i'm 16 years old, until this day, ive thought how im like is just me, but i saw something called social anxiety/phobia, and read some experiences of other people, and i am EXACTLY the same as some of them..
its been getting worse recently, friends call me to come out, but i just wont, i cant give them a reason(i just make something about exams), and i cant give myself a real reason either.
im VERY shy around girls, basically ive never had a real girlfriend nor even really kissed one.. i just feel i dont have anything to offer them, i dont do any sports, although im definately not the worst looking kid around, im standard weight/size, i just feel like im of no interest..
i cant bring up a good conversation with someone random, i can just about do it with some friends, i also hate talking in groups or being the centre of attention in anyway, especially with girls around.
i think people also find it hard to talk to me, im not aggressive far from it, but people just dont notice me..
i also have a 'breathing problem' which isnt diagnosed, but basically i just cant seem to breath enough air in, sounds weird i know.. but ive heard its linked to problems
another trouble is eye contact, i just dont do it for anyone, my parents, friends or anyone..
i REALLY dont want to go to a doctor, ive never talked about this at all before, but i dont feel up to talking to a doctor, i want to combat it myself, i just dont know how..
if its any revelance, i am going through exams at the moment, but i am not worried about them AT ALL, alot less then most people, i should be attaining average grades if all goes well..
i do also occasionaly smoke cannabis 1-2 times a week (although 3 months ago i was smoking every day and night with friends, i've stopped going out)i genuinally find this to help me, and i dont really want to stop because if i started going out again i wouldnt really have much choice, and i do love the herb, so i dont want to see people hating straight away on this, unless it is proven or linked somewhere good that it can cause this (i have only been smoking for 10 months, ive definately had this longer)
anyway sorry for the long post but i would really love to get some replys, this is the first time ive admitted to myself anything like this..
I am a bit older than you, but believe me, I can identify. I have lost out on a lot, including friendships and boyfriends because of my social anxiety. I've been this way all my life. I thought it was just "shyness" but it goes beyond that. When I was in High School, I only had one or two friends, I never spoke in class, never participated in anything that required being around a lot of people, or having to do anything in front of large groups. I was always the quietest person in class. I began smoking pot and drinking just so that I could be social and able to "hang out". I am not going to talk down to you about your pot smoking because I know that you feel like it helps, and it probably does. In my case, it used to (I don't smoke anymore). The only warning that I will give is that sometimes the pot is not enough and you begin trying other things. Before you know it, it can turn into a big problem. I struggled with addiction and alcoholism for years. I do not do drugs anymore, but I still drink. I just don't want you to rely on "crutches" and then not be able to find healthy ways out of your social anxiety. After I stopped using drugs, I got on Zoloft which really helped. I don't take it anymore, but that's because I gained weight, not because it's stopped working. When you are young, it's often very difficult to overcome social anxiety because younger people are not as sympathetic or as understanding of people who have fears, and sometimes people mistake your inability to socialize with you being "wierd" or if you are female, being "stuck up"--lots of people thought that about me. But it does get better in time, with treatment, and the support of people who understand and don't judge you. As afraid as I was of being around people, I wanted to change, so I literally forced myself to go out and hang out and make new friends and after years of being practically alone, I have several good friends and actually enjoy going out. I am still scared in certain situations, and sometimes I do find myself making excuses not to go out, but it's getting better. As you get older, your confidence will begin to build up and social situations will become easier. But you have to work at it. It's a daily struggle that may follow you for many years. But if you start addressing it now, you will not have to suffer with the loneliness and the restrictions of social anxiety and you can live a full life.
Sorry for MY long post, but I hope it helped to know there are people who understand what you are going through and who are doing o.k. with their own social anxiety.
Last edited by sourgirl29; 06-13-2005 at 03:50 PM.
You are still really young. You really should talk to your parents or maybe a school counciler. Don't self diagnose yourself, trust me. I was the same way growing up. I didn't have many friends, I would try to hide in class. I'm not as bad today. I had to teach myself how to socialize. You said that that you've lost interrest. You may be suffering from depression. I know that you don't want to talk to a doc. about it but you may need to. Pot is not going to help, like sourgirl said, someday it won't be enough. It's just a crutch.
There is a fine line between the symptoms you are having that are like social anxiety order - and just being a real live teenager.
Time takes care of alot of the things you are feeling. My husband was kind of a social misfit in high school (what we lovingly call his geek-dork days) and today he owns his own business after working for 20 years with tech stuff.
I was even more of an introvert/loner in high school and a very plain one at that. Dating? What was dating?
Sometimes the ages of 13 - 19 are absolutely the worst on earth. If you can find even one interest (bowling, computers, school newspaper, etc) it will help you pass the time until things get better.
If you find yourself getting FEARFUL of going out or doing things - that is the time to talk to your parents or a school counselor.
thanks alot for the big replys, all of them have helped alot.
i think what i will do is wait till im at college, which is in september as i've just left school, when i get there i will try my best to socialize and make new friends and just try improve on things ive done wrong, maybe start a hobby etc, and just fit in more than i do now. although i do now have a 3month break before i first go to the college, i havent decided what im going to do..
i'm definately not fearful of going out, i cant really explain it, but its even worse if theres girls there(pathetic i know, but i dont know why and im not gay)
Ok, one more thing that might make you feel better... And it's a good thing this place is anonymous...
Some men are meant for better things than teenage romance. One of my brainier cousins didn't get married (and didn't date hardly at all prior) until he was 32. My husband dated a handful of women total until he married me at age 33.
Remember, socializing isn't something that comes with an on/off switch.
And people that were totally shy are also national comedians.
Think about what you are really interested in and take classes in that (I know you get stuck with alot of the must-do classes but maybe there'll be a chance for something that is interesting to you).
And decide to join one club/activity if you have the time while you're at college.
There's no rush to get involved right now anyway really, is there? There's 4 yrs of school - work on the classes & a club/activity and you'll end up meeting quite a few people who might be interesting to know. Have coffee with. Go to a movie with.
Think "hanging out with" rather than "dating relationship" and it won't be half as intimidating!!
And this may be silly, but I hope you stop in from time to time to let us know how your summer and then college are going...