Social anxiety?

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  • Well, if anyone didn't know I based some of my characters off of my own social anxiety experiences (like the feeling of it). It's not too extreme, like when I'm at home I'm pretty confident- even roughly joking around with my sister and calling names towards each other in a playful way. Also taking risks at the woods and the creek just to have fun. I'm really protective over my sisters and will immediately throw my fears in the trash if someone physically or mentally hurt them.

    But when I'm away from home or open in public places it's different. I always struggle to approach workers in the store when I can't find something, and when strangers approach me I get uneasy. Sometimes to the point where I'm shaking and/or stuttering, buying things and approaching checkout is even hard. Just a week ago my younger sister wanted to take a picture with this fake Santa clause that she knew was false, she wanted to make memories while we're still a bit young. I didn't like the idea at first, repeatedly saying no every time she tried to coax me. But I thought about it, seeing my photography mentor was surprisingly there and helping take photos made me want to say hello. My sister could tell and finally coaxed me to say yes, I was shaking more than I ever had. And I didn't feel great after.

    I also woke up from a dream just a few hours ago from everyone hating me, my mother emotionally abusing me in the dream- and she is the most kind hearted woman irl. I was crying when I woke up, had to take a bath to calm me down. I was so embarrassed and confused myself, but I just couldn't calm down until I bathed. I'm debating whether or not to get a therapist.. but I don't think it's too extreme enough?? I'm thinking it's from being abandoned by so many friends and/or lack of socialization? But I need help, some tips maybe? Reassurance?


    Dog trainer & photographer + Roleplayer of NYMERIA- and more + Discord; #7637

  • Hey there! First off, I think it's really great that you feel comfortable opening up about your concerns about you anxiety! In many ways, it can act as a first step in allowing yourself to breath and attempt to tackle the challenges that your facing when in direct contact with people. I completely understand the whole topic of social anxiety. At home, I'm an entirely different person than when I'm out and about and often, people notice this and their commenting would make me uncomfortable.

    What I found worked for me was taking baby steps. For starters, try to hang out more in smaller groups. If you're comfortable with your sister, maybe try hanging out with her and her friends so that you can get used to hanging out with a group that you don't know. In a lot of those situations, it kind of allows you just to sit there and be present, without having to worry about somebody trying to sell you something or whatever it be. Another option if finding something small that relaxes you while you're in public. Personally, I found that wearing rings helped me. When I became anxious, I'd twist it around on my finger and I found that it provided me a moment to sort of breath and focus on that, rather than on the situation around me. For many people, little fidgeting things can be of major use to pull you back into the moment. For others, breathing exercises can aid in slowing heart beat and regaining composer.

    As far as your concerns about getting a therapist go, don't be afraid to visit with one! You are never "not bad enough" to go to the therapist, so don't think of it in a scale of "how bad am I" but rather on a scale of "would it benefit me." If you have any feelings that talking would help, go for it! It's better to get help now than let it consume you and it get worse.

    Hope this helps, and feel free to pm me if you'd like any more suggestions as I have tons of resources for anxiety as I'm focusing on it in my degree. <3

    JAELYNN SWAROVSKI && member of ___

    werifesteria && member of solar

    Hireath && member of shadow veil

  • I can definitely understand where you are coming from!

    I recently went to the mental health center on my campus, and joined the overcoming social anxiety group, and so far has been pretty good.

    please don’t think that you dont “have it bad enough”. i still think this way too, but everyone has different thresholds and you can always get to a better place!

    A big part of having social anxiety is having thinking errors (heres a quick pdf that i found that sums it up)

    Mindful thinking is a good way to stop these thoughts and focus on the moment.

    Managing social anxiety is being able to recognize what triggers it, and what your responses are & knowing how to manage them

    You may feel comfortable while with family, but walking into a crowded room of strangers may make you feel like everyone is staring and judging you.

    Personally, some of my reactions are that I get really hot/sweaty and shaky. I’ll make sure to wear layers and carry around a waterbottle to cool off, and clasp my hands together. Its natural looking when people look at me, but I’m managing my anxiety.

    Definitely consider going to therapy! And group therapy if you feel comfortable enough. One of the staff compared it to learning to swim! You can learn and read about swimming from books, but until you get in a pool you dont actually know how to swim.

    If you ever need to talk about your anxiety, I’m always open!