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Old 11-17-2008, 01:25 PM   #1
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jonathon003 HB User
Any help appreciated!!...social anxiety/rapid heart

Okay this might be way too long and I apologize...I doubt I'll get any responses or <PEOPLE> reading it all, but if anything it's nice to get it all out anyway.


First of all, I'm 23 yo male, in TREMENDOUS shape. Workout regularly, and have always been in competitive sports. Blood tests have always come up normal. yet my biggest problem is probably my heart rate in situations (clearly due to anxiety I assume). This problem is NOT new. As far as I can remember (maybe since 10?), certain social situations have always been rough. Yet I was still always fairly popular growing up, and not really an outkast but was still "shy" around grownups and in groups. Anyway it's become a big problem over the last few years in particular as at this age it's all about being social and your personality etc.

Anyway, my main problem is my heart, which completely makes it easy imo to detect I have social anxiety. In any type of social situation where the "spotlight" is on me, my heart goes bananas, and I cannot think or speak (without trembling). It's like the sound of my heart is magnified 10 fold and it's soo distracting. Even speaking on the phone it happens when talking to people I haven't talked to in a while. It's starting to control my life. There's a big family christmas party in december I'm completely dreading and thinking up excuses. It's weird <BECAUSE> when I'm "chilling" with my cousins or friends I'm sometimes very talkative. But when I'm the SPOTLIGHT (like when arriving at a party, or speaking in a classroom, greeting family on phone or at door) it's unbearable and <IN MY OPINION> totally obvious.

Now I've thought that my current state of life, and depression could have a large reason. I'm currently in my 5.5 year of a 4 year Uni degree, and most of my friends are finished. I dont have a job, nevermind a good job. My social skills are pitiful (have LARGE problems articulating myself). I'm in serious debt from school (and gambling, whole other story). And i've been suffering hairloss for years now and am very self conscious about it as I look a lot different from when I was a teenager. So i have a huge can of worms I'm dealing with, but as far as I can remember, even in thebest days of my life, I had social anxiety. It's just at that age, "who cares...I'm young, not supposed to be intelligent, outgoing, etc etc etc right?".

Anyway my life is in shambles. My parents are very disappointed in how I've turned out, as I was an honor roll student throughout life with tons of promise and now I've turned into nothing. I always fear when running into family and old friends as if they're thinking "this is what you've turned out like?!?" And I try to avoid everything social <BECAUSE>of it. Yet I cant pinpoint how much role my depression with life expectations has to do with all this, as I think even if I had it all, I'd still have this heart going crazy speaking in front of <PEOPLE>. Anyway sorry for the length. I just know I need help and need to change, but there;s SOOO much on my plate it's tough.

Last edited by ms_mod; 11-17-2008 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Always use whole words in your posts. Ms_Mod

 
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:50 PM   #2
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mandi77 HB User
Re: Any help appreciated!!...social anxiety/rapid heart

well, know that you are not alone. i found it funny you mentioned christmas because for me that is one big thing im gettin anxious about. i have a rapid heartbeat in situations that make me anxious. in fact one time at the docs office she checked it while i was having a panic attack and it was 152 bpm.yikes!! have you talked to a counselor or tried any therapy? therapy can teach you some pretty good relaxation techniques. our thoughts are what provoke anxiety and we need to control our mind instead of our mind controlling us. much easier said than done. in personal experiences ive tried meds and hated them but its different for everyone. what may work wonders for one may not help another. i read your post again and i really think a good place to start is a counselor.they can really help and if need be, they can direct you to a good therapist or psychiatrist. weve all been there. this is very common. if you read some of the others posts on this site you will see how common it actually is. hope some of this was helpful...

 
Old 11-17-2008, 06:51 PM   #3
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jonathon003 HB User
Re: Any help appreciated!!...social anxiety/rapid heart

thankyou very much mandi, it means a lot to me that you took the time to read my problem (twice! lol) and offer some help. The only kind of counseling I've had was "online" recently, yet I don't think I took anything tangible out of it (not surprisingly really given it was online). I will definetly try very soon to seek counseling/therapy.

