At a Loss

sirenserenade

sirenserenade

Member
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
17
Location
U.K
#1
After struggling with social anxiety for genuinely my whole life, I don't know how to recover.

Sadly my treatment is with the NHS, and they push CBT. I've done two rounds of electronic CBT, and I've also attended counselling for CBT. I'm feeling discouraged as options outside of CBT haven't been made available to me. Thankfully I have a fantastic GP but I'm struggling to gain the courage to push for options outside of CBT as I feel as though I've made minimal progress despite attempting CBT on three separate occasions, so I feel exceedingly hopeless.

I'm currently on medication, but after cycling through the different brands/types of medication I've settled on Venlafaxine at the moment. Ideally I'd be on beta blockers, but I suffer from asthma so they've been reserved as a last resort. I'm was on a low dosage of Venlafaxine and I have recently increased the dosage but I still struggle on a daily basis with horrific mood swings, or just downright hopelessness and general miserableness. My memory is suffering, too, as I can't seem to remember my chores or any tasks I set out to do. I can combat that by making lists, but if I try to get a job in the future I'll struggle to remember what to do.

I've been researching treatments but I feel as though I've reached a stalemate where nothing seems like it will work. I can't exactly try everything since I have to push just to get the treatment put in place and I feel like I'd waste my GP's time if I fight to get a treatment and I decide it isn't working for me.

I think my main concern is whether there is an underlying issue that hasn't been identified. I struggle immensely in social situations, not just due to immense discomfort, but I struggle with social cues and uncertainty about whether what I'm saying is appropriate for the situation or not, like I'm over or under-sharing. I've trained myself to look people in the eye when I'm talking to them, but that causes me stress, too. I hate it, it makes me feel so vulnerable and under scrutiny but it annoys people when I don't look them in the eyes.

Any advice at all would honestly be appreciated, I'm at such a loss and I don't know how I can keep living like this.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,533
Location
The West Country
#2
Have you spoken to your GP about your concerns that there may be other underlying issues that haven't been identified?
Or do you have a feeling as to what else might be contributing to how things are for you?

I totally relate to what you're saying about the struggle in social situations, with knowing how much to share and having to make an effort to use eye contact.
For me, I think it's due to being isolated a lot, so i'm not used to interaction, and having low self esteem doesn't help.
I don't know if that rings true for you at all.

Do you go to school or work? Do you have friends and/or go to any groups?
I'm just wondering if isolation is a factor in your social anxiety, because then I would suggest going to places or groups that might feel safer for you.
I owe a lot to a library group I went to as a teen. I knew nobody there would take the piss out of me, so my worry was reduced enough for me to try to talk to others there.

I also want to say that you shouldn't worry about wasting your GP's time if you were to try something that ended up not suiting you. Like the medication, it's really trial and error to see what helps and you're not to blame in any way if things aren't working for you.
 
sirenserenade

sirenserenade

Member
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
17
Location
U.K
#3
I do need to speak to my GP to be honest, but he's the type to usher you out of the door once he thinks his work is done. I should see him, I guess I need to build the courage.

I sound the exact same as you. I've isolated myself heavily. I don't have any social groups, and I don't attend a physical university (I'm an online student.) I've been trying to find places that accommodate shyer people, but they all seem to be over an hour away, or difficult for me to get to. The only event I can attend seems to be a bi-annual picnic, which I'm making myself go to. I just hope something positive stems from that, since it's not until next month.

How would you say you're coping now, if you don't mind me asking? I really appreciate your reply by the way, it helps me know that I'm not struggling alone.