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Debilitating Social Anxiety/ Agoraphobia

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Debilitating Social Anxiety/ Agoraphobia

Postby Elrond » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:59 pm

If you have social anxiety/avoidance/agoraphobia as well as BPD or BPD traits...

Have you ever looked around a crowd or a store and wondered where are the "low functioning" people you hear sharing their struggles online, and why does everyone you see in real life seem fine and casual if someone talks to them and no one is in fight/flight/freeze?

Many of the people who talk about their anxious/paranoid behavior online have jobs, so they're obviously not all hiding at home. How come I can't identify them? Any stranger can easily recognize me as trauma-response-based and paralyzed.

I can't fake calm at all because my life isn't going anywhere right now and I can't deal with people trying to say a few words to me. I can't think of anything light to say in passing, there is too much stress that I'm trying to hide but can't. I think i fidget and look around too much if I get in lines or too close to people at a store and people notice that I'm too nervous for the situation and they get distracted by my odd behavior.

I haven't always been this way but it's how I am lately and I can't stand feeling like the only one who does this. Where are the other people like me why don't I see them?? Can anyone relate to this?
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Re: Debilitating Social Anxiety/ Agoraphobia

Postby vcrpamphlet » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:10 am

Hi. I experience certain BPD traits periodically, and used to have social anxiety, though it was perhaps less inhibiting than what you’ve described. There might be different types. All the same, this caught my attention.

Firstly, I’m sorry to read about your struggles. They do not sound mild. Would I be correct in assuming your support has mostly come from an “it’s like learning to ride a bike” mold ?

I did go through many stages wondering where the other people like me were. That’s only natural when your differences are socially uncomfortable. However, it became rapidly clear just how unhelpful that particular thought process can be.

It’s extremely tempting, but you must not dwell on the drawbacks of your condition, which focusing on others with the same problems (or their lackings of the same problems) is most certainly doing, creating an unhealthy mental culture for yourself that’s probably highly counter-productive.

It’s just a fact, one you can be sure of, that they are out there. Many with far worse psychological problems than yours or mine, that we wouldn’t have the remotest cause to notice, let alone recognise disorderly traits in - all going about their day, doing their respective thing, displaying little else but happy, confident, functional faces, laughing freely with each other like it’s all so easy.

You haven’t asked for advice, but I still feel compelled to tell you: It will get better, whether you like it or not, this problem will get better. Those that can overcome and manage their anxieties at their own controlled pace, will be some of the most authentically couragious people you’re ever likely to meet. Every step in their improvement required overcoming a level of fear that most would happily marginalise as an unchangeable phobia. This is why it’s so important to manage the mental atmosphere that your thoughts come from - dwelling on it negatively, will only send you backwards.

Are you in therapy, by the way?
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Re: Debilitating Social Anxiety/ Agoraphobia

Postby vcrpamphlet » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:56 pm

So rather than posting some needy apology for over-stepping the mark, have decided to rewrite the above so that it ties with your situation more:


Hi. I’m an idiot that sometimes deploys support in the form of trampling elephants when a few emus would’ve sufficed.

If you happen to be young, say younger than 25, then through gradual exposure to uncomfortable situations you will find yourself naturally making progress without noticing. With a therapist that then becomes more intentional, and therefore more rapid.

It can be very challenging, but that isn’t a source of despair when looking at the bigger picture. From everything you have described, it’s probably worse for you existing in this current space, than it would be enduring the discomfort of personal growth.

Without getting too didactic, what tends to happen is that we become accustomed to our misery such that we will unwittingly protect it. For instance, not seeing or taking the advice of a therapist will firewall your suffering from the infiltrations of optimism as much as dwelling on your shortcomings does.

If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about anyone else with the same problems. What can you achieve from that knowledge?

The fact you are in situations where you aren’t able to recognise anxieties in people might just be symptomatic of your own anxieties at the time. It also might mean that you’re actually fairly brave despite how you feel about yourself, as other people like you wouldn’t be there in the first place. But I still think it’s safe to understand that how someone appears from the outside says very little about their internal balance. Most people are treading water beneath the surface a lot more than they ever let on. We’re all just over-confident apes winging it - maybe your anxiety just allows you a more realistic perspective.

Can highly recommend looking into meds and meditation and therapy if you haven’t already. Good luck with it all.
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Re: Debilitating Social Anxiety/ Agoraphobia

Postby skramamme » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:59 pm

Hi,
I totally relate. I never seem to be together enough to address ptsd etc and as a result my anxiety has become full blown agoraphobia and GAD. Leaving the house is extremely overwhelming which is just so ridiculous, but that doesn't change things.

If you can get some in-home mental health assistance (or even a friend/family member) to support you as you start tackling the underlying issues contributing to your worsening anxiety don't put it off. It's one of those things that can become completely entrenched very quietly and so bloody difficult to overcome.

I know that's not much help but it's not like I'm going to be too far away from my laptop if you need to vent (except for now bc I need sleep so badly).

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