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Topic: Almost 30 with social anxiety

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. sam0259
    sam0259 avatar
    1 posts
    15 June 2020

    Hi, I'm a 29 year old male, and this is the first real thing I've ever done regarding my anxiety.

    Ever since I can remember I've suffered crippling social anxiety in most public environments. I avoid group situations and social interactions with people I don't know well, especially authority at work, females and confident looking people etc. I use my phone to avoid eye contact, I avoid the management office, I avoid phone calls, I've avoided invitations to the point of losing contact with potential or old friends. And when I'm feeling really worked up, I literally can't even get the words I'm trying to say out of my mouth, feeding the anxiety even further!

    But I'm not a total hermit. I do things like cycling with one or two mates at a time, solo travel, and I've done a lot of raving and partying, but over time I've realised that other than genuinely loving the music, this is kind of a coping mechanism as the alcohol, substances and loud music kind of mask the awkwardness and provide an escape for a few hours while getting my social fix. Albeit a shallow one.

    When I was younger I thought that it'd just go away over time as I became an adult. And it looked like it was going that way as once I moved out of home at 18, as I gained friends, experiences and attention I never thought I was worthy of during high school. But those were the easy-go-lucky days before true "adulting," and now I feel like I'm back at square one - 30 soon and still dealing with this debilitating problem that holds me back in most areas of my life. I can deal with daily tasks like work, shopping and exercise far better than when I was in my teens, but still usually with some level of anxiety most of the time.

    So, my questions are, are there any people with similar experiences who can share what has worked for you? and what are the best steps to take regarding help?

    I've never gone to a counsellor and I have no idea what kind of money I should expect to spend or even where to go. So any tips would be greatly appreciated, because I am so so sick of this!!

  2. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    4424 posts
    15 June 2020 in reply to sam0259

    Hi sam0259 and welcome.

    perhaps today is the start of a new journey for you - that was how I felt when I was referred to a psychologist for my own issues (not social anxiety - sorry). I refer to it as journey as I felt my thoughts were validated and I was not making up these thoughts and feelings I had. From what you said, some links to look at are:

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/social-phobia
    https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/treatments-social-anxiety-disorder

    but neither am I a professional so perhaps talking to your GP could give you have guidance for what steps you could take.

    With that said, there are a few options you can consider - everything from DIY to support groups, to talking to a professional. There are various apps like headspace you could look at, reading books, and the forums here. If you did a google search for

    social anxiety beyond blue

    you will find other stories and what they did, and the replies they received. Also note there are other pages on beyond blue web site that are useful.

    The one thing you would get from a professional (or more than likely) is they would give you homework or challenges to do between sessions to help you overcome whatever anxieties you have.

    Costs depend on the service uses - anything from bulk billing to $$$.

    A lot of information here and perhaps start with looking at others stories, post back here, and work out the next step of your journey. Of course, you might work that out from the other stories, or chatting with your GP.

    Peace to you,

    Tim


    2 people found this helpful
  3. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    1899 posts
    16 June 2020

    hey there

    you are awesome

    Asking for help is such a huge step, and you deserve to celebrate yourself for taking that step. It's not easy. and you did it.

    I hope you find some support here, you deserve it

  4. bluenight
    bluenight avatar
    62 posts
    27 June 2020 in reply to sam0259

    Hey there

    i can relate, had social anxiety for years and years now. What you described at work, can totally relate, I use my phone but I also go red, sweat, lose my mind and that tends to keep people at bay, saving me from having to interact.

    My anxiety is at it’s worse in a work environment (unless i have a few close friends working with me) ( i dont have any friends) and in a learning environment (uni), social gatherings and even if i attend place of worship I feel self conscious.

    why would any one take advice on anxiety from me?

    what has helped me though is self care- eating well, sleep, exercise, praying.

    being kind and caring for others is a powerful antidote for anxiety and self consciousness!!

    when I quit caffeine I feel best

    sunshine and spending time in nature, may sound cliche but ive always loved nature and stuff like that.
    hope some of this helps

  5. Purple Horse
    Purple Horse avatar
    4 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to sam0259

    Hi sam0259,

    I can’t say I have any advice to offer, only that I feel exactly the same way. I am 29 too and I thought as I got older I just wouldn’t care anymore. However, if anything, I feel my social anxiety has gotten worse over time.

    I get far too nervous, to the point where I either stammer and stutter at people or my mind just doesn’t react quickly enough to hold a conversation. It’s pretty frustrating, when you know you can talk easily to someone close to you, but suddenly this invisible barrier goes up when it’s in a public/social setting.

    I did try to push myself into attending social events I was invited to at one point, but most of the time I just felt uncomfortable and lonely and wanted to leave. I stopped going to things (I don’t get invited to much now anyway.)

    I just wanted to reach out on here as I feel I’m in a similar situation and it’s nice to be able to speak freely through written word!

    PH :)

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