Shawn Patrick
Topic Author
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 7:30 am

Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:37 pm

http://www.socialphobia.org/fact.htm Info about it

For a long time, probably a few years, I've been feeling so introverted and withdrawn, and it's slowly taking a toll on my life. I have a hard time in social situations, especially when it involves people I don't know or people I irrationally percieve as "better than me". I'm always afraid of their judgement, always thinking that they're thinking negatively about me. I tend to make up excuses not to go to parties.

All this seems to be affecting my life. It seems like I'm at a standstill and my life isn't progressing. I just do the same thing over and over again and I don't talk to people and it's the most depressing feeling. I need help.

So I just went searching around and it sounds like I have social anxiety disorder.  Sad My brother had/has it, which is interesting. I just wanted to ask some people on here about it.

Does anyone have this problem, or have had it? How did you recover? What was life like before and after? Personal stories..

It would help a lot. Thanks everyone.

Shawn
 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:53 pm

I think you are better off going to a professional rather than getting information on an aviation message board.

Talk to some sort of counselor/therapist. Ask about Zoloft/Paraxcil or some equivalent. These drugs cater towards what you are looking for, but I would not take advice from random people in the net, bud.

Just remember everyone has their own problems, it just depends on how servere they are.
Go big or go home
 
artsyman
Posts: 4516
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2001 12:35 pm

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:54 pm

I suffer this also. While I am happy to discuss this more later, I have to go out to do a few things at the moment.

J
 
Shawn Patrick
Topic Author
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 7:30 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:59 pm

I already decided to get professional help. I'm more looking for personal stories here, Thanks
 
jhooper
Posts: 5561
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:08 pm

Thinking about it, I may have a mild case or at least variation of this disorder. It hasn't really been a problem in my life so far, but I don't care much at all for most social situations, especially parties. I don't feel like I need people around to enjoy myself; I very rarely feel "lonely". That's not to say I don't have friends, but yes I do at times feel withdrawn.

I do hope you get past this phase, but being your age is going to be difficult no matter what situation you're in; it's just part of growning up.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
Beefmoney
Posts: 1071
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 2:16 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:10 pm

I've got the same problem as you. Parties, get togethers, any sort of social gathering, I tend to freak out and make up excuses not to go. In fact, as I type this, one of my friends is yelling at me for never going to the movies or going to parties with them, and I am trying to make up excuses and dig myself out of the hole Ive gotten myself into.

Its not fun. It sucks.

But I definatly wouldnt call myself depressed. Im happy, energetic, and optimistic all the time. I think its more of a self confidence issue than a depression issue, in my case.

I seem to have narrowed it down to the fact that I just dont like being in a situation I am not familiar with. At school, church, home, I am perfectly fine. I am as outgoing and wild a guy as you will ever meet. But once you try to drag me to an unfamiliar place or situation I will go completely introverted and try to get out of there as fast as possible. Again, thats probably a selfconfidence issue where I feel like Im going to be judged by strangers and people who dont know me. When Im around friends, though, Im perfectly fine and comfortable.

But try to drag me to a party or gathering full of strangers and you will have to drag me there kicking and screaming.

[Edited 2004-03-14 06:17:06]
 
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yyz717
Posts: 15771
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:26 pm

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:10 pm

You guys are fine. 80% of people probably feel the same way you do.

I tend to avoid house parties, dinner parties, black tie events, company dinners and yet my social calendar is still full.

Don't feel you HAVE to learn to enjoy social events that you don't currently. Just be your own man.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
LOT767-300ER
Posts: 8526
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:57 pm

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:51 pm

To tell you the truth I felt sort of the same way a couple years ago.

One day however I was at a party and Im like, Im a bloody european in between a bunch of stupid americans. Im as euro as you can get, I listen only to a mix of trance and euro artists, play soccer, own freaking 35-40 soccer jerseys from europe, speak Polish, and drive like a madman from Warsaw in between suburbian traffic. Honestly, I just stopped trying to fit in and pretty much took my own way. When someone said "Lets go the movies" I pretty much replied, "Yea, how about we bloody go race on I-90, and ill beat your yank ass that takes a bit more adrenaline than eating popcorn." At parties, I started doing really crazy stuff, and the people who i thought were better than me didnt even know what hit them. I remember one night some dude was boasting on how he could down shots of Bacardi one after another. I was pretty inexperienced then and I took a risk but oh well. I put a bottle of everclear and took 3 shots. I couldnt feel my throat for some time but the sacrifice was well worth it.

