SRS I feel like I've progressed a lot with my social anxiety, but still have a way to go

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Kamisama, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. Kamisama

    Kamisama Guest

    I used to have really bad social anxiety disorder, that somehow peeked its head my senior year of high school. I had been outgoing and social, played year-round sports, was healthy, active, motivated. Well, senior year, I don't know what happened but I became really depressed, gained a lot of weight, became a recluse and developed really bad social anxiety, like to the point where walking to my next class felt worse than drowning in a pool of water. I would be pale, sweaty, and choking on my own breathe as I scrambled for my chair in the back of the classroom. It was pure hell, I still dream about how hellish that year was. Basically when school is that terrifying, you just don't go very often, and that killed my gpa, how I managed to even graduate is beyond me. Well I graduated, and became an absolute recluse. I would never step out the door, I just played video games and surfed the internet and watched TV. I would get yelled at my parents every day, they would hit me and call me a loser and that I need to get a job, I tried to explain my feelings[I didn't know "social anxiety order" existed and that there was help for it] to them but they said I was just being a lazy loser. I had so much ambition, I didn't want to sit around the house all day, I was too scared to go out in public. My parents basically gave me a deadline, and they would kick me out, and didn't care if I was homeless or whatever. It blows my mind that I could not even be alive right now, at that point I had pretty much planned out my suicide, was gonna go into the garage and just run my dads truck with the garage door closed to kill myself. But one night I was talking to my older brother on AIM and he invited me to move in with him, and he would help me get a job and whatever.

    Well he got me an interview at his work, failed the interview with his boss saying "no personality, too shy" and that just killed my confidence, and just ended up being a recluse at my brothers place. His friends hated me, they thought I was just a bum/leech, when infact, I was dying to get out there and work, go to college, etc. etc. Being around college kids, theres just tons of alcohol, I began drinking heavily by myself and became an alcoholic. I would just drink vodka straight from the bottle, and just sit in my room and cry, and actually walk around the neighborhood[and probably make an ass out of myself in my drunken stupor] but then I got the brilliant idea[/sarcasm] of getting drunk and then going job hunting. I noticed how I wasn't afraid of going into public when drunk. The only jobs I really got were telemarketing[but they'll hire anybody] but hey, at least I got somewhere. They usually didn't last long, and wasn't making enough to support myself. Brother removed all alcohol from the house since I was just getting drunk everyday, and I wasn't able to get more myself. My brother got me appointments with a psychiatrist, they told me I was all sorts of things, social anxiety, bi-polar, borderline, blah blah blah. Started taking SSRI, Bi-polar, and Anti-psychotic meds. Tried so many of them for period of 1-6 months each, paxil, zoloft, celexa, risperdal, depakote and while they made me a little more comfortable in public, THEY MADE ME FEEL SO TIRED/DRAINED all the time that it seemed rather pointless. I absolutely loved the vivid dreams, and jerking off to porn was actually a struggle. Psychiatrist advised therapy along with the meds, so I did. I still want to stab this therapist for all the wasted time. She didn't help me at all, she didn't seem very caring, I would always catch her eyes wandering towards the wall clock. I stopped going, and was afraid to seek any other therapist. The drugs made me feel like shit, so I stopped taking them cold turkey, boy did that week suck.

    One day, I basically sat in my room, and just went into deep thought. I had wasted so much time trying to battle this social anxiety and nothing seems to be working. I told myself, something needs to be done now, or I'm going to blink and become an old man, that didn't even get a chance to pursue his dreams, that had been owned by his anxiety all his life. Well I basically threw out all my prescription drugs, except for the klonopin and xanax. Basically, I thought of all the things that made the panic attacks so bad. Would just feel really tense, sweat like crazy, feel like I'm choking, pure panic. Well I realized that when I had fell into a panic attack, I was basically not breathing. So that's the first thing I decided to tackle, was my breathing. I would start by walking around the neighborhood, and when I would start to choke, I would just think real hard, "Okay, theres people, they look at you, in their mind, they might be criticizing you, but what does it matter? They don't mean shit to you" and would just remind myself to breath. When you are actually getting oxygen to your body, you feel a lot better. This took a while. I progressed, and kept throwing myself in public places, and if it got too bad I would find somewhere to hide and pop a couple klonopin or xanax till I relaxed. I would just keep throwing myself in public, it seemed like a stupid idea that could make my anxiety worse, but it ended up helping a bit if you just remember to breathe and concentrate really hard on relaxing. Very difficult.

