• Social anxiety (and anxiety in general)
  • Social anxiety (and anxiety in general)

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  1. #1
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    Social anxiety (and anxiety in general)

    Mantis showed me this great video a little while ago, I'm sure most people can relate to it to some extent.



    We all feel anxiety at times, there are hundreds of different phobias out there, whether it's public speaking, bugs, heights, or even people. The question is, how do you keep that anxiety in check? Looking for answers, it's always the same thing; take deep breaths, count to 10, imagine yourself somewhere peaceful, you know the rest. I'd love to hear how you guys cope with anxiety, feel free to share stories about the things that trigger your anxiety as well.

    Speaking for myself, I have struggled with social anxiety from a very young age, to the point where it feels normal to me. I was always a very quiet child, so quiet that my teachers could never tell if I was getting on alright or not. Through middle school I was pretty much 'that kid who never talks', and it wasn't until I turned 13 that I understood why. I met up with my support worker the other day, I waited for her outside this pub we usually go to, and as she came up to me I suddenly found myself unable to speak. All I could do is look at her, no words would come out and she was getting visibly frustrated. I couldn't explain why, it's like my body just kind of shut itself down. How do I cope with it? Honestly, I don't. When my anxiety flared up at college, that was it, I'd leave the building and find somewhere quiet to sit, which (surprise surprise) didn't keep me there long.

    Anyway, the one thing besides medication that I have found useful, is ASMR. It doesn't take the anxiety away, but it calms it down enough to the point where I can give things another shot. I've already shared this in June's Sounds and Sleep thread, but this is one of my favorites to listen to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h4inWX8NtA

  2. #2
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    I've had issues with social anxiety of some sort since I was an preschool or kindergarten (my most vivid memory regarding it was when I was six, but I have some from prior years as well...scattered). At this point I've been diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) with Panic Attacks...But I had my first anxiety attack, thanks to social anxiety, when I was around five I think. The whole neighborhood came to my house to play with our slip and slide in the summer, and I ran crying to my mom (who was still around). Honestly not sure what made me nervous at the time. But what really caused me problems was a year later, when I'd moved to a new town...My friend (then 'best friend' in town) had a birthday party and...Well, there weren't many people there, but they were all strangers and I was freaked out enough to get sick and have a panic attack that wasn't fully accepted as a panic attack. This is the reason I was told to kill myself as a six year old by her. As you can guess, we were never friends afterward.

    For me, anxiety is mostly fixable through medicine and meditation. I like grounding meditation, where I focus on each sense individually. I've always used breathing exercises, because I learned to use them in vocal lessons as a kid as well. My common breathing pattern tends to be deeper than most people. But...Yeah, I also tend to keep antihistamines with me. (True fact: Hospitals will often tell you to take an antihistamine such as benadryl when you're having an anxiety attack as a first-line defense idea. I'm on a prescription antihistamine for it now.)
    "I don't know what words I can say
    The wind has a way to talk to me
    Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
    I pray for reply
    I'm ready"
    -Melfina's Song

  3. #3
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    I've had social anxiety for a long time, too. I used to be scared to talk to people, and I still am a bit, but my job has helped that immensely, since I have to communicate with nurses a lot on my job. It hasn't cured it by any means, but it has helped.
    The other place I get anxious is in big crowds. The noise overwhelms me pretty quickly, and the way I deal with it is simply by going to the restroom. They're usually quiet, since they have to be a certain distance from tables in restaurants, so I just walk in, and stand there in the stall for about 5 or so minutes, and it helps a LOT.
    I've also recently started taking anxiety meds that help a lot. The breathing helps, too, but I've been told breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth helps the most, and, for me, it does.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseudohippie View Post
    I've had social anxiety for a long time, too. I used to be scared to talk to people, and I still am a bit, but my job has helped that immensely, since I have to communicate with nurses a lot on my job. It hasn't cured it by any means, but it has helped.
    The other place I get anxious is in big crowds. The noise overwhelms me pretty quickly, and the way I deal with it is simply by going to the restroom. They're usually quiet, since they have to be a certain distance from tables in restaurants, so I just walk in, and stand there in the stall for about 5 or so minutes, and it helps a LOT.
    I've also recently started taking anxiety meds that help a lot. The breathing helps, too, but I've been told breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth helps the most, and, for me, it does.
    That breathing method is what they teach both in stress relief/meditation courses and in vocal control for singing. It's amazing how two fields can teach the same helpful trick!

