Caitlinann11
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So for a while I've thought I might have social anxiety. I can chat with people I know fine and even strangers in some situations. However, more and more frequently over the last year I hardly ever go out anywhere and if I do it's because my mum makes me go. At first I'll say I'll go to an event then I start to overthink it and think who will be there, what will I do, do they even want me there, I'll make an eejit of myself so 9 times out of 10 I say I'm tired/studying or babysitting. I don't want to tell my friends cause it will freak them out-I've been good at hiding it. Do yous think I have social anxiety?
Also: I'm supposed to go uni in September and all of a sudden I've decided I don't want to go. I want to take a year out. It's not the thought of meeting new people that makes me want to defer for a year. There's something holding me back but I don't know what. I feel like I should maybe take a year out and work as an au pair in France (I'm gonna study modern languages) or just stay at home and get a job here for a year until I sort myself out and go to uni next year.
Any advise would be appreciated x
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The Introvert
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It sounds like that might be the case. Have you tried taking an online mental health assessment? It can be useful as they are similar to those used by GPs, particularly the NHS tool.
Working as an au pair abroad seems like it could be quite difficult. However, I understand from personal experience that social anxiety takes weird forms. Do you know why you feel confident to work in France but not enough to go to uni?
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AKB2000
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I mean I have social anxiety, the main thing for me that made me distinguish between just being anti-social and social anxiety was the physical anxiety symptoms such as heart palpitations. At the end of the day it might not be social anxiety, there might be something else going on causing you to feel like this. I think it’s worth just clearly writing down your symptoms and thoughts in social situations and talking to a doctor. My symptoms are not everyone’s symptoms. Another thing is irrational beliefs, when I talk to someone I assume they are judging me and they don’t like me/think I’m a weirdo/think there’s something wrong with me. I also do avoid social gatherings like it’s cancer, but lately I’ve been really trying to go to them as I do end up enjoying them. I think no matter what your mind is telling you social anxiety or not, you should challenge yourself and do things that your not confident with.
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marinade
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There isn't enough information. Social anxiety is just the most widely known and acceptable form of anxiety to society.

An inability to say No to things is also very common in nearly all forms of anxiety.
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Bookaddict02
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(Original post by The Introvert)
It sounds like that might be the case. Have you tried taking an online mental health assessment? It can be useful as they are similar to those used by GPs, particularly the NHS tool.
Working as an au pair abroad seems like it could be quite difficult. However, I understand from personal experience that social anxiety takes weird forms. Do you know why you feel confident to work in France but not enough to go to uni?
could you give a link for a trustworthy website please.
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AKB2000
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Also for me with social anxiety being an au pair/baby sitter is incredibly anxiety provoking. I’d talk to a doctor about how your feeling in general, it might be something else! pulling away from friends and events could be a sign of mental health, but it also just might be stress of an underlying fear of not wanting to uni?
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Caitlinann11
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(Original post by The Introvert)
It sounds like that might be the case. Have you tried taking an online mental health assessment? It can be useful as they are similar to those used by GPs, particularly the NHS tool.
Working as an au pair abroad seems like it could be quite difficult. However, I understand from personal experience that social anxiety takes weird forms. Do you know why you feel confident to work in France but not enough to go to uni?
Well I thought I could do with getting away. It would also improve my french skills as i will study french for my degree. But at the same time it's only a thought. If it came to it I'd probably be petrified. I just don't think uni is the best option at the minute. My mum has noticed a big change in me-I used to be so sociable. Also I read about people with social anxiety who have dropped out of uni and I don't want that to be. Thank you. I'll try that text 😊
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The Introvert
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(Original post by Bookaddict02)
could you give a link for a trustworthy website please.
General mental health assessment
https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Mood-...ssessment.aspx

