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Empyreal

New member
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Messages
1
Location
US
I've grown up with social anxiety my whole life. Ever since I was a kid I could never walk into stores without panicking and crying. Just a few years ago I couldn't walk into stores or order my own food. I remember one time my mother said if I wanted to go to my favorite restaurant I'd have to order and I cried and continued to refuse. One day when I was 8 I left my favorite stuffed animal in the store and my mom told me to go get it by myself and I freaked out and left my stuffed animal in the store. I've had depression and suicide attempts in the past due to middle school trauma, which led my parents to sending me to residential treatment centers. My first two treatment centers didn't work and I only got worse. My third and final treatment center saved my life. I was there for 11 months before I graduated 8 months ago. I loved it there, it was my safe place and I learned to help myself there. I no longer fear going into stores or restaurants, but one big part of my social anxiety remains. I can't talk to people or make friends with people my age. I'm 15 and I recently moved over to a small private school that is more like a tiny college. There isn't a lot of kids and they even have a school support dog. I came from a school of 2,000 kids to this one and I feel safe but I'm still so scared. I'm so lonely and crave socialization, but I'm so afraid. I recently did a bad behavior and my therapist and family have come up with this plan for me to earn my privileges back. They want me to take steps to socialize in order to get my privileges back. I've challenged and faced many of my struggles but this one has been here my whole life. This fear of socialization with people my age has been reinforced through all my bullying in middle school and societies pressures. I'm so lonely and I really want to have friends, but I physically cannot. Even thinking about talking to teens my age causes me to shake and my chest to tighten. At this school I only have 2 public classes, all my other classes are just me and the teacher. Both public classes I can talk just fine in, there is only 2-3 other kids in the class. Nobody at this school approaches me first like I want, and I understand why they don't. I constantly glare and sit alone to make sure people don't approach me. I want more than anything to have a relationship and friends, but I don't know If I can face it this time. My mother thinks it's simple and easy, but to me It's really hard. It's even harder this time because I'm not at my treatment center with the mentors that are my best friends. I really wish I could visit my old self and ask how she did it. I always listen to music that talks about fighting fear, but I can't fight it myself. Please give me advice on how to talk to teens at school. I'm really lonely and I want my stuff back, but I physically cannot approach anyone. Whenever I think about approaching someone or talking to somebody my chest becomes heavy and my legs freeze. For the most part I've dealt with all my anxiety, I don't get anxious around teens or anything else really, but only when I think about making friends or walking out of a store without buying anything. My mom keeps telling me, "ask people if they want gum, you'll make friends," but she doesn't understand that I CANNOT DO IT. I really want to face this, but I don't know what path to take to challenge this.
 
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Soladel

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
44
Location
WI
I wish i had advice for you but i struggle with approaching people and getting alot of anxiety in all social situations as well. It's easy to say to just do it and expose yourself to get use to it but when your brain is rewired like it can be, that can seem impossible and trying doesn't always ease it enough to make it a more doable thing more regularly. I know i suffer from alot of self esteem issues which contribute to the social struggles since i feel so inadequate, but i've been working to help improve that(along with alot of other things) with my therapist and the idea is to love yourself more so you're not so afraid of negative social situations and such. So as hard as i know it can be try and give yourself positive affirmations to help grow self esteem/love. Sorry there isn't much advice here as i just don't know the answers myself but i just wanted to say i understand the struggle you're going through and wish you the best in figuring out what will hopefully work for you.
 
Zackthemaniac

Zackthemaniac

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
1,199
Location
North Carolina
I dont have quite the panic you have. But i struggle to talk and meet new people and ordering food has always been incredibly stressful as well !

Unfortunately their is no short cut to talk with people. Only way to do it is to go up and talk to them. You have to look for what i call your "in" a trick to start a conversation without actually doing it, kind of like what your mom suggested with gum. It might be hard with so few students at your class but you have to find a way to interject yourself into conversation instead of starting it.
 
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