More threads by kamikazi989

I think this is social anxiety disorder, im not sure. Here is what I sent of to a psychology website. I've had this problem pretty much since i can remember but has gotten worse for the pass few years.

"I have different kinds of "fluctuations" I guess you can call them when I have social anxiety. Neverless, mainly when im around intimadating people (not necessarily people of authority, in fact I do better around them, as long as there not intimidating), popular people, good looking women, that sort of thing, I become extremely scared or anxious. Sometimes I can't even look people in the eye because I feel intimidated by them, no matter who they are, and I get distracted and don't even listen to them because I feel this way. I alot of times force myself to try and talk to these sort of people, and often either end up seeming weird to them or very quiet. I seem quiet or laid back to alot of people because i'd rather seem that way to people than weird, immature, annoying or other stupid comments I may make when im anxious. Like I said, I go through fluctuations, there are times when i can be the most talkitive, popular kid in the group, or the most quiet and scared. This I have noticed, impares my ability to learn in school in many different ways, most are obvious. When I dont have this social anxiety problem, I can learn and listen well, im talkitive, not worried about what other people think, I carry myself better, im confident and say all the right things. And if I don't say all the right things, I can usaully recover quickly with a witty remark. That sort of thing only happens maybe twice a month, I rarely feel that way but when I do it lasts for maybe a half day or little more. Because of my moody behavior, i've avoided alot of things. Alot of women say im good looking and seem like a nice guy, im ok with that sort of thing but when they start to want to know me better I kind of freak out. I can't really sustain that sort of cool guy attitude, people start to realise im sort of weird because I put up a wall and give off different signals, confusing myself and them. I've avoided many dates because of not knowing how im going to react alot of times to certain things. On the other hand, if im not anxious, I willingly go out and have alot of fun, no matter who it is. Im not worried about alot of things, can think clearer, everything I say comes out smoother and all those other things I said. It depress's me to think that that smooth cool guy is inside of me but I can't be him all the time. The more I try, the worse it gets. I gave up on it now, it just comes when it wants. My mom has been diagnosed with bipolar but I never really knew my dad so I couldn't say much about that, though mentaly I believe he is fine. I have had alot of pretty traumatic events in my life, nothing crazy but very far from normal. I also have friends, good friends, I guess just because they can put up with me because im so moody. But really, I mean well, and try to help anyone when I can. But when im anxious, I can also be selfish, materialistic, and irritable.... alot of different personalities, almost schitzopherinic"

It's like a I have an over reactive conscious, I can't explain it. When im calm, thats when im usaully quiet. When im up and getty, I can be very outgoing, or the "cool guy". Or I can have "anxiety attacks" and I can't even think straight or function correctly, and put up a wall (which happens most of the time). My life is so much better when I feel "happy" I guess you could say, and not have anxiety attacks. Right now, im feeling anxious, can you tell the difference between now and when I typed that letter? Im male and 18 if that helps. It's very weird and I hope someone can help me with this, if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. I will do anything to figure this out.
I would also like to add, my mom was diagnosed with bipolar and my aunt has schitzopherinia. Also theres people I know I can act normal around, not completley weird or completely confident, but I get along well with them and talk to them alot. For example, when was younger I got along great with my cousin, lately the pass 5 or so years, i've noticed she's very popular with people at school and I can't even talk to her normal anymore!! I may get in that good mood and I seem like a really cool guy but most of the time i'll put up a wall, dont know what to say, seem quiet, and try and look laid back or normal. I know they notice it too because they don't talk to me as much, or when they do try to talk to me I dont know what to say and put up my wall and may seem iritable or weird. I've noticed people really like talkitive people who can carry a conversation, thats my problem, I can't carry a conversation unless im in a good mood. Don't know what to say, etc.. Notice all popular or famous people can carry a conversation well? Thats why people like them, and for the same reason not many people know what to think about me. I can be real talkitive and carry a conversation well, or im completely weird. AHHH!! someone help me please!!! Whats causing this!?!?!?!


Hi Kamikazi,

I can relate to what you are saying. There are moments when these feelings can be very painful. I think that you are doing a good thing by sharing what you are going through. There are many many people who feel similar pain.