Social anxiety quiz. Not so whether it is as reliable but have a look around and you’ll find plenty similar.
https://joyable.com/take_the_quiz
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Caitlinann11
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(Original post by AKB2000)
I mean I have social anxiety, the main thing for me that made me distinguish between just being anti-social and social anxiety was the physical anxiety symptoms such as heart palpitations. At the end of the day it might not be social anxiety, there might be something else going on causing you to feel like this. I think it’s worth just clearly writing down your symptoms and thoughts in social situations and talking to a doctor. My symptoms are not everyone’s symptoms. Another thing is irrational beliefs, when I talk to someone I assume they are judging me and they don’t like me/think I’m a weirdo/think there’s something wrong with me. I also do avoid social gatherings like it’s cancer, but lately I’ve been really trying to go to them as I do end up enjoying them. I think no matter what your mind is telling you social anxiety or not, you should challenge yourself and do things that your not confident with.
Thank you. Writing it down is a good idea 😊
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The Introvert
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(Original post by Caitlinann11)
Well I thought I could do with getting away. It would also improve my french skills as i will study french for my degree. But at the same time it's only a thought. If it came to it I'd probably be petrified. I just don't think uni is the best option at the minute. My mum has noticed a big change in me-I used to be so sociable. Also I read about people with social anxiety who have dropped out of uni and I don't want that to be. Thank you. I'll try that text 😊
You’re not the only one! Also currently in Y13 and will be staying at home and commuting to uni for similar reasons. The difference is I’ve always been quite reserved and have never been to a party etc. My friends know that, even if we just joke about me being a loner, so it will be difficult to drift apart from them. If you think you can, France will be a good way to show yourself what you can overcome whilst gaining academic experience. Bonne chance! 😊
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Bookaddict02
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(Original post by The Introvert)
General mental health assessment
https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Mood-...ssessment.aspx

Social anxiety quiz. Not so whether it is as reliable but have a look around and you’ll find plenty similar.
https://joyable.com/take_the_quiz
okay thanks alot! x
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Caitlinann11
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(Original post by The Introvert)
You’re not the only one! Also currently in Y13 and will be staying at home and commuting to uni for similar reasons. The difference is I’ve always been quite reserved and have never been to a party etc. My friends know that, even if we just joke about me being a loner, so it will be difficult to drift apart from them. If you think you can, France will be a good way to show yourself what you can overcome whilst gaining academic experience. Bonne chance! 😊
Thank you and good luck as well x
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Caitlinann11
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(Original post by The Introvert)
It sounds like that might be the case. Have you tried taking an online mental health assessment? It can be useful as they are similar to those used by GPs, particularly the NHS tool.
Working as an au pair abroad seems like it could be quite difficult. However, I understand from personal experience that social anxiety takes weird forms. Do you know why you feel confident to work in France but not enough to go to uni?
So I just clicked on the link you provided and took the test. I scored 21/24 for depression and 16/21 for anxiety
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marinade
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(Original post by Caitlinann11)
I feel like I should maybe take a year out and work as an au pair in France (I'm gonna study modern languages) or just stay at home and get a job here for a year until I sort myself out and go to uni next year.
Any advise would be appreciated x
I don't think there's any standard advice here. Shortly before uni I wrote to the admissions tutor and got a deferral for a year. I worked in a job and learnt a lot, then went to uni and the same mental health problems came up (throughout uni in fact). Similarly I have known other people that deferred and then never went, another person that had a gap of a year after 1st year and never went back and a person who had a gap after 1st year and did go back.

The mental health services available at some unis are pretty good.

I have no idea whether you have social anxiety, what I was getting at is there are a lot of overlaps with general anxiety disorder. I have been told by many people who have anxiety that they think I have social anxiety or it is assumed - I don't. As I said, it's the most socially acceptable form of anxiety that people feel is the most visible.
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Caitlinann11
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(Original post by marinade)
I don't think there's any standard advice here. Shortly before uni I wrote to the admissions tutor and got a deferral for a year. I worked in a job and learnt a lot, then went to uni and the same mental health problems came up (throughout uni in fact). Similarly I have known other people that deferred and then never went, another person that had a gap of a year after 1st year and never went back and a person who had a gap after 1st year and did go back.

