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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Social Phobia


 cutiebear666 - Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:07 am

Hello,

I am 21years old and since I have been about 12years old I have been unhappy because of the way I am around people other then my family.

Let me start by listing what happens when people talk to me (at work for example) people ask me questions, i am introduced to someone, any sort of contact, eye contact with people, or even when I am out shopping, standing in a queue trying to reassure my self no one is watching me, everyone is not staring at me but i can tell myself that as much as I want the same things will always happen, Firstly...

I go bright red
If i do manage to speak back to someone it will be a very weak very high pitched mumble! I feel like my voice has been completly taken from me!
I sweat
I tremble
I have to turn away from someone talking to me - which makes me come across as rude and uniterested leaving most people to not bother talking to me again!
my heart pounds
My mind races trying to calm myself but i have been trying this since it first happened when i was about 12years old.

The first time it happened a science teacher asked me a question and i went bright red and someone pointed it out to everyone and everyone laughed. and now everytime someone speaks to me i go bright red and the above list of things happen.

Ok so i started going to my doctor very often, first thinking i must have a problem with my voice - it was vanishing, i asked him if i would loose my voice all together and it would keep getting weeker and weeker... then i went back and told him I feel really down (which of course i would having to deal with this everyday without fail, most people don't have to constantly worry if someone is going to speak to me - i have booked a day off work next week for example because i know one of the main managers of my company is coming to the office and he will be introduced to me - so i booked that day off!!)
I kept going back to the doctors as everyday it upset me just being unable to speak without going bright red! and again the list of reactions described above happening,) eventually i was diagnosed with depression and referred to a number of different counsellers, but once i had explained what was making me so unhappy they just said i was shy! shyness is not an extreme life ruining thing, it is something that happens now and again, even alot but does not affect someones life they way my life is being affected. so anyway i saw a load of councillers, even paying for private but it did not help, this was until i was 18yrs old i gave up with counsellers and they put me on anti depressents and made me feel like i was wasting their time. what would they know it is not something you can possable imagine unless you are in my shoes! Its like a phobia of any attention what so ever! or imagining people are staring at me despite knowing they are not and going bright red and shakey anyway!!

Ok so i am now 21years old, i think i have lived with this for long enough and just want someone to take me seriously ok this is not just someone being shy!
I choke up if someone talks to me, i cant get my words out it is pathetic!

I am not like this really, it is not me! Before I was 12years old, I was confident, outgoing, the middle sister of whom was always known as the loud one.

I am loud with my family, don't get me wrong i have a handful of friends who i am amazed i have! and i am my loud self around them , i was not at first of course, for years i was the way i am with other people, but they did not give up talkin to me, i can be ok talkin to people when no one but that person is around, i am still nervious but i am much much better, as soon as someone else arrives i freak out go bright red etc... so yes i have a handful of friends and a boyfriend who i am relaxed around and that is because they did not give up! they spoke to me despite my face looking like a tomato! and eventually after a lot of time getting to know each other on our own away from people i made my friends.

Working in an office i don't get alot of time alone with people and so of course most people know not to bother speaking to me because of the way i react, sometimes i just leave mid conversation because i am so embarrassed and so worried, they must think i am so ignorant! i worry about never being able to get married because i wont stand up in front of people.
I have always felt like this with people other then the select few and family, everyday, every minute it is constant, constant 'ooo your so quiet' comments, being left out, not invited out because what is the point i wont talk to anyone!! i will smile and laugh lookin incrediable nervous and that is it.

I feel like it is gettin worse, inside i am such an outgoing person but i cannont show that in any way, i must come accross as so boring and i can not be myself, i have recently starting cutting myself everytime someone speaks to me and i cant speak back or go red whatever i will go to the toilets and cut my self. I have had enough of it i cant keep being like this, sure some people are shy but even they do not have to constantly think and worry every second of every day incase someone might show me some attention or even catch my eye.

Please help me, i really have had enough of avoiding all social situations, calling in sick at work if i know someone new will be introduced to me, back when i was in 6th form/school i would never ever turn up if i knew i had to speak in class or even speak to the teacher, i don't say a word in work meetings, i feel it is holding me back and if i did not have this social phobia i would not just be living a much happier life but i would be much further in my career.

please help me.

Rach
 Tim W Latsko - Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:44 am

cb666,

It may be time for an evaluation with a psychiatrist and a therapist/psychologist who treats social phobias. Cognitive behavioral therapy combined with medication is an effective treatment modality for your decribed constellation of symptoms.

Good luck....Tim

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