Social Anxiety Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
I really struggle talking to people not even making friends. I'm in my last year in sixth form and I've know people in my class for a year now and yet I still find it hard to start conversations. My two best friends left the college at the beginning of the year and it was really hard for me. I suffer from depression, social anxiety and panic attacks so I don't know how to actually talk to people and be sociable. I feel like a freak sometimes because i just can't speak. I can't even read out loud in a class of four students? I just don't know how I'm going to survive university when I struggle this badly?
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joedie
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#2
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Hello there
I understand your situation and suffer all of the problems that you speak of also. I'm currently at a university away from my home city and struggling greatly. That's not to say that things might not get better but my advice would be to attend a university in the same city you live in. The depression of moving away, close friends cutting off contact, the non ending social life when living in student hall and the feelings of constant isolation and fustration will only irritate your pre-existing problems. Its often glamorised, moving away, starting a new life but if you're not emotionally ready it's almost detrimental to your emotional health. Commute if possible, atleast know the city you're in, have family near by, get a job. Socially things might still be difficult but the adjustment period will be a lot easier and less traumatic.
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eashford
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#3
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Hi

I understand just how you feel. Ive suffered with a autism all my life that means i physically dont know the social ins and outs and have to learn them as i go along, i cant pick up jokes as easily, i see the world too black and white sometimes and come across as arrogant when i dont mean to (Aspergers Syndrome, if youre interested in looking it up). All this causes me a lot of anxiety but the best ways ive found to help are going to a counsellor/therapist, who will give you impartial advice on how to deal with it. honestly, i was skeptical at first but it really helps. The other way is forcing yourself to do things. For example, this summer I travelled to Germany by myself for two weeks, now normally i come across as an extremely shy and introverted person, and nobody thought id actually do it but i did and it was great.

