Hello there, I'm new and I came here to ask for advice and similar experiences. I am 22 and I have had anxiety basically my whole life. My anxiety has had several different causes over the time. It started with hypochondria, then it moved on to test anxiety, then to anxiety from not being happy with my weight and looks.
In the past two years I have noticed something new, though, and I fear that I might be ( or might have already ) develop social anxiety. I would like to specify that 3 years ago I have experienced a bad breakup, and I lost all my friends . Now I'm left with no friends at all.
I spent the past two years almost without socializing, I only do chat with my boyfriend or my family, or people that I have known for a long time.
Recently I have pushed myself toward socializing more and I find that I am at ease talking with people that I consider "less attractive" or "less smart" ( sounds rude, but that's the truth) than me. Those are the only conversations in which I feel confident, but sometimes I find myself avoiding those too.
When I meet other people I start stuttering, I start performing my usual nervous actions ( ie pulling hair off my eyebrows ( not really tricotrillomania but almost) or scratching my nose). After I end the conversation I immediately replay it, but not only in my mind, literally whisper the whole dialogue !
Another thing that happens during those conversation is that I am not able to look at the person in the eyes, I just have to look away, resulting in a weird behavior from the point of view of who is talking to me. In addition I can't focus on the other person's words and I end up thinking about my appearance, what bad thing about me could he/she notice...
Sometimes I do even get sharp pain in my belly , which is extremely annoying, or my hand starts shaking and contracting muscles on its own!
Obviously all of this is resulting in me staying most time at home and not willing to socialize!
Is there anybody else who has the same symptoms as me? Any suggestion on how to overcome this?