Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 216763

Shown: posts 1 to 23 of 23. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

How do you handle social situations like this?

Posted by WorryGirl on April 6, 2003, at 18:23:54

I was reading Libby's post about her being nervous about returning to work since she was hospitalized and all. I really could relate to how nervous she must have been on that first day back at work.

In every social situation that makes me nervous it always involves small groups of people, usually people I don't know well or at all (or people I might know pretty well but I get the feeling at least one in the group doesn't like me).

In these kinds of situations, if you are nervous, how do you usually handle it? Please don't say that you just start saying hello and introducing yourself. I've tried it and it always backfires, probably because they sense my nervousness, plus in the area I live in, socialization seems to be almost more reactive than proactive. In other words, if I seem too forward people back off, either because they wonder what's wrong with me that I am so friendly or maybe they think I want something from them. It's like you're supposed to act like you really don't care about those people until they decide to befriend you.

I'm always extremely nervous and dread these kind of affairs, but the only way that I've found I can handle them is to always arrive early.
This way, because I'm the first one there, it doesn't seem as much like people are staring at me or even noticing me. This approach has actually worked to the extent that people who might not have noticed me before will say hello because I was there first, and I think most people feel uncomfortable just sitting there and not talking to anyone.

Yet, most of the time I find myself doing just that in small group situations. Sort of sitting on the outside of the circle, too timid to just chime right in with them, but never really receiving any verbal or nonverbal welcoming cues. Maybe I am receiving nonverbal welcoming cues, but I'm just not picking up on them?

I am going to a school tour this week and am already getting nervous. I'm tired of the mental exhaustion involved before I even get there, then the emotional failure I feel when everyone else in the group is chatting with each other by the end of the tour, except for me.

I swear, I smile and make eye contact (not too much, though, because eye contact is hard for me at first til I get to know someone). My problem is how nervous I sound when I open my mouth. My sentences never come out smoothly and people read right into it. Help! Socially, I might've been more successful if I had been born deaf and dumb.

 

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

Posted by justyourlaugh on April 6, 2003, at 19:11:38

In reply to How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by WorryGirl on April 6, 2003, at 18:23:54

worry,i wish i could help..
i cant even get a coffee without dropping all my money..
i dont bother with people much..and they dont bother me...i always thought that was fine...now i see i am missing out..and my quality of life is hampered....?
jyl

 

Re: How do you handle social situations like this?

Posted by WorryGirl on April 6, 2003, at 19:44:17

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? WorryGirl, posted by justyourlaugh on April 6, 2003, at 19:11:38

> worry,i wish i could help..
> i cant even get a coffee without dropping all my money..
> i dont bother with people much..and they dont bother me...i always thought that was fine...now i see i am missing out..and my quality of life is hampered....?
> jyl

Jyl,
Would you rather be invisible or so incredible that everyone wants to be near you?
All these people that others want to be near don't necessarily seem incredible. What do they have?

I wonder why it never seemed to bother you. It has always bothered me.
Maybe I'm not meant to ever be on the other side?

 

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

Posted by justyourlaugh on April 6, 2003, at 19:58:18

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by WorryGirl on April 6, 2003, at 19:44:17

i lost all my friends over night when i was 17..
after a hospital stay...
never bothered me because i dont need people like that in my life...i thought everyone was cruel..
judgemental...
i was protecting myself ..at the same time ..putting me in an isolation cell..
jyl

 

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

Posted by WorryGirl on April 7, 2003, at 9:40:05

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? WorryGirl, posted by justyourlaugh on April 6, 2003, at 19:58:18

> i lost all my friends over night when i was 17..
> after a hospital stay...
> never bothered me because i dont need people like that in my life...i thought everyone was cruel..
> judgemental...
> i was protecting myself ..at the same time ..putting me in an isolation cell..
> jyl
>

What a shame...
I know how judgmental people can be sometimes. People will say, "You can tell us - it will be OK" while you're crying, then after you tell them what's going on they must be whispering about it to everyone they know, because you'll slowly start being treated like a pariah.

