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  1. #1

    Can anyone tell me what's wrong with me?

    hi

    i looked for a forum like this on google.. cos i need to vent. cos i dont dare seek direct councelling. but maybe someone can persuade me? or tell me what exactly is wrong with me?

    i think i have some kind of anxiety disorder. i think i may have some form of social phobia. or depression. either that or im just dumb and lazy. or i dont know what. i dont know... i just know im weird... and maybe someone can tell me what is wrong with me?

    i wasnt always like this. just over the past couple of years...
    it started when i started going to uni... and i got enrolled to an art course, mainly because i didnt know what else to do, and my parents thought it would be a good idea because some relatives of ours taught there. I never felt talented enough to do it, and as the people around werent the friendliest kind, i was always paranoid about them talking behind my back...

    then i had to take one very big exam, and i just never attended. i was certain i would fail no matter how hard i worked, and as the exams were carried out as oral tests with only the tutor and a couple of other students present, i was terrified of being embarrased and shouted at.

    so i never took it. and then bit by bit i felt more anxious and scared of all the other subjects, to the point where i would get up in the morning to go to a simple lecture, and the cramps in my stomach were so bad that i would throw up.

    so one day i just decided not to go anymore.

    everyone was at odds with me, they couldnt understand why i did that. so i started avoiding all the people from uni. and most people i knew actually. didnt want them to ask me questions.

    at that point another thing happened to me... my current boyfriend. he is from england (i live in croatia) and i was friends with him over the internet for a long time, and that summer we decided to meet up. we've been together since then, and its all fantastic between us... oh really its the only bright spot in my life. god knows where id be without him.

    but people find it hard to understand long distance relationships. they ask you questions and no answer you give them can really be common... and as im not very good at pretending, when i feel incomofrtable i cant hide it, so i always reply in the weirdest manner possible... im sure theres a way to reply to nosy people in a way that wouldnt make them think youre weird or insane, but i just seem to be incapable of carrying it out in practice....

    since i quit uni and started my long distance relationsihp, ive been trying to avoid everyone. i dont go to the shop in my street cos i dont want the shopkeeper who's known me for 20 years to ask me how my course is going. or to tell me shes heard id been to england, and that i have a boyfriend there, and then ask THE question - "how did you meet?" ... i should really just lie, but i cant, im totally crap at that. So when i say internet, people think the dodgiest things. or dont even know what internet is. and its all AWKWARD.

    ive had a few jobs over the past couple of years, mostly freelance and temporary, and given to me by friends and family.
    but even though none of them were actually that demanding, i felt horribly stressed out by them. i mean, ive never had panic attacks or anything like that, but i just feel WEIRD in front of other people. i feel that my life is incomprehendable to them and i dont want to share any bits of it with them. and im constantly terrified of them asking me things. and im so stressed out by it that i never answer the phone at home. or open the door if im not expecting someone.

    im just generally scared of being dragged into conversations im not prepared for.

    im also convinced im crap at pretty much everything i do, so as far as work is concerned, im bound to be paranoid i guess....

    and i have also lost all my friends in croatia. i dont feel like talking to them anymore. their lives are too different,and when i tell them about mine all i ever get is awkward silence. i dont feel like going out to pubs and clubs in croatia anymore. they depress me. the ones in england dont. the ones over here do.

    when i go to england, it all seems to be much better. First of all, when im with my boyfriend, my self esteem seems to boost and i feel generally happier, its as if i feel i have someone backing me up all the time. if i fall, i know hes gonna pick me up. and secondly, i seem to be much more at ease with myself in front of people there, i dont seem to give away this awkward vibe so much. I dont feel that any of them accuse me for the choices ive made in my life. I think it may all be in my head, i may just see people over there differently, and then i act more openly towards them... i dont know.

    i also have a strange thing with language.... i find it much easier to talk about myself and about my feelings in english, than i do in croatian. in my native language all my words make me cringe. i could never say "i love you" in croatian. NEVER. or anything about my feelings at all, without bursting out crying or wanting to throw up how pathetic i feel.
    which is after all, why im posting this in a forum, and why i havent sought therapy yet. cos i dont think i could talk to some therapist person in croatian. or explain to my family why i need therapy. god, never. :(

    a part of me believes it would all go away if i just moved to england. because i do feel like a different person when im there. ive definitely created some bias against my own country, ive created awkwardness between myself and everyone i know, and i wanna just ditch them and start all over. with people i feel more comfortable with, as a person i feel more comfortable being...