    I then went job hunting again. I really, REALLY wanted a job where I could possibly work overnight in some warehouse where I wouldn't get much social interaction, but then I'd just have a job where I could be a recluse anyway, that's not what I wanted. So I decided to pursue a job where I would have to deal with the general public a lot, and ended up becoming a delivery driver for a pizza joint. I was so glad, the manager didn't interview me or anything, he just hired me, the other day I asked him why he hired me without an interview or background check a year and a half ago, and he said "You just seemed like a cool guy" :mamoru: we're pretty good friends nowadays. Well the job was really tough because you basically have to interact with strangers all day. But I just kept practicing my breathing and relaxation techniques, and other ways to improve my social skills. About 3 weeks into the job I ran out of klonopin/xanax, so the job was even worse than the first 3 weeks. I had nothing to turn too if the anxiety became too overwhelming, and for a month or two the job really sucked. I tried to keep on going with the breathing/relaxation techniques, sometimes they helped, sometimes they didn't. I even thought about quitting, every single day, but I knew what that would lead too, I'd just become a recluse again. I kept at it, it was tough as hell, but I think I've improved a lot.

    A couple months ago, I got my own apartment, I pay all my own bills, I can go out comfortably and go grocery shopping, go to malls, without panic attacks, all by myself. I have a good group of friends that I hang out with now. It's definitely on the upward swing. My parents are happy for me, we talked and my dad did research on the web about social anxiety and him and my mom apologized for all the hard times during my senior year and after I graduated, they said they had no clue I felt like that. They said if I complete a semester of college and get a 3.0 gpa or above they'll give me financial support to finish school.

    I want to work on getting in shape again. I've lost about 10 lbs over the past 4 months, slow loss, but a loss nonetheless. I basically just quit drinking soda and really really limit myself on fast food. Hopefully soon, start dating or something :dunno: I have trouble making moves on women. My friends girlfriend tells me her friend that I've hung out with a couple times is wild for me. Talks about me when they hang out, makes "I want to marry him" jokes, but even with this knowledge I still feel too pussy to make any moves, ask her on a date or whatever. I just don't know what's stopping me, I get that 'on the brink of a panic attack' feeling just thinking about attempting it.

    I still get kind of anxious in public. It's tolerable for the most part, but at times I still feel uncomfortable, but I never go into full-fledged panic attacks anymore. I have been thinking about giving meds/therapy another shot, because I want to attend school but I'm scared of the school setting triggering my panic attacks again. I read good experiences on here, but I still feel reluctant about the meds. If they make me feel tired and drained all the time, then the only thing to counteract that would be stimulants like caffeine and such, but stimulants will just give me more anxiety, It's like a no win situation. I basically want to jump on meds/therapy soon, as my free healthcare will end in about 7 months. Still not sure if it's the right decision or not.

    I apologize for any typos/poor grammar, I'm pretty tired. And I just realized how long this post is, so I apologize for that too :coolugh:

    Suggestions? Advice? Thoughts?
  2. hostcord

    hostcord New Member

    Jun 20, 2005
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    Stop thinking so much and worrying...listen...see...let go of what you think is going wrong.
  3. killer4605

    killer4605 New Member

    Mar 12, 2006
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    Concise drug advice from a 1st year pharmacy student at UGA:

    Try 50mg Zoloft once a day. Take it at night so you don't have the tired feeling. The pill lasts 24 hours so you can take it at night instead of the mornings.

    If the zoloft STILL makes you tired, but takes care of social anxiety, you can try to get a prescription for a small dose of adderall (10mg once per morning).

    Effexor XR is also very promising and shouldn't make you drowsy like Zoloft.