I think you need to dig deep to find out what situations you are re-creating from your youth. Hopefully your friends will help you with this and not add to the pain (as mine did). I think that as you go back and mend old wounds you should also look at some stress reduction tips. A good site with lots of experts' advice on stress and anxiety reduction tips is Unfortunately it took me a lot of time from when I recognized the symptoms to the time I started resolving them to a reasonable degree. Hopefully you will find a way to speed up the process. Unfortunately theres no quick fix to any of this, just gentle loving care of yourself...[/url]
I saw somewhere in you post that you are quite young, under your 20ties. If your problem really is social or generalized anxiety disorder (as it seems) then perhaps sharing my own experience could be helpful for you.

The story begins for me in the early highschool years: Being unable to relate in a normal way with other teenagers, I enclosed myself in a closed circle of selected peers. The problems with the more "easy guys" seeming intimidating and un-reachable were exactly the same as you are describing them. The problem was particularly intense when the numbers in a group were greater than 3. This did not have any real impact on my life as I could still enjoy a lot of things. What I could see on the others was that I was kind of "different" and remote, but not a "nerd" (I am sorry I have to use this word but it is descriptive) as I would still claim that little bit of respect amongst them by sometimes showing strength of character, maturity and knowledge of the unwritten teen-codes.

What started to cause my down-spiralling was my increasingly annoying and disconcerting inability to effectively approach members of the opposite sex. I was the "really shy guy" that was seen more as a strange phenomena by other girls rather than an attractive boy. Reaching 16 and having not even being smiled upon by a girl I started to worry and realise that I was "different". Initially I would try to excuse this to myself as a result of increased maturity and sensitivity to a lot of matters. Politics, ecology, literature were things that I started to dwell inside, at a degree higher than usual. My morale started to go down uncontrollably and the response was even more remotedness and dwelling into my own lonely interests. My grades in school were mediocre not because of reduced cleverness but of reduced interest and a lack of purpose (more on these further below).

Finally, reaching 18 I managed to get myself into college, studying physics. The same lack of purpose and greatly increased difficulty of the subjets compared to high school made me put very little or no effort into it and as a self-looping result this downed my general morale even more. My general state was that of "dysthymea" or in other words a "very limited" depression.

Years passed in the same way, I could not put any real effort in college, I could not put any real effort anywhere, apart from continuously weaving and looming the net of problems inside me, trying desparately to find a way out. In my mind, when I would meet that "special" girl that would understand and caress me, I could turn that low-morale loophole and break free.

So finally a girl came. I had just stepped in age 23. She was dumped by a guy I knew and I really liked her so I made her feel good and the rest was easy job. I totally blew things apart. To make a long story short, I became her pet. After two months she dumped me. Oh the pain. I can still shiver on the memory of those dire moments I went through, going from wall to wall in the house, my eyes swollen from tears. I cried for about 6 months, after which I was just depressed. About a year later, the story repeated itself in about the same way and I was persuaded that things were really wrong with me.

That's when I thought of going to a therapist. My (second) ex regularly visited one and being familiarized with the idea I proposed it to my (divorced since I was 11) parents. They did not refuse, being disconcerted by my problems and my general course in life.

Heh, that's when the box of (painful) knowledge about myself started to reveal its secrets to me. The method of the particular therapist was psychoanalysis, which is painful and requires strength and courage but in unparalleled in giving you that deep knowledge of why you behave the way you behave. It took me about 3 years to unveil the underlying sequence of trauma and loopholes that led me to the condition I was.

I will try to describe them in a really short but descriptive way so perhaps anybody that can relate to them can exchange experience or ideas:

In my childhood, my mother suffering from generalized neurosis (or generalized anxiety as is the more modern term), finally managed to get herself a puspose in life just after my birth. Being attached to me as a life-boat she saw me more as a possession rather than a human being. She would subconsciously (with body language) threaten me with abandonment if I would not act as she expected of me, and that even from when I when I can remember myself. That gameplay "you be my pet and I will love you, else you'll be exiled from my warm hog" continued and changed forms as I grew in age. It caused two things: Firstly it made me see myself more like an object rather than a subject and secondly it made me feel insecure because of the constantly jeopardized position into the much needed protection my mother could offer. My father on the other side was a lonely and extremely self-directed giy who occasionally would uncontrollably busrt into sickening outbursts of anger. He never beat me but the sight of a barely-into-control animal-human was enough to strike the deepest of terrors in my young heart (so he never really needed to beat me, he got what he wanted simply by intimidation). This also added an element of helplessness in my environment as were is the hope in pushing my (anyway weak) will against a threat of the magnitude of that anger-controlled father?

