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Social Anxiety Disorder or Exteme Shyness?


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i am 18 years old and i am in my first year of college. for as long as i can remember i have always been a quiet kid and havn't really ever talked much. Once i am warmed up to people i tend to be extremly outgoing and i sometimes do not know when to shut up. not to sound cocky, but in a lot of friend group settings, im more of the life and fun of the moment. it does in fact, take me a long time to warm up to this extent however.

 

i have been dating my girlfriend for 9 months now and i still find myself too 'shy' to say things to her or do things that i know she'd be completely cool with, but i just cant muster the motivation. so yea, it takes me a while

 

in highschool, i wasnt the popular jock type with every friend in the world. i have my fair share of friends though, dont get my wrong. i cant walk around at our friday night games without hearing my name shouted every 10sec. but in class, i am very very very quiet and all around too scared to talk.

 

when i am in a sporting event or a TON of attention is on me (award banquets and stuff) i tend to be a little more open. (weird i know). and when i played tennis, i wasnt shy at all, i would mess up and yell as loud as i could with about 100 strangers all staring at me, and i didnt care at all. but once i was done, i sat in silence again.

 

i always feel like anyone i am talking to is judging me in the most negative way and is constantly finding something wrong with me. i cant get this feeling out of my head that although im probably doing nothing weird, i always feel this person is seeing me and thinking "wow, what a weird kid"...and if group settings with people i dont really know, i feel "out of the loop" so to say. i dont really feel like im apart of the group too much and i tend to not talk until i am asked for my opinion.

 

i had to give a speech in one of my class's a couple days ago. when i got to the front of the room (about 20 in my class), i could hardly see anything. the whole audience was a blur and i was somewhat dizzy from my nerves. i did my speach and cracked the room up. they laughed at my jokes and i ended up gettin the highest grade in the class (97%)...so aparently all this feeling is in my head that im awkward because this showed me i am normal, but i cannot convince myself of this for the life of me.

 

i try SOOOO hard to make sure i look nice and there is nothing wrong with me before i go out places, because i try to convince myself i am normal and nothing is wrong with how i say or do things.

 

it gets so bad sometimes, i even have changed how i walk because i think people behind me are thinking im walking weird.

 

i always have the feeling that EVERYONE is watching me and paying attention to every move i make. even in situations like football games. large crowds of people everywhere all acting crazy, but i always feel all eyes are on me, and judgeing me negativly.

 

this feeling has made me be really antisocial at college. i typicaly stay in my room and dont venture out to do the fun stuff that college is all about. i really feel like im missing out on a lot.

 

do you think this is just me being extremely shy, or do you think it's deeper such as social anxiety disorder?

 

if you think it is S.A.D. then what can be done about it? what medication can i take?

 

thanks!

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i always have the feeling that EVERYONE is watching me and paying attention to every move i make. even in situations like football games. large crowds of people everywhere all acting crazy, but i always feel all eyes are on me, and judgeing me negativly.

 

I feel like that too. I've got a question for you though. Do you find yourself sizing up everyone you come in contact with?

B/c I do, so I think that's why i think other people are doing it to me all the time. I don't know, that's just something I've noticed.

 

Anyway, I have generalized anxiety disorder. I have anxiety attacks occasionally, still. I take 400 mg of welbutrin daily which really helps.

 

I say go to a medical doctor that will take the time to correctly diagnose you. Don't play doctor, and don't tell the doctor what you think they need to hear. Tell them exactly how it is and let them decide what is going on.

 

I'm a hypocondriac, and I thought i had every mental disorder somebody could have. But I finally got properly diagnosed and it was just GAD. i take meds and I can function much better now. Remember too, medicine just treats the symptoms, you don't cure anxiety disorders with medicine, you just make the symptoms manageable.

 

Good luck.

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