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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Getting deep up in here #2... Social phobia.

I think I have a mild social anxiety disorder/phobia.
And before you say "everyone gets nervous in social situations sometimes", let me explain.
Social phobias can be generalised into a fear of either performance situations (eg. giving a speech, or being watched whilst performing a task), or (in my case) situations involving social interaction (eg. making small talk, meeting new people). It can also be specific, ie. fearing a specific social situation(s).
Now I have no problem with performance situations. Put me in front of an audience with a microphone in hand, and I will enjoy every second, but when it comes to more interpersonal situations, that's where the stress kicks in.
In general, I am a worrier. I'm a person who thinks too much about things, and tends to dwell on certain situations.
In social environments, such as parties or out clubbing, I get even more stressed. I generally feel really uncomfortable and conspicuous. I spend a lot of time mulling over how uncool I am in comparison to the other people there, or thinking of how I have nothing interesting to say. Sometimes, I can't even muster the confidence to talk to people that I do know. When I do manage to talk to someone I either struggle to find a topic of conversation, or end up having word vomit and saying things that just make me sound strange.
I then come home... Usually after I've bailed early, and then I stay up far too late thinking about all the things I should've done or said... Like I am currently doing now, after bailing early from an 18th, where I spent most of the time talking to my parents and my parents friends (which I didn't mind too much, apart from the various instances of word vomit when they asked me about certain things) instead of people my own age.
It's not just at the social occasion, but afterwards too. I normally find myself sitting in my car, trying to not cry or hyperventilate or both. Which is probably why I try and avoid parties or clubbing, being incredibly glad when I have a legitimate excuse not to attend. And avoidance, I know, is as a result of the snowballing worries and obsessive thinking which characterise this phobia.
And don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with my friends, and doing fun stuff, but the minute it involves people outside my ring of friends, the worry sets in.
Even at uni I sometimes find myself overly conscious of what others are thinking about me. Making phone calls is another thing I struggle with sometimes, and I often put it off to the very last minute.
I am currently studying psychology, so I guess a good place to start was to psychoanalyse my own behaviour.
Writing this, I know it probably sounds worse than it is, but if you can relate in any way, let me know.

Beth. x

(***** I want to stress that I haven't been officially diagnosed, and I'm not a fully qualified psychologist yet, so I can't say my own self diagnosis is correct. However, judging from the VERY mild symptoms I have noticed, this is what I have come up with. I am aware that Social Anxiety Disorder can be debilitating to those experiencing it, and if you think you are, please talk to someone you trust, or seek information from places such as:


  1. I think you should go an see a doctor, if you feel like you're not acting or functioning normally? Good luck! xx

    Beauty Soup || UK Beauty Blog

    1. First of all, thanks for stopping by! :) Secondly, as I mentioned, everything is pretty mild, so it's not to the point where it is impacting majorly in everyday life... You know when you think so much about something in the moment, that it suddenly becomes 1000 times worse than it probably is? That is probably the image that this post is painting.

  2. If you ever need to talk to anyone, I'm always here. :) xxx

    -Lauren :) xx

  3. I feel very anxious in a variety of social situations too like I don't like being in groups of people or big parties, I hate phone calls to like you and tend to avoid them :/ I don't understand why! I study psychology too; I'm sure through studying this we'll both grow as people and put the skills and techniques we learn into use :)

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