Anyway enough of my rambling, the point is go out of your comfort zone, find people who have the same interests as you, youre not a freak at all. Sometimes the best people arent the ones who ramble on with small talk anyway
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hdaindak
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#4
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(Original post by joedie)
Hello there
I understand your situation and suffer all of the problems that you speak of also. I'm currently at a university away from my home city and struggling greatly. That's not to say that things might not get better but my advice would be to attend a university in the same city you live in. The depression of moving away, close friends cutting off contact, the non ending social life when living in student hall and the feelings of constant isolation and fustration will only irritate your pre-existing problems. Its often glamorised, moving away, starting a new life but if you're not emotionally ready it's almost detrimental to your emotional health. Commute if possible, atleast know the city you're in, have family near by, get a job. Socially things might still be difficult but the adjustment period will be a lot easier and less traumatic.
really i'd say the opposite- throw yourself in at the deep end! it kinda forces you to be sociable- and i think greater exposure to people and time away from family and stuff makes you grow up and gain confidence
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joedie
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(Original post by hdaindak)
really i'd say the opposite- throw yourself in at the deep end! it kinda forces you to be sociable- and i think greater exposure to people and time away from family and stuff makes you grow up and gain confidence
That would be GREAT advice for someone who doesn't have issues with social anxiety and depression but who would just suffer from a bad case of homesickness. Forcing yourself to "dive in" socially when you already have anxiety backfires on you because its not natural and your body reacts to it. Not to say the OP should not consider moving away, its just crucial that they take things at their own pace.
"Growing up and gaining confidence" are not a result of moving to university and engaging in the commercial aspects of student life. Those changes occur from improving your way of thinking and self concept. Anxiety and depression really prevent that progression and that won't change whether or not they move and take on more responsibility. Only finding the route cause of the problem and treating it will
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Anonymous #1
#6
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#6
(Original post by joedie)
Hello there
I understand your situation and suffer all of the problems that you speak of also. I'm currently at a university away from my home city and struggling greatly. That's not to say that things might not get better but my advice would be to attend a university in the same city you live in. The depression of moving away, close friends cutting off contact, the non ending social life when living in student hall and the feelings of constant isolation and fustration will only irritate your pre-existing problems. Its often glamorised, moving away, starting a new life but if you're not emotionally ready it's almost detrimental to your emotional health. Commute if possible, atleast know the city you're in, have family near by, get a job. Socially things might still be difficult but the adjustment period will be a lot easier and less traumatic.
thank you yes I am thinking about going somewhere locally and commuting just hoping I get in to the ones close to home. Unfortunately I experience most of my current friends moving away this year. And so it's going to be really hard when my closest friend at the moment moves away (she has intentions to move away from home to attend uni. Anyway thank you for the help.
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joedie
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#7
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(Original post by Anonymous)
thank you yes I am thinking about going somewhere locally and commuting just hoping I get in to the ones close to home. Unfortunately I experience most of my current friends moving away this year. And so it's going to be really hard when my closest friend at the moment moves away (she has intentions to move away from home to attend uni. Anyway thank you for the help.
No problem, best of luck with everything. Just try to remember that friends will come and go, but those that are good for us will stick around even when both your lives are changing significantly. You should also embrace change and look forward to making new friends which you will! hope it all works out for you
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moutonfou
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#8
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I really struggle talking to people not even making friends. I'm in my last year in sixth form and I've know people in my class for a year now and yet I still find it hard to start conversations. My two best friends left the college at the beginning of the year and it was really hard for me. I suffer from depression, social anxiety and panic attacks so I don't know how to actually talk to people and be sociable. I feel like a freak sometimes because i just can't speak. I can't even read out loud in a class of four students? I just don't know how I'm going to survive university when I struggle this badly?
Some people just need more time to come out of their shell. I was exactly like this at sixth form, there were times I was physically not able to speak, same problems with reading out loud, etc., now I am in my mid-twenties it has taken several years but I am so much better. I haven't had to make a special effort, I have just put myself very slightly out of my comfort zone when life has called for it, for example when going to uni, volunteering, starting different jobs, etc., but I haven't made any grand gestures such as deciding to join a drama group or put myself forward for head of year (god no!). I'm not going to lie and say that stepping out of my comfort zone slightly has ever been easy (my comfort zone is tiny); I've cried, I've panicked, I've over-analysed, I've sat alone in my room and hated it, I've sat alone in my room and loved it!, I've tried to make friends and hated it, I've tried to make friends and made great friends, I've quit jobs, I've forced myself to stick at jobs I hate, and finally ended up enjoying some of them! and slowly, very slowly, I have become someone with what I would consider "functioning social anxiety" rather than crippling social anxiety. I don't think other people appreciate what it feels like to be able to start a conversation in a lift or tell a joke to some colleagues but I appreciate it every day.

I know it's hard but please believe me, you are young and nobody expects you to be perfect yet. You don't need to do anything big; just have a commitment to slightly stepping out of your comfort zone when life requires it, and making a general effort to be open to the world and what it has to offer - take opportunities which come your way, some you will hate (and that is fine​), some you might love, and I assure you that in 5-10 years you won't believe how far you've come.

One mantra I have and repeat constantly is: nobody is paying as much attention to you as you are. Think about those other four people in your class for example: do you really pay that much attention when they read? If they make a mistake are you still laughing at them four hours later or do you think about it for a second and then move on with your life? It will be the same the other way round. Once you get into this mode of thinking and realise how little attention people are actually paying to the specifics of what you say or do it's much easier to relax and say and do things freely! Good luck
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Anonymous #2
#9
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Hello, I can sort of relate to your post because I went to the doctors about my heart and it turned out to be anxiety, so I was perscribed beta blockers and counseling, because my reasons for being anxious was predominately caused by situations to do with people or the environment I'm in. I was perscribed that in my second year of college, now I'm in my first year at university and have moved to chester from crewe. although the move wasnt that big in distance, it felt like a huge step at the time, but I can honestly say that since being here, in a way I feel less anxious; I'm able to walk around town now without constantly feeling overwhelming panic and am able to start convosations with people more than I did at college because the people are uni are there for the same reason as I am on my course, to learn and try get a career in that particular feild in the future. Theres so many societies at university and I found through meeting people with similar interests to my own I'm able to open up more to them and actually speak my mind instead of being too afraid to speak up. University opens up so many opportunities in my opinion. But like somebody mentioned previously, prehaps attending a uni close to your home would be ideal because you'd have the network of secruity which you are familiar with Hope things work out for you
xx
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