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Topic: social anxiety and fear of the future

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. roseisanxious
    roseisanxious avatar
    1 posts
    15 September 2021
    Hi, this is my first ever thread. I've always been a really shy kid but starting from around last year, my social anxiety has become really diffifult to deal with. I have absolutely no friends, no family friends that I'm actually close with, no school friends and no work friends because I don't have a job. (I can't even get a job because of how nervous I get). I've always had problems making friends. I can't even do simple things such as talking on the phone or ordering food without having a nervous breakdown. I also get terrible grades. I tell myself it's because of my social anxiety but in reality it's just my procrastination and laziness. This year school has mostly been in online learning, but even during online presentations, I have bad panic attacks (sweating, nausea, tingling, feelig dizzy, etc.) and most of the time I have to ask to do my presentation privately. I also feel like my teachers hate me because of my bad grades and lack of contribution in class. I can't even write emails without getting nervous. Another thing that's constantly on my mind is how I'm going to survive independantly in the future and if I'm ever going to find love. I'm scared that I won't be excepted into any university because of my bad grades, even though my parents are extremely strict about it. I also feel like lately I've become a really cynical person and that love feels completely out of reach for me. I can't tell if I'm depressed because I don't necessarily feel sad all the time, but sometimes I just feel hopeless and like I'm just floating on the planet and have no purpose. Sorry for the long paragraph, I just feel really overwhelmed with all my thoughts about school and life in general. I feel like there's still more to my thoughts that I can't explain properly.
  2. Gabs_
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Gabs_ avatar
    94 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to roseisanxious

    Hi roseisanxious,

    Welcome to the forums. I know how hard it can be to get your thoughts and feelings out, so well done.

    I wonder if COVID has maybe exacerbated this anxiety around people. It might not completely explain why you've developed social anxiety, but the good news is that there ways to overcome your social anxiety.

    To overcome it, it's really important to understand what keeps it going. Social anxiety occurs when you perceive a social threat in a situation. Our perception of social threat is how strongly we believe that a social catastrophe will occur. This perception is divided into two parts: probability (the likelihood of it happening) and cost (how bad it will be if it does happen). If you believe that it's likely to happen, then our ‘fight or flight’ response is going to be triggered.

    As a result, we get a surge of adrenaline and our breathing rate increases, our muscles tense, our heart rate increases, our attention focuses on the threat. But, in social situations, we can’t just run away, which means we can't use the stuff in our body (e.g., adrenaline, oxygen), resulting in you experiencing these bodily changes as intense anxiety.

    So we don't have to experience the anxiety, we start to do certain "safety behaviours", and in your case, it's sounds like avoidance. To stop feeling anxious, most people with social anxiety try to avoid social situations to prevent negative thoughts from coming true. Avoidance makes sense in the short term, because it provides some relief from anxiety. However, the relief is only temporary because the underlying perception of social threat is never directly tested, challenged, and modified. Therefore, the social fear remains and actually increases anxiety in more and more situations as people come to believe that they cannot cope with social situations.

    You can get help and there are a number of options:

    • Medication - you can speak to your GP about this, but this may help reduce the anxiety;
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - You can try and practice these alone, or with a psychologist.

    I'd really like you to look at the social anxiety workbook here: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Social-Anxiety 

    But please know you are not alone. There are many ppl who have been in the exact same boat (me included). I couldn't even leave my house earlier this year, which led to spiralling depression. It's not easy, but you can get through this.

    Let me know if you want to talk more.

    G x

  3. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1168 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to roseisanxious

    Hi roseisanxious,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    Sorry you are feeling this way.

    I understand anxiety can feel very overwhelming…. I had severe anxiety in a stage of my life…. I also had panic attacks……

    I seeked professional help for what I was going through. I’ve now recovered…..

    Would you consider seeing your gp and explaining to them how you are feeling ? You could do a mental health plan together this will enable you to see a psychologist who can give you strategies to help you to manage your anxiety…….

    You really can learn to manage your anxiety….

    Practice slowing down your breathing

    Meditation is also helpful you could find a guided meditation on your phone.

    Im here to chat

  4. musiclover7
    musiclover7 avatar
    5 posts
    21 September 2021 in reply to roseisanxious

    I feel for you Rose and can relate to so many of your difficulties. You are not alone in this and I want you to be kind and loving to yourself. It's great that you have been able to express your feelings and experiences so clearly.

    Please reach out for help from a Dr and ask for a psychologist so that you can gain some hope and contentment. You deserve it and there are helpful ones out there.

  5. Meliss
    Meliss avatar
    10 posts
    21 September 2021 in reply to roseisanxious
    We all have those thoughts when we are younger. You are on your own journey and shouldn't be worried although i know its hard. I have panic attacks too and have had since I was 15. You want to make your parents happy then you do what you want and that will make them happy. It's totally understandable you having these thoughts, but they can get better as you get older and grow more confident. I never liked talking in front of people at school either or doing presentations I would be visibly shaking. Your teachers aren't judging you, you are normal. I really hope I helped and wish you all the best, you're young, you have the world at your feet.

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