I this anxiety or am i just over reacting?

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First of all let me tell you who I am. I’m 29 years old, I’m unemployed and I still live at home with my parents. That may not be much of a description of who I am but the truth is this, crippling anxiety is stopping me becoming anything more. Who doesn’t want to live a life full of professional success and have a large group of friends, a girlfriend or wife, and kids? Who doesn’t want to feel happy when they wake up in the morning and look forward to the day ahead of them? I know I do, but so far my life couldn’t be further from that. Up until now I have just kind of felt that I’ve been in a prolonged slump and that I will eventually snap out of it. But as I approach 30 I think it’s time to realise that maybe there is a reason why I feel the way I do.

When I read online about other people who suffer from anxiety I always end up telling myself that I’m over reacting, it is so much worse for other people, and that the reason that I am in this position is all my fault. I didn’t work hard enough, I didn’t take enough risks and I quit things far too easily. I have no idea of the severity of my anxiety because since my early 20’s I have essentially become a recluse, I don’t put myself into positions that are going to cause me any mental anguish or stress. I don’t work a steady job, I don’t meet new people and I refuse to take on any financial obligations. This works well as a solution to anxiety but it is only a short term and I fear that now it will no longer work. I don’t want to live at home forever and I cannot sponge of the state all my life.

I cannot have a social life because although people will not come out and ask the reason why I can’t get a job or why I still live at home with my parents, I know they are thinking it and I know this because it is exactly what I would be thinking too. It causes me embarrassment and shame. It stops me going out of the house through fear that I’ll meet someone I know and they’ll ask me about my situation.

I’m scared that if a speak to anybody about this they will just say that I am over reacting and that job interviews and meeting new people are stressful things to do but you just have to do them anyway. Of course it’s not just these things that that cause me anxiety it is other simple things too like answering the front door when someone rings the bell or making phone calls. One time I came home from being out for the day to find that my family had decided to invite friends over for a BBQ, there was 20 to 30 people in my house most of which I did not know and I cannot describe the feeling that I had. I did my best to not seem rude but I lasted no more than 5 minutes before I used the excuse that the dog needed walked. That was the longest walk the dog ever had.

I know it seems strange but I really have only recently realised that I suffer from this because I live such a quiet life. Most jobs that I have done in the past have been ones like driving where I don’t need to interact with people much and most of my hobbies are similar like fishing. I guess I’m trying to figure out if this is my true personality or if my solitary lifestyle is just a symptom of my anxiety.

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  • Posted

    Hello Allan,

    You described your situation very well. You do have a sense of humour; loved the comment on the longest walk the dog had ever had. lol

    What you suffer from sounds exactly what my own son, Chris has had since his early teens. Back then no one had heard of such a condition or maybe they considered it to be intense shyness. Chris is now 36 years old. He is married...to a reclusive woman and they have a child. This condition that he has is called Social Anxiety. It is the 3rd most common 'mental disorder'. And the good news is, it is highly treatable. So you could be back working and living a normal life and feeling so much better...if you got help...which is up to you.

    Parties and get togethers make most people feel a little shy or uncertain and maybe even ill at ease...but for my son, Chris, he just wanted to escape...fast! We didn't have a dog or he would have been walking it A LOT! With our nuclear family (sisters and us parents) he is fine...so it seems. But with extended family he is not at all.

    Social anxiety runs in families. My husband's father suffered from it. For years I have been trying to urge Chris to go to a S.A. clinic that happens to be right near his home. But I really think he is too scared to call...or visit a doctor. It is just too threatening and overwhelming for him. As a matter of fact, he gets upset when I broach the subject and he says he is fine. But when I have been out with him, I see clearly that he is very ill at ease with strangers etc.. I happen to be very friendly and will chat with a shop keeper and after we leave he 'scolds' me and asks why on earth I need to speak to strangers. 

    From what I have read, S.A. is VERY treatable...with therapy and with medication. You have your whole life ahead of you...and who knows... if you are in group therapy with others who are in the same boat, you might just meet the girl of your dreams! Ask yourself what the worst is that can happen if you go to a doctor. You will feel intensely uncomfortable and even panicky...but you will not die!.... Think of yourself as a soldier going to war...Doctors see all kinds of conditions. And they want to help. Would you be able to bite the bullet and visit a doctor? I hope so. Maybe set a reward for yourself such as taking your parents to a movie or ordering in a pizza to celebrate your courageous first step towards living a more rewarding and fulfilling life. Let me know how it goes...if you manage to do it.