I think everyone has to find their fear and pop that bubble, its just a matter of if you can find it or not.
 
AnsettAW
Posts: 200
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RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:58 pm

I was pretty inexperienced then and I took a risk but oh well. I put a bottle of everclear and took 3 shots. I couldnt feel my throat for some time but the sacrifice was well worth it.

Are you sure you weren't dealing with Alcohol-Induced Psychotic
Disorder?

Snap, Krackle, and Pop are thinly veiled emblems for the Trilateral Commission.
 
AirT85
Posts: 1241
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RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:26 am

I used to feel like you do. If put in a social situation I would close up and just watch. I would be too scared to talk to anyone, or even look at anyone else there unless they were a close friend of mine already. I stopped going out and just stayed in unless I knew my friends were going out with people I knew. I feared being rejected or what people would think of me, etc.

I think my turning point was when I started singing publicly. Once I got up on stage, being confident in my vocal ability and having to be open up there helped me to really open up offstage. I realized that life's too short to waste worrying about what people think of you. All you can do is get up and do your best to be who you are. People are either going to take it or leave it.

If you'd like to discuss this further feel free to email me ([email protected]).

-Tony
Why would God make us all so different, if He wanted us to be the same?
 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:00 am

I think alot of people on Anet may suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder... More than are likely to admit to it.
Go big or go home
 
kilavoud
Posts: 863
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:47 pm

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:04 am

Shawn Patrick

Thank you for the great song of Céline Dion that we can listen when clicking on your user name :

"Et j'ai suivi le vol d'un ange
Il m'a emmené jusqu'à toi
Un battement de cil
Et tu es là
La nuit plus rien ne nous dérange
La raison est un fil de soie
On la sent plus fragile
C'est bien comme ça
Mais dis-moi..."

Your high sensitivity makes you doubt sometimes of yourself. That's quite normal. Why shouldn't you now use your own sensitivity, this great quality you have, to reverse the situation, forcing you to think more positively about yourself. You can do it.

Cheers. Kilavoud. And thanks again for the nice song.
 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:07 am

Here is my Psych major kicking in here:

I think a big portion of SAD is because many were rejected socially at a young age when you were developing social skills, so it in turns effects you now, unfortunately it kills you when you are trying to meet girls, because many will buckle under the pressure.
Go big or go home
 
SWA TPA
Posts: 1457
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RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:37 am


Social situations...shudder.

I am fine with friends but put me with strangers and I shut down completely! I feel as though everybody is staring at me and judging every little thing about me. I am certain they will not like me.
Because I behave this way at first, people have a tendency to think I am snotty or unfriendly which is totally opposite of me.
I about died when I 1st started working for Southwest 7 years ago. I was PETRIFIED to call up the next passenger in line. Having to make announcements on the PA..... OMG, I shook so bad...I really thought I was going to pass out. It would take me 5 minutes of holding the microphone and working up my courage before I could even think about talking into the thing! Oh yeah, I also had to write all my announcements down before hand because my mind would go completely blank LOL! Everybody in the gate area turns around and stares at you as you are talking. I am glaaad those days are over. Now, I can talk to anybody, say anything, no big deal. However, you take me out of the work environment and I crumble. Odd.

SWA TPA
I believe I can fly.....
 
AnsettAW
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 4:28 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:56 am

You're absolutely right, Aa61hvy. I've got the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) handy -- I have an MSW (Masters of Social Work) and I'm currently doing P/T per diem counseling for individuals with traumatic brain injury -- and it states: "Social Phobia typically has an onset in the mid-teens, sometimes emerging out of a childhood history of social inhibition or shyness. Onset may abruptly follow a stressful or humiliating experience...

I think it's important to note, though, that even if many here experience some of the symptoms, it does not immediately warrant a diagnosis of SAD. It says in the manual that even individuals with excessive fears of public speaking, for instance, are not impaired enough to be classified with this disorder.
Snap, Krackle, and Pop are thinly veiled emblems for the Trilateral Commission.
 
Klaus
Posts: 21342
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RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 3:01 am

Stay away from drugs unless they´re really medically indicated! And a shrink who feels a bit helpless doesn´t count as such!  Wink/being sarcastic

I can´t say I´ve really got the problem, but I know a few people who are dealing with similar issues.