I don't know about you but I can sense someone's attitude change towards me the second it happens. It's something in their tone and the way they look at you. It's like they no longer take you seriously.

You have a lot to offer. Just reading your posts has helped me through some hard times.

 

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

Posted by justyourlaugh on April 7, 2003, at 13:32:22

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? justyourlaugh, posted by WorryGirl on April 7, 2003, at 9:40:05

thank you for the kind words..
when i do go into social situations...mother's dinner parties(how sad is that)with the family..
i get drunk-not falling down drunk,enough to take he edge off and to help my hands stop shaking..
hell,then i am the hit of the gala,everyones laughing..cracking jokes...
sometimes i end up crying in the bathroom...when the stress level that families can bring ,gets a little high...
peace
jyl

 

Re: How do you handle social situations like this?

Posted by paxvox on April 7, 2003, at 19:02:28

In reply to How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by WorryGirl on April 6, 2003, at 18:23:54

Young one,

Are you getting ANY medical help? Clonazepam and Paxil seem to do very well for this sort of social "insecurity" for lack of a better word.

My wife had to be hospitalized for a week this past December. It was terribly tough for me, but she was having suicidal ideations. I am no stranger to "mental illness" having enjoyed it for the past 12 years or so. There were times I probably SHOULD have been hospitalized, because to be honest with you, the thought of checking out passes most of our minds when we feel terribly desperate. I have been there. But to try and answer your question. My wife still resents that she had to go to the hospital, and feels as if I forced her to do so, althought it was a self-admit. I DID encourage her to do it. She has not really gotten a whole lot out of the experience. For a few weeks I thought we had a breakthrough, like the movie "Awakenings", but, alas, she has slipped back into her darkness. She has problems talking to people that knew she was there. She has turned her back on her friend that tipped me off that she was making the statements to (as if she had been betrayed by her as well). Hey, call me stupid, but someone who is willing to risk their friendship, or even their marriage, to keep someone else from killing themselves does not need to be treated as the "enemy". Why not just load the gun?

How are YOU going to get back into the "world"? I guess I would have to know a whole lot more about your specifics. But the question I would proffer you is "Do you WANT to be well?" Gee, sounds so elementary doesn't it? It is not, by any means. Some of us become so used to our lives of crap because that is what we know, and we are AFRAID of the unknown. So we sit in our known evil afraid of other unknown possibilities, becasue they might be worse. Will they be? Who can tell. Gotten used to where you are? Want to stay there, or do you want to be well? It IS a tough choice that some never make. My wife has lived in her hell since she was 9 years old (47 now). Why? Because to face the demons of her past is just too painful for her, so she has become accustomed to her "crap", because it is what she knows. I hold out hope that one day she will pick up her mat and walk out. You sound like it may not be too late for your escape. Do it NOW while you still can. Make the break, get whatever help it requires. Damn what the world or your friends and family think if you have to be hospitalized. Let them slip on your shoes for just a few steps. It might be as simple as a medication issue, let's hope so. But if you are NOT getting the meds you need, find someone who will help you. It may take some guts, but do you want to be well?


PAX

 

Re: How do you handle social situations like this?

Posted by noa on April 7, 2003, at 19:58:05

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by paxvox on April 7, 2003, at 19:02:28

Worrygirl, I am pondering your question and will post later.

 

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

Posted by WorryGirl on April 10, 2003, at 12:24:31

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by paxvox on April 7, 2003, at 19:02:28

> Are you getting ANY medical help? Clonazepam and Paxil seem to do very well for this sort of social "insecurity" for lack of a better word.
>

Hi paxvox,
Thanks for your words. No, I'm not getting any medical help YET. I plan on taking probably paxil very soon though. I have a fear of taking medications, especially ones that have the potential for dependency. Partially because of my upbringing, which is based on the belief that medications are merely a crutch for people too weak to get off their behinds and roll with the punches. So I have that stigma, along with me, personally, fearing getting overly dependent upon the medication. But I am going to get over these issues and try it anyway.

