Could I have Anxiety?

Hi, I am 17 years old, and I get extremely nervous when getting told about doing a presentation in front of people. For example, when I was told I was going to do a short presentation in front of my class of around 15 people, I felt really really sick in my stomach and my heart was beating super fast. Of course, I managed to skip the presentation by telling my teacher that I felt like this, which was a huge relief.

Now, I was told by my brother that I could possibly have to do a presentation in front of 250 people when I am in University which will be around 2 1/2 years time. However, I am starting to get the sick feeling and my heart is starting to beat a little faster than usual (Even though I know it's 2 1/2 years away before I even do the presentation)

All of this started probably when I was around 14/15, I was in my class and the teacher asked me a question, and I got it wrong, then a kid behind me shouted to the class "Look at his face going bright red" and all the class turned and looked at me and some laughed (Including the teacher!) This has gotten so bad that even if I tell a small lie to somebody, for example: A teacher said to me "Are you chewing gum?" and I said "No." (when I was) and my face went bright red.

since then I have lost all confidence in myself and I cannot for the life of me do a presentation. Is there anyone I can speak to about this? and maybe get some sort of help?

Thanks.

4 Replies

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  • Hi Blusher,

    How nasty of that kid to take the p*** out of you like that - but that's what kids do. No wonder you feel more anxious now. However it is pretty normal to feel anxious about presentations. It's all about building confidence. It works like this - you are challenged to do something outside your comfort zone, you feel anxious and lack confidence about it because you haven't done it before or aren';t used to it and you fear failure or ridicule. You do the presentation. Afterwards, if it goes well, you feel more confident and say to yourself, 'Well, I never thought I could do it and I'm pleased with myself for giving it a shot!' If it went less well, you can say, 'Well I did my best, I did it anyway so I feel pleased I tried and next time I will work out how to improve it!'

    In the long term, avoiding doing the presentations will make you MORE nervous and anxious, not less. You will build it up in your mind. You might feel that everyone else can do it except for you (even though that isn't true) and focus on avoiding them because you feel anxious - JUST to avoid the anxiety. But it actually increases it!

    The way forward is to actually do a presentation. That isn't what you want to hear, but it's the only way. Talk to your teacher about how you are feeling and how you want to be able to do them but you lack confidence and would like some encouragement and support. Maybe ask if you could do a short one, or a task which is slightly less demanding first time. You CAN do them - even if you feel crap, even if you have bad anxiety symptoms. Feeling anxious is no reason not to. it's all about feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

    First step would be to go and see a teacher you trust, maybe a form teacher or pastoral care person or whoever - it doesn't matter. The main thing is that you are asking for help and support and no good teacher could fail to understand or have sympathy for you asking for help. Anxiety is common but you don't want it to get out of hand and you are wise enough to realise that you need help. If you like you could print out what you've posted, and any replies, and show the teacher when you talk to them. With a little support and encouragement, you can do it and I am sure that you will.

  • HI blusher. Im 48yrs old and i hate presentations, and why do i hate them, well i think its because i would like to make sure i get everything right, but hey hun no one is perfect and if you get something wrong just laugh it off, you would probably notice yourself you got it wrong but do what i did and say well no one is perfect and if anyone else can do better then go ahead. Im sure you will find that many others out there hate doing presentations. All my work colleagues knew i hated them because when i was asked to do one in front of the office i refused and said i would be more than happy to do a one to one but in front of the office and mine was simply to teach other staff members. So stop worrying hun, don't let people make you feel this way, there not worth it, ask yourself this, if someone did this presentation and you was watching would you laugh, if they got it wrong, my thoughts would be yes because we have all done this in our life, its a reaction that no one has control of, and sometimes hun its a nervous reaction because we know we could do not better and this makes us nervous but its natural hun honestly. Just remember that when doing this presentation make it something you can all laugh about, try not to be too serious about everything, make little remarks, let everyone know as important as the presentation may be to the company or collage or whomever your doing this for then its something to give them ideas its nothing that is set in stone because whatever we see or hear we do differently anyway as individuals. Make it something to laugh about and you will feel great if you get it wrong anywhere because you will laugh about it with them. Hope this all made sense hun. Im sure others would make as much a mistake as no one is perfect

  • Hey there!! Sorry to hear you're going through this. I can definitely relate to everything you have said.

    I think it's not the presentation but the fear of blushing in front of everyone during your speech, the reason I think this is because I am exactly the same. I am a very sociable person and can talk to many different personalities but only if it me and that person. When it becomes a group, dinner table, meetings and then the focus is on me I start to feel very anxious and feel the burn in my face. Yes this has caused bad anxiety for me. But as the other person has said if you avoid these situations all the time it will get worse. When you start to feel the burn in your face just let it happen and keep on with what you're doing, trust me most people don't even care and will forget about it instantly. I know it's a tough rhing to live with but don't fight it. Please do your presentation and just really focus on what you're saying on the audience, before you know it it will be over and maybe you didn't blush. Could you imagine the confidence you will have once it's all over.

    I think at the moment you just feel nervous about the presentation and blushing which is very normal, but if you keep worrying about this all the time it could turn into anxiety. You can do this!!!!! Just believe in yourself. Talk to me anytime.

  • I justed realised this was 3 years ago haha!! Anyway if you read this message I would love to know how you're getting on!?

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