Social anxiety

For as long as I can remember, I have found that I struggle in social situations. A lot of people would find this hard to believe; I come across as chatty, outgoing and confident. But the majority of the time this is a mask. 

As you are aware, I have anxiety and depression. But until today, it never really occurred to me how anxious social situations make me. In other words, I suffer with social anxiety. Before today, I hadn’t really thought about my anxiety in this way. 

It was only during my CBT session this morning that I realised how high my anxiety is in regards to social situations. I brought up the issues I discussed in my last post about friends. I always worry before any social situation. Given the choice, I would actively avoid socialising altogether. The anxiety surrounding social situations has such a negative impact on my emotional wellbeing. My anxiety will tell me that I will make a fool of myself, that people don’t like me and will make fun of me/talk about me. I also get anxious in shops or talking on the phone. In my head, I am constantly telling myself what to say in these situations. I will then tell myself off if I feel that something has gone ‘wrong’ in a social situation.

I was shown a similar quote to this during my CBT session this morning:

  
I think this is true about me. I endeavour to make sure everyone else is happy and well. As a result, I end up feeling lonely. The mask I wear makes me appear guarded to my family and friends. It is so ingrained for me to appear on the outside that all is well with me. So is it any wonder that others don’t always check how I am or assume that I am doing ok? 

My mood has still been low. I would go as far as to say that it is probably even lower now. I worry that I am coming across as overly happy to compensate for my low mood. It’s just one worry after another…

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14 thoughts on “Social anxiety

  1. It might seem like another thing to add to the list of things you already suffer from, but now you realise that you have social anxiety you can better prepare for social situations and look after yourself in those situations. Being able to identify what causes your anxiety, and recognising those negative thoughts when they pop up will definitely help you break those thought patterns. I hope that your mood improves, sounds like you are doing lots of hard work in CBT xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh my goodness. I am so happy that someone feels the same way as me. I make everyone else happy but myself. I have both anxiety and depression and I get really anxious in public! Thanks for posting this xoxoxox. Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bagofnerveslady says:

    I am exactly the same Gemma. I really enjoy blogging because it’s the one place where I can get all those thoughts out. It does make me feel so lonely though. I always check on friends and family because I like to look after people but nobody seems to return the favour. Does everyone assume I’m okay because of the smile I wear? Do people care? Or do people just dislike me so much?

    But at least now that you’ve recognised this within yourself, you’ll be able to start making the steps to challenge your negative thinking. People do like you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I couldn’t put it better than these two lovely ladies myself. As they both say, now that you’ve realised this you can make steps to feel more comfortable in social situations. CBT seems to be working for you 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sidoniehelena says:

    This is exactly how I feel all the time. I’m learning to cope with it a bit better, but it’s still super hard when I’d rather just hide away at home than deal with people.

    I think now you realise that this is what you do in situations you can start to work out how to go around it and face the situations you might encounter.

    I am a prolific worrier, which is what feeds my anxieties. It was only last summer I found out that this was the main cause of my anxieties. Since then I’ve been trying to slowly iron out my worries to reduce my anxieties.

    It’s really hard, I won’t lie. And I still find myself putting up the happy mask and going about my day because it just comes so naturally to me.

    I can say that on days I try and I don’t put up the mask and I don’t think about a million things to worry about, by the end of the day I feel a real sense of achievement!

    I hope you can continue to recognise whats holding you back and work towards getting back into a normal life routine without anxiety and depression ruling your life! X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ask a Teenage Aspie says:

    I feel very similar to this, people usually are surprised to hear I have social anxiety because they think I’m confident. In recent years, I’ve got much better at masking when I’m anxious in social situations,not sure if that’s a good thing or not though! This is a very important post on something that affects a lot people, who suffer in silence

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My social anxiety has been getting worse over time. I get some of those same distorted thoughts that you describe. Unfortunately I believe those thoughts, they take over my mind, and my anxiety goes through the roof. I avoid or mask whenever possible. I’m sure it is unhealthy to do so, but it’s how I manage. Does the CBT help with your anxiety?

    Liked by 1 person

    • CBT does help. It takes a lot out of me as it isn’t the easiest thing to do; to open up to a complete stranger about really personal things x

      Like

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