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Social Anxiety Disorder (social phobia) is the third largest mental health care problem in the world.

Latest government epidemiological data show social phobia affects over 7% of the population at any given time. The lifetime prevalence rate (i.e., the chances of developing social anxiety disorder at any time during the lifespan) stands at above 13%.

Definition: Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated by other people. If a person usually becomes anxious in social situations, but seems fine when they are alone, then "social anxiety" may be the problem.

Perceptions: People with social anxiety are many times seen by others as being shy, quiet, backward, withdrawn, inhibited, unfriendly, nervous, aloof, and disinterested. People with social anxiety want to be "normal" socially, they want to make friends and they want to be involved and engaged in social interactions.

Having social anxiety prevents people from being able to do the things they want, however.

Triggering Symptoms: People with social anxiety usually experience significant distress in the following situations:

Being introduced to other people

Being teased or criticized

Being the center of attention

Social situations where the person exhibits excessive self-consciousness

Being watched or observed while doing something

Having to say something in a formal, public situation

Meeting people in authority ("important people/authority figures")

Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations ("I don't know what to say.")

Embarrassing easily (e.g., blushing)

Meeting other peoples' eyes

Swallowing, writing, talking, making phone calls if in public

This list is not a complete list of symptoms -- other symptoms may be associated with social anxiety as well.

Emotional Symptoms: The feelings that accompany social anxiety include anxiety, intense fear, nervousness, automatic negative thinking cycles, racing heart, blushing, excessive sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling, and muscle twitches.

Constant, intense anxiety is the most common feature.

Insight: People with social anxiety know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make logical sense. Nevertheless, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and show no signs of going away, without appropriate treatment.

http://socialanxiety.factsforhealth.org/index.html

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"automatic negative thinking cycles"

i get this sometimes, like when im gonna go out and im all ready and then i start to think of the things that might go wrong and it all builds up till i just think "fk it ill stay in".

only happens occasionally though, definately improved on how i used to be a few years back.

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Social Anxiety Disorder (social phobia) is the third largest mental health care problem in the world.

Latest government epidemiological data show social phobia affects over 7% of the population at any given time. The lifetime prevalence rate (i.e., the chances of developing social anxiety disorder at any time during the lifespan) stands at above 13%.

Definition: Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated by other people. If a person usually becomes anxious in social situations, but seems fine when they are alone, then "social anxiety" may be the problem.

Perceptions: People with social anxiety are many times seen by others as being shy, quiet, backward, withdrawn, inhibited, unfriendly, nervous, aloof, and disinterested. People with social anxiety want to be "normal" socially, they want to make friends and they want to be involved and engaged in social interactions.

Having social anxiety prevents people from being able to do the things they want, however.

Triggering Symptoms: People with social anxiety usually experience significant distress in the following situations:

Being introduced to other people

Being teased or criticized

Being the center of attention

Social situations where the person exhibits excessive self-consciousness

Being watched or observed while doing something

Having to say something in a formal, public situation

Meeting people in authority ("important people/authority figures")

Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations ("I don't know what to say.")

Embarrassing easily (e.g., blushing)

Meeting other peoples' eyes

Swallowing, writing, talking, making phone calls if in public

This list is not a complete list of symptoms -- other symptoms may be associated with social anxiety as well.

Emotional Symptoms: The feelings that accompany social anxiety include anxiety, intense fear, nervousness, automatic negative thinking cycles, racing heart, blushing, excessive sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling, and muscle twitches.

Constant, intense anxiety is the most common feature.

Insight: People with social anxiety know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make logical sense. Nevertheless, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and show no signs of going away, without appropriate treatment.

http://socialanxiety.factsforhealth.org/index.html

I've finally found out what's wrong with me. Now what...

Yes, I have been diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder. It's not anything I did, but related to the chemicals in the brain. I've had it for over ten years, and have been off and on meds to control it. See a psychiatrist (your family doctor can refer you) and they will determine whether or not you have it. They may put you on meds if you have it, to control it. I'm on a low dose of medicine right now, and do feel much better.

Hopefully you can get things worked out. I know how you feel, and I know how hard it is. If you need further information about it, you can PM me.

-Sarah

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My hubby's brother was diagnosed with that. Medication helped some - but getting older helped him the most, I think.

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Self-diagnosis is a tricky thing - mostly because it's hard to know what to do with it once you've diagnosed yourself. :) But SAD can be a very debiliating thing - if you think you might be afflicted with it, see a therapist and talk it out.

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Guest No Pride

i've developed this over the past 1-2 years. I pretty much have every symptom on your list.

Yeah same here. Ive worked on it but I cant help but feeling im a lesser human being because of my problems when im around others. Confidence and self-deprication help a bit, so do anti-anxiety drugs.

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That's not a bad attitude, NY. To take the diagnosis and work on beating it. Too many people use a diagnosis as an excuse. "I'm shy, I have SAD, I'm miserable, I can't help it."

I've been, at different times in my life, diagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Depression, Self-Displacement Disorder, Situational Bi-Polar - all of these were labels to help me figure out the problem.

Then came working on solving them. The diagnosis was wildly helpful in figuring out where the problem was, and I'm still working on the BPD. But it can - either through medicine or therapy or a combonation - be worked through. It doesn't mean a death sentance.

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I do have social anxiety disorder.. My therapist says I have it too.. so it's not only my view..

It's horrible. But my parents had something similar.. and they kind of grew out of it..

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Medication helped some - but getting older helped him the most, I think.

Getting older definitely helps. I realize now that I had a fairly severe case of SAD when I was in my teens and 20s ... of course, I just thought I was shy, but I see now that it went well beyond that.

