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    Thread: My social anxiety is really hurting me

    1. #1
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      Default My social anxiety is really hurting me

      I'm a 22 year old girl. I've had social anxiety since I was seven years old- I lost my mother that year in a car accident I was also in. Then my little brother, dad and I moved across the country and I started a new school a couple months after this. I was bullied badly in school from 2nd grade all the way through high school and had no friends. I also have depression, generalized anxiety and PTSD, but I feel like the social anxiety has affected me the most. I never got a chance to really learn any social skills. I always feel like I've never been able to fit in, be a normal person and make friends. I suffer from a very low self esteem because of this; it hurts me a lot. All I want is to be normal and able to socialize and have friends. I'm really jealous of others who can socialize easily, like my brother, who has no trouble at all making tons of friends. I kinda had a mental breakdown when I went to college and I started to self harm and do drugs to kill my pain. This ended in a hard drug addiction which resulted in me flunking out of school, isolating myself even further, and ODing and nearly dying and being in a bunch of abusive relationships. After a few stints in rehab I've finally been able to get and stay clean this time- in 4 days I'll have 7 months clean- but I still struggle with the issues that caused me to do drugs in the first place. I'm having a really hard time staying sober now because my depression and anxiety are so bad. Recently I started self harming again and I'm crying almost every day. Do you have any tips or advice for me? I just wanted to meet some people who are goin through similar things and can maybe help me

    2. #2
      Senior Member Bizzarebitrary's Avatar
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      Hello and welcome. You've endured a lot of misfortune at an early age, more than some people will experience in a lifetime and my heart goes out to you.

      It can be so hard to feel compassion for oneself when depression distorts our thoughts. Maybe a way to begin feeling better about who you are is to realize there is tremendous strength and courage within you. The evidence of it is that you survived. And survival isn't what everybody does if they've faced what you have. Additionally, you faced addiction and made the choice to address it - congratulations on 7 months clean, by the way. You made that choice and even if you should relapse, your intention remains to not use. That's not the case with everyone who faces addiction.

      You mentioned social anxiety. Managing anxiety is possible by practicing some skills to control your breathing and control the negative thoughts that become so distracting we can't function in social situations. Maybe we can help you learn these skills.

      Which do you feel is worse in social situations, the distress you feel in your body or the intrusive thoughts racing through your mind?

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      Hi- Please check with your doctor and I hope he can help you to overcome depression and anxiety.

      You’ve been through a lot, I’m sorry you are going through this illness but I hope you will not lose hope. Please try not to harm yourself. You are not alone, we are right here for you. Please keep posting and I hope you will get the support you need to get better. I pray for peace and things will get better for you. Keep us posted. God bless.

    4. #4
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      I feel like it's bad both in my body and my head. I isolate myself in my room because of my depression and because I'm really guarded from past experiences, as well as my anxiety. I really want friends and a social life but I have no idea where to start and I'm too scared it'll go badly and I'll get hurt. I also have no idea where to start with meeting new people. I have a couple close friends but now I don't live in the same town as them. I get really bad intrusive thoughts especially with new people. I'm over analyzing everything I say and I always worry the person thinks I'm stupid or ugly or a loser etc and they are secretly judging and gossiping about me (I'm sure this stems from being bullied as a kid) which makes me think those things about myself even more. Physically I feel sick, I can't hold eye contact with anyone because it feels incredibly awkward and uncomfortable to me. For some reason, talking on the phone with people I don't know is also scary, I work at a pizza place and when the phone rings and a coworker asks me to get it I freeze and flip out inside because I worry I won't be able to understand what they say. Sometimes I have trouble hearing what people say the first time and I ask them to repeat themselves, which is also something I'm insecure about because people have called me slow and stupid over it in the past. I could write a book full of insecurities about myself. My family tells me I'm pretty and I am smart and talented and stuff, but I just don't believe it and kind of feel like they're obligated to say it as my family members. Sometimes I get bad anxiety attacks too, and those are HORRIBLE. I hate it, all of it. I feel like anxiety and depression (but especially anxiety) control my life completely and there's no way out. They've made me miss out on so many opportunities. All I want is to be normal; I'm insanely jealous of anyone who's confident in themselves and has no trouble socializing or just going through life in general. All of this really sucks and I wish it would get better.

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