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Social Anxiety & Bipolar

Wishbone

Wishbone

Active member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
43
Location
England
Anyone have it? I never used to have it but as my Bipolar progressed over the last six years or so, this 'thing' appeared to grow with it. Suddenly I didn't want to be around people, speak to people, be in situations where I might have to speak to people. It has grown into an almost uncontrollable beast to the point where it is stopping me from doing most things that involve situations in which I might end up having to speak with people.
I don't know if this is a part of the Bipolar, an adjunct to it, or a reaction to it in the sense that maybe if someone speaks to me for long enough or sees me over a long enough period of time, they'll see this thing peeking out from underneath called Bipolar. Maybe I'm even trying to save them from me? Maybe I've just got nothing to say? Maybe I find most people too boring and predictable? I really don't know.
I find it all really baffling how, in the space of just six short years, I went from socially okay, (not brilliant, but okay) to pretty inept. The problem is I also now rarely want to be around people because I'm so easily irritated by them, so it's not just a choice to make things easier, it's also a 'need' to not get ticked off by yet another thing. Irritability is a big problem for me.
Experiences or thoughts?
 
J

JeanPierre

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
837
Location
Southern USA
I'm so sorry.
Everyone is on edge right now.
I hope you feel better soon.
 
OmniscientNihilist

OmniscientNihilist

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
1,573
Location
Canada
Anyone have it? I never used to have it but as my Bipolar progressed over the last six years or so, this 'thing' appeared to grow with it. Suddenly I didn't want to be around people, speak to people, be in situations where I might have to speak to people. It has grown into an almost uncontrollable beast to the point where it is stopping me from doing most things that involve situations in which I might end up having to speak with people.
I don't know if this is a part of the Bipolar, an adjunct to it, or a reaction to it in the sense that maybe if someone speaks to me for long enough or sees me over a long enough period of time, they'll see this thing peeking out from underneath called Bipolar. Maybe I'm even trying to save them from me? Maybe I've just got nothing to say? Maybe I find most people too boring and predictable? I really don't know.
I find it all really baffling how, in the space of just six short years, I went from socially okay, (not brilliant, but okay) to pretty inept. The problem is I also now rarely want to be around people because I'm so easily irritated by them, so it's not just a choice to make things easier, it's also a 'need' to not get ticked off by yet another thing. Irritability is a big problem for me.
Experiences or thoughts?
when im low im tired and dont feel like talking much to anyone. it feels hard and draining.
 
J

jovik

New member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
4
Location
preston
Hi
Anyone have it? I never used to have it but as my Bipolar progressed over the last six years or so, this 'thing' appeared to grow with it. Suddenly I didn't want to be around people, speak to people, be in situations where I might have to speak to people. It has grown into an almost uncontrollable beast to the point where it is stopping me from doing most things that involve situations in which I might end up having to speak with people.
I don't know if this is a part of the Bipolar, an adjunct to it, or a reaction to it in the sense that maybe if someone speaks to me for long enough or sees me over a long enough period of time, they'll see this thing peeking out from underneath called Bipolar. Maybe I'm even trying to save them from me? Maybe I've just got nothing to say? Maybe I find most people too boring and predictable? I really don't know.
I find it all really baffling how, in the space of just six short years, I went from socially okay, (not brilliant, but okay) to pretty inept. The problem is I also now rarely want to be around people because I'm so easily irritated by them, so it's not just a choice to make things easier, it's also a 'need' to not get ticked off by yet another thing. Irritability is a big problem for me.
Experiences or thoughts?
Hi there, I'm very similar to you. Over the last 6 months I have found it incredibly hard to maintain friendships. I think it's a combination of my illness and the covid situation. But I also have found my old usual friends boring and that they don't really understand mental health. I am not sure if it relates to my bipolar 2 or not but I just want you to know you are not alone with this feeling. x
 