The above things caused a domino of effects that lead me to what I described earlier. I never developed a sense of identity, my whole life being just that of an object trying to hide from the parental "divine will", this being continued until the years of college, into which I got more because "I had to" rahter than "I wanted to". Without an identity there is no drive, no purpose and so without a purpose there is no treasure behind every step in the self-assessment trials a child or a teenager will inevitably face in his life. This lead to a low self-esteem as well. "I am not as good as the other guys" was a constant idea in myself. Little did I notice that in the few things I did really like, I was equally if not more competitive...

Reaching today, my age 27, I still haven't finished college. Being separated for a year with a girl I was with for a year and a half, my only long-term relationship I managed so far, I still can't get her out of my mind. The same lack of identity (and consequently, subjective self-assessment, ability to lively communicate and relate with others) still plagues me (in a lesser extent, admittedly) and it became obvious that it played a strong part in our separation. It is so disappointing to have a whole world of knowledge, humour, apopsis inside of me but look dull and sterile on the outside. I know that I have to do certain things if I want to avoid suicide, for I really cannot bear loneliness any more, after more than 15 years of sexual and emotional starvation, the fear that I might not break the chains has planted its foot in me.

Anyway, For one thing, I know I can do certain things to better my position. They all have to do with self esteem, and identity. I have to build myself up from almost the beginning:

-Do things I like, when I like and not think about "what should I be doing now instead of playing my bass guitar". All the "musts" and "shoulds" are voices of someone yelling inside of us, not US.
-Get a job with responsibilities and manage to... manage things. This point is particularly important. (Currently I am serving in the army). Surviving in a job position gives a sense of achievement, helps self-esteem and reduces feelings of insecurity.
-Always remind myself that *I* am control in my life and not my mother or anybody else. I live in her house but for 5 years now I am giving private lessons to high-school children so apart from the house I am economically autonomous.
-Choose carefully my company. I must be amongst people that make me feel good. It is only too easy to fall into the trap that "there are guys that don't like me" or "I can't get along with these people, what is wrong with me?"
-Show my parents (particularly my mother) that they need to find other purposes in life other than building bonds of emotional co-dependence with their children (I have a younger sister). For one thing it's been a long time since we could be called "children", but somehow they seem to overlook this.
-Express myself when I feel like it and never swallow what I have to say. One has to remain true to himself if he is to have self-respect. This is also very important.

All in all I hope things will turn for me when I manage to be totally self-dependent economically and in my own house. It won't happen overnight (the emotional change) but I can wait a few more years.

I hope the above was interesting and not very boring, and gave a few ideas to you and anyone else in such a position :)
That does seem familiar in alot of ways. I feel intimidated by alot of people but at the same time a sense of competition, like athletics for example. When I was in high school I was the fastest runner and the strongest in different ways. I feel alot more secure in area's like that.... computer gaming as well.

Another thing that was very similiar, my mom was a single mom and she depended on me ALOT. She always told me if it wasn't for you I wouldn't know what would have happened to me. I grew up without a dad but still many father figures (uncles, moms friends, etc..) At 13 I went and stayed with my aunt because my mom was in financial trouble. Since then, I never moved back with her. But also, I started to really develope a sense of independency. I didn't rely on others and hated when people told me what to do (still). I moved ALOT and it was hard for me to develope close friends and often sat by myself at the lunch table because i rarely stayed at the same school longer than 2 years. I was told by some people I look mad or angry at something, I think that has to due with people thinking differently of me also. But sometimes thats true, i try to act mad because I don't want to seem ditsy or just another person. I try to seem interesting. In elementary and junior high I use to get approached by girls all the time saying "your cute" "wanna go out" etc... (as stupid as that seems) but as I got older it just got harder for me to hold a coversation.

It's really a worry of what others are thinking of me and what will happen if I say something. I get alot of those idea's that sound great in your head but come out very wrong or when I say something I forget a word or two or stutter and people are like... what??

I can take criticism pretty well, probably as good as anyone else... I just worry what people really think of me because of a weird vibe I feel I give off. I've had female problems as well. I seem more like that other kid than a cool interesting guy like the others. Mainly in high school though. When I do socialize with them I put up a barrier and act anything but attractive it seems sometimes becoming a "friend".

I act so differently all the time, from my various moods I think people dont know what to think about me, and I don't know how to approach them about it. Or how to act. Which leads to me not socializing with some people that I may already know further. If that makes sense.

