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The social anxiety friend meeting thread! Watch

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    (Original post by FluffyKitties)
    Hi everyone

    I'm Anne, 18, living in London. I haven't been diagnosed with anxiety as I have never seen anybody about it, but I believe I may suffer from it.
    It is ruining my life and leaving me feeling down all the time. I've tried talking about it a little bit to my husband but he doesn't understand, and I am too embarrassed to tell anybody else about it.
    I'm thinking of starting a course with the Open University so I can study from home
    Hi, Anne
    I'm someone who suffered a lot when I was your age and wasn't helped out til I was 20 something. Although my teenage years were enjoyable looking back I could have been helped if I'd gone to the GP sooner. I think counselling and some sort of med's would have improved my situation a lot.

    Are you going to apply to OU because of your social anxiety fears? If you felt more at ease with yourself do you think you'd enjoy a 'normal' university more? I really belive that I wouldn't consider a 'normal' university unless I got help from my GP. My meds make me feel more 'normal' and counselling gives me a sense of well being. Without that I would probably be a complete recluse. I'm still reclusive but have had help to get over panic attacks and other fears.

    If you would rather study at OU I hope that happens for you and wish you all the best in your life.

    What would you be studying?

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    (Original post by Pseudolonewolf)

    x
    Haha, thanks! I don't think there's anything that could be seen as inspiring about it, but like you said it's nice to know that other people are having the same experiences, albeit it sometimes miserable ones.

    I'm trying to approach different people to find somewhere to live, but I think I must give off some kind of vibe because people just seem to lose interest in sharing with me pretty quickly. I think a lot of people would just be like 'ah well, onto the next person' but I spend ages thinking that I must have said something wrong or come across as weird. I did find some people but then they decided to get a house together and exclude me after they found someone else, which was lovely of them. :rolleyes:

    And then like you said people are looking for 'sociable' types which is not just something a skill that's easy to turn on!

    In terms of looking for houses, I still think there's time! I don't know when your course starts but mine is the 22nd September so I keep reassuring myself that's more than a month and there are houses coming up all the time in London!
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    Freshers? That just passed me by. I spent the whole week looking for study material and writing programs, didn't waste time looking for "friends". Don't let society dictate you, if you're dreading freshers then the only thing you can do is start studying, it is why you applied to go to uni anyway
    • #6
    #6

    I'm really nervous about posting so I don't really know what to say...

    I've just finished taking a year out of university because of social anxiety and I'm supposed to be returning in September, but I have no idea how I'm going to be able to cope. I can't leave my house alone, and even if someone is with me it's rare that I'll be able to leave. I can't take another year out - my family don't really understand social anxiety, they sort of think that drinking water, getting some fresh air and going for walks is all I need, and if I dropped out they would all be so ashamed of me. I shouldn't care about some of their opinions, but it's not exactly something I can control.

    The fact that I've not been able to make friends at university makes it pretty tough too. I'm studying Criminology and Criminal Justice, so I thought I'd meet people who care about the same things I do, but everyone was just interested in going out at the weekend to nightclubs and that just isn't my thing at all. I'm really passionate about human rights, feminism etc and my idea of a fun weekend is movies, video games and pizza, so I guess most people just think I'm really boring. I think my appearance is probably off putting for some people too...

    I am lucky, though. I have an amazing partner who loves me and takes care of me, and I don't know what I would do without him. Having said that, the fact that I have him and I'm still so goddamn lonely makes me feel pretty selfish.
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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    Ugh, I'm starting a PGCE in September, and as if I'm not nervous about that enough, on the FB group for our course, everyone is talking about meeting up before the course because we will all need friends to support us throughout the year. I know it's going to be a repeat of what happened during my degree - me constantly making excuses and getting out of social events, and singling myself out.

    I feel sick about it
    (Original post by JamesFManc)
    I'm starting PGCE too and have SA, I was wondering what uni you were starting at?
    I did a PGCE with SA and want to reassure you the social scene is very different to undergrad. Yes, there are the people who have just graduated and want it to be a continuation of uni and will be very social outside of the course. But at least half our course were people who were married, or had children, or a partner, or didn't have any of those but just didn't want to madly socialise! Own lives, own friends, etc. I was friendly with people in the sense that I'd chat to people in group discussions and the Facebook group is an invaluable help for sharing resources and asking questions, but that was it - and for once in my life I wasn't in the minority! It's quite chilled and there's all sorts of different people.
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    hey everyone. im starting uni in September with social anxiety. so far ive not let myself even think about it- I think im going to be in for a shock when I get there
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm really nervous about posting so I don't really know what to say...