The mental health services available at some unis are pretty good.

I have no idea whether you have social anxiety, what I was getting at is there are a lot of overlaps with general anxiety disorder. I have been told by many people who have anxiety that they think I have social anxiety or it is assumed - I don't. As I said, it's the most socially acceptable form of anxiety that people feel is the most visible.
Okay I think I need to have to long think before I make any rash decisions. Thank you
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marinade
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(Original post by Caitlinann11)
Okay I think I need to have to long think before I make any rash decisions. Thank you
Absolutely. But some of the other ideas like going to France sound positive.

Also whatever the decision work on improving coping strategies with anxiety (if that's what you have). I found mindfulness practised every day for months on end, alongside many other things effective to bring it down to the lowest levels I've ever had.

My general strategies for dealing with anxiety:-
be kind to yourself
improve your support network
reduce unhelpful thoughts about yourself (self hated etc)
reduce unhelpful thoughts about others (x has this)
reduce unhelpful thoughts about the world (this always happens to me, xyz).
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Caitlinann11
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(Original post by marinade)
Absolutely. But some of the other ideas like going to France sound positive.

Also whatever the decision work on improving coping strategies with anxiety (if that's what you have). I found mindfulness practised every day for months on end, alongside many other things effective to bring it down to the lowest levels I've ever had.

My general strategies for dealing with anxiety:-
be kind to yourself
improve your support network
reduce unhelpful thoughts about yourself (self hated etc)
reduce unhelpful thoughts about others (x has this)
reduce unhelpful thoughts about the world (this always happens to me, xyz).
Thank you so much! I'll give mindfulness and those other suggestions a go 😊
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KTC73
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(Original post by Caitlinann11)
So for a while I've thought I might have social anxiety. I can chat with people I know fine and even strangers in some situations. However, more and more frequently over the last year I hardly ever go out anywhere and if I do it's because my mum makes me go. At first I'll say I'll go to an event then I start to overthink it and think who will be there, what will I do, do they even want me there, I'll make an eejit of myself so 9 times out of 10 I say I'm tired/studying or babysitting. I don't want to tell my friends cause it will freak them out-I've been good at hiding it. Do yous think I have social anxiety?
Also: I'm supposed to go uni in September and all of a sudden I've decided I don't want to go. I want to take a year out. It's not the thought of meeting new people that makes me want to defer for a year. There's something holding me back but I don't know what. I feel like I should maybe take a year out and work as an au pair in France (I'm gonna study modern languages) or just stay at home and get a job here for a year until I sort myself out and go to uni next year.
Any advise would be appreciated x
Ive had some anxiety problems for a few years now. It would always happen when i had to do public speaking or hang out with a large group of people. I would shake and feel like i couldn’t breathe and being a guy it was difficult to talk to people about it because i felt embarrassed. Now i feel much better with it purely because i have improved my self confidence drastically and gotten rid of a lot of negative people in my life. I do still have moments of it but i am now able to moreso compose myself. So if i had any advice to give it would be value yourself more and get rid of anybody dragging you down.
Good luck.
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marinade
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(Original post by Caitlinann11)
Thank you so much! I'll give mindfulness and those other suggestions a go 😊
Mindfulness is such a funny one as it's so difficult to explain. I started doing it about four years ago going to a Buddhist centre. It was amazing, but the frustration was that I couldn't do it outside of the 'lessons'. I eventually experimented with books and apps and then found that I could do it at home.

To me the benefits are:-
peace and quiet/time out
reduce (yes, really) anxious thoughts by 30-40%.
breathing is very good in its own right.

The other stuff, you may think what a load of nonsense, but long term, not short term, long term they lead to resilience. You will always have things that you struggle to cope with such as exams or job interviews or bereavements, but there's a wide spectrum of how you will find it from yeah it's difficult through to complete mental breakdown.

On exams, there's a lot of recent research in psychology to suggest that if you accept the anxiety or say to yourself 'I feel exited' rather than focusing on other aspects, you will perform better.
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