    however marriage and moving are gonna wait at least another year or two, for financial reasons... and because .. ah yes another problem. telling my overprotective family what my intentions are. my parents of course know about my relationsihp, and theyve met my boyfriend, although not spent enough time with him to get to know him well enough.. and theyre very odd about the whole thing... to be fair we never talk about it at all. and i cant just tell them out of the blue that i want to get married and move away. i dont think their reactions would be very supportive... so i think it should maybe wait until they know him better. i dont know... :/

    Anyway, im starting a new job on monday. And im mortified. I really shouldnt be. Its in my dads firm... i know most people there. But its something i havent done before, and im gonna have to learn the job, and ive been so anxious for days that im on the verge of throwing up.
    I know theres several people there who i dont know, and theres stuff like... well, ive worked for them freelance for a while, and ive heard gossip that some guys who work there wanted me out. And ive been really scared of communicating with anyone from my dads work since then. I keep thinking they think horrible things about me. And i feel that theres gonna be people there who are gonna think "ah shes just the spoilt bosses daughter, she cant do anything." and im scared they might be right. im scared to embarras my dad and myself with my incompetence/stupidity/lack of communication skills.... im just scared of everything there and i just feel like crying. :(

    and god i didnt think this would be so long , it was literally a flow of thoughts... i appologize if im too boring or demanding too much attention...

    i just really... for the first time ever, want to hear what someone who knows about psychology would say about me.... am i mad?

  2. #2

    anyone wanna read about me and tell me whats wrong with me?

    Regarding social situations, I too have social anxiety, though less than before. I used to dread answering the door for the delivery man or getting a hair cut. What helps me personally is thinking "So what? None of this is going to matter sooner or later." This is the same coping strategy my first boss used when dealing with angry customers.

    In a similar vein, the psychologist Dr. Ellis was shy when he was a young man, and his problem was that he couldn't ask women out on a date. What helped him the most was asking to himself "What's the worse thing that can happen? Am I going to literally drop dead?" After a while, it didn't matter to him if he got rejected, and he would behave like an extrovert. If anything, he got too friendly around women, but that's another story. Dr. Ellis says this rational approach to treating his shyness was the first thing that got him thinking about creating Rational Emotive Therapy, which developed into Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). And CBT is what most therapists use to some extent.

    Of course, modern life is a double-edged sword. My belief is that social anxiety has increased dramatically because we are no longer living in small villages or towns where "everyone knows your name." This view is expressed in books like Running on Emptiness: The Pathology of Civilization. This is also part of the reason a few politicians in the US have been playing with the idea of mandatory community service.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

    anyone wanna read about me and tell me whats wrong with me?

    hmm

    ok so whats the worst thing that can happen.....
    at work. i can get the sack. i can end up on the dole. and then i might be forced to take any crappy job within 80km of my house. if i refuse it, i get kicked off the dole, and lose all health insurance...and then i can DIE.... :/

    as for talking to people about my personal life... i dont know what can happen. i have to admit that is totally irrational.

    answering the phone - it might be someone i dont want to hear from bringing me bad news.................ermmm..yeah.

    i stopped answering the door after one time when my cousin came round unexpected. my cousin was a tutor at my uni and he disapproved of me leaving it. so he sat in the kitchen with me for 3 hours, demanding explanation, and refusing to leave before i promised him id come back to uni. it was horrible.
    since then i dont open the door anymore........ :/

  4. #4

    anyone wanna read about me and tell me whats wrong with me?

    ok so whats the worst thing that can happen.....
    at work. i can get the sack. i can end up on the dole. and then i might be forced to take any crappy job within 80km of my house. if i refuse it, i get kicked off the dole, and lose all health insurance...and then i can DIE.... :/
    Yes, well, what's wrong with death? Just joking.

    Seriously though, a common approach that has been used for at least thousands of years is desensitization and habituation. In this case, gradual exposure to more social situations. For example, the best way I got over my apprehension of co-workers was just working with them.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5

    anyone wanna read about me and tell me whats wrong with me?

    so........ i should open the door and answer the phone.....despite all ? :/

  6. #6

    anyone wanna read about me and tell me whats wrong with me?

    That's what works for me. Gradually, taking "baby steps." It's like exercising. You can't run a mile until you can walk a mile, etc.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7

    anyone wanna read about me and tell me whats wrong with me?

    ........ok then... i promise next time the phone rings ill answer...

    heh.

  8. #8

    anyone wanna read about me and tell me whats wrong with me?

    Of course, there are also many anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants drugs that are known to help social anxiety. These include Effexor, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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