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Social Phobia..... Need Help Please

Social Phobia..... Need Help Please

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Posted by F A Bhatti on August 21, 2000 at 12:18:27:

I am 28 ,am married and am from Pakistan.I dont smoke, i dont drink and i am not on drugs ( except that i take ATIVAN only when i feel i might have an anxiety attack) I did my BS in elect engg way back in 96 and since then have been switching jobs , trying to avoid situations where i might end up sitting in a meeting or delivering a presentation.I experience panic attacks in anticipation of simply saying my name in front of others.
I have, what u would all know very well, a socially avoidant personality. I did very well accademically through out my college and university life , but studying only on my own. I bunked all classes where i thought the teacher would ask me to stand up and answer a question. I dreaded going to a new class just becoz there would be the usual teacher student introduction. Hiding behind the students in the front rows , i used to reherse what i would say when asked about myself. And when i did, i just would end up TONGUE TIED.
Its really disheartening that after all these years , when i thought i would improve with age, the situation is even worse. Worse yet is the fact that my family is hardly supportive and what breaks my heart is that the only brother i have got, is a practising PSYCHIATRIST at a hospital in england. Yet i never got any help from him other than a simple prescription of prozac.
I was never at ease in the company of friends and got worse if any girl class fellow joined for a small talk. I would just panic at the sight of having a discussion with someone of the opposite sex, though i desperately wanted to be in a relationship with a girl. Infact i did have a relationship with one of my class fellows , who was very caring and supportive. We got engaged later on , but it was a disaster. We broke up after two years. Amongst some personal reasons there was this major issue of the wedding ceremony , which i needed to be very simple for the fear of sitting on a stage in front of all those guests.I almost had a nervouse breakdown then. U cant imagine what it felt like . I was put on prozac by my brother more so for the depression than the for the social phobia. I cant say for sure if it helped me. I thought ATIVAN is more helpful for this phobia of mine. I would just take a 2mg Ativan about three hours prior to the anxiety inducing event , and would assure myself that it would help me. I thought at times it did but on some occassions even that didnt help. Finally i got married last year (A marriage arranged by my parents) . I wouldnt go in to the details here, all i can say is that even though we dont have any major problems , i am not happy with it. I wanted a wife who was confident , someone dominant who could act as a shield for me, some one who had all those qualities i wished i had in me but never would. But that wasnt the case. I live with this guilt of dragging her into this pathetic life of mine.
I still cry like the way i used to while i was a child. I still lock myself in my bathroom , crying and wishing for a NORMAL life. Its pathetic really, being 28, and going through all this. I tired to share all this with my wife, leaving prints outs of the "social anxiiety" web pages i have been to , by her bediside, even asking her to go out and get the ATIVANs for me. Yet she never even once asked why i take these. Rather the marriage has made matters worse. She compells me to attend parites aranged by her parents. I could live with it had these been not so frequent. Each time i visit her family , I make some excuse after being there for 5 - 10 minutes and leave , picking her up later on. I have politely refused on many occassions but they just dont stop.
Then there is this other problem. I sweat a lot, and i mean a LOT. Its not blushing, i think it has some clinical reason for it. I stay in my air conditioned room ,for almost all of the summers, just for the fact that the sweating attracts more attention. People stop by to ask if i am OK or that am i seeing a doctor for it. I did go to a couple of doctors and they carried out a few tests. They didnt find any thing wrong. Mind you its not easy for someone like me to go to a doctor.
I have heard of CBT but here in Pakistan , there is no such treatment being carried out.
Any ways, the problem at hand right now is that i have been accepted at IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON for a MSc in Computer Science, something which means a lot to me. My classes would start on the 30th of September 2000. I have sold my cars for the tution fee which is to be paid in full, upfront . Every member of the family has congratulated me for being accepted by a good college. At first i felt happy but as the days are passing by i am getting more and more panicky. It seems i have made a decision from where there is no turining back. The amount of money being involved in all this and the hopes people and i have put into it, puts all the more pressure on me. I have decided that i will go on with it, and if i get to a point where i would have to quit it, i wont be going back to my family. Its the final chance i have got . However i find escape only in the thought that i can always commit SUICIDE. I am not sure if i ever will go through with it., I dont know really, but the thought certainly gives me a sort of a relief that at least there is some way out.
Can any one relate to all this? Am i making any sense here? If there is any one out there, please do help me out, i need someone who understands what i am going through. I know i have messed up my life pretty bad, but i am trying so hard to set things right, to lead a normal life, but the more i try the worse it gets.

Thanks for your time,


( If u think u can be helpful i would really appreciate if u could reply to this mail before the 20th of September)

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