• Quote of the Day
    "Healing might not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn't you,
    all of the expectations, all of the beliefs, and changing into who you are."
    Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. , posted by Daniel

autumncolours

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I have come to realize exactly how many things I go out of my way to avoid. Mainly social things such as parties, group activities, vacations. Dating is hard, I get so far with it but often it is just agonizing. At work its presentations, public speaking and business travel that cause me anxiety and when ever possible I try to get out of these things. I never go to the staff cafeteria, I never sit in the lunchroom and have lunch with others, I prefer to go out by myself or work through my breaks. Sometimes I decide I will take a class or join an activity but I always find a reason to quit right away or not go at all. I think it’s the thought of being humiliated that drives me to avoid things.

I do recognize life would be better if I stopped avoiding things. I do have some friends outside of work, I can go out but prefer if its one on one or a small group of people I know well. Does this sound like social anxiety disorder or avoidant personality? Am I simply lazy? Do I need to get help for this?

I don’t feel like a reclusive type, I actually do enjoy people and think I am social when I am comfortable, I am not the type to sit there and say nothing, I dont feel shy. For whatever reason social things seem to cause me stress, but it would be quite embarrassing to have to admit this to someone, I have gone out of my way to hide it. I would welcome another opinion. Do you think this is unhealthy behaviour?
 

just mary

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Hi Autumncolours,

Welcome to the forum. :) I really like your name, it brings up warm feelings - I love autumn and the way the leaves change and how the sky becomes a darker shade of blue.

As for your question:

Do you think this is unhealthy behaviour?

I only think it's unhealthy if it's causing you distress or you're suffering somehow. Some people prefer to be alone and spend their time with a few close friends or family. I think society sometimes pressures people into thinking that they need a big social group and they should always be going out with friends. But I think it depends on the person and what she or he wants/feels comfortable with.

However, it does sound that you would like to be more social. How long have you been feeling this way?

Take care,

jm
 

autumncolours

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I suspect you are right, this is something I have felt as long as I can remember. It would be nice to be a little more comfortable in these situations.
Thank you both for your reply and a list of the resources that are available. How does one get the nerve up to go to see a psychologist, I mean I know they have heard it all before, but I feel it would be embarassing having to admit this?
 

ThatLady

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If one can just realize that there isn't anybody alive who wouldn't, and couldn't, benefit from therapy, it becomes easier to reach out to a psychologist to help sort through some of the problems we face in life. There's no shame in asking for help. In fact, to do so shows courage and the committment to be the best "you" you can be. :)
 
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autumncolours there is nothing embarrassing about admitting any of this to a psychologist. in fact i think anxiety is probably as common to psychologists as the flu or heart problems are to a family doctor. i think if you can get up the courage to see one you will be glad you did. it's scary for anyone to decide to see a therapist but you will see it will be well worth the effort. :)
 

David Baxter

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BBC and Thatlady are right, Autumn. This is a much more common problem than you realize. No one will think you're weird or look down on you for seeking help with this.
 

just mary

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Just wanted to add my two cents, I agree with TL, bbc and Dr. Baxter. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, you just need to take that first step. You can do it. :)

Take care,

jm
 

stargazer

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I also agree with TL, ladybug, Dr. Baxter, and JustMary. I usually feel better about myself after I find I have opened up to a therapist or psychiatrist about what's been troubling me or holding me back. Keeping it inside does no good in the long run, and even well-meaning friends are often ill-equipped to provide helpful, non-hurtful feedback. Also, friends tend to talk to others, or among themselves--your words, thoughts, and feelings are safe with a professional.
 

autumncolours

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I wanted to thank you all for your support and encouragement. I have been working on this problem and made some really good progress. I am not where I want to be yet but I found someone really good to talk to and he has given me alot of support and assignments outside of our meetings that have been extremely beneficial. It was a little embarrasing to come forward with it but the pay off has been worth it. In a short while, I am doing more things than I have done in my life.

I hope this will serve as help to someone else who might have similar problems.
 

Halo

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That is so great to hear Autumncolours :goodjob:

I am glad that you found someone to talk to and are progressing towards your goal. I look forward to more updates when you have a chance :)

Take care
 
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that is wonderful news autumncolours! i am so pleased that with our encouragement you were able to get up the nerve to go talk to someone, and that you found a really helpful person! thanks for sharing.
:yahoo:
 

ThatLady

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What wonderful news, autumncolors! I'm so glad you stopped by to update us on your progress. It sounds like you're doing great, and I'm glad you've found someone you can confide in who'll help you find the right path to where you want to be. :hug:
 

Serenity

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I recently read an article of an interview with Alana Morrissette and was very pleased to see that among the most important people/things that keep her grounded and healthy was her relationship with her therapist. WOW. Just like that. Out in the open. I agree, everyone could use a therapist or that trusted person to give them a different perspective that the one they have.
 

autumncolours

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I am sorry to be asking for your opinion again, I felt like I was doing well at my sessions and making progress at doing more things that I haven’t done in the past and it was great. The last few times I went for my appointments I have had anxiety attacks at the start of my session. This is very unusual for me, but now I feel like I don’t want to go back because it is extremely embarrassing. I guess they resulted from the fear that I would look stupid to the psychologist and then that happened and I did look stupid. How do I really get over this fear of embarrassing myself? I know in my head it doesn’t matter what people think but somehow I get so worked up about it that I just feel paralyzed. I don’t want to go back if I am just going to make an idiot of myself .
 

David Baxter

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I guess they resulted from the fear that I would look stupid to the psychologist and then that happened and I did look stupid. How do I really get over this fear of embarrassing myself? I know in my head it doesn’t matter what people think but somehow I get so worked up about it that I just feel paralyzed. I don’t want to go back if I am just going to make an idiot of myself .

I would suggest that you didn't look "stupid" at all... in all likelihoood, you looked anxious, and that's not the same thing at all.

If you can, I would recommend that you try to find a way to let your therapist know what is happening... preferably when it is happening. If it's hard to do this in person, try writing it out in an email or letter for your therapist to read.

The worst thing you could do right now is to stop going to your sessions because you are worried about the therapist's opinion of you. Therapists do not judge you. They are there to help you. And your therapist can help you with this issue too.
 

autumncolours

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Thanks, that makes me feel better. I suppose I will just suck it up and keep going and try to learn to control my anxiety. That part is extremely challenging but I guess like everything it is a skill that will get better with practice.

I guess when I think about if I keep going to the therapists office even though I fear embarassing myself this in itself will help overcome this stupid worry about embarrassment.

Thanks again for guiding me in the right direction, this forum is great, helping lots of people I am sure!
 

Halo

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Autumncolours,

I think that David is right when he says that you probably looked more anxious than anything. I know that my psych can definitely tell when I am anxious upon arriving to his office because he can see it in my face and my body language. I do not try to hide the fact from him or deny that I am anxious about something as it is normally being caused as a result of something that I need to discuss during that session.

I do think that letting your therapist know what is happening is a really good idea. I imagine that trying to tell your therapist about how anxious you are while being in the midst of your anxiety spiking may be hard and therefore writing it is probably a really good idea. I know that I many times write things out and give it or email it to my psych as I find it much easier to express myself. I find it very helpful.

Take care
:hug:
 

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