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  • Posted

    hi allan

    lovley words from robin

    myself doesnt suffer from any of these,but my 17 year old son has recentley broke down to me ,to me it sounds like axiety which i will do my upmost to support him with his recovery ,this is a big step  coming on here and shareing your feelings.i wish you all the best

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  • Posted

    Hi Allan, I can totally sympathise with how you are feeling. I am 29 years of age and have suffered from depression & generalised anxiety disorder for over 10 years. The doctor has recently changed my medication so I am really struggling with daily life at the minute. I have a very responsable job & a loving partner so it is possible to overcome this but its not easy. I seem to have goten worse with age & often hide away from the world as I cant face being around people. There is lots of help out there so i would urge you to seek it. Dont let it control your life as I have & often feel like theres no point anymore. It seems so selfish as there are people out there suffering from life threatening illnesses but I often think that I would rather loose a limb than feel this way. You are not alone. Get help, go to your doctor & take all the support you can. Talking helps & dont be ashamed.
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    • Posted

      Hello Katie and Allan,

      Last night I did a lot of research on the benefits of magnesium, reading material on various sites and watching podcasts from eminent medical researchers in the field. Some of what I learned in a nutshell are that after vitamin D, magnesium is the supplement that we are most lacking in. It is difficult to get enough magnesium in our normal diets! 95% of us are magnesium deficient. There are over a dozen reasons, one of which is soil depletion...by chemicals!!..  This deficiency in magnesium impacts many systems in the body, especially the brain. It is believed that ADHD is a result as well as depression and anxiety...and IBS...because there is a brain/bowel connection. 

      My own personal story is about my daughter, Valerie, our 3rd who was a messy, hyper, little wild thing as a child. She had ADHD for sure although never diagnosed. She had a hard time focussing and we got her tutoring. When she reached her mid teens, I happened to read about the benefits of magnesium on the brain, mood and on the ability to focus. I started giving it to her before tests and exams at school with incredible and dramatic results. She herself would come to me and tell me how much better she was able to study and focus and do well on her tests and exams. In that time period, she changed in a way I never thought possible. She became neat, tidy (her room and her person). She became ultra focussed and suddenly started to do extremely well in school...and in university. I won't go on to brag about her successes in life but let's just say she has got it all together. And she, herself will state that it all started with magnesium supplementation. 

      I urge you to read up on this natural mineral, magnesium and its extraordinary benefits.  I take 2 tablets of magnesium citrate (or glycinate) every night before bed in order to

      1. help me sleep better and 2. to keep regular in the morning. I am always in a good mood and do have an extraordinary zest for life...so maybe it has benefitted my brain in ways I never realized. 

      Like vitamin C, if you take in too much magnesium...which is highly unlikely, it is just excreted in the urine. 

      We are a nation/world with far too many cases of people with mental issues. And perhaps magnesium deficiency is at the root of many of these problems. 

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  • Posted

    I don't have any advice unfotunately, but I had to comment, because I could have writtent that post almost word for word!!

    I'm in the IDENTICAL situation in almost every aspect!!

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  • Posted

    How are you, Allan?  what do you think of the advice given by us below?
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  • Posted

    Thank you for all the advice. It's great to know that their are people who understand what i am feeling. You have given me a lot of hope. I'm still not sure what i should do to help my situation though. Going to the doctor is the obvious solution but im not sure how I feel about being medicated, iv heard some horror stories of people who addicted to anxiety medications. Ironically this makes me anxious. I know a change in my life style such as diet and exercise would help but iv never been a very diciplined person. I will try to live a healthier lifstyle but im sceptical.Thanks anyway as i said it was good to get it off my chest and hear some of your stories. In all likely hood i will go speak to the doctor.
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    • Posted

      Dear Allan, I can so empathize  and understand you, like others have already written I too have a son, two In fact who like you suffer from crippling social anxiety... Do not ever,ever feel that you are a failure or are worth less than anyone else.

      My son has always been shy, he signed up for the army (thinking that he could back out from it) when he couldn't he  stabbed himself in his leg hoping that he could leave on mental health grounds, of course he was unable too. When he came home he did not leave the house for about eight years, he avoided everyone and everything, it was absolutely heart breaking to watch him suffering so much. He too like many others would not open the door or answer the telephone, eventually we had to get the mental health team involved..... they were amazing (we know them well as his younger brother has schizophrenia) . Paul has been on antidepressants (sertraline  and also pregabalin)... Paul will never go out on his own but he now comes out with  his dad and myself and also one of his younger brothers, he speaks to other people, many of them, who we count as good friends and he now has more quality of life.

      Please get all the help you can from your doctor, you deserve to have a life that you enjoy and look forward to.

      Don't ever give up, social phobia is so common and also treatable. ....

      My heart goes out to you young man,

      Love and prayers to you, Deidre, xxx

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  • Posted

    Things are getting worse, i was invited to a birthday party the other day and i havent stopped worrying about it since. Why the hell am i worrying about going to a party when the idea is to enjoy myself. I only really know one or two people that will be there and i cant stop worrying about being left talking to people that i dont know. I dont want to known as that weird guy at the party and i'd rather just not go. I'm already thinking up excuses. I also dont want to be rude, it was nice to be invited and by not going it is definately rude.

    I am really starting to hate myself because i am my own worst enemy, the people at this party are all probably really nice people who I would like to get to know.

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