Anyone have social anxiety/phobia?

Can you please tell me about it as I don't know where to turn with my problem.
1)Have you always had it o'r did something trigger it off?
2)How does it affect your life?
3)How do you feel in social situations when you talk to people etc?
4)How do you cope with it?

I hope you can help me understand, thanks.
Answers:    I suffered anxiety attacks often when I was a teenager.

These are the ways I dealt with it:

1. I got a job that required hard physical work, and gave it 500% effort.
2. Lots of exercise.
3. Healthy eating.
4. Doctors, Psychiatry (learning relaxation techniques.)
5. Medications.

There are many medications now available, that weren't when I had the problem.

6. The most painful, and the BEST way to deal with phobias, is to DO the thing your fear tells you not to do!
Example: I had an anxiety attack in a grocery store and consequently developed a severe phobia of grocery stores. I got over this by going home, going through all of my relaxation routines, and then I drove to nearly every grocery store in the city, and bought packs of gum, soft drinks, etc. This was very, very difficult, but I did it gladly, because I felt that the alternative, I was planning, if I didn't beat it, was simply too horrible.

After each store visit, my heart rate reduced, and my nervous shaking subsided. Today, whenever I walk into a grocery store and think about the past, I chuckle to myself about how such a tame, harmless environment could have been so horrifying!

Good luck!
I have social anxiety and it makes my life really hard to live. I don't like being around people, my husband and his family think i'm avoiding them all the time. They just don't understand. I can't do any group kind of activity and that's pretty much what life is, so I deal with the best i can. I don't think anything triggered it because i've been this way for as long as i can remember and i'm 38. you are not alone. but i don't understand it myself so all i can do is hope you the best in life.
i have always had a mild social anxiety problem.. it was made worse for me when i was attacked from behind during a hate crime *for me my anxiety is at all time high when there are people "hovering" behind me, since i can't see them i experience a sense of being physically threatened.. there are times its worse than others.. for example i don't enjoy bars that have people standing around me while i'm seated or having professors looking over my shoulder.. and i have to be able to visually see an exit.. i have no problem standing in front of crowds speaking (bartender) as long as there is nothing behind me, as a bar tender we'll get so packed and just as long as i'm behind the elevated bar i am social anxiety took a little work to deal with i started seeing a counslor for other things and she gave me little tricks to help cope with my anxiety such as breathing excercises and mental "games" that allow me to visualize calm serene places where i am comfortable. if you are experiencing anxiety then find places that make you calm and if you still have problems or if you find its getting worse or interferring with your life then i suggest you find help because it really helped me. good luck
I have severe panic attacks. As a person that always had her head together, I was real reluctant to believe it when the Dr's told me that everytime I rushed myself to the emergency room swearing I was having a heart attack, I just needed to relax and calm down. I even went so far as to list dr's hospitals etc, for my mother to sue when I died due to their negligence.
The first thing that you have to do is admit and accept that you have it. Denial only makes it worse. The longer you take accepting it the worse it gets and the harder it is to ever get it under control. Not to say that you cant ever control it. Just that it may take alot more time and work to do so.
My main problem with accepting it was that it was during the happiest time of my life. It was 6 months after I left my abusive husband of 3 years. Why on earth would I be having issues at that point right? Well it seems that the human brain can only block out and protect us from so much before it demands to be taken care of for all its work.
I snapped in a grocery store. Needless to say all stores are a chore for me to this day. Just simply because that is where the first occured. It becomes second nature in your mind. Panic attack while driving, you start driving, your body starts to flip out and have an attack. Most of the time just out of "fear" of it happening. Then the cycle continues. Til one day you realize that 90 percent of your attacks are brought on from "fear" of having another attack.
I have been dealing with it all for over 10 years now. Sometimes its good, sometimes it worse. Depends on who Im with, where Im going, how my life is. Meds, etc. I can go months without meds, going anywhere doing anything. Thenone day I wake up, stress has taken over my life and I need a nerve pill to go check the mail.
Distraction in settings that trigger me work to help get it under control without meds. You distract yourself, say for instance with me, I would take my half crazy cousin to the store with me. He would be throwing footballs in the aisles walking and talking like a fool. I was so distracted that by the time we left, I realized I had made it through the whole store with no pills and no attacks. I gained more confidence. So on and so forth.
Effect my life, its hard at times. When I have problems with it and want to go do things with the kids but there is no one to go with me and Im on one of my "I dont need meds" trips. My social life has taken a dive for sure. i dont go to many places, out to eat movies etc. But I make up for it with things at home and other places that Im comfortable.
I have found that the best treatment, is educating myself. i soak up every bit of psych info out there. About everything. No matter how ubsurd it may sounds. May relate to me or not. Your Dr's cant remember everything, your shrink doesnt know everything about you. You are ultimately the one that knows your body and your mind the best. Trust your instincts and read, learn, research, be your own advocate. Thats the best thing you can do in any circumstance.
Good luck and take care
I have had this problem for many years myself, and I will give you an insight into what I felt back then. Here is what I have written, hope it helps. I have written more at,
The wind blows circles in my mind, scattering thoughts of sanity into random confusion.
Around me I can see the calmness of structure, an anchor of serenity that never allows me the chance to steady my judgment . Two separate worlds existing in the same time and same place, one of smiles, and one of tension. My world, a continuous mental storm of relentless anxiety, the other, an island of peace.

