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Tired of this social anxiety cycle

R

Rinoa

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Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
4
Location
England
So I've struggled with social anxiety for as long as I can remember, and at this point I don't experience the physical symptoms of it much, but I exhibit the behaviours such as avoidance and awkwardness and self deprecation.

Every scenario seems the same, I try to be a new me and have more confidence for example in a new job or social circle but I inevitably return to old habits and be so quiet and awkward. At work right now I curl my toes in awkwardness and frustration when I have a bad social interaction or I avoid people's gazes and feel as though they don't like me or find me unapproachable. I am always pleasant but I just hate myself for it.

I don't really have any real friends anymore, I always have had deeper close friendships but I've drifted away more to the point where I only properly speak to my boyfriend after weeks and realise no one has really checked up on me.

I also messed up at an interview recently which I got extremely nervous for, and another occasion recently I hung out with my boyfriend and his friends and I ended up being totally silent and segregated by the end. I keep cringing at flashback memories about it. I'm an introvert and like my own company but it's not a nice feeling to be the odd one out. I don't know what to do :(
 
Q

Quietly Invisible

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Oct 29, 2021
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102
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PA
Wow! Everyone with social anxiety writes the same story. You have just told most of mine. At least we have each other here so we know someone understands how we feel. I am a grandmother and thought I would outgrow my backwardness at some point. Some things got better, some worse. I make friends and lose them and then make new ones, but it's sooo hard.
 
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2Much2Feel

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Hi @Rinoa, and welcome to the forum. yeah, I'm about to try to find my 28th shrink, this time to try to tackle the social anxiety that has gotten worse with my ongoing avoidance. It really is hard, but it is something that for years at a time I have been able to function rather normally with, so I'm hopeful that with the right med combo it will again regress. Apparently there are a number of effective treatments, so it's worth looking into and giving it a go.

Years ago, my MH issues started with panic disorder, and had I not gone in for some study the university was conducting and gotten professional help and on the right med combo, I know I would not have been able to finish school, date, and so forth. So it's this I think of now when looking at going back to therapy and a change in meds. It can help so much.

Again, welcome to the forum and I hope you can reach out and get some good help, plus find this forum supportive. Has been so helpful to me. xx
 
R

Rinoa

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Nov 10, 2021
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England
Thanks for the comments and the nice words. Sorry to hear you are going through it too but like you say it's good that we aren't completely alone. It's reassuring and then not so reassuring to see people talking about how they still struggle with things, but I think that's because in many ways I feel like this is who I am with my introvertedness and I won't ever change, I just want to feel more carefree and like I can speak in a room with more than 1 person. I studied psychology at university so in ways I feel I am too aware of myself in a way that I don't know if I can be helped by an external source. I tried counselling but it didn't do much for me, and then when I got informally diagnosed with social anxiety i was on an 18 month waiting list for CBT like therapy but it was too long and i felt like i already know CBT and it wouldn't help.

I get so frustrated with myself because it's been an obstacle in every part of my life which I'm sure you can relate to, and now I just put alot of energy and focus on gaming but I don't have any gaming friends so it's a very solo adventure

I get drained with social interaction however when I'm having fun with a group of friends i do love it and get on a high and I'm very good 1 to 1 with people, however the world doesn't operate on a 1 to 1 basis haha
 
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2Much2Feel

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Thanks for the comments and the nice words. Sorry to hear you are going through it too but like you say it's good that we aren't completely alone. It's reassuring and then not so reassuring to see people talking about how they still struggle with things, but I think that's because in many ways I feel like this is who I am with my introvertedness and I won't ever change, I just want to feel more carefree and like I can speak in a room with more than 1 person. I studied psychology at university so in ways I feel I am too aware of myself in a way that I don't know if I can be helped by an external source. I tried counselling but it didn't do much for me, and then when I got informally diagnosed with social anxiety i was on an 18 month waiting list for CBT like therapy but it was too long and i felt like i already know CBT and it wouldn't help.

I get so frustrated with myself because it's been an obstacle in every part of my life which I'm sure you can relate to, and now I just put alot of energy and focus on gaming but I don't have any gaming friends so it's a very solo adventure

I get drained with social interaction however when I'm having fun with a group of friends i do love it and get on a high and I'm very good 1 to 1 with people, however the world doesn't operate on a 1 to 1 basis haha
Exactly. It is super frustrating and I keep putting off getting help for it myself, as I feel I've been this way too long. Putting it off til next week, lol.

Have you tried Discord to meet people while you game? My son uses it all the time, I know a lot of gamers love it and can meet people there. I'm too old to understand any of it, but it sounds like a way to meet people with minimum contact and ease your way into it a bit maybe.

Hope today is a better day. I also hope to post in the next few months how this new shrink totally fixed me and how he did it! xx
 
R

Rinoa

New member
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
4
Location
England
I think it's worth finding help and having that third person is good to see yourself and the situation from different perspectives. I think a misconception of social anxiety is that you're socially inept when actually you can be incredibly tuned into the world around you and people but your brain and body just freezes and you cant help but be quiet and avoid. It's a tricky thing to tackle

Thanks for the discord suggestion, I'm definitely up for it but I'd need to find people first so I'm planning to play more online games and see if I can meet anyone that would want to game with me, and would be great if they lived closely and could be real world friends too.

I have some time off work now which I feel I needed to recharge so hopefully I can enjoy myself and get grounded again. I would love to hear your story and experience with your therapist when you have time to share it!! :)
 
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