- 6 years ago
So I’m curious if there are any bees who suffer from social anxiety and who have sought treatment. I’m going to post my details below (in a list to avoid writing a novel), but feel free to skip that part if it’s too long. I just want to know what sort of treatment you’ve sought, if it helped, how long it took, etc. Also…perhaps how your SO reacted if he’s more extroverted.
- I haven’t been formally diagnosed. Apart from not having full on panic attacks, the description fits me well. I can function as a student and professionally (despite dying inside before every interview and presentation) but socially it’s just not happening. Now that I’m with my SO who is more social, I am not able to avoid as much, which is good. But I’m present at social events without truly being present if that makes sense…afraid to speak, to participate. “Our” friends are basically his (old) friends and we (I) have trouble making new ones as a result. I am super anxious but don’t physically show it so my behavior probably comes across as incredibly standoffish and bitchy. I try to counteract that with being really friendly when someone speaks to me, but it’s not enough generally.
- I started pulling away from friends and avoiding social stiuations when I was 13. Before that I was quiet and had some perfectionist tendencies. I probably worried more than average about random things, but I socialized normally.
- I was very depressed in middle school and tried to overcome my fears in HS by joining the debate team – I did well but it didn’t change how I felt. I still feel anxiety and panic, but don’t physically show it thanks to this experience.
- I had really good grades, took AP/honors classes but dropped out of high school at 15. At the time I reasoned that I was bored in school and that I didn’t agree with the educational system. In retrospect, the fact that I couldn’t participate in the social aspect of HS played a major role. I completely lost touch with what few friends I still had during this time, through my own fault (they reached out, I avoided).
- Went to college at 18 on scholarship (thanks standardized tests), and did very well academically, but neglected the social aspect A LOT. Partially because I was in a long term relationship from 16 to 20 with the same guy and never felt motivated enough to try to make other friends.
- Moved abroad for my last semester of undergrad and decided to stay and pursue my master in teaching (to become a teacher in this country). Met my SO two years ago, soon after my arrival.
After I got over the initial excitement of living abroad my problem became worse because having to communicate constantly in a second language that I haven’t entirely mastered makes me even more hesitant to participate in conversations and to do normal tasks that I’ve never liked, but didn’t entirely avoid before (like making phonecalls). My SO has noticed this and thought I was just shy and had a “get over it” attitude. Finally last night we were discussing our future (buying a house, getting married) and he admitted his only real doubt about our relationship was this social aspect. He’s noticed over time how quiet I am in group situations, how difficult it is for me to talk to others and actually thought I simply didn’t have an interest in meeting people. I finally told him it was probably something more than just shyness. He was super nice about it and said we would talk about it tonight, but I feel so ashamed about it.
I would really, really appreciate some advice from people who have been in a similar situation.