I must admit I'm a little anxious even about seeing a psychiatrist (which is probably normal). I think the hard part is I come from a very large family (extended) that doesn't seem to have many problems, on the surface anyway. I've also established quite a high level of expectations growing up, becoming captain of various sports teams, even throughout high school, and won academic awards at the same time. I was also one of the more handsom looking guys who could pull the cute girls with ease (but didn't date much, due to my shyness). Anyway, I'm not trying to sound selfish or anything, but I truly think all of those experiences made my current problems that much worse. And even my friends have openly told me that I'm just wasting my life away, and they wouldn't be wrong. But there are real problems (anxiety and chronic fatigue mainly) that are detering me from reaching my goals.

Anyway, going off on a tangent here. But bottom line is you're very right, I should get some real help. I, like you, want to stay away from meds if possible. I guess my knowledge on them is very minimal to be fair, but I just don't want to risk any possible sides. And lol at the 152 heart rate, I totally know what you mean. Often in my situations my heart rate has to be up there, as it feels the equivalent of having just finished comepeting in a track event or something. I'd LOVE to just ignore it and I TRY not to let it affect my mind and thoughts, but it's impossible; my voice cannot sound normal over it. I always read on sites "oh just continue speaking normally, no one notices such slight trembles in your voice blah blah blah" NONSENSE. I literally sound horrible and am not imagining it. It's totally obvious when my voice is battling my heartrate, etc. but anyhow...

Couple questions if you don't mind: when people say "panic attacks" I'm having a hard time distinguishing the severity. For example, I had a severe panick attack one time in a unique situation (which I've learned I cannot discuss on this forum?) where I was seconds away from dialing 911 and truly thought I was in my last few moments of life (although friends assured me it was just a panic attack). BUT i've never had something like that again; the panic "attacks" I speak of I don't think I'm dying or anything. They are specific to events that I KNOW cause me serious anxiety, and consist of extreme rapid heartbeat, like yours, feeling flushed/warm, etc etc. But I always hear of ppl getting random panic attacks just sitting at home, etc. and I pray it doesn't progress to that. But i AM finding out that my breathing (even in "comfortable" settings) is getting much harder and I crave that "good breath" that is so hard to come by in those situations and it's extremely frustrating. This problem HAS gotten worse over the years, and wasn't present even a couple years ago.

Also if you don't mind, do you think I should seek counselling or a psychologist for my condition, not even really sure of the difference or which would be more beneficial in helping.

Last edited by ms_mod; 11-18-2008 at 06:43 AM. Reason: Removed banned word. If a word comes up like this *** in your post that word is banned on this website. Ms_Mod

 
Old 11-18-2008, 03:06 AM   #4
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wally123 HB User
Re: Any help appreciated!!...social anxiety/rapid heart

Hey dont be toooo hard on yaself.
Ive took time to read it and believe me I know where you r coming from.
Only a quick reply to let you know that i read your post and will get back to you shortly

Take care x

 
Old 11-18-2008, 11:24 PM   #5
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mandi77 HB User
Re: Any help appreciated!!...social anxiety/rapid heart

in my own opinion id start with a counselor.let him know how you are feeling and then he may be able to help you or refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. the only thing with seein a psychiatrist is they like to push meds(in my experiences), where as a psychologist can probably get you started with some therapy which i think would be more beneficial. i know how you feel about anxiety holding you back from reaching goals. TRUST ME on that one. i work at a little gas station and manage apts, not really what i have in mind. id like to be in law or politics. as for panic attacks.... HATE EM!!!! they are the worst. i havent had many but the ones ive had have left me with anticipatory anxiety.its that what if thinking that keeps me from going grocery shopping or to timberwolves basketball games(which i used to love doing). how are your eating and sleeping habits? i notice my anxiety is worse when im not eating properly or getting sufficient sleep. a couple things you could try on your own is omega three fish oil. studies show it is beneficial to your brain. as is protein. my psychiatrist recommended them to me because he knew i would refuse to try another med. try doing yoga. it has an incredible way of relaxing you and its not a very strenuous activity. i always feel like a million bucks after yoga.hope this helps some. i hope to hear back from you! :-)

 
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