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Topic: I think I suffer Social Anxiety

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Jason42
    Jason42 avatar
    2 posts
    2 April 2021

    Hi all. Im very new to this so here is my background -

    Im a 34 year old male, and for about the past five years I feet that I may have social anxiety. Any social event where there will be some people I don't know going, I stress about it for weeks beforehand. I constantly check the invite list to see who I do know and who I don't, planning who I might be able to talk to and who of my friends is going so that I can go with so I don't arrive alone. If the number of people I don't know outweigh the amount of people I do know, I will just make an excuse and not go.

    I usually brush these feelings off as just being shy. However, about twice a year my extended family (aunties, uncles cousins etc.) meet up for a Christmas-eve lunch or other special occasions, which for the past five years I have stopped going to out of fear of .... I have no idea what. As our family don't see each other that much I only really know them on a surface level, and don't feel too comfortable around them.

    This weekend my dad has a retirement party with the whole family, which I have told everyone I can't go as im sick (obviously im fine). After me missing the last family event (my aunties wedding) my mum has pretty much indirectly told me that if I miss one more event that im pretty much no longer welcome to those events anymore. To me, thats all I want as I no longer have to feel worried about it weeks before hand. However, I can tell it has upset my mum as all she wants is the whole family to be together.

    I have never told anyone how I feel, or even admitted to myself that I may have a problem, but after this weekend and seeing how upset I made my mum, I decided to take the first step. I considered phoning a doctor yesterday but the thought of picking up a phone and calling someone scares the hell out of me.

    Has anyone else had similar situations like this? And what were your first steps towards healing.

    Sorry in advance if this was long-winded

  2. socialmoth
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    socialmoth avatar
    79 posts
    2 April 2021 in reply to Jason42

    Hi Jason42,

    I am so sorry to hear about what you're going through at the moment. It is fantastic that you have taken the first step to getting help and reached out on this platform.

    Social anxiety can hit hard. I too have missed families weddings because I was so scared of going, and it certainly can feel like there is no particular reason why you feel that way. When you go to events, do you find that once you're there and talking to people you feel a lot better?

    This may not be the case for you but it is the case for me. So even if I have a panic attack before going somewhere, I have gotten used to reminding myself that the build up is a lot worse than the actual thing. It takes a lot of practice, and even after a couple of years I still struggle. But finding out what works for you to get you out of that comfort zone is important, so I think you're on the right track with calling a doctor. Even if it's just a telehealth appointment that is a great step forward.

  3. Jason42
    Jason42 avatar
    2 posts
    3 April 2021 in reply to socialmoth

    Hi socialmoth

    Thanks for reaching out. It's good to hear im not alone in this, and even better to hear that you are managing through this!

    When I go to a social event I do find it a bit better once im settled and talking to people, but then comes the fear of if I have said something stupid, and my mind races trying to think of the next thing to say to people to keep the conversation flowing. And once the event is over I usually spend the next two weeks analyzing it and what I may of said wrong. So even thought Im glad that I went, I still takes a toll on me for the next few weeks which can be exhausting.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and ways that you are combating that. I think a doctors appointment will be the next step.

    It was good to finally put how im feeling into words which Ive never done before.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. socialmoth
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    socialmoth avatar
    79 posts
    4 April 2021 in reply to Jason42

    Hi Jason,

    I completely understand what you mean about the analysing. It's great that you've been able to talk about this and that you're going to head to the doc. Good luck :)

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