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Does this sound like social anxiety

M

mjp67

New member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
2
Hi. My 19 yr old son has always been very shy and not good at doing things like making phone calls, making small talk etc but he is really struggling just now and I’m wondering if it’s social anxiety disorder.
He has recently started university and is living at home. He hasn’t met anyone and usually becomes defensive when asked about this. He became upset this week and I think may be triggered by the thought of having to do a talk at uni. After speaking he described that he felt he didn’t have a personality and was uninteresting. He said that he doesn’t feel he has any thoughts or opinions. I’m not convinced that he’s depressed but he seems to have become very stuck on not having any thoughts other than basic ones. I’ve tried to suggest social anxiety but he says he doesn’t think so because he doesn’t have many deep thoughts when on his own. I’m wondering if he’s getting stuck on not being interesting and when he tries to think of what he will say in situations he can’t come up with anything.
He’s not motivated to do anything much but again it’s hard to know if he depressed or if the problem is that he can’t try anything new because of the anxiety. He says he doesn’t feel particularly sad but isn’t concentrating and struggling to study. I think the anxiety of uni and everyone else seeming to be sociable may be getting him down.
Sorry for the long post, just wondering if anyone else has felt like this.
 
R

Roseessa

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2018
Messages
98
Location
Nottingham
Hi,
Going to Uni is a big thing to begin with and then living outside of halls and off campus can be quite daunting when you go into Uni as everyone seems to know each other as they all live together or near each other, and they all go out with each other to parties and such.
Has he thought about joining a club he likes so he can socialise in a smaller group?
 
M

mjp67

New member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
2
Thanks for your reply. I’ve suggested clubs etc but I think even that’s too daunting at the minute the way he’s feeling. I’m trying to get him to agree to go for cbt to see if it will change some of his negative thinking and give him a bit more confidence.
 
K

KDBnSLC

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
5
I have Social Anxiety Disorder, and looking back I’ve had it since childhood.
My biggest struggle was that for all of those years (I’m 63 now) it was society, media, friends and family telling me that it wasn’t normal to avoid crowds and small talk. Well, when I finally accepted the fact that this was MY normal, life got much easier.

I’m not comfortable when asked to a dinner party where there will be multiple strangers. Because, most strangers at dinner parties only feel comfortable with small talk. I’m not good at it and can’t stand “fluff” conversations.

There is nothing you can do to change it. You can suggest every available social gathering until you’re blue in the face. Let him figure it out for himself. Whatever he is feeling is NORMAL for him...not you.

He will thrive when he realizes that he doesn’t “HAVE” to conform to ANYONES version of “normal” but his own.

This book gave me permission to accept myself ...as is. It’s on Amazon.
“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.”

It might help both of you to understand each other.
 
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