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A Confusing Development

By catdog55616 · Jun 5, 2019 · ·
  1. For some reason, it's only just occurred to me to look up social anxiety. After hearing about the comparisons, the minimization, all of that, I actually looked up what it was. The scary and comforting thing is, is that I relate to that a lot. Who knew there was an actual name for the fear I feel when presented with social situations? But on top of that, I'm afraid of what that says about me. I've been thinking that autism was the one thing that could explain why I felt different and pushed away from other people among other things, but what if it's not? Was I imagining all of my experiences? What if all of it's actually just social anxiety? I'm confused and will do more research. Also, talk to my school's therapist.

    Addition after the fact (10 minutes after I originally typed): I need to look more into comorbidities!!!! I didn't think that was a thing applicable to me!!


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  1. frink
    I also recently learned of the term "social anxiety", around the time of my diagnosis about a year ago (and my age is mid-30s). My therapist had mentioned this term while quickly listing off a bunch of types of anxiety. I had just claimed I had no anxiety. But as she read this list and I heard the term "social anxiety" I remember saying something like "WAIT. Tell me more about social anxiety." I didn't know it was a thing. I knew I had it before she elaborated. I usually spend about 3-10x more time thinking about social interactions, in person or by email, compared to the time spent on the interaction itself. I fear running into my neighbors and especially dislike when someone strikes up a conversation with me. It is exhausting. Some days just the idea that I need to send an email about a certain topic destroys my productivity for the entire day.

    Per the definition of autism spectrum disorder, there are basically two groups of requirements and both groups are required for a diagnosis. One relates to difficulty with social interactions. So if you have social anxiety that affects you negatively, you probably much meet requirements on that side. The other relates to restrictive & repetitive behaviors. I think significant sensory issues may also be in this category. For me, my brain is very "sticky", meaning it is very hard to switch my train of thought from one thing to another. I do have restricted interests. It takes extreme concentration to process a conversation if it is not something aligned with my interests. So I technically have restricted interests, but somehow I don't really feel I should count here, because I don't consider this a deficit or a problem. But anyway, whether or not you meet the requirements of ASD would likely depend on this category. I haven't read any other entries of your blog and only saw your post in a "recently posted" section of this web site, so apologies if this is something you already know or if this isn't helpful.
      catdog55616 likes this.
    1. catdog55616
      This was very helpful! I suppose I never thought of "social issues" as something I was aware of, if that makes sense.
  2. Peter Morrison
    I experienced social anxiety during my lifetime and I could never understand where it came from. I also never knew why it would hit me in situations where I had no reason to be anxious or ill-at-ease. I suspect it is related to being overly self-conscious. Still not sure.
      catdog55616 likes this.