Social Anxiety Disorder

Hello everyone,

I'm Alice and I'm new to Anxiety UK.

I have my first problem with my anxiety since I was 13 years old. It all started with a random panic attack in a cinema. I cannot really remember what happened, but I remember feeling very scared and helpless. My mum and dad thought it was a one off and thought I was worried because I was eating sweets at the time, and I think I panicked that I was choking. Like I said, I cant really remember it, but I DO remember the feeling.

So, that was a one off and I carried on as normal. Maybe because I was younger, I was able to shake off the "anxiety" feeling. I had no worries and had a good group of friends through school and remained quite popular until I left.

However, maybe this memory has always been in the back of my mind since I was 13. About two years ago my panic attacks re appeared. I am now 21 years old. I was 19 when I had my first full blown panic attack since I was young. My partner and I were in a theatre seeing "phantom of the opera" in London. We were in the second row and right in the middle. All I remember is taking my coat off and I accidently knocked the persons chair who was in front of me. They tutted and looked at me like I was an idiot. So throughout the show, I started to panic. Thinking that I couldn't move or fidget without someone getting annoyed next to me or in front.This caused me to have a huge panic attack. I remember not being able to think, it wasn't me. My mind took control over my body, I had pins and needles and felt like I needed to get out. So I did. My partner who was shocked followed me and tried to calm me down. I made an excuse and said I felt poorly as I dint want to admit to how I had been feeling, maybe because I felt ashamed.

This then developed into me having to sit on the end of a row in any show we went too, the cinema, even on transport. This was because I knew I had an easy exit and wouldn't embarrass myself if I started feeling anxious and had to get out.

Over the two years, I felt hopeless. This is when the whole "social anxiety" came. I used to be such a confident,bubbly and sociable person. I did drama throughout school and always got successful jobs. I can now not speak to people/friends/people in authority without blushing severely. This has caused me to not want to communicate with people. I cant even talk on the phone without thinking "What am I going to say?" and "There going to think Im such an idiot if I open my mouth to speak" I am feeling lethargic ALL the time and dont want to get out of bed in the morning. I have even stopped doing things that I enjoy, like shopping for example or going out with my friends. When I do go out, I keep myself to myself and wont talk unless Im asking a question to other people. I feel so anxious and my palms start sweating and I get tingles all over my body.

Its ruining my life. I havent been to see a GP, as its a big fear of mine. Obviously with this condition, I dont like being the centre of attention and cannot imagine how I would behave if I had to let all these feelings out to someone I dont know, face to face. I get anxious just thinking about it. I know I need help, and I know I will feel so much better once Im put through some therapy or get given some medication to help.

My parents still dont know, they have noticed a difference in me but they dont know how Im suffering. I know if I told them they would probably just say "Pull yourself together" I dont want them to worry about me so I put on an act.

I just need help and support. Has anyone got any tips of how to tell your GP? Or how to overcome this to even attend an appointment?

Forgive me for the long message, this is the first time I have let out all my feelings.

If anyone has any questions or ideas, please do comment.

Thankyou for reading.

Alice

x

4 Replies

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  • Hi Alice

    No need for us to forgive you for your blog , you have done a brilliant job of putting your anxiety into words & the more you can put , like you have , helps everyone to understand exactly where you are coming from

    As I read your blog , i thought , not just me then as i suffer from anxiety & can pin point when in childhood it started , even though like you say , maybe we pushed it to one side

    I think for me thats what I did , but then something happens & brings that fear back later on in life with revengance

    I can totally understand as you have had your confidence knocked , how you feel you would stuggle going to your GP , but ...that is the one place you would be able to start getting help

    Lots of us have this problem & what we do is write it down & just pass it to the GP , i would print what you have written here & take that as you have explained so well , they are used to people doing this , they will read it & take it from there

    You are young with your whole life ahead of you & look like a bubbly friendly person , with lots to offer in this world & with the right help that will happen

    Social anxiety can be cured , be reassured & the quicker you get help the better ,wish I had gone at your age

    I no you say you feel your parents wont understand or maybe say "pull yourself together " which is no use when you are feeling as you do , but again how your blog comes across as a mother myself , if my daughter passed me a copy of that , I would have my arms around her , saying you have all my support , do you feel you could let them see on paper how you feel ?

    The more support with all this helps , again maybe the fear that you feel makes you feel you will get a negative responce , but I would try it , you have nothing to loose , but maybe you might gain

    I really would take a copy of this & make an appointment with your GP

    We are all here & will support you every step of the way , so you wont feel alone & we understand how you feel

    Post as much as you want , what ever you want , no one judges or tuts on this site

    Let us no how you go on

    whywhy xxx

  • Hey Alice, first of all, we are friends on here who understands what ur going through, being afraid of telling your parents is normal and building up to telling someone how u feel is a lot worse than actually telling them, take that first step and go from there, there is help available out there so good luck sweetie, ur not alone x

  • Hi Alice

    Hope you’re doing ok.

    Your post really struck a chord with me. I have had a similar experience and used to be quite confident and outgoing. I have suffered with low mood, & social anxiety for a while. I’m now just trying to keep busy I’m going on a Wellbeing course this week and have just started counselling and trying to be social as possible, I find that yoga really helps and swimming. I’m also trying to get back working again in a volunteer position. Hope you can get some help and support soon. Keep in touch.

    xx

  • Hello everyone

    Firstly, sorry so much for my late reply! I haven't been on in a while.

    Thankyou for all your kind words and support- I have found all your comments really helpful.

    Just to let you know, I am booked into the GP monday 28th January. Im very nervous and anxious as its a GP who I have never met before. Has anyone got any tips to even how to start the conversation? Im really worried and feel like I am going to cancel. How do I let him know how im actually feeling? I am really unsure of how to let everything out? I cant just say "I have social anxiety disorder" Even though I know I have, it has never been diagnosed.

    Thanks again for the support, I really appreciate it. I still havent told my parents, I think once I've seen the GP I will have too. I get so angry at myself for feeling like this, and wish I could just snap out of it.

    Hope you are all well.

    Love Alice xxxx

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