Anyway, I'm mostly over it now. I got a job when I was in my late 20s that forced me to get out there and interact with a lot of clients, and it raised my confidence level amazingly ... I also started dating a lot then, and that helped too. ;)

But I still have moments of social terror, and can find myself tonguetied at the most awkward times! And I HATE being in a roomful of strangers or near-strangers ... I'm not a good icebreaker at all. Luckily my husband is extremely social and confident, and he can make up for my shortcomings.

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Medication helped some - but getting older helped him the most, I think.

Getting older definitely helps. I realize now that I had a fairly severe case of SAD when I was in my teens and 20s ... of course, I just thought I was shy, but I see now that it went well beyond that.

Anyway, I'm mostly over it now. I got a job when I was in my late 20s that forced me to get out there and interact with a lot of clients, and it raised my confidence level amazingly ... I also started dating a lot then, and that helped too. ;)

But I still have moments of social terror, and can find myself tonguetied at the most awkward times! And I HATE being in a roomful of strangers or near-strangers ... I'm not a good icebreaker at all. Luckily my husband is extremely social and confident, and he can make up for my shortcomings.

I wish getting older helped for me..it seemed to have triggered it though. I started therapy at age seven..but I can't seem to remember how severe it was when I was younger. I think I repressed it. Medication is the only thing that can keep me somewhat content, otherwise I am too anxious to do the things I like to do that would help MORE. So I take the meds, then I get out and do things and that's what really helped me. The meds helped me to get out of my box, then once I was out, things got better.

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I was diagnosed with this before and had a book about it as well.

Diagnoally-Parked in a Parallel Universe. ISBN: 0-9671265-0-9

Painfully Shy: ISBN 0-312-26628-6

The books only help if you're dedicated to them because some of them have questions and lessons logged in for you to complete. For me, it just wasn't enough and Klonnopin didn't help. Although, Wellbutrin helped. It only damaged my libido more than it actually help the SA. So, how I'm dealing with it now is just going day to day with it.

Selective mutism has been my only practice.

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Guest No Pride

im not gonna take any anxiety or mood drugs. im going to try and beat it myself.I dont want to be on anymore medication with side effects.

Whatever you are on its you beating it yourself anyways. Whatever floats your boat man, some people dont have it as easy and its their last resort.

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I have it, I started counseling but it didn't really help. I was put on prozac and I hated it. It probably would've helped if I stayed on it longer, but it made me sleep all during the day and I got these weird twitches. I would constantly have to move my legs, it was weird.

Now I'm on another anti-depressant, not for the anxiety, but because I get cluster headaches. They're terrible, beyond words, so I have to stick with this one. It really is helping me. I'm less stressed and I actually sleep at night. I'm still crazy anxiety stricken during the day though.

Here's all the weird stuff I do. Well I moved from my hometown and when I go back, to visit my mom, I don't go to any stores or any public places, unless she's with me and I almost know I won't see anyone. I have this big fear of seeing anyone I know, or used to know. Where I live now, I still have to go one town over to do anything. I still think I can possibly run into someone here. Even places that I know that there is almost no chance anybody I have ever known, I'm still uncomfortable. I have this fear that I'm being watched. I don't like looking at faces. I have a fear of small talk with even a stranger. I usually drive around in circles until I find a place I can stand to be in. I don't like people my age, so I don't goto the mall for anything. Most of the time I drive around for hours and never get out of my car. I just end up back home. Because of this I can't keep a job and I'm doing everything I can to get back into school. It's probably the most uncomfortable place I can be in, college. I have one friend haha, that lives a few hours away. She's the only person I talk to when I do. I see her like every six months. It's so sad, I just kind of got used to living like this. I'm 22 by the way. I hope I can overcome all of it. I'm getting better, but I wish counseling was more helpful. All my doc wanted to do was hyptonize me, I'm not kidding. It didn't work either.

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Guest tvirus_outbreak

I think I may have it. I always sweat excessively when I'm in a social situation and sometimes I experience uncontrollable trembling and muscle twitches. I always get nervous around people and sometimes I can feel my heart racing...

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I take medication for anxiety but it really doesn't help lately. I'm in a huge funk, feeling antisocial and have major issues in social settings with more than like, maybe 3 people. Which is making my job hunt difficult. I'm convinced "THEY" (this means the WORLD OUT THERE!) are all staring at me wherever I am trying to apply or during interviews, I'm overcome with racing heartbeat, very hot face and ears! That part's weird. But in all I do or might go or anywhere I think of going, I convince myself people will be stopping to stare b/c I'm so ugly and scarred up... so mostly I don't do social scenes of any variety. HAHA that's funny so I do see the absurdity in it all.

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Guest Grow_To_Overthrow

I'm getting treatment from a Psychotherapist to help with my anxiety and depression.

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i have it.

i actually did a lot of self-medicating with alcohol for a few years. plus some xanax abuse. the xanax just made everything so much easier to face. it also made me like a zombie.

however.

a good antidepressant can help. lexapro has made a world of difference in me.

(i'm also on lamictal though. bipolar II).

counseling has helped some....really its helped me more with depression though.

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IM SAD

But im not going to use that as a excuse.. Drugs are bad

Not all drugs are bad. If there's an imbalance in your brain that triggers extreme anxiety or depression, certain drugs help to even it out. It's easy to say "well, I can just help myself and get over it and blah blah blah", but if it's brain related, you can't balance the levels in your brain by your own control. I agree to the fact that if you are just sad and have depressed days, then you can do something to help yourself. But if it's more than that (a LOT more) then meds and therapy can help a lot.

I also take lexipro, does wonders for me as well.

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