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Old 1 Week Ago
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Hello!

I signed up for this forum seven years ago and then never used it, though I've appreciated the nice birthday automated message each year. Since I keep forgetting I signed up, it's always a surprise.

I am 43 years old and have had depression, anxiety, and social anxiety issues for a long time. I used to self-medicate with alcohol, but have been sober for 20 years. My life is actually very full and rewarding. I am happily married, have two great kids, and a comfortable job that is not too stressful.

I am also a performer for fun -- I do amateur and small-scale professional stage acting and improv. I've learned that a lot of people drawn to performing are introverts like me, perhaps because it provides a safe, well-defined venue (and one where you quite literally know how to act). I do not know if this holds true for people with SA beyond basic introversion.

My SA issues have been increasing lately, and I'm not sure why. First I was finding less of a desire to interact even with people I know and like, and that was fine -- I did not feel lonely or depressed by it. But then I started feeling increasing anxiety even when getting ready to do things I've done many times before, with people I know. It hasn't been debilitating per se because I'm lucky enough to be able to work from home almost all the time. But it has severely hindered me from doing things I used to do.
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Old 1 Week Ago
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I'm sorry to hear you may be regressing, for lack of a better word.

What's weird is that I feel the older I get (I'm 41), the less energy I have to even become afraid and get wound-up about things. The fact that you're getting caught up in your head over stuff you've previously "conquered" is worrisome because I'd hate to lose ground like that; note that I haven't accomplished anything like what you have.

I lived with a girl, years ago, whose father suddenly began exhibiting symptoms of social phobia out of nowhere, in his mid-forties. He had to retire and her mother had to enter the workforce just to support them. He was a Vietnam veteran and a sheriff, as well, a real man's man with no history of anxiety on that level.

I wonder what it is that sparks these kinds of feelings for the first time in adults, or reignites them in people who've seemingly put most of their battles behind them?
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Old 1 Week Ago
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It's odd you'd get SA all of a sudden out of nowhere. Maybe it's b/c you suppress your feelings and you don't know where it's coming from? Welcome to the site!
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It's definitely a puzzle. I started making an effort a few months back to give myself permission to do less, and to do nothing more, so maybe that downtime is letting my badbrain goblins come out to play...
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