Primary point: Don´t surrender too easily to other people´s ideas of what matters and what doesn´t. You´ve got exactly the same right to be here and to be respected as everybody else does.

Second: Don´t take the image others are presenting of themselves at face value. Everybody has fears and imperfections; And the public image is very often just an act which you can decide to buy - or not. And I know what I´m talking about!  Wink/being sarcastic

Third: Other people can tell you a lot about yourself - but the more obnoxious personal criticism gets, the more they´re usually telling you about their own problems. You´d be lost if you´d take everything at face value.

Fourth: You need real friends who respect you no matter what, even if they´re criticizing you at times (same goes for family, wherever possible). Be a real friend, listen without prejudice and don´t judge - and look for the same in others.

Fifth: In most cases, what is percieved as malice is really based on mistakes and attempts to save face. You know it from yourself, expect it in others and again: Don´t judge.

Sixth: Frustration in all its forms is a serious matter - up to a point. But there are negative illusions as much as there are positive ones. Maybe you can´t fly (yet?  Wink/being sarcastic); But you´re certainly not a worm, either. That much is absolutely certain. Laugh at your frustration when it really goes overboard again. It needs a firm kick in the behind at times. Big grin

Seventh: The number of people "who are better than you" is exactly zero! If somebody tries to tell you otherwise, he´s lying or he doesn´t know what he´s talking about (usually the latter).

Eighth: Don´t take anything I say at face value, either. You can find your own way (even with help), whatever people may saying!  Big thumbs up
 
AnsettAW
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 4:28 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 3:08 am

That's excellent advice, Klaus. It sounds better than most of the self-help pop psychology that permeates magazines these days!
Snap, Krackle, and Pop are thinly veiled emblems for the Trilateral Commission.
 
Shawn Patrick
Topic Author
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 7:30 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:06 am

This is all really good advice, guys. Thanks a lot!

Can you recommend any books or things I can use to help work through this? Anything that specifically worked for you?

Shawn
 
redngold
Posts: 6686
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2000 12:26 pm

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:01 am

Hey Shawn,

I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which is a complex disorder that can sometimes include social anxiety. My main social anxiety issue is that I have obsessive thoughts that I will say or do something that will hurt someone else. Then I freeze up and am afraid to talk with anyone, or to move around in a crowded room, because I think I might hurt someone. Of course I would never hurt someone on purpose.

What I think of is, stepping on someone's foot; saying something inappropriate; bumping into someone and causing them to spill stuff all over the place; getting bumped into and causing the same thing for myself; tripping and falling, knocking myself or others to the floor; that kind of stuff. In other words, I obsess about social graces...

I've discussed some of this on my blog at http://godsownfool.blogspot.com

You can find a lot of information on the Internet, but Social Anxiety Disorder is best treated by psychotherapy, possibly medication, and desensitization. Your counselor will help you do the desensitization.

Good luck!
redngold
Up, up and away!
 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:02 am

Shawn- there is not set way to deal with this, because you are unique, you will have to find your own way to get through this..
Go big or go home
 
Jaws707
Posts: 667
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 10:45 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:09 am

Hey, I have an interesting story that fits in with what has been discussed here. Through 8th grade I used to be one of the most popular kids in my school, but then my family had moved the summer after I graduated into a new neighborhood and I was about to start high school where I didnt know a single person there. So as school had started I was feeling a certain amount of anxiety, but what was the worst is that the majority of the kids there had come from 3 feeder schools, and a lot of them already had their "groups" established. Even though I am as American as any of them, my parents had come from Poland, and I have a noticable accent, and that type of Eastern European look. Well in highschool I stuck out like a sore thumb. At the same time for some reason my stuttering problem had come back. I did stutter when I was younger, but I went to therapy to cure it, and it did get cured when I was in the fourth grade. So here I was in highschool, I was anxious about meeting all these new people, I was depressed that I missed my old friends, I didnt fit in well, and to top everything else off my stuttering problem had come back.
I then struggled with this through 4 years of hell. Eventually I did make some friends, and I started to fit in better, but it never felt like I was in the mainstream with the "popular students" Thankfully highschool ended and I was finally happy.
When I went away to Bradley University the next fall, I was determined not to repeat the mistakes I made in high school. I did get more involved, I fit in a lot better I thought, and I was able to significantly improve my speech even though it still wasnt perfect. I am now a junior at Bradley, and I can say that I put the issues I had in high school well behind me. I used to fear many social situations, and I used to avoid people, but that is not the case anymore. The attitute I went into college with was "Be all you can be." and because I have been driven as I have been, it has earned me the respect of other people and with that comes a sense of accomplishment.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:53 pm