C

CabbageMama

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
60
Location
UK
I have totally isolated myself with this current horrible period that I am about 3 months in to. I did try to include some close friends in what was going on and how I was feeling about being diagnosed, medicated etc, but they didn’t respond well. Honestly, all my friends, people I worked with etc only saw me hyper manic. That was the me that was the life and soul, a bit of a clown, but always making people smile. I could be in bits at home with anxiety or depression, but by the time I met them for coffee or drinks I would act totally fine. When I was working, I was bright and sparkly, motivated people and made people feel good. No-one ever saw this other side to me. They wouldn’t like it. I sure as hell don’t.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
642
Location
London, UK
I personally don't have social anxiety, but I know what it feels like to have your self-esteem crippled by living with this condition and all that comes with it; the stigma, the ups and downs, the feeling that you are somehow inadequate due to your mental health.

The remedy to this is to change the way you view yourself and your condition. It starts with accepting the fact that this thing, for better or for worse, is as much a part of you as your hands or your feet and this is just something that you are going to have to deal with. Next, don't let yourself feel limited by your condition, set yourself goals and pursue them as best as you can. Sometimes you will stumble and fall, but as long as you learn to pick yourself up every time, you will become better. Finally, and this is something that I have been realising lately, is that you are stronger for trying to lead a fullfilling life despite your problems, not weaker. And when you realise this, you will notice that your self-esteem will grow exponentially and any feelings of anxiety you have will abate.

Anxiety and self esteem go hand in hand and I feel like this is something that ought to be addressed with psychotherapy and through a gradual process of reflection, self-discover and rebuilding. I have recently signed up for therapy and am looking forward to my initial session next month. I strongly advise anyone who is struggling with similar issues to do the same.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
642
Location
London, UK
I have totally isolated myself with this current horrible period that I am about 3 months in to. I did try to include some close friends in what was going on and how I was feeling about being diagnosed, medicated etc, but they didn’t respond well. Honestly, all my friends, people I worked with etc only saw me hyper manic. That was the me that was the life and soul, a bit of a clown, but always making people smile. I could be in bits at home with anxiety or depression, but by the time I met them for coffee or drinks I would act totally fine. When I was working, I was bright and sparkly, motivated people and made people feel good. No-one ever saw this other side to me. They wouldn’t like it. I sure as hell don’t.
I'm really sorry that you went through all this, I know the feeling and its not a pleasant one. I think its wise to temporarily hold off telling anyone about your diagnosis outside of your immeadiate family, because bipolar is a very misunderstood condition. When it first hits, your main priority should be to focus on getting better and rebuilding your life as best as you can. Everything else is secondary. I know it can feel isolating to do hide parts of yourself but if there is even a slight chance that you sharing your diagnosis with friends/collegues can backfire on you, you should avoid it, rather than face the stigma which is only going to make you feel worse and cause uneccessary problems.

Eventually, you will come out of the other end of this stronger and when you have rebuilt your life to the point that you feel confident in yourself and your abilities once again, perhaps then it would be approapriate to share your diagnosis. At this stage, you will be in a position of strength and people will be more likely to respect you for it, rather than stigmatise you. Even on the offchance that some small minority of people will still be unsupportive, you would at this point be far better equipped to deal with them.

I know it seems very unfair that we have to do this kind of social maneovering on top of dealing with our condition. Perhaps someday, the wheel will turn and people who struggle with mental health problems would be seen in a different light, but as things stand now, this really is the best way forward.
 
C

CabbageMama

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
60
Location
UK
I'm really sorry that you went through all this, I know the feeling and its not a pleasant one. I think its wise to temporarily hold off telling anyone about your diagnosis outside of your immeadiate family, because bipolar is a very misunderstood condition. When it first hits, your main priority should be to focus on getting better and rebuilding your life as best as you can. Everything else is secondary. I know it can feel isolating to do hide parts of yourself but if there is even a slight chance that you sharing your diagnosis with friends/collegues can backfire on you, you should avoid it, rather than face the stigma which is only going to make you feel worse and cause uneccessary problems.

