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Discussion Starter #1
I've suffered from social anxiety for most of my life, at least since my teens. I'd always been a rather introverted child, a bit shy, but never really had a problem talking to people. Somewhere around my teens I became acutely anxious around people I don't know well. I get extremely nervous, practically afraid. My heart starts racing, I start shaking and more often than not I break into a cold sweat. I fear I'm going to say or do something really stupid. Which is kind of funny when I think about it, because when I'm in these situations my mind totally blanks out and I can't think of anything to say. Most of the time I just stand there idiotically and mumble monosyllabic nonsense. Sometimes I can't even manage that. I feel like I'm constantly being judged on everything I say or do.<br><br>
Over the years, the severity has waxed and waned. I've had periods where I'm ok. Then others where don't want to go out to check the mail for fear that one of the neighbors may say "hello." I'm suffering through one of the bad periods right now. I'm my own prisoner and I hate it! I'm really angry and frustrated with myself for being this way. I really do want to be more social. I like people for the most part and enjoy being around them when I'm not freaking out.<br><br>
I just don't want to be like this anymore. I've missed so many wonderful opportunities in my life because of this and I don't want to miss anymore. Now that I'm a mommy, I really want to overcome this. I don't want my DD to have to deal with my crap. I'm just not sure how to begin. I talked to a psychiatrist when I was in college and she helped a bit while I was seeing her, but within 3 months after our sessions ended, I was back where I started. Recently I've tried being more social by going to the local La Leche meetings, but those attempts have been pathetic, to say the least. I just sit there, play with my DD, smile and nod and try not to make to much eye contact. I've barely been able to utter a word. I feel like such a failure and I hate myself for it. The whole situation is making me depressed and I just don't know what to do. I'm truly at a loss...
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I've had terrible social anxiety since I was a preteen. So I just wanted to say I understand. It also gets better and worse for me. Sometimes I'm teaching aerobic classes with no problems, and sometimes I'll refuse to leave the house for weeks at a time.<br><br>
If you ever decide to go the med route (I'm not currently on meds, but I probably should be), the one that was a miracle for my social anxiety was abilify. I've been on every med every available for anxiety/depression/psychosis and that was the only one to ever make such night and day difference for me with no crazy side effects or personality changes.<br><br>
When I don't want to be on meds the things that help are forcing myself to be social more often. It seems to get somewhat better with semi-regular practice being social. Also staying off the computer can help (I'm very addicted to the computer sometimes and it only makes things worse). Exercising regularly helps me too for some reason.<br><br>
But I know every person and their experience with meds, etc. will be different. I know how icky it is to have social anxiety. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I hope things can get better for you soon.
 

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Thanks for the hugs. When my daughter was born I decided to leave the workforce and be a SAHM and I think that's what sent me into my downward spiral. I love being a full-time mommy, but I pretty much closed myself off for a while. But, I've been doing a bit better recently. I've been forcing myself out of the house and off the computer. I tend to become addicted to the computer too. It's so easy to do!<br><br>
I'm not sure I want to try meds. I'm one of those crazy people that would prefer to suffer through a headache than take an aspirin. I think if I ever got to the point that I just couldn't pull myself out of it, I would try it.
 

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I have moderate social anxiety, and like with you, it waxes and wanes. One thing that seems to help to a small extent is taking Magnesium and fish oil. And like both of you I find it can get better if I force myself out into social situations for a while. I also have telephone anxiety (I get cold sweats and racing heart if I have to make or take a phone call) which is even worse than my face-to-face social anxiety. I have to really force myself to use the phone but the more often I use it the less it bothers me.<br><br>
And this is ironic: I imagine being able to talk through this with a professional would be the most helpful thing for me but I'm too nervous to bring myself to a) make a phone call to a counselor, and b) have to meet and talk to a counselor. Argh!
 

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Don't get me started on phones. I can teach aerobics, I go-go dance at nightclubs sometimes. But lord help me if I need to make a call (even to my own mother).<br><br>
I have lost so many job and friend opportunities thanks to my fear of the phone. My life much improved when texting got so popular. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Do you have a dp, or a mom, or even just a bossy sibling/friend around? I find that they're great for making phone calls for me. Sometimes I'll even pay people to make calls for me or bribe them with baked goods. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't have a problem with phones, but strangely enough my husband does and he's probably one of the least socially anxious people I know! More often than not if a phone call has to be made, I take care of it. If he absolutely, no exceptions has to be the one to make the call, I have to dial the number and hand the phone to him. Once the number is dialed he's ok. He just can't get past the physical act of calling someone. He too does so much better with texting.<br><br>
I'll have to try the magnesium and fish oil. Thanks for the suggestion pianojazzgirl!
 

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Melaya - my dh does almost all of the phoning but it drives him nuts. I don't think he really *gets* what it does to me to use the phone. He just gets irritated and thinks I'm being lazy or something putting off calls that I should make. It's very annoying. My best friend sometimes pretends to be me to set up appointments etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"> I don't have a cell phone so no texting for me, but I do ADORE email, lol!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pianojazzgirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15472713"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Melaya - my dh does almost all of the phoning but it drives him nuts. I don't think he really *gets* what it does to me to use the phone. He just gets irritated and thinks I'm being lazy or something putting off calls that I should make. It's very annoying. My best friend sometimes pretends to be me to set up appointments etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"> I don't have a cell phone so no texting for me, but I do ADORE email, lol!</div>
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Ugh, my SO is the same way. He doesn't like to make phone calls, but he seems to equate his minor annoyance with my overwhelming anxiety and says it isn't fair that he has to do it when he doesn't want to and I don't.
 

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I can totally relate!<br>
Right now I just feel completely annoyed by my social anxiety. I think part of it is being told over and over (and over) I would just grow out of my "shyness." I always expected that by my age now I would, like, have friends! be able to make small talk with strangers! not be scared to even post on the Internet sometimes! RIGHT. Turns out it is going to take some serious effort to get to that point!<br>
Seven months or so ago, I finally decided to take medication and take it correctly which just resulted in a horrible manic episode and the discovery that I am bipolar, haha. (I'm actually relieved to discover that. My whole life--at least from 13 years old on--makes more sense.)<br>
I really know what you mean when talking about feeling like a failure and not wanting your child to deal with it as well. I don't know what to do either. My son (3 y.o.) is scared of everything, but I'm hoping it is just a stage at this point. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
I'm trying to find a PT job right now and that is not going so well, haha<br>
Oh! hey, I'm in GA too!<br>
Also, I am a crazy cat lady as well, CrazyCatLady <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
nursing a huge baby at the keyboard so...
 
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