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Social anxiety :(

Thread starter #1
Hi, I'm new here. I've enjoyed reading everyone's personal stories so far, and i wish everyone good luck with this problem. Here's my story- I'm a 22 year old student hoping to become an MD. I find it soooo hard though, to go to my classes. I have many lab classes that I have to attend but i completely avoid them at all costs. I'm afraid to ask my classmates questions because I'm afraid I will sound so weird and mean. I don't go out that often, and I avoid going to stores and church. I have quite a few friends, but I avoid going out with them unless there are specific conditions met. like, if its just one or two of them in a VERY private setting. I avoid answering my cell phone most of the time because I'm afraid I will sound mean and alienate whoever's calling. This has cost me time spent with friends. If I'm uncomfortable anywhere, I just leave. I leave classes, labs, the company of friends, family, etc. When I think about or imagine what I look like to others, its just so mind blowing, if you know what I mean. I am constantly paranoid that I look mean or rude or will say something that does not make any sense. I'm afraid of being humiliated. I feel helpless. I'm afraid that people think I'm the weirdest and most awkward person ever. walking down halls at the university is sooo terrible. I don't know which way to look when someone crosses my path. If a guy walks by me and I accidentally look at him, I'm afraid he will think that I am "checking him out" or think that i think he's checking me out. Ive even gained weight just to blend into the crowd and avoid being talked to. If I wear make up, I'm afraid that guys will think that i think I am attractive. I feel very ugly. I am at a loss. Its really hard to describe what I feel, though I'm sure you all know what I mean to some degree. any advice or kind words? Thank you so much. Sorry I wrote so much. ;)
 

triceps

Active Member
#2
Hi, I'm new here. I've enjoyed reading everyone's personal stories so far, and i wish everyone good luck with this problem. Here's my story- I'm a 22 year old student hoping to become an MD. I find it soooo hard though, to go to my classes. I have many lab classes that I have to attend but i completely avoid them at all costs. I'm afraid to ask my classmates questions because I'm afraid I will sound so weird and mean. I don't go out that often, and I avoid going to stores and church. I have quite a few friends, but I avoid going out with them unless there are specific conditions met. like, if its just one or two of them in a VERY private setting. I avoid answering my cell phone most of the time because I'm afraid I will sound mean and alienate whoever's calling. This has cost me time spent with friends. If I'm uncomfortable anywhere, I just leave. I leave classes, labs, the company of friends, family, etc. When I think about or imagine what I look like to others, its just so mind blowing, if you know what I mean. I am constantly paranoid that I look mean or rude or will say something that does not make any sense. I'm afraid of being humiliated. I feel helpless. I'm afraid that people think I'm the weirdest and most awkward person ever. walking down halls at the university is sooo terrible. I don't know which way to look when someone crosses my path. If a guy walks by me and I accidentally look at him, I'm afraid he will think that I am "checking him out" or think that i think he's checking me out. Ive even gained weight just to blend into the crowd and avoid being talked to. If I wear make up, I'm afraid that guys will think that i think I am attractive. I feel very ugly. I am at a loss. Its really hard to describe what I feel, though I'm sure you all know what I mean to some degree. any advice or kind words? Thank you so much. Sorry I wrote so much. ;)
With age I've found that I'm much better at not being overly concerned what others think of me. I just try to be myself, live by the "Golden Rule" and am very open about my anxiety disorder if questioned on my behavior. At your age I was very much like you. I went through college avoiding any class that involved public speaking or much discourse between prof and students. Ended up with an Earth Science degree which is only good for teaching earth science.
If you're not getting any counseling, I'd suggest going to your school counselor (who is very familiar with students in your situation) to see what resources are available either within the school or outside. You've got to address that low self-esteem soon just to survive and hopefully thrive in the setting you're in. Very best to you. I've been there and it's both miserable and exhausting.
 
#3
I sort of know what you mean about your ideal hangout situation being just a couple friends and a private place. My ideal situation is sort of similar but I will say some of the best times I’ve ever had out hanging with friends have been in situations I didn’t initially really want to be in. I had a professor tell me a while back that if you’re scared to do something or it’s out of your comfort zone, do it! That really has stuck with me and it’s totaly true. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can started feeling better in terms of self esteem.
 

