Social anxiety, depression, extreme loneliness at uni, please help me

Anonymous #1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
I am in my second year at uni and have had social anxiety since I started high school. I made only one friend in school due to this and we lost contact once we left school. In school I really badly wanted to make more friends and get a girlfriend but my phobia of talking to people prevented me. I suffered from depression on and off due to my lonelinss at school. The summer before I started uni I started developing really bad panic attacks, like I would be scared that if I was really tired or thirsty I'd pass out or if I got indigestion I'd be sick in public. None of these things ever happened as it was all in my head but it all seems very real and scary.

Being very lonely and really badly wanting friends made me very cynical of others. I had nobody around me to socialise with and I wasn't close at all with my family and since people in the UK tend to be less friendly than people from some other countries I took things very personally if people looked miserable.

Going to uni I thought I could sweep everything under the rug and start afresh. I moved away to go to uni only because I wanted to meet friends and get a girlfriend, two things I really badly wanted for many years. On my first night I was lucky to meet some other people and I remember going to a party and two of the guys I was with went to buy booze leaving me alone. Instead of going to socialise with some other people there I just sat on my phone because I was way too scared to talk to people even though I wanted to. I kind of merged myself into the group of people on my floor, I made the effort to go out with them but I still never said much due to my social anxiety. I remember I literally used to sit in my room and wait for one of them to open the door to go out with them instead of actually having one on one conversations with them and exchanging numbers. This only lasted about two months, after that I gave up and realised I wasn't part of the group as I never had a long conversation with any of the people.

My second semester was spent with depression which got much better in February but I was still alone. Going to lectures with social anxiety was very scary, even more so that everybody else was socialising and going with others and I went alone. This made me feel very very lonely. Every lecture I sat through with crippling panic attacks too worried that I would pass out. The worst part for me was seeing other people with their friends and the many relationships that formed since I've been so badly wanting friends and a girlfriend for many years. I cried in my room so much. I would also get sad when girls didn't make eye contact with me and think that they hated me, but in reality it was nothing personal, they just didn't know me.

I was so sad hearing my neighbours, who I thought would be my friends, all socialising in one of their rooms every night. I wanted to join them but just sat in my room sad. They all went on to live with each other in second year and I had to live with strangers, all girls who were already best friends. I haven't spoken to any of them the last six months apart from saying hi in passing and they are defintely not the type of people I would be friends with at at all. I really really wish I made an effort to join societies in first year and see a therapist about my social anxiety and panic attacks.

In second year I said that I would join societies but so far I've been too scared. Seeing couples on campus hurts so so so much because I know I am missing out on having a girlfriend who I could love and who could love me back if I just went somewhere to meet girls and societies is the only place I can think of. I always make eye contact with girls and want them to look at me back but many times they don't. I only do this because I am extremely lonely and really really need a girlfriend to ease this loneliness. And please don't say I don't need a girlfriend because I do, millions of people my age at uni are in relationships and I should be too.

The past few months I've gotten therapy but have only told my therapist about my social anxiety, not told him about the loneliness or panic attacks or thinking that girls hate me. I've tried tinder and even texting some of my matches and other girls on instagram simply because I'm that lonely. When girls on tinder ignore me I get frustrated and take it personally even though I know they'd be open to talk if they met me in person. I am attractive and have had a lot of girls smile when looking at me in the past and others who have looked very serious and even angry at me and I don't know if my facial expression comes across as moody or if they're just in a bad mood and it has nothing to do with me but the past month I have literally believed that girls hate me because they don't know me. A girl will only care about you if she knows you, if you are her boyfriend or friend. I have no acquaintances here so that made me believe not one person gave a **** about me, male or female.

I never went to one lecture this entire academic year only seminars which are compulsory. I am regretting my lack of effort this year a lot I am so angry with myself for not pushing myself harder. Only now am I willing to push myself really hard and its literally the end of my second year at uni I'm halfway through my degree and I've wasted half my uni experience locked in my room, I am so annoyed with myself.

All of these thoughts about girls hating me, the intense loneliness and sadness I felt seeing friends on campus and guys talk to girls who would smile at them and laugh on campus and all the couples, I knew that could easily be me if I didn't have this damn social anxiety it literally has ruined my life! This irrational fear of talking to people. Every thing I do I always imagine how others view or judge me. Literally everything! I can't even go to the kitchen if my flat mates are there, I get scared walking past people in case they can see I'm nervous and many times when people do see me nervous it makes me feel ashamed since I don't want people to see me as weak and scared I want them to see me as confident. All of this loneliness and isolation and the belief nobody cares about me at uni led me to have a nervous breakdown. Since then I have been extremely depressed, have barely slept, eaten or washed in weeks. Spent all my time crying feeling so so so much emotional pain, part of the reason for my breakdown was my neighbour above pulling guys I got so so sad that I can't please a girl like that. I got the bus home the other day, my family live three hours from my uni and just broke down telling my parents everything. They emailed the disability advisor at my uni who I am meeting tomorrow and told me to tell my therapist about these thoughts I am having.

I did in January plan to talk to people sitting near me in lectures, join a few societes and push myself to talk to people there and even talk to girls at the library late at night when it's pretty empty like 10 pm to midnight. My anxiety would say girls don't want to talk they want to study and would be annoyed but I'm an attractive guy and I have in the past have girls try and coax me into talking to them and I've been to scared to do it. My one friend from back home came to visit me at uni months ago we went to a club seeing guys and girls who are strangers make out I was literally on the verge of tears. I had girls eyeing me up all night one even took my hand to dance but I turned away due to shyness. I really badly wanted to talk to girls that night but I was way too scared.

What can I do to improve my situation? I am so so annoyed and panicked that I have wasted half my uni experience locked in my room when i could have been going out meeting lots of friends, having lots of sex with girls or forming a relationship with a girl. If I were to join a society now and try to make friends I'd have all these thoughts thinking people would judge me thinking why I have no friends or I'm joining near the end of the year. I just really don't want to live with strangers next year but I know I'll have to, it will be a miracle if I meet a friend or two in the next month and end up living with them but that obviously won't happen. I just want to overcome this damn social anxiety! I need to get rid of all of this worry about others judging me or me thinking others are thinking stuff about me. I need to meet people too I need to make friends and meet a girl and hopefully ask her out, I am inexperienced so would have no idea how to go about asking her out, like how long after meeting the girl do you ask her out? I don't know if an online forum for students is where I should be posting this but I don't know where else to post I just really want to make at least a few friends and by some miracle get a girlfriend before this semester is out? Please does anybody have any constructive real advice on what I can do? I'm going to tell my therapist everything, I will force myself to go to a society meeting in a few weeks maybe sooner. I will even try making small talk with girls sitting near me in the library late at night, I know they won't get annoyed tons of guys would have done that in the past. This post is really long so thank you for reading it. Please does anybody have any advice on how I can get rid of this social anxiety be confident and happy meet friends and a girlfriend?
Anonymous #2
Report 1 year ago
I don't know what you can do, but if it's any consolation, lots of people struggle with social anxiety at university, it isn't always the Utopia parents often present it as. I'm in pretty much the same situation as you, and the only thing I can say is that it's important to go to as many things as possible. Sometimes societies will have weekly meetings at a set time, and if you can make yourself go to one, it will be easier to go the following week (at least in my personal experience anyway). It's important to set small challenges for yourself, and not get overwhelmed. I hope things start getting better for you at Uni

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