> My wife had to be hospitalized for a week this past December. It was terribly tough for me, but she was having suicidal ideations. I am no stranger to "mental illness" having enjoyed it for the past 12 years or so. There were times I probably SHOULD have been hospitalized, because to be honest with you, the thought of checking out passes most of our minds when we feel terribly desperate. I have been there. But to try and answer your question. My wife still resents that she had to go to the hospital, and feels as if I forced her to do so, althought it was a self-admit. I DID encourage her to do it. She has not really gotten a whole lot out of the experience. For a few weeks I thought we had a breakthrough, like the movie "Awakenings", but, alas, she has slipped back into her darkness. She has problems talking to people that knew she was there. She has turned her back on her friend that tipped me off that she was making the statements to (as if she had been betrayed by her as well). Hey, call me stupid, but someone who is willing to risk their friendship, or even their marriage, to keep someone else from killing themselves does not need to be treated as the "enemy". Why not just load the gun?
>

Wow, you are obviously dealing with many issues. My niece has paranoid schizophrenia and experiences some of what your wife has gone through. That you have managed to stay together and gotten through this so far is admirable.

> How are YOU going to get back into the "world"? I guess I would have to know a whole lot more about your specifics. But the question I would proffer you is "Do you WANT to be well?" Gee, sounds so elementary doesn't it? It is not, by any means. Some of us become so used to our lives of crap because that is what we know, and we are AFRAID of the unknown. So we sit in our known evil afraid of other unknown possibilities, becasue they might be worse. Will they be? Who can tell. Gotten used to where you are? Want to stay there, or do you want to be well? It IS a tough choice that some never make. My wife has lived in her hell since she was 9 years old (47 now). Why? Because to face the demons of her past is just too painful for her, so she has become accustomed to her "crap", because it is what she knows. I hold out hope that one day she will pick up her mat and walk out. You sound like it may not be too late for your escape. Do it NOW while you still can. Make the break, get whatever help it requires. Damn what the world or your friends and family think if you have to be hospitalized. Let them slip on your shoes for just a few steps. It might be as simple as a medication issue, let's hope so. But if you are NOT getting the meds you need, find someone who will help you. It may take some guts, but do you want to be well?
>

Yes, I DO want to get well, but I must admit that as miserable as my existence feels at times there is a certain comfort zone that I'm subconsciously afraid to let go of. If I were well, then what excuse would I have when people still don't respond well to me? I realize that not everyone is going to like me, but it really hurts that through my eyes, at least 95% of people don't, once they start getting to know me. That obviously points to a defect in myself. I believe I'm obsessive compulsive, too, which contributes to the social anxiety in a strange way. Most people with social anxiety just plain don't talk to others unless they have to. I am afraid to talk to people unless I think they are responsive and seem to like me (now that I think about it isn't everyone like that though?). I guess the problem begins when I feel that someone finally does seem to like me. I get so excited that I talk too much and look like a freak. I sometimes reveal too much, and even occasionally manage to talk about subjects that people just don't talk about in informal social situations. I really, really, really try not to do this, but it's like once I get started I CAN'T stop! It's embarrassing. I don't always do this. When I am sitting alone and no one is talking to me, I barely say a word. And at times, I'll talk normally even, but it's when someone starts being friendly back. Then I get out of control. Would drugs really help this? I have an uncle who has been made fun of ever since I can remember because he is a compulsive talker. He works in a factory and everyone assumes that he talks so much outside of work because he can't talk at work. But he is like a family joke. I don't work in a factory, but see myself becoming like him. Everyone avoids him because once he gets started on a topic he goes on for hours! I'm not that bad. I don't do that - what I do is maybe get too intense too fast. It's like I don't know any other way. My close friends and family will just tell me to shut up or say "are you finished?". They love me and although it stings a bit, so it really doesn't offend me and keeps me from talking too much. But when getting to know people, they're not going to just tell me to shut up, even if they're thinking it. But I'm almost infantile in needing that cue to shut me up! Ramble, ramble (sorry!)