I feel like this too...in fact what Beefmoney about himself sounds exactly like me...almost like hes my social doppelganger or something...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 3:41 pm

I too face this challenge, I mean hell, look at my activity on this website since I joined in december. I'm not a shy introvert in familiar places, I can be very boisterous and loud, and I love attention. I talk to girls on a regular basis, but haven't yet grown the balls enough to ask one out on a date. I love attention, I crave it, I have an incessant lust for being in any kind of spotlight in front of people. I have always had a flare for dramatics, I've always tried to express myself. I think the reason I am able to talk to girls now and be social, and to be able to attend parties (If I knew when they were happening, I'd be at more) is because I found an alternate way to express my daemons: Music. I write the lyrics and the music for my band. I found that the deeper you can go with your emotion on the pen, the more light you feel after it is written, and you don't have those feelings anymore.


Wow, that's deep. I never knew I had all those feelings until I wrote that, and it kinda feels good to get it out.

DLKAPA
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
User avatar
sebolino
Posts: 3537
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 11:26 pm

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon Mar 15, 2004 5:32 pm

I had (and still have a bit) the same problem.

It was a hell when I was a teenager, now it's getting much better.
I don't really know how I managed to go through it. The starting point was when I met a guy who was the opposite of me and who became my best friend.

I would say that the main point is to be more self-confident, for example by playing an instrument ...
But you obviously already do it.

Perhaps you should try sport, or even better a martial art. It's a real school of self-knowledge and self-confidence.

 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:03 am

This may sound bad, but before talking to girls try having a beer or two, it will help lower your worries, and self consciousness. You will be much more cool instead of being real worked up.
Go big or go home
 
Guest

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:09 am

Wow, ive never heard of this before but I can safely say I have it. Not to such an extreme level as some of the examples but I could relate to most of them. It felt like this at some points in my life much more than other but currently I am feeling it very badly. I have recently moved to university (6 months) and I still don't feel like I have a true friend. I feel as if everyone analyses my every word and looks down on me when I am in conversation. Sometimes to combat it I display very high levels of confidence and this probably makes it worse. I also never looks anyone in the eye whilst in coversation and never have done , if someone makes eye contact I always look it the ground or something. This shy body language must make people feel as if I'm not genuine, that I'm highly self assured and think I do not like them. This is terrible as they are then unwelcoming to me back and this makes me feel rejected.

it is very irritating when trying to get to know women too, I have only ever had one night stands and have never had a loving relationships with a girl. Recently I have really liked one girl but could only talk to her confidently when she was not single. I knew her for a year and she had two boyfriends ,during this time I felt I knew her really well and I later found out she really liked me too, but now she is back with her old boyfriend. It took me ages to get over her and I had not even gone out with her. Because of this I feel inferior to her and have trouble speaking to her at all now.

off course, I have had really good friends before but it generally takes a very long time (1 year) for me to be completely secure with them. The good thing about finding this out is that often with disorders ect the acceptance is half of the cure, as I can now compensate for the problem in life. I Shall look for counseling elsewhere though to confirm whether I have this or not and to treat it if I do.

PS I am 19 today (15/3)
 
jhooper
Posts: 5561
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:42 am

Nothing wrong with making people earn your trust. I'd say I'd have to know someone for minimum 2-3 years before I can be secure in knowing someone.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
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seb146
Posts: 21228
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Social Anxiety Disorder

Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:09 am

I also have a problem being in a crowd of people I don't know. Still, I go to clubs all the time. I dance the night away. I try to look good when I go out but I still have the nagging doubt that they are judging me. Last week, I went to a club. I was wearing a sweater and a tank top under it. I took off the sweater and could swear some people were judging me. I told myself "If they don't like it, they should look away" and I kept on dancing. I am sure they didn't care but sometimes I wonder.

If it really is that big of a deal for you, go to a club or party with someone you trust. It is easier to be yourself with someone you know near you. Keep expaning your boundries. It takes time and you may get brused along the way, but if you have a goal, go for it!

GO CANUCKS!!
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!

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