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Old 06-23-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Smile I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

Hey, I'm 20 years old and I think I have Social Phobia. I have looked at some videos and read a little about Social Phobia and it seems like the descriptions fit apart from one thing. I only seem to be effected if I'm with someone I know - I can go out to the shops or whatever and be around strangers perfectly fine. When I started college I made friends easily as at the time they were strangers.

With people I know, I find it really hard to make eye contact and am worried to say anything opinionated. I always find an excuse for someone I know not to come to my house, or for me not to go to theirs, or out with them. I will often agree with people, even if I don't actually agree, just so there's no argument. If there is ever an argument, I'll let them win and tell them that I have changed my opinion based on what they've said. I lost my last girlfriend because of this, I never wanted to call her or ask her out. I can't remember the last time I invited anybody anywhere, or accepted any kind of invitation.

People say that if you have social phobia, when you were a kid you would be the one who was always quiet in class with very few friends, but with me I was different. As a kid I was completely different to how I am now. I loved going to my friends houses, and loved when they came to mine. We went out and had fun. I don't know when this all changed, but I hate that is has.

I don't drink, smoke or take any kind of drugs, the reason for this is partly because it just doesn't interest me, but I hear getting drunk can help be more social, but that's the last thing I want. I don't want to be dependant on drink or drugs.

So does this sound like Social Phobia to you? Taking into account that I wasn't a shy kid and loved having friends, and that I can talk to strangers without any problems. Any help is much appreciated.

 
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

Does kind of sound like social phobia. I was diagnosed with it myself. Some people with this disorder are not necessarily shy at all. It just the anxiety that prevents them to be able to do things like hang out with friends or go to the mall.

 
Old 06-23-2009, 09:00 PM   #3
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

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Originally Posted by light the world View Post
Does kind of sound like social phobia. I was diagnosed with it myself. Some people with this disorder are not necessarily shy at all. It just the anxiety that prevents them to be able to do things like hang out with friends or go to the mall.
But what about the fact it's only with people I know? Does that make a difference?

 
Old 06-24-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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Lightbulb Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

It may be an intimacy issue. Perhaps you fear letting people get to close for some reason? If you aren't afraid to talk with strangers, then that might be a possibility.

~Colleen

 
Old 06-24-2009, 09:39 AM   #5
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

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Originally Posted by MissMuse View Post
It may be an intimacy issue. Perhaps you fear letting people get to close for some reason? If you aren't afraid to talk with strangers, then that might be a possibility.

~Colleen
Hey thanks for your reply. I don't think that's the problem though really. I do find it kinda hard to get close to people but I think that's because I can't because of my, what I think is, social phobia. I don't mind if someone is close to me, I just don't want to go through the process of getting them close to me, if that makes sense

 
Old 06-24-2009, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

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Originally Posted by OrangeBox View Post
But what about the fact it's only with people I know? Does that make a difference?
Not at all. Some people are only afraid of certain social situations. (specific social phobia) and then there are others who are afraid of all or almost every social situation (generalized social phobia)

 
Old 06-24-2009, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

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Originally Posted by light the world View Post
Not at all. Some people are only afraid of certain social situations. (specific social phobia) and then there are others who are afraid of all or almost every social situation (generalized social phobia)
I did a quick search and specific social phobia sounds about right actually.

So does anybody know how I could slowly cure my phobia? I don't really want to go to a doctor just yet as I don't want to worry my family. Does anybody have any tips of what I could do on my own?

 
Old 06-24-2009, 01:18 PM   #8
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

Well to be honest seeing a pdoc would be your best bet. Only because if proper treatment isn't given then the anxiety will only get stronger and the phobia will get worse. They will probably reccommend a medication and some sort of therapy like cbt. But this may not be necessary.

If seeing a doctor is not something that you want to do then maybe seeing a social worker or counsellor to discuss ways to cope with the anxiety. Certain breathing techniques can be helpful as well. Certain methods to help distract your thoughts. I was taught myself to think about a positive experience and focus on that if your thinking about something negative.

I hope this helps.

 
Old 06-26-2009, 06:30 PM   #9
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

I don't know if it's social phobia or not. The problem is that you're only describing your actions, not your feelings.

You need to figure out why you do these things. Is it because being around your friends makes you nervous? Are you afraid to argue with them b/c you think that they'll like you less if you disagree with them, or is it just b/c you don't like to argue? I would need to know more about your feelings and motivations for your behavior before I could say whether it sounds like a social phobia or not.

"Normal" human behavior varies over a large range, so just b/c you are less social than others, doesn't mean you have a disorder.

I guess the main question I would ask is whether these behaviors trouble you and if you feel like you would like to behave differently, but for some reason aren't able to. If that is the case, you might benefit with some kind of therapy. IF not, i.e. if you're generally happy with your social life, then I would say that you probably don't have a disorder, rather that you're just a somewhat passive person without a great need for social stimulation.

 
Old 06-26-2009, 07:07 PM   #10
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

Another good question to ask yourself is do you experience anxiety in the social situations that you mentioned that worried you.

 
Old 06-27-2009, 09:23 AM   #11
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

I didn't know that social phobia separated further into Specific Social Phobia and Generalized Social Phobia-- I learn something new everyday . I actually think Specific Social Phobia is what I have, as well.