I appreciate your post. I'm hoping to be able to post that I'm finally taking something :)

 

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

Posted by WorryGirl on April 10, 2003, at 12:27:09

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by noa on April 7, 2003, at 19:58:05

Hi Noa,
If you read my response to paxvox it should give you more insight. I need all the help I can get and really appreciate all of you who have taken the time to respond.
I only hope I can do the same for others here.

 

Re: How do you handle social situations like this?

Posted by Sarah S on April 17, 2003, at 17:38:59

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? noa, posted by WorryGirl on April 10, 2003, at 12:27:09


Well, I sort of have the same problem. I'm almost incapable of speaking until spoken to--apart from just saying crap like "hello, how's it going, what's your name?" etc. I am so afraid of rejection, and the sad part is that my life thus far hasn't really given me any reason NOT to be afraid of rejection. So whenever somebody actually acts like they're not going to reject me, I tend to make a lot out of it. I immediately want the person to be my friend and invite me to stuff outside of class, andalthough my fears usually inhibit me, I'm tempted to tell them personal stuff about me.

How do I get past that? Well, I haven't so far, but CBT has helped it a little. My therapist has told me that my thinking is too extreme--I either think "This person hates me! I'm pathetic, no one will be my friend!" or else "Hey, this person likes me! I want to be his/her best friend!" If I can just replace these thoughts with an attitude more along the lines of "Well, maybe these people like me, maybe they don't. I just have to wait and see," then I won't have as many problems. And if you can change your thinking, then your behavior will follow, and then eventually your feelings will change too. I'm not sure how well this is going to turn out, but I would definitely recommend CBT.

Another method I've thought of trying is social skills training/group therapy. Have any other social phobics tried this?

But despite all the problems I still have, I have to admit that "it's getting better all the time." When I was in middle school I was so shy I couldn't even look at people, let alone talk to them. Later in high school I could talk, but I still felt really nervous. Now that I'm in college, I can talk to certain people and still feel comfortable, I can talk in class, and I can make small talk with strangers. Things aren't perfect, but they've improved so much that I have faith that they can improve to the point where I'm normal. And if I can improve, then anybody can! So please don't despair too much.

 

Re: How do you handle social situations like this?

Posted by elisha on April 30, 2003, at 10:09:03

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by Sarah S on April 17, 2003, at 17:38:59

I am also someone who enjoys intense and deep conversation and have a very hard time with small talk. I have found this to be a problem since most people enjoy lite subjects and are not interested in deep intense conversation. I am also a person who loves the human race so much that I am not willing to become a hermit because of my problem. I have learnt to adapt and make lite conversation and when the opportunity presents itself for a deep conversation to try to enjoy it but not go overboard.
I will sum up by telling you that having a connection with other people is essential to happiness and is worthy of hard work to achieve!

GOOD LUCK!!

 

Re: How do you handle social situations like this? Sarah S

Posted by WorryGirl on May 12, 2003, at 9:01:16

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by Sarah S on April 17, 2003, at 17:38:59

Sarah,
Thanks for your response. I'm sorry it took me so long to respond to you! I've felt so depressed lately and it's been hard for me to even log on to my computer. Yes, I can really relate to your feelings and it does comfort me to know others out have the same kind of feelings I do. It sounds like you are taking steps to improve your social relationships.


> I am so afraid of rejection, and the sad part is that my life thus far hasn't really given me any reason NOT to be afraid of rejection. So whenever somebody actually acts like they're not going to reject me, I tend to make a lot out of it. I immediately want the person to be my friend and invite me to stuff outside of class, andalthough my fears usually inhibit me, I'm tempted to tell them personal stuff about me.
>
I do the same thing. I get too personal too quickly if I think someone likes me, then they almost always back off. The worst part is that they often then say negative things about me to others who might have become my friends otherwise. All it seems to take is for one person to think I'm weird and everyone else is more than happy to take their word for it instead of trying to get to know me and find out for themselves. I really wish I could stop self-disclosing too much. I don't always do it. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 conversations before I do it, but the result is usually the same - negative!