Social confrontations are always fueled by extreme emotion, continually heightened by the unreasonable panic generated in my head. Just the slightest sign of acknowledgment, from those around me, can trigger every nerve in my body to twitch without consent and corner me into a state of unwarranted embarrassment. Oh to be able to retreat forever into the security of some passive oasis, far away from myself and all those around me.

Forced isolation, however, is never even close to the solution. It is only a means to an end, an attempt at protecting myself from the whole world ripping into my fragile mind. I envisage a rush of cold cleansing water flowing through my mind and removing all that threatens my stability. A magical stream of serenity that could wash away this unyielding mental torment. But until that time, I remain alone, consumed by apprehension, and plagued by inner anxiety. A compromise in life that allows me to function, but violates my freedom.

This type of self medication separates me from any close human contact I want so much to embrace. To have someone to hold, and who in turn holds me, just doesn’t seem possible. Day after day arrives for me with empty dreams, offering only a reflection of all those lonely yesterdays to give promise to tomorrow. What started out as just a nervous personality as a child, has now become an overwhelming pressure of self-consciousness

This almost debilitating anxiety seemed to feed off it’s own panic. I wanted desperately to find peace of mind, before the very fabric of my sanity snapped under the enormous weight put upon it. In an attempt to alleviate my suffering, I tried alcohol, and swallowed down glass after glass to counteract the hyperactivity going on in my brain. To my astonishment, the magic of alcohol actually relieved the tension, and for the first time in years, I began to feel normal.

It was, however, to be a short-lived recovery, as I was about to find out upon waking the following morning. Not only was the anxiety back, but because of the shock I gave it using alcohol, it returned with a vengeance. Drinking the day before had somehow antagonized my problem, leaving me worse off and violently ill. Facing anybody on that day would have been impossible. It was hard to believe that I could have done this to myself, but I felt it was worth it for just a few hours of mental calmness.

A downward spiral had now begun, as the temporary relief offered to me by alcohol was far too tempting to resist. Time after time I suffered through those, ‘morning after’ periods, where unbearable storms raged havoc inside my head, yet still I continued to drink. More and more of this double edge sword needed to be consumed in order to escape both my original problem, and now this new constriction encircling my mental ability to reason. It didn’t take long before this bad choice of medication turned into an illness of it’s own, but by that time, I just didn’t care anymore.

It would take many years of suffering, for both myself and those around me, before I was able to manage my life into a more comfortable existence. Alcohol, I was later to discover, never did give me the relief I once thought it had. Instead, it used my underlining weaknesses to gain a foothold in my mind, furthering it’s own interests while sabotaging any chance for my recovery. Accepting myself for who I was, and reaching out to others for help, was to be the key I needed in obtaining mental calmness. The world exists for us to join in it‘s humanity, a welcoming fellowship always ready to unburden us of our load. And with a heavenly Father offering to guide our way through the darkness, how can we go wrong
Steve Procto
I had a nervious breakdown that i belive triggered mine.
I had a fussy husband and 4 kids each like a yr apart.
I had a death of my brother also.
Well they put me on depression meds. I dont think i needed.
I was just going though a bad time i was'nt nuts. Those meds have seratonins if thats how you spell it. Well what if you have enough and get and over load, i think that is what happend to me, because meds made me turn into a loco crazy person.
I am not the same person before meds. I am as weak as a child, and feel very vonerable like a child sometimes spacey. I think inbetween the nervious breakdown and pannick attacks from the meds causes me to not want to be around peope cause when i had episode i wanted to be alone so i got use to being alone and forgot how to act around people.
Ie been of meds 3 yrs quit cold turkey and all symptoms are gone amagine that. After like 10 yrs or longer take ing meds everyday to fix me and switching from med to med noughting woring makeing me worse my husband made me stop takeing them cold turkey and i love him for it now everything is gone. If you think about it all the people on crazy meds have been on them and just keep switching not getting better.
So or they trying to medacate us to make us worse so they can just make money off of makeing us nuts and us be to crazy to realize it I wish i could get the ones who dont need it to wake the hell up. Some of us need it some don't

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