What it's Like to Live With a Social Anxiety Disorder

I woke up this morning feeling a little sick..

You might think that would be a particularly bad morning for me, but it really isn't. It's pretty much an average morning for me. Overall feeling a little sick is a normal state for me. I've gotten used to it. I don't usually eat anything in the morning. It's mostly, because I have no appetite and eating usually makes me feel worse. I'll only eat if I know I won't have time to eat lunch and I need to have some sustenance.

Appetite overall is a big problem for me. I don't feel comfortable eating in public and lose my appetite. I can't fully enjoy eating in good restaurants. I usually just want it to be over with. Worst are long trips in a group, when I don't have any appetite for the entire trip. Eating just becomes a chore I need to do to not ..pass out of exhaustion or something.

What it's Like to Live With a Social Anxiety Disorder

Now, before I continue I guess it would good to talk about,

What is anxiety?

Most of you have experienced it and experience it in a regular basis, but to explain anxiety disorder, I'll have to explain anxiety. As a physical feeling anxiety is easy to explain as the feeling you get in your gut when you lean in your seat a little too far and feel like you're going down now. It's from the extreme of the spectrum, but that's the feeling.

What if it didn't go away?

That's anxiety disorder. It's constant, always there. There's of course also the mental aspect, but physical symptoms are usually easier to understand. It's stress, it's the feeling of someone looking at you, it's the feeling of having no time, it's the feeling of unease, feeling of too much worry, being self-conscious of everything, constant self-doubt, irrational fears...

What it's Like to Live With a Social Anxiety Disorder

What does having a social life feel like then?

Anything and everything that happen in my social life, take over my mind and my life. If there is an event or any social gathering coming up, I'll start stressing about it minimum day before, but bigger and more unknown the event is the longer before the stress starts. It affects my appetite, sleep and my ability to concentrate and gives me muscle tension and indigestion problems. Before starting to take sleeping pills, I didn't have a sleeping schedule and quite often just couldn't sleep.

The closer the event is, the more it takes over my life to the point where a little bit before it I can't do anything else, but wait for it to start. I'll think I won't have time to eat before the event even if it's hours away. Most often I leave early just so I don't have to wait in my apartment anymore.

Once I get to the event/gathering it gets a little easier, mostly because used to being social, but the feeling in my gut doesn't go anywhere. I stress about everything I do and say and what people think about it. I feels like big brother is constantly watching me. Anything that is too far from my comfort zone makes me freeze and I've come close to having panic attacks. It doesn't mean I'm not enjoying myself, but I'm never truly comfortable.

What it's Like to Live With a Social Anxiety Disorder

Anything social is exhausting for me and it doesn't take long for me to want to go back to my apartment and be alone again. No matter, if it's old friends or even family, it sucks the energy out of me. The amount of social life have is completely dependent on the motivation and energy I have to stand the symptoms.

It's impossible to rationalize

No matter how hard I try. I know what I'm feeling and thinking are completely irrational, but I can't get rid of it and it still dictates my life. I've been battling these feelings for well over a decade and it's getting tiring. I know this is possible to cure and now I'm finally trying, but it's hard to imagine. These feelings are all I know.

What it's Like to Live With a Social Anxiety DisorderHave a good day..


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I've had serious anxiety too. I think a lot of people don't understand the extent of it if they haven't experienced it themselves.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • you should've gone a bit further. like when you're talking about how when you get anxious, you want to go back to your apartment and be alone. you should've expanded on the paradox how, when you do go back to your apartment and alone, you feel anxious about how you get the feeling your friends don't really like you. that's the feeling i get, at least. there are many other things, but that's my 2¢

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    • I don't actually get that feeling. My paradox is that I don't want to leave any event or gathering before everyone else leaves so I won't miss anything, while wanting to leave so I can be alone again... Ended up drinking in the last after party past 6 am more times than I can count.

    • Really? That’s interesting. I also don’t wake up sick. I did in junior school, though. It’s crazy how sad affects people differently

    • True, I guess that's what makes this so hard to explain. It's a bit different for everybody.

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What Girls Said 7

  • Good article. All true. I was yesterday walking with my dog deciding I am going to like that not normal feeling and I will never go again missing that normal feeling. The reason is that I distrust the good normal feeling I never head. Perhaps a few hours in my life but for sure not much more. But evenso it means you live in the world of the corrupt and as soon you get out of it you feel living in the not normal world again. So I decided to like the not normal feeling.
    Feeling good means being accepted. Feeling not good means being cracked. Now I tell you. Accept that not normal feeling and do not seek to be accepted anymore. You are good as you are but you for sure do not need to prove that to anybody.
    Accept how you feel and they stop cracking it because they see there is no use in trying to change your mind anymore.
    Also important for you to know is many feel the way you do eventho they tell you you are the only one. That is certainly not true.
    To meet someone that understands you the way you are is the most beautiful thing that can happen and that is possible.
    I understood that this year is the best year when it comes to that because what never existed in life and could not be, what means you did not miss anything begins to blossem and flower this year so there is hope. In other words to not feel regret as if you did ever miss anything since sometimes things that do not yet exist need to grow and only then for the first time start to exist. So wake up. And realise this.

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  • I also have social anxiety and find it really difficult to eat out in public and be around large crowds. Sometimes, I try to avoid going out because of the fear of social settings. I'm glad I'm not alone.

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  • This is my husband and I with Asperger's Syndrome on occasion.

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  • good mytake, although it's sad you have to deal with this

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  • At least it can be treated right?

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  • And people find me boring. Thats so sad because i can't really reflect my personality.

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  • Have a good day.

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    • Thank you :D for once someone's saying this to me

    • Anyways... Don't try to be normal , you're perfectly normal I am sure. Don't let others influence your weird side. "Normal" people are not interesting.

    • Well, that is true, thanks

What Guys Said 6

  • Same man. I suffer from quite a few disorders as well. Mood disorders and higher function autism being the main ones. Anxiety and depression are powerful things that overpower your thoughts.

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    • I can handle the thoughts when I have the energy, but lately I just don't.

    • Yep. The energy comes and goes in highs and lows. That rhymes and sounded dope!

      Hope the funk will dissipate soon.

    • Haha, yep! I'm starting psychotherapy soon, so hopefully.

  • That's the curse of the wicked.

    Psalm 32:10:

    Many sorrows shall be to the
    wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.

    Proverbs 3:33:

    The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
    But He blesses the home of the just.

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  • good mytake

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  • I know this feeling well. Sorry i'm not the only one who has to deal with it. :(

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  • Wut this?
    No friends
    Anxious at gathering
    Little talking more listening because of fear and other things
    Isolated

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  • Great mytake bro, I also can't eat at restaurants because of my anxiety, I can't even eat at a park where there are barely any people there because of the fear that they are looking at me/judging me.

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    • Oh yeah, I'd love eating in a park, if I could.

    • I know that I don't know you or your situation, but I think you should look into considering a psychiatrist and possibly medication. It might make life more bearable.

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