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The social anxiety friend meeting thread! Watch

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    (Original post by moutonfou)
    This thread looks really good, I've tried other forums specifically dedicated to anxiety but they aren't active enough - hope this thread keeps gaining momentum!

    I just really need some people to share my feelings with on bad days and can also hopefully help others on good days.

    Have struggled with SA since... well, forever. In school I had selective mutism at times, now I'm in my twenties and have a good graduate job but it's hard, just recently I've been repeatedly going through everything anybody says to me at work in my head and spending all day on edge, it's exhausting. Because I've learnt to put on a front my colleagues don't know I struggle and I don't know whether they would even take me seriously anyway. Too many people in my past have implied that I could just 'make more of an effort' or 'speak up'. They only see the outer face of SA, the quietness - they don't understand the constant thinking and building yourself up before every interaction and the mental exhaustion that comes with it.

    At work I feel like a balloon that keeps losing air. Just as I get a little air in me - maybe a bit or praise or a nice word or I share a joke with a colleague - and start to gain a bit of confidence, something happens to burst my bubble again - a manager being sharp with me, or trying to contribute to a conversation and nobody taking any notice, or just somebody misunderstanding something I've said and me lacking any confidence to put them right so just accepting it, or a couple of colleagues going for lunch and not asking me - and I'm completely deflated and have to run through it in my head over and over again for hours.

    In short my problem is not really interactions - yes I'm quiet and don't really make firm friends but I can put on a friendly front and keep acquaintances and that's enough for me - but my thoughts are my real enemy and it's exhausting just thinking about everything all day long.

    Anyway it would just be nice to hear from anyone with similar experiences and to read other experiences of SA... just to know I'm not alone I guess
    What's your job and where abouts do you work?
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    (Original post by Natasha Rose)
    Hello.

    I'm 25 and have had social anxiety for as long as I can remember (we are talking from all the way back in primary school). I didn't finish school, which resulted in no GCSE's and no friends. I did manage to survive college, although I was bullied. I have since been battling between isolating myself from the world entirely and then desperately trying to 'fit in'. I am currently going into my second year of university (although I really don't want to go back) and could do with some friends, as I honestly don't feel like I have any, and with social anxiety I am struggling to make/maintain any friendships that may come along. I have also just been broken up with, to add insult to injury.

    Well, I really sold myself well huh? HI
    Very similar to me about school \ GCSEs etc, I've been struggling with social anxiety ever since and get really lonely as I don't know anybody x

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    I could've written that myself Natasha, I also left school with no GCSE'S but I'm in my 3rd year of my degree with the OU now. Still not got friends or anything though. The most caring people seem to be those struggling the most, the rest of the world is a cruel place.
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    Yeah it's really hard to meet people when you're like this. I went to uni and I have tried to live there but I end up locking myself away and getting unwell, so I've had to move home everytime I've tried. I haven't met any friends at uni and apart from my boyfriend I have noone else. He's a big help, but he has his own friends so I am alone a lot. I wish it was easier to make friends :/

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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    Yeah it's really hard to meet people when you're like this. I went to uni and I have tried to live there but I end up locking myself away and getting unwell, so I've had to move home everytime I've tried. I haven't met any friends at uni and apart from my boyfriend I have noone else. He's a big help, but he has his own friends so I am alone a lot. I wish it was easier to make friends :/

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    I can totally relate to all of this i always end up isolating myself and feeling very lonely. I can never just bring myself to normally interact with strangers. After the first year of uni things improved for me a little and i ended up making a couple of friends. The first year i was really miserable and down that i thought i wasnt even gonna pass but i think just focus on making a few good friends. Try and find people who have similar interests and try socialisibg in smaller groups if you find large groups difficult. You just have to force yourself sometimes and little by little you gain a bit of confidence. Also get your friends number and start by talking to them on whatsapp or by text just asking for general things like about work. Then slowly start asking about other things and getting to know them. Hopefully a friendship will develop over time. I used to have terrible social anxiety to the point where i didnt wanna go uni and suffered from depression and suicidal thinking because of it. Despite this i still stuck it out at uni and over time made a few great friends. Hope things improve for you
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    I went out tonight with a couple of old friends I knew from a few years back. I hate how I was only out for a few hours, with people I thought I was comfortable with, but now that I'm back I feel mentally exhausted, if that makes sense. I just need to be on my own right now to sort of 'recharge'.