    I've just finished taking a year out of university because of social anxiety and I'm supposed to be returning in September, but I have no idea how I'm going to be able to cope. I can't leave my house alone, and even if someone is with me it's rare that I'll be able to leave. I can't take another year out - my family don't really understand social anxiety, they sort of think that drinking water, getting some fresh air and going for walks is all I need, and if I dropped out they would all be so ashamed of me. I shouldn't care about some of their opinions, but it's not exactly something I can control.

    The fact that I've not been able to make friends at university makes it pretty tough too. I'm studying Criminology and Criminal Justice, so I thought I'd meet people who care about the same things I do, but everyone was just interested in going out at the weekend to nightclubs and that just isn't my thing at all. I'm really passionate about human rights, feminism etc and my idea of a fun weekend is movies, video games and pizza, so I guess most people just think I'm really boring. I think my appearance is probably off putting for some people too...

    I am lucky, though. I have an amazing partner who loves me and takes care of me, and I don't know what I would do without him. Having said that, the fact that I have him and I'm still so goddamn lonely makes me feel pretty selfish.
    Hey! You sound like a really interesting person, and your idea of fun is not at all boring. I can really relate about feeling selfish when you have a loving partner yet still feel lonely. I have a husband but we're very different and in some ways, it leaves me feeling unfulfilled and lonely, as there are certain things you want to do with other girls, or just other people in general, particularly if your partner has his own set of friends.

    I went to uni for a month last year, but took a year out because, although I had met a handful of nice people, I just couldn't help feeling like a weirdo or like I couldn't fit in or something. I'm sure it was all in my head, but it just made me get extremely awkward around people, or at least so I thought.

    I am just like you when it comes to leaving the house alone. I can't leave the house alone, and if I leave with someone, I still feel very anxious, start getting an upset tummy, my palms get sweaty etc. I feel like people can tell I look nervous, or awkward, and that they'll think I'm a weirdo.
    I don't live with my family so they don't know about my anxiety apart from my brother, but I can imagine that you feel very misunderstood by them because, in my case, it's my husband who doesn't really understand these kinds of things, and thinks that I like to just "play the victim" all the time. It's really hurtful and makes you feel very lonely when those close to you don't understand.

    I wanted to reply to you because I felt like I could relate to you so much when I read your post; your interests, your idea of fun, feeling stressed about uni, feeling selfish for being lonely etc. Is there any way I could contact you privately? In any case, I hope you remain strong and that you push yourself to do things you wouldn't normally do, go out on your own, talk to people and not care what they think. I wish you the best of luck!
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    (Original post by Arketec)
    Hi, Anne
    I'm someone who suffered a lot when I was your age and wasn't helped out til I was 20 something. Although my teenage years were enjoyable looking back I could have been helped if I'd gone to the GP sooner. I think counselling and some sort of med's would have improved my situation a lot.

    Are you going to apply to OU because of your social anxiety fears? If you felt more at ease with yourself do you think you'd enjoy a 'normal' university more? I really belive that I wouldn't consider a 'normal' university unless I got help from my GP. My meds make me feel more 'normal' and counselling gives me a sense of well being. Without that I would probably be a complete recluse. I'm still reclusive but have had help to get over panic attacks and other fears.

    If you would rather study at OU I hope that happens for you and wish you all the best in your life.

    What would you be studying?

    Hi Arketec

    I have to admit, if it wasn't for my social anxiety fears, I think I would have much more enjoyed a "normal" uni. However, at the same time, being married to someone who is quite protective of me, would mean I wouldn't have been able to do some of the fun things I would have wanted to do anyway, ie. going out for a little drink at the pub with friends if there were guys there. I'm considering going to the GP to ask for help, but I feel like an idiot because whatever it is that I have is so minor compared to what other people are suffering. I know problems are relative, but I just feel like a douche for kind of making a big deal out of just feeling nervous when there are people who are being orphaned, bombed etc, you name it. Sometimes I think I'm just feeling sorry for myself and I'm pathetic. I'm finding it increasingly hard to feel happy, I have no energy to do anything around the house, I'm always tired, I get headaches and feel that I have nothing to look forward to. All the things I want from life are currently unattainable due to stupid choices I have made in life.