    I totally get overwhelming noises. I have noise cancelling "ear defenders" for similar reasons (but I need them outside crowds too. Like when my grandma and dad are in the same room! ) I find public bathrooms make me uneasy though. I blame it being women's, since for some reason other girls are obnoxiously loud even using the restroom.

    Does anyone else find their social anxiety overlaps with web use? I ask because I still have social anxiety online to the point I avoid crowded websites as much as possible (forums at a certain size make me antsy) and I'm not good with group chats, often- something my work, which is oddly social, has been making me fight.
    "I don't know what words I can say
    The wind has a way to talk to me
    Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
    I pray for reply
    I'm ready"
    -Melfina's Song

  5. #5
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    That's the trick to getting over any phobia, isn't it? Tackling it head-on and confronting the things that scare you. I find the severity of my anxiety depends on how I'm feeling about myself that day, if I'm feeling good about myself then social interraction becomes a lot more bearable, otherwise I just want to shut myself away where no one can see me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juneberry View Post
    Does anyone else find their social anxiety overlaps with web use? I ask because I still have social anxiety online to the point I avoid crowded websites as much as possible (forums at a certain size make me antsy) and I'm not good with group chats, often- something my work, which is oddly social, has been making me fight.
    Definately. I reached a point where I avoided instant messaging like the plague, thankfully that has gotten a lot easier for me in recent years. Vocal conversation is fleeting, while forums, text messaging and that kind of thing never really go away, which is why I tend to avoid things like Twitter where my thoughts remain in one place free to be scrutinized by others.

    I don't know about you guys, but my anxiety has caused me to blurt out embarassing things before without really thinking, and then I find myself regretting it later on. 'Why the fuck did I say that?', even though I'm sure it didn't even raise an eyebrow to the other person. We are our own worst enemies, like they say.

  6. #6
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    We are also our own worst critics. We're basically the worst for ourselves in general. :'D

    I prefer things that I can look back on over things I have to keep memorized. Also, I hate sounds. So...I tend to avoid phone calls. Like the plague. But at the same time, sometimes I want to hear people's voices. It's a confusing thing. So, so confusing.

    That said, while I do prefer being able to look back at things so I don't get confused during a conversation...I still avoid some forums and such due to feeling rather...crowded. To be honest, I'm happy we're a slower moving community, even though I want to see it grow too. I just know the bigger it gets, the more anxiety I might have. But that's not a bad thing, necessarily!

    I can get anxious over anything anyway. I have GAD- Generalized Anxiety Disorder- with panic attacks. One time, I heard a cricket and jolted because it startled me. I LIKE crickets and stuff. It just was so loud it freaked me out (because apparently it was in the house xD). I also just get nervous leaving my house though. :/ So every doctor's appointment and such feels like it's therapy.
    "I don't know what words I can say
    The wind has a way to talk to me
    Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
    I pray for reply
    I'm ready"
    -Melfina's Song

  7. #7
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    I have a bit of anxiety from ADHD, which is MUCH better than it was when I was younger. I get scared when my parents try to talk to me if I'm in my room on my computer. I guess I concentrate so much that I forget there are other people in the world lol.
    But I don't get nervous online much at all. I'm much more open online than I am IRL, which probably is a bit odd, but I guess the fact that I'm not talking face to face makes me a bit more comfortable.


  8. #8
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    That focus issue is one I have as well. I flip out when my dad tries talking to me while I'm doing dishes. Or writing...or watching something on my own...

    Okay maybe I'm just easily startled when I'm doing things. -.-
    "I don't know what words I can say
    The wind has a way to talk to me
    Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
    I pray for reply
    I'm ready"
    -Melfina's Song

  9. #9
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    I've also had social anxiety problems when I was younger, particularly when I was in high school. I've been getting over them in recent years. I'm still not very good at public speaking though. One of my siblings has the same problem too.

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