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Question
Posted by: Star | 2004/10/20

What do you do?......

Dear Doc
What do you do: when you don't know how to reach out to people; when you are so painfully shy each day is a struggle; when you can see in people's eyes that they think you are weird/selfish/not interested in others; when all you want is to be on your own, keep to yourself, but deep down inside you long to have friends/get along; when you move from job to job hoping things will be better next time; when people always comment on how quiet/shy you are (no harm intended on their side), and it hurts so much its as if they are swearing at you; when you can see that others would rather avoid/leave you alone (no surprise there, what you send out to the world is what you receive back); when upon seeing groups of people chatting/laughing, it hurts – wishing you could be part of them; when social gatherings makes you so uncomfortable that you sometimes catch yourself shaking and you would rather avoid them; when your thoughts are always consumed by what people think of you; when you cannot look people in the eye – its as if they will see through you and all that you are; when you know you have missed so many opportunities because of fear of stepping out; when you sometimes just want to die, whats the point of living anyway if you cannot share your life with those around you.

What do you do?
Very unhappy.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Star, you describe it very well, and in part you're speaking of Social Anxiety Disorder, perhaps coloured by some Depression, which responds really well to treatment, with medications, and/or psychological treatments like CBT, and best of all to both. I understand how lonely and miserable this situation feels, but it can and should be changed. You're obviously a fine person, and deserve to enjoy life more freelly. See a good local shrink and get this sorted out, and in years to come you'll be surprised to remember how bad and how hopeless this used to feel.
Self-help books can indeed be very helpful, but often one needs a bit more than that, and that's where a counsellor can be invaluable, to get that DOING done !
Don't be inhibited by expecting it to be very difficult to talk about what's troubling you, to a shrink. They're able to make it easier to do, and as your message shows, you're actually eloquent and skilled at expressing yourself about such things.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sue | 2004/10/20

Geez, I feel just the same. I need to apply my mind and take everyones advice.

Reply to Sue
Posted by: Jay | 2004/10/20

Hi Star, go be a shooting star...!
Don't worry, you're not alone in the journey, just imagine if you could see me next to you, and we can compare notes as we go along our journey to get to know people better.
People are so different and so fascinating, it's only our fear of rejection that keeps us from finding out all about them - the good, the bad, the ugly.
Face the fact that not everyone is going to like you, but stick it out, and you'll find that those that do like you are precious gems, precious friends and we all need them. And they too will accept you totally - the good, the bad, the ugly.
If you need a friend and wanna compare notes, I'm at playful132000 at yahoo dot com.
Good luck. I bet you'll make a fabulous friend ;-)

Reply to Jay
Posted by: Star | 2004/10/20

Thanks Paul, Shaun & Cleo for your input.

Paul, I am trying very hard to work on my self-esteem. I have read so many motivational books, and I think I know what's the cause and what I need to do. Its the DOING part that is not moving forward.

Shaun, No I am not seeing a shrink about this. I have thought about it, I guess I'm afraid, of what I'm not quite sure. Its very hard for me to talk about this. You have no idea how long it took me to type it here. I would type a few words and my eyes would just well up with tears and I stop.

Cleo, you are right - I am the one isolating myself and am so hard on myself. I have my days, some days when I do reach out a little, I feel so good and calm and go home happy.

Thank you for letting me "talk" in this forum. I feel much better already.

Reply to Star
Posted by: Cleo | 2004/10/20

Baby...u get over u'reself! Accept your uniqness and realise that you have qualities the other people can appreciate. I u're damn ugly be proud of it, if u're so beautiful it hurts to look at you, then flaunt it. If u're overwieght get to the cause of it or if u're a skinny as a rake...realise u'de make an awesome catburgler! Stop being so critical of u'reself and u just might realise no else is judging u as hard as u judge u'reself!

Why do care what someone else thinks of you...every single human being on this planet is flawed and imperfect...why should u feel inferior?? I used to be just like you, and then i realised it's a load of cr*p and I just had to love myself for the weird, funny looking individual that i am.

You are the only one isolating yourself! When you sit with a group of people, listen more than u talk, but don't just be an observer, participate too. U're opinion is just as valuable as anyone elses!

It's so easy to make friends if u're not afraid to be u'reself around people. We are all the same insecure little beings deep down inside. So show people that you are comfortable with yourself and with other people and they will feel comfortable with you.

Forget fear...challenge u'reself and do something outrageous! Go bunjee jumping or whatever will free you from u're own fear! Enjoy the fact that every new job is a chance to reinvent yourself as you wish to be seen. Get a make over, new wardrobe the works!

Only you are responsible for your life on earth...don't waste anymore time...run and jump into the world!

Lotsa love from a former scared little girl.

Reply to Cleo
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/10/20

Hey Star,

You would not by any chance be my long-lost twin would you??? Coz you seem to have stolen my thoughts/feelings!!!
Are you seeing any kind of shrink to help you thru this? If you are not, then I would suggest you see one, soon...
I will tell you this though, you won't see any change until you take the effort to reach out & grab it, but you seem to know this already. It's funny ain't it, you seem to know the cause & effect but you don't seem to want to know the in between part. How the cause actually ends up being an effect.
Take it one little step at a time Star. Btw, I like your Nickname...
Maybe we are so stuck on the thought that we know what is gonna happen so why bother with trying anyway. See, what we need to realise is that the trying is the best part. Don't worry, it's still too difficult for me too.
Remember, you chose to do the things you do. You allow those things that are done to you. Open up a little every now & then, take a chance, see what happens.

There are ways & methods, including medication that can help you get to the point you want, but you must want, & it is important to set yourself small personal goals with advice from your counsellor so that you actually see that you making progress & that in itself gives you the satisfaction of doing something/getting somewhere.

Don't worry, you're not alone Star.

Also remember that it took you a while to be the way you are now, so it is gonna take you time to be otherwise, or different, or how you would really like be.

Good luck Star,
Cheers,
Shaun

Reply to Shaun
Posted by: Paul | 2004/10/20

You need to start seeing yourself as a human being, no better and no less than those having these social interaction. I am also a shy person so I know. They are just like you, same worries, same insecurities. You need to work on your self esteem.

Reply to Paul

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