    I'm sorry to kind of lay all this out on you, and I'm sorry if I got carried away.
    What sort of meds did/are you taking and how did they make you feel? I'm quite wary of all medicine, like I'll hardly even take a paracetamol if I have a headache! Also, I've registered at the OU now, and I picked BA in Classics, with some German and Italian modules in there. I'm really looking forward to it, as I feel like staying home the last year has really dumbed me down and I'm just craving for more knowledge at this point haha Thank you for the reply and I hope you're having a lovely day!
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    (Original post by JamesFManc)
    I'm starting PGCE too and have SA, I was wondering what uni you were starting at?
    Hi I'm starting at Cumbria (based in Lancaster). What about you? Which bit are you most nervous about? Ironically, I'm not as nervous about my placements and standing in front of a class as much as I am about meeting people on my course!

    (Original post by moutonfou)
    I did a PGCE with SA and want to reassure you the social scene is very different to undergrad. Yes, there are the people who have just graduated and want it to be a continuation of uni and will be very social outside of the course. But at least half our course were people who were married, or had children, or a partner, or didn't have any of those but just didn't want to madly socialise! Own lives, own friends, etc. I was friendly with people in the sense that I'd chat to people in group discussions and the Facebook group is an invaluable help for sharing resources and asking questions, but that was it - and for once in my life I wasn't in the minority! It's quite chilled and there's all sorts of different people.
    Thanks so much for this. Always helpful to hear experiences. I did figure that there would be a different demographic doing PGCEs. I just know one girl who has finished hers now, but she was out with her course mates all the time and it just worried me I guess! But I know I don't have to go.

    Fingers crossed it works out though. I think I'll prefer being in school to being in uni purely for this reason.
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    (Original post by FluffyKitties)
    Hi Arketec

    I have to admit, if it wasn't for my social anxiety fears, I think I would have much more enjoyed a "normal" uni. However, at the same time, being married to someone who is quite protective of me, would mean I wouldn't have been able to do some of the fun things I would have wanted to do anyway, ie. going out for a little drink at the pub with friends if there were guys there. I'm considering going to the GP to ask for help, but I feel like an idiot because whatever it is that I have is so minor compared to what other people are suffering. I know problems are relative, but I just feel like a douche for kind of making a big deal out of just feeling nervous when there are people who are being orphaned, bombed etc, you name it. Sometimes I think I'm just feeling sorry for myself and I'm pathetic. I'm finding it increasingly hard to feel happy, I have no energy to do anything around the house, I'm always tired, I get headaches and feel that I have nothing to look forward to. All the things I want from life are currently unattainable due to stupid choices I have made in life.

    I'm sorry to kind of lay all this out on you, and I'm sorry if I got carried away.
    What sort of meds did/are you taking and how did they make you feel? I'm quite wary of all medicine, like I'll hardly even take a paracetamol if I have a headache! Also, I've registered at the OU now, and I picked BA in Classics, with some German and Italian modules in there. I'm really looking forward to it, as I feel like staying home the last year has really dumbed me down and I'm just craving for more knowledge at this point haha Thank you for the reply and I hope you're having a lovely day!

    I'm really pleased your doing an OU course it must be a really exciting thing to do, well done. I think you would get some kind of help if you talked to your GP about your anxiety issues it wouldn't do you any harm to talk to a professional about how you feel. I know its hard to take that first step and talk to someone about it but it might help to talk to your husband as he should support you if you do decide to see your GP. Of course its up to you what you do and when you do it. I just feel I would have been a lot happier if I'd got help sooner.
    Myself I take quite serious medication as my mental illness is quite serious. I don't leave the house for a few days at a time and shy away from making friends. I am improving though and went out last night and talked to someone I know for a bit. That's a vast improvement to my usual avoidance tactics.
    I hope your having a nice day to. I am
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    (Original post by moutonfou)
    I did a PGCE with SA and want to reassure you the social scene is very different to undergrad. Yes, there are the people who have just graduated and want it to be a continuation of uni and will be very social outside of the course. But at least half our course were people who were married, or had children, or a partner, or didn't have any of those but just didn't want to madly socialise! Own lives, own friends, etc. I was friendly with people in the sense that I'd chat to people in group discussions and the Facebook group is an invaluable help for sharing resources and asking questions, but that was it - and for once in my life I wasn't in the minority! It's quite chilled and there's all sorts of different people.
    I am worried about the social scene most of all but I'm glad to see it's different than undergrad for most people, and I think I'd get on better with those with children than younger people. The ironic thing is that I probably drink as much as the 'party animals,' I just drink it all in my house rather than in clubs The thing I'm worried about is moving into student accommodation (off campus with other PGCEers), it makes sense to move out plus with grants and loans I can afford to. I just hate going into communal kitchens but thankfully I can go days just eating fruit. Unlike undergrad though, (I lived halls for undergrad too), I'm going to try to converse with people rather than hiding. I'm not going to actively be clingy/desperately want friends, but just not put up a barrier to having them like I would have in the past. Also, worried about friday/saturday nights or whatever in case there are party games or whatever which I'm too boring/not good at

