I posted this on the mental health board but didn't get any responses, hoping someone here can help
I was a very shy kid. I'm now 17 and still am very self concious and shy. I often have wondered where the line between just quiet and having social anxiety is. I'm not anti-social, but I do pretty much fear people. I mean, I don't go into a mall and freeze with fear, its moreso my peers. I over analyze everything I do or say. I often imagine things in a way they didn't happen, like remember people saying degrading things about me when they really didn't...the first time I remember doing this was in 4th grade. The thing is, I actually remember events not as they happened, but as I feared they would.
Little things such as wearing this really cute hat I bought to school just doesn't happen. I imagine over and over people staring and laughing at me and whispering things. It's just a hat and it's winter but somehow I just can't bring myself to do anything out of the ordinary. This happens with everything, clothing, nail polish etc. The odd thing is I've never really been made fun of, it's all in my head. I often think people think of me as "Oh, what a looser". Looser is not the best word, but it's pretty much all I can think of right now.
Little things such as saying hi to people in school in the hallway is a major event. My stomach actually gets into knots when I see someone I know, and then after my "hello", I overanalyze it and what the other person must have thought.
I've always had trouble making friends. I eat lunch alone most days, the entire time my stomach is in knots hoping someone doesn't sit with me while at the same time I don't like to eat alone. When we have to get into pairs for school projects, that's the worst.
I always assume people thinkg negativley about me. I imagine them saying and thinking awful things when I really know no one in school hates me.
I'm not sure if I'm doing a good job explaining this situation, but I'm loosing sleep over this with thought of how awful my day went and what people must think of me or what they will... I just don't think it's natural to be so paranoid of people and of myself. This is causing also depression from lonliness. We have a big formal dance coming up, I desperatly want to go (I love getting dressed up) but you can imagine the thoughts running through my head.
It's difficult to tell me family about this. I have some GI problems and I really don't think they'd take how I'm feeling seriosuly in comparision to the severity of my other problems. I'm normal at home, and no one has ever seen me at school and my trouble interacting with others. I litteraly can go an entire day at school without talking. I know many people are like "Just talk" but that is very seriosuly difficult for me to do. I've been shy all my life and it's just getting worse. I like this guy in school, but whenever I see him I stare at the floor until I pass him and afterwards kick myself for not at least saying hi, but I've already told you about my "hi/hello" issue.
It's not at all that I don't like people and am antisocial. If I get invited to a party, I don't go not because I think I'm above the social group, but more scared I'll be in a corner, by myself or at the food table the entire night like has happened oh so many times before. Like I said, it is actually difficult for me to talk to people. It's like that feeling when you want to go talk to your crush, but its like that with everybody and it's not anticipation, it's fear. Fear of rejection I suppose. I often fantasise about being about to share things I like with my classmates. Once in sophmore year we had to make a life map, so I did mine 4 months in advance because I was so excited. Yet when my turn came I could barely talk because I was shaking to much. Things like that happen often.
My sister has some issues with anxiety, when she gets excited, she gets realy sick. She went to see a doctor about it and is on meds. Me however, I'm not physically sick from this. How can I get help from this? I've had bad experience with school counslors, I haven't been to one in years because in middle school at a school I'm no longer in, the teacher told you everything was confidential. So I'd let my heart out. Then I'd come home and she would have called my mother, telling her everything I did. So, my trust issue with counsors has been broken.
Lastley, I know this is horribley long. But I went on mayoclinic.com to research this problem and found this:
"Social phobia. This involves a combination of excessive self-consciousness, a fear of public scrutiny or humiliation in common social situations, and a fear of negative evaluation by others. "
I was in shock because I didn't think I would be so well described as this excerpt does.
So, thought etc would be helpful. I'm going to college next year but I know everything will end up the same as it is now as much as I want to be able to interact freely. I'm not physically in bed sick from this as I am with my GI problems, but this is ruining my life.
Hi Broadway <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">
I was 17 when my fears began. They were different than your's. However I have always had an underlying fear of what people were thinking of me, and I always felt I was being judged too! It was not my MAJOR concer though.
If I were you, I would definitely talk to someone. Maybe the school councelor, or your family Dr. There are many things you can do to improve your self doubts. Read self help books, try relaxation techniques, etc. If it is a chemical imbalance as mine turned out to be, there is meds. Work with your doctor. There is no sense in your suffering at such a young age. Get help now and enjoy your life. I waited 20 yrs! Not a good option, I can asure you!
Best of Luck!
Kim<p>[This message has been edited by kim simone (edited 12-09-2002).]
I have similar problems...
I just turned 18 and have always been quiet/shy around everyone..but it really didnt get bad until high school.....
ive been to a couple of doctors and have been on and off paxil the past few years...my parents kept taking me off of it when i came home a little drunk..thats all anyone does in this town on the weekends....anyways i later decided i didnt want to mess with talkin with my parents and another doctor about it...so i just ordered some prozac and xanax online...its a LOT better than nothing but still it doesnt make you talk or act more social..just makes you a lot more relaxed in situations where you would be anxious....i guess this is a pretty useless reply<p>[This message has been edited by the_watcherr (edited 12-10-2002).]