> How do I get past that? Well, I haven't so far, but CBT has helped it a little. My therapist has told me that my thinking is too extreme--I either think "This person hates me! I'm pathetic, no one will be my friend!" or else "Hey, this person likes me! I want to be his/her best friend!" If I can just replace these thoughts with an attitude more along the lines of "Well, maybe these people like me, maybe they don't. I just have to wait and see," then I won't have as many problems. And if you can change your thinking, then your behavior will follow, and then eventually your feelings will change too. I'm not sure how well this is going to turn out, but I would definitely recommend CBT.
>
> Another method I've thought of trying is social skills training/group therapy. Have any other social phobics tried this?
>

I wish there were some kind of group therapy for social phobics. I've checked into it and am not aware of one in my area. I would definitely try it. It would be nice to have conversations then evaluations of how we are perceived (if we really want to hear the truth!). Like they say, "the truth will set you free".

> But despite all the problems I still have, I have to admit that "it's getting better all the time." When I was in middle school I was so shy I couldn't even look at people, let alone talk to them. Later in high school I could talk, but I still felt really nervous. Now that I'm in college, I can talk to certain people and still feel comfortable, I can talk in class, and I can make small talk with strangers. Things aren't perfect, but they've improved so much that I have faith that they can improve to the point where I'm normal. And if I can improve, then anybody can! So please don't despair too much.

It sounds like you are doing well. It seems that you will continuously become more confident and less fearful in your social exchanges.
I've always felt shy, but unlike most, part of my temperament includes becoming very talkative once I feel comfortable at all. When I don't feel comfortable it's excruciating. I feel as if everyone can read my deepest thoughts and fears and look down on me for them.

 

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

Posted by WorryGirl on May 12, 2003, at 9:08:51

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by elisha on April 30, 2003, at 10:09:03

> I am also someone who enjoys intense and deep conversation and have a very hard time with small talk. I have found this to be a problem since most people enjoy lite subjects and are not interested in deep intense conversation. I am also a person who loves the human race so much that I am not willing to become a hermit because of my problem. I have learnt to adapt and make lite conversation and when the opportunity presents itself for a deep conversation to try to enjoy it but not go overboard.

You sound like the kind of person I strive to be! If I were to meet you in a group I would immediately be drawn to you. Hopefully you wouldn't run away from me! It's funny, but I get so disinterested so quickly when trying to attempt small talk. I know it's essential to good conversation, but it leaves me feeling so empty and drained, and mostly, insufficient. Looking back, though, the times that I am able to keep my chit-chat to small talk, people have always responded better to me. Why do I have that innate urge to go deeper? Why do I feel the need to introduce an intense subject that no one else even wants to talk about or even cares about?
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who pretty much keep the topic of their conversations focused on themselves only or talk about other people. They tend to be the ones who love to ostracize me and make me feel very unwelcome. Yet, everyone else seems to love them.

> I will sum up by telling you that having a connection with other people is essential to happiness and is worthy of hard work to achieve!
>
> GOOD LUCK!!

Thanks for your post and support. I will continue to work at this, and hopefully will have a success story one of these days!

 

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

Posted by elisha on May 12, 2003, at 14:41:45

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? elisha, posted by WorryGirl on May 12, 2003, at 9:08:51

To Worry Girl,

I don't know you all that well or better yet almost not at all but from the way that you write it seems to me that you are a very thoughtfull interesting person. If the food that you are serving is not displayed well then no one will give it a try but that doesn't mean the food isn't excellent. Some people don't like deep thought only because they have a problem dealing with life, it is thier problem and not yours!

your friend Elisha

 

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

Posted by noa on May 21, 2003, at 17:42:10

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? paxvox, posted by WorryGirl on April 10, 2003, at 12:24:31

WG, how did that school tour go, afterall?

