Started having severe anxiety and shyness when I was 8 due to some pretty bad bullying in elementary school. Anxiety eventually turned to depression and became overwhelming by late teens. Unfortunately put my family, friends and myself through hell with repeated suicide attempts and cutting. Began therapy and briefs in patient treatments at 15 off and on until I was roughly 21. After attempting to first treat depression as the underline cause with not much success, I was than treated for social anxiety. In the end my diagnosis is BPD. As uncertain as I was about this label of BPD, considering how skeptical some professionals are of it being a valid condition, once I began to educate myself on the topic it felt right. It was the first description of a mental disorder that covered the gamut of symptoms I had. After finding the right medication to help me regulate my own emotions, and with the tools i've learned afters years of talking with psychologist, psychiatrists, social workers and groups, i have had roughly 6 years of freedom!!!! I was actually happy to be alive. Yes I would always have those moments where I would become afraid for no reason, feel like I was going crazy or not real, but I was able to self talk, breath; Calm myself down and think positive. I have been living on my own now for almost two years. The first year went by with a blur, and still lovin life! But since the middle of 2011 I have been having some very strong symptoms of anxiety. Feeling scared, trapped,basic panic attacks. Things are great at work but when I get home, I have this overwhelming sense of dread. Something wrong in the pit of my stomach. My social life has also gone. I make friends easily but am horrible at maintaining them. The handful of people that were in my life until somewhat recently a those that put a lot of effort into not letting me forget them 🙁 I seem to be the “out of sight, out of mind” type. If I don't see you at least a few days each week, I have a hard time remembering how I feel about you and pretty quickly don't care anymore. I hate being this way and feel a l lot of shame over it. Combine this with my current downward mood, and I only talk to my parents and one friend because we work in the same office. When I leave work I don't speak to another person until the next work day. I pretty much spend my weekends cleaning, reading, watching tv and playing video games and not speaking to anyone. I don't know how to get out of this rut. I want to go out and meet people, go places and do things. In the past year and a bit I've only left my house to work and take my two cats for vet check ups! I live in Toronto and am desperate to start exploring this city lol I live in one of the most multicultural cities in the world; I want to try new foods and make friends with people who immigrated here. I love to listen to people talk, tell stories about growing up, where they've come from lol. I think it helps teach me to be a better person. And now that I have this opportunity to do these things, I'm too scared to leave my home…. I know logically that I have a fear of being made fun of. This is from being bullied when I was younger. That this has lead to a need to always have people like me. Sometime say things because I know it's what they want to hear. It leads me to be hyper aware of people's body language and the words they speak. Sometime reading too much into things. Taking someone else's bad mood to be an affect of something I've said or done. And I know that my fear people are always judging me, going to laugh at me is irrational. I'm not the centre of the universe lol and most people I've ever met like me and I find it easy to get along with anyone. But I don't know how to take this knowledge and use it to control my emotions and fears. I am thankful to whatever has allowed me to keep this from getting out of control. I have no thoughts of harm or suicide, and I am still able to go to work and pay my bills. But I really want to start living again.

2 Comments
  1. amk 10 years ago

    i also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. i understand how you feel and i am sorry that you are going through a difficult time right now. as far as getting out and meeting new people, i am a fan of a website called meetup.com. it has a variety of different groups all around the country that meet up with people with the same interests. i have attended groups for meditation, knitting, running and ping pong. it has allowed me to get out, meet new people and do something fun. good luck. hope this helps.

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  2. anotherben 10 years ago

    I’ve had a lot of problems with social anxiety ever since being bullied in school and consequently withdrawing really from life. I understand how you can reach a level where you function enough to get by and pay the bills, but don’t really feel you are living a full life just existing during what are often long solitary periods of time which eventually turn into a feeling of loneliness.
    The only way I think to tackle it is to make an effort to get out and actually meet others. Perhaps you could try pursuing an interest and joining a group with others which would be an easy way to make friends due to a shared interest. This would also mean you could develop a friendship over time with these people because of your attendance of the same group every week.

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