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Social Anxiety discussion

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posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 02:02 AM
What is social anxiety?

From Social anxiety uk

'Regular' social anxiety is known to all of us as an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness. Many people have particular worries about social situations like public speaking or talking to authority figures, or experience more general feelings of shyness or a lack of confidence. For some, however, these social anxieties and fears can become much more troubling and difficult to cope with. Everyday tasks which most people take for granted - such as working, socialising, shopping, speaking on the telephone, even just going out of the house - might be a wearing ordeal marked by persistent feelings of anxiety and self-consciousness. Public performances or social gatherings might be out of the question. When the social anxiety becomes this bad, sufferers could be diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as Social Phobia. Shyness is not a criteria for diagnosis. Sufferers differ in how naturally reserved or outgoing they may be and in regard to the sorts of situations or people they might find most difficult or might be OK with. Individuals who are particularly socially inhibited, avoidant and sensitive to criticism or rejection may meet criteria for Avoidant Personality Disorder, now seen by many as only the more extreme or generalised end of an 'SA spectrum'. Sufferers typically experience excessive feelings of nervousness or dread in relation to feared social situations. They may experience specific physical symptoms such as trembling, rapid breathing, sweating or blushing. At the extreme, panic attacks can occur. Sufferers tend to be very self-conscious and worried about whether others might be evaluating them negatively. They tend to ruminate over past social incidents, worrying about how they might have come across. At a deeper level, sufferers can experience chronic insecurity about their relationships with others, hypersensitivity to criticism, or fears of being rejected by others. Many people can go through this kind of experience during adolescence, but for SA'ers the problems can persist well beyond those years. Over time, many sufferers come to avoid the situations they fear or become very inhibited or defensive in situations, often leading to depression and loneliness

I've suffered with social anxiety since I was around 19, which then led to other things, I wasn't always like this and as a teenager was probably as confident as anyone else, infact I was quite well known as loud bold and confident! though I knew this wasn't really me, I know the real me was somebody between that loud confident teenager, and the quiet shy person I am today, but it just went wrong!

In the space of a couple of years I started toning it down being more me, but I was also at this time going through a few problems, anyway I then started noticing things about myself and how nervous I was getting in the most trivial situations, and long story short I just tumbled from there with a host of other rubbish happening to me, I hit rock bottom! and only in the last year have I tried so bloody hard to get some kind of normality back! but there's a long way to go yet, and I feel like i've missed out on such an important time in my life the realization of this scares me no end!

I have been trying so hard lately, but the harder I try, the more involved I have to get and the more pressure i feel under and i'm scared that i'll just go back to square one! the ridiculous thing is it can be the most stupidest thing, and I worry/panic/blush you name it, and this is not even confined to real life, i'm the same over a keyboard, how sad is that!

I've learnt to try put on an act in these past years and it works for the most part, but I get nervous about that, and just want it to be more natural again, without the worry of crumbling!

Now i'm not fond of pasting my personal life around the internet, I promise you, and i'm not usually a good talker as above, but I really need to hear other peoples experience and efforts with social anxiety in the hope that me or anybody else might feel less of a freak and you never know, even find a little courage/comfort through hearing others experiences.

So have you overcome it? do you have it? i'd just like a little insight from people in similar circumstances! please share your stories and advice.

Thank you!

[edit on 22-2-2010 by valiant]

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 04:34 AM
social disorders is a deep issue that i know very well some realities of from what i gave to a lot of answers that contribute to make myself

the problem that everyone dont seem to react to well, is the understanding of how to deal with a problem at the base of reasonning it

all psychology studies are wrong there, that is how it is never a science confirmed by the fact that it increases the problem of ones and never heal anyone

a problem is a negative fact, you cannot deal with it as a fact then, anything you would construct on it would be wrong and the living of that negative base

people should then understand how to accept objective facts as they are, it says then the positive sane attitude of true awareness there meaning to act as a conscious of something objectively existing
accepting objective disabilities as facts make you better see your abilities from yourself then reasons of being absent to those actions out