    (Original post by sabana)
    I can totally relate to all of this i always end up isolating myself and feeling very lonely. I can never just bring myself to normally interact with strangers. After the first year of uni things improved for me a little and i ended up making a couple of friends. The first year i was really miserable and down that i thought i wasnt even gonna pass but i think just focus on making a few good friends. Try and find people who have similar interests and try socialisibg in smaller groups if you find large groups difficult. You just have to force yourself sometimes and little by little you gain a bit of confidence. Also get your friends number and start by talking to them on whatsapp or by text just asking for general things like about work. Then slowly start asking about other things and getting to know them. Hopefully a friendship will develop over time. I used to have terrible social anxiety to the point where i didnt wanna go uni and suffered from depression and suicidal thinking because of it. Despite this i still stuck it out at uni and over time made a few great friends. Hope things improve for you
    Thank you for the advice, it always helps to hear from someone who has felt the same
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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    Yeah it's really hard to meet people when you're like this. I went to uni and I have tried to live there but I end up locking myself away and getting unwell, so I've had to move home everytime I've tried. I haven't met any friends at uni and apart from my boyfriend I have noone else. He's a big help, but he has his own friends so I am alone a lot. I wish it was easier to make friends :/

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    I can really relate to this too. I've been at uni for a year but tend to shy away from social events, mainly due to the fact I don't drink (simply don't like the taste), and most student events seem to involve at least some drinking these days! I also have anxiety difficulties which get in the way of making friends and I've made very few friends this year.

    My boyfriend is also very supportive but he's made a good group of friends at uni who always hang out and have fun together, so he can't really understand what the loneliness is like. I totally understand how difficult it can be to make friends as I've tried my best and still found it so hard to make connections that go beyond basic small talk. I'm just going to launch myself at uni again this year, join some societies and try to be more confident. I hope you feel better and less lonely soon :jumphug:
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    Mine started from having a girlfriend for 7 years, she didn't really like me socialising incase I ran off with somebody else (I was young, I didn't even know what insecure meant at the time :P), so I spent my time either alone or with her, which resulted in me losing my friends and ending up not knowing how to socialise properly, which I still don't really. It's hard to make friends as most people don't quite understand what anxiety is unless they've been through it!

    The funny thing is, I bet all the people in this thread who are having problems, are probably the nicest people you could be friends with (Including me! Honest) and wouldn't have any issues making friends, but if you are like me then you are worried constantly about what other people think!
    • #4
    #4

    Any manic depressives in here? I suffer from social anxiety but only when having a depressive episode. Anyone else in a similar situation?

    Also those who have been to uni already, how did you find freshers? It's pretty much a dice roll whether I'll be in the state of mind for meeting people or not. Need to be prepared for the worst lol.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Any manic depressives in here? I suffer from social anxiety but only when having a depressive episode. Anyone else in a similar situation?

    Also those who have been to uni already, how did you find freshers? It's pretty much a dice roll whether I'll be in the state of mind for meeting people or not. Need to be prepared for the worst lol.
    Hello,

    I can get very manic, it is a part of my depression, although, not in the same way.

    I'm nervous about freshens as well- where are you going to study?


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    Hi, I'll be going into year 13 in september, most likely to continue studying chemistry, biology and psychology. I'm from Leeds.
    • #5
    #5

    I'm 17 years old and I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (i.e. I have severe troubles with socialising, but I get worried about just about everything else too) and severe clinical depression last October, four years after I first went to the GP about my mental health, though I've probably had anxiety problems all of my life. I was severely bullied at both primary and secondary school, but I did manage to finish my GCSEs - because I had to, really - and did well, though not as well as I could and should've done. I've had the year off from education and it's been just as bad as school (which was like a living nightmare for me), if not worse. I have nobody to talk to all day as I've never had any proper friends (apart from my imaginary friends), and I can't go anywhere for fear of seeing somebody from school. The fact that I live down the road from one of the worst bullies from secondary school doesn't help either: I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I do try and make friends online on websites like Twitter and Tumblr, but it's just redundant as they already have friendship groups of their own on the websites and don't want to talk to me. I also really miss having a routine and knowing what I have to do and where I have to go at different times of the day, which is the only thing I liked about school.

