• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

How do I help myself?

P

Pony

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
5
Location
Germany
I'm 35, have a decent job that gets me to meet new and interesting people once in a while. Today was yet another opportunity to make new friendships and contacts. And yet again I messed up. I was debating with myself if to go meet a bunch of company guests I'm responsible for. I didn't have to because what I'm doing for them can be done remotely but I said to myself, hey, it's a good exercise, it's a very normal thing to go introduce myself, spend some time with them. By the time I got there I was already having that typical out of my own body feeling. I was talking fast, talking crap, saying weird stuff. Autopilot. A stupid one, if it was in a plane, it would crash it. I was unable to recognize people I've met before and could not get what they were talking about or hold a normal conversation. Then I started asking myself why I was there. Would have been more professional to stay invisible and just do my job keeping a low profile, I do my job well. Such a weirdo. Now they won't remember what I did for them professionally, they'll remember my weird social behaviour only. And I didn't look well, my hair was a mess, my clothing didn't flatter me. People remember such things, don't they, it's human nature. I excused myself and left. Don't remember the way home, felt so dizzy and exhausted. I reached my subway station and could not find the exit for 10 minutes. Started asking myself if this was my station, felt lost. I made it home and now I'm drinking. I don't look for a solution in alcohol. But I need to relax myself before I go to bed. Otherwise, even though I'm dead tired, I won't be able to sleep, I will start thinking of all I said and all I didn't and why I was the way I was, why could I not be just calm and nice and a good companion. I will start imagining how I quit my job and reinvent myself and never meet the same people again. Then I will figure out that, even if I start a brand new life, I will still be me, a weirdo. How do you treat social anxiety? Pushing myself to the limits, looking for social interaction, hoping I'd eventually learn - it doesn't work, I've tried so many times, I just feel worse and worse, and cause myself problems at work and in my private life.When you are 35, they no longer excuse you for being young and shy, they just start avoiding you. What do I do, where do I start? I don't want to be an extrovert and people magnet, just pleasant to interact with, just comfortable with myself. I'm fine at home. My husband says I'm smart and have a good (yet cynical) sense of humor. I love him. He's a people magnet. But we don't interact with people as a couple that often. I avoid it, I embarrass him with my behaviour, even though he's doing so much to help me out. How do I help myself? Where do I start?
 
calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
44,067
Location
Lancashire
Hiya and welcome to the forum. I hope you are calmer now you are at home. I really understand where you are coming from. If you are with your husband, can you just stay quiet and let him do most of the talking? That way you work as a team better.

I would suggest some therapy to help you. If could get to the root of this but also teach you techniques to practise to make it better for you. My son had social anxiety and was given beta blockers for it which he took as and when he needed them. They worked very well as they are not sedating or addictive. Just a thought. Once you get some good experiences under your belt, you might feel better.
 
W

Worriedyin

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
210
Location
UK
Hi pony,

Aww I really feel for you! Firstly, are you sure you aren't just being hard on yourself if you're a bit of a perfectionist?

I'm sure your hair wasn't messy and your clothes looked good, it sounds like you're punishing yourself unnecessarily.

Even if it wasn't the perfect interaction, I'm sure you still did the right thing by going and introducing yourself.

Why don't you take up more social invites with your husband as a place to start - even if you get flustered he will be able to support you and I'm sure he's not embarrassed by you at all. Did he actually tell you that?

I know where I used to live there was a meetup for social anxiety - is there anything like that near you? It might be too basic for you too because it sounds like you're pretty normal and know what you'd like to be able to do, you're just getting tangled up in the delivery and the nuance of things. But it would be good to get out and practice meeting new people because it is really hard sometimes.

I wish I had better suggestions or ideas for you and I hope everything goes well for you.
 
P

Pony

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
5
Location
Germany
Thank you Calypso, thank you Worriedyin! You are nice and made me to feel better. I guess I'm just angry with myself and my lack of control. I've been lucky with opportunities in my life and each time I fail, because of the uncontrollable wave of anxiety that hits me. I could have been more successful if I'd interacted better, if I hadn't been weird, if I hadn't talked stupidities in a nervous outburst. It isn't me, it isn't who I am but yet, it is all that people see and this hurts me. I do stick to my husband and let him have the lead in social interactions, when together. He has never told me he was embarrassed but I know I do not make things easy for him and I do know I am capable of acting and talking stupid, and that may affect him negatively. And, I can't take him with me to work meetings, can I? I'm a grown up and need to be able to manage on my own and have my own social circle. I still hope to be a mother one day. If I continue to be the way I am with people, I will ruin my child's life.
I know I need to be on medications. In the past few years, I have tried to challenge my issues with more interaction but it's causing me more harm than good. I'd go to large tradeshows and return with 3 kilograms less 2 days later (I'd vomit all night after spending the day at a venue with thousands of people) and 0 contacts. I live in a foreign country and do not speak the local language well. It is difficult (and very expensive) to find a psychologist willing to work in English with me, and any help groups would be speaking the local language only. I tried with my GP. He checked my hypophysis, said it's fine, and that was all.

Do you know of any online professional psychological help options or light medications that would eventually not need a prescription, or techniques I could try? I just don't know where to start.
 
P

Pony

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
5
Location
Germany
And Worriedyin, you are so right - delivery and nuance of things...truly, I do not manage these, I think i don't understand them at all. I just don't know why and how I fix this.
 
calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
44,067
Location
Lancashire
No-one on here should recommend medication to you that you buy online. That would obviously be dangerous. As for herbal remedies that are safe I only know of a few. There is valerian which sedates and calms and St John's Wort which acts as an anti depressant. But these are very mild and gentle. As for anything else, you really need to see a doctor. Perhaps write down symptoms carefully before going to see them and add in ones for anxiety.

I am reluctant also to even suggest online therapies as they often cost a lot and you don't know what you get for your money. A lot of scams out there particularly for anxiety because its so common.

I think there are some free online CBT courses but I wouldn't know where to find them, you would have to do a lot of searching online for them. I also think that assertiveness training can help you. Assertiveness training can teach you how to act and how to get across your thinking and feelings without being intimidated by the people around you. There are some good books on it around. Again, try Amazon for those and read the reviews on them to get a good picture if they are the ones for you. I'll go and look and get back to you on that.
 
Top