what i did to myself and what i always tried undirectly to tell others while meaning supporting them, is to understand where you should be from where you are surely not and definitely wont ever be there

using reason faculty on a problem is first to understand that it is always a problem, reasons dont solve the problem but just explain it, the questions are to be solved not problems, from a question you can still get to a positive objective fact but not from a problem

social positive interactions are always about living realities fact, everyone wants to live positively but the issue is to understand how living is not about wills, it is also about fact of living and your awareness is just a contribution to its constant factuality

so forcing yourself to be ok at a certain situations frames wont ever allow yourself to enjoy its existing fact, and any existing fact has the right to seek its true living free breath, existing is always to living as positive is to fact

this rule i discovered from my insights within myself was the principal one i used in everything i become, what is rejecting being living in a present reality is who is the most right in you and this is what your awareness about yourself should know and act through for living wills

since what is rejecting a present is the most present there, and what is the most present is the existing fact to live because it is moving fact

learn to move as a conscious within your moves senses, conscious should never be an add or an independant superior entity, your moves intuitively are already awareness moves so conscious should be a support to what already exist for better positive reward and clarity of existing

what i say here was confirmed by what i reached to realize objectively, i went completely to the opposite side of anything present that clearly i dont feel confortable inn or with
the sense is to feel comfy and not that situation to fit inn

when you are positive yourself then you can be anywhere yourself alone even feeling well, the point is to know how to be yourself always as a positive fact existing human being, and for this means you must multiply positive experiences so you could gather yourself one from the bases of positive living that your conscious of is able to define as your living bases facts

i know this is not easy you must love to be positive and that is not always the fact of people wills

but it is not the issue there, you are not obliged to enjoy the positive track, but what is negative should be obliged to back off

and this is the other point of the issue objective facts results

people lean to consider who is not feeling well as negative one, this is complete nonsense meant for abuse purposes

who is not feeling well is acting as nonexisting and never negative, the negative is who say about it being negative to abuse his nonexistance reality to sound as existing more or to live negatively by claiming superiority over another breath

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 04:58 AM
i dont want to spoil the topic with my insights philosophically speaking, but what i said is clearly related to negative existance conditions life

negative conditions are the ones that force any existing fact to its opposite reality, it makes a whole existance result from what anything existing is not itself by forcing anything existing to be of what denies it existing

the concrete issue i faced to see there, is the right of being not existing, maybe people are not sure about what it means to them to exist as self or self conscious, why should they feel bad about it when obviously they dont mean anything bad nor rejecting particularly anything there

the zero existance is not admitted in existance conditions you must be always either enthousiastic or depressed and the balance is to who is leaning on something powerful and not themselves
it is not logical at all, what is not positive is not negative it is simply not positive and exist of course from what exist when it doesnt disturb anything objectively nor subjectively

and a conscious is not a matter thing it goes with what exist as a perspective free of it, it can influence the environment when it means to act then it leads from its free space that force all to stop, but when it doesnt mean anything things walk as they are they cant stop to annoy conscious about it

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 06:37 AM
it is related to living sense definition,

it looks like living sense is assumed from acting upon weak breath as superior one

that living sense assumption is due surely from creations sense of living existance, the pleasures of gods in using absolute realisations for existance justifications realities life

but it looks like too that living sense for this time is changing, and is more being as the assumption of positive existing reality

i guess those opposites of senses would continue to face each others until truth would be recognized as only existance and living facts, where everything would be just truly positive itself life of what it admit truth as the abstraction of positive superiority is what realize alone freely absolute reality life

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 07:18 AM
Op- I am sorry that you are feeling so bad and I hope the former 3 postings didn't confuse you--they did me

I think I can say from personal experience that everyone has their comfort zone--if something is uncomfortable to you (social situations) then there must be some underlying fear that you have about what might happen--anticipatory anxiety or anticipating the worst case scenario....from my experience, I simply ask myself "what's the worst thing that can happen?" usually it isn't the huge big deal I make it to be when I am anxious (although sometimes that isn't true, because I could answer back with, well if I go hang out with THAT group, I may end up in jail because they are crazy!!!) I guess that's an example of why you could/should avoid a social situation....secondly -face your fears, this isn't easy, but it will make you stronger in the end---go out and have some coffee alone and read a book or something at a cafe...that's a baby step, but once you realize that you can be ok and strong on your own, then you can start to become stronger in group situations

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 08:05 AM
reply to post by valiant

I've learned to try put on an act in these past years and it works for the most part, but I get nervous about that, and just want it to be more natural again, without the worry of crumbling!

