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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Inconfidence and Insecurity

 William-R - Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:36 pm


I'm a 19-year-old male. And my problem is that I often feel very tense around people such that I often say or do foolish things(which I don't really mean), and I think without even saying anything wrong I believe people see it obvious that I'm insecure or inconfident. I have very few friends (most I met over the internet) and I'm almost incapable of forming new friendships with people. when meeting new people I'm often very quite and find it very hard to think of anything to say as I am tense(unless there is a specific topic to talk about). I'm also very non confrontational to the point where you can label me as a push-over, a certain person might disrespect me outright and I wouldn't act upon it, I would say I'm a coward, afraid of getting involved in a fight or a confrontation.

I've looked up social awkwardness/anxiety on the internet but the thing is my problem isn't that extreme, for example I don't sweat excessively when meeting new people or I am afraid to go out of home on the fear of meeting new people, It's just that like I said I'm often nervous and tense(when meeting new people, or in any problematic situation). And it sometimes comes out in a way where people percieve it as arrogance or impoliteness maybe.

My question is, how can I fix my problem? Do I need to go see a Psycho-therapist for this(Psychotherapy isn't really much publicized where I'm from)? Are there things that I can do my self to fix my problem?

Please help me
 Dr. E. Seigle - Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:50 pm

Hi William-R,

You are to be respected for your honest self-portrayal. It sounds likely that you have an anxiety disorder; the different diagnoses (which are merely descriptive labels to encapsulate the problem) that might apply to your anxiety include a Social Anxiety Disorder, traits of what is called an avoidant personality, and simply an Anxiety Disorder that does not fit into other categories. The first step is for you to have a good, thorough evaluation, optimally by a psychiatrist or Ph.D. trained psychologist. Then, the correct diagnosis can be reached, as well as the reasons for the anxiety disorder understood. Reasons can include life experiences that you have had (including your family life), genetics and family history of anxiety disorders, and the personality style that you have developed in your life, including any emotional patterns that you have that might contribute.

Based on your evaluation, the clinician should recommend treatment; this generally involves psychotherapy and may also involve medication, if thought to be warranted. It's important that the treating clinician give you an understanding of the diagnosis and recommendations that makes sense to you. You may want to contact your local hospital, community mental health center, or referrals from people that you know.

Congratulations for identifying the problems and beginning your path to help and learning to feel more relaxed, confident and socially connected and close. Good luck!

-Eliot Seigle MD
 unifish - Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:01 am

Hi William-R,

I have a similar if not the same problem. I am not agitated when people abuse me (not physically), I remain silent out of fear and end up getting upset about it later. I also start rambling or saying things I shouldn't be. Being put on the spot and having the attention somehow frightens me.

Have you overcome your problem by any chance? I would like to hear how you have managed if thats ok.

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