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Is this pure O or just social anxiety?

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Is this pure O or just social anxiety?

Postby Proteon » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:09 pm

Hi everyone,

For as long as I remember I have had severe anxiety. As a kid I had regular OCD. I had to perform some action otherwise I thought something bad would happen.

The thoughts changed as time went on - straightening coasters, washing my hands regularly, turning the lights on and off a set number of times, looking into the far corner of each room etc.

When I got older my illness seemed to develop into "Pure O". I didn't have the outward compulsions anymore but I would get deeply worried about a certain thought. For instance, for many years I couldn't eat meat because I feared chocking. Another one was the thought "how do I breath", I couldn't stop consciously thinking about how I breathed. I became really anxious that if I didn't consciously think about it I would stop breathing.

After many years battling with these thoughts, it seemed like I had recovered. The thoughts stopped. I was around the age of 18 and I was still really anxious at the time but I didn't have any "stuck" thoughts troubling me anymore. I developed a relationship with a girl, I was very anxious but I had confidence in my ability to make people laugh. She really emphasied the fact that she found me funny. One day I had the thought "how am I funny", "what is humour"?

It eventually led to me being really super anxious about humour. I continue to think these thoughts especially when I am talking to people. It feels like I am no longer on autopilot. I have had this for 11 years now, the girl dumped me (obviously). I've lost all my "good" friends. They don't know who I am anymore. Does anyone know what this is? Has anyone experienced something similar? I am really stuck and suffering from a deep depression.
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Re: Is this pure O or just social anxiety?

Postby Snaga » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:25 pm

To me it sounds more like OCD, than just social anxiety- because it began by worrying about how you were acting, yes? And you have a long history of OCD-like thought patterns.
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Re: Is this pure O or just social anxiety?

Postby Proteon » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:51 pm

Hi Snaga,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, it started when I was overthinking the thought "how to be funny".

Before I had that "stuck" thought, it felt like I was acting subconsciously around people but now I am over conscious of what I say and I get really anxious all the time around people. No matter what I do, I can't stop thinking about it. It's like that thought has entered my subconscious. To make matters worse, I can't really read my emotions anymore either. I can't rely on my emotions to get me through conversations.

I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous. It's not logical. I believe I've always had social anxiety, but it used to be about my appearance because I was bullied by other kids for being "ugly". I couldn't stand the feeling of people looking and judging me but I was fine speaking to people once I got to know them. I actually used to use humour to not get beaten up and now it's like anxiety and depression has robbed me of the only thing I liked about myself.
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