Maybe the problem is that you have to "act" in a way that you think "normal" people act. I don't believe that the "fake it, until you make it" philosophy really works in these situations. Then again, I am probably the worst person to give advice on overcoming social anxiety.

I suffer from it to. I have come to realize that I really just don't enjoy being around most people. The main problem I have with people in general is that they are all very selfish and insincere. Most people are so self absorbed that they wouldn't urinate on you if you were on fire. That is why I can't stand going out into the public and dealing with other people that I don't know.

In social situations where I am surrounded by friends, I don't have as much anxiety. If I don't have to put on an act and be someone that I am not, I find that I am much more comfortable.

In the end, I think that as I get older I simply have less patience for the charades. I haven't overcome social anxiety so much as I have simply given up on putting myself in those situations. I try to be comfortable with who I am and surround myself with people who are comfortable with who I am as well. Sadly, that is probably a reason that I am at ATS. I can talk about any crackpot theory that I want to without the fear of "OMG, what will people think??!?".

If you can't be comfortable with yourself and think that you have to put on an act, you are really going to struggle with this. If you can figure out away to simply be comfortable with who you are, you can make the changes needed to improve your anxiety. Once you know who you are, cut out the nonsense that doesn't line up with you. If your friends don't like you for who you REALLY are, get rid of them. Don't go to parties with them. Have your own parties with people that actually like YOU.

Anyways, that is my own $.02.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 08:27 AM
I was a very shy child and am still quite shy as an adult. I had an abusive father and an alcoholic mother, I also grew up in England with an American mother who really had a different attitude to what is typically English. The social requirements there are a force to be reckoned with and people will pick on ANYTHING! Believe me. I never really fit in there and I don't fit in here either! You know what...I don't want to, I do not want to fit into a mold created by a society that embraces bigotry and hate.
I no longer have strong feelings of anxiety. I have come to learn that I am a positive being with tons to offer anyone who might take an interest. I do not fear rejection because that is not MY loss, it is someone elses. I have only a few friends, most of which do not share my interests or beliefs but do accept me both good and bad, as I do them. There is nothing wrong with being alone (I have learned to enjoy it!) and there is nothing wrong with being different.
You could also try some light meditation and calming herbs to center yourself, contemplate who you really are and who you truly want to be. Once you know who you ARE and what is your nature you can project that out into the world KNOWING that it is true and perfect.
Keep talking thru it mate, contemplate, meditate, be a positive force in this world, you will be accepted by positive healthy people! I promise...

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 08:50 AM
I am 15 and I have had anxiety for 3 years now. It all started after I broke my wrist, the psychologist said it was genetic and it was just waiting for a reason to start and me breaking my wrist was just that. I broke it really badly, compound fracture where the bone almost came out of the skin. I was then herassed by my teachers in school because I started getting really anxious before school. Then the school zones were switched the next school year and 7th grade I went to an all new school and that is where my social anxiety started. I had very few friends because I did not like to talk to other people, I distanced myself from others. I lost almost all my confidence. Then 8th grade came and I lost all my friends from 7th grade and I never made any friends and started getting really sick and anxious before school. So I convinced my mom to home school me which the psychiatrists said was not a good idea. It has been a year and a half now and I think it was a good choice, contrary to the psychiatrists opinion. I still have social anxiety since I don't talk to anyone that is not family and I really don't go anywhere except to places like the store or mall. It has been really bad for me since I was a people person when I was younger and had alot of friends, now I basically have no friends and really have no drive to want to get friends. Social Anxiety has really destroyed my life, these are suppose to be my years of fun and no worries. I have really got my general anxiety under control with no meds, I still don't have control of my social anxiety.