BUT the extremely strange thing is like I said before I can be an very popular guy and words just flow right out of me... I dont seem weird but instead very interesting and fun guy. When im like this I know im acting this way... and always tried to figure out what causes it or how I act and think like that. I went to after prom party at a school hosted event with a friend and his date, although they didn't reall like each other. But she was definitly attractive and normally I would come off weird, or anti social, etc... but instead I acted exactly like the kind of guy I wanted, she was all over me. I kept the conversation going, I played hard to get and acted like I didn't hear her sometimes, made her laugh, that sort of thing. I could tell she liked me. But a month or two later that kind of died off.... she always tried talking to me in the hallways but I tried cutting the conversation short because i just was so nervous and wasn't sure what to say. I felt like I didn't want to say somethign stupid so I started not talking to her anymore. Thus, she started not talking to me, then we didn't even look at each other in the hallways anymore.

People always have sympathy for me I guess because alot of the stuff I went through at a young age. Moving alot, not living with my mom, not having a father there for me, and being treated differently. I feel like I really want to be on my own right now because I hate relying on others.
I noticed when im happy, or looking forward to something thats coming up soon, like the end of class will get me in a good mood and I won't act "weird". As long as im so happy is overwhelming I forget being worried about other things and everything flows alot better. I guess I can sort of trick myself into being "happy" or look forward to things and be this way, but sometimes thats kind of hollow and the stress/anxiety comes over me and it doesn't work. If I am truly happy I can atleast temporarly be the cool guy.

This is whats leading me to believe it may be a combination of things. Maybe stress, anxiety, and a social problem? I feel like my concious is eating away at me, its like too overwhelming and I feel like I analyze things too closely and worry too much to the point of not being able to think straight or properaly about whats going to happen if I say or do this.
I can think about something to get me in a mood or trance that really reduces the problem, as long as im not in a position thats stress's my problem too much and its just flat out overcoming. For example, I think about my car which is a nice car and I try and represent the kind of person that might drive that. (which may be playing a part in me being materialistic, stubborn, and picky)

Keep in mind that its more a situational thing than with certain people. I can feel uncomfortable with my closest friend, or feel challenged by the most intimidating guy and be smooth and normal. Though most of the time what happens is the opposite, it just shows that im capable of it, but how? What's triggering it?
I'm sorry it took me so long to answer but my service in the Army sometimes does not allow me to reach a computer for some days.

Yeah, I went all through that you are saying concerning the girl you liked. I noticed that when you talked like a cool guy she was dating someone else. Obviously you weren't expecting anything from the situation and that's what took your anxiety away and allowed you to be the cool guy you really are. My first date came EXACTLY the same way. She was dating a friend of mine and I, relieved of any anxiety about having to show off something, was relaxed and flowing. That won her over to me, without me even trying! Fortunately there weren't any hard feelings between me and my mate as he didn't want her much anymore...

I know I am suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (neurosis is another terminology for that), and by what you are saying it is probable that you do too. It is nothing to worry too much about as a much greater than suspected number of people suffer from neurosis at some degree or another. The fortunate thing is that as you mature and gain experience you will be able to overcome this weakness. The unfortunate thing is that neurosis by its nature implies difficulties in the process of reaching maturity. Note that words and terminology should not be given much credit here. My therapist never told me what I was suffering from I found the term "neusosis" after reading a whole book of various psychic disorders. When it came to the above I realized I fulfilled all of the criteria, some of them with funny accuracy. When I told her about what I had found, she didn't disagree with me (that I was suffering from that) but that terms only put unneeded borders on situations.

I will repeat myself here but this is the conclusion I haver reached after all those years of psychoanalysis, maybe also useful to you too: To get rid of the weakness I need to break the bonds of co-dependence (material and psychological together) with my parents and build my own world around me. Dependence is what powers and drives the foreign voice of expectance inside of me, the Hyper-Ego as Freud put it that does not allow me to "flow" or otherwise be cool. It is difficult as feeling weak defies me from going forward and not going forward makes me feel weak, the classic loophole of low self-evaluation.

