very good.
I have a kind of social anxiety but it is more to do with having IBS than actual anxiety about people as such. I am currently asking mns about cognitive behaviour therapy - I've tried everything else and mine seems to be getting worse.
Might be worth you having a look at the thread too and reading some of the replies.

Hope you start to feel more confident soon

ChelseaDagger Tue 10-Apr-07 12:52:32

That's ok quotie. I think that's different to how I feel though. I'm not nervous of going out alone. I'm probably more independant than most and I'm not shy either. No problems with making phone calls or greeting people - it's the informalness (?) of social occasions that I'm anxious about. I can get through 'hello, how are you? How's work? etc' no problem, but it's when things move on from that and I have to think on my feet, respond without knowing where the conversation will go. That's what terrifies me.

I made my best friend re-arrange the seating at her wedding so that I was sitting with old people because I felt sorry for the young couple that I was supposed to be sitting with, and embarrassed for ex-p (we were together at the time) because it was his boss and gf. I think I also had PND at the time though.

chocolateface Tue 10-Apr-07 12:54:20

I know exactly haow you feel, although I've never been that bad. Do you think it has anything to do with PND? I go the other way and talk alot, sp people never believe me when I say I'm shy.

Quootiepie Tue 10-Apr-07 12:55:01

I don't have many of the same friends either. Partly because my life has changed so much in 2-5 years, partly because I just cannot interact the same way anymore. With my best friend from school I was open, and more carefree but now when we meet I am shy and quiet and just cannot let go at all. I avoid meeting her often because I am worried all the time about all the details of our meeting - what will she think of how I look, how I act, my life now, will I say enough, will I say too much, will she want to leave, how do I act, do I arrange the place, will she want to meet me at all, do I make an easy get out for her? They are just the beginnings of it in my head! In the end it is easier to stay in my PJs and stay at home

Quootiepie Tue 10-Apr-07 12:57:25

I cannot get passed the "hello"!. I want to say "how are you" etc. but the words get stuck. Then I think "will they hear me now? will they blank me? have I left it too long? shall I pretend to be busy so they think thats why I didn't ask them? Shall I slip it in later?" Nightmare.

ChelseaDagger Tue 10-Apr-07 12:59:12

Sorry, loads of posts since I just replied to Quotie (phew).

My only child is 5 now so definetly not PND anymore. I know that I've always had this anxiety about socialising. I'm convinced that I will make an arse of myself in every situation. I even get scared of posting on here because I'm bound to do it wrong, get the wrong end of the stick, reply in a serious tone when the thread was a joke. I 31 now and I've made such stupid decisions in my life because of this.

Rumpel I'll have a look for Bachs next time I'm in Boots - thank you.

chocolateface Tue 10-Apr-07 13:03:18

Miserable Cow, glad I'm not the only one a bit pissed at lunchtime! Does alcohol help in social situations. I know ALCOHOL IS NOT THE ANSWER! Quootiepie, I eally don't want to sound patronising, but have you thought about seeing your DR.? I think they may be able to help you with counceling, although I'm no expert.

Quootiepie Tue 10-Apr-07 13:05:48

Yep, GP knows about it. Well, as part of depression, panic, anxiety and PTSD I have. Never been offered couselling, only anxiety management (which has a massive waiting list). Although sometimes I get so bad I cannot even get to GP so it's catch 22!

ChelseaDagger Tue 10-Apr-07 13:08:39

I can really relate to what you've just posted quotie, but after years of practice I can do it and it's become easy. A bit like leaving answer phone messages which used to make me stammer, but I can compose myself now and stay calm and because I've got through it so many times it's natural for me to do it.

I'm so relieved that I'm not the only one with this irrational fear. Socialising is supposed to be something to look forward to, not dread and it makes me feel down that it's so hard for me. I also worry about how this is influencing DS. He's naturally out-going and chatty but no-one expects a 5 year old to have social graces beyond manners. How will he ever learn to feel comfortable socialising if he doesn't see me do it?

ChelseaDagger Tue 10-Apr-07 13:11:30

CF - PMSL. I actually started this thread last night, but don't worry - I've been pissed at lunch time plenty of times.

If I'm honest I've got massive issues with alcohol. I'm horrified at what I'm getting through lately and with a family history of alcoholism it's not something I should be ignoring.

Have you seen your GP CF? Or do you do anything that helps you cope?

Nemo2007 Tue 10-Apr-07 13:11:36

Quootie you sound like me I have depression,anxiety and ptsd. I have been having CBT for over a year and things have got a little better in that I cross the doorstep now but even that is a huge drag. Its like this afternoon I asked stoppinattwo to book my ds in for an activity at the wildflower centre and am now panicking about it as we have to leave around 2pm. I am panicking about paying,talking to people, getting confused about what we are doing, what people will think etc. Probably doesnt help that I get stopped a lot when out as I have 3 under 3.5yrs which of course makes people look and only ever get nice comments now[were a lot more negative when I was pg with dd2] but I hate it. I go because DS is at that age where staying in is not enough anymore.

Quootiepie Tue 10-Apr-07 13:16:41

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Well, in the way that I am worried I am effecting DS by not getting out and about. I get upset he is inside on a day like this, but it would be such a nightmare for me to get out. Even when I was out the door, the "where shall I go? What if someone else is on the swings? How long do I stay? What if DS cries? What if someone smiles at me? What if someone says hello? Do I start to chat? Will I seem rude if I only sday hello back?" And just walking there without DH makes me nervous. Like suddenly I am out in thw world, out of my safety zone and I just do not know how to act. I mean, all I have to do is walk to the swings round the corner but... it would be like walking with a bin bag on. Will anyone see me? What will people think when they see me? Will anyone say anything? What if there is kids haging around? And other things I just cannot explain. I don't want DS to grow up being like me, he is so unknowing right now he just thinks his life is in these four walls most days

lostinfrance Tue 10-Apr-07 13:18:00

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