 

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

Posted by WorryGirl on May 22, 2003, at 15:01:21

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? WorryGirl, posted by noa on May 21, 2003, at 17:42:10

> WG, how did that school tour go, afterall?

Hi Noa,
Thanks for asking. It actually went well. There really wasn't too much social interaction between the parents, and because I arrived early, I was able to talk to the director of the school. She was very nice and I admit, partially because of that, I chose that school for my daughter.

I saw a therapist yesterday and she needs a few more sessions to determine what medication I'm going to need. She made me feel so comfortable, unlike my friend's referral a few months ago. She didn't try to immediately diagnose me, and she didn't laugh like my therapist of last year did, when I told him about my 7th grade traumas.
She did tell me what I pretty much already knew - that I have a lot of anxiety, and much of it has built upon itself over the years. Whether I am bipolar remains to be seen.

So far so good.
I hope all is OK with you. I haven't had much time to read the new posts lately. I'll have to do that today and tonight and catch up with what's going on with everyone.

Take care :)

 

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

Posted by Dinah on May 24, 2003, at 9:42:37

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? noa, posted by WorryGirl on May 22, 2003, at 15:01:21

Hi Worrygirl,

I'm glad your experience with your new therapist was a positive one. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get a good mental health professional.

 

Re: How do you handle social situations like this? (nm) WorryGirl

Posted by Leporello on May 24, 2003, at 22:31:55

In reply to How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by WorryGirl on April 6, 2003, at 18:23:54

 

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

Posted by Leporello on May 24, 2003, at 22:34:07

In reply to How do you handle social situations like this?, posted by WorryGirl on April 6, 2003, at 18:23:54

!!Sorry about the first post :). This is my first message on this BBS and I haven't gotten used to the system.!!

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.

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:

http://www.socialphobia.org/whatis.html#whatis1

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 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 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!

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.

 

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.

 

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

Posted by WorryGirl on May 27, 2003, at 22:54:28

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? WorryGirl, posted by Dinah on May 24, 2003, at 9:42:37

> Hi Worrygirl,
>
> I'm glad your experience with your new therapist was a positive one. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get a good mental health professional.

Dinah, it was SO POSITIVE. She is wonderful, and I must have been fuzzy headed that first time I saw her once over 5 years ago!

Isn't it funny how you just click with some people? She didn't make me feel uncomfortable at all. I didn't want to leave the office. The 50 minutes felt like 5! She is warm, engaging, and so understanding. Maybe I should've seen a woman from the start with this social anxiety and everything else. I've always felt like I connected better with men, but now that I'm getting older, maybe that's not so true anymore. Who knows?

I get to go tomorrow for my second session. I typed a little profile of my troubles so maybe she can get more insight. I hope she doesn't mind!

How is everything with you? Are you finding a suitable diet?
I just bought the Atkins Diet book (mostly out of curiousity and maybe hoping to lose those 10-15 lb.) It is interesting that he makes claims that the diet is beneficial for stabilizing insulin levels. He really keeps his diet free from those starchy simple carbs, especially sugar.
For the last 3 days I've been doing a modified version, and although I feel a bit sluggish, in some ways I feel better.
I've heard by so many how unhealthy this diet is, which is why I'd never follow it 100%.
I do like philosophy on paying attention to the glycemic index of foods.

 

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

Posted by Dinah on May 28, 2003, at 14:31:31

In reply to Re: How do you handle social situations like this? Dinah, posted by WorryGirl on May 27, 2003, at 22:54:28

Oh, I'm so happy for you. It sounds like you've found someone compatible for you. :) I think a good therapist can make such a big difference.

My doctor is a big fan of Sugarbusters diet which also measures the glycemic indexes of everything. I've kind of given up at the moment. I'm making do with not eating too badly, and not worrying about eating well. I'm still losing weight, because I'm eating less than before. But I just couldn't take the mood swings. I might try again later.


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