Social Anxiety

Posted , 3 users are following.

Social anxiety . . . I've had it ever since I was a kid. Well, I still am a kid, since I'm just thirteen years young. I can't participate in anything because I fear that I'll make a mistake and embarass myself infront of others. I can't eat infront of other people because I'm worried I'll look weird eating. In general, I can't really do much. And it makes me feel like I'm a flawed human being.

Granted, we all have flaws but I feel like because of my condition, I'm very limited to everything. It sucks especially because I do have arms, legs, pretty much everything a human being should have, but infront of people, I can't seem to use them much. It's like I've frozen into a statue.

And, I'd really like to get over this. I want to be outgoing and happy, but I'm getting in the way of my own optimism. So, does anyone else have any genuine advice? Or maybe you'd like to share your experience? 

I don't know, I feel like all I did was ramble on and on. Sorry.

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  • Posted

    Hi Untrammelled,

    You haven't rambled at all, don't worry, and I think your post reads very well!

    I'm an old lady of almost 50 now, but I remember my wonderful childhood clearly. I had, and still have, a very loving caring family, and I've always been close to my little brother. Apparently, I was a very outgoing little girl and would chatter away to anybody...

    That all changed as I went through junior school....I became painfully shy and found it increasingly difficult to make close friends. I became one of the girls who was always last to be picked for a team in PE because I was pretty hopeless! My 2 best friends were the 2 most unpopular girls at the time - one because she was overweight, the other because she came from a more deprived family and was always unclean - but we stuck together.

    I suppose I had social anxiety, but it was just called shyness back then. I was terrified if my parents were out of earshot and I had to answer the phone! Just after my 14th birthday we moved to a smaller town with a more rural school and I managed to make a friend who has lasted to this day...but I still felt embarassed and awkward around other people. I can totally relate to not wanting to eat in front of anyone other than immediate family - the more you think about it the more self-conscious you become! Looking back at old photos I see my limbs became long and gangly, pre-teens, and that only helps to make you feel more awkward and less in control of them!

    Whether you are male or female, your hormones are raging right now and you must never underestimate the mental as well as physical effects on the body. It's easy to look back on that time in my life and see how things changed, but back then it was a time of getting anxious and feeling sick, and of weird "growing pains", and of being called and "awkward" teenager at times!

    I would not wish to be a teenager today - I think there is far more to worry about and stress over, and I think you are often expected to grow up more quickly too. Life is so much busier than it used to be. Although, back in the 1980's, there was the very real threat of nuclear war, and my anxiety levels went through the roof!

    All I can say is - it IS normal and it DOES pass. I hope you have a loving family who can help you through this trying period in your life. You will probably find that they had similar experiences at your age. You're not really a child anymore but you're not an adult either, and that, in itself, can make you feel confused and anxious. If you can talk to someone close, you may find it a great help and comfort. Try and concentrate on what you really enjoy doing - I loved being with just my family, or sitting outdoors reading or listening to my little radio...and I still played with my little brother - I was never too old for that!

    Ok.....so you think YOU rambled on???

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  • Posted

    I believe it is - I'm not belittling your feelings in any way, but you are far too young to be worrying that how you feel now will be set for life! Please never think that!

    Anxious thoughts breed more anxious thoughts - the more you worry, the more you will find to worry about, and it gets you nowhere - it's a viscious circle. I have hit that age where my own hormones are going haywire again, just like in my teens, and I've read many other posts by menopausal women who are finding they are having anxiety attacks and self-confidence issues...some become housebound because they can no longer face other people.

    This website has many helpful forums - there are so many people going through the same feelings and emotions and it really does help, knowing you're not alone.

    If I had half a brain left I would set to studying the effects hormones have on our teenage years and in later life and the similarities between them! All I can do is tell myself what I'm telling you - try not to worry about the anxiety - it's there and it's natural - and try and find ways to relax. I have found that, when you stop focussing on worrying about something, everything falls into place on its own. Until you find something else to worry about, like I do!

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  • Posted

    Dear unravelled.

    Oh bless you, I am sure that you are a lovely young man.

    I have to say that you are probably not the exception rather the rule, very many

    Other young people both male and female feel exactly the same trepidation and

    Awkwardness as yourself, you probably don't notice because you feel so self

    Conscious of how you perceive that others view you..

    My sons ( all three of them ) also my daughter felt exactly the the same at your age,

    It is a difficult transition into teenage years...

    I feel sure that nobody notices how unsure you feel, if you have some close friends try to open up to them about how you feel... you may be surprised by their replies...I can still remember being your age ( a very long time ago ) but you have endless

    And many enjoyable and fun opportunities open to you to look forward to.

    Are you good at sport? Or do you have another talent for music ect...

    Maybe there is a youth club you could join? Whatever, never feel that you are worth any less young man, you will have a wonderful life ahead of you, you are obviously

    Sensitive which is a wonderful quality... hold your head up high, try not to worry, I

    Know how hard it is at your age, but believe life can and will get better...

    Wishing all the luck in the world and more...Deirdre x

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    • Posted

      Haha, I think there's a slight misunderstanding, but then again, I wasn't very clear on my gender. I'm actually a girl. But, if you're worried that I'm offended, I'm not.

      And, I don't have any friends at all. I used to, but I have trouble connecting with someone emotionally and it's just hard to make friends. Again, I'm just so awkward.

      I do however enjoy sports, but I'm not able to join sports clubs; just basically anything that involves me interacting with another human being. That sounds absolutely ridiculous, I know, but I find myself counting the stares and anxious questions spawning that seems endless.

      But, thank you nonetheless for your supportive response. And, I will try and continue to try further. Hopefully, this is just another phase in my life and not an actual weakness.

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