My mom has had anxiety since she was 8, she had it far worse than I. She still has it and is not a people person, but she does not have social anxiety because she has no problem talking to people or being in social situations, but she doesn't like it either. I really don't want to have to take meds for this so I have been trying my best to control it and I have made progress, but still have a long way to go. ATS is my favourite social website, the people here challenge you to higher your intelligence to make compelling arguments and thought provoking threads, which is great. I feel bad for all people who have social anxiety, it is a really bad problem.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 08:55 AM
I think everyone here has given you some valuable info to consider.

I can relate to what you say about almost acting the part for people sometimes. I've dealt with anxiety attacks about nothing in particular and also in social circles. Depression, loneliness... But I have always considered myself a happy person and I knew things could change.

It sounds lame but it's all about how you look at things. You know you want to feel happy and it has got to start with the small things. Just enjoying the view, or enjoying helping someone with a task. It's slow at first. I'm kind of at a point past this, where my attitude still sucks at times, but I'm much more willing to enjoy life without hope or fear.

Meditation also helps, even if it's done only once in a while, it's very refreshing. At first it can be tiresome though, but it can also be fun, when you begin, to just relax and view the flow of thoughts as they rush by.

All the best to you, hope you find what you're looking for

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 09:06 AM
reply to post by valiant

i can relate.. i have dedicated many years of my life to healing myself - all energy based. here is what i have found.. if any of it resonates i would encourage you to do some research.. there is a ton of reading that you can do about this. gary zukav's heart and seat of the soul books are an excellent starting point.

everything is energy.. and what we think, how we react and how we feel (via our emotions) are no exception. most of these things are programmed into us from a young age (and past lives). there are layers and layers of it within us and so deep that you would not even believe such a place exists as a part of our being. so this energy sort of has this power over us in how we think and feel - and we do not even realize it until we start digging within to see and understand what is going on..

so when you feel something or think something or react a certain way it is most likely because at some point you were programmed to do it. and that reaction and thought and feeling is coming from somewhere deep. it is not just on the surface.. for example.. were your parents stressed out, anxious and fighting all of the time? you may have learned it from them.

the key is getting to the source of it and releasing the energy inside of you that is causing it. and setting sort of a new program as a part of your being by intention. by saying (over and over and over again until it becomes your reality)... i am calm and peaceful. i react only with grace and love and peace. etc.. etc.. this may take a couple of weeks or a couple of years depending on how deep whatever you are trying to fix goes.. but you should see some sort of change within yourself pretty quickly.

this process of sort of reprogramming yourself includes embracing and facing whatever it is that you are most afraid of facing. and then replacing the fear, the shame, the guilt, the anger, the whatever it is, with absolute and unconditional love for yourself.

sorry, i am not the best in describing this.. but i can tell you that it will literally change your life. and will open up a door within yourself that will empower you in ways you never thought possible - in a very literal way (not in a fluffy self help sounding kind of way).

good luck my friend!!

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 09:09 AM
Problems with social anxiety have increased HUGELY in the past 20 years. I say problems because social anxiety can lead to mental illnesses. Of course everyone experiences social anxiety but the severity determines whether or not it impacts your life in a profound way. I had severe social anxiety since i was 16 which ruined my school years(and GCSE's), i didn't get help until i was 18 but by that time it had lead to full blown social phobia/agoraphobia. Ruined my life completely and im still tackling it.

[edit on 22-2-2010 by Solomons]

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 09:20 AM
It can be argued that undesirable CNS conditions are a direct result of accumulations of toxic substances such as mercury in the brain. Perhaps the removal of any amalgam tooth fillings and using chelation therapies may be of benefit to you.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 09:21 AM
Response to the OP.

