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Old 08-08-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
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How do you make friends?

I haven't had an [offline] friend since High School (I'm 23 now), and I was curious as to how people with my condition make friends? Even in HS, they weren't my "friends" since they constantly used me for my vehicle. I've been on Klonopin for three years (which was a complete nightmare), and quit about six months ago. My anxiety is 50x worse than it was before I started taking it, and I'm still having extreme anxiety with erratic breathing. I also still wake up with my heart beating out of my guts, and feel very awkward in day to day social situations, not only with strangers, but with family members.

My family (including my brother who I consider to have the closest relationship with) treats me like an alien. I even lie sometimes saying that I'm sick, or busy, so I won't have to be around other humans. I am a pathetic failure, and I'm still living with my mother and her boyfriend. I hate conversing with people to the point where I get ****** off and quit talking to them directly. My voice is extremely shaky 100% of the time when I'm not yelling. If I have to repeat myself, I automatically get angry beyond belief. I promise that I am not really mean, I just want to be "normal". Please help me.

I haven't left my room since I was around 18. When you're afraid of everything that's out there, you quit going out there. Frankly I blame my severe social anxiety & shyness, but I know I've made it much worse with my Klonopin addiction.

I know people are going to say "just get over it and talk to people". I gave up on that method long ago as it doesn't work. The second I begin "talking", I fear that they are making fun of me in their mind completely turning me off to the whole idea of having them as a friend. Even if they aren't, I don't care anymore and I would much rather just be alone. I have been taken advantage of my whole life by people I have considered "friends".

I signed up to this site to address another problem, but I am sick and tired of this. I literally dream every single night of the people I hung out with in high school. We are close friends, and we do nothing extraordinary in these dreams. I think my dream last night is that we went to a baseball game... I've been having these dreams every single night for the past two years or so... In all honesty, I really miss high school. While I had very low self-awareness, at least I could somewhat hold a conversation and laugh occasionally.

Anyway, how can I go about making friends without having to talk to other humans face-to-face. If you advise me to talk to people, forget it. I'll say that I am perfectly content with my dog and to hell with humans (yes, I am that stubborn).

Again, I promise I am not mean. I'm actually very nice when you get to know me.

Last edited by ms_mod; 08-09-2010 at 06:13 AM. Reason: Removed banned word. If a words shows up like this *** use of that words is banned on this website. Ms_Mod

 
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
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Re: How do you make friends?

Let me preface this by noting that I have GAD (general anxiety disorder) and Panic Disorder. I've suffered from severe panic attacks for 16 years. I've done therapy, hypnosis and prescription meds at different times to help. When I first started having panic attacks I also had a nervous breakdown and became agoraphobic. I stayed housebound at my parents house for 3 months. It took some time before I was able to go out in public and talk to people.

The reason I say that is I don't think people who don't have anxiety disorders really understand people that do.

I'm unable to determine whether you have sought any type of treatment from your post. If you haven't, you need to. Living like you are living doesn't make you happy, does it? You want friends and normalcy. The only way to achieve that is going to be to come out of your room and rejoin the living.

When I first tried to overcome my anxieties the first thing I did was get a job at a place I'd worked before I started having panic attacks. This was helpful to me because there was familiarity in the people and the job. I also was taking Buspar for the anxiety and Xanax for acute symptoms. I was also seeing a psychologist for therapy, and then after that I started seeing a hypnotist.

Things have gotten better with time. I have a few friends- not a lot, but then I don't want a lot of friends. I'm happy with my few. Two are friends I made before I started having panic attacks that stayed my friends, the rest are mostly people I met through work. My very best friend doesn't even live in the same Country as I do, but we communicate via email nearly every day. I feel like I know her better than anyone else, really.

As time has gone on, I've reached the point where my social anxieties have eased. I can talk to people any time- I will chat up the person ringing me up in the grocery line, or the person sitting next to me on a plane. I no longer take daily medication and I don't go to therapy or anything any more. I do have some relaxation hypnosis apps on my iPhone that I listen to, and I have Valium for acute anxiety attacks but they happen rarely now. I'm terrified to fly, so mostly that is what I use Valium for.

I'm not saying that making friends as an adult is easy. It's not. Adults are more reserved than kids are, and it takes more work to make friends. The easiest ways to do it are in situations that you share with another person often. I've found it's easiest to make friends at work, or at the gym. When I used to have hobbies like playing billiards or shooting trap, I met people that way, also. Basically any situation that you and someone else are often in at the same time will eventually lead to talking to them, and from that to friendship (maybe).

When reading your post, the thing that concerned me is it sounds like you want to be normal and have friends and have fun but you also state you aren't willing to talk to people and you don't leave your room etc. The bottom line is that, regardless of how scary it is, you are going to have to take some positive steps for yourself before any of this good stuff is going to happen to you. No one is going to knock on your bedroom door and say, "Hi, I'm your new friend." You are going to have to talk to people.

I can't emphasize enough to get treatment if you aren't already. You have a lot of negative thoughts about yourself. When you assume that other people don't like you and that they are thinking bad thoughts about you, you are selling yourself short. A therapist could help you to work through that and to learn to override those negative thoughts with positive ones. Medication (if needed) can help to keep your anxiety in check so that these situations aren't so hard.

I hope this helps. If you want to expand on your original post or comment on what I had to say, I'll check back.

Take care.

Dee

 
Old 08-17-2010, 11:48 PM   #3
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mjayster HB User
Re: How do you make friends?

Find someone you feel comfortable with, someone who isn't overbearing and maybe even more shy than you are, you might have an easier time opening up to them

 
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