    However, I am hopefully doing private (i.e. not through CAMHS - thankfully) EMDR therapy in the near future, as it's reckoned school was a traumatic experience for me and not just anxiety/depression-related as originally thought. However, even if that makes things better, I still feel like I'm at a complete dead end - I have the GCSEs to do A-levels or whatever, but I never had any interest in education. I was good at most subjects, but I was never talented in any one area and I never enjoyed any of them. Looking at university courses online just makes me feel even worse - nothing there I would enjoy or would be good enough at. Yet, at the same time... what else can you do apart from education? I'm way too anxious to have a job, but if I stay at home like I do now I still won't have any friends. I don't want to spend any more time off as I'm sick of having to lie to the hairdresser/optician/dentist about 'having a year off' when I don't intend to ever go back to education at all.
    • #5
    #5

    Oh dear, I think I've killed the thread... *bump*
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    er, i don't have social anxiety, but happy to make any friends
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Oh dear, I think I've killed the thread... *bump*
    lol, you haven't . I was actually planning on replying to your message when i found more time
    • #5
    #5

    (Original post by lipslikemorphine)
    lol, you haven't . I was actually planning on replying to your message when i found more time
    Oh, phew! I didn't want the thread to disappear, that's all. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my message as well
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm 17 years old and I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (i.e. I have severe troubles with socialising, but I get worried about just about everything else too) and severe clinical depression last October, four years after I first went to the GP about my mental health, though I've probably had anxiety problems all of my life. I was severely bullied at both primary and secondary school, but I did manage to finish my GCSEs - because I had to, really - and did well, though not as well as I could and should've done. I've had the year off from education and it's been just as bad as school (which was like a living nightmare for me), if not worse. I have nobody to talk to all day as I've never had any proper friends (apart from my imaginary friends), and I can't go anywhere for fear of seeing somebody from school. The fact that I live down the road from one of the worst bullies from secondary school doesn't help either: I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I do try and make friends online on websites like Twitter and Tumblr, but it's just redundant as they already have friendship groups of their own on the websites and don't want to talk to me. I also really miss having a routine and knowing what I have to do and where I have to go at different times of the day, which is the only thing I liked about school.

    However, I am hopefully doing private (i.e. not through CAMHS - thankfully) EMDR therapy in the near future, as it's reckoned school was a traumatic experience for me and not just anxiety/depression-related as originally thought. However, even if that makes things better, I still feel like I'm at a complete dead end - I have the GCSEs to do A-levels or whatever, but I never had any interest in education. I was good at most subjects, but I was never talented in any one area and I never enjoyed any of them. Looking at university courses online just makes me feel even worse - nothing there I would enjoy or would be good enough at. Yet, at the same time... what else can you do apart from education? I'm way too anxious to have a job, but if I stay at home like I do now I still won't have any friends. I don't want to spend any more time off as I'm sick of having to lie to the hairdresser/optician/dentist about 'having a year off' when I don't intend to ever go back to education at all.
    I really feel for you. Please don't lose hope. I was in your position at your age. They were so mean to me at school and I had come to think that's just how people were. I struggled to make friends with new people, even if they were nice, because I was so sure they wouldn't like me anyway that I just gave up. I struggled to stick at jobs, because if they asked me to do something a bit differently, I would hear "you're rubbish", or if I heard somebody laughing nearby, I would be sure it was me they were laughing at.

    But I've stuck at it, and now I have a nice job, with some nice people, and I can talk to people I don't know and not feel like crap, and when I see bullies from school in my supermarket I think "*** you. You don't matter to me anymore." Because they really don't.

    School is a tiny, awful little bubble where for some reason people act like animals, forming packs and kicking the weakest out of the pack. And you come to think that's normal, but it's not. But thankfully school is where it ends. You're 17, you never have to go back there. I think you should perhaps get a part-time job, volunteer, or perhaps try an evening course at college, where there are likely to be more adults than people your own age. Maybe set yourself a target to stick it out for a certain amount of time - even just a month - and promise yourself some sort of nice reward for doing so. Get somebody you trust - a parent, etc. - to help you stick at it.

