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Feels like no one really sees me

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Feels like no one really sees me

Postby Cherryblossom7968 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:22 pm

Sorry this got so long, but I saw a psychiatrist who said I have traits of AvPD. Having a tough time and looking for advice, or even anyone who can relate and sympathize with my situation. Thanks <3

I've been feeling like no one really knows me. Through most of school, drifted between friend groups over the years, always getting bored or feeling trapped in a group after a year. Then finally found a stable group of friends in jazz band at high school. Since then, I questioned how much they truly accept me and felt rejected and slowly stopped showing up as much. In university, I had an opportunity in 1st year to become close with a group of girls in my program, but I had become wary of group relationships because - they’re intimidating, I often don’t feel like I can be myself in front of new people. Anyways, I thought I am a kind person, I always like to listen to people and get real with them and be compassionate and empathetic, and I find with the right person I can get close very quickly, but with so many people, who I have honest open conversations with, we never get close. I can’t seem to maintain casual honest friendships, where you interact regularly, without overthinking it at some point and getting insecure that a relationship with me is pointless to them, they like talking to others so much more. It really gets to me, and right now I’m finishing my undergraduate degree, in my last year, and it’s very hard because I have inadvertently become distrustful of everyone in my class despite having had positive interactions with them in the past. Anyways, I used to be highly social and I feel sure that people still think I’m outgoing and have many friends, when in fact I feel isolated and ostracized. It’s a tough situation to be in because it feels like it’s all my own doing.

Furthermore, I used to be highly motivated and a reliable student, but I have been smoking weed really regularly to cope, because I had suicidal thoughts at the lab over the summer, and I’ve become highly anxious around my thesis whether it’s that I am anxious I’m not good enough due to my recent huge problem with motivation, attention, and being late on all deadlines. Anyways, I have thought of quitting a couple times because these emotional problems and sensitivities to the people around me, as well as irrational putting off important thesis projects, it seems that my professors can’t help me with these problems, so I feel quite hopeless because I ultimately really really just want to get this degree over with, I’ve been at the top of my class most of my degree, and I just want to get to say that I finished it, it’s neuroscience and I am so interested in mental health and in science and the brain, but it feels like this lack of motivation won’t go away, and I’m not sure how to proceed.

I’ve been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, situational depression and ‘traits’ of AvPD. I know this forum is not about self-diagnosis, but I just feel that the avoidant piece of the puzzle is pretty prominent in both the social and school troubles I’m dealing with - along with maybe attentional problems? I’m on an SSRI for anxiety and depression, and hoping to get a mild stimulant next time I see the psychiatrist to help me get through the work of this school year. I’m thinking of talking to an occupational therapist who works with people with GAD and depression. And I’m in therapy, but I think I’m just realizing now what a problem this is, but I just don’t know how she can help either?
To those who have felt this way: how can I improve my relationships with others and deconstruct my distrust of them without blaming myself for distrusting them irrationally, thus digging my hole deeper? How can I deal with a thesis in a subject I used to love when I have no motivation and am consistently avoiding my work even though I know I need to get it done?

TL;DR
I’ve been having social and university related avoidance problems that are detrimental to friendships, relationships with peers, and preventing progress on my university.

Any words of kindness or wisdom are appreciated. If you took the time to read all this, I really appreciate it. Wishing you all the best.
Cherryblossom7968
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Re: Feels like no one really sees me

Postby WinnieThePooh » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:32 pm

You have painted a clear picture of your situation, and I think you definitely have avoidant traits. You seem to have good social skills but struggle with getting and maintaining intimate friendships/relationships. On the one hand, you'd like to be real and authentic, but on the other hand it is difficult to be yourself in relationships, especially if you are not sure if the other people are interested in you or are "seeing you". I suspect that perhaps in subtle ways, you withdraw from relationships when they get to close and start feeling constricting. It is possible that your behavior may display some ambiguity that could interfere with obtaining closer relationships. If so, you shouldn't blame yourself because these behavior patterns probably developed to protect yourself earlier in life.

You have not said anything about intimate romantic relationships. Are you, or have you been in any romantic relationships? Or are you avoiding those (and talking about it)? I would expect similar issues.

What you are describing sounds familiar to me and I struggled with similar issues throughout my life. I have struggled with anxiety and chronic (low grade) depression, but the overarching problem is my avoidant traits. I have managed living with it reasonably well and probably have become less avoidant over time. I am married but have only a few friends.
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