Do I Have Just Social Anxiety or Other Diagnoses Combined with SA?
Hello Dr. Schwartz,
I am writing to you from New Zealand to ask your opinion and ideas about what my "condition." I think it may be Social Anxiety or something in the lines of that. My "Symptoms" vary so,........here we go.
I get very anxious when I go out of the house. For example, walking down the street in a town I think people in cars may be staring at me and laughing about how I look or act! And when I'm walking down a footpath & People come towards me I either look down at the ground or at a sign or anything but them, especially making eye contact. Even if I'm at my house alone or with someone, but especially alone, I worry a lot about when I have to go back outside. I worry about future events or meetings with people, even family members!
A lot of the time I have this really strange, unexplainable feeling where I feel like I'm kind of in a dream-like state and things are kind of "unreal" and delirious! I have it most of the time but it gets much worse when I'm in an uncomfortable situation & out of my comfort zone. I looked it up on the net and I heard of something called "'De-personalization, and another called "De-realisation" and I'm pretty sure they are somehow connected to my Social Anxiety.
A lot of it has to do with worrying about how I look and appear to other people and how I sound and all sorts of other silly things! I live in a very small town, pretty much a village, but I've only been here a few years. Because of my Social Anxiety, or whatever, I have acted strange and people here have definitely noticed and have commented to me and payed attention to me. So it's definitely not my imagination. I even have people driving by the house I live in and slowing right down to have a look at the house.
Some times I am much more sociable and I can go out and I find it easier but there are other times I cant even go out to the mail box or stand by the window in case someone sees me! I know some of it is probably paranoia caused by Social Anxiety and racing thoughts but I'm pretty sure some isn't.
Like I said before, I live in a tiny town where most people were born and all Know each other. I don't really know anyone except people I meet when I have to hitchhike daily to get to the slightly bigger town for stuff. I know I have acted pretty damn strange when I get really anxious and get that delirious strange feeling. People here have made comments and most likely think that I'm much worse then I really am.
To tell the truth, Social Anxiety, if I have it, is not that serious in some ways but sometimes the physical things that happen and things I may say make me look much worse then I actually am. Because of that I get even more anxious! Because, to tell the truth, a lot of the time I can hold down a proper conversation and do other stuff without acting "strange."
The country I live in is a lot different then the U.S. and other places and people here are very ignorant and narrow-minded so it makes it quite a bit worse! Because of this problem, I have never held down a job and have put a stop to my social life and anything else.
So Dr I would be very much appreciated if you answer my rant and raves! I want to get a respected opinion and work things out from there. After you reply I will also go and see a Local counselor/psychologist. Thank you.
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.