    Yes, it will be awful, because if you're anything like me, school has taught you to instinctively feel threatened and unsafe in new situations (or just generally) - and what's the response to feeling threatened? To run away! I quit so many jobs. When I had my first jobs I felt terrified and breathless, constantly - even though all I was 'threatened' with was having to make a bit of small talk with my colleagues! But you don't need to feel threatened anymore. I promise you that most adults are lovely, accepting, respectful people - and if they aren't, people generally don't like them. In the adult world, nice people get ahead. Just look at how many leading comedians, writers, actors etc were bullied at school! You have an opportunity to be part of that now. Start slowly - lord knows when I started my first job I was bricking it and could barely talk to anybody! But you'll grow and get better. You'll learn to trust people again. As long as you make sure to smile, people will realise that you're quiet and might need some encouragement. Nobody will judge you or hate you for it.

    I know if you're anything like me it seems like a mountain to climb. But I promise you if you manage to stick out a college course or job for long enough, you will see that it's so different to school. You don't need to be that scared person anymore.

    Think of your situation as being like toothache. Do you want to sit around in pain because you're scared the filling will hurt, even though the filling could make the pain better?

    Think of a goal which scares you. Completing an evening course, sticking at a voluntary post for a month, etc. Call it your 'filling'. Yes, it's going to be hard and you might want to quit just for the instant relief, but you'll be back where you started. If you stick it out, however, you might find that it doesn't hurt anymore.

    Hopefully this thread can continue as I'm still by no means perfect with myself - I still worry every day about something or other - and I think it's great to have a place to vent and help others - and just simply to feel not alone.
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    (Original post by moutonfou)
    I really feel for you. Please don't lose hope. I was in your position at your age. They were so mean to me at school and I had come to think that's just how people were. I struggled to make friends with new people, even if they were nice, because I was so sure they wouldn't like me anyway that I just gave up. I struggled to stick at jobs, because if they asked me to do something a bit differently, I would hear "you're rubbish", or if I heard somebody laughing nearby, I would be sure it was me they were laughing at.

    But I've stuck at it, and now I have a nice job, with some nice people, and I can talk to people I don't know and not feel like crap, and when I see bullies from school in my supermarket I think "*** you. You don't matter to me anymore." Because they really don't.

    School is a tiny, awful little bubble where for some reason people act like animals, forming packs and kicking the weakest out of the pack. And you come to think that's normal, but it's not. But thankfully school is where it ends. You're 17, you never have to go back there. I think you should perhaps get a part-time job, volunteer, or perhaps try an evening course at college, where there are likely to be more adults than people your own age. Maybe set yourself a target to stick it out for a certain amount of time - even just a month - and promise yourself some sort of nice reward for doing so. Get somebody you trust - a parent, etc. - to help you stick at it.

    Yes, it will be awful, because if you're anything like me, school has taught you to instinctively feel threatened and unsafe in new situations (or just generally) - and what's the response to feeling threatened? To run away! I quit so many jobs. When I had my first jobs I felt terrified and breathless, constantly - even though all I was 'threatened' with was having to make a bit of small talk with my colleagues! But you don't need to feel threatened anymore. I promise you that most adults are lovely, accepting, respectful people - and if they aren't, people generally don't like them. In the adult world, nice people get ahead. Just look at how many leading comedians, writers, actors etc were bullied at school! You have an opportunity to be part of that now. Start slowly - lord knows when I started my first job I was bricking it and could barely talk to anybody! But you'll grow and get better. You'll learn to trust people again. As long as you make sure to smile, people will realise that you're quiet and might need some encouragement. Nobody will judge you or hate you for it.

    I know if you're anything like me it seems like a mountain to climb. But I promise you if you manage to stick out a college course or job for long enough, you will see that it's so different to school. You don't need to be that scared person anymore.

    Think of your situation as being like toothache. Do you want to sit around in pain because you're scared the filling will hurt, even though the filling could make the pain better?

    Think of a goal which scares you. Completing an evening course, sticking at a voluntary post for a month, etc. Call it your 'filling'. Yes, it's going to be hard and you might want to quit just for the instant relief, but you'll be back where you started. If you stick it out, however, you might find that it doesn't hurt anymore.

    Hopefully this thread can continue as I'm still by no means perfect with myself - I still worry every day about something or other - and I think it's great to have a place to vent and help others - and just simply to feel not alone.
    Your first paragraph.. That's me.


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    Hi I study at home as well and would love to chat to people about self learning.
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    (Original post by Arketec)
    Hi I study at home as well and would love to chat to people about self learning.
    Hey! I am self studying A-level psychology what about you?
 
 
 
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