One more thing to realize is that some people have a more introverted style of relating to others, while others are more extroverted. I tend to be more of an introvert, though I have become more extroverted over time. They also have what is known as an ambivert which means that you like both ways of relating to others--which is more fitting for me these days. It has to do a lot with your threshhold of excitement--if you have a high threshhold, then you tend more toward extroversion as you need more exitement to feel stimulated; if you have a low threshhold, you tend more toward introversion as you need less excitement to feel stimulated.

It's interesting that you say that you simply don't like the process of building friendships. Explain this more.

~Colleen

 
Old 07-02-2009, 05:43 PM   #12
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

Sorry for not answering your questions right away, I didn't think I'd get many more responses.

light the world

You asked if I experience anxiety in the social situations that I mentioned, and yes I do, it's driving me crazy I can't even go into my own kitchen to get a drink when a friend of the family is in there. I honestly feel like I'm going nuts and am completely trapped because if I have what I think I have, I need to talk to someone. On the other hand, if I have what I think I have, I can't bring myself to do it.

fossilapostle

When I'm around my friends in a controlled situation, like college or something like that, I feel fine and usually open. I have some reserves, but nothing drastic. When friends come over to my house I'm worried about everything they are thinking, and just want to know when they will leave. It's not just my friends, it's everyone I know. I just don't want to express myself to them because I don't want them to be disappointed, let down, worried, basically anything negative.

That ties into why I don't like to argue with them. I will tell them my opinion but if they have a different one, I will say I agree with them just so there's no sort of conflict or bad energy between us.

And to your last question, yes 100%, these behaviours are slowly convincing me I'm going crazy, and I have this personality inside of me that I just want people to know, but I just can't let them for the reasons above.

MissMuse

The reason I don't like building on friendships is pretty much what I've said in this post. When I first get to know someone I tend not to disagree, and pretend to share a lot of their opinions just so we will get along. Then once that happens, once we are friends, I feel that if I go out with them or let them in on my beliefs and opinions, we will have disagreements and I will end up on the spot defending myself...

I'm nuts

 
Old 07-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #13
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

If your anxietyis impairing your ability to function then I would reccommend getting help for it. I was diagnosed with social phobia and went to a psychiatrist. They put me on medications to relive the anxiety. I wish that I wouldn't have to be on them but they really work though. I was also told that cognitive behavioural therapy would be helpful. I will actually be starting this in a few days.

 
Old 07-28-2010, 06:13 PM   #14
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeBox View Post
Sorry for not answering your questions right away, I didn't think I'd get many more responses.

light the world

You asked if I experience anxiety in the social situations that I mentioned, and yes I do, it's driving me crazy I can't even go into my own kitchen to get a drink when a friend of the family is in there. I honestly feel like I'm going nuts and am completely trapped because if I have what I think I have, I need to talk to someone. On the other hand, if I have what I think I have, I can't bring myself to do it.

fossilapostle

When I'm around my friends in a controlled situation, like college or something like that, I feel fine and usually open. I have some reserves, but nothing drastic. When friends come over to my house I'm worried about everything they are thinking, and just want to know when they will leave. It's not just my friends, it's everyone I know. I just don't want to express myself to them because I don't want them to be disappointed, let down, worried, basically anything negative.

That ties into why I don't like to argue with them. I will tell them my opinion but if they have a different one, I will say I agree with them just so there's no sort of conflict or bad energy between us.

And to your last question, yes 100%, these behaviours are slowly convincing me I'm going crazy, and I have this personality inside of me that I just want people to know, but I just can't let them for the reasons above.

MissMuse

The reason I don't like building on friendships is pretty much what I've said in this post. When I first get to know someone I tend not to disagree, and pretend to share a lot of their opinions just so we will get along. Then once that happens, once we are friends, I feel that if I go out with them or let them in on my beliefs and opinions, we will have disagreements and I will end up on the spot defending myself...

I'm nuts
I understand what you are going through as I have similar concerns. I even have trouble calling friends. I think the reason is because so many people in the past have brought their problems to me and I have tried to help but have failed. Now I have just about given up trying. I feel as though no one really cares about me - they just want to tell me their troubles. A feeling of not saying the right things or being judged is also part of it for me. I did have a family member who was domineering and picked on me while I was growing up. I'm wondering if that could be part of the problem. I enjoy being alone. But I am filled with anxiety because it seems to be getting worse that I do not want to talk with most people or have them visit my house. I am ok if we are playing games or watching a movie but the thought of just sitting around talking fills me with dread. Do you feel trapped when you have to spend too much time with people? I know I do. A half hour is the most that I can feel comfortable with. I wish I could help you. Maybe just knowing you are not alone in this may help.

 
Old 07-30-2010, 10:18 AM   #15
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Re: I think I have Social Phobia of some kind

I have something similar myself, although I was quite withdrawn as a child unlike yourself. I've had very little or no friends at school. As a child I found it difficult to talk to anyone. If being confronted or asked friendly questions by strangers or friends of the family, I would either not reply or reply very quietly. I would have little to no eye contact.

I have never seen a psychologist. My parents urged me to speak up to strangers and look them in the eye. They made me so self concious of it that I did make an effort to do it despite it being extremely difficult because of the anxiety. I gradually improved eventually, especially after I left my family. Now I'm 20, I can talk to people without any problem. I hold eye contact and I talk clearly.

I am however still awkward in certain social situations. I find it difficult to talk in large groups of people. I can deal with a one on one (although I'm largely uninterested), but large groups make me feel intimidated, particularly if we're all sitting and doing nothing but chat.

Last edited by Dragonfly07; 07-30-2010 at 10:19 AM.

 
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