Anxiety Support
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Social Anxiety

How many of you get anxious whenever you're in a social setting or when u have to do a sharing or presentation in a large group? ive been battling these fears for the past 20 years of my life and still can't overcome this. Whenever i'm tasked to present or share, i'll always be facing anxiety symptoms before my turn and when it reaches me, my mind will go blank and my sharing will always be short and sometimes my hands will be trembling or i might even stutter. I'm also so afraid of people judging me or thinking that they will be noticing how nervous i was and i will be feeling so ashamed and lousy the rest of the day and i wont feel like talking to people. This made me so 'Not like me' because i'm not like that when im with my close friends or loved ones. With close friends im a totally different person whereas when im facing a big group, i withdraw back into my shell and become the timid me. This has also caused me to have little friends and difficult to make friends. Sometimes i feel lonely..especially in a work setting where everybody else seems to gel except me. Any one experience this and how did you manage to overcome all this anxiety?

4 Replies

Hi there :) Hope you are well.

I relate to these experiences and symptoms so much, and I find it a great coincidence that this is the first post I came across when I logged in - I had my first presentation in years today which I felt I succeeded (I have never felt comfortable or pleased or satisfied or calm before, during or after these sort of situations, so it was a huge achievement.) It was actually a seminar with a couple other people in my group, including a video chat with others watching from other areas around the country.

I would never have achieved this without the support from my college. I attended appointments for a sort of counselling and learning support sessions, I have only been to about 4 appointments so far and it has made my anxiety symptoms so much better in presentation-style situations.

If you can find someone to help and give you learning support, or counselling, hopefully they will be able to go through steps to help you get through these extremely uncomfortable situations. The steps which I took in order to progress and lower my anxiety symptoms were not simple to think about, but when the time came these steps were very useful.

Drawing or writing down a mind-map, based on these situations, and then going into the details about how you feel before, during and after these situations. Literally writing down anything you feel or think, then discussing this with a counsellor (for example). This step will help you to accept how you feel, that there is no right or wrong way of feeling or expressing yourself.

Next you or your counsellor can advise or discuss different techniques on how to improve or overcome your specific fears, and acceptance is actually the biggest change of all. Then knowing that a situation can only be awkward if you make it awkward, you are in control of your own feelings and thoughts, no one else is. When giving a presentation for example, it is so useful to imagine almost like they are not there, you are in control and if anything horrible happened most likely people will support you and help you out. Talk slowly, know that no one is going to catch you out, even if you slur your words (i do this the whole time) take a minute to breathe and refocus, plus the audience will need small breaks between your speaking so they can take in what you are saying, because they are listening and they are interested :).

And if someone were to ask you a question you didn't understand or didn't know the answer to, a good reply is 'I don't actually know, that is an interesting thought, does anyone else have thoughts on this question?' for example. Even when studying a subject and talking about it, no human can know or understand everything, its impossible. We are not computers or robots, it is healthy to make yourself vulnerable and admit that you feel uncomfortable or that you don't understand, and then asking if anyone else has any thoughts, things like that. :)

This probably did not make any sense as I am feeling a bit brain dead after doubling my anxiety meds and giving a seminar presentation, but this is part of my personal experience with generalised anxiety disorder. The main focus is to discuss and get help/advice from a support or counselling service if you can, specify what you want out of the session, remember to take breaks and breathe - because everyone else will need it too, even if they are just listening.

Hope this helps somehow!

Love Kelly x


Absolutely. I used to give presentations in college. It was difficult, but I would practice doing it in front of a friend or family member first. That helped. I just rode with the anxiety and focused on pointing at my PowerPoint and reading it off. No memorization. Keep one hand in your pocket as you speak, it will help you feel more at ease. When you are passionate about a topic, you will be less afraid. Pretend that you own that subject. When your message is more important than fear, the fear will leave.

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I think it's also good to know that you will experience anxiety symptoms in these situations for however long it takes, and that doesn't mean you have not overcame anything, or improved or accomplished. Having an anxiety disorder, or mental illness, and being able to half-function as a human being is definitely a huge developmental process/achievement :).

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That's right! I feel so grateful to all my friends and family who have supported me over the years, and even for this community. It's amazing how we keep adapting and keep going even though we may feel terrible 1/2 of the time. The good times are so wonderful. Keep striving for your dreams and they will happen, even if the anxiety still persists.


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