My serving in the Army is proving to be helpful. Everybody in there is the same, nobody knows or is interested where anyone is coming from, what he has achieved in his previous life etc. On that basis one can evaluate himself "on a clear paper" in relation with the others. And this is proving to be a relief for me as I can cope with every difficulty I am facing without really pushing myself, in contrast with many other guys. I am every day aknowledging what a great weapon and tool a sharp mind can be, if it is supported by a calm state of mood. And I am also aknowledging how damaging to my psychology has the co-living with my mother been. I am definitely goinfg to live on my own once I finish with the Army.

From your writing I assume you are worried and anxious about your situation. This is natural. I won't tell you to relax as this is easy to be said but difficult to do. Instead I would advice you to realize your situation and work towards your goal. Which is independence, mostly psychological, but achieving material independence will greatly help. This might take years, be prepared for it. Going to a therapist would also be helpful. Do not hesitate to change therapist if you feel he/she is not driving you somewhere. Do never forget that you DO NOT need to change who you are. You just need to re-evaluate yourself in relation to others and mostly, your parents. Mind, this is no easy task. It is going to be easier however, if you know what you want to achieve...

I know it is kind of strange, that you are talking about flowing conversations, being cool and not intimidated and I am talking about co-dependence and low self-esteem loopholes. It took me three years to understand (some, I hope most) of the bonds and workings of those seemingly unrelated things but they are, indeed, related. In the root of things, self-perception is paramount to anything. The way one sees things is the same for everyone. However, the way we evaluate and perceive ourselves always differs. So, since every bond we make with the outside world is relative to us, the final meaning] of everything is different...

Have patience, strength and clarity of mind. Everything you need is inside of you. I hope you the best...[/i]
Thats exactly it. It's because people expect[/u] things from me. That sums up alot of what I said. If im getting ready to say something to someone, and I feel they are expecting what i'm going to say I get all.... insecure and freaked out. The words come out bad and horribly predictable as well as my body reactions. But if I feel im teaching someone something (as in retail) or suprising someone or something thats so much easier for me. But if im talking casual with someone, a potential friend or girl.... its disasterous. My body actions as well as my speech make me come off as sort of weird. When im "flow" or the "cool" guy all this goes out the window and im just not worried about what they are thinking and say what I think, and if it comes out wrong I recover quickly. But most of the time I would still say all the right things.

Also, something else that you pointed out thats also true is when im relying on someone in a sense that also triggers my "insecurity". But if I feel im independent, on my own for a reason or another, with a responsible duty I can sort of shift into serious mode and get things done like they're are suppose to and in a professional manner. If I need to talk to someone, then so be it, it has to get done.

All these help me act alot better but still dont automatically change my entire mode of thinking and the way I look at things like what sometimes comes over me. I think I may have a case of schitzopherinia (aunt has it, severely). Which I have two almost completely different personalities. I just don't see how I can be so different, on one side of me im the quiet kid in class who rarely talks and will laugh at everything you say and on the other im one of the most popular kids in school. And, ufortunetely, im the quiet kid 60% or more of the time.

Of course I can be sort of neutral as well, as long as I don't feel intimidated by the person then I can talk easily. But sometimes its just so bad I don't talk at all.
The fact you are having mood swings or more accurately put different "modes of thinking-acting" does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from schizophrenia. In fact, schizophrenia has a whole different set of symptoms than the ones you describe.

The problem for you as I see it is that YOU expect things from yourself, because you think that others expect them from you too. I am not going to continue on this pattern as the more you think about your state of mind, the ways you act, how you behave and all that is, the more in fact, you do harm to yourself. You need to let go, to reduce the sense of self-perception, self judgement, you need to turn outwards. You'll soon notice that whenever something happens there is a "flash" of will inside of you which is immediately drowned by ifs, wills, do nots or dos. Try to nurse that flash and allow it to express itself, even if it seems aggrssive or insultive to others. If something you express is true, then EVERYBODY ill apreciate the forth-coming of the truth. DO NOT BE PUT-OFF BY FAILURES like "oh but I really tried to let go, how did it all go wrong again?" It is going to happen a thousand times.

I'm going to leave now, I have to go back to the camp. Oh god the Army...
(Army service is obligatory here in Greece:()
Well, thing is, if I go with that natural flash it's usually just the normal me. Stuff will come out weird (the more nervous I am) and i'm still not completley comfortable with myself, whereas sporadicly i'm totally happy, comfortable with myself, feel alot smarter and witty, and alot smoother. Possibly one of the most popular kids in school, like I said. But it only happens every few weeks. Thus, most of the time I force myself to be pretty quiet except around good friends where I act "normal".
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