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Old May 9th, 2015, 02:36 PM   #1
City Kid
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Name: Sophie
Join Date: March 20, 2015
Location: Berlin, Germany
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Default Do I have a social anxiety disorder?

I really need advice from someone who has some experience with social anxiety.

Well, where do I start... I have been diagnosed with depression a few months ago and it has been the thing me and my therapist focused on in our sessions. But she also told me that she thinks I have an anxiety disorder (without being able to specify it further). I know that I've developed some kind of school phobia during the last months, but we're working on that, too, so that's not the point of this, either.

As you can read in the title I'm worried I could be having social anxiety. The realization I show some symptoms of it hit me today, when my dad asked me if I could go to the book store for him and pick up a book he'd ordered. It shouldn't have been a big deal. It shouldn't have taken me more than twenty minutes to drive to the book store, walk inside, ask for my father's book, pay and go back home. But as soon as he asked this favor of me, I started to feel very uncomfortable and a little panicky even thinking about it. It seems stupid. What could the person in the book store have done? Tell me he can't give the book to me because I'm not the person who called him? And even if he had, what would it have mattered? Ugh, I feel so stupid now...

Anyway, as soon as I realized that it probably isn't normal to act like this, I started to realize some other things about me that could be connected to it. For instance, I can't talk to people I don't know over the telephone. I never liked doing that, but lately I just haven't been able to without getting really anxious. Even thinking of it makes me feel uncomfortable...

Then there's the problem that I always feel uncomfortable when I'm walking somewhere alone and someone is walking towards and then past me. I often even change to the other side of the street. It isn't like I'm afraid the other person's gonna beat me up or rob me or something, I just feel like... Like they're judging me.

I also hate meeting people I know in public. Especially if I don't like them or don't know them very well. I often even hide somewhere to make sure they don't see me.

I also hate drawing attention to myself, especially in school. I'm not being bullied or something, but I feel like even if I just do my hair a different way I'm gonna be the center of attention and everyone's gonna stare at me and judge me and I don't want that to happen.

On the other hand, I don't really have a problem talking in front of a crowd. Of course I'm nervous, but I'm never anxious. Does that mean I can't have social anxiety?

That's everything that comes to my mind. I'm sure I've forgotten a lot, but I think you already get a pretty good image of me.

Now, can somebody please tell me if I really have a proper case of social anxiety or if I'm just overreacting?

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Old May 11th, 2015, 12:57 AM   #2
Microcosm
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Default Re: Do I have a social anxiety disorder?

I think you may be over-thinking this. Social anxiety usually isn't something about which can be said you definitely have it or you definitely do not have it. It isn't like a disease.

Anyways, don't let it change who you are. Even if you did have a social anxiety disorder, does it really change you? No. It's just a label on your mental state. It sounds like you have a kind of average case of it. Like it's nothing too serious because trust me it can get a lot worse.

Sorry if this response sounded kind of blunt. That wasn't my intention, I assure you. I hope I could help and good luck.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 10:19 AM   #3
Let Me Be a Pony
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Default Re: Do I have a social anxiety disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stadtkind View Post
I really need advice from someone who has some experience with social anxiety.

Well, where do I start... I have been diagnosed with depression a few months ago and it has been the thing me and my therapist focused on in our sessions. But she also told me that she thinks I have an anxiety disorder (without being able to specify it further). I know that I've developed some kind of school phobia during the last months, but we're working on that, too, so that's not the point of this, either.

As you can read in the title I'm worried I could be having social anxiety. The realization I show some symptoms of it hit me today, when my dad asked me if I could go to the book store for him and pick up a book he'd ordered. It shouldn't have been a big deal. It shouldn't have taken me more than twenty minutes to drive to the book store, walk inside, ask for my father's book, pay and go back home. But as soon as he asked this favor of me, I started to feel very uncomfortable and a little panicky even thinking about it. It seems stupid. What could the person in the book store have done? Tell me he can't give the book to me because I'm not the person who called him? And even if he had, what would it have mattered? Ugh, I feel so stupid now...

Anyway, as soon as I realized that it probably isn't normal to act like this, I started to realize some other things about me that could be connected to it. For instance, I can't talk to people I don't know over the telephone. I never liked doing that, but lately I just haven't been able to without getting really anxious. Even thinking of it makes me feel uncomfortable...

Then there's the problem that I always feel uncomfortable when I'm walking somewhere alone and someone is walking towards and then past me. I often even change to the other side of the street. It isn't like I'm afraid the other person's gonna beat me up or rob me or something, I just feel like... Like they're judging me.

I also hate meeting people I know in public. Especially if I don't like them or don't know them very well. I often even hide somewhere to make sure they don't see me.

I also hate drawing attention to myself, especially in school. I'm not being bullied or something, but I feel like even if I just do my hair a different way I'm gonna be the center of attention and everyone's gonna stare at me and judge me and I don't want that to happen.

On the other hand, I don't really have a problem talking in front of a crowd. Of course I'm nervous, but I'm never anxious. Does that mean I can't have social anxiety?

That's everything that comes to my mind. I'm sure I've forgotten a lot, but I think you already get a pretty good image of me.

Now, can somebody please tell me if I really have a proper case of social anxiety or if I'm just overreacting?
Well, I am the same here. I change directions when someone has walked behind me for awhile, it's nervous for me to talk on the phone to strangers, or vocally on any type of call with a stranger. I'm afraid of people judging me and I can hardly bypass that feeling.

Crowds, I don't have a problem with them. I'm guessing it's because people easily blend in the crowds, everyone's minding their own business there.

Sometimes I begin to run away from random people in the street when I'm too nervous about them judging me.
A psychologist has told me I do have social anxiety, but I gave up on working with psychologists.
You should definitely bring the social anxiety conversation with your therapist, Sophie.

A lot of questions may occur when you're in panic, those questions tend to make it worse sometimes.
When walking, these thoughts occur in my head: "Am I walking properly?", "Is anyone looking at me, if so what are they thinking of me?", "Do I look bad?" "Is that person looking at me?", etc.
Deep breaths sometimes work when you're anxious, thinking about random stuff, imagination helps in this, basically everything to help you get those questions off your mind.
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