My social anxiety seems to activate when doing things that the 'real' me doesnt want to. So you can imagine, since Im not wealthy these instances are frequent. I believe all these disorders you mention are actually our bodies natural way of physically manifesting stress. You go into a mini-fight or flight mode. That mode is designed for extreme emergencies.
Unfortunately in todays society we are forced into thousands of mini-emergencies per day, ie; pollution, wars, traffic, deviants..just a whole myriad of things that simply arent natural. Most things we do currently as humans are just survival, munipulated to profit someone else. (a company) Learn to be more independent. We could sacrifice the fear we indulge believing that there is always safety in numbers and make some choices that benefit no-one but you. Everybody I know has an instilled fear of the gov, a desire to pay less taxes,etc.These fears are created using unethical buisness tactics by the PRIVATE sector. The soulution is right in front of us. Say 'no, im not going to shop at malls, Wal-Marts, chain restaurants, computer stores. Sorry to say that peoples abuse of rights and other people have put us into quite a pickle. Only we can free ourselves. We can take the whips frome our corporate masters. We CAN ground thier planes,shut off the uninterupted flow of vices and indulgance. Every time they take a buisness trip, eat a free lunch, waste a minute, hold down a chair, etc, THOSE are the folks stealing from the people, not the IRS, or the government.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 04:40 PM
Thank you for the responses everybody, they're most welcome!

reply to post by imans

Though I found what you wrote a little hard to understand, I get what you are saying! and feel free to ramble on anytime, your contributions are very welcome!

reply to post by mkultraangel

Thank you mkultraangel, great advice there! facing the fear is exactly what i've been trying to do, and you're correct! it's not easy, but I never thought it would be! I analyze situations before they happen to try and think of every possible outcome, 9/10 the actual outcome is the one I never thought of, which I then stress over because I didn't expect it, lately i've been trying not to even think about anything and jump in! I sometimes bottle it though

reply to post by Karlhungis

That's it you see, I hate it, but it feels like a safety barrier, I don't go overboard, it's more smiling when I don't want to smile and silly things like that!

I had a huge group of friends, and when all this started I just let them go, which I know was the right thing to do, because i'm not the sort of person who needs that huge support group, a couple of close friends is where I feel most comfortable, it just looks odd to other people, and makes you think?

I'm very comfortable in my own home and with my best friend because we've known each other since we were kids, it couldn't get any more comfortable there!

Thanks for sharing Karl!

reply to post by mutantgenius

Thanks mutantgenius!

reply to post by Jimjolnir

Thanks jim, certainly some things to think over!

reply to post by Solomons

Yes solomon, I too messed up my education a little, I promised myself I would start again when things got easier, i'm closer to that now than I was then, so here's hoping!

I don't mean to miss anyone out and thank you all again for your contributions, I hope more people than me get something out of this!

[edit on 22-2-2010 by valiant]

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 06:19 PM
reply to post by valiant

As you know from our conversations, I also have social anxiety. It's not so bad that I actually go into panic attacks, but I get clumsy and stressed and generally make a fool of myself almost every time I'm in public. And afterward I will obsess about all the stupid things I said/did...or all of my missed opportunities to speak with someone interesting because I was too shy. It's a really painful thing.

I wish you and everyone else the best luck in getting past this problem, and I hope to be able to recover from it myself one day. There's some pretty good advice in this thread.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 07:32 PM
reply to post by HarvestMoon

It is Harvest, and i've never had a panic attack yet either, thank god! what you described is exactly how it plays out for me too, can make you feel so sad afterwards, but I also often wonder if it was as bad as I come to think it was?

Thanks, you too Harvest

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 08:56 PM
I am a blusher. Even on the best of days I blush extremely easily (the easy blush is very mild) I also shake easily, if I have not eaten breakfast, and that wont totally go away after lunch if I totally miss breakfast. But these things don't bother me, I'm fine there is no anxiety.

Then put it all into a situation where self-conciousness comes into play. Someone is judging you, asking you wtf is going on with your life, or an attractive girl and you've made them smile. Now they are interested but what do they see? A blush and a shaking, it had nothing to do with the situation, but it seems to be all too obvious put into context.