    (Original post by Airfairy)
    Hi I'm starting at Cumbria (based in Lancaster). What about you? Which bit are you most nervous about? Ironically, I'm not as nervous about my placements and standing in front of a class as much as I am about meeting people on my course!

    Thanks so much for this. Always helpful to hear experiences. I did figure that there would be a different demographic doing PGCEs. I just know one girl who has finished hers now, but she was out with her course mates all the time and it just worried me I guess! But I know I don't have to go.

    Fingers crossed it works out though. I think I'll prefer being in school to being in uni purely for this reason.
    Liverpool Hope (I think). Not accepted yet, but probably there. I wish there was someone else with SA on my course. I'm more nervous about classmates than teaching too. But I partly chose primary because little children are less threatening lol. I'm just nervous about introductions and stuff really. You know like "tell us a bit about you James..." but I may avoid those introduction lectures not sure. Also, I get quite jealous of people, so if there's a really outgoing lad there that would be bad.
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    Never considered myself to have social anxiety but I don't know what else to call it, and it's making me really depressed.

    Until the end of secondary school I was really happy with life - had a lovely group of friends, boyfriend, was doing well, felt like I fitted in. I didn't socialise a great deal outside of school - I would go to things with one or two people but would always make an excuse for parties and bigger gatherings.

    I got to college and, although my best friends went to the same college, we studied different things and they all made new friends, whereas I made none, and would sit on my own in free periods or just wander around the park so that no one saw me sitting alone. My friends went to uni, but I took 2 gap years, and although I visited them a couple of times I hated it - it made me anxious to go somewhere new, and having to meet all their new friends and housemates. So we lost touch.

    I came to uni as a mature-ish student, and thought I would meet similar people in my relatively small access course (<20 of us). But most people were straight from college, uber social, loved parties and clubbing - I got on with them in class during the day but rarely socialised with them outside of it. I met 2 girls who were the only other older students and were more like me. They are still my only friends in the world - but 1 has moved away, and 1 I rarely see.

    I took a year out of uni because my anxiety got so much that I couldn't go to placements. I would lie in bed all day crying, I couldn't face anyone except my ex boyfriend who I lived with at the time, and even then I lied to him for a long time, telling him I had been at placement when really I had been at home. I started uni again in June 2013, and managed ok at the start because it was just lectures. When placement started again, I managed 1 day before I took another leave of absence for a few months (I didn't tell anyone - pretended to my family that I was still at uni).

    Since then I've managed to keep going and am still on my course. My only true friend is my boyfriend, but we are long distance and see each other once a fortnight. I am so ridiculously lonely - last year I set up a social group on meetup.com because I was so desperate to change. It caused me so much anxiety and stress, having to go to these meetings with a group of people, and very quickly I was starting to be left out of things. Other people paired off or formed their own little groups to go out with, and I was excluded. I actually don't know why - because I think I controlled my anxiety quite well and even appeared "normal"!

    Now I'm 26 next month and feel like I have nobody. I love my boyfriend but he isn't here, and I can't tell him the extent of how I feel. I know there must be other people in this city like me (whoever said above about just hanging out with a movie, pizza, bottle of wine - perfect!) but there is no way of finding them. All social things online seem geared for meeting in groups and that just isn't me.

    I don't know if anyone will read all that but it felt good to type it. I have been in my flat alone for the past 2 days and will be alone until I have to go to uni on Tuesday. I need to get food in but can't face going to the shops so I am living on the random contents of my freezer. I hate this.
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    ^ You know your life's reached the bottom when you don't tell the truth to the people you trust. There's only one cause for it, and it's spelt Ef Ee Ey Are.
 
 
 
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