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Re: How do you handle social situations like this? Leporello

Posted by WorryGirl on May 27, 2003, at 22:47:24

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? WorryGirl, posted by Leporello on May 24, 2003, at 22:34:07

> Hello WG. I know exactly how you feel. I'm not sure if you've been diagnosed as such yet or what specifically your difficulties are but mine are very much centered in social anxiety. I honestly thought I was the only one with this condition because know one else seemed to have understood what I was going through and my perceptions of myself or more importantly, of how I perceived other people perceiving me.
>

Thank you so much for your post and welcome to this board. In my opinion is the best place to visit for a wonderfully supportive group. It is, in a sense, my group therapy.
It sounds like you do have a similar problem. Do you feel as though others perceive you as a loser or different somehow and that you are constantly excluded from the main "group" because of it? Why do you feel that this is true? I hope you don't mind me asking. Do you feel that this is strictly in regards to your personality, or that even your looks (either expressions or physical appearance) come into play at all? With me, I think it could be my expressions - they say the eyes are the window to the soul. Well, if so, then my eyes must speak some bad stuff! But I know I have good qualities and when I'm around someone I'm confident with, this side of me doesn't surface too much. My few friends don't seem to see me as socially handicapped. Do you feel this is true for you? I think it's sad that I've been living in this neighborhood for over 5 years and have barely made a few acquaintances and no close friends. Is this normal? Why does it seem that others can make friends, even if not close ones, SO EASILY? Isn't it frustrating?

> Then I saw an awareness commercial with Donny Osmond(sp?) as the spokes person talking about social anxiety disorder, something I had never heard of until then. All the symptoms checked out so I searched the internet and came across this site:

I saw a show once on him and his social anxiety and frankly, I was surprised, and so touched that he has gone through this for so long. I never would have guessed.
>
> http://www.socialphobia.org/whatis.html#whatis1
>

Thanks for the link.

> That's a link to the "what is" section. When I read that over, it was like someone had just doused me in ice water, it was a huge wake up call! I had finally found my diagnosis and it took an awareness commercial to do it even though I had seen many different professionals by that time. All the examples given on that page conform to my own experiences so if you want to know what I live with on a regular basis, that would be it.
>

I read them, and much of it applies to me, too. Do you live in a new area or have you lived pretty much in the same area your whole life? I ask because I've moved around so much in the past, and maybe that has played a big part in my social anxiety, always being the "new kid" for so long.

> I know Social Anxiety has already come up as has cognitive behavioral therapy so I won't say much more on the specifics. I did try CBT but I found that I was not ready and could not do the behavioral exercises that are central to that style of therapy. I've tried Paxil and Zoloft but reacted to both so I settled on Wellbutrin to help with my depression which is pretty much in check... but the anxiety remains. I'm very pathologically set and I do know that this is what I will be dealing with for the rest of my life.
>

I believe I will, too. I am going to be prescribed something soon. I don't know how I've gotten by without it for so long, but I finally realized that my quality of life is suffering for the worse and if I don't do something soon, it might get harder for meds to work, if I postpone it too much longer. I'll probably be prescribed Paxil. I do hope it will work for me. I'm sorry your meds haven't been ideal. I hope you find something soon - I know how painful the social isolation can be.

> I don't know if this is what you have but you may want to check out that symptoms list because the specific examples that they give are incredible!
>

Yes, they are, and thanks again for that site. It does help to know I'm not the only one! There are several others on this board that go through similar anxieties, and it has been very encouraging and mood lifting somehow to talk with them.

> One other thing you may want to consider is if your need to disclose personal information about yourself to receptive people is also based in rejection. That being, if they know your history and your difficulties fairly early, then you give them the option to reject you outright rather than build a relationship with them over time only to have them reject you when things start to get more personal and you've begun to establish a relationship with the individual. I've done that in the past myself.
>

I think you've hit the nail on the head! It is true that I seem to want everyone to know "all about me" so they can decide right then and there if I am for them (as a friend). Usually I'm not, and probably because most people don't self-disclose so much so soon. It probably sends out a red flag, but I can't help wondering why more people out there can't give people like that a chance! I'm not so bad, really :)

I hope to read more of your posts. I hope you had a nice holiday weekend and a good week ahead.


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