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Struggling with Social Anxiety

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Punchr0ck3r17, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. All the time! I wish it would go away already!!

    7 vote(s)
    41.2%
  2. Sometimes, but I'm not sure if it's actually social anxiety or just uneasiness.

    10 vote(s)
    58.8%
  3. Rarely... I tend to do pretty well in social situations.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Nope. I am a social butterfly!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Punchr0ck3r17

    Punchr0ck3r17 New Member

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    Because sometimes, I feel like everyone around me has this whole social scene thing all figured out while I'm still stuck back in like, social scene preschool/kindergarten learning the basics. Anyway, I thought I'd share a little today because I've recently encountered some situations in my life that have given my social anxiety ample opportunity to pay me several visits.... (1) I'm figuring out how to share this amazing nontoxic product brand with others because, as a childcare professional, I'm always looking for nontoxic products to help me ensure that I'm protecting the health of the children in my care. And (2) I'm taking the lead in a special needs ministry at my church. Helping others who struggle with Autism and the like is a passion and sincere interest of mine, but I've never considered myself to be a leader, so while I'm excited to help with the special needs ministry at my church, there is definitely some social anxiety because I don't know a number of the people I'll be working with to help revamp the ministry. All of this has gotten me wondering how many others experience social anxiety and if anyone else who experiences it also struggles with the social difficulties of autism. So, please drop me a comment if social anxiety is a not-so-welcome friend of yours as it is mine and also, if you're curious, check out my most recent off site blog post. There is a link on my profile. Thanks a bunch and happy Friday!!! :)
     
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  2. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member It's My Birthday!

    Messages:
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    I had social anxiety for years. For me personally I forced myself out of my comfort zone more and more. I didn't really have the anxiety growing up - I was quite outlandish and sociable. I think this stemmed from only seeing friends at school, so I made the most of it.

    In my mid 20's when anxiety started taking hold with regular panic attacks and constant aches and pains I noticed I started to feel more and more tense around people I'd known for a long time. It built over time and came to a head for about a year and a half where I'd have panic attacks and intense symptoms simply from leaving the house or driving in my car.

    When I started dating my current partner 5 years ago, we naturally went out on dates and to different places. This was tough, as was the 3+ hour drive to her house before she moved in with me. I lost count of the amount of panic attacks and severe symptoms I had when we went out or when I drove to hers. But little by little it improved.

    Exposure to what makes you anxious won't work for everyone. I felt like I was always going to be in that bad a state, but eventually anxiety started to lessen and now I can be in new places, or around new people and not feel constant anxiety, or panic or symptoms.

    I guess practice can make perfect. I exposed myself enough to situations to a point where my brain began to normalise them. It no longer associated anxiety with them. It's not to say I don't have anxious moments when out and about - but I do what I always did, stay put. No matter how intense the symptom, or how bad I wanted to give up on what I was doing and retreat home - I didn't. Sure, I often felt like death - but I kept pushing well past my comfort zone.

    With regards to working with people, again, I think enough exposure to this should improve your abilities and reduce anxieties. It's not a one size fits all cure - but it might help.

    Ed
     
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  3. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would rarely try any unstructured social event anymore. But with a working role I would cope. Sounds like you'll have a reason to be there and can concentrate on supporting others. It's still difficult, but doable. Hope it goes well.
     
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  4. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You'd be a rare autistic indeed if you didn't have social anxiety. It is one of the most common experiences.
     
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  5. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    I'm pretty sure most of us have some form of anxiety or another. I have it every day I have to go to work, but I just keep pushing through it and it's getting a little better.

    I have anxiety (huge amounts) when just being in my house with my family. Often I have to wear earbuds and listen to music or I'd be freaking out.
     
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  6. Schism

    Schism Well-Known Member

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    All the time was my vote. I think I am getting worse at it the more I avoid. Now it takes a monumental effort just to visit the supermarket.
     
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  7. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You have social anxiety? Consider yourself lucky; I have full blown ballistic social panic. Perspective helps a bit. Keep up your work helping others.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  8. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's why it's best to just curl up at home or take a drive somewhere scenic. Being all alone, or just surrounded by family feels oh so good.
     
  9. Trophonius

    Trophonius Active Member

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    I have some social anxiety, and I believe most of it occurs because I cannot determine what are the appropriate behaviors and speaking rules in each situation. Then I find myself staying silent, just watching, out of fear of doing something that will be perceived to be odd or rude.
     
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