Now the real blushing begins. A true parasympathetic reaction to a true feeling of embarrassment and vulnerability.

So yes, it can almost be 100% prevented with lifestyle decisions in my case. No drinking, good diet (make sure to eat breakfast), hydration, exersize (muscular), plenty of sleep, and plenty of rest away from what I refer to as information overload. (Edit: must have had the wrong guy when I googled him)

As an extreme introvert with a full time job that lives in a house with others it is very hard to really get the mind that rest and quiet it needs, to re energize.

I make it all sound really bad. Really I mostly have fun with people and very enjoyable days. But I am infamous for my blushing and everyone knows it happens to me. Once a week or so, said situation will occur and I've gone across the whole spectrum of responses. From a deep red blush that did not effect me it was just a big blush (I was in a meditative state and just didn't give a sh) to not blushing, to having everything but a panic attack sweaty palms and all.

I've actually decided to be more srious about this, so I've been covering the spectrum of lifestyle decisions and really trying to be mindful of it. One thing that always happens is I forget the problem exists, I drop my guard, and then I get blindsided. If I am mindful of it, it really helps. And truly almost everyone is always putting on a big social show, for those of us who aren't and don't approach life this way (and wear our heart on our sleeves so to speak) we can be very vulnerable at times, because we weren't playing the game to begin with. So I guess a small part of you always has to be in that game, knowing and prepared that people will test you socially and try to bring out your weaknesses, situations will come up at least.

[edit on 22-2-2010 by Novise]

[edit on 22-2-2010 by Novise]

reply to post by imans

I can be objective and rational in the moment and tell myself not to blush, I'll do it anyway. My conscience seems to have a big problem with my rational side, and my spiritual side as well. Conscience is maybe ego in this case. Part of me knows we are all brothers, all one, and we are spiritual beings and all this is a ride. The other part of me says no sir, you are flesh and bone and you'd better do everything you can to survive and procreate and be considered valuable by society. I would say my spiritual side is winning this contest, and boy does my physical side take issue with that at times. I'll think everything is going great, time is an illusion, there is only now, nothing to worry about and then a situation presents and my body just freaks out and kicks in trying to create so much inner-turmoil. But that's the best way I can describe it. As I fail to integrate my conciousness - the rational with the subconcious, or what I'd rather call my conscience. The problem is I do not know what my subconcious wants, it may be easy to hazard a guess, or choose the proper bandaids so to speak, but what does it want!?

[edit on 22-2-2010 by Novise]

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 09:06 PM
Face your fears, and in time, you will overcome them. It worked for me anyway.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 09:20 PM
I have Social Anxiety and Agoraphobia. I've had SA since I was a small child, although I didn't call it social anxiety then, I was known as the "shy one". I seriously can't remember not ever being "shy". As far as overcoming it, I'm still working on it. I've managed to get a girlfriend, so as for being social goes, she's more than enough.
For the most part I've pretty much accepted it, and I'm totally fine being this way. =] I just avoid the things that make me nervous and I'm fine. lol

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 09:45 PM
One thing that helped me with blushing, was one time it got really bad. I googled blushing and started reading others talking about it on forums. That really helped, I didn't have problems for a while. All I did was read people talking about it. For some, yes it did ruin their life and they were so angry about it because they weren't trying to blush and it wasn't fair.

So now I at least try not to let it bother me at all, oftentimes even mid blush. It's not your fault your blood vessels decide to go all crazy, your palms decide to sweat. What is your body afraid of? Rationally you know there is no reason to fear it, embarrassment, or rejection.

Then I guess every now and then something happens that puts things into perspective and the problem will go away for a while. Like when it was in the news about that guy that just walked in the gym and shot people, anything remotely social in scope for a week or so after that, I just couldn't give it any time, any respect. his own disorders and society itself had a role to play as well.

So I guess on one end is to realize the absurdity of it, and problems caused in that spirit. Use that as a preventative mindset, it worked for me when the point was clear. But if you start having a reaction, just realize it's not a big deal, and in some ways it's not your fault, and this will pass.

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