JCP

Junior Member
#4
Hi, I'm new here. I've enjoyed reading everyone's personal stories so far, and i wish everyone good luck with this problem. Here's my story- I'm a 22 year old student hoping to become an MD. I find it soooo hard though, to go to my classes. I have many lab classes that I have to attend but i completely avoid them at all costs. I'm afraid to ask my classmates questions because I'm afraid I will sound so weird and mean. I don't go out that often, and I avoid going to stores and church. I have quite a few friends, but I avoid going out with them unless there are specific conditions met. like, if its just one or two of them in a VERY private setting. I avoid answering my cell phone most of the time because I'm afraid I will sound mean and alienate whoever's calling. This has cost me time spent with friends. If I'm uncomfortable anywhere, I just leave. I leave classes, labs, the company of friends, family, etc. When I think about or imagine what I look like to others, its just so mind blowing, if you know what I mean. I am constantly paranoid that I look mean or rude or will say something that does not make any sense. I'm afraid of being humiliated. I feel helpless. I'm afraid that people think I'm the weirdest and most awkward person ever. walking down halls at the university is sooo terrible. I don't know which way to look when someone crosses my path. If a guy walks by me and I accidentally look at him, I'm afraid he will think that I am "checking him out" or think that i think he's checking me out. Ive even gained weight just to blend into the crowd and avoid being talked to. If I wear make up, I'm afraid that guys will think that i think I am attractive. I feel very ugly. I am at a loss. Its really hard to describe what I feel, though I'm sure you all know what I mean to some degree. any advice or kind words? Thank you so much. Sorry I wrote so much. ;)
Annie you're not alone, this is how I and others here feel on a regular basis. What you described is social anxiety in a nutshell. I hope you can get help for this, have a look into medication or therapy :)
 
#5
Hi, I'm new here. I've enjoyed reading everyone's personal stories so far, and i wish everyone good luck with this problem. Here's my story- I'm a 22 year old student hoping to become an MD. I find it soooo hard though, to go to my classes. I have many lab classes that I have to attend but i completely avoid them at all costs. I'm afraid to ask my classmates questions because I'm afraid I will sound so weird and mean. I don't go out that often, and I avoid going to stores and church. I have quite a few friends, but I avoid going out with them unless there are specific conditions met. like, if its just one or two of them in a VERY private setting. I avoid answering my cell phone most of the time because I'm afraid I will sound mean and alienate whoever's calling. This has cost me time spent with friends. If I'm uncomfortable anywhere, I just leave. I leave classes, labs, the company of friends, family, etc. When I think about or imagine what I look like to others, its just so mind blowing, if you know what I mean. I am constantly paranoid that I look mean or rude or will say something that does not make any sense. I'm afraid of being humiliated. I feel helpless. I'm afraid that people think I'm the weirdest and most awkward person ever. walking down halls at the university is sooo terrible. I don't know which way to look when someone crosses my path. If a guy walks by me and I accidentally look at him, I'm afraid he will think that I am "checking him out" or think that i think he's checking me out. Ive even gained weight just to blend into the crowd and avoid being talked to. If I wear make up, I'm afraid that guys will think that i think I am attractive. I feel very ugly. I am at a loss. Its really hard to describe what I feel, though I'm sure you all know what I mean to some degree. any advice or kind words? Thank you so much. Sorry I wrote so much. ;)
Ok first of all you should not give up like that! look at yourself, gaining weight just to blend in! SO THAT MEANS YOU WERE BETTER THAN THEM ALL ALONG. get a grip of yourself your the best, stare everyone down ignore that negative critic(that inner voice that always criticises everything you do) eventually that voice will go away and rational thought would return even in the most dire situations. AND REMEMBER DON'T LET PEOPLE TELL YOU SOCIAL ANXIETY CANT BE CURED! THATS A MENTAL TRAP, you can cure it if you believe in yourself!
 

Chris

Active Member
#6
Ok first of all you should not give up like that! look at yourself, gaining weight just to blend in! SO THAT MEANS YOU WERE BETTER THAN THEM ALL ALONG. get a grip of yourself your the best, stare everyone down ignore that negative critic(that inner voice that always criticises everything you do) eventually that voice will go away and rational thought would return even in the most dire situations. AND REMEMBER DON'T LET PEOPLE TELL YOU SOCIAL ANXIETY CANT BE CURED! THATS A MENTAL TRAP, you can cure it if you believe in yourself!
Well said :)
 
#7
I have felt exactly like you most of my life and I still do, but after 2 years of psychotherapy group meeting I feel 40% better. I have had anxiety/social anxiety for as long as I can remember (even when I was little when we went to visit some family friends I would feel anxious or even embarrass to speak if everybody were listening) . I always have felt that people are watching me, so I should be careful how I walk and how I look. I love going out but this anxiety feeling never let me enjoy company of friends (only one or two) and makes me feel lost in crowds. When I speak to someone I feel awkward as if the person doesn't like what I am saying. All this has improved a lot, although the basic social anxiety is still here. I need to work more on this problem and as I said I had the greatest help from my psychotherapy group. Of course, you will say that it's the greatest fear to even go to this kind of group, but after years of individual psychotherapy the last psychotherapies finally opened my eyes and said that only group therapy can help. So, you should know that even if it seems that this is permanent condition I am assuring you that it can get better (not necessary with group therapy).
 
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