Eventually, you will come out of the other end of this stronger and when you have rebuilt your life to the point that you feel confident in yourself and your abilities once again, perhaps then it would be approapriate to share your diagnosis. At this stage, you will be in a position of strength and people will be more likely to respect you for it, rather than stigmatise you. Even on the offchance that some small minority of people will still be unsupportive, you would at this point be far better equipped to deal with them.

I know it seems very unfair that we have to do this kind of social maneovering on top of dealing with our condition. Perhaps someday, the wheel will turn and people who struggle with mental health problems would be seen in a different light, but as things stand now, this really is the best way forward.
I am mostly over the loneliness now, just trying to focus on what I need to do to get better and stable. Feels easier doing it on my own to be honest. I need to forge a new path, just not sure what it is yet. My past hasn’t been very kind to me and this diagnosis has battered me somewhat, but holding on to the fact that the only way is forward. And it might be with a few steps back here and there, but I am going to focus on the future as much as I am able.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
642
Location
London, UK
I am mostly over the loneliness now, just trying to focus on what I need to do to get better and stable. Feels easier doing it on my own to be honest. I need to forge a new path, just not sure what it is yet. My past hasn’t been very kind to me and this diagnosis has battered me somewhat, but holding on to the fact that the only way is forward. And it might be with a few steps back here and there, but I am going to focus on the future as much as I am able.
That's a really positive attitude to have. Its always hard to start off with, but in time it gets easier and actually feels empowering to know that you have the capacity to deal with your own problems. Its a lot better than being held back by feeling dependant on the opinions of others. Your past is your past, there is no changing it; all you can do is try to understand it as best as you can and learn valuable lessons from it. The future is important but thinking about it too much might instill trepidation and anxiety in you. The best thing to do is to focus on the present; because its what you do right here, right now that matters most. This is where you have the most control over your life. If you work on yourself on a daily basis, the pieces of the puzzle will slowly start falling together and I'm sure that you will find your way. :)
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

Active member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
43
Location
England
Thanks for the replies. I should point out that the lockdown stuff hasn't affected me negatively at all, if anything it's better for me because very little is expected.

Let me give you an example of one place this might come from: Say there was a family funeral and at the funeral there were family members that I hadn't seen for a while. And they end up speaking to me and ask how I'm getting on, how am I etc. This is maybe what I fear. People asking me how I am and me not being able to put on a front. I'm probably 80% of the time low/depressed. If I was properly depressed I probably wouldn't even be able to go to a funeral, though I know I should, at my worst, nothing could move me. But when I'm just 'low' is probably the most awkward of all because I'm unhappy and I can't pretend otherwise. Things have suffered in my life as a result of this illness so it feels like I've got nothing much that's good to say. So maybe that accounts for some of it - a fear of being put on the spot and asked to tell others how I am and me not being able to pretend. That doesn't account for all of it though as I know in many social situations I'm unlikely to be asked such things. It also doesn't include irritation and the like either. I don't know, maybe it's a combination of many things.
 
J

JeanPierre

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
837
Location
Southern USA
Thanks for the replies. I should point out that the lockdown stuff hasn't affected me negatively at all, if anything it's better for me because very little is expected.

Let me give you an example of one place this might come from: Say there was a family funeral and at the funeral there were family members that I hadn't seen for a while. And they end up speaking to me and ask how I'm getting on, how am I etc. This is maybe what I fear. People asking me how I am and me not being able to put on a front. I'm probably 80% of the time low/depressed. If I was properly depressed I probably wouldn't even be able to go to a funeral, though I know I should, at my worst, nothing could move me. But when I'm just 'low' is probably the most awkward of all because I'm unhappy and I can't pretend otherwise. Things have suffered in my life as a result of this illness so it feels like I've got nothing much that's good to say. So maybe that accounts for some of it - a fear of being put on the spot and asked to tell others how I am and me not being able to pretend. That doesn't account for all of it though as I know in many social situations I'm unlikely to be asked such things. It also doesn't include irritation and the like either. I don't know, maybe it's a combination of many things.
I know. You scared to finally break.
All the pieces may not go back together.
Talk to us.
 
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