    Besides that, you need to just come out of your shell. You've got a girl lined up that wants you... you have to do no work except let her know you are interested. Take the initiative and hang out with her more. Drop a line around a mutual friend about the girl being cute (the one that likes you) if asked what your opinion is.
  4. Electric_Church

    Electric_Church New Member

    Nov 7, 2002
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    :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown: great fucking story man

    Best of luck :bigthumb:
  5. Spiritus

    Spiritus Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2002
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    Bullet form:

    - No coffee.

    - I currently take 3mg of clonazapam (klono)

    - I currently take 20mg Paxil, 60mg Strattera. It is more or less cosmetic pharmacology at this point... well the straterra is nessesary but it is potentiated by the Paxil. I am never down, I can really only go up.

    - Go to the gym every second day. No exceptions. Start with 45 minutes, then an hour, then up to 2 hours. I started at 2 hours flat. This builds condifence. Don't ask questions, just fucking do it and see what I mean. Oh yeah, the whole SAD thing, fuck what people think. Just go and you will realise no one gives a shit about your existance unless you are hot.

    - Forget this whole self esteem bullshit. Low self esteem, high self esteem. Both keep you in chains man. It's a rollercoaster you don't wanna be on. Just get off. Realise that "I am that I am".

    - Live in the moment. Exist in your body, in the here and now. Your past and future are mere subjective illusions. Becoming identified with the negativity of your past will cause you to become disillusioned in the moment. Looking into the future is also subjective. It is said whenever a man makes a plan, God laughs. The only thing you can control (which is objective) is the current moment. Right now. And now. And now.

    - Learn body language.

    - Learn that you as a being percieve things through three brains (intellectual, emotional, and motor\instinctive\sexual) and through 5 senses, and through the filter of your mind you get this so called personality. There are a million little voices in your head inspired by past Impressions, and you need to learn that they are always against you. How often do you hear one of them say "go you, you can do it" \waterboy.

    - Do not drink.

    - Do not do drugs.

    - Take good supplements (omega 3 and 6).

    Work on constant self improvement. Constant self discovery. Always discriminate yourself, but not about what you can't do, but about what you shouldn't or SHOULD do.

    It is a moment by moment, progressive work. As soon as you start thinking of what has happened or what may happen, you lose yourself, you do not become in the moment where action can happen.

    I will link you to a site that will help you with a philosophy. You may or may not be religious, and I am not linking you to the site to encourage any of that. But the philosophy of the egos is something that should be learnt either way. By all means ignore anything you do not agree with, but there is good food here. (courses, meditation, dream yoga). This basically is trying to teach you how to avoid pychological aggregates, which is a main problem in SAD, GAD, depression, any mental illness.

    Best of luck to you.


  6. AzN Dynomite

    AzN Dynomite New Member

    Jul 27, 2006
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    That's awesome! I can relate to that story, because I suffer from terrible panic attacks caused by social anxiety. It's great that your doing better now, and reading your post has given me a lot of hope. Thanks!
  7. preston

    preston OT Supporter

    Jun 8, 2006
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    south florida
    why do you suggest no coffee curiously?
  8. Sotangledup

    Sotangledup Guest

    It's supposed to give you more anxiety. I think it depends on the time/person.

    I have social anxiety(extreme shyness) and for me a good cup of coffee helps me to give the boost to take some of the edge off.
  9. Lucky Penny

    Lucky Penny Mr. cut me some slack cause I don't wanna go back,

    Apr 24, 2005
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    at your mom's house. be back later.
    Hey hey! Congrads to you man! Any progress is good progress! My SO has pretty bad social anxiety- I've seen how hard it can get. You're doing a GREAT job!! :wavey:
  10. Jadix

    Jadix The Nice Guy

    Jan 19, 2006
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    Do not fucking take those meds man. Anti-depressants are not a solution, they're a workaround. As soon as you're off them, you're back where you started.
    alright andrew, you had good advice except for these bits here. I agree, no drugs is the best way...but then you recommend praxil, krono, and strattera??? those are drugs. I honestly believe that there are no drugs that can SOLVE anti-social behavior. They only MASK them or TEMPORARILY work around the real issue.

    Stay